Discover East Central Indiana

Must-sees and must-dos from around the region.

By
Kevin Litwin
On Wednesday, April 15, 2020 - 11:13
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East Central Indiana, like what you’ll find in its many cozy coffee shops, is brewed to perfection. The region offers a perfect blend of outdoor opportunities, like biking along the Cardinal Greenway or tubing and kayaking on the White River. Business here is booming and resources for businesses owners are aplenty. Plus, the region is filled to the brim with arts and culture, meaning you'll never be bored! 

 

Flipping Coins

What started from a cigar box kept under a lunch counter is now a multimillion-dollar business in Winchester. Leon Hendrickson founded SilverTowne in 1949, and today, it is one of the country’s largest dealers of rare coins, modern coins and precious metals. The company has a retail showroom in Winchester and sells bullion and coins to collectors and investors nationwide through SilverTowne’s website and catalogs. The company airs “The Coin Vault” cable television shopping network show from its Winchester headquarters.

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Jane D. Holman

Midsummer Night Dreaming

Every mid-June through early July, the city of Richmond presents its Richmond Shakespeare Festival that showcases two of the Bard’s plays. The productions are staged at the historic Starr-Gennett factory building open-air pavilion in Whitewater Gorge Park. The 2020 events mark seven years of productions with featured plays like “Richard III” and “As You Like It.” The festival has built a reputation for attracting top regional and national acting talent.

Thrill Rides

The words “start your engines” may be commonplace here, but their energy never wanes. Drag racing takes place from April through October at Muncie Dragway, while go-kart racing is the attraction at New Castle Motorsports Park. Asphalt oval track stock car racing hits high gear at Anderson Speedway and Winchester Speedway, and dirt oval action occurs at Gas City I-69 Speedway and Rush County Fairgrounds as well as Montpelier Motor Speedway, which has staged auto racing since 1915.

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Photo Courtesy of Visit Richmond

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

It’s go time in East Central Indiana, where three different attractions make learning about transportation history both interesting and fun. In Henry County, the Wilbur Wright Birthplace & Museum features the aviator’s family home, smokehouse and barn, along with exhibits and displays. In Connersville, hop aboard the Polar Express train excursion from mid-November through mid- December, which includes a special stop at the “North Pole” to allow Santa Claus to board. And in Richmond is a Model T Museum, which features a great collection of vintage vehicles and Model T-related memorabilia.

The 4-1-1 On East Central Indiana

  • Distinct Seasons:  Enjoy and embrace the highlights of all four seasons, with vibrant blooms of spring, boating opportunities in the summer, spectacular fall colors, and crisp winters to bundle up in cozy clothes.
  • Urban Access: Residents have plenty to keep them entertained here at home, but they also have proximity to metropolitan centers like Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Dayton, Cincinnati and Chicago.
  • Great Location, Well Connected:  The region is within a day’s drive of 60% of the U.S. population, and its great road system and rail network make the area even more attractive for distribution, logistics and warehousing companies to locate here. There is convenient access to Interstates 69 (north/south), 70 (east/west) and 74 (east/west); international airports, including Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International, Dayton International, Fort Wayne International and Indianapolis International; and two Class I railroads.
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Photo Courtesy of Visit Richmond
  • Value & Affordability: When it comes to cost of living, people here get more for their money – in fact, over 15% more than most. The cost of living is 15.3% lower in East Central Indiana compared to the U.S. average.
  • Cultural Opportunity: From visual art museums to an impressive children’s museum, the region has an abundance of cultural activities for all ages. Performing arts are a key aspect of life, and each county offers everything from local civic theaters to professional performing art centers.
  • Good for Business: Businesses and entrepreneurs will find numerous resources here, including the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Small Business Development Center, Purdue University Technical Assistance Program, Muncie Manufacturing Alliance and Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center.
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Nathan Lambrecht
  • Great Outdoors:  From spacious trails to lakes and rivers, the region has a variety of recreation opportunities for everyone’s taste. A major highlight is Cardinal Greenway, a National Recreation Trail that encompasses 62 miles of biking and walking trails that stretch from Marion to Muncie to Richmond.
  • Global Positioning: Foreign direct investment is strong here, with 15 countries having operations in East Central Indiana: Canada, China, Finland, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.
  • Colleges & Universities:  Eight higher education institutions energize the region’s culture and economy, providing a steady flow of skilled professionals, a youthful demographic and a creative atmosphere that enhances the arts as well as business innovation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Litwin is the author of Crazy Lucky Dead and a freelance feature writer with a career spanning more than 20 years.