With thousands of votes cast, the public has selected the winners of the annual Best of Indiana Fall awards. The awards, a component of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development’s(IOTD) popular fall travel site VisitIndianaFall.com, asked Hoosiers to select Indiana’s Best Fall Beer, Best Fall Camping adventure and Best Haunted Attraction. The winners are:
- Best Fall Beer: Sinister Double IPA- 18th Street Brewery, Gary.
- Best Fall Camping Adventure: Brown County State Park
- Best Haunted Attraction: Creepy Carnival Haunted House- The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
“These winners truly represent the Best of Indiana. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a world-class destination, Indiana’s robust micro brewing industry embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of Hoosiers and the Indiana parks system is the envy of other states,” said Mark Newman, IOTD’s executive director. “It is a point of pride to have these winners, as well as the diverse set of nominees that made up the categories, in our state.”
With nearly 100 microbreweries throughout Indiana, the Hoosier State is in the midst of a beer boom. Twenty-two fall-themed brews were nominated in this category. Indiana’s Best Fall Beer is Sinister Double IPA from 18th Street Brewery in Gary. The Best Fall Beer category was the most competitive of the three and saw the highest voter participation, showing Hoosiers love Indiana-brewed beer. 18th Street Brewery only bottles Sinister Double IPA once a year, giving Hoosiers yet another reason to look forward to fall. 3 Floyds’ (Munster) Munsterfest and Iechyd Da Brewing Company’s (Elkhart) Breakfast Cookies Milk Stout rounded out the top three vote getters.
Indiana abounds with natural beauty and offers camping opportunities diverse enough to accommodate all experiences; from “glamping” to reliving the rustic days of the pioneers. Voters selected the camping options at Brown County State Park as Indiana’s Best Fall Camping Adventure. Home to some of the most challenging bike trails in North America, Brown County State Park is nationally-known for its fall beauty. There are few better locations in the Hoosier state to experience autumn’s brilliant displays of color than this southern Indiana destination. Also finishing in the top three were Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort in Santa Claus and Turkey Run State Park in Parke County.
Creepy Carnival Haunted House at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis takes the prize as Indiana’s Best Haunted Attraction. In its 51st year, the Creepy Carnival offers varying levels of fright for children of all ages, from a “lights on” option for younger kids to the “extreme scream” for older kids and adults. The Creepy Carnival attracts over 50,000 visitors annually and is now Indiana’s Best Haunted Attraction. Seymour’s Fear Fair and Halloween Weekends at Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort were also in the top three.
Nominees for Best Fall Beer, Best Fall Camping Adventure and Best Haunted Attraction were recommended by members of Indiana’s travel, tourism and hospitality industry with final selections made by IOTD. The competition began in early September and the public could vote for up to five nominees in each category. Public participation in this year’s competition far exceeded last year’s. VisitIndianaFall.com is a companion site to the recently-redesigned VisitIndiana.com, the official state travel website where discounts, trip ideas and helpful tips are easily accessible.
Tourism is big business in Indiana. An economic impact report released in December 2013 shows the travel, tourism and hospitality industry is the sixth largest industry in the state (excluding government), is directly responsible for nearly 140,000 jobs, generates over $2.1 billion in tax receipts and contributes over $10 billion in revenue to Indiana businesses. The recently-launched Honest-to-Goodness Indiana brand campaign aims to further elevate the undertold stories of Indiana’s destinations, assets and attractions.
Indiana Office of Tourism Development
Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann oversees the Indiana Office of Tourism Development. Mark Newman serves as the agency's executive director. IOTD is dedicated to enhancing the economic vitality of Indiana through leadership and resource support to the Indiana travel industry for awareness-building, product development and job creation.