With its feet firmly planted in the heartland, Indiana is like one big small town, where locals take pride in their "Hoosier hospitality." The state is a healthy mix of rural and urban. Indianapolis, the state’s largest city, features big-city culture like an opera and symphony orchestra, yet still retains charm and character. Stop and ask for directions and chances are you’ll also receive a tip on where to have dinner that night.
One of Indiana's most treasured natural features, the 15-mile stretch of beaches that is now protected as the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, is in the thick of an industrial belt, home of behemoth steel mills, refineries, and supporting industries.
To the northeast, in the rolling prairies and lake country of LaGrange and Elkhart counties, the pace is slow, and life is simple. Here is the nation's third-largest concentration of Amish. The Amish began seeking out the wide-open spaces and rich farmland of Indiana in the mid-19th century, and still maintain their horse-drawn buggies and a simple life centered on the farm and home.