So, did I like Fort Wayne in Indiana? You bet. I would say I liked it even more than I did Indianapolis. Officially, now it’s my favorite place in Indiana.

Given that it’s only an hour away from O’Hare airport, it’s a shame that it’s not visited by more people from the neighboring states.

Here are my takeaways:

  1. Fly to Fort Wayne, don’t drive. You will get there in about the same amount of time (3 hours and change) given the long security lines at O’Hare but if you arrive well in advance you can save yourself the aggravation.
  2. Plan on spending at least two full days. If you fly in on Friday stay there until Monday morning – there’s just so much to see and do.
  3. Plan in advance – as I said – there are so many things to see so you’ll need to prioritize. If you’re with kids – the zoo might be perfect for you but not the Comedy club (no kids allowed). If you’re into the nightlife and not so much into sightseeing – plan accordingly
  4. Book a room in downtown Fort Wayne. The main things you want to see are in that area. You won’t even need a car to get around.
  5. Prepare not to be charged an arm and leg for every little thing. Coming from Chicago that’s a nice surprise, meaning you can experience more even on a tight budget.
  6. Depending on the season wear appropriate clothes – it’s cold in the winter and hot and humid in the summer.
  7. Arrive with an open mind – don’t come with preconceived notions, just enjoy the experience, you’ll have time to reflect on it later in when you’re back home.

Fort Wayne for me personally was a way to get out of Chicago for a weekend. I didn’t expect much but I ended up liking it a lot. It got me thinking – if there’s such a hidden gem an hour away, maybe there are more in the Midwest and it’s up to me to discover them. Needless to say, I’m checking out Trip Advisor more often now.