Indianapolis, Indiana, is an ideal place for road trip enthusiasts. There are many scenic roads and breathtaking views in the area, and there are also some great destinations nearby. Here at Tom Wood Auto Group, we know how exciting getting in your car and taking a nice road trip can be, so we put together a list of some of the best places to take a road trip near Indianapolis.
Parke County, Indiana

For a shorter road trip to a rural county that's ideal for a romantic getaway, you can plan a trip from Indianapolis to Parke County, Indiana. It's about an hour and 20 minutes from Indianapolis, and it has one of the largest concentrations of covered bridges in the world. You can find a lot of river views on this trip, and it's about 75 miles long. You can head down  U.S. Highway 36 for the majority of the trip and then take Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 40.

It's a simple journey with a lot of scenery. If you get hungry, consider stopping for a snack at the Fairway Family Restaurant in Bainbridge, which is right along your route. When you arrive in Park County, you can check out the sights at the Raccoon Lake Recreation Area, row the rivers of Turkey Run State Park, or have a romantic dinner at the Billie Creek Bridge, where there's a great view.

Put-in-Bay, Ohio


Put-in-Bay” licensed under CC by 2.0 via Flickr by Aryeh Alex

Put-in-Bay, Ohio, is a dreamland for boat lovers. It's just under five hours away from Indianapolis, and it rests just off of Lake Erie in northern Ohio. This trip is ideal for a long weekend. It will take you through Fort Wayne and Toledo, two major cities packed with attractions and restaurants. 

You can stop by Fort Wayne's Famous Coney Island for a bite along the way, and in Toledo, you can explore the Sofia Quintero Art & Cultural Center to see beautiful artwork. You can also rent a boat or water scooter, have some fun on the water, and then enjoy a sunset dinner at a waterfront restaurant with your travel partner.


Crawfordsville, Indiana is just under an hour outside of Indianapolis in the hills of Montgomery County. The trip is straight down Interstate 74, so it's easy to navigate. This town is packed with historical sites, so it's a great choice for people who love exploring the past. You can read through old texts at the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum, check out some interesting, valuable antiques at Cabbages & Kings, or grab a bottle of fine wine at Coal Creek Cellars. You'll love how welcoming the people are in Crawfordsville, too.

Marengo Cave

Two schoolchildren found the Marengo Cave System by accident in 1883, and it's one of the most interesting natural formations in the region. It's just over two hours away from Indianapolis, down Interstate 65 South. Regular cave crawls are available, so you can take a guided tour deep into the caves. The rock formations in the cave are massive, and one of the chambers is extremely reflective. People call it the Crystal Palace, and it's one of the most beautiful underground locations in the United States.

The Indiana Beach Boardwalk Resort

If a trip to the beach sounds good, you'll love the Indiana Beach Boardwalk Resort. It's about an hour and a half north of Indianapolis, up Interstate 65 North and U.S. Highway 31 North. You can book a cottage at this resort for a romantic getaway, and quaint and upscale versions are optional.

Day passes, weekend passes, and season passes are available, so you can choose the option that suits your budget. These passes grant full access to all rides, vendors, and resort relaxation areas, but you may still need to make extra payments for other expenses, like making purchases from vendors. The resort has regular shows, ballroom concerts, and other special events throughout the year.

Patoka Lake

Patoka Lake is just northeast of Jasper. To reach it, drive for about two and a half hours down state Highway 37, through Martinsville, Ellettsville, Springville, and French Lick. Patoka Lake is the second-largest reservoir in the area, and it's an ideal location for anyone who loves to fish. It covers 14 square miles, and it's loaded with red-ear sunfish, bluegill, striped bass, walleye, and long-ear sunfish. Patoka Lake also has boat ramps, an archery range, swimming areas, picnic areas, hunting zones, a disc golf course, and a cross-country skiing area.


The town of Porter, Indianais about two and a half hours away from Indianapolis, just east of Chicago on the southern coast of Lake Michigan. It sits in the middle of what many people call Indiana's dune ecosystem. Among the dunes, you can find 70 miles of trails with a wide range of difficulty levels. Whether you're a novice hiker or a seasoned veteran, Porter has a challenge for you. Along the coast of the lake, you can explore 15 miles of pristine, magnificent beaches. If swimming and relaxing are among your favorite activities, this is your town.

Santa Claus

Santa Claus, Indiana, is a small town that's just under three hours away from Indianapolis down state Highway 37 and U.S. Highway 231. This town is full of fun for the entire family, and it has a holiday theme. It's open all year, and kids love Frosty's Fun Center, Darlena's Holiday Shoppe, and the Holiday World theme park. At the Historic Santa Claus Campground, you can camp in a comfortable lodge and experience the natural beauty of the area.


Step into the past by traveling to one of the most family-friendly destinations in the state. Shipshewana contains one of the largest Amish communities in the United States, and it's about three hours north of Indianapolis, down IN-33, I-69 South, and I-465 South. You can take a wagon ride through the Dutch Creek Animal Park, enjoy a traditional Amish meal, and get quality merchandise at the flea market and auction grounds.

These areas are some of the best places to visit when venturing outside of Indianapolis. Did we miss any of your favorite trips? Contact us and let us know where you like to visit. Before you head out on your next trip, be sure to pay us a visit to receive routine auto service. Our expert staff will make sure your car is ready to hit the road. Click here for directions to our auto dealership in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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