Indiana Beach, Indiana

Indiana Beach, Indiana

day tripweekendIndianabeachgolffun for kidsfishingwineries/breweries/distilleriesboating/water sports

Young visitors ride The Scrambler at Indiana Beach Amusement Park in Monticello, Indiana
Young visitors ride The Scrambler at Indiana Beach Amusement Park in Monticello, Indiana. Photo by Erica Gunderson
Indiana Beach, Indiana

The ad doesn’t lie: there really is more than corn – and even roller coasters – in and around the Indiana Beach Amusement Park in Monticello, Indiana. The public is welcome at the Tippecanoe Country Club’s 18-hole golf course. Speedboats and pontoons can be rented; fishing also is popular on Lake Shafer. And an array of Hoosier-made wine, beer, and spirits can be enjoyed at the Kopacetic Beer Factory.

But the largest draw is inarguably the Indiana Beach Amusement & Water Park Resort. The park traces its history back to the 1920s when a dam built on the Tippecanoe River created the twin lakes of Lake Shafer and Lake Freeman. A buyer of the newly formed lakefront property had a dream: to build a beach right there in central Indiana and charge people to swim.

The Cornball Express roller coaster
three scoops of ice cream rolled in cotton candy
Left: The Cornball Express is one of three wooden roller coasters at the Indiana Beach Amusement Park in Monticello, Indiana. Right: A “unicorn roll-up,” consisting of three scoops of ice cream rolled in cotton candy, at Indiana Beach Amusement Park. Photos by Erica Gunderson

Today, that park features a concert venue, six roller coasters, a water park, and two large campgrounds, among other amusements. It also features a mascot – IB [Indiana Beach] Crow – which introduced many Chicagoans to the park in the mid-‘80s with a massive marketing campaign that proclaimed, “There’s More Than Corn in Indiana!”

It’s a jingle that appears to have had staying power. Today, Indiana Beach claims to be the largest amusement and vacation playground in the state of Indiana, and the park’s owners say it draws nearly 750,000 visitors every year.