Indiana's tourism industry directly employs 155,000 Hoosier and supports 202,000 jobs statewide, according to the Indiana Office of Tourism Development. Between lodging, food and beverage, shopping, transportation, entertainment and recreational spending, tourism in the state generates $11.5 billion. For those looking for summertime fun, think about staying local. Not only does staying local help support the economy, but it also saves time and money.

Hamilton County offers a range of fun-filled activities. Just this week, Meals from the Market will be featuring a farm-to-table meal with local music and art. This event highlights produce, meat and goods from vendors who are often at the Saturday Farmers Market. Meals from the Market occurs every-other Thursday through September, and there are a limited number of tickets that can be purchased online at

Also offered by Noblesville Main Street is Music And All That Jazz, which are shows featuring various musical artists. These performances take place at the beautiful historic courthouse square from 7-9 p.m. on July 7, July 21, Aug. 4, Aug. 18 and Sept. 1.

Hamilton County is home to 500 miles of trails, 62 parks, two lakes and various access points to the White River. Strawtown Koteewi Park is very unique, with an archery range, self-guided aerial trail course where visitors can zip line through the treetops, and archaeology exhibit. Whether camping, hiking, horseback riding or heading out to Morse Beach, adventure can be found in our community. Information about all of the fun activities offered locally can be found online

Summer getaways outside of Hamilton County include trips to the dunes in Northwest Indiana, Amish Acres Historic Farm & Heritage Resort in Nappanee, and camping in Brown County. Surprisingly, elephants and giraffes can be found roaming Wilstem Ranch near French Lick. For those who want to combine learning with fun, consider taking a Hoosier Heritage Road Trip, starting at the Tippecanoe Battlefield Museum Park and ending at the Falls of the Ohio State Park, with stops at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial and Corydon Capitol State Historic Site along the way. If visiting Indianapolis, consider enjoying a trip to an Indian's baseball game, the zoo or children's museum.

More information about these and other exciting getaways can be found online at Free copies of the Indiana Festival Guide, 2017 Travel Guide and other travel publications can also be downloaded or ordered from this site or by calling 800-677-9800.

Hamilton County and Indiana has a lot to explore, and summer is a great time to get out and see everything our county and state has to offer. Have fun, stay safe and enjoy the warm weather and longer days. I look forward to seeing you over the summer at many of these events!

Kathy Kreag Richardson is a Republican State Representative from District 29, which includes Noblesville, and has served in the legislature since 1992. She also is the elections administrator for Hamilton County. You may contact her at