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Best of Indiana!

Written by: Sara Coulter |

 If you're in Indiana and looking for something to do this weekend, check out the "Best of Indiana".

Are you looking for something fun to do this weekend?  Or perhaps some ideas for an Indiana staycation?  Here are a few of the "best" suggestions that you might add to your bucket list!

Every fall, Visit Indiana polls travelers for the best of the best in Indiana.  We thought we’d share a little bit about the top winners in each category, with the runner up that is closest to Richmond.  (If you live in another part of the state or country, go to Visit Indiana to find the closest to home for you.)

best in indiana - cataract falls


Best Waterfall

#1 - Cataract Falls
Cloverdale, IN

Cataract Falls State Recreation Area is home to Indiana’s largest waterfall.  Take a day trip or stay overnight in the campground.  In addition to the falls, the park features a covered bridge, a picnic area with playground and a half-mile nature trail.

#6 - Thistlethwaite Falls
Richmond, IN

Right in our own back yard, Thistlethwaite Falls is a short hike off of Waterfall Rd. near Springwood Park.  It was created in 1880 to increase the waterpower to a nearby sawmill.  If you like to hike, the falls are the last stop on a 3-1/2-mile nature trail beginning at Test Rd.

wine bottles

Best Winery

#1 - Two EE's Winery
Huntington, IN

The secret to Two EE’s wines is unique grapes that are unfamiliar to most wine drinkers.  They produce reds, whites, roses and fruit wines, and their wine list changes frequently.

#10 - Easley Winery
Indianapolis, IN

From the founder’s basement to a thriving business in the heart of Indianapolis, Easley winery is Indiana’s oldest family-owned winery.  Depending on the season, they produce over 20 different wine varieties, from traditional wines like chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, to sparkling and mulled wines.  You may also recognize their line of Reggae wines with the funky labels!  Open 7 days a week, they offer daily wine tastings and weekend winery tours.

pork tenderloin sandwich

Best Tenderloin

#1 - Nick's Kitchen
Huntington, IN

We Hoosiers do like our tenderloins, and Nick’s Kitchen’s was voted the best in the state.  Made from the original recipe created by founder Nick Freienstein over 100 years ago, the sandwich is a Hoosier favorite.  Why not pair it with a hand-dipped milkshake?  Is anybody getting hungry?!

#6 - Lumpy's Cafe
Cambridge City, IN

Situated on a quiet side street in Cambridge City, Lumpy’s is always crowded.  The locals know that for breakfast and lunch, and especially the pork tenderloin, Lumpy’s is the place to be.  The Indiana way to eat tenderloin is with pickles and mustard, but Lumpy’s will serve it up any way you like it!

Abraham Lincoln Memorial

Best Historic Destination

#1 - Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial
Lincoln City, IN

Most people associate Abraham Lincoln with Illinois, but he actually grew up in Indiana.  Start at the Visitor’s Center with an orientation film and a museum of exhibits about Lincoln and early frontier life in Indiana.  Then spend your time visiting the rest of the site, including the Lincoln Living Historical Farm, a recreation of a pioneer homestead with rangers demonstrating a variety of activities typical of the period.

#9 - Levi & Catharine Coffin State Historic Site and Interpretive Center
Fountain City, IN

Also close to home is this fascinating museum about the Underground Railroad.  The Levi Coffin House was owned by Levi and Catharine Coffin, Quakers who offered their home as a safe haven to fugitive slaves on their way to freedom.  It is a National Historic Landmark and has been names as one of the top 25 historic sites in the nation to visit.

barbeque sandwich

Best Barbeque

#1 - Shigs in Pit
Fort Wayne, IN

Sandwiches, plates (with homemade sides), ribs, dessert.  Sit-down, carry-out or catered.  You can even order online.  And they say it’s the best!  Just go!

#4 - Firehouse BBQ and Blues
Richmond, IN 47374

Located in an old firehouse in the historic Depot District, you’ll find a fun atmosphere and great food at “the Firehouse”.  And don’t miss the live entertainment every Friday and Saturday night!

fall picture of a lake in brown county, indiana

Best Trails

#1 - Brown County State Park Biking Trails
Nashville, IN

Indiana’s largest park, you’ll find rugged beauty compared to the Smoky Mountains and known for its fall color.  The park is full of hiking, biking and horse trails, and the Abe Martin Lodge offers accommodations right in the park.  Take a stroll on the paved Friends Trail, or navigate a rugged hike from ridge to valley, you will enjoy your time in Brown County, no matter what the season.

#4 - Cardinal Greenways
Richmond-Muncie, IN

Did you know that you can ride the Cardinal Greenways trail all the way from Richmond to Muncie?  That’s right!  It’s the longest rail-trail in Indiana, and runs 62 miles from Richmond through Muncie and to Marion.  Pack a backpack with a picnic lunch and stop at any of our beautiful trailheads for a breather.  Happy trails!

piece of apple pie

Best Pie

#1 - The Apple Works
Trafalgar, IN

You’d expect an apple orchard to have good apples.  But The Apple Works was voted the maker of the best apple pie, and it looks phenomenal!   A double crust stuffed 3 inches high with apples and cinnamon.  Yum!

#5 - Peanut Butter Pie
Olde Richmond Inn
Richmond, IN

I love the Olde Richmond Inn, but I did not know about the peanut butter pie!  Peanut butter and whipped cream on dark chocolate cookie crust and topped with a thin layer of semi-sweet chocolate.  I wonder if it’s appropriate to stop for pie on the way home for dinner?!

little girl eating an ice cream cone

Best Ice Cream

#1 - The Chief
Goshen, IN

Just a small walk-up shop with a few picnic tables, The Chief earned the #1 spot for their homemade ice cream.  Open all year.  They have lots of flavors to choose from, including favorites like toasted coconut, peanut butter, blue moon and mint chocolate chip.

#4 - Ivanhoe’s
Upland, IN

If you love ice cream, try Ivanhoe’s for a sundae or milk shake.  You’ll have trouble choosing from 100 sundaes and 100 shakes, including the chocolate midnight sundae (chocolate ice cream, chocolate cookies, a chocolate shell and hot fudge) or a happy birthday shake (vanilla shake blended with Oreos, topped with a scoop of strawberry ice cream, whipped cream, sprinkles and a candle).

bratwurst sandwich

Best Super Sandwich

#1 - Schnitzelbank
Jasper, IN

A bit of old-world Germany in southern Indiana, Schnitzelbank won for their super bratwurst sandwich.  The menu describes it as “All pork sausage with a noticeable onion flavor cooked to perfection; served with German fries and sauerkraut.”  Guten appetit!

#2 - Mile High Club Sandwich
Rock Cola Café
Indianapolis, IN

This place looks like so much fun!  From the outside, it looks like a vintage-style fast food restaurant.  Inside, the pink walls are decked out with 50s memorabilia, the booths and soda fountain bar stools are covered with turquoise leather, and the floors are black and white checked!  And their award-winning super sandwich is the Mile High Club.  Two tiers of Texas toast, crammed with smoked turkey, honey-baked ham, lettuce, tomato, mayo and American cheese, then topped with hickory-smoked platter bacon. Served on two tiers of Texas toast.  Oh yeah.  I’m there.

So before you spend a lot of time and money searching far and wide for something better, why not try the best right here in Indiana?  Enjoy!

Have you ever thought about using a Christmas Club account to save for vacation?  Why not?  

Topics: Community, Food, Travel, Entertainment, Personal

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