15 Best Things to Do in Terre Haute, IND

15 Best Things to Do in Terre Haute, IND

Nicknamed the Queen City of the Wabash, Terre Haute is one of the biggest cities in Indiana's Wabash Valley.

The name Terre Haute is actually French for "highland," as the city is located high above the Wabash River.

Terre Haute is a favorite destination among tourists, especially students and those traveling with families.

Tour the city and fall in love with its excellent museums and heritage houses, parks, and nature centers.

It's also a great place to go shopping, watch live performances, sample craft beers, and get your adrenaline pumping at a sports match.

Many exciting attractions and activities await you in this bustling city.

These are the best things to do in Terre Haute, Indiana:

Visit the Sheldon Swope Art Museum

Sheldon Swope Art Museum
Colin Pizarek, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Sheldon Swope Art Museum was founded by Michael Sheldon Swope, a famous jeweler and Civil War veteran.

This museum is dedicated to American art and preserving the rich heritage of American art.

Collections by famous artists like Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, Edward Hopper, and Charles Burchfield are featured here.

It primarily focuses on art forms from the 20th and 21st centuries, featuring works by artists like Eva Hesse, Robert Rauschenberg, and Alexander Calder.

Rotating art exhibits are hosted, wherein local artists like John Laska are also honored.

The museum hosts various educational programs, including summer classes for the youth.

Learn about the Holocaust at the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center

Founded by Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor, this museum is a reminder of the atrocities faced by children during the Holocaust.

Eva herself, along with her twin sister, Miriam, was one of the subjects used in human experimentation by Dr. Josef Mengele.

The museum tells the story of the Holocaust genocide from a survivor’s perspective.

Tour the Eugene V. Debs Museum

Eugene V. Debs Home
Dharbigt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The former home of union leader Eugene V. Debs, this property is located on the Indiana State University campus.

The antique walls and the blue porcelain tile fireplace are among its prominent features.

The mahogany dining and parlor furniture and other small artifacts are also present.

The Eugene V. Debs Museum showcases artifacts and memorabilia dedicated to the life of Eugene V. Debs, including many of his personal collections and his library.

It's a beautiful two-story home furnished with affluent and outstanding furniture from all over the world, thus making it an architectural marvel.

Have a Beer at Terre Haute Brewing Company

Terre Haute Brewing Company is the oldest brewery in Indiana and the second oldest in the United States of America.

They make some of the tasted beer and have been amazing their customers since 1837.

The beers are all locally produced and always go through a complete quality check to ensure that they retain their original tastes.

Try one of the four core beers, including the velvet cream milk stout, Americana lager, and the stiffy green IPA.

For those interested in learning about the processes of beer making, there are guided tours available here.

Spend a Relaxing Day at Collett Park

Spread over a sprawling 21 acres, this park in downtown Terre Haute is peppered with green trees and lush green lawns.

The park is built on a piece of donated land and has been around since 1883.

Due to its rich history, Collett Park has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1981.

The pavilion at this park is lovely and set in a Roman theme.

An indoor rental area is available, where locals host various events, like marriages and birthdays.

There's also a football and soccer field where you can exercise your muscles and play some heated games.

The playground is fun for the kids and has horseshoe pits as well.

Watch a Show at the Indiana Theatre

Indiana Theater
Jud McCranie, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What makes the Indiana Theatre unique is its atmospheric style of design, which ensures that all the viewers get a great experience.

Designed by famous architect John Eberson, the theater still stands tall since its inception in 1922.

It is set in a 17th-century Spanish theme, and in accordance, there are various colorful motifs and other stylized patterns built onto its walls.

The lobby is stylish and opulent and has a ceiling with colorful frescos.

The theater is also very tech-savvy and uses many new technologies such as the latest sound system and LED lighting.

It's packed with performances all around the year, so make sure you catch one when you are in town.

Shop at Haute City Center

This vast mall and shopping center was earlier called the Honey Creek Mall.

Haute City Center has many famous brands and stores where you can shop till you drop.

These include brands like J.C. Penney, Carson's, Sears, and Macy's.

After shopping, dine at one of the many restaurants or cafes here.

You can also check out the bars if you're out with friends.

Attend an Event at the Terre Haute Action Track

Terre Haute Action Track
john j. klaiber jr / Shutterstock.com


A half-mile dirt track is where the action takes place at the Terre Haute Action Track.

One of the hot favorites among adventure enthusiasts, the action track is located at the Wabash Valley fairgrounds and hosts various events throughout the year.

