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What makes Indiana unique? Lake Michigan, Indy 500, affordable housing

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A few weeks ago I shared a letter from a third grader in Virginia who wanted to know what makes Indiana so unique. Many of you responded with a mix of practical and heartfelt messages about why you chose Indiana as your home state.

Responses focused on Indiana's natural beauty, affordability, and of course the Indianapolis 500. Here's a sample of your reasons for being Hoosiers:

Marsha Hubbs: “There are many wonderful state parks with so much to do. Brown County State Park in southern Indiana offers views that can amaze people from other states, especially in the fall with its colorful trees. The quaint town of Nashville is right next to the park and is a joy to browse the many shops and restaurants.

“But what is most known about our state and our capital, Indy, around the world is the Indianapolis 500. As a young girl, I have taken part in qualifiers, races and events so far and will always continue to do so. It is in my blood to experience racing in every way possible!”

Rick Jones: “The Indianapolis 500 has been around for over 100 years and remains the largest one-day sporting event in the world.”

Vince Braun: “I have enjoyed the urban life of our capital, Indianapolis, as well as some of our rural cities and counties. That's the magic of a state like Indiana. We can leave the city within an hour or so, or the farmland, and be at the opposite location.

Tim Micheli: “We have Lake Michigan, which resembles an ocean with its large sandy beaches and dunes. The lake is so big that you can't see the other side. Lake Michigan is salt and shark free. People come from all over the world.” Check out our fall colors and the dunes of Lake Michigan.

Kemma: “We moved from Connecticut to Indiana in 2017. I was born in Connecticut and lived there for over 40 years before deciding to move to Indiana with my husband and children. We looked at every single state in the US to see what it would cost.” We live there and chose Indiana because we could afford to buy a house and pay all our bills. And because Indiana has no mountains and so much farmland, we have the most beautiful skies, especially at sunrise and sunset.”

Mark Kolbus and Eleanor Kolbus, owners, Taste of Indiana: “The breaded pork tenderloin is the official state sandwich of Indiana, and sugar cream pie is the official state pie. St. Elmo Steakhouse has been in Indianapolis since 1902, serving delicious steaks and their famous shrimp cocktail with a sauce so spicy it'll make your eyes water and your nose run! Indiana is the fifth largest corn producer in the United States. We have several companies that make delicious popcorn!”

Susan G Barhan: “Here in Indy we have the best children’s museum in the world. … People here are usually friendly, especially when it’s not an election year.”

Georgia Miller: “People in line at the supermarket talk to each other even though they are strangers.”

Kevin Powell: “Indianapolis can offer you as much as any city in America without you having to worry about it. It’s easy to live in Indiana, stress-free and quiet.”

Contact James Briggs at 317-444-4732 or [email protected]. Keep following him X and threads at @JamesEBriggs.

Anna Harden

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