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Any hidden jewels for a two day stop on way to FL?

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Wisconsin
posts: 3,936
reviews: 141
Any hidden jewels for a two day stop on way to FL?

Every spring we drive from WI to the Panhandle of Florida and like to make stops along the way. Any suggestions on interesting places such as parks, small towns, etc. to visit? We've been to Indy several times in the past and enjoyed an afternoon last spring in Madison. I've heard some interesting things about the architecture in Columbus. Any ideas? Previously we've made side trips to Highlands, NC, St. Augustine, Hilton Head and Lexington but this time, we'll just do a two night stay, leaving one full day to explore somewhere. We like historical sights, hiking or just interesting stuff. Any ideas?

Bloomington, Indiana
Destination Expert
for Bloomington
posts: 6,422
reviews: 21
1. Re: Any hidden jewels for a two day stop on way to FL?

You're right about Columbus and you also might want to check out the restored hotels in French Lick. And, I'd be remiss if I didn't make a pitch for "my" destination, Bloomington.

That's all I've got time for right now, should be able to post more later, but it might not be until Monday.

Lastly, do you have anything firmer than "spring?" I'm thinking in terms of special events, etc that might make a stop worthwhile.

Later,

hlo

Wisconsin
posts: 3,936
reviews: 141
2. Re: Any hidden jewels for a two day stop on way to FL?

Good question, probably around April 20-26th, but I'm not sure if we need a special event, more of a speical place. My father always used to talk about golfing at French Lick, but I never knew anything about it. BTW, I always thought Bloomington got cheated, like a child whose birthday is on Christmas. With Blooming, IL being almost next door, I can't ever keep the two straight.

Louisville, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Ohio, Garden City Beach, Surfside Beach
posts: 1,725
reviews: 128
3. Re: Any hidden jewels for a two day stop on way to FL?

Since this is posted in the Indiana forum, I'll share my favorite place in Indiana - Holiday World. http://www.holidayworld.com/

It's an amusement park / water park. The park has always been clean and the employees have always been friendly. Also, there are free beverages throughout the park ;o)

Since you like hiking and listed places not in Indiana, I'll suggest Hanging Rock State Park in NC which is my favorite place for hiking since there are several waterfalls throughout the park. A great place to spend a day or two hiking/site seeing/photography.

www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/haro/main.php

Historical sites: You may enjoy the historical sites in the Great Smoky National Forest.

http://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm

Wisconsin
posts: 3,936
reviews: 141
4. Re: Any hidden jewels for a two day stop on way to FL?

Thanks for expanding the venues Mike. We've been in the GSMNP area several times and also NC. We haven't been in the Danbury area before, it looks like a beautiful park.

Indianapolis...
posts: 483
reviews: 56
5. Re: Any hidden jewels for a two day stop on way to FL?

+1 French Lick. Stayed at the resort years ago prior to turning into a casino and enjoyed the beautiful area. Hubby golfed at their course and loved it. I enjoyed several of the spa treatments.

Bloomington, Indiana
Destination Expert
for Bloomington
posts: 6,422
reviews: 21
6. Re: Any hidden jewels for a two day stop on way to FL?

Here's a few links to some threads where I (and others) responsed regarding places in southern Indiana. You'll find some overlap/repeated information, but I figured I'd rather have too many links & duplicate some information than leave ideas/details about a destination on the roadside.

tripadvisor.com/…51139834

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g37209-i281-k60344…

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28935-i280-k59556…

I also suggest you check out the individual destination forums for places you're considering. All the forums for cities/towns in southern Indiana are very low traffic and you can skim them in a matter of minutes. For that matter the Indiana forum isn't that high traffic, you might want to page through it and see if there is anything that catches your eye/fancy.

Hope this helps (and forgive me for cutting & pasting the links rather than repeating the information),

hlo

Wisconsin
posts: 3,936
reviews: 141
7. Re: Any hidden jewels for a two day stop on way to FL?

This is secretly my way to increase traffic to your state's TA sites! There are definitely some hidden jewels in those posts. We were considering Nashville, the other one, not yours, but after reading about some of these places, you're getting me intrigued.

Chula Vista...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 2,576
reviews: 102
8. Re: Any hidden jewels for a two day stop on way to FL?

Hi,

I just posted this for another person, and there may be some ideas in it for your trip.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28935-i280-k71259…

Zed

Central Indiana
posts: 9
reviews: 168
9. Re: Any hidden jewels for a two day stop on way to FL?

Have you considered visiting some of our state parks? Although Indiana seems flat and mostly farmland, we do have some hidden gems. Near Columbus just off highway 46, is Brown County State Park. Indiana's largest state park offers excellent hiking, horseback riding & world class biking addition to unbelievable scenery. The park also has an inn with an indoor water park. It is also very near the quaint town of Nashville, a popular tourist destination with shops & restaurants. Further south off highway 37 out of Bloomington, is Spring Mill State Park featuring a pioneer village, caves & wonderful hiking in some old growth forests.

If you are willing to get farther off the beaten path, you can visit Turkey Run or Shades State Park. Both parks are in western central Indiana and sit along the beautiful Sugar Creek. Turkey Run is the more populous park, has an inn, cabins & a saddle barn while Shades is quieter, less crowded with only a primitive campground. The parks are about 30 miles apart and both have gorgeous topography - a part of Indiana you never realized existed. I would suggest a canoe trip down the creek, rentals are nearby, or at the very least hike some of the trails. At Turkey Run, hike down to the creek, cross the suspension bridge & hike Rocky Hollow, a trail following a stream bed through a ravine. If you visit Shades, don't miss the unforgettable Devils Backbone in on the Pine Hills Trail off trail 10. All of he trails are short in length, at most 3 miles, and very do-able, even those listed as rugged, if you can manage going up & down hills. Turkey Run is located in Parke County, touted as the covered bridge capital of the world with 31 covered bridges. You can download directions for 5 different driving routes to visit many bridges, see link.

http://www.coveredbridges.com/

I hope you consider Indiana for a stop. I think you'll be surprised.

Wisconsin
posts: 3,936
reviews: 141
10. Re: Any hidden jewels for a two day stop on way to FL?

We've made some slight adjustments to our plans. We're going to stay in Shelbyville, IN for one night, leaving later on our first day from home. The next day we'll spend the night in Somerset, KY. We want to spend some time in IN and KY before heading to Atlanta for two days and our final destination in Destin, FL.

So I am looking for some things to do along way way between the Lexington area and Shelbyville so I'll check into some of those parks. Thanks, keep the ideas coming.