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The Great Tenderloin Debate

Jun 30, 2016 by Kate Burkhardt

Nickel Plate Bar & GrillIf there are three things Hoosiers love, it’s basketball, beer and the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. The latter is a hot topic this time of year, as Hamilton County’s annual Tenderloin Tuesdays promotion puts local restaurants in the lunch plans of those craving the sandwich during the month of July.

The tenderloin is a topic of heated debate, however, in two categories: where is the best place to order and what is the best way to tackle the enormous sandwich?

If you have yet to declare a favorite restaurant, we have some suggestions. While all of the restaurants on the Tenderloin Trail are fabulous, two Hamilton County restaurants recently made USA TODAY's list of 10 Best Breaded Pork Tenderloins in Indiana: Nickel Plate Bar and Grill and C.R. Heroes Family Pub, both in Fishers. Dooley O’Tooles in Carmel and Courtney’s Kitchen in Noblesville are top sellers during Tenderloin Tuesdays every year. Newcomer Grand Junction Brewing Company in Westfield is also a favorite for many local tenderloin aficionados.

In terms of how to tackle a tenderloin, we conducted some informal research a few years ago, tweeting the open-ended question, how do YOU eat your tenderloin? Tenderloin

The categories that emerged included:

The Edgers – those who prefer to eat the part of the tenderloin that hangs off the side of the bun first
The Double Stackers – those who cut or fold the tenderloin in half on the bun in order to get double the meat in each bite
The Go-getters – those who just go for it, no premeditation needed!

In the spirit of democracy, we tallied the votes of the people who shared:

35% of respondents double stack their tenderloin
29% just go for it
18% eat around the edges first
11% say it depends

In anticipation of Tenderloin Tuesdays through July 26, we want to hear from you. Where is your favorite place to order a tenderloin? Are there any methods not represented? Tag @VisitHamiltonCo on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram along with #TenderloinTuesday and give us your feedback!


Tenderloin Tuesday


Fourth of July Festivities in Hamilton County

Jun 30, 2016 by Luis Ruvalcaba

This weekend marks the 200th time Indiana has celebrated the nation’s independence as a card-carrying state of the union.  As such, it's incredibly important that you do it up right this year.  Hamilton County knows Independence Day better than anyone else in the state, and we have the celebrations to prove it.  Check out these favorites!

Westfield Rocks the 4th

Westfield Rocks the Fourth
July 4, 4-10 p.m.

This festival takes place at Westfield’s very own Grand Park. Promising fun for the whole family, fabulous entertainment, food and fireworks, this is Westfield Parks’ biggest event of the year! Check it out as Westfield lays it all on the line to celebrate our nation’s birthday.


Carmel Fest
July 3 -4

In downtown Carmel, this gigantic street fair boasts games, music, food and booths! With a talent show and fire works, this Hamilton County classic is sure to be fun for the whole family.


Saxony Independence Celebration Concert and Fireworks
July 3

This relatively new Fishers celebration is great for families looking to see fireworks and festivities without all the rush and crowds you will find at the larger celebrations.  Bring the whole family (even your fur babies!) and enjoy some food truck specialties.  Fireworks begin around 10 p.m.


Lights Over Morse Lake Festival
July 2 - 4

This family-friendly festival takes place around the gorgeous backdrop of Morse Reservoir.  In addition to all the games, rides and balloon animals you could ever want, check out the talent show and the zip lines before settling in to watch fireworks over the water. Reflections make for an excellent finale!

 Glorious Fourth

Glorious Fourth at Conner Prairie
July 4

Starting at 10 a.m., this festival takes you back to the 1800’s to celebrate prairie style! Fiddle players, militia drills, dancing, Muster Day cakes and the reading of the Declaration of Independence at 1:30 p.m. make this a day to really teach your kids about the “reason for the season."


Noblesville Fireworks Festival
July 4

We have it on good authority that “epic awesomeness will ensue with fun for all ages!”  This hometown favorite starts with a parade at 5 p.m. through downtown Noblesville and continues with a festival featuring Dave and Rae until fireworks close it out at 10 p.m.

 Blast on the Bridge

Blast on the Bridge at Fall Creek Bridge  
July 4

Starting at 5 p.m., come check out this awesome mix of historic covered bridge charm and modern food truck cuisine.  Fireworks will begin when the sun goes down, but face painting happens all night!

Did we miss your celebration? Are you celebrating with an epic camping trip or personal fireworks display? Share with us using #VisitHC! Happy birthday, America!

