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Indiana

Indiana is the birthplace of John Cougar (with or without Mellencamp) and the home of small hippie colleges. You could say it's a folksy, peaceful state. A few times of year the collective heartrate really soars around Indianapolis, like when there are important basketball or football games, or the Indy 500. The NCAA Hall of Champions is a revamped, more interactive sports museum in Indianapolis, focused on but not strictly limited to hoops. Toward the west side of the state, visit the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, where Abe lived as a schoolboy. You can celebrate other local heroes by viewing memorabilia at the James Dean Gallery in Fairmount, Nashville's Bill Monroe Museum (he was a mean bluegrass mandolinist), or the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in the capital. In Clarksville at the Falls of the Ohio State Park, see fossil beds that are hundreds of millions of years old. The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a lovely place to be surrounded by a wide variety of animal and plant life. Corn is a popular food in Indiana. Hoosier native David Letterman is just one devotee of fried bologna sandwiches, which he refers to as smoked meat delicacies. Breaded pork tenderloin is another popular sandwich filling, and onion pie is a side dish of Eastern European origins. You can eat fried mac and cheese at a drive-in near the Speedway, get some stick-to-your-ribs lunch counter food, or lighten up with Tibetan food (in the college town of Bloomington, naturally). These days serious coffee is seriously popular. Vegans will fare quite well, with options like a tempeh banh mi, veggie tacos al pastor, veggie haggis, and veggie pot roast over a crispy potato waffle. There is organic raw Asian food to be found, and Community Supported Agriculture. Partake in diverse cuisines, including Ethiopian, Vietnamese, and Burmese. Whether your tastes are American, Midwest regional, or wildly eclectic, you'll be okay in Indiana.