Fall has arrived in southern Indiana and while it may feel like school just started, fall break is right around the corner. It provides a perfect opportunity to enjoy some beautiful autumn weather and embark on a quick family vacation. If it seems daunting to book an out of state getaway, you’re in luck; there are plenty of great local destinations that are fun and family-friendly!
The Ultimate Fall Trip
If you’re the type that eagerly anticipates cozy sweaters, hot apple cider, and beautiful fall color, think about a trip to Brown County, Indiana. Brown County State Park, the largest state park in Indiana, has been listed as one of the best places in the state to view fall foliage. Bright orange and red sugar maples, sunny yellow birch trees and golden bronze hickories will wow you as you drive over vistas with elevated views of the fall colors. Throughout the month of October, the Nature Center at the state park offers a variety of free fall programs. And in other good news? The Abe Martin Lodge, located inside the park, is running a fall special through November. Visit http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/inns/abe/ to learn more about rates and rooms, and http://www.browncounty.com/ for more information on Brown County.
During your stay in Brown County, swing by eXplore Brown County, a backwoods retreat that combines nature and adventure. While you can partake in any number of activities, including paintball, mountain biking, and ATV tours, jumping on a zipline is your best option for the fall season. There are six canopy tours to choose from, including a new sunset tour that ends in darkness and requires a headlamp. This family-friendly activity can accommodate all ages and abilities, though there are weight minimums and maximums. Visit http://www.explorebrowncounty.com/ for more information.
Indiana happens to be a mecca for basketball fans and we’re lucky to be only a few hours from all that history and excitement. The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame is in New Castle, Indiana, a little over three hours by car from Santa Claus. This 14,000-square foot museum is full of exhibits and memorabilia about basketball in Indiana. The Hall of Fame features inductees such as Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Bob Knight, John Wooden and many more.
You might also want to plan a stop at the Hoosier Gym in Knightstown, Indiana. In 1985, this gym was used in the movie Hoosiers, a film based on the experience of the tiny Milan high school, who won the Indiana state basketball championship in 1954.
Finally, continue on to Indianapolis. You might be able to catch a Pacers or a Fever game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. This amazing venue also plays host to the Indiana High School Activities Association (IHSAA) state finals each year, in addition to the Crossroads classic which features Notre Dame, Butler, Purdue, and Indiana.
For more information and ideas on a basketball focused getaway, visit https://visitindiana.com/trip-ideas/25883-experience-the-hysteria-of-hoops-in-the-hoosier-state.
Following in the Footsteps of History
In addition to natural beauty and sports prowess, southern Indiana is also home to quite a bit of history. Take Vincennes, located just an hour or so north of Santa Claus. Southern Indiana was the first part of the state to be settled when French fur traders set up a trading post at Vincennes in 1732. The town was named the territorial capitol in 1800 and the original capitol building (used between 1800 - 1813) is the oldest major government building in the Midwest. The home of U.S. president William Henry Harrison (the oldest president we’ve elected and the president who served the shortest term in office… 32 days) is also located in Vincennes. Grouseland was built between 1803-1804 and served as Harrison’s home while he was territorial governor. Finally, a stop at a memorial dedicated to Revolutionary war hero George Rogers Clark should be on the agenda. His capture of Vincennes weakened the British influence in the territories. Today the National Park Service site bearing his name remembers this important historical achievement. Visit http://www.vincennescvb.org/ for more information.
Another great stop on the history trail is New Harmony, Indiana, located just an hour west of Santa Claus. The town was founded in 1814 by a religious group named the Harmonie Society. In the 1820s, they built a model community based on utopian ideals Though it only lasted two years, New Harmony made great advances in education and scientific research. Many of the Harmonist buildings are still standing and are open to the public. While you’re there, make sure to stop in some of the great stops and restaurants that also populate this adorable and historic town. Go to http://visitnewharmony.com/ for additional history and information on local attractions.
Whether you decide to lose yourself in the beauty of fall colors, take in some sports, or follow in the footsteps of history, a great fall break trip awaits within just a few hours of Santa Claus. And if you’re shopping home for sale in Christmas Lake Village, consider extending your trip a day or two and explore some of the great adventures in nearby southern Indiana.