The famous Indianapolis 500 road race occurs in May and has been held in Indiana since 1911. While the event draws thousands of people every year, the hosting state has many other impressive sites that can be enjoyed all year round. There are outdoor parks and bridges to visit when the weather is nice, and many interesting museums and stunning hotels to explore when it is cold and rainy.
Whether the Indy 500 is an excuse to road trip through Indiana or you are passing through the state on the way to Illinois or Tennessee, there are plenty of interesting stops you can make with family and friends. With a quick AT&T internet search, we’ve identified five uncommon stops anyone driving through Indiana should make. Plug one of these destinations into your phone and hit the road. With wireless internet, you can use your phone to navigate to the destination, share your memory and then plan your next stop.
Underneath the City Market in Indianapolis lies 20,000 square feet of subterranean space that once belonged to the basement of Tomlinson Hall. The public meeting hall was constructed in the late 19th century and burned down in 1958. It was not restored; however, the barrel-vaulted arches of the massive basement used for storing and transporting food still remain as the Market Street Catacombs, one of the few places you can explore catacombs in North America.
Visitors must book tours of the brick and limestone catacombs in advance. The tour leads you through the catacombs and shares the interesting history of downtown Indianapolis. Visits are possible May through October and are an especially popular destination for Halloween weekend. After you finish your tour and are aboveground, download the City Market Map and decide where you want to go for lunch.
Performances, picnic and events are all good reasons to visit Mill Race Park in Columbus, Indiana. Capture your visit to the park with an Instagram photo of the family by the Brownsville Covered Bridge. Indiana’s only long-truss bridge structure was designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh and is a stop on the Indiana Covered Bridge Loop, which you can browse on your phone using the interactive Indiana covered bridge map.
The bridge is located next to a reflecting pond. For an extra stunning Instagram photo, try capturing the bridge and its reflection when surrounded by colorful autumn foliage. While planning a trip in the Mill Race Park area, browse the activity center schedule, and consider attending events such as the Fall Garden Party and Christmas Sing Along. A visit to the Park and its miles of walking trails is a good way to stretch the legs during your trip through Indiana.
The awe inspired by grottos in Italy can be found in Jasper, Indiana, at the Providence Home Geode Grotto. For 10 years, the Italian immigrant Father Phillip Ottavi worked alongside members of Providence Home to construct a grotto out of local geodes. Indiana geodes can be found within limestone formations. After finding a ball of quartz rock, builders had to break the rock open to expose the crystalized structure inside. The extraordinary appearance of the grotto made of geodes is in part due to over 20 different minerals on display within the rocks. The geode grotto was completed in 1970 and is a stunning combination of geode stone, Italian marble statues and carved limestone that can be enjoyed by both religious and nonreligious travelers. We recommend using the internet on your mobile device to navigate to the grotto, located behind Cathedral Health Care Center.
Anyone interested in cars and industrial manufacturing should pay a visit to South Bend’s historical Studebaker National Museum. Visit one of the permanent exhibitions, such as a collection of 33 Studebaker vehicles, or plan to catch a traveling exhibition. The Studebaker family became prominent in the South Bend area after founding the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company in 1852. While the plant in South Bend has not produced since 1963, the museum that was opened in 2005 continues to draw visitors from all over the country throughout the year. Keep your AT&T device nearby in case you need to double-check opening hours or traffic patterns. This is especially important to consider on holiday and Notre Dame football game weekends.
South Bend offers an array of enjoyable restaurant options, including Tippecanoe Place, housed in the Studebakers’ 19th century residence. See what is open for lunch or dinner after your museum visit using the Open Table application.
Wind down after a day of exploring with either dinner or an overnight stay at the Historic West Baden Springs Hotel. Along with being a national landmark, it is also one of the most popular hotels in Indiana. The building, boasting a 200-foot freestanding arch in its atrium, was constructed in 1902 as a hotel and spa around mineral springs, and visitors today can still rest in the healing waters. Consider visiting the hotel and the surrounding French Lick and West Baden area during the gorgeous 50 Days of Lights. Even if you cannot stay the night, it is worthwhile to visit the hotel and explore the interior and stunning, well-maintained external grounds, followed by either a fine dining visit or some food to go as you hit the road and head to your next destination.
It is not always necessary to use up vacation days to explore areas far away. Phone in hand, it is easy to search historic landmarks and museums located in your home state. Residents of Indiana have many unique day trip options for a family weekend, rain or shine. Visit an AT&T near you to set up a wireless internet plan. Once the plan is active, search for a fun destination, use on-the-go navigation services to find the place in person and share the moment with friends and family by posting photos on your social media account. Learn more about how AT&T devices and services can meet your needs today.