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.
- West Lafayette, Ind. in West lafayette, IN
Points for originality go to this unique and truly American festival celebrating the annual gathering of the French and Native Americans in the mid-1700s at Fort Ouiatenon. The reenactment of this gathering at the fur-trading post includes authentic food, gunfire and smoke from wood fires; who can resist that? The romantic setting on the banks of the Wabash River southeast of town gives the reenactment a 1700s flavor, and the first weekend of October offers pleasant temperatures. It's a great opportunity to experience something different and historic.
- Griffith Central Park 698 N. Broad Street Griffith, IN 46319 in GRIFFITH, IN
Boy Scout Troop 264 of Griffith hosts this event the last weekend in September with help from scout-leaders and parents. They have been successful for well over 30 years and have great homemade food, too, like pulled pork and potatoes with a lot of toppings. Live music accompanies this craft festival, and there are many handmade items. It's an early Christmas shopping opportunity!
- Shipshewana, Ind. in Shipshewana, IN
May through September, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, this huge flea market offers some incredible finds, including fresh flowers and produce and handcrafted furniture. Handmade arts and crafts lure interested buyers and browsers, and there are hundreds of other items to ponder. The Auction Restaurant is on the grounds for hungry shoppers. The flea market has daytime hours, usually 8a-5p.
Theaters and bars and the Jazz Kitchen downtown host jazz, blues, soul and funk bands for the first part of this festival. For about a week in mid-September, people come from far and wide to hear real live jazz. The last three days are especially fun at OptiPark's outdoor stage.
- Historic Neighborhood Madison, IN 47250 in Madison, IN
This Southern Indiana juried show for crafts and fine arts is eye-candy-plus. Mediums include: drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry, weaving, folk art, leather, glass, wood, baskets, fiber, paper, clay and art that you can wear. If that's not enough, try the great food and enjoy the live entertainment. Mark the calendar for the last weekend of September and your viewing pleasure.
The courthouse lawn in Rockville is the site of this event in Parke County which has a whopping 32 covered bridges. For about 10 days in mid-October, arts and crafts aficionados come by the thousands to look, buy, eat and see live entertainment. From flea market finds to real antiques, shoppers bask in the possibilities as they enjoy the fall color and beautiful weather. Small towns and rural countrysides are represented in the arts and crafts items here, but don't forget to see the covered bridges.