Don’t have a lot of time, but you want to get away? Head to the quaint, historic town of Nashville, In. Centrally located in the middle of the state, Nashville in Brown County is a short drive from Louisville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and St. Louis. From its initial influx of artists from Chicago years ago, Nashville continues to be a haven where creativity shines and the finest craftsmanship prevails. While shops and galleries are plentiful, Nashville is also perfect for outdoorsmen. Hiking, biking, golf, zip-lining and kayaking are only minutes away. If you’re dropping off your college student at Indiana University, the Bloomington campus is nearby. And if you enjoy music festivals, the legendary Bill Monroe Music Park is just outside of town.
Brown County is rich in history dating back to its establishment in 1836. The Brown County Historical Society maintains the authentic Pioneer Museum and Village in downtown Nashville which is open on weekends, May thru October. To hear about the history and fun places to frequent during your stay, visitors can board the Nashville Express at Fearrin’s Ice Cream Depot and take a 20 minute, informative ride. Tickets are only $5 for adults, free for kids, plus you will receive $30 in discount coupons.
Brown County offers accommodations for any group. From cabins and lodges in the state park to inns, B&Bs and hotels in town, the area aims to please everyone. On a recent trip to Nashville, I knew I wanted to overnight downtown and chose the Cornerstone Inn. Conveniently located within walking distance to everything, I was happy to park the car, unload my bag, and not get back in the car until leaving town. By talking with the pleasant, knowledgeable staff, I not only learned about the Inn, but also the town and surrounding area. I stayed in one of the Upper Rooms separate from the main building. A delicious full breakfast was included along with afternoon snacks and evening desserts.
Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Cornerstone Inn is the perfect getaway for church groups, quilting and scrapbooking clubs, and family reunions. Several choices of meeting space are available depending on the size of the group. After the addition of three cottages in 2009, Innkeepers Pam and Bruce Gould opened Tudie’s cottage with a separate loft apartment. Another house, Cabin 360, at the north end of town is also available to reserve. With so many choices, Cornerstone Inn provides accommodations to fit everyone’s needs.
Nashville’s walking town offers shops full of one-of-a-kind crafts by local artists and favorite established eateries. While returning guests frequent their favorite restaurants such as the Nashville House and Artists Colony, new places have opened within the past year. Sweetea’s, located on the south end of town near Casa del Sol, opened in May. Owner Laura Boyer, who had been returning each year for vacation, decided to bring something new to Nashville. Sweetea’s, adorably decorated with tea cup lights, offers a peaceful, friendly setting. Featuring over 50 teas, lunch and sweet treats are served, including gluten free cookies. Her tasting bar helps you narrow down your choice for that perfect cup of tea. A variety of tea accessories are also available for purchase.
Nashville and the surrounding area welcome a variety of music and theatre. For blues fans, Bill Monroe Music Park just north of Nashville is hosting the biggest jam fest in the Midwest this weekend. Gates open at 9 a.m. on Thursday, August 22, and bands play on the main stage on Friday and Saturday. Live entertainment may be found in Nashville at The Daily Grind, Out of the Ordinary, and Mike’s Music and Dance Barn. The Brown County Playhouse offers plays and movies throughout the year.
Brown County State Park, the largest of Indiana’s state parks, is well known for its hiking trails, picturesque views and offers the second highest elevation point in Indiana. Within its 16,000 acres, mountain biking has gained popularity in the past several years. Named as one of the “Best Bike Fests” by Outside Magazine, the 9th Annual Brown County Breakdown will be held this year on September 27 thru 29. Brown County State Park also offers swimming, camping and horseback riding. Reservations for lodging within the park may be made at the Abe Martin Lodge which has a full service restaurant and aquatic center.
Peak time in Brown County is in the fall and reservations should be made well in advance. Although shops may stay open a little later than summer hours, don’t expect places to be rocking all night. Nashville by every measure upholds its image as the “peaceful and relaxing” getaway.