Just because school is out for a week doesn't mean the learning has to end. And with Indiana's bicentennial year underway, exploring the Hoosier state's heritage is a great way to spend spring break. In addition to learning more about our heritage, you will also get to enjoy Indiana coming to full bloom as you travel the state roads.
Start your Hoosier Heritage Road Trip at the Tippecanoe Battlefield Museum, a National Historic Landmark just seven miles north of Lafayette in Battle Ground. Two important events happened on these grounds: The Battle of Tippecanoe and a gathering that helped launch the modern political campaign. You can roam the grounds where Native Americans and settlers clashed and then visit the museum to learn about Tecumseh and The Prophet, two Shawnee brothers who united many tribes. Enjoy a picnic on the grounds, as well as a hike on the trails or a visit to their nature center.
Belly up for a burger at West Lafayette's Triple XXX Family Restaurant, Indiana's oldest drive-in. Featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, it's a favorite spot for mouthwatering burgers and, of course, that refreshing Triple XXX root beer. The Duane Purvis burger features peanut butter, while the Boilermaker Pete has cheese and grilled onions.
And speaking of Boilermakers, you might also take a campus tour of the beautiful Purdue University while you're in the neighborhood. Start at the Welcome Center, located at the Purdue Memorial Union, where you can pick up a self-guided tour booklet. Check out the interactive kiosks and exhibits showcasing Purdue's history in the Spurgeon Hall of Spirit in the Dauch Alumni Center. There's always something new in Purdue's art galleries, as well.
Continue your Hoosier Heritage tour as you head south to Vincennes, a key spot in our nation's history. The George Rogers Clark National Historical Park provides lessons about 18th century frontier life for the pioneers who lived on the western edge of the American Revolution. Take time to watch the movie and then study the detailed murals inside the large marble monument. They tell the story of how Col. George Rogers Clark marched 170 starving soldiers through freezing floodwater to attack British Fort Sackville. By their efforts, the U.S. was able to expand north of the Ohio River. Also in Vincennes, visit Grouseland, the mansion of President William Henry Harrison. This was his home when he was governor of the Indiana Territory before he went on to become the ninth U.S. President.
Another person who spent important years in Indiana was the 16th President, Abe Lincoln, Abe Lincoln. Visit the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Spencer County to learn how his upbringing in Indiana shaped the man who would become such a key leader. Lincoln lived in Spencer County from ages 7-21.
Did you know Indianapolis wasn't always the capital of Indiana? First it was Corydon, and that's your next stop in southern Indiana. Historic sites include the Battle of Corydon Civil War Museum, Governor Hendricks' Headquarters, Indiana's First State Office Building and Porter Law Office.
While you're in the area, spend a day at the Falls of the Ohio State Park in Clarksville. Talk about historic! The park's 390-million-year-old fossil beds are among the largest naturally exposed Devonian fossil beds in the world. You can fish, hike and bird watch at this beautiful State Park.