Before summer comes to a close, I encourage you and your family to take time and enjoy all that Indiana has to offer. Our state is blessed with historic and vibrant small towns, beautiful forests, scenic waterways, lake-front beaches and more.
Indiana was recently named the best state in the nation for attracting tourists based on a Washington Post study. The Hoosier State's tourism office gets a better return on investment than any other state, surpassing even Hawaii, Alaska and Maine.
Last year, Visit Indiana spent $2.3 million marketing the state, and we took in more than $8.3 billion in tourism revenue. That means every tax dollar spent on marketing and promotion generated $3,635 in economic activity.
Tourism is vital to the health of our state, and we're doing a terrific job of showing our neighbors what makes Indiana, including our Fort Wayne community, great.
The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo is consistently ranked among the top ten zoos in the nation, and the Fort Wayne TinCaps Stadium has been named the best minor league ballpark in the U.S. Our downtown area continues to grow, offering visitors opportunities to enjoy art, culture and science.
When planning your next weekend getaway or vacation spot, consider exploring a new corner of Indiana and keeping your dollars in the Hoosier State.
Visit the Indiana Dunes State Park and National Lakeshore in northern Indiana to enjoy miles of beaches, sandy dunes and hiking trails. Travel to Brown County State Park in southern Indiana for the perfect campground, nicknamed the "Little Smokies" because of its rugged hills and picturesque views.
Another great spot is the French Lick/West Baden Resort, also located in the southern part of our state. It has been named the best historic resort in America.
For history buffs, Spencer County offers a glimpse into the life of President Abraham Lincoln, who lived in the area for 14 years. You can tour the Lincoln Boyhood Home National Memorial, Lincoln Pioneer Village and Museum, Lincoln State Park and other historical landmarks.
Our community and state has something for everyone. To look for more trip ideas, go to www.VisitIndiana.com .
This month I encourage you and your family to get out there and enjoy our great state.