Things to Do Between Cincinnati and Indianapolis

Are you planning a trip between Cincinnati and Indianapolis and wondering what exciting activities and attractions await you? This article guides you to discovering the best things to do along the route, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable trip. We’ll cover everything from historical sites and natural wonders to family-friendly activities and hidden gems.

The Scenic Route: Exploring US-52 and I-74

Key Stops and Attractions

  1. Brookville Lake (Brookville, IN)
    • Description: A beautiful 5,260-acre lake offering boating, fishing, hiking, and camping opportunities.
    • Must-See: Mounds State Recreation Area and Quakertown State Recreation Area.
  2. Metamora Historic District (Metamora, IN)
    • Description: A charming 19th-century canal town with unique shops, eateries, and historic attractions.
    • Must-See: The Whitewater Canal, Grist Mill, and scenic canal boat rides.
  3. Wolf Creek Habitat and Rescue (Brookville, IN)
    • Description: An educational wildlife center where you can observe and interact with wolves in a safe environment.
    • Must-See: Guided tours and educational programs about wolf conservation.

Family-Friendly Activities

Fun Stops for Kids and Adults Alike

  1. Perfect North Slopes (Lawrenceburg, IN)
    • Description: A popular winter sports destination offering skiing, snowboarding, and tubing.
    • Must-See: The tubing park and beginner-friendly ski slopes.
  2. Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)
    • Description: A thrilling dirt track that hosts various auto racing events annually.
    • Must-See: Weekly racing events and special racing series.
  3. Greendale Cinema (Greendale, IN)
    • Description: A modern movie theater showing the latest blockbuster films, perfect for a relaxing break on your journey.
    • Must-See: Comfortable seating and a wide selection of snacks.

Historical and Cultural Sites

Delve into the Past

  1. Whitewater Valley Railroad (Connersville, IN)
    • Description: A historic railroad offering scenic train rides through the picturesque Whitewater Valley.
    • Must-See: The 25-mile excursion from Connersville to Metamora highlights the area’s rich history.
  2. Indiana Grand Racing & Casino (Shelbyville, IN)
    • Description: A lively destination featuring horse racing, casino games, dining, and entertainment.
    • Must-See: Live horse racing events and a variety of gaming options.
  3. Indianapolis Museum of Art (Newfields, IN)
    • Description: A renowned art museum and cultural center with extensive art collections, gardens, and exhibits.
    • Must-See: The outdoor gardens and rotating art exhibitions.

Natural Wonders and Outdoor Activities

Embrace the Great Outdoors

  1. Brown County State Park (Nashville, IN)
    • Description: Indiana’s largest state park, offering stunning vistas, hiking trails, and outdoor recreation.
    • Must-See: The park’s scenic overlooks and abundant wildlife.
  2. Turkey Run State Park (Marshall, IN)
    • Description: Known for its rugged canyons, sandstone cliffs, and diverse hiking trails.
    • Must-See: The suspension bridge and the park’s numerous hiking trails.
  3. Mounds State Park (Anderson, IN)
    • Description: Home to prehistoric earthworks built by the Adena-Hopewell people, offering hiking and picnicking opportunities.
    • Must-See: The Great Mound and educational nature center.

Dining and Local Flavors

Where to Eat Along the Way

  1. The Brau Haus (Oldenburg, IN)
    • Description: A German restaurant serving authentic cuisine in a quaint Bavarian-style building.
    • Must-Try: Sauerbraten and homemade apple strudel.
  2. The Mug (Greenfield, IN)
    • Description: A farm-to-curb drive-in offering locally sourced burgers, hot dogs, and shakes.
    • Must-Try: The signature Mug Burger and seasonal milkshakes.
  3. St. Elmo Steak House (Indianapolis, IN)
    • Description: A historic steakhouse known for its world-famous shrimp cocktail and top-quality steaks.
    • Must-Try: The shrimp cocktail and dry-aged steaks.

Tips for a Smooth Journey

Travel Tips and Best Practices

  1. Plan Your Route: Decide whether you’ll take US-52, I-74, or another scenic byway. Each route offers unique attractions.
  2. Check Traffic Conditions: Use a reliable navigation app to monitor traffic and road conditions to avoid delays.
  3. Pack Essentials: Bring snacks, water, and a first aid kit. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition.
  4. Book Accommodations in Advance: If you plan to stay overnight, book your accommodations ahead of time, especially during peak travel seasons.


Traveling between Cincinnati and Indianapolis offers many experiences, from natural beauty and outdoor adventures to historical sites and family-friendly activities. Whether planning a day trip or an extended vacation, this guide provides all the information you need to make the most of your trip. So pack your bags, plan your stops, and get ready to explore the best things to do between these two vibrant cities.