Resting beneath the southern shore of Lake Michigan, Indiana is a state teeming with natural beauty and rich history. The state's famous limestone forms the backbone of Indiana's diverse natural attractions, including rivers, canyons, gorges, caverns, forests and more. Those who sneeze at the thought of the outdoors needn't avoid Indiana; the state is also home to several dynamic urban centers. Throughout the year, visitors and residents alike can take their pick of an abundance of festivals, attractions, cultural events, musical activities and more.
- 123 Mill Street Madison, IN 47250 in MADISON, IN
On the last weekend of April, the annual garden tour at the Lanthier Winery welcomes warm spring breezes and the sweet aroma of a French country garden. Why don't you do the same? The winery is the site of America's only outdoor, interactive "Garden of Art," blooms and scents all around. Free samples of award-winning Indiana wines accompany the garden tour, and master gardeners present free workshops. Visitors get a free samples bag, but a donation to America in Bloom garners a larger bag. Admission is free and you can take home free plants!
- Downtown Wakarusa, IN 46573 in Wakarusa, IN
Pancake lovers rejoice; the end of April is syrup pouring time downtown. You and 16,000 other visitors can see a sugar camp and tour the museum before heading to the carnival rides. The parade and free popcorn really ice the cake, and there are food vendors galore. Be sure to see the handmade arts and crafts, too, at this 45-year-old annual tradition.
- Indianapolis Art Center 820 East 67th Street Indianapolis, IN 46220 in Indianapolis, IN
This is an important mid-May fund raiser for the Indianapolis Art Center, where the fair is held, and draws 22,000 visitors. This art fair began in 1971 and showcases the work of 225 artists from the US and Canada. Bring the kids; there's a children's creative area and live music on four stages. The gourmet food courts and the beer and wine garden will make many happy, art or not. Proceeds go to the Art Center's efforts to serve 300,000 people per year with studio art classes throughout the year, contemporary art exhibits, outreach to underserved youth and community events.
- Downtown Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN 46204 in Indianapolis, IN
On the Saturday before the Memorial-Day-weekend race, this giant parade wends through downtown thrilling 300,000 spectators. It's televised and on the level of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena.
- Indianapolis, Ind. in Indianapolis, IN
Over three weekends and two full weeks, beginning after the first few days of May, there is a lot of racetrack activity, including two nerve-wracking days of qualifications. The 500 Festival Mini Marathon kicks off the 12 days of action on the track, and it all culminates in the Indy 500 at the Indianapolis Speedway on Memorial Day weekend. Almost half a million visitors fill up the stands at the Brickyard Oval for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing." See all the pageantry of the event and scream your lungs out with the rest of the crowd.
From mid-May through Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, events are scheduled leading up to the legendary Indy 500, auto racing's largest purse. Since 1957, this festival has drawn crowds of half a million people, some attending civic events, kids' festival activities and pre-race races. The 1.5 million TV viewers on top of the 450,000 spectators at the race make this over-a-century-old "greatest race in the world." The big parade caps it off, so come on down.