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Learn more about Indiana’s small towns and natural areas through two new IU Press books

June 8, 2016

Lazy summer days mean road trips, the chance to try a new restaurant or just explore a new town or natural area that showcases the beauty of the Hoosier state.

goose pond

The Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area in Greene County, Ind. | PHOTO COURTESY OF IU PRESS

Two new books published this summer by IU Press can help you.

Enter to win

Current faculty and staff using a valid IU email address can enter to win a copy of "Little Indiana: Small Town Destinations," a $23 value, as well as a copy of “A Guide to Natural Areas of Southern Indiana: 119 Unique Places to Explore,” a $28 value. Both are published by IU Press. The contest opens June 8 and closes 4 p.m. Monday, June 13, 2016.

"Little Indiana: Small Town Destinations" was written by Jessica Nunemaker, a blogger and host of the PBS show "The Weekly Special."

The book explores places to eat, stay, play and shop in Hoosier towns of 15,000 or fewer inhabitants. Their size and uniqueness make these small towns perfect for a quick getaway while still staying close to home.

Inside IU picked a northern, central and southern town to highlight:

  • Wakarusa: Make sure to visit the Wakarusa Quilt Garden, and pick up some old-fashioned candy like Blackjack gum or giant jelly beans at the Wakarusa Dime Store. You can also pop in to the turn-of-the-century Wakarusa Pro Hardware store, to check out its original hardwood floors and wall filled with more than 1,000 tiny wooden drawers reachable only by a narrow ladder that goes to the ceiling. Into antiques? Visit the Yoder Brothers Mercantile.
  • Winchester: Check out the oldest Civil War monument in the state on the grounds of the beautiful Randolph County Courthouse. Completed in 1890 and dedicated two years later, the granite Soldiers and Sailors Monument is rumored to be the second- or third-tallest monument in the state. The town is also home to the annual Mom, Baseball and Apple Pie Festival. And be sure to pick up a hand-painted plate, platter or serving piece from Meeks Consignment and Antique Store.
  • St. Meinrad: The town is home to the St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, one of only two archabbeys in the United States and one of 11 in the world. Laid out in 1850 by two monks from the Einsiedeln Abbey in Switzerland, it supports the third-largest population of monks in the U.S.

Prefer to spend your time wandering the woods?

Check out “A Guide to Natural Areas of Southern Indiana: 119 Unique Places to Explore,” written by environmental writer, photographer and Bloomington resident Steven Higgs.

Featuring 96 beautiful color photos and six maps, the book directs readers to the best locations in southern Indiana for bird and game watching, fishing, boating, hiking, camping and more.

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