Marengo Cave – Indiana’s Most Visited Natural Attraction

Marengo Cave – Indiana’s Most Visited Natural Attraction

Visiting Marengo Cave is a perfect way to spend a cold Indiana day. Not only is it Indiana’s most visited natural attraction, but it’s also a U.S. National Natural Landmark. Located in Crawford County in Southern Indiana, it’s a bit of a drive from Indianapolis, but definitely worth the time, even just for a day. As the latest installment of my Explore Indiana project, it was a fun and unique experience! One of my favorite parts of visiting caves is that they are weather resistant. The cave stays at 52 degrees year-round. A hot summer day? Why not visit a cave? Too cold to be outside in the winter? A caving trip is a fun activity. The day I visited, it was pouring down rain. Although that did limit my photography options, it didn’t limit my fun in checking out the underground cave system. We started the day with a dash to the gift shop and to get acclimated to the location. The gift shop is extensive with plenty of options guaranteed to get your kids asking for souvenirs. There is also a small concession area next to it with tables and machines for sodas and snacks. We packed a lunch so food wasn’t an issue. After this short detour, it was on to the main event. There are two standard cave tours: Crystal Palace and the Dripstone Trail. You can do one or both. The Crystal Palace tour is about 40 minutes and the Dripstone Trail is an hour so it would be very possible to enjoy both in an afternoon. Insider Tip: The combined cave tour ticket...
A Perfect Day in Spencer

A Perfect Day in Spencer

What a perfect day in Spencer, IN. Last week we spent a day exploring another county for my Explore Indiana project. This time, we headed southwest of Indianapolis to Owen County. Half the day was spent at McCormack’s Creek State Park and the other half in Spencer, IN. It was an ideal mix of invigorating and enjoyable things to do. The day was a lovely, crisp, clear fall day. Our 90-degree heat-wave had finally broken and we were treated to a perfect 65 and sunny day. As we headed south, the flat land and cornfields gave way to the rolling hills and treelines of southern Indiana. So beautiful! Indiana’s First State Park The first stop was McCormick’s Creek State Park. McCormick’s Creek is considered Indiana’s first state park. The land was dedicated as such on July 4th, 1916. The park is full of wonderful hikes, interesting landscapes, recreation, and a historic Inn. The Canyon Inn is a lovely historic building built on and around an 1880’s sanitarium that was marketed as a place for the wealthy to relax and rejuvenate. Sanitariums and mineral springs were all the rage during that time period. Canyon Inn has expanded and remodeled multiple times since then, but the inn is still located on the original sanitarium foundations. The inn has a rustic charm and houses a small gift shop, restaurant, several conference rooms and a comfortable lobby/ lounge area with a fireplace. We were able to check out one of the rooms, and although older, they appeared to be comfortable and clean. With such a gorgeous setting, I think this would be a...
5 Fabulously Fun Fall Day Trip Ideas

5 Fabulously Fun Fall Day Trip Ideas

Today I’m happy to share with you a wonderful guest post from Tanya at Traveling Tanya – she is going to share 5 Fabulously Fun Fall Day Trips. You won’t want to miss this when you are planning out your fall fun! I may be Traveling Tanya, but I also enjoy staying close to home. Especially in the fall. I think one of the thing best things about living in the Midwest is FALL!  Temperatures cool down. We break out our comfy sweatshirts and favorite jeans. Everything comes in a pumpkin-spiced variety. And there are tons of fun activities to enjoy before the inevitable hibernation of winter begins. Fall is the perfect time for a day trip in Indiana. Even if you don’t have a ton of time, you can still enjoy the short escape of a day trip. These are my top 5 Fabulously Fun Fall Day Trip Ideas! Complete with my recommendations for where to experience some seasonal fun in Indiana. Visit a Pumpkin Patch or Apple Orchard Hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin picking, apple cider, farm animals. Kids of all ages as well as adults will find plenty of fall fun at a pumpkin patch or apple orchard. Check google, the local town newspaper, or your tourism board to find plenty of pumpkin patches or apple orchards that seem to have sprung up overnight. (Trust me, they have been working hard for several months as they look forward to their fall festivities!) Indiana Recommendation: Indiana has tons of pumpkin patches and orchards to choose from, but one of my favorites is Beasley’s Orchard in Danville. They sell...
A Day of Fun in Frankfort, IN

