Indiana Ranked Among Most Boring States, and I Just Couldn’t Agree More
If you've lived in Indiana for an extended period of time, maybe you were born here or you're a transplant due to your job or family, you've likely heard someone, or maybe you yourself have said, "There's nothing to do here." Well, now there's factual evidence to back up that claim.
Indiana Ranked as One of the Least Fun States in the Country
Many people consider Indiana to be a "fly-over" state. If you're not familiar with the term, it means people fly over us while traveling to larger cities because the impression is that we don't have much to offer other than corn. While it is true we grow a lot of corn (we were the fifth-largest corn-producing state in the nation in 2021), people in other states act like every family is given a corn plant when they welcome a new baby as a congratulatory gift from the state, or that we hand out ears of corn at the airports like Hawaii does with lei's when people from out of town do actually stop here. I remember my wife and me stopping at a Hard Rock restaurant in Florida many years ago and the bartender asking if we had driven our tractor there when he saw "Indiana" on our IDs. I told him of course not. We rode our cows to save money on gas. What an idiot.
The point is, we have a reputation for being kind of a boring place to live, and new evidence from WalletHub seems to support that claim. They recently ranked the "Most Fun States" in the country and the Hoosier State landed at number 40. One spot ahead of our neighbors to the south in Kentucky, so there's something we have going for us.
WalletHub based its findings on two categories, "Entertainment & Recreation" and "Nightlife" using 26 relevant metrics including, the number of attractions available, restaurants per capita, fitness centers per capita, and more.
Let's Talk About What 4 of the Top 5 Have in Common
I'd like to point out, of the top five states considered to be "the most fun" (California, Florida, Nevada, New York, and our neighbors to the west, Illinois), four of them are states where recreational marijuana use is legal. Even though that was not one of the "26 metrics" used by WalletHub, I refuse to believe that's coincidental.
All joking aside, let's face facts. We're clearly at a disadvantage because we don't have a Los Angeles, Orlando, New York City, Las Vegas, or Chicago within our borders. But, surely we have something worth offering, right? Let's dig in and see what we can find.
"The Greatest Spectacle in Racing"
I mean, we do have the Indy 500 every Memorial Day Weekend, but who wants to watch 33 cars drive inches from each other at 220 miles per hour in the largest venue on the planet? What a snooze-fest, am I right?
We Have Multiple "Sportsball" Options
Not only do we have two professional sports teams, the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL and the Indiana Pacers of the NBA, but we also have a premier venue in Lucas Oil Stadium that's hosted a Super Bowl, multiple Big Ten Football Championships, and a few NCAA Final Fours. Plus, we have three colleges in Indiana, Purdue, and Notre Dame which have multiple athletic programs that regularly rank as some of the best in the nation. Booooorrrrrriiiiiiinnnnng!
The Great Outdoors
Our lack of big cities like those previously mentioned means we still have a vast amount of land covered in natural beauty we can explore by visiting our many great state parks, which begs the question, "why do we all still live here?"
Excuse me for a minute, I need to get some caffeine before I fall asleep from all this mundanity (yes, that's a real word. Look it up.)
Family Fun for Everyone
Ok, I'm back. Now, where was I? Oh yes! Listing all the things Indiana does offer in an effort to show we're not as boring as people think. Right.
We may not have Disney World, Disneyland, or Universal Studios, but we do have quite a few theme and waterparks all across the state, including one in Holiday World & Splashin' Safari that sits in a Christmas-themed town called Santa Claus which not only has several rides voted the best in the world by ride enthusiasts, but also offers free parking, free soft drinks, and free sunscreen for everyone that walks through the gates each day. That has to count for something, right? RIGHT?!?!
That Stuff is for Kids
How about this? The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is the largest in the country and a place where the whole family can have fun tinkering around with the many interactive displays. Plus, we have the Children's Museum of Evansville, ranked in the top five children's museums in the state by TripAdvisor, and nearly every major city in the state has its own children's museum including, Fort Wayne, Terre Haute, and Muncie.
Meh. That's kids' stuff.
Wait a Minute...
You know, on second thought, those are all pretty great things we have to offer, and there are plenty more I didn't list. Sure, we don't have massive skyscrapers like New York City, nor do we have a whole city dedicated to providing a variety of constant entertainment options like Las Vegas, but when you look beyond the cornfield fields (I'll admit, we do have a lot of corn) we are a fun place live and visit. If everyone else can't see that, that's their problem, not ours.