Hamilton County Happenings - June 29

Jun 29, 2016 by Hamilton County Tourism

Celebrate America’s birthday with fireworks, festivals, outdoor concerts and more around Hamilton County. Be sure to check out our online calendar for even more Hamilton County happenings!

Kenny Chesney  Kenny Chesney at Klipsch Music Center
June 30
Noblesville, Indiana

Country singer Kenny Chesney takes the stage with Old Dominion for his Spread the Love tour. For the ultimate VIP experience, purchase tickets to the brand new Supper Club, featuring dishes prepared by local chefs. 
 Treetop Outpost Grand Opening of Treetop Outpost at Conner Prairie
July 1
Fishers, Indiana

Conner Prairie members will be the first to see the new Treetop Outpost, a 6,000-square-foot experience area that features a four-story treehouse as its centerpiece. Come early (9-10am) when the entire park opens to members only to climb, explore and discover this exciting new addition to our backyard.
 First Friday First Fridays at Nickel Plate Arts
July 1
Noblesville, Indiana

Nourish your appetite for local culture during First Friday at Nickel Plate Arts! These once-a-month events are packed with essential arts nutrients and stuff to make you happy inside and out. Expect to see and hear local musicians and/or actors performing on campus, and then try your hand at the arts by participating in an activity inspired by the month’s featured exhibit.
 Koteewi Koteewi Aerial Adventure Treetop Trails Opens
July 2
Noblesville, Indiana

Climb to new heights this summer at one of Hamilton County’s newest treetop experience. Book your adventure now at
 CarmelFest CarmelFest
July 3 - 4
Carmel, Indiana

Throughout this day and a half festival, special exhibits and events mark this over 20-year tradition and are perfect for young and old. Celebrate Independence day in Carmel with live music, arts & crafts, a parade, fireworks, and many types of vendors!  There will also be an evening performance by the Carmel Symphony Orchestra.
Noblesville July 4th
4th of July Parade & Fireworks Festival
July 4
Noblesville, Indiana

The parade begins at 5 p.m.! Immediately after the parade, the free Fireworks Festival will take place on the grounds of Noblesville High School from 6 to 10 p.m. There will be children's activities, live music, animal shows, a mini race car simulator; Rec2Go, an instant photo booth, and more. The grand finale of the day will be the fireworks.
 Westfield Rocks the 4th Westfield Rocks the 4th
July 4
Westfield, Indiana

Westfield Rocks the 4th is the Parks Department's biggest event of the year, and this year it’s moving to Grand Park! As always, you can expect great food, fun activities for the kids and family, live entertainment and more !The fireworks show at 10 p.m. will be the grand finale.
 Blast on the Bridge Blast on the Bridge
July 4
Fishers, Indiana 

Celebrate the Fourth of July with live music, food & drink vendors as well as fireworks!  Please note the Fall Creek Bridge will close to cars and pedestrians at 4 p.m.
 Tenderloin Tuesday Tenderloin Tuesday
July 5-July 26
Various participating Hamilton County restaurants

Celebrate the tenderloin this summer by going to a participating restaurant on Tuesdays to take advantage of their specials for this Hoosier food! Don't miss Tenderloin Tuesdays running June 28 and July 5, 12, 19, 26. View the website for specials from participating Tenderloin Trail locations.

Want to always know what Hamilton County weekend happenings are coming up? Sign up to have this list and more delivered right to your inbox.

Steely DanHeart

MusicFarmers Markets

So much summer, so little time: a guide to the perfect Hamilton County day trip

Jun 23, 2016 by Kate Burkhardt

The summer season was, at one point, associated with slowing down. But between graduations, weddings, family cookouts and summer camps it seems that summer is as busy as ever. And busyness leaves us craving a break – a getaway or escape that lets us take back the slowness that once characterized the season. But who has time for an entire weekend away?

Save time and recharge with a quick daytrip to Hamilton County, no overnight required!

Bub Holes

Start your day with a quick brunch at Bub’s Café in Carmel. Don’t forget to order the famous Bub Holes – donut holes as big as your fist! From there, hop on a Carmel Bike Share bike and go for a quick 2.5-mile pedal to the Monon Community Center Waterpark. Purchase a day pass and spend a few hours lounging on a lawn chair, practicing your surf tricks on the Flowrider or riding the lazy river.


 Tenderloin Trail

 For an authentic Hamilton County lunch, look no further than the Tenderloin Trail! If your plans bring you to Hamilton County on a Tuesday during the month of July, you’ll be just in time for Tenderloin Tuesdays. Beginning June 28 and running through July 26, find deals and discounts on the signature Hoosier sandwich at 20 restaurants throughout Hamilton County.


