August 17, 2021 IndianaLife

10 Sober Things To Do in Indiana

Indiana is home to dozens of attractions and sober activities that can distract you from drugs and alcohol and help you stay focused on your recovery. Here are 10 sober things to do in Indiana that are also fun and memorable.

1. Cataract Falls

Cataract Falls

Located in the west-central part of Indiana in northern Owen County, Cataract Falls is one of the most beautiful natural sites in this state. This site is home to a pair of upper and lower waterfalls, the upper of which is 45 feet high and the lower of which is 30 feet high, and sprays water to create a sideways, curtain-like effect.

Cataract Falls is a peaceful escape for those who want to spend time in nature away from technology and the hustle and bustle of city life. This site is abundant with birds, animals, and other wildlife and has a few rugged hiking trails for those who want to explore the area. There may be a small fee to visit the park, though you can spend hours here enjoying the view and getting your money’s worth.

2. Indiana Dunes National Park

Picture of Indiana dunes national park

Located at the southern tip of Lake Michigan, Indiana Dunes National Park spans 15 miles of shoreline from Gary to Michigan City. The park has over 15,000 acres of beautiful and lush forests, rivers, oak savannas, bogs, marshes, swamps, prairies, and dunes, making it a mecca for those who enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. Hiking, swimming, birdwatching, camping, and horseback riding are some of the many activities you can do while visiting Indiana Dunes National Park.

3. University of Notre Dame

Picture of the university of Notre dame

Located just outside the city of South Bend, the University of Notre Dame was founded in 1842 and is steeped in history. This campus spans more than 1,260 acres and is home to a number of historic landmarks, including the Golden Dome tower, libraries, and churches. Visitors are always welcome at the University of Notre Dame, where you can spend the entire day exploring and roaming the campus to admire its unique architecture and learn about its culture.

4. Castleton Square Mall

Castleton Square Mall is the largest mall in Indiana. Located in the northern Indianapolis metro area, Castleton spans more than 1.3 million square feet and is home to more than 130 stores. In addition to boasting major, well-known department stores, including Macy’s and Von Maur, it also has a movie theater and large food court. You can spend an entire day strolling around Castleton Square Mall to shop, eat, and people-watch, yet leave without having had time to do everything available at this fun and lively venue.

5. Indianapolis City Market and Catacombs

Picture of the Indiana city market and catacombs

Founded in 1821, the Indianapolis City Market sells artisan products and a variety of ethnic foods inside a large, historic brick building trimmed in limestone. This venue was originally a farmer’s market but is now home to food, arts, and crafts vendors. You can spend the day browsing the stalls, trying new foods and meals, and engaging in the market’s many fun activities, including bocce ball and a visit to the spooky catacombs below.

The Indianapolis Catacombs are located directly underneath the City Market and span more than 20,000 feet. This labyrinth of twisting, dimly lit tunnels were originally used decades ago to transport food and other goods to and from the City Market. Tours are available if you want to explore these underground ruins, with tickets usually costing $12 for adults.

6. Wellfield Botanic Gardens

Anyone in recovery from alcohol and drug use disorders can benefit from the peaceful, mentally refreshing, and serene beauty found at Wellfield Botanic Gardens. This 36-acre venue is located in Elkhart and features a variety of gardens, each of which has its own theme. Admission for adults is $8, but you can spend all day in these gardens enjoying coffee and tea while you read, sketch, or admire the surrounding plant life.

7. Knobstone Trail

Knobstone Trail is the longest hiking trail in the entire state of Indiana, extending more than 60 miles through rugged, forested land. This trail is only for those who like to hike on foot; parts of the trail are eroded and not safe or recommended for people riding bikes, horses, or motorized vehicles.

Seasoned hikers and those with more advanced fitness levels will love the challenges presented by Knobstone Trail, especially individuals in recovery who are eager to meet personal fitness goals and experience a sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately, no designated camping spots are available at Knobstone, but hikers are welcome to stop and camp anywhere they like after a hard day’s work on this trail.

8. Fair Oaks Farms

Located smack-dab between Chicago, Illinois, and Lafayette, Indiana, Fair Oaks Farms is ideal for those looking to escape from city life and learn what it’s like to live and work on a farm. This modern working farm offers activities that can keep you occupied for days. Visitors can stay at a nearby hotel and go to the farm daily to learn about animal care, farming practices, and nutrition. Museums, tours, restaurants, and different farm adventures are additional activities that can keep you highly entertained while visiting Fair Oaks Farms.

9. Brown County State Park

Picture of a sunset over brown county state park

Brown County State Park is another lush, green outdoor attraction ideal for those who enjoy spending hours surrounded by nature and wildlife. Located in the center of the southern half of Indiana, Brown County State Park occupies 15,776 acres—making it not only the largest park in the state but one of the largest in the U.S. Hiking, camping, birdwatching, horseback riding, and fishing are some of many activities available at this park. To make your experience even more memorable, try and visit when the leaves are changing colors in the fall.

10. Lake Monroe

Those who enjoy spending time in forests and at the beach will love Lake Monroe, where you can hike and explore the nearby shady forest, then lounge by the shore—all on the same day without having to travel far. Situated 10 miles southwest of Bloomington, Lake Monroe is a reservoir with 10,750 acres of water surface area. Visitors can stroll along the marina and go fishing, boating, and swimming before venturing to the forest for shade and hiking. This vacation resort offers plenty of activities no matter what time of year you decide to visit.