With summer just a few weeks away, now’s the perfect time to add new places to your Hoosier bucket lists. Electric Consumer readers have been providing their picks of places to check out since we announced in March that our “Readers’ Choice Awards” would be back.
After sharing their favorites in four categories — Best Fried Chicken, Best Antique Store, Best Girls’ Getaway and Best Guys’ Getaway — they cast their votes in the most competitive categories: Famous Hoosier and Claim to Fame (which could literally be anything: what defines being a Hoosier, what makes our state unique, a renowned place or event, etc.).
Did your favorites match up to other readers’ picks? Check out below to see what … or who … has been chosen as this year’s Best of Indiana.
BEST FRIED CHICKEN
The Chicken House
7180 Highway 111
Sellersburg, Indiana 47172
The Chicken House’s no-nonsense, no-frills name pretty much sums up why folks flock to this old white building off St. Joe’s Road in Sellersburg: its fried chicken.
Oh, there’s other stuff on the menu — pork chops, steak, ham, oysters, fish and shrimp — but chicken is the star attraction (although the homemade yeast rolls are fan favorites in their supporting roles).
Restaurant regulars liken this home-cooking haven to the “Cheers” bar from the TV show “where everybody knows your name.” As that family-friendly vibe suggests, there’s no need to get fancied-up before heading to dinner at The Chicken House. Just bring an “A game” appetite. The generous dinners include salad, potato, two veggies and a roll.
Since everything is cooked to order, expect a bit of a wait. You’ll have plenty of time to chat with other patrons, enjoy an ice cold beer, and get psyched up for some crispy, tender chicken, just like Electric Consumer readers like it. And, if you like a deal, bring a hungry friend with you to dinner. The Chicken House has a “Buy one, get one half off” special on chicken dinners, Monday-Thursday from 4-7:30 pm and Friday-Saturday, 4-9 pm.
BEST ANTIQUE STORE
Red Barn Antique Mall
215 Highway 62 W.
Corydon, IN 47112
The painted signage on the Red Barn Antique Mall mimics those Mail Pouch Tobacco barns of yesteryear— right down to the tag line: “Treat Yourself to the Best.”
The best is, in fact, what antique lovers will find in this huge browsers’ paradise on Highway 62 in Corydon. No matter what you’re searching for, there will surely be something you can add to your collection: furniture, quilts, embroidered linens, glassware, books, baskets, jewelry and so much more, all on three floors.
Collectors of regional goodies like Corydon’s own Zimmerman Art Glass, M.A. Hadley pottery, Louisville Stoneware and Kentucky Derby glasses will want to check out the selection at the Red Barn. Paintings and handcrafted items from local artisans are also available at the mall.
Red Barn is open seven days a week. Keep an eye out for the store’s lovable kitty mascot who can usually be found nestled on a quilt or blanket, waiting to be petted.
BEST GIRLS’ GETAWAY
French Lick Resorts
Last year’s Readers’ Choice for Best Weekend Getaway is this year’s pick for Best Getaway for gal pals.
The historic and luxurious French Lick Resorts offer everything a girl could want: beautiful, comfortable rooms; fine food; activities like golf and gambling; and two full-service spas at its two hotels: the West Baden Springs Hotel and the French Lick Springs Hotel. Those in need of intensive pampering can choose from an extensive menu of spa services like facials, manicures, pedicures, scrubs, wraps, massages and French Lick’s famous mineral baths.
Once you’re sufficiently destressed, travel by trolley between hotels or just wander the grounds and take in the scenery. Or, visit the area’s quaint shops, antique stores and wineries.
BEST GUYS’ GETAWAY
You can lead a guy to water … and when you do, according to Electric Consumer readers, he’ll be sure to cast his fishing pole.
Our readers’ top pick for a guys’ trip was to one of Indiana’s many lakes to go fishing. Patoka Lake, spread across Dubois, Crawford and Orange counties in southern Indiana, was the favorite fishing spot. Indiana’s second largest lake at 8,800 acres is a prime spot to catch bass, stripers, sunfish, catfish and crappie.
Lake Monroe, the state’s largest lake, is home to carp, catfish, bass, crappie and walleye; West Boggs Lake, good for largemouth bass, bream, bluegill and crappie fishing; and Cecil M. Harden Lake (Raccoon Lake), home to largemouth, smallmouth and striped bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie, walleye and white bass, also received votes.
For those who have yet to catch the fishing bug, take advantage of two “Free Fishing Days” this month (June 2-3) when you don’t need a fishing license or trout/salmon stamp to fish the state’s public waters. For information on purchasing a fishing license, visit
or call 317-232-4200.
By the way, quite a few readers cast votes for French Lick Resorts, which was named Best Girls’ Getaway. It just goes to prove, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander!
CLAIM TO FAME
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
4790 W. 16th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46222
Electric Consumer readers love the Hoosier state for so many reasons. Some liked the friendly people. Others enjoyed the State Fair or high school basketball. Farmers markets, community festivals, and the beautiful scenery were all cited for making our state special.
But most folks noted that the quintessential Hoosier experience happens each year on the day before Memorial Day on a 2.5 mile racetrack in Speedway, Indiana. The Indianapolis 500, an internationally known tradition of fast cars, famed drivers, pit stops and ladies and gentlemen starting their engines was the readers’ choice for Indiana’s claim to fame.
The 500, which just celebrated its 102nd running on May 27, draws approximately 300,000 race fans each year to the track.
Billed and (trademarked) as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” it is the largest single-day sporting event in the world. Not only that, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the world’s largest sporting facility in terms of capacity.
“Larry Legend” was the overwhelming choice for favorite Famous Hoosier, surpassing Vice President Mike Pence, John Mellencamp and James Whitcomb Riley.