 Arts and Design

 After lunch, shop it off in the Arts and Design District. Enjoy the air conditioning inside several art galleries, the Indiana Design Center and Silver in the City. Once your eyes have feasted on local art, bike a few minutes north to Clay Terrace for airy summer shopping.

Nickel Plate District Amphitheater

 For your evening entertainment, find waterfront dining at Lazy FroggBella Vita or Wolfie’s and prepare to rock out! Find outdoor summer concerts every night of the week at venues like the Nickel Plate District AmphitheaterConner PrairieKlipsch Music Center and more.


Luke Bryan 

Tenderloin Tuesday 

Happy daytripping!

Cheers to Part 2 of the Hamilton County Summer Bucket List

Jun 23, 2016 by Hamilton County Tourism

Since Part 1 of our summer bucket list was such a hit, it’s now time for Part 2! Here in Hamilton County, we like to serve up the summer with a mixture of laidback summer concerts, places to splash and can’t-miss festivals and events. Pair any of these with an impeccable forecast (we enjoy highs in the 80’s all summer long) and you’ve got additions to your own bucket list in the making.

Here’s Part 2 of our summer bucket list:


Pack a picnic for Symphony on the Prairie – outdoor dining and amphitheater concerts are our bread and butter, so why not combine the two? Rent a table or bring a blanket with your favorite packable dinner to eat while enjoying tributes to David Bowie, John Williams, Billy Joel and Elton John at Symphony on the Prairie!


 Morse Beach

Splash around at Morse Park and Beach – who says Indiana doesn’t have beaches? At Morse Park and Beach, sink your toes in the sand or head for the water to climb on a playground of inflatables. Slides and climbing courses make for a beach day adventure you can’t even find in the tropics!

 Art of Wine

 Experience Art of Wine – The Carmel Arts and Design District will be teeming with oenophiles on Saturday, July 16 for Hamilton County’s biggest and best wine festival – Art of Wine. Enjoy unlimited wine tasting from 10 Indiana wineries for just $20 as well as access to art galleries, food and entertainment.

 Street Dance

Street Dance – Noblesville’s biggest event of the year returns to the historic square July 9 from 4 – 11 p.m. Ready your best moves for Street Dance as the live band takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. to play dance hits from the 70s to now. In between songs, sample eats from Noblesville restaurants and vendors. For younger dancers, the Kid’s Zone will open at 4:30 p.m. and feature free activities like a rock-climbing wall, airbrush tattoos, balloon vendors and carnival games.


 Cheers to your summer bucket list!

Hamilton County Happenings - June 22

Jun 22, 2016 by Hamilton County Tourism

Enjoy the great outdoors this week with festivals, late night events and a new one-of-a-kind treetop adventure. If all that exploring makes you hungry, grab a classic Hoosier meal along the Tenderloin Trail in celebration of #TenderloinTuesdays. Be sure to check out our online calendar for even more Hamilton County happenings!

Carmel's Late Night on Main  Carmel’s Late Night on Main
June 24
Carmel, Indiana

Join us on Main Street as we welcome mayors from all over the country visiting the Carmel Arts & Design District with a special late night street party. Live music begins at 9 p.m. and entertainment continues until midnight. Many shops, galleries and restaurants will be open late.
Fishers Freedom Festival  Fishers Freedom Festival
June 24-26
Fishers, Indiana

The annual Fishers Freedom Festival will be at the Roy G. Holland Memorial Park off Holland Drive & Ellipse Parkway in Fishers. This free event offers fine arts & crafts, food & business vendors, live music, 5K walk/run, K-9 demonstrations, children's tent, teen area, street dance, children's parade, main parade, fireworks and much more.
Symphony on the Prairie
Marsh Symphony on the Prairie: Tribute to David Bowie
June 24-25
Fishers, Indiana - Conner Prairie

Celebrated by critics, musicians and fans worldwide, David Bowie sold an estimated 140 million records and produced eleven chart-topping albums in a career that spanned over five decades. Come pay tribute to him at Symphony on the Prairie this weekend! 
Westfield Movies in the Park
Westfield Movies in the Park: Minions
June 24
Westfield, Indiana
Come out this summer with your family and friends to enjoy a free, relaxing evening under the stars to watch a good movie with good company! We encourage you to bring blankets, chairs, snacks and flashlights! Kona Ice will be selling cool treats onsite.
 Great American Campout Noblesville Parks: Great American Campout
June 25
Noblesville, Indiana

Join Noblesville Parks as we celebrate the outdoors and the National Wildlife Federation with the Great American Campout. Families will engage in programming and hikes throughout the evening then stay in tents in Forest Park.
Tenderloin Tuesday
Tenderloin Tuesday
June 28-July 26
Various participating Hamilton County restaurants

Celebrate the tenderloin this summer by going to a participating restaurant on Tuesdays to take advantage of specials for this Hoosier food! Don't miss Tenderloin Tuesdays running June 28 and July 5, 12, 19 and 26. View the website for specials from participating Tenderloin Trail locations. 

