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...
The BEST Gifts for Every Traveler on Your List

The BEST Gifts for Every Traveler on Your List

It’s that time of the year. The time when we start racking our brains to figure out what in the heck we should get for all our loved ones. I thought I’d start early this year and scout out the BEST gift ideas for every traveler (and non-traveler) on your list. For the Gals: Travel Yoga Mat – I’ve mentioned this one several times but it’s just that awesome! This is such a great thing to take on vacations even if you aren’t a big-time yogi. I use mine for morning Pilates and just general stretching. It’s lightweight, pretty and cleans easily. A membership to The Sisterhood. This pilates program is the one I enjoy every morning. I use the ap on my phone and each morning I get a new workout (10 to 30 minutes). It’s perfect for at home or when I’m traveling. I really can’t recommend it enough if you are looking for a low impact daily workout that can be done from anywhere. Even if I just head out for a quick overnight, I ALWAYS pack my travel diffuser and a few oils. Diffusing lavender or thieves in my room makes such a difference in how well I rest. I get rid of that stuffy smell and feel and it’s just such a simple way to improve my stay. As a bonus, these small diffusers are super affordable. A lovely gift would be one of these along with a bottle of essential oils. Speaking of heading out overnight, the Vera Bradley Grand Weekender is the bag I always use. It’s perfect for a quick weekend...
Everyday Adventure Essentials

Everyday Adventure Essentials

Are you ready for everyday adventures? Do you have everyday adventure essentials already packed and in your car? Or if you were to be out running around and discovered something fun or interesting to do would you have to “wait until later” when you are better prepared? Or have to purchase something to participate? Don’t let that ever happen to you again! With this simple Everyday Adventure Essentials list, you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way. Print out the .pdf and then spend 20 minutes creating your own bag for the car. You probably already have most of these items around the house. I guarantee that someday in the future you’ll be so glad you were prepared! I use a simple tote as my bag and find it fits well in the back of the van, and also can be easily grabbed and transferred to the Jeep if we decide to drive it for the day. The bag I use is no longer available, but here are some terrific options: All Year Round I always have the following in the bag: A deck of cards, Uno, six dice, a notepad, and a pen. These come in handy when visiting a winery, brewery or local restaurant. It’s a fun way to pass the time and keep everyone involved and off their phones.Bug spray and sunblock. Regardless of the time of the year, these two items come in super handy. A growler and a half-growler. Just in case we find a beer or even rootbeer on tap that we love!An outdoor blanket. Perfect for picnics in the summer and wrapping...
More than Food at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival

More than Food at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival

Although we LOVE trying all the different foods when we visit Epcot, I also love that there is so much more than food at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. After making your way around the World Showcase and checking out the various food booths, be sure to take some time to do some of the other fun festival activities. Enjoy live music. The concerts at Epcot are so much fun! They are located at the American Pavilion. Every few nights there is a different artist and they put on three nightly shows – each one lasting about 30 minutes. Seating is limited, but even if you don’t get a seat, you can still enjoy the music by standing along the sides or just outside the amphitheater. We’ve seen Rick Springfield, 38 Special and many other great shows. Grab a margarita at nearby Italy or Mexico and enjoy some live music! Insider Tip: If you want to be sure to have a seat, you can book an Eat to the Beat Dining Package. You can book a meal at one of 14 restaurants in Epcot and you’ll have a guaranteed seat on the same day. It is a little pricey but includes a full meal, so if you want to eat at one of the selected restaurants anyway might be a perfect solution. Details can be found HERE. Play with your food. A fun and affordable event occurs in the Land Pavilion every day at 3:30 and 5:30. For only $10 per person, you can learn to make candy sushi. Kids especially love this one – it holds their...
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 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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