15 Best Things to Do in Terre Haute, Indiana

15 Best Things to Do in Terre Haute, Indiana

Pay a visit to the Queen City of the Wabash. Terre Haute is known as one of the largest and biggest cities in the Wabash Valley. Located near the Wabash River, it is an educational hub and cosmopolitan city. It is a hot favorite among tourists, especially students, and those traveling with families. It is the county city of Vigo county and quite crowded. The weather is not exactly moderate and reaches extremes during summers and winters alike.

Terre Haute is actually a French word and means “Highland” since it was located high above the Wabash River. One of the most industrious towns during its inception itself, it was a hub for farmers and Millers and pork processors after its inception. It has since come a long way, and many reputed educational institutions are also located here.

Art connoisseurs go to the Sheldon Swope Art Museum

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

Built by a very famous jeweler, Michael Sheldon Swope, he was also a civil war veteran. This museum is dedicated to American art and preserving the rich heritage of American Art. Many famous collections by famous artists like Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, Edward Hopper, and Charles Burchfield are featured here. It especially focuses on art forms from the 20th and 21st century by artists like Eva Hesse, Robert Rauschenberg and Alexander Calder, the rotating art exhibits are hosted as well. Local artists like John Laska are also honored and featured. Summer classes are conducted for youth and various other educational programs are also hosted at this museum.

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

Founded by a Holocaust survivor, herself, Eva Mozes Kor, this museum is a gruesome reminder of the atrocities faced by children during the Holocaust.
The survivor 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 genocide from a survivor’s perspective.

Visit the Eugene V. Debs Home

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

The former home of the union leader Eugene v. Debs, this property is located on the Indiana State University campus. Some of the prominent features of the museum are the antique walls and the blue porcelain tile fireplace.
The mahogany dining and parlor furniture and other small artifacts are also present. The artifacts and memorabilia are all dedicated to the life of Eugene v. Debs and includes many of his personal collections, such as his library.
The house is a very beautiful, two story and furnished with affluent and outstanding furniture from all over the world thus making it an architectural Marvel.

Have a beer at the Terre Haute Brewing Company

The THBC is the oldest brewery in Indiana, and the second oldest in the entire United States of America, this beer is one of the tastiest and continues to amaze its customers throughout the years. From as long as 1837 its premises have till date remained the same, in which it was first built by Chauncey Warren and Demas Deming Sr.

The beers are all locally produced and take a complete quality check ensuring and retaining its original tastes. Try one of the four core beers, which include the Velvet cream milk stout, Americana Lager and the Stiffy green IPA. For those interested in knowing the processes of the beer making, there are guided tours available as well.

Visit the pavilion at Collett Park

The pavilion at this park is very beautiful and set in a Roman theme. Spread over a sprawling 21 acres, this park is sprayed with green trees and lush green lawns and lies in the downtown of the city. The park is built on a piece of donated land and is in existence since 1883. Due to its rich and long heritage and history, it found place for itself at the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.

There is an indoor rental area available where locals host various events, like marriages and birthdays. A typical football and soccer field is also there in the park where you can exercise your muscles and play some heated games. The playground is fun for the children and kids and has horseshoe pits as well.

Watch Theater at the Indiana Theater

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

What makes the theatre unique is its atmospheric style of design, which ensures that all the viewers get a great experience. Designed by the famous architect, John Eberson, the theatre still stands tall since its inception in 1922. It is set in the 17th century Spanish theme and in accordance with it, there are various colorful motifs and other stylized patterns built onto the walls of the theatre.

The lobby is very stylish and opulent and has a ceiling with colorful frescos. The theater is also very tech savvy, and today uses a lot of the new technologies such as a latest sound system and LED lighting. The Theater is packed with performances all around the year so make sure you catch one when you are in town.

Shop at the Howard City Center

This huge mall and shopping center was earlier called the Honey Creek mall. It has many famous brands and stores located where you can shop till you drop.
These include brands like J.C. Penney, Carson's, Sears, and Macy's. After you're done shopping dine at, one of the many restaurants or cafes here, or you can even go to the bar if you're out with friends. The restrooms are very modern, and there are baby changing rooms as well keeping in mind all your needs.

