Five Indiana Winter Wonderlands

If this winter is anything like last winter, it’s best to plan on closer to home getaways. Here are five Indiana trips that will delight your whole family. Once there, getting snowed in would be a bonus.

1. Brown County

Plenty of hiking trails, tons of unique shops and boutiques, and the chance to spend a weekend in a rustic cabin or in a cozy bed and breakfast – Brown County is a natural Indiana winter destination. Not to mention the local art, ah, the art.

2. Columbus, Ind.

If architecture lights you up, then a Columbus getaway is for you. With buildings designed by Eliel and Eero Saarinen (among others), more than 70 buildings stand ready to be admired. Round out your visit with shopping and eating at the many choices for a weekend of delights.

3. Indiana’s Amish Country

Take in the scenery including horse and buggies along the bucolic back roads. Or visit The Midwest Museum of Art in Elkhart with its 45 Norman Rockwell-signed lithographs. Tour the 1848 Havilah Beardsley House and nearby 1910 Ruthmere Mansion. And don’t forget to eat at Middlebury’s famed Das Dutchman Essenhaus, which serves Amish dishes such as beef and noodles. Indiana’s Amish Country will not disappoint.

4. Valparaiso, Ind.

Live theater, the Taltree Arboretum and a drive-in theater are only part of the charms of Valparaiso. Snow skiing, art and history museums, and Division I college sports also figure into a wonderful experience. A quaint downtown scene near Victorian homes encourages strolling to lunch at one of the many choices, from pizza to bistros.

5. Indiana Dunes

Walk the snowy dunes, observing the beautiful shelf ice below. Snowshoe or cross country ski one of the miles of trails. From watching wildlife and hiking, The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is as lively as ever in winter. Once you’ve finishing enjoying the outdoors, shop all of your favorite designers at the outlet stores in nearby Michigan City.

So if you’re looking for a winter destination that’s not too far from home, try one – or more – of these Indiana sights. It may even make winter a season worth waiting for.

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