If you love off the beaten path venues and things you may not find in the traditional tourist guides – we have the list of places to visit perfect for your next trip to Indiana. Throughout Indiana there are fun and historical finds in every direction, but what about a bit of the bizarre and weird? Scattered in every corner of the state you can find some fun and fantastic places to visit or stop off to on your way to events or your next destination.
Visit the Grave Site of Johnny Appleseed
Johnny Appleseed may just seem like someone you learned about in your classes growing up – but the man behind the story was not only real but made a significant difference in the landscape we have today. Known as a horticultural nomad, he brought apple trees to different states throughout the midwest. And his final resting place, is on a small hill in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The location of the grave isn’t as easy to find as you would think, it’s often marked on a map as being inside Johnny Appleseed park, the mapping software will take you to a camp ground and a park that is full of sports fields and you will most likely be confused trying to find the grave. As you go down Parnell Road, just past the park you’ll see a smaller (and not as well maintained) single road path. It will take you to a looping road on the top of a hill that is where the grave actually is. With a small memorial and history of John Chapman, the grave is easy to find once you are on the right road.
If you by chance miss the small road leading to the grave, you can easily walk up the hill from the parking lot of the Colosseum – of course if there is no event happening there.
Stop at Spot Where Three States Meet
As you are driving around different states there are multiple places the states meet along the way. But it’s not often that you find a place where several states meet in one spot. In Fremont, Indiana you will find a small placard on a rock and a metal M stamped into the ground about 100 yards south. This is the location where three states meet, and you can park your car and stand there. The Three Corners is where the states of Indiana, Michigan and Ohio meet.
The actual mark in the road is in the pavement before the road turns back to a country dirt road. Since it is a well travel road, you may have to clean it off to find it under a pile of dirt – but don’t worry, it isn’t a major road and you should be able to get pictures before other cars go through.
Walk Among Wooden Historical Figures
Behind an elementary school and a cemetery in St Joe, Indiana, is a small paved path you have to visit. Park in the back parking lot behind the school and take a stroll among some of the famous people who came from the state of Indiana. There are notable figures like sports stars, astronauts, Abe Lincoln and Col. Sanders – all carved by a local artist.
How do you find these statues? From IN-1/Spencer St. turn east onto CR 60. Drive past the school, turn right, then park by the sports fields. Follow the path to the statues.
Watch Giant Slices of Bread fall on a Plate
When you are downtown Fort Wayne, look up – you might just see something you recognize! Not only is it a large loaf of Sunbeam Bread, but the slices are actually moving. One by one the giant slices fall onto the plate and it’s just a nod to the bread that is enjoyed by off. Found off of Main street, it’s a fun thing to see if you are downtown Fort Wayne.
Visit the Geode Grotto
The Geode Grotto in Jasper is a place you will want to stop off at. Pictures don’t do it justice and to experience it is something else completely. Constructed over ten years on the site of a former handball court on the grounds of the Providence Home, the Geode Grotto was the idea of Father Phillip Ottavi, an Italian immigrant who was inspired by religious grottoes in Europe. This religious destination is beautiful, tranquil and just the right amount of weird you’re going to want to visit.
Melting Snowmans Hide Around the Corner from Delicious Pizza
In the small town of Santa Claus there is Christmas everywhere you look. But if you look behind a small pizza place called Frosty’s you’ll find a melting snowman in the middle of a small pond. Once part of a putt putt course which was part of the entertainment center there, it is now sitting in the abandoned game area. Park in the gravel parking lot and walk around the back on the deck and you’ll see a melting snowman sitting there smiling at you!
A Giant Popcorn Box May Make You Hungry
Round the corner as you enter Jasper and it will be hard to miss the giant popcorn box peaking over the hill. It sits in front of Jasper Gift Basket and Popcorn Company and is easily accessible from their main parking lot. Looming over the area, snap a picture with the giant popcorn box before heading up the road to find something else you will want to check off your list!
Covered Bridges That are Worth the Detour
They might not be on the map, and the roads may not be opened to them, but there are covered bridges that are still waiting to be explored in the Indiana countryside. While driving through the countryside we stumbled across. There was a small sign that said “covered bridge” and we took the turn.
Although we passed the bridge the first time through we doubled back and found it. You cannot drive over the Spencerville Covered Bridge, but there is a small pavilion you can rest and relax under if you want to make a stop. You are able to walk the covered bridge and watch the river flow under it.
Spencerville Covered Bridge is a historic covered bridge located at Spencerville, Spencer Township, DeKalb County, Indiana. It was built in 1873, and spans the St. Joseph River. It is a Smith Type 4 truss bridge on concrete piers.
Visit the Oldest Santa Statue
We all know that the city of Santa Claus is filled the holiday spirit – but did you know that it’s also home to the World’s oldest Santa Statue? First placed in his location in 1935 , he sits on the hill on the property of Santa Claus Museum and can be visited any time the parking lot is open. Just hike up the hill for your pictures of this giant Santa!
Wave at the Nestle Rabbit Off the Highway!
As you head in and out of Indiana and you pass Anderson, be sure to wave at the Giant Nestle Quick Rabbit by the plant. He slurps his signature drink while mesmerizing travelers with a video billboard which is near the Nestle plant. At this point there is no easy place to stop off and get a photo, so snap one as you go by or just cute roadside attraction.
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