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The state revs up around the Indy 500 race, but otherwise it's about slow-paced pleasures in corn-stubbled Indiana: pie-eating in Amish Country, meditating in Bloomington's Tibetan temples and admiring the big architecture in small Columbus. The northwest has moody sand dunes to climb, while the south has caves to explore and rivers to canoe. Spooky labyrinths, bluegrass music shrines and a famed, lipstick-kissed gravestone also make appearances in the state.

For the record, folks have called Indianans 'Hoosiers' since the 1830s, but the word's origin is unknown. One theory is that early settlers knocking on a door were met with 'Who's here?' which soon became 'Hoosier.' It's certainly something to discuss with locals, perhaps over a traditional pork tenderloin sandwich.

Fun fact: Indiana is called ‘the mother of vice presidents’ for the six veeps it has spawned.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Indiana.