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Zoo, Parkview Field among ‘Best of Indiana’

Local sites top summer gotta-dos

Two of Indiana’s best attractions are in Fort Wayne, according to the just released “Best of Indiana” list.

The Fort Wayne’s Children’s Zoo and Parkview Field were the top two vote-getters for places that are a “must do” in Indiana.

The list was generated by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development in Indianapolis and is based on online votes by the public. It is the first such list for the agency.

In addition to naming the best places to visit, the list also ranked top choices for best sites for pies, ice cream shops and sandwiches.

“There are lots of great things to do in Indiana, and to be named at the top of the list is quite an honor,” said Jim Anderson, director of the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. “We work very hard to provide a great experience for the half million people that visit each year.”

In 2009, the zoo was named one of the Top 10 Best Zoos for Kids in the nation by Parents magazine. The zoo, 3411 Sherman Blvd., ranked fifth on the list.

Parkview Field, the home of the single-A TinCaps, was ranked as the No. 1 minor league baseball ballpark and the 13th best venue in all of professional sports in Stadium Journey’s Best of 2011 edition. Stadium Journey is a sports travel publication and website.

According to the most recent figures from Visit Fort Wayne, about 5.7 million people visited the Summit City last year, spending $466 million. The Visit Fort Wayne website grew by 87 percent this year with more than 1.65 million page views.

Indiana Office of Tourism Development’s list, officially called “Best of Indiana: Your Ten Favorites,” grew from the agency’s “Super 46 Sandwiches in Indiana” list, created in conjunction with this year’s Super Bowl in Indianapolis and met with enthusiasm.

The “Best of Indiana” list will grow next year, said Mark Newman, interim director of the agency.

“We plan to expand the ‘Best of Indiana’ by adding new categories in 2013,” Newman said in a written statement. “Hoosiers love to share their favorites, and this has been a great way to highlight some gems.”

The list can be found at visitindiana.com with other information, including travel discounts, trip ideas and tips.

vsade@jg.net

Favorites

Top three vote-getters for the inaugural Indiana favorites list:
Pies
1. Apple Pie, The Apple Works, Trafalgar
2. Apple Pie a la mode, Apple Hill Orchard, Bruceville
3. Sugar Cream Pie, Wick’s Pie, Winchester
Super sandwiches
1. Bratwurst, Schnitzelbank, Jasper
2. Mile High Club, Rock Cola 50s Café, Indianapolis
3. Roast Pork Po Boy, Papa Roux, Indianapolis
Ice cream shops
1. The Chief, Goshen
2. Valpo Velvet, Valparaiso
3. South Side Soda Shop, Goshen
Fall foliage spots
1. Brown County State Park, Brown County
2. Indiana Dunes State Park, Chesterton
3. Clifty Falls State Park, Madison
Summer gotta-dos
1. Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
2. Fort Wayne TinCaps at Parkview Field
3. Indiana Dunes, Chesterton
Source: Indiana Office of Tourism Development

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