John J Miller Photography / Moment / Getty Images

Feel at Home in the Hoosier State

There may not be a perfect theory for why Indiana residents are called Hoosiers, but one thing is certain: You'll find some of America's warmest locals here. Along with friendly folks, visitors to Indiana will discover a fervent love for college basketball, 24 state parks, a splendid stretch of coastline and a rich Native American history.

Get Inspired

white river state park, kayaking, indianapolis, indiana
White River State Park

White River State Park

Spanning across 250 acres of downtown Indianapolis, White River State Park is a little piece of tranquility in a bustling capital city. The park hosts plenty of fairs and festivals all year long and has lots of green space for locals and tourists to enjoy on a sunny day. Inside the park, you’ll find numerous other attractions, including the Indianapolis Zoo, Victory Field and the Eiteljorg Museum. 960 1280

Courtesy Lavengood Photography  

Indiana War Memorial Plaza

Indiana War Memorial Plaza

The Indiana War Memorial Plaza contains so many tributes that it single-handedly makes Indianapolis the US city with the second-most monuments dedicated to veterans (based on number per acre). The plaza contains 2 museums, 3 parks and 24 acres of memorials in total.  960 1280

Don Klumpp/Getty Images   

Hinkle Fieldhouse

Hinkle Fieldhouse

Hinkle Fieldhouse is home to the Butler University basketball team, the Bulldogs, as well as a sports landmark in its own right, thanks to its role in the 1986 feature film Hoosiers. The venue was the stage for the dramatic state championship game and final scene, in which small-town Hickory High School defeats a much larger school from South Bend. The movie was loosely based on the run made by Milan High School in the 1954 Indiana state basketball championship. 960 1280

Michael Hickey/Getty Images  

Indianapolis Museum of Art

Indianapolis Museum of Art

Art lovers should definitely check out the Indianapolis Museum of Art while visiting the city. The museum has a collection of more than 500,000 works of art. It also features national and international traveling exhibitions throughout the year. Take a stroll through the 100-acre Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, located adjacent to the museum. Or visit the Oldfields-Lily House & Gardens to get a glimpse into the lives of Indianapolis’ most interesting and prominent families. 960 1280

Serge Melki, Flickr  

Lucas Oil Stadium

Lucas Oil Stadium

Lucas Oil Stadium is home to the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts and the site for Super Bowl XLVI. The multipurpose facility, which has a retractable roof, seats more than 67,000 fans. Ranked as the NFL’s best artificial surface in both 2009 and 2010, the field has hosted the Big Ten football championship and the NCAA Men’s Final Four basketball championship. 960 1280

Josh Hallett, Flickr  

Circle Centre Mall

Circle Centre Mall

Go shopping at the Circle Centre Mall, which features more than 100 places to shop and dine. The indoor mall also has a movie theater located on the fourth level. City Market, Shadeland Antique Mall, Castleton Square, Fashion at Keystone and Broad Ripple Village are other options where you can get your shopping fix. 960 1280

Jim Grey, Flickr  

The Canal Walk

The Canal Walk

Jog along the Central Canal or take a stroll through the 250-acre White River State Park. The Canal Walk, a 3-mile loop, is a popular urban respite for fitness enthusiasts and serenity seekers. This downtown waterfront is dotted with paddleboats, gondolas, bicycles and Segways. The one and only urban state park in the city hosts popular festivals. In the summer, the Lawn has a waterfront stage and seats 8,000. It’s the perfect spot to see first-rate concerts. 960 1280

Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association  

NCAA Hall of Champions

NCAA Hall of Champions

Indianapolis is big on college sports because it’s home to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Sports fans will enjoy a trip to the NCAA Hall of Champions. On the first level, all 23 NCAA sports are represented. Current team rankings, video highlights and artifacts donated from schools nationwide are on display. The second level, a fully interactive area, includes a media room to watch current games and a 1930s-style basketball gymnasium. Admission is $5 or less. 960 1280

Intiaz Rahim, Flickr  

Soldiers and Sailors Monument

Soldiers and Sailors Monument

The 284-foot-tall State Soldiers and Sailors Monument, located in the center of Indianapolis, was erected in honor of Hoosiers who served in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the US Civil War and the Spanish-American War. Get a spectacular view of the city from the monument’s observation deck for $2. The Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum is located in its basement. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

This racing facility has a capacity of up to 400,000 people and hosts both the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s Brickyard 400. It was also the site of the US Grand Prix for Formula One from 2000 to 2008. Make sure you stop by the Hall of Fame Museum and the Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort, both of which are located on the grounds of the speedway. 960 1280

Reuters  

Indianapolis Zoo

Indianapolis Zoo

Looking for a fun trip for the family? Visit the Indianapolis Zoo, which is located in White River State Park. Open since 1964, the zoo has grown into a world-class attraction that sees a million visitors each year. It plays a major role in worldwide conservation and research, too. While you’re there, stop by the stunningly beautiful, 3.3-acre White River Botanical Gardens. 960 1280

Josh, Flickr  

Conrad Indianapolis

Conrad Indianapolis

Looking for a luxury hotel when visiting Indianapolis? Try the Conrad Indianapolis, which was chosen as one of Condé Nast Traveler’s picks for top US hotels. It offers travelers fine dining, the luxurious Evan Todd Spa & Salon, and a fantastic location in the heart of the city. The Westin Indianapolis, the Omni Severin Hotel and the Canterbury are a few other hotel choices. 960 1280

Conrad Hotels & Resorts  

Victory Field

Victory Field

Opened in 1996, the home of the Indianapolis Indians (a minor league affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates) sits smack-dab in the middle of downtown. It has been recognized as the best minor league ballpark in America by Baseball America and Sports Illustrated and is a must-see for baseball lovers. 960 1280

