Brown County is located in central Indiana about halfway between Louisville and Indianapolis and if you’ve never heard of it, it’s because the area is not very exciting. Then why would you want to go you ask? Because it’s relaxing. You won’t find an amusement park, or a children’s museum, or a mall. What you will find is a great weekend enjoying nature and spending time with your family. It’s no wonder Smithsonian Magazine named Nashville, IN as one of the top 20 small towns to visit in the U.S.
There are lodging options that range from hotels to cabins, but you don’t find one on every corner. This place is small-town. We stayed at The Abe Martin Lodge which is actually located in Brown County State Park. The Main Lodge, which it looks like a rustic cabin, was built in 1932 of hand-hewn native stone and oak timber cut in the park. The lodge also has smaller stand-alone cabins that you can rent for very reasonable prices. There is a really nice indoor pool area with a large twisty slide and hot tub. The restaurant serves up a great breakfast and don’t miss out on the fried chicken or catfish dinner!
The best part about the Abe Martin Lodge are the surroundings. Out back there is a large veranda and backyard. You can see people milling about after dinner reading, throwing Frisbee or taking an evening stroll. There are hiking trails around the lodge, perfect for a leisurely hike at your own speed. On our after dinner hike we were fortunate enough to see a few deer. Why they didn’t run off in the face of my loud children, I’ll never know! My kids had a great time, leaving the path a little to explore and really enjoy nature.
There are several places to ride horses in the area and if you visit Brown County you should ride. We went to Schooner Valley Riding Stables. We arrived a little early so we just hung around and watched the cowboy who runs the show, Luke. I really, really liked watching Luke . . . . really. Good looks aside, he was a nice guy. As he was working, my kids asked him a million questions about horses, helped him give the horses treats, played with his dog, and generally talked the guys arm off.
You will want to go into town and shop. There are a lot of little shops you can just walk around and enjoy. Nothing real commercial, just a lot of mom and pop stores, candle shops, woodworking crafts, Christmas ornaments, etc. Granny’s Christmas & Gift Shop was my favorite!
There are several good restaurants downtown as well. One night we got a pizza from Big Wood Pizza Co. and took it back to the lodge to eat. I would recommend it for sure. Probably the most well-known restaurant in town is the Hobnob Corner Restaurant. I am disappointed to say we didn’t eat there because there was a long wait and my kids were hungry. I tell you this place looks amazing and has come highly recommended by my friends, so pack some snacks and get there before your kids are on the verge of a hunger meltdown.
Enjoy your weekend!