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It’s been said that all roads lead to Rome. The same can be said for Indiana, whose state motto is “The Crossroads of America.” Visitors from far and wide travel to this, the Hoosier State, to experience a wide variety of activities and experiences such as fishing and hunting, or to take in any of the events and museums found within these borders, the home of the world-famous Indianapolis 500. Let’s take a look at why Indiana is such a popular getaway destination.
Using South Bend as our point of origin for this round trip, we see that there’s enough to keep us occupied at the beginning, and when we return there’ll be more waiting for us that we missed the first time. One place to visit is the Studebaker National Museum, which boasts an impressive collection of classic cars that spans from the 20s to the present and showcases the other contributions made to transportation by the Studebaker family. Another museum of interest is the Northern Indiana Center for History, whose grounds include a luxurious 38-room Victorian mansion as well as a 1930s-era cottage and an exhibition devoted to the history of Notre Dame University. There’s no shortage of botanical gardens and parks in South Bend, for those of you who want to walk surrounded by the flora and fauna of nature.
Traveling south on Highway 31 takes you 45 miles to the city of Rochester, a place with a small town atmosphere that appeals to all who visit. There are plenty of parks to enjoy a day in the fresh air with a picnic lunch, an incredible 18-hole golf course, and there’s no shortage of lakes to enjoy a bit of waterborne fun.
A little over twenty miles to the southeast awaits the town of Logansport, which is best reached via Highway 25. Once you pull over and make camp, seek out one of the local equestrian trails and rent one of their fine horses for an afternoon’s ride in the quiet back country. I’d recommend timing it so that the end of your ride occurs at sunset; there’s nothing like watching the sun go down from a saddle-mounted point of view. Another great place for some outdoor fun is down at Little Turtle Trail, a mile-long paved walking trail that’s surrounded by a 40-acre sanctuary called Hervey Preserve. In addition to being a cool place to take a stroll or ride a bike, there’s a kayak launch so you can take a slow cruise down the waterway.
Heading south on Highway 25 for a little over 40 miles brings you to Lafayette. For the history buff, there are several sites of interest including the site of the Battle of Tippecanoe, which has a full museum on the premises, the Moses Fowler House, built in 1851 by the famous cattle baron, and Historic Prophetstown, which is a 300-acre preserve dedicated to showcasing the way of life in the 1920s. The beautiful Downtown district is filled with many buildings dating back to the late 19th century, but the area remains a thriving modern-day business community as well.
Walking tours are available, and are well worth it for spending a day to see this incredible architecture.
Remington lies 30 miles north on Highway 65, and once you get there you’ll have no trouble finding a place to hook up the RV. This is a very RV-friendly place. At Caboose Lake, in particular, you’ll find an ideal place to set up camp and enjoy a relaxing stopover. There’s plenty of fish in the lake, so grab a rod and reel and try your fisherman’s luck!
Another favorite outdoor campsite is Roselawn, 30 miles further north on Highway 65. The Kankakee River gives ample opportunity to find a private spot and enjoy the peace and quiet. Maybe you’d like to drop a kayak or canoe into the water and go for a leisurely row? This is the place to do it.
The final stop of Gary awaits you after a 30-mile drive north on the 65, and is a hop and a skip from Lake Michigan. This is obviously a camper’s paradise with the chance to go out on the lake in a variety of watercraft, or just sit by the shore and kick back. A short drive away, Indian Dunes is a prime site to enjoy hiking and nature trails and is a favorite among birdwatchers. Several casinos in the area give you not only world-class gambling, but some of the best buffet fare there is.
Once you’ve had your fill, head east on Highway 80 for 5 miles, then merge with Hwy 90 for 60 miles until you return to South Bend, your point of origin. This is a great time to take in the spots you didn’t get to see at the start!