Some special events include the silver crown events, sprint car events, and the annual event of the Automobile Club midget car.

It's fun to watch from the side stands as the cars race along the dirt track leading to an exciting finale.

There are various amenities included as well, including parking spaces, camping areas, tents, and other seating areas.

Run the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course

Cross country courses are exciting events to join with your family or friends.

Spread over 240 acres, the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course was specially built for popular competitions.

The venue hosts many championships meets throughout the year.

Since the track is built on land that initially housed a coal mine, the area is vast, and the terrain is good.

The entire track is 1.8 miles long, with various internal loops.

This huge ground is the home turf of the Indiana State University cross country team.

Try attending one of the competitions if you are in town when they are held.

See a Concert at Hatfield Hall

Hatfield Hall
User:Yipdw~commonswiki, RHIT Millennium Flame Hatfield Hall, CC BY-SA 2.0

Hatfield Hall is one of the prime halls at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology campus.

It is very famous in Terre Haute and hosts many world-class performing artists.

The venue is a must-visit if you love watching concerts, as various musicals and dance recital performances are conducted here.

It is primarily known for the student ensembles performed here and is very popular among the youth.

Various performers book it throughout the year, and you can secure seats for several events by booking tickets in advance.

The ranges include classical to up-and-coming genres focusing on New Age problems and themes.

World-class artists and other emerging local artists are also encouraged to showcase their works here.

Pray at St. Benedict Catholic Church

St. Benedict Catholic Church
Nheyob, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Established in 1864, St. Benedict Catholic Church was initially dedicated to St. Benedict and was founded at the end of the war.

In 1872, the church was rebuilt into a bigger premise and was handled by the Franciscans.

It was redesigned by the architect Adolph Druiding and set in a Roman theme.

The church itself is an architectural marvel since it is built in the form of a crucifix and has two massive towers.

A vast nave alongside a foot transept also adorns this church.

There are three bells inside the church dedicated to St. Benedict, St. Francis, and the Blessed Virgin.

Watch a Football Match at Memorial Stadium

The most remarkable feature of this vast stadium is its horseshoe-shaped grandstand that can house as many as 16,000 visitors at a time.

Memorial Stadium is the home turf of the Indiana State Sycamores professional football team.

The venue hosts many competitions and championship events throughout the year.

An arch built at the facility's entrance, dedicated to the lives lost during the First World War, is one of the last reminders of the old stadium since it was rebuilt and renovated.

Baseball games, soccer matches, and Fourth of July celebrations used to be conducted on its lush green lawns.

Today, it hosts only football matches.

Sample Italian Cuisine at Piloni’s Italian Restaurant

Italian cuisine is not just about pasta or wood-fired pizzas.

It boasts many other beautiful and traditional dishes that you should try at least once in your life.

Piloni's Italian Restaurant is a family-owned business that brings you authentic Italian flavors.

The menu is exclusive and curated by the chefs, using recipes passed down for generations.

Some of the significant features of the menu are the seafood and meat, along with the salad.

There is also the typical pizza, and the sauces are all homemade to serve you an authentic taste.

Pair it up with a cocktail or a craft beer from the long list of cocktails available.

Golf at Deming Park

Deming Park
Lora Taylor / shutterstock.com

Deming Park is one of the few parks in Terre Haute with a golfing course.

Most visitors love playing golf at the 18-hole course located here.

Spread over a vast area, it also features various adult sporting courts that you can enjoy.

There's also a great place to have fun with kids, especially younger ones.

Since the play areas are restricted to different age groups, the kids can play without worries.

There is also a seasonal train ride available.

Another feature is the swimming pool, where you can have a lazy day by yourself.

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth at Grand Traverse Pie Company

A favorite among the locals, this quaint pie company sells fresh pies that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

They offer savory pies, too.

The cafe also serves various menu items like muffins, sandwiches, salads, and egg dishes.

Pair any of these with an espresso or some freshly brewed coffee, and you're good to go.

Teach Your Kids about Nature at Dobbs Park Nature Center

There's a small local museum situated inside Dobbs Park Nature Center, where you can teach your kids about nature and its incredible impact on human life.

The hiking and mountain biking trails are fantastic and provide a great way to enjoy outdoor fun.

You can also walk among the tall trees and find some peace with nature.

Pack a picnic lunch, and find a nice shady spot to lay out a blanket.

There's also a cute little pond inside the park where you can go fishing.