A few years after Eliel Saarinen designed the new First Christian Church (in 1942), son Eero designed a modern glass bank building. Soon, architects and artists were flocking to Columbus (population: 44,000). Architectural tours are the main draw.
Eliel Saarinen's First Christian Church and Henry Moore's Large Arch sculpture. Photo courtesy of Columbus Area Visitors Center.
The Bartholomew County Courthouse is on the Columbus Architecture Tour.
The Inn at Irwin Gardens.
What to do
Architecture tours A free self-guided tour covers more than 70 works including public art. Grab a map at the Columbus Area Visitors Center, which offers guided bus tours for a fee. (800) 468-6564; columbus.in.us
Where to eat
Bistro 310 Housed in a parking garage, this high-end restaurant has a French-influenced menu. Try the seasonal crème brûlée. See reviews and ratings. (812) 418-8212; bistro310.com
Zaharakos Though you’ll find some sandwiches, the atmosphere and the ice cream are the real attractions: The parlor has a restored 40-foot-long marble counter with a double soda fountain. See reviews and ratings. (812) 378-1900; zaharakos.com
Where to stay
Hotel Indigo Midcentury modern touches show in the furniture, artwork and color scheme at this 85-room hotel. Rooms are gorgeous, with hardwood floors. From $119. See reviews and ratings. (812) 375-9100; hotelindigo.com 
The Inn at Irwin Gardens An early-20th-century Italianate-style inn features the original furnishings and sunken gardens built to resemble the ruins of Pompeii. With luxurious rooms and hearty breakfasts, it’s a treat. From $225. See reviews and ratings. (812) 376-3663; irwingardens.com
For information: Columbus Area Visitors Center (800) 468-6564; columbus.in.us