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Book Review: “100 Things to Do in Indiana Before You Die” by Jamie Ward

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When Indiana comes to mind, what immediately enters your head? Is it corn? Maybe the Indianapolis 500, the Colts or the Pacers? For some, it’s probably one of those states in the middle of the country everyone flies over but can’t quite point to on a map.

I hear you. I’ve lived here my whole life and know most people probably wouldn’t pick Indiana as a vacation spot. And even us Hoosiers don’t do state-cations very often, opting to hit up Florida beaches, Disney World or somewhere out west.

But you know what? There is actually A LOT to be discovered here and “100 Things to Do in Indiana Before You Die” by Jamie Ward is the essential book to help you plan your Hoosier road trip.

Author Jamie Ward has traveled to every corner of the state, putting together an informative and comprehensive list of must-dos. Out of the 100 things to do in Indiana before you die, I counted only twenty-one that I have personally done. I still have quite a bit of exploring to do!

Each chapter is focused on a specific topic. There’s food and drink, entertainment, shopping, sports, history and more. Within those chapters, you’ll find the specific activities that make up the 100 things to do in Indiana. But what really makes this guide book great is that it goes beyond that, listing helpful tips and additional similar experiences in other parts of the state. For example, Jamie suggests you “throw back a frosty root beer at the Triple XXX family restaurant” but also includes other drive-ins that make their own root beer.

“One Hundred Things to Do in Indiana Before You Die” is truly a state-wide guide book. Other guides tend to concentrate on things to do in Indianapolis, but this goes way beyond the Circle City and only includes a handful of things to do in Indy. That’s definitely a bonus for the smaller, more quiet towns who have unique things to offer that might be overlooked by traditional guide books.

Another helpful section is the breakdown of activities by season at the end as well as suggested itineraries. I only wish there had been more color photos in the book -there is a nice section in the middle that showcase some of the highlighted activities, but it would have been lovely if all the photos had been in color.

Now that I’ve read the book cover to cover, here are the top five things I want to do after reading “100 Things to Do in Indiana Before You Die”:

  • Irvington Halloween Festival
  • Visit Who North America
  • Underground Catacombs in Indianapolis
  • Wander through Rose Island, the abandoned amusement park at Charlestown State Park
  • Stay at West Baden Springs Hotel in French Lick

Want to get a copy of “100 Things to Do in Indiana Before You Die”? Check out Jamie’s Instagram for more information!

One thought on “Book Review: “100 Things to Do in Indiana Before You Die” by Jamie Ward

  1. Jamie

    September 16, 2022 at 9:53 am

    I absolutely love it! That is a great list of things do in Indiana – maybe I’ll see you soon at the Irvington Halloween Festival!

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