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10 Indiana Road Trip Destinations ~ 4 Hours or Less

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

Whether you're looking for a new place to hike and camp, or an indoor destination for a rainy day, this list is for you!

  • Clifty Falls State Park. This Indiana state park is 2 hours from Indy near the Kentucky border and features 2 60-foot waterfalls. This lush state park is otherworldly and will make you completely forget you're still in Indiana!

Since you love hiking, check out these other articles!

Big Clifty Falls in Madison, IN

  • Garden of the Gods Recreational Area. You've probably heard of the Garden of the Gods in Colorado, but did you know the Midwest has one too? 4 hours Southwest of Indy, Shawnee National Forest has tons of landmarks to see, but the Garden of the Gods is the most popular year-round.

  • Hindu Temple St. Louis. There are so many places to see in St. Louis, but my favorite place there is the Hindu Temple. My perfect day in St. Louis a few years ago included touring the Hindu Temple, having an authentic lunch there, and walking trails at the park across the street!

  • Hocking Hills State Park. This state park in Ohio is a hidden paradise for hikers that love caves, canyons, rock formations, and waterfalls. The tallest waterfall in the state park is 105 feet! If you want to stay overnight, consider staying in one of these treehouse cabins!

  • Mammoth Cave National Park. Did you know there's a National Park only 3 hours away from Indianapolis? Tour the famous cave system, explore over 80 miles of trails above the surface, and go kayaking or horseback riding!

  • Newport Aquarium. It's not sunny every day in the summer. On a rainy day, drive to Cincinnati to visit the Newport Aquarium! It's closer and much less crowded than Chicago's aquarium. And you have to visit Jungle Jim's before you leave Cincy!

  • Red River Gorge. This canyon is Eastern Kentucky is a favorite among rock-climbers, hikers, and paddlers. There's an unlimited number of places to climb, camp, hike, kayak, and eat in the popular natural area. It's also only 4 hours from central Indiana!

Natural Bridge in Red River Gorge
  • Saugatuck Dunes State Park. Lake Michigan helps us all feel a little less landlocked. Saugatuck, Michigan is a quieter version of Holland. Take a day to explore trails, beaches, cute shops, and restaurants.

  • Starved Rock State Park. This Illinois state park is 3.5 hours from Indy and worth the visit. Hike through canyons, deep hollows, and take a picture of the scenic waterfall in any season, even in winter!

  • Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center. This monastery in Bloomington, Indiana is a peaceful place to take a tour, walk the trails outside, and buy some Tibetan prayer flags to take home. FYI, Thai House is the best place to eat in Bloomington while you're there!

Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center

Above are my top 10 places for a day-long road trip this Summer or Fall. I purposely organized these alphabetically because I can't pick a favorite. Whether you want to explore a state park, a city, or do something indoors, there is always something new to do right where you live. If you visit any of these places or have places in mind I should add to this list, leave a comment and let me know! If you're looking for more cozy hobbies to try this summer, visit this page to get started!

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