The Indiana Office of Tourism Development, 1 N. Capitol, Ste. 100, Indianapolis, IN 46204 (tel. 800/677-9800; www.enjoyindiana.com), will happily send you an Indiana travel packet, which includes a travel guide that divides the state by region, a festival guide, a travel map with highlighted points of interest as well as major and minor routes, and an Indiana bed-and-breakfast directory.
There are 60 information centers throughout the state, and 8 visitor centers (www.in.gov/tourism/pdfs/2003RestAreas.pdf), which are open daily around the clock but staffed only from 8am to 5pm. Here you can stock up on brochures, maps, and other helpful information.
By Plane -- There is, of course, a major international airport in Indianapolis, the state's capitol (tel. 317/487-7243; www.indianapolisairport.com), which is getting a new $1 billion main terminal building, scheduled to be complete in 2008. Other international hubs include the Gary Chicago International Airport (tel. 219/949-9722; www.garyairport.com) and the Fort Wayne International Airport (tel. 260/747-4146; www.fwairport.com).
By Train -- Amtrak's Chicago-to-Cincinnati Midwest Corridor line (tel. 800/872-7245; www.amtrak.com) makes stops in Lafayette, Indianapolis, and Connersville. There are also the Cardinal and Hoosier State lines. The Cardinal runs between New York and Chicago, while the Hoosier State runs between Indianapolis and Chicago. Both lines make stops in Connersville, Indianapolis, Crawfordsville, Lafayette, Rensselaer, and Dyer, Indiana.
By Car -- Indianapolis is referred to as the "Crossroads of America," and for good reason: More segments of interstate and U.S. highways intersect the city than any other metropolis nationwide. From northwest at Lake Michigan and Gary, I-65 runs through Indianapolis, all the way to Clarksville, and on into Kentucky. I-69 enters from Michigan in the north and heads straight to the center of the state, ending in Indianapolis, while I-80/90 in the northernmost part of the state cuts east to west from Ohio to Illinois. There are several east to west options in the central and southern portions of the state as well: I-70 and I-74 (which takes you to directly to the Indianapolis Speedway), both of which run through Indianapolis, and I-64, which starts in the east at Clarksville and ends in the western part of the state in Griffin.
For irreverent foodies, Indy has a few festivals that might not be on the top of your physician's list of preferred dietary adventures, but they sure are fun. The July Pierogi Festival in Whiting, Indiana (www.pierogifest.net), in the most northwestern corner of the state near Illinois, started in 1994 as a tribute to the Eastern European settlers of the area and now is a 3-day smorgasbord of the namesake dumpling, Polish sausage, stuffed cabbage, and enough other offerings to feed the entire Eastern Bloc, all chomped down to the tune of polka music. Around the same time of year, the aptly named town of Frankfort (about 40 miles north of Indianapolis) holds its annual Hot Dog Festival (http://mainstreet.accs.net), a weekend's worth of various versions of the meaty treat, hot dog eating contests, and music (among other talent, 2006 had the live stylings of 1950s greats the Platters). Head southwest out of Indianapolis on I-70 to Brazil, home of Orville Redenbacher, for the Popcorn Festival (www.popcornfest.net), which honors not only one of the state's biggest exports (240 million pounds of popcorn are produced in Indiana annually), but the city's popcorn king, too.
In the capitol, 2006 marked the 150th anniversary of the Indiana State Fair (www.in.gov/statefair), the 12-day annual August fest showcasing the state's prized livestock, homegrown bests like the largest watermelon and tallest sunflower, an international wine competition (second only to California in size), and big-name entertainers like Kid Rock, Brad Paisley, and Kanye West. Also worth a stop is the Indy Jazz Festival (www.indyjazzfest.net) at Military Park in downtown Indianapolis, whose scope goes beyond what its name suggests; and the Penrod Arts Fair (www.penrod.org), held the first Saturday after Labor Day for nearly 40 years on the lovely grounds of the Indianapolis Art Museum on the Central Canal Towpath at West 38th Street and Michigan Road. All the proceeds of the arts fair go directly to organizations devoted to arts in Indiana.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.