Summer Destinations in Indiana



Date: Author:

Blaine Zimmerman

Summer destinations in Indiana. May in Indiana revolves around the Indianapolis 500. But how do locals occupy themselves during the summer months? It turns out that having a good time in Indiana isn’t entirely dependent upon the sporting calendar. With countless destinations for quaint weekends away and week-long family vacations, the Hoosier state knows how to do summer in style. 

That’s right. There are plenty of places to visit in Indiana that aren’t the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. From relaxing beach getaways to thrilling theme park excursions, Indiana boasts several destinations for bona fide summer fun. So grab your suitcase and put your travel agent on speed dial. In this post, we cover the five best summer getaways in Indiana.

The best summer getaways in Indiana

Whether you’re planning a day trip or a longer vacation, the Hoosier state has you covered. Here are five of the best destinations for summer escapes in Indiana.

  1. Sink your toes into the sand at the Indiana Dunes State Park

We know what you’re thinking. A beach getaway . . . in Indiana? 

Located just a short drive from downtown Chicago, Indiana Dunes National Park is a playground for eager swimmers and ornithologists alike. That’s right: This state park offers more than just beautiful views of Lake Michigan. With miles of hiking and biking trails as well as countless spots to cast a line, the Indiana Dunes is a perfect destination for vacations of any length. So if you’re already planning a trip to the Windy City this summer, don’t forget to add relaxing on this Indiana beach to your itinerary. 

  1. Make any weekend a holiday weekend in Santa Claus

Who says Christmas festivities have to be limited to the winter months? Santa Claus, Indiana, delivers the magic year-round. With everything from cute shops to theme parks, this small town hosts one of the biggest attractions in the Hoosier state: Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari. Known for its exciting rides and free unlimited soft drinks for guests, the theme park offers thrills for adults and kids alike. Time Magazine even ranked The Voyage, Holiday World’s newest wooden coaster, among the best roller coasters in the nation. Looking for something other than sugar and adrenaline rushes? Vacationers can roll back the clock by visiting the nearby Lincoln Boyhood Memorial.

  1. Make an artsy escape to Columbus

Columbus isn’t just a great place to live. It’s also the perfect destination for a day trip or a long weekend. Although Columbus is famously home to engine maker Cummins, visitors will find much more than straightforward corporate history in this quaint southeastern city. In fact, Cummins was instrumental to Columbus’ development into a hub for arts and culture. Dubbed a “Midwestern Mecca of architecture” by Susan Stamberg of NPR, Columbus combines a rich design history with enviable local amenities. Visitors can experience the work of Modernist architects, such as I.M. Pei and Eero and Eliel Saarinen, among others, before enjoying some quality time on the city’s 27 miles of winding trails. Need something else for the kids? Check out kidscommons, Columbus’ community children’s museum.

  1. Get lost in the woods at Indiana’s largest state park

Sometimes you just have to get away from it all—and Brown County State Park is the perfect place for a rustic retreat. With almost 16,000 acres of rolling hills, scenic vistas, and freshwater ravines, Brown County offers visitors miles of beautiful forestland to enjoy. Although locals recognize Brown County State Park as a popular fall destination, it’s also a great place for summer camping, fishing, and hiking trips. Prefer a boutique hotel to camping? Nearby Nashville, Indiana, boasts several historic inns as well as numerous dining and retail options.

  1. Spend some time in the Circle City

Indianapolis is one of the fastest-growing cities in the heartland—and for good reason. There’s a lot for locals and visitors to enjoy in the Circle City. From award-winning restaurants by up-and-coming chefs to lovely public amenities, Indianapolis has enough attractions to fill itineraires of all sizes. Need an activity for the whole family? Take the kids to the world’s largest children’s museum, or spend a day strolling along the Canal Walk. Better yet, rent a pedal boat and pedal your way through downtown. If you don’t have children or are leaving your kids at home, check out one of the newest additions to the Mass Ave Arts District: the Bottleworks District. With a boutique hotel for weekend getaways and culinary specialties from local classics like La Chinita Poblana in the Garage Food Hall, this new downtown feature has already captured the attention of locals. 

Helping veterans find meaningful opportunities in Indiana

From vacation ideas to career plans, INvets specializes in providing the support veterans need when transitioning to civilian life. Let’s face it. Confronting your civilian transition can be hard, but finding career opportunities after serving your country shouldn’t be. That’s why INvets, a nonprofit organization founded by veterans, takes the guesswork out of job searching. We connect veterans with businesses and organizations that want to hire veterans. 

Need additional support during your military transition? We do more than post job listings and schedule interviews. From providing valuable education and training to explaining Indiana’s many financial incentives for veterans, we’re committed to helping armed forces members find meaningful career opportunities after leaving the military. 

Register for an INvets account today. One of our veteran engagement specialists will reach out and help you plan your next move.