Whether you’re a first-time guest or a life-long resident, Terre Haute offers a unique visit for everyone. Here are the Top 10 Places to Visit in Terre Haute, Indiana.
CANDLES HOLOCAUST MUSEUM & EDUCATION CENTER
Founded by Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor in 1995, the CANDLES Holocaust Museum educates guests on the atrocities of the Holocaust through exhibits and by sharing Eva’s powerful personal experience. Firebombed and burned to the ground by an arsonist in 2003, the museum was rebuilt with the help of an outpouring of community support, including thousands of dollars donated by schoolchildren, organizations and individuals nationwide. Through the lens of the Holocaust, the museum stands as a testament to the power of the human spirit, the importance of perseverance, the dangers of prejudice, and reflects Eva’s own remarkable journey of forgiveness.
CLABBER GIRL MUSEUM & BAKE SHOP
Headquarters of Hulman & Co., maker of Clabber Girl Baking Soda, and a Terre Haute institution. The museum offers a glimpse into Terre Haute history and the evolution of baking over the past couple centuries, with a nod to the company’s auto racing heritage with the Hulman family’s involvement with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After a tour of the museum, grab a bite at the Clabber Girl Bake Shop and have a cup of Rex Coffee, locally roasted in-house.
DEMING PARK/DOBBS PARK
Tree-lined Ohio Boulevard serves as the formal entry to the jewel of the Terre Haute parks system, Deming Park. Covering more than 177 acres on Terre Haute’s east side, Deming Park features rolling hills, two fishing ponds, two playgrounds, a public swimming pool, an 18-hole disc-golf course, a variety of sports facilities (including basketball and tennis courts, and soccer and softball fields) and the popular Spirit of Terre Haute miniature train. Deming Park is connected via a paved trail with nearby Dobbs Park, which features a three-acre pond, a Native American Museum and 25-acre State Nature Preserve with three miles of hiking trails through restored wetlands and old growth woods.
On the famed “Banks of the Wabash” River, Fairbanks Park serves as host to a number of events and festivals throughout the year. The 43-acre city park features an outdoor amphitheater perfect for concerts & plays, a boat ramp for river access, playground and bark park for pets. The iconic Fairbanks Park Arch, a one-time fountain, serves as a flower garden near the brick two-story birthplace home of Paul Dresser, composer of the state song, “On the Banks of the Wabash Far Away.”
GRIFFIN BIKE PARK
Home to more than 18 miles of single-track mountain biking trails and a number of skill features, this 300-acre wooded park is quickly establishing itself as a national-caliber recreational mountain biking destination. The expansive woodland trail system covers hilly terrain carved from a former strip mine that was later reclaimed by the Vigo County Parks Department. Progression-based features include terrain, skills and water skills areas, including two pump tracks, four jump lines, a dual slalom course for side-by-side downhill racing, a cross country eliminator obstacle course and a drop zone. A floating bridge trail crosses the lake. Griffin Bike Park has gained state and national awards recognitions for outstanding design. It is free and open to the public.
Part of a rails-to-trails initiative along the former east-west Pennsylvania Railroad line, Heritage trail is a seven-mile paved path, trail and bike lane connecting the Indiana State University campus and residential & industrial neighborhoods on the west with the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology campus and Vigo County’s Hawthorn Park on the east. While the most scenic stretch lies on its eastern end beneath a wooded canopy between the Blakely Avenue and Jones trailheads, Heritage Trail also connects with Indiana Veterans Memorial Mile at Memorial Stadium. Popular with walker, joggers and cyclists, Memorial Mile is a unique, one-mile paved path in the shape of the state of Indiana that encompasses the football stadium.
SAINT MARY-OF-THE-WOODS/GUERIN SHRINE
A beautiful tree-lined avenue welcomes guests to the home of the Sisters of Providence and campus of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Founded as a school for girls in 1841, the co-educational liberal arts college is the oldest Catholic college in Indiana. The wooded grounds include quiet pathways, quaint chapels (including the Log Chapel and St. Anne Shell Chapel), alpaca barns and equestrian stables, and stately architecture, including the expansive LeFer Hall, cavernous O’Shaughnessy Ballroom, and breath-taking Church of the Immaculate Conception. The Shrine of Saint Mother Thodore Guerin is the final resting place of the eighth American saint and foundress of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.