Courtesy Carl Van Rooy Photography  

MacNiven’s Restaurant and Bar

MacNiven’s Restaurant and Bar

Grab a beer and food at MacNiven’s, a Scottish-American restaurant located in the heart of the Massachusetts Avenue Arts and Entertainment District in downtown Indianapolis. The pub offers hearty fare with an impressive craft beer selection. Try the Slippery Noodle Inn, too. It’s Indiana’s oldest bar and the home of the blues in the Hoosier State. 960 1280

Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association  

Café Patachou

Café Patachou

Café Patachou is just one of several amazing restaurants in Indianapolis. This popular spot prides itself on using locally grown and often organic ingredients to make all of its delicious dishes. Other popular restaurants in Indy include R Bistro, Naked Tchopstix and Iozzo’s Garden of Italy. 960 1280

@Stacy Newgent/swellphotoblog.com  

Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Completed in 1999, Bankers Life Fieldhouse (formerly called Conseco Fieldhouse) is the home court for Indianapolis’ pro basketball team, the Indiana Pacers. It was voted the No. 1 venue in the NBA in 2005, 2006 and 2007, according to Sports Business Journal surveys. 960 1280

VisitIndy.com  

St. Elmo Steak House

St. Elmo Steak House

St. Elmo Steak House has been a landmark in downtown Indianapolis since 1902, serving delicious steak, seafood and chops. If you’re looking for lighter, fast-food fare, we suggest you head to Bazbeaux Pizza, Boogie Burger or King David Dogs. 960 1280

Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association  

The Vogue

The Vogue

Located in Indy’s Broad Ripple neighborhood, Vogue is one of the most popular nightclubs in the city, featuring DJs who spin '80s, dance and Top 40 music. The former porn theater packs in the crowds for big dance parties. It also hosts national touring singers, rappers and bands. Club Tropicana, Blu Martini, Pepper 2, Tiki Bob’s Cantina, Subterra Lounge, Greg’s and Mineshaft Saloon are just a few other hot spots. 960 1280

mofrofans.com, Flickr   

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Indianapolis is home to the largest children’s museum in the world. Built in 1925, the 472,900-square-foot facility has tons of exhibits for kids young and old. 960 1280

Courtesy Lavengood Photography  

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

Founded in 1989 by local philanthropist Harrison Eiteljorg, the museum that bears his name houses numerous collections of art and cultural objects. It is situated in downtown Indianapolis and prides itself on offering different exhibits that not only entertain, but also engage visitors. 960 1280

Courtesy Lavengood Photography  

Basilica of the Sacred Heart
Basilica of the Sacred Heart

Basilica of the Sacred Heart

Landmark vs. Landmark: Serving as the mother church for the priests and brothers known at the Congregation of Holy Cross in the US, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart is also a landmark on Notre Dame's campus. 960 1280

  

Denny Chimes

Denny Chimes

Landmark vs. Landmark: Denny Chimes, located on the quad on Alabama's campus, was named in honor of the school's former president, George H. Denny. 960 1280

  

College Football Hall of Fame

College Football Hall of Fame

Museum vs. Museum: Quite possibly the greatest museum in all of sports, the College Football Hall of Fame is located in South Bend, IN. 960 1280

  

Bryant Museum

Bryant Museum

Museum vs. Museum: The Paul 'Bear' Bryant Museum located at 300 Paul W. Bryant Drive in Tuscaloosa honors past players and coaches who helped shape the legendary program. 960 1280

  

Notre Dame Stadium

Notre Dame Stadium

Stadium vs. Stadium: Notre Dame Stadium is known by many for its endzone view of "Touchdown Jesus" -- a large mural of Jesus with his arms in almost the same position as a referee signaling a touchdown. 960 1280

  

Bryant Stadium

Bryant Stadium

Stadium vs. Stadium: Bryant-Denny Stadium located on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. 960 1280

Collegiate Images  

ischoff National Chamber Music Association in South Bend, IN

ischoff National Chamber Music Association in South Bend, IN

Music vs. Music: Hosting the nation's largest chamber music competition, South Bend is home of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Association. 960 1280

Inti St. Clair  

Bluegrass Music

Bluegrass Music

Music vs. Music: Alabama is best known for Bluegrass. 960 1280

Robert Kyllo  

South Bend's Potawatomi Zoo

South Bend's Potawatomi Zoo

Zoo vs. Zoo: Opened in 1902, South Bend's Potawatomi Zoo is the oldest zoo in the state of Indiana. 960 1280

  

Birmingham Zoo

Birmingham Zoo

Zoo vs. Zoo: Birmingham Zoo located about an hour from Tuscaloosa. 960 1280

  

South Bend Chocolate Company

South Bend Chocolate Company

Food vs. Food: Producing over 3,000 pounds of chocolate a day, the South Bend Chocolate Company is an institution in Indiana’s 4th largest city. 960 1280

matka_Wariatka  

Alabama BBQ

Alabama BBQ

Food vs. Food: Alabama is famous for their BBQ, especially pork. 960 1280

Steve Kroeger  

South Bend Regional Airport

South Bend Regional Airport

Transportation vs. Transportation: South Bend Regional Airport is the only transportation center in the US that houses air, rail and bus service in one location. 960 1280

  

Tuscaloosa Regional Airport

Tuscaloosa Regional Airport

Transportation vs. Transportation: Tuscaloosa Regional Airport is used mainly by the sports programs of the University of Alabama, but is available for public use, as well. 960 1280

Tyler Olson  

The Hot List

Travel the world. Enter Daily to Win $10,000!  

Will Blake or Janel be the next Travel Channel Star?

Join the conversation on Social Media!
Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.