Carmel, Ind.-It’s that time of year when our minds turn to celebrations and gift giving. Holiday shopping can be even more enjoyable when the hassles are removed. For whimsical and sophisticated gