8 Indiana Destinations for a Weekend Getaway

From incredible destinations to authentic experiences, Indiana is a perfect getaway that offers it all during a weekend getaway in USA. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, history buff, food lover, or a sports fan, Indiana has awe-worthy surprises that will match up to all your vibrant tastes and preferences.

Indiana Destinations for a Weekend Getaway

If you are planning a remarkable weekend getaway to Indiana, then here are some best cities to visit that you will cherish!

1. Bloomington

A place that nurtures aspirations and creativity, Bloomington is a breeding ground that boasts being one of the best college towns in America. With a beautiful campus, the Indiana University Bloomington is well known for its innovation, creativity, and academic freedom. Other amazing destinations of the city include Indiana University's Eskenazi Museum of Art and WonderLab Museum.

Offering cuisine from all over the globe, Fourth Street is home to Bloomington's restaurant row and is a favorite among foodies. The city also features a few pizzerias and wonderful wineries, too. One can also enjoy a variety of arts in Bloomington, which encompasses a diverse range of performances, concerts, and movies throughout the year.

Watch an ensemble at the African American Arts Institute or ballet at Indiana University's Opera and Ballet Theater.

2. Westfield

A thriving community with a rich heritage, Westfield is a perfect getaway for sports buffs. The city is well-known for Grand Park Sports Campus, a premier 400-acre facility that hosts many community and sporting events year-round. For outdoor enthusiasts, explore the 18-plus mile Monon Trail that begins in Westfield.

It eventually connects to Carmel and Indianapolis. For foodies, the city also has several amazing eateries that cater to diverse taste buds. South of downtown Westfield, located on Parker Street, "Restaurant Row" features a mix of restaurants for visitors to devour. Since there are so many attractions to explore in Westfield, it would be beneficial to find accommodations nearby.

3. French Lick

A fantastic romantic getaway, French Lick is all about fine dining, rejuvenation, and entertainment. The city is famous for its historic early 1900s French Lick Resort, located in an extravagant facility, complete with mineral springs healing waters.

Other enthralling places in town include the French Lick West Baden Museum, which features a large circus diorama, and the French Lick Scenic Railway that offers beautiful scenic rides. For all the wine lovers out there, the town also has an exclusive wine trail known as Indiana Uplands Wine Trail at French Lick Winery.

4. Valparaiso

Rich in culture and attractively located in a rural setting, the city of Valparaiso is a hot spot for arts, cuisine, and entertainment. Valparaiso is perfect for foodies as the city hosts many food-themed festivals. It is particularly known for its annual popcorn festival. With mouth-watering delicacies, downtown Valparaiso has an array of eateries that any foodie will crave to explore.

Also, the city has a plethora of breweries that provide locally brewed craft beer to locally grown wine for every bibulous person to relish.

5. Madison

Look no further than Madison for the prettiest town in the Midwest! Lined with a historic main street and scattered with charming mansions, Madison is a great day trip from big cities like Louisville in Kentucky or even Cincinnati in Ohio!

6. Gary

Transporting motorists from the Gulf Coast of Alabama to just outside of Chicago, well-known I-65 covers 887.3 miles and terminates here, ending at East Dunes Highway in Gary about 3.7 miles from the Jackson family home.

Obviously, the most popular attraction in Gary is the tiny 672-square-foot house where Joe and Katherine Jackson and their nine children lived in poverty. No one could have predicted that their seventh child Michael would become the King of Pop and one of the most recognizable celebrities in the world, selling 750 million records and winning 13 Grammy awards. He was 13 when they moved out of the home.

Joe and Katherine purchased this house in January of 1950 as a young married couple, only 21 and 19 respectively when they bought the property. They lived there for the birth of all nine children, including Michael Jackson in 1958. The family lived in this miniscule residence as the Jackson 5 catapulted to stardom, scoring their first number one hit 'I Want You Back' that topped the charts on January 31, 1970, nearly 17 weeks after its release.

The Jacksons still lived there on February 24, 1970, when the song 'ABC' was released, eventually knocking The Beatles off the top of the Billboard charts. They lived in the home on May 2, 1970, when the Jackson 5 started their first national tour. By 1971, after the success of the ABC album, the Jackson family moved to a 10,476-square-foot mansion in the Los Angeles area.

Behind the Jackson family home at 2300 Jackson Street is a school serving grades 7–12. But it was once Roosevelt High School where by all accounts Michael Jackson had his second public performance in 1966 at the age of seven. The Jackson 5 stood on this stage and won the school talent show with a memorable performance. Four of the Jackson children attended high school here. The GPS coordinates mark the spot of the auditorium.

The school also played a role in an early fight for civil rights. In 1927, funds were appropriated to build this school for African-American students with the intent of offering facilities equivalent to white schools, a concept that became known as the Gary System.

There is not even a commemorative marker on the site. On June 22, 1918, a train carrying people, animals, and props for the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus failed to park completely off the main track. A US troop train approached at night while the engineer was asleep at the wheel, colliding with the circus train.

The wreck and ensuing fire killed 86 people and also killed circus animals, the fourth deadliest US train wreck at the time. Driving to the end of Hobart Street, the closer track to you is where the circus train was parked. The farther track from you is where the troop train would have been passing at about 35 mph from right to left, traveling from Detroit to Chicago.

Oddly, and quite tragically, the second deadliest US train wreck (Nashville) and third deadliest US train wreck (Brooklyn) both happened later that year, three of the ten worst within the a six month span.

Cathedral of the Holy Angels is a Gothic Revival church built in 1947, the first Catholic congregation established in Gary.

7. Indianapolis

Given that metalworking fueled the Indianapolis economy in the late 19th century, it’s little wonder that automobile manufacturing emerged from the sparks. While the Indiana capital is home to the Motor Speedway, your visit doesn’t have to coincide with the Indy 500 race to satisfy your petrol lust. You can get up close to some roaring V8s at the Motor Speedway Museum, too. Whatever you do, rest assured you’ll be close enough to smell the burning rubber.

8. Merrillville

The department store is now an outdated strip mall. But this is where the legend of Michael Jackson was born, his debut performance singing at a fashion show with his siblings at the local department store on August 29, 1965. People in the audience were so blown away by the talent of Michael Jackson, performing on his seventh birthday, that they rushed the stage and cheered loudly, almost sensing his greatness and future stardom.

Admittedly, the strip mall is technically in Merrillville, but the parking lot is only 18 feet outside the Gary city limits.

Gear up for a perfect weekend getaway in Indiana. Explore unique places, delicious eateries, and fascinating locales at one of these four cities in Indiana.
Kalyan Panja