Luke Bryan


Hamilton County, Indiana MusicHamilton County, Indiana Farm Markets

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What makes Hamilton County great?

Jun 21, 2016 by Jeanine Bobenmoyer

ILuis Ruvalcaba’ve had the distinct pleasure of knowing Luis Ruvalcaba and his amazing crew for only a few short months, but already I’m smitten. If you haven’t caught his written work with Hamilton County Tourism – or even for where we met – then you’re missing out. Luis’ personality shines in everything he publishes, and his Instagram account gleams with must-do-with-the-fam suggestions. It only made sense to tap him for this week’s piece: What makes Hamilton County great? And luckily, he was full of answers.  

How often are you and your family out exploring Hamilton County? 

We’re out at least once a week. Sometimes we go out for a quick trip after work to get some photos or longer excursions on my days off to spend some time away from the house before it becomes a wreck.

If you and your family had one free afternoon to do anything, do you have a usual go-to? 

Yes. I feel like Conner Prairie is definitely our default. There’s so much there that it's basically a no-brainer. Splash pad, history, big giant balloon, arts and crafts, play ground, live animals… what's not to love really? Although when it's super duper hot out, we do spend a fair amount of time at the Fishers YMCA swimming. It’s a great pool. If anyone ends up joining the Y from this I feel like we should get a referral bonus or something!

What do you think are some of the hidden gems more people should know about? 

There is a “museum” of sorts in the Carmel Arts and Design district: The Fire Buffs museum is an old fire station run by a retired firefighter who restores old engines. It's amazing to check out with kids. It's like a touch a truck event without the lines. I also think that Strawtown Koteewi doesn't get nearly enough love. This park is just gigantic and it has so many trails, indoor nature displays and a new zip line course opening this year that you really need to get out and see.

What makes them special? 

Oh. Sorry I think I already answered that! But just in case, those are both special because they are run by people who have a genuine love of what they do. If you talk to Jim, who runs the fire museum you’ll see it in his eyes that this is really his passion and he takes great pride in it. Same with all the volunteers and staff at Koteewi. They are just really committed to the place they are building.

You meet a family brand new to Hamilton County - where do you send them first? 

Oh man. Depends on the family I guess. Forest Park is a good place to start if they don't want to be overwhelmed and just want a nice quiet afternoon. Conner Prairie is good if they are adventurous and it's not too hot. But you know where I started? I got a fishing license and took my kids to fish in the little ponds and lakes all around the place. Sitting out there in the quiet and looking at the beauty of the area really made this place feel like home. My kids would just sit there and hold a fishing pole and the look on their face when they caught some little 4” fish would just priceless. You can’t buy that kind of moment you know? My older daughter’s first catch she even named: Fish and Chips. Those little moments that you can only have out here in our neat blend of city and country are the things that make Hamilton County outstanding.

Experience the New Supper Club at Klipsch Music Center

Jun 17, 2016 by Hamilton County Tourism

Klipsch Music CenterSummer is the perfect time to enjoy an outdoor summer concert. Now you can take your experience to a new level with the Klipsch Music Center Supper Club, available at select performances this season.

Chef Jeff Smith of Georgia Reese’s and Executive Chef Tyler Herald of Patachou will head the fine dining experience, creating custom menus for each show to incorporate fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. Formats range from three-course meals to supper-by-the-bite and more. Diners can expect a full bar and handcrafted cocktails or local wine and beer pairings. Supper Club patrons also receive access to limited VIP parking.

Supper Club tickets do not include admission to the concert, which must be purchased separately.

Enjoy this enhanced concert-going experience at the following performances:

June 16: Joe Walsh and Bad Company
June 17: Dead & Company
June 18: Florida Georgia Line
June 30: Kenny Chesney
July 1: Def Leppard
July 8: Luke Bryan
July 9: Luke Bryan
July 22: Dave Matthews Band
July 23: Dave Matthews Band
July 24: Daryl Hall and John Oates
August 26: Hank Williams JR and Chris Stapleton

Swiss Family Hamilton

Jun 16, 2016 by Luis Ruvalcaba

I once heard that happiness is laying under a tree and looking at the sky through the leaves. While that sounds like time well spent, the author of those words didn't quite have it right. This summer, take some advice from the trees themselves; go out on a limb, leave your house, and climb the trees of Hamilton County. The county has no shortage of forests to frolic in, but I am going to highlight three must-see spots for this summer.

