Colorful fall foliage on the campus of Indiana University
- Major Airports:
- Indianapolis (IND)
A scenic blend of town and country
Bloomington is a dream for outdoorsy travelers with plenty of lakes, trails and forests to delight the senses. Explore the parks and amenities at the city’s three major lakes: Lake Monroe (the state’s largest inland lake, popular for boating and fishing), Lake Lemon (lined with lakeside cottages) and Griffy Lake (for nonmotorized boating). The lakes are packed with features like marinas and resorts. Hike, bike and ride horses on trails in the 82,000-hectare Hoosier National Forest. The forest is home to Indiana’s only congressionally designated wilderness area as well as a large old-growth forest and archaeological site. Also stop by Leonard Springs Nature Preserve, a historical site with two springs that once were used a water source for the city.
Home to distilleries, craft breweries and wineries, Bloomington is a perfect getaway for those looking for a well-crafted sip or two. Cardinal Spirits is a craft distillery that makes premium, small-batch spirits like vodka, gin, rum and botanical liqueurs. Book a VIP tour and sample their full product line. Function Brewing regularly churns out over 100 different beers. Pair one of them with a plate of local cheeses, house-made crackers or artisan charcuterie. Tour Oliver Winery, Indiana’s oldest and largest winery, and Upland Brewing Company to sample its smooth-drinking Champagne Velvet beer. Or, head to Musgrave Orchard to sip fresh apple cider.
Indiana University‘s roots run deep, with more than a half million graduates worldwide. Get a sense of the school’s culture on a Visitor Information Tour. Sundays are best; you’ll get a campus tour led by a current student. Campus highlights include the Art Museum, Lilly Library, Mathers Museum of World Cultures and Kirkwood Observatory. This is also (unofficially) basketball country; the famous Indiana Hoosiers men’s basketball team has won multiple collegiate championships.
Bloomington’s Lake Monroe is the largest lake entirely situated in Indiana.