Staycations in Indiana

ImageVacation time will soon be here. With gas prices high and disposable income low, it may be another good year for a staycation. Those of us living in Indiana can plan some great overnight trips or even day trips to fun and interesting places throughout Indiana.

The Indiana Room collection has many travel books to help you plan a fun outing.

Just a few examples include the following books.

If you like the unusual and just plain weird, consult Weird Indiana by Mark Merrimen. The Tunnelton Tunnel in Lawrence County is included, the world's first Ferris wheel turned into a bridge near Tifft and the ever popular Gravity Hill near Mooresville are also included.

Indiana Curiosities by Dick Wolfsie is in it's third edition. Arranged by geographic area, this guide lists and describes unusual museums, statues and businesses. The Italian Chapel at Camp Atterbury, built by WW II Italian prisoners of war, Dr. Ted's Musical Marvel's museum near Santa Claus and the Cass County Carousel in Riverside Park in Logansport are just a few examples of entries.

Of course you will need to know where to get a bite to eat and something to drink.

Cafe Indiana: a Guide to Indiana's Down Home Cafes by Joanne Stuttgen is a great collection of small locally owned diners and cafes throughout the state. The Hilltop Restaurant in Lakeville is my brother-in-law's favorite place for Sunday breakfast, just a few miles south of South Bend. My husband's favorite smorgasbord, Chamber's Smorgasbord in Spencer is included. Until Ady's Quilt Shop in Morgantown closed, the library quilters enjoyed making a shop hop for fabric and lunch at Kathy's Cafe just down the street.

Local author Douglas Wissing has written Indiana One Pint at a Time: a Travelers Guide to Indiana Breweries. Starting with a history of beer and brewing, he then describes all the various breweries, including address, phone number and website if available.

Finally to work off all those calories, A Guide to the Knobstone Trail: Indiana's Longest Footpath by Nathan Strange is the right size to fit in a backpack for a day's hike. Located southeast from Bloomington, the trail is 50 miles of rugged hiking. This guide is very helpful for newbies wanting to tackle the trail.

Hoosiers are fortunate to have all these great resources close to hand, many of them free. Don't forget the library has books on tape for long car trips too and many other travel books.