If you haven't been to Flat Fork Creek Park, you haven't been out much this year! The newest of Hamilton County's parks in Fishers, it's well known for having the best sledding in the area. Now that the sun is shining, the big hill is really just an obstacle in your way to the sweet stuff. Climb over the hill, cross the bridge, and head back into the woods to tour the three separate tree houses that line the hiking path. With their simple design, these platform "houses" allow kids and adults to engage in imaginative play. It's the perfect place to take the family for an epic game of capture the flag or just a wild walk-in nature.


As a member of Conner Prairie I am excited to tell you about this next stop. You have likely heard all about Conner Prairie's newest exhibit, Treetop Outpost, but if you haven't: listen up. Set to open in July this year, this new exhibit will feature a multi level building with natural materials, art projects and musical instruments in addition to the much anticipated nature walk. Conner Prairie is always an excellent location to take the family but with this new exhibit it's likely to interest not only the science and history buffs in your family but the hands on artsy adventurer as well. If you haven't been to Conner Prairie lately, there has bene no better time to stop by.


CP Treetop

Lastly and very possibly my favorite: Hamilton County's first treetop and zip line experience is set to open this month. The Edge Adventure Park's Koteewi Aerial Adventure Tree Top Trail will boast five different levels of treetop awesomeness. Suit up in your safety gear, get a quick lesson from your guides, and then you'll be ready to belay your way across the canopy. You can choose from a comfortable 12 foot height (good for the children) or double that for the extremists out there. If you've never been out to Koteewi you're going to want to go now. Not only does it boast some of the most amazing scenic views of our prairie home, but with the addition of new zip-lines, guests will be able to see this breath-taking view in a whole new way. And most importantly it will give us thrill seekers something new and fun close to home! Grab a group of friends and go walk among the hardwood.


Koteewi Aerial

I hope you get a chance to head out with your family or friends this summer and climb the trees! Make sure you take lots of photos and share them with us on Twitter and Instagram at @VisitHamiltonCo by tagging #VisitHC and #RecHC

Hamilton County Happenings - June 15

Jun 15, 2016 by Hamilton County Tourism

Get in touch with nature, enjoy performances and art exhibits or a unique dining experience. Read on for family fun ideas and find even more festivals and events on our online calendar. Be sure to check out our online calendar for even more Hamilton County happenings.

Nature Play Days
Nature Play Days
June 11–19
Throughout Hamilton County

Jump start a summer of outdoor fun! Activities and games or unstructured nature play are a great way to connect as a family, team, congregation, or class and reap the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of time spent outdoors.
Prairie Plates
Prairie Plates: Petite Chou Bistro and Champagne Bar at the Balloon
June 16
Fishers, Indiana - 
Conner Prairie
Restauranteur Martha Hoover and Executive Chef Tyler Herald of Petite Chou Bistro and Champagne Bar add a French flare to the 1859 Balloon Voyage with delectable wine and epicurean delights. Take a tour of the balloon exhibit, meet pioneering balloonist John Wise and soar 370 feet in the air in our French helium-filled balloon if the weather permits.
Food First
‘Food First’ Screening
June 16
Cicero, Indiana

 This film looks at how growing quality food, supporting local, and increasing access and education are impacting Indianapolis. A “Community Conversation” discussion will follow the 70-minute film, including a panel of local food experts from Hamilton County and audience participation.
Plein Air Paint Out
Plein Air Paint Out
June 16–18
Noblesville, Indiana

Take advantage of what festival organizers say is always the most beautiful weekend of the summer during the Nickel Plate Arts Festival. Stop by the 39th Annual Strawberry Festival on Friday and Saturday for a yummy treat.
Follow Drinkin Gourd
Follow the Drinkin' Gourd
June 17–19
Westfield, Indiana

Attendees will be taken along on the Underground Railroad with only the "drinkin' gourd" (Big Dipper) to guide them. The special performance highlights the struggles, fears, and hopes that slaves experienced in their attempts to achieve freedom.
Goldilocks Picnic
June 18
Carmel, Indiana

Round out the day's Goldilocks extravaganza by spreading out your blanket, opening up your basket, and enjoying your picnic, with members of the Trial of Goldilocks cast!

Def Leppard Giveaway

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