Nickname: Hoosier State
State bird: Cardinal
State flower: Peony
Time: Eastern (GMT – 5) in the greater part of the State; Central (GMT – 6) in the west; Eastern (GMT – 5) in the east.
The State: Adjoining Lake Michigan to the north, Indiana features deep valleys, cornfields, foothills and vast farmlands. Amid the rolling plains stands Indianapolis, the State capital and national centre for industry, commerce and culture.
The business sector lies at the heart of the city, however many of the tourist attractions are situated on the outskirts. Located downtown are the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art and the Indianapolis Zoo, which is renowned for its large collection of dolphins and whales. Further out are the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Krannert Pavillion, with an extensive display of modern art. A must for families is the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
Indianapolis also offers a selection of musical entertainment to suit all tastes: the Madame Walker Theatre Center has seen the likes of Louis Armstrong grace its stage, while every June the city hosts the Indy Jazz Fest. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Indianapolis Opera are other popular options. The most famous sporting event to hit the city is the Indianapolis 500 speedway race on Memorial Day Weekend; a month of shows, exhibitions and parades in May leads up to the main event. The other big motorsport events are the Brickyard 400 race in August, and the US Grand Prix Formula One race, held in late September.
At Wolf Park, an hour northwest of Indianapolis near Lafayette, wolves wander freely and, even when they can not be seen, their piercing howls announce their presence. To the south, Bloomington reaches bursting point during its Fourth Street Festival of the Arts & Crafts in August. Other local highlights are the Bloomington Antique Mall, Indiana University Art Museum and Lake Monroe, which lies just south of the town.
State attractions also include the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore; Amish Acres, a restored 19th-century Amish community at Nappanee; the Conner Prairie Pioneer Settlement; the Squire Boone Caves; the James Dean Memorial Gallery in Fairmount, 16km (10 miles) south of his birthplace, Marion, on 8 Feb 1931; and Fort Wayne, Indiana’s second-largest city and the scene of many bloody battles. Fort Wayne is home to the Lincoln Museum, which depicts the life story of the USA’s 16th president.