SWOPE ART MUSEUM
The Swope Art Museum’s 2,500-piece permanent collection of American Art earned the museum the distinction in 2010 of being one of USA Today's "Top Ten Great Places to See Art in Smaller Cities". With works from such renowned artists of American regionalism as Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton & Edward Hopper, and celebrated pop artists like Any Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg & Robert Indiana, the Swope's permanent collection also boasts pieces from Africa, Europe & Asia. The Swope is free and open to the public.
TERRE HAUTE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
With a three-story tall climbing 'tree house,' high-ropes course and scores of interactive exhibits and displays, the Terre Haute Children’s Museum offers so many hands-on learning activities, learning is simply a by-product of the fun. With wide-ranging exhibits like Toddler Zone, dynamic Water Table, stuffed animal veterinary clinic, "TV studio," insect & reptile displays, and the aerial adventure of the indoor ropes course, the museum offers fun for kids of all ages. There are regular programs and camps offering opportunities to learn and explore a range of subjects, including science and technology. Admission is $8 for non-members (children under 2 are free).
When it comes to picking a Top 10, you can’t appeal to everyone. What appeals to one, might not be of interest to another. And with so many great spots around Terre Haute, narrowing it down to just ten was just to much of a challenge for us here at The Haute. So for #10, we’ll let you decide. Here are our “honorable mention” destinations.
For those interested in history, Terre Haute has a lot of history to offer. Coming Summer 2019, the 34,000-square foot VIGO COUNTY HISTORY CENTER will open in downtown Terre Haute, showcasing its collections of more than 100,000 vintage artifacts and historic memorabilia, in addition to interactive exhibits and a old-fashioned Coke-themed soda fountain. There’s also the gold-domed VIGO COUNTY COURTHOUSE, INDIANA THEATER, EUGENE V. DEBS HOME and much more.
For time in nature, the 2,600-acre WABASHIKI FISH & WILDLIFE AREA features trails through natural settings and a lookout at Dewey Point. While Vigo County Park Department’s eastside HAWTHORN PARK & southside FOWLER PARK both have lakes, campgrounds and great trail systems, Hawthorn features the Smith Memorial Labyrinth and Fowler a Pioneer Village.
For live sporting events, HULMAN CENTER hosts Indiana State’s college basketball games, SYCAMORE FIELD is home to ISU baseball and the TERRE HAUTE REX, and historic MEMORIAL STADIUM is home field for ISU football games. Outside of HULMAN CENTER stands a larger-than-life bronze statue of Sycamore legend Larry Bird commemorating his college playing days in Terre Haute. It’s a popular photo op.
If motorsports is your thing, check out events at the TERRE HAUTE ACTION TRACK’s 1/2-mile dirt track, kids’ quarter midget racing at the fantastic new HULMAN MINI SPEEDWAY or stock & custom drag racing events at CROSSROADS DRAGWAY.
For artistic pursuits beyond the SWOPE, check out ARTS ILLIANA’s gallery of local works or ARTSPACES’ various pieces around town, including the Birthplace of the Coke Bottle Sculpture Project with 6-foot-tall painted sculptures.
Like live theater? Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s HATFIELD HALL consistently presents top national-caliber talent, while the COMMUNITY THEATER OF TERRE HAUTE and ISU’S CROSSROADS REPERTORY THEATRE present top-notch local shows.
Great live music is showcased at Tilson Auditorium by the TERRE HAUTE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, the longest-standing professional orchestra in the state of Indiana, while the Fairbanks Park amphitheater and the Wabash River offer a great backdrop for the TERRE HAUTE COMMUNITY BAND’s summertime outdoor band concerts. The annual BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS FESTIVAL is an outdoor street music festival worth a drive.
Dining wise, Terre Haute boasts unique local hot spots from the iconic SQUARE DONUTS and M. MOGGER’S RESTAURANT & PUB to the unique atmosphere of STABLES RESTAURANT to the cosmopolitan vibes of UMI GRILL & J. FORD’S BLACK ANGUS. For brews or bubbly, there’s the historic TERRE HAUTE BREWING COMPANY & the aforementioned M. MOGGER’S downtown or scenic SYCAMORE WINERY northwest of the city and quaint & rustic WATERTOWER ESTATES winery on the city’s southside.
So now that you have your list ready, it’s time to start checking items off. Or add some of your own.