Extra time in the Hoosier state...
June 27, 2014 7:52 PM   Subscribe

Tomorrow I'm driving from Indianapolis to Terre Haute, and have 3-4 hours longer than I need to make the drive. Any good detours or stops I should consider?

I'd be interested in interesting nature spots, museums, giant-ball-of-string type roadside attractions, a good spot for lunch, really anything that's worth seeing!

Alternately, if there's something excellent in Terre Haute I should be doing instead, what is it?
posted by heyforfour to Travel & Transportation around Indiana, IN (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The eiteljorg mueeum in indianapolis is pretty nice. Native art. The art museum in indy is also decent, has a large outdoor component, and is free.

On the drive... there's not too much that I can think of. North of terre haute there are turkey run and shades state parks, which are both very pretty. The actual indy to th drive is kind of boring though.
posted by geegollygosh at 7:59 PM on June 27, 2014

If you want to go out of your way a little, you could stop by Bloomington. Lots to do at IU. World class art museum, Lilly Library of rare books (including a Gutenberg Bible), lots of good food.
posted by brentajones at 8:11 PM on June 27, 2014

I'll second the recommendation for Turkey Run State Park or Shades State Park. I've actually only ever been to Turkey Run, but I know that both of them have excellent sandstone riverbeds and, at least for Turkey Run, an ecosystem that is like Land of the Lost ... an ancient, Midwest rainforest environment essentially unchanged since prehistoric times. Also, Turkey Run State Park is in Parke County, Indiana, which has the greatest number of covered bridges of any locale in America (yes, even way more than Madison County, Iowa, although they get Clint Eastwood).
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 8:12 PM on June 27, 2014

Also, you asked for a good spot for lunch. The definitive answer is Shapiro's in Indianapolis. One of the best delis in the U.S., and I am not kidding about this. Give it careful consideration.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 8:22 PM on June 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

The Eugene Debs house in TH
posted by brujita at 10:14 PM on June 27, 2014

Shapiro's is great.

Bloomington is a bit out of your way but there's definitely stuff to do there. If you like college campuses there's also DePauw in Greencastle.

Unfortunately the world's largest ball of paint is in the opposite direction.
posted by Standard Orange at 11:45 PM on June 27, 2014

Stop in Culver, Indiana. Go eat at Papa's Pizza. Walk around the campus of Culver Academies - it's really pretty.
posted by Gronk at 12:05 AM on June 28, 2014

Swopes Musuem in Terra Haute is world class.
posted by PinkMoose at 4:40 AM on June 28, 2014

Hey, I just did this route more or less on my birthday.

House of Bells is off the Cloverdale exit but is looking a bit run down. They've put a fence up on one side of the driveway so you can't really see some of the bells that well. I think scrappers might have taken some of the smaller ones but it's hard to tell since some of the bells have fallen down. You may or may not want to skip this one.


Cataract Falls is also off the Cloverdale exit and is really nice. The two waterfalls aren't huge but you can get right up to the water if you're adventurous. There's a covered bridge with a bunch of picnic tables stored inside if you want to bring your own lunch and some odd graffiti like "I love you Aunt Debbie 1968-2009". Sweet but not the J loves A I'm use to from the olden days.


The Exotic Feline Rescue Center is in Center Point. They're mainly a big cat rescue and take in cats who are hard to place because they're older or in poor health and would be euthanized otherwise. If you have the time and are decent at directions, take SR 46 instead of I-70 from Cloverdale to Center Point. The drive is beautiful and I-70 had construction going on that was a pain a few weeks ago.
posted by stray thoughts at 5:21 AM on June 28, 2014

There really isn't much along the drive between Indy and Terre Haute. At least, not much that's going to chew-up 3-4 hours.

The suggestion of visiting the Eiteljorg in Indy is a great one. It's a fantastic museum, and, since it's downtown, it's very close to I-70.

Alternately, I would highly recommend the IMA, out on the west side of the city. It kind of flies under the radar as far as US art museums go, but it's a world-class facility with a fantastic collection. You can easily kill your 3-4 hours there. It's close to the interstate, too, so you can get on your way without much fuss.

I also second the Swope in Terre Haute. I studied art at ISU, and we regularly went down to the Swope.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:49 AM on June 28, 2014

I was recently in Indianapolis and very much enjoyed the Children's Museum, which currently has a cool exhibit on the Terracotta Warriors.

I will second the Indianapolis Museum of Art, there's some very interesting modern stuff right now and an exhibit on the design of everyday objects.
posted by bile and syntax at 6:18 AM on June 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Another vote for Shapiro's here. Shapiro's is the one deli where I won't get a reuben (although they have them if you want them) because the corned beef is so fantastic I don't want a lot of other flavors to distract from it.

Also a big fan of the Children's Museum. In addition to the limited-time Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit (with some of the actual warriors) their regular exhibits are really good too. I know "for children of all ages" comes off as a cliche, but in this case it truly fits.

Stop in Culver, Indiana

Culver is up in the northern part of the state and not anywhere near the route from Indianapolis to Terre Haute.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:00 PM on June 28, 2014

Nice job, Metafilter! We were all set to go to Turkey Run (which looks like an amazing place), but it was raining on & off so we opted instead for Cataract Falls and the EFRC, which were both great. The feline rescue in particular was amazing, and we'd definitely never have stumbled across it on our own!
posted by heyforfour at 10:49 AM on June 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

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