Go to sprint car event at the Terre Haute Action Track

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

Almost a half mile dirt track is where the action takes place at this action track. One of the hot favorites for adventure enthusiasts, this action track is located at the Wabash Valley fairgrounds and hosts various events throughout the year.
Some special events include the silver crown events and the sprint car events alongside 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 on the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course

Cross Country courses are exciting and fun events to take part in along with your kids or friends. Spread over a land of 240 acres, this course was especially built for popular competitions and hosts many championship meets throughout the year.
But if you're a fitness enthusiast then with the little physical abilities, you might even win on participating in the championships.

Since it is built on the land where there was originally a coal mine, the area is vast and the terrain is good. The length of the entire track is 1.8 miles and there are various internal loops made. This huge ground is the home turf for the Indiana State University cross country team. Try attending one of the competitions if you are in town during the time they are held.

Attend a concert at the Hatfield Hall

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

It 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 attend if you are a concert lover, a variety of musicals and dance recital performances are conducted here. It is especially known for the student ensembles that perform here and is very popular among the youth.

It is booked throughout the year, by the various performers and you can even attend many events by booking tickets in advance. The ranges include classical genre, to even upcoming 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 the St. Benedict Catholic Church

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

Established in 1864, it originally served and was dedicated to St. Benedict and was established 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 team. The church itself is an architectural marvel, since it is built in the form of a crucifix and has two huge towers.

An extremely wide nave alongside a foot transept also adorn this church. There are three bells inside the church dedicated to three saints, namely St. Benedict, St. Francis and The blessed version. Do knee at this divine altar and pray in front of the Lord at this beautiful church.

Watch a football match at the Memorial Stadium

The most remarkable feature of this huge stadium is the horseshoe shaped grandstand that can house as many as 16,000 visitors at a time.
The stadium is the home stadium of the Indiana State Sycamores professional football team, and hosts many competitions and championship events throughout the year.

Baseball and soccer matches also used to be conducted on its lush green lawns. It was also the site of the Fourth of July celebrations annually. An arch that is built at the entrance of the facility, which is dedicated to the lives lost during the First World War are one of the remainders of the old stadium since it was later rebuilt and renovated and today it hosts only football matches.

Sample Italian cuisine at the Piloni’s Italian restaurant

Italian cuisine is not just about pasta, or the usual wood fired pizzas. Italian cuisine boasts of many other beautiful and traditional dishes that you should give a try at least once in your life. This restaurant has been a family owned business and brings you the authentic tastes. The menu is exclusive and hand curated by the chefs using recipes which have been passed down from the generations.

Some of the major features of the menu are the seafood and meats along with the salad. There is also the typical pizza, but 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.

Golfing at the Deming Park

Deming Park
Lora Taylor / shutterstock.com

This is one of the few parks which has 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 at and then also a great place to unravel with kids especially your younger ones. Since the play areas are demarcated for the age groups, the kids can play without worries. There is also a seasonal train ride available. Another specialty is the swimming pool so you can have a lazy day by yourself in the pool.

Indulge your sweet tooth at the Grand Traverse Pie Company

A hot favorite among the locals is this quaint little pie company that sells fresh pies to you to indulge your sweet tooth as you buy a sweet pie depending on your likes or dislikes. The cafe also has various other items like sandwiches or salads, for you to pair your sweets with. We would definitely recommend that you try one of the egg dishes and the homemade crushes. Delectable sweets include pastries, and muffins and there are savory pies too. Pair these up with an espresso or some freshly brewed coffee and you're good to go.

Teach your kids about nature at the Dobbs Park Nature Center

There's a small local museum situated inside the Nature Center where you can teach your kids about nature and its amazing impact on our lives. The hiking and mountain biking trails are really awesome and a great way to have some outdoor fun. You can also take a walk among the tall trees and find some peace with nature.
Pack a picnic lunch, and find a nice shady spot to bring out the sandwiches and cola. There's also a cute little pond located inside the park where you can carry out some fishing.