Lake Getaways Without The Crowds
Patoka Lake trip guide: What to do
For more information or to plan your trip, contact Visit Dubois County (800/968-4578; visitduboiscounty.com).
French Lick Resort Golf courses designed by Hoosier native Pete Dye, big-name concerts and a spa offer upscale places to play 16 miles northeast of Patoka Lake (888/936-9360; frenchlick.com).
French Lick West Baden Museum Photographs, letters and artwork reveal the towns' history. The museum, which opened in 2011 but is slated to move this summer, also has a huge diorama depicting a 1920s circus down to the smallest detail (812/936-3592).
Hinshaw Rock 'n Gems Southeast of French Lick, a humble showroom houses handmade jewelry crafted with stunning polished stones and silver (812/936-7255; hinshawrockngems.com).
Huntingburg A cute downtown holds more than a dozen boutiques and restaurants in carefully preserved historical buildings, 25 miles southwest of Patoka Lake (888/491-3875; visitduboiscounty.com).
Jasper A historic courthouse anchors a town square that bustles during Strassenfest, a German heritage festival running August 2 - 5, 2012. In between bands, beers, brats and pretzels, stop into Just Whimsy for cute handbags, accessories and fashions; Indigo Roots for upcycled home decor and artwork; Finishing Touches for classy scarves and gifts; and Chocolate Bliss for truffles and Tell City Pretzels (888/491-3875; visitduboiscounty.com).
Marengo Cave Fascinating tours wind through gorgeous underground rock formations daily (22 miles east of Patoka Lake) (888/702-2837; marengocave.com).
Patoka Lake Marina Rent pontoons and houseboats to get out on the water, or just pack a picnic and head to the sandy beach at Patoka Lake State Recreation Area for great swimming (888/819-6916; patokalakemarina.com).
Pictured: Shoppers explore Jasper's town square.