Select Traveler

SEP-OCT 2013

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Public art in Columbus Courtesy Columbus CVB An urban rafting adventure in South Bend Courtesy South Bend Mishawaka CVB University area. Groups can arrange for interesting meals and interactive experiences at several of them. "Oliver Winery has opened a downtown tasting room where they're serving small plates of amazing food that they're creating in-house with their chef," Erdmann said. "Tey're doing some wine fights, which really brings the charm of their north-side winery downtown. Te building is dressed up with really unique lighting, exposed brick walls and all sorts of local art on display. "Next door is a new craft-beer bar called the Tap. Tey have over 55 beers on tap that aren't your typical domestics. For those palates that enjoy refned beers, it's a great place to stop." Groups that want to make an evening in downtown can also arrange to see a performance at the Bloomington Playwrights Project. Te theater group is the only playhouse in Indiana that produces original plays, meaning that the shows are guaranteed to be ones your group has never seen. Numerous other theatrical and musical performances take place at the nearby Indiana University campus. Most events there are free and open to the public. WWW.VISITBLOOMINGTON.COM 42 BANK TRAVEL M A N A G E M E N T COLU MBUS You wouldn't expect a town of 44,000 people to be a nationally renowned architectural destination. But great architecture is Columbus' claim to fame. "We're ranked sixth in the nation for architectural design and innovation by the American Institute of Architects," said Erin Hawkins, marketing director at the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Te only places that rank above us are places like Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C., and then you come to this tiny town in southern Indiana. We're known for having world-class architecture, and most of our leisure travel here is people coming to see the architecture." Columbus' credentials come courtesy of more than 70 buildings and pieces of art designed by internationally known architects and artists, including I.M. Pei, Eliel Saarinen, Harry Weese, Dale Chihuly and Henry Moore. Te area's status as an arts and architecture treasure was recently recognized by the Indiana Arts Commission, which named downtown Columbus a State Cultural District. Group tours of Columbus start at the Miller House and Garden. Often compared to Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Fallingwater home in Pennsylvania, the Miller House is considered one of the most important examples of midcentury modern architecture in a residential setting and was one of the frst structures to kick of the architectural boom in town. From the Miller House, groups proceed on a guided two-hour bus tour of the city that highlights many of the unique and historic buildings throughout downtown. Tat tour includes some surprises in the historic district. "Tough we're known for modern architecture, people are often surprised that we kept all of our 19th-century Victorian storefronts downtown," Hawkins said. "We intermingle these new modern structures with the historic structures. Te two styles work very well together." WWW.COLUMBUS.IN.US LAFAYETTE AND WEST LAFAYETTE Te Wabash River cuts through the largest residential area in east central Indiana, creating the dual municipalities of Lafayette and West Lafayette. Although the two cities have separate governments and services, for visitors they serve as a single destination. In the twin downtowns on either side of the river, groups will fnd a variety of arts, culture, history and culinary activities. Among the most popular downtown stops for groups is the Lafayette Brewing Company, a microbrewery and family restaurant. "Tey can handle groups, and they do tours and presentations of the brewing process," said Ashley Gregory, group tours manager for Visit Lafayette/West Lafayette. "Tey can also do tastings. Tey have more than just beer; they make their own root beer, cream soda and other sodas there." Downtown is also the best place for groups to discover arts in the area. Te Art Museum of Greater Lafayette showcases the work of Indiana artists and hosts a variety of traveling exhibits throughout the year. And a number of local art galleries ofer hands-on workshops for groups. "Lala Gallery can do a ceramic class for small groups of 20 or less," Gregory said. "All Fired Up is a paint-your-own-pottery studio. Groups can go there and paint a piece of pottery, and then have the pieces fred and shipped to them at home." WWW.HOMEOFPURDUE.COM SOUTH BEND South Bend, home of the famous University of Notre Dame, has a downtown rich in history, cuisine and even outdoor adventure. Many groups visiting downtown South Bend begin at the Studebaker National Museum and Center for History. "We were the home to the Studebaker Automobile Company," said Lindsey Talboom, communications and public relations coordinator for the South Bend Mishawaka Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Te Studebaker museum has all sorts of things on display, all the way up to the last Studebaker model that the company ever made. Tey also have the largest presidential-carriage collection, and the actual carriage that took Lincoln to Ford's Teater on the night that he was assassinated." After a museum visit, downtown afords numerous opportunities for interesting dining experiences. LaSalle Grill is the city's preeminent fne-dining destination, having won the Four Diamond award from AAA. For an experience more ftting with the nearby university, many visitors choose Kildare's Irish Pub, a Celtic public house that serves typical Irish food and drinks. Te restaurant is especially popular among Notre Dame fans on game day. For an unexpected downtown experience, adventure lovers can take a paddle in a kayak or a raft. "We're home to the frst-ever man-made white-water course in America: the East Race Waterway," Talboom said. "It just celebrated its 30th anniversary. It starts downtown, fows out a bit to the St. Joseph River and then comes back downtown." WWW.VISITSOUTHBEND.COM S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 3

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