A Day of Fun in Frankfort, IN

My day of fun in Frankfort, IN started with getting lost while looking for a covered bridge and ended with peach sherbet. In between was a lot of fun exploring. Clinton County was the latest county I checked out for my Explore Indiana project and I had a lovely day checking out what the largest town in the county, Frankfort, has to offer. While searching on TripAdvisor for attractions in Clinton County, I stumbled across a beautifully restored covered bridge. As I love looking for covered bridges, I figured I’d start the day there as it was the furthest point from home and work my way back. Well, not only did I not find the bridge, but I also found myself on several gravel roads in the middle of cornfields. Welcome to rural Indiana I guess. With plenty of time left to explore Clinton County, I eventually gave up and headed back to Frankfort, IN. Things began to look up immediately. Frankfort has a zoo? Well, a petting zoo. Still, not something you find often in small Indiana towns. TPA Park includes a cute little petting zoo and aviary with llamas, pigs, peacocks, goats, and many other animals and birds. It is only open on the weekends once school starts, but I was still able to see the animals wandering around. Several locals were sitting on benches enjoying their lunch break and watching the animals as it was such a lovely day. TPA Park also has a fun playground, plenty of space to walk, and a very interesting log cabin. It was built in 1859 and was the original...
Newburgh, A Darling Riverfront Town

Newburgh, A Darling Riverfront Town

Newburgh, Indiana is a darling riverfront town located in Warrick County in Southern Indiana. It’s set right alongside the Ohio River and is just minutes from Evansville. A recent soccer game took us down that direction so of course, we left early to explore the town! After all, it’s another Indiana County I had never visited before! When visiting Newburgh, starting at the Newburgh Museum is a fantastic way to get a little bit of history of the town. We learned that it was founded in 1803 and it was the first town north of the Mason Dixie line captured by the South during the Civil War. The museum is small but very well done. In addition to some fascinating exhibits on Newburgh, they often have a special exhibit. The one we enjoyed was called “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” It was very interesting and the items on display were fun to check out. The museum is free but only open a few days a week, so check the website before you visit. The museum is a short walk from downtown, and since it was a lovely day, heading there on foot seemed appropriate. Downtown Newburgh is so pretty. There are a few cool boutiques and shops as well as some antique stores and yummy looking restaurants. It’s easy to while away a few hours browsing the main streets. The river itself is quite an attraction, so make sure to take time to walk down there and check it out. There are also some beautiful homes right on the water. Many are older and have been restored, but...
A Walk in the Woods in Blackford County

A Walk in the Woods in Blackford County

It’s time for another Explore Indiana adventure. This time, I grabbed my son (he’s a great travel partner) and we took off for Hartford City. Hartford City is the largest city in Blackford County. I have to admit, this adventure made me a little nervous as I couldn’t find much on the area online. Would this be my first “fail” in proving there is something to do wherever you are? As we made our way to Blackford, we drove by numerous cornfields and farmhouses. It was an absolutely beautiful day – low 80’s, blue skies and no humidity. I couldn’t ask for better exploring weather. As we tend to do, our first stop was downtown. The courthouse in Hartford City was beautiful in a very different way than most of the ones I’ve recently seen. This one was built in 1893 – 1895. It’s called a Richardsonian Romanesque style. To get a feel for the size, the clock tower is 165 feet – so it definitely towered over the rest of downtown. Sadly, this downtown area was pretty deserted. There weren’t really any shops and only one local restaurant that we could see. Many boarded-up buildings. It’s really too bad as the architecture of the buildings was beautiful – I imagine it was a lovely downtown square at one time. Just a block from the square is a very interesting building that houses the Old Blackford County Jail and a speakeasy. Unfortunately, it was closed the day we visited. Supposedly it’s haunted! If I’m passing back through I’ll make a point to stop if it’s open as it looked...

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