We love our neighbors, and we love working with them to create awesome regional experiences for our visitors. We’ve come together with our neighboring communities to find similarities, and from that our regional artisan and heritage trails were born. These trails provide a thematic trip idea that can last a few days, perfect for a long weekend or a quick weekday escape. Explore the arts and culture of this region: you’ll find similarities along the route, but also some unique experiences in each community.
Located in the rolling hills of Southern Indiana is Highway 46, a winding two-lane highway which connects three distinctly different communities. Yet each has an abundance of arts, including designated cultural districts. Visitors to the trail will find stunning arts and architecture, flavorful cuisine, and breathtaking vistas, all along a 40-mile stretch of scenic highway known as ArtsRoad 46.
The wide variety of arts and artists in Bloomington is amazing! There are thousands of live music and theater performances on campus and throughout the city all year long, at venues that range from grand to intimate. Local and national artists are displayed at the dozens of galleries and events. There's such an emphasis on art, you can find it on nearly every street corner from major public art pieces to decorated electrical boxes. And of course there are numerous art fairs taking place all year long. This is a city where art is part of everyday life, but also a reason to have a great celebration.
Indiana Glass Trail
The Indiana Glass Trail is a showcase for talented Hoosier artisans who create works of glass art using various methods and skills that few possess. The Trail connects nearly 20 counties in which the tradition and history of glass arts can be experienced first-hand. Studios, galleries, and museums, as well as glass-focused festivals and workshops, are located throughout the communities along the Trail.
In the Bloomington area, the Bloomington Creative Glass Center puts on several events (including the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch and the Artisan Guilds of Bloomington Holiday Show) as well as regular classes. Many of the local artists are part of the Bloomington Glass Guild (the only glass guild in the state) as well, and show their art regularly at local fairs and galleries.
Indiana Limestone Heritage Trail
Experience the history, artistry, industry, and architecture of Indiana limestone by traveling the Indiana Limestone Heritage Trail. The trail features numerous limestone-related sites, from quarry holes to abandoned mills, art sculptures to magnificent buildings. All of these fall along this 35-mile long, 10-mile wide deposit of limestone called the Salem Belt that runs through Monroe and Lawrence counties.
In Bloomington and Monroe County, limestone is the foundation for our community, quite literally. Most major buildings feature limestone as a primary component, especially those on the IU campus. The industry is still vibrant in Bloomington, with working quarries and mills scattered through the county. Limestone also connects with the arts, with many public art pieces featuring Indiana Limestone and made by local artists. There are many ways to explore limestone in the Bloomington area, from casual observing to formalized tours (particularly in June, during Limestone Month.)