State officials have created a culinary tourism program that points foodies toward hundreds of small businesses along 21 distinctive trails across the state.
The Indiana Culinary Trails program also includes a digital “passport” that allows participants to receive rewards for visiting different establishments across the state, as well as deals and discounts from the venues.
The program is a product of a collaboration between Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, the Indiana Destination Development Corp. and the Indiana Foodways Alliance.
Examples of culinary trails include “Between the Buns Burger Trail,” which includes notable burger and sandwich options from Indiana small businesses. Other trails range from seafood restaurants to coffee shops.
The online tool allows participants to log their visits on their smartphones and get credit for prizes. Visiting 30 locations will award participants a custom pie server, while 60 and 90 locations will reap a tumbler and a hat.
“The restaurants that make up these trails are family-owned small businesses that play a major role in rural America,” Crouch said in a written statement. “This passport program will help these 250-plus establishments thrive and continue to be a part of the heritage and culture of their communities.”
In addition to the prizes, seasonal drawings will take place throughout the year. The first drawing will take place during the Indiana State Fair between July 30 and Aug. 22. Anyone who signs up for the passport or checks into a participating location will be entered to win a package from the Blue Gate in Shipshewana that includes dinner, tickets to a Blue Gate Musical, a carriage/buggy ride and one suite-level or two basic rooms at the Blue Gate Garden Inn.
The second planned drawing will be a winter giveaway for a French Lick getaway that includes an overnight stay at the French Lick Resort.
To sign up for the digital passport, go to VisitIndiana.com/Cuisine.