Last year, Pride Journeys had the pleasure of visiting Bloomington, Indiana, an LGBTQ-friendly destination just south of Indianapolis. This charming city is home to Indiana University, many LGBTQ-owned businesses and a ton of outdoor activities perfect for a weekend getaway. Here are a few places worth exploring if you decide to visit Bloomington this summer.
Home to three of Indiana’s most Insta-worthy lakes, where visitors can enjoy fishing and boating and even spend the day at one of its hidden lake beaches. There’s the 109-acre Griffy Lake, which is part of a 1,200-acre nature preserve and is great for hiking, as well as the 1,650-acre Lake Lemon, most popular for boating and fishing. And lastly Monroe Lake, also the largest lake in Indiana, is partially surrounded by the Hoosier National Forest and offers numerous camping options at Paynetown State Recreation Area with 300 electric and non-electric camping spots, a beach, and boat rentals.
Hoosier National Forest
With 200-acres to explore, the rolling hills and lakes of Bloomington have you covered whether you’re simply looking to unplug with a quick hike, share a weekend camping adventure with the family, blaze the trail with some off-road biking on one of its many bike trails, or enjoy amazing views from the Hickory Ridge Fire Tower. The Hardin Ridge Recreation Area, located in the Hoosier National Forest, offers 200+ campsites with trails, a swimming beach, and boat access.
This 3.1 mile, multi-use trail (often abuzz with bicycles, scooters and strollers) runs straight through downtown, with stops along City Hall, the WonderLab Museum, behind the Convention Center, and at Seminary Square shopping center. The dog-friendly trail is also lined with local-favorite hotspots like Hopscotch Coffee and takes you all the way to the newly opened 65-acre Switchyard Park. Visitors can also view the incredible public art murals along the way.
Historic Walking Tours
Whether you want to learn more about the city's limestone architecture, are curious about local history or are looking for a fun-filled walk, Bloomington's Historic Districts are waiting for you. Bloomington boasts thirteen Historic Walking Tours – each highlighting the architecture and local history of this charming town – Indiana's limestone capital. Two prominent locations featured every year during Limestone Month are the Vinegar Hill Limestone Historic District, a community treasure and exuberant expression of local craft and folk art within a residential setting, and Rose Hill Cemetery, the final resting place of many prominent Bloomington citizens such as Hoagy Carmichael and Dr. Alfred Kinsey, which offers several beautiful examples of the use of locally quarried Indiana limestone.
Click HERE to view 2020 LGBTQ Travel Directory