Why a Visit to Fort Wayne Makes a Great Side Trip

If you’ve never considered a day trip to Fort Wayne, Indiana, then you’re certainly missing out. Tourism in Indiana is on the rise, especially with the majority of Hoosiers staying close to home this summer. With Fort Wayne near many of the country’s favorite cities, you only need a day to explore this charming little metropolis

Location is Key for Day Trips

When planning the perfect day trip, you must consider location and distance, amongst other things. You want your excursion to be far enough away to feel like an actual break, yet close enough to not necessitate an overnight stay. Thanks to its place in Northeast Indiana, Fort Wayne is set in an ideal position close to three major cities: Chicago, Indianapolis, and Detroit. It’s also within driving distance from Toledo and Colombus.

If you find yourself in any of the cities listed above, you can easily visit Fort Wayne for an excellent day trip. It’s just three hours from both Chicago and Detroit, and two from Indianapolis. Further, it’s only under two hours from Toledo, and under three from Columbus.

Little City By Day, Big City By Night

Chicago is a national hotspot for tourism, setting a record of nearly 58 million visitors in 2018. Due to current global circumstances, tourism will look very different this year. But if you live in Chicago or find yourself in the area, you can easily rent a car or drive to Fort Wayne to take a break from the crowds and pollution.

Tourism in Indiana isn’t setting records like Chicago, but it’s undoubtedly earning its badge of honor with exciting cities scattered across the state. Exploring charming Fort Wayne is a great way to spend a day away from the likes of Chicago, Detroit, or Indianapolis. But don’t worry, you’ll be back under the big city lights by nightfall.

What to Do in Fort Wayne

Believe it or not, there’s a lot to see and do in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Its varied history has left influences from French, Native American, and European cultures, including an old trading post worth a visit. The city sits at the confluence of three rivers, making it a strategic location throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. 


Good food is the motivation behind many great day trips, and Fort Wayne is no exception. The city is most famous for its Coney-Island-inspired hot dogs and old-time diners, but you’ll find upscale eateries. 

Lounge & Sport

With three rivers running through the city, it’s the perfect place to lounge. There are numerous parks to keep you safely distanced, and nothing beats a summertime afternoon at a riverside park. If you start to feel restless, do as the locals do, and enjoy the rivers. You can enjoy paddleboarding, canoeing, fishing, and swimming. 

Enjoy a Festival

Although this summer won’t see as many of Fort Wayne’s famous festivals, there’s always hope for next year. If you’re staying in the big city during one of these events, then a day trip is a must! We’re talking Greekfest, Arab Fest, Germanfest, Latino Festival, St. Joe Pickle Fest, BBQ Ribfest, Brewed in the Fort, and more. Whether its culture, music, grub, or arts, Fort Wayne has a festival for it!