Virtual Vacations

Central Indiana Things to Do
Leslie A. Bailey

What do you get when you combine virtual tours with the best of Central Indiana attractions? A staycation to remember.

Whether you’re looking for something to take your mind to another place or are interested in learning more about one of Indiana’s popular attractions for a future in-person visit, here are four destinations you can explore without leaving the comfort of your own home.

French Lick Resort

If you’ve always wondered what it’s like to stand in the 200-foot atrium of West Baden Springs Hotel that was once called the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” your wait is over. The hotel’s website offers 360-degree tours of the atrium, lobby, library, and indoor pool. The resort also offers a gallery of video vignettes covering fascinating mysteries, legends, and fun facts about the national historic landmark. www.frenchlick.com

The Architecture of Columbus

Known as one of the best cities in the world for architecture enthusiasts, Columbus, Indiana has always offered a number of ways visitors can explore attractions from bus tours to self-guided bike tours. Now anyone can enjoy “The Avenue of the Architects,” a virtual tour of 5th Street which features work by the likes of world-renowned designers, including Eero Saarinen, Michael Van Valkenburgh, and Dessa Kirk. columbus.in.us

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame

Residing on the campus of Notre Dame, The Basilica of the Sacred Heart is the mother church of the Congregation of Holy Cross in the United States. A destination for both worshippers and visitors, you can tour areas such as the chapel, museum,  and more all through your computer screen. www.michigan360tours.com/basilica-sacred-heart

Indiana Statehouse and Supreme Court

Maybe you’d like to brush up on your Indiana state government education or perhaps you’ve always just wanted to see the state house’s rotunda. IN.gov offers virtual tours of the Governor’s and executive offices as well as the courtrooms of the judicial and legislative branches and you can catch video tours of the rotunda atrium and the Supreme Court on the Indiana Government YouTube channel. www.in.gov/idoa/virtual-tour

Indiana State Parks

Indiana State Parks Facebook Page offers a number of videos showcasing the state’s natural attractions that will be sure to transport you to another place. From White-Tailed deer running about Turkey Run and gushing water at Cataract Falls to a Great Horned Owl release and a sunset at Hardy Lake, you’re bound to find beauty wherever you click.

Leslie Bailey is managing editor of AAA Crossroads and lives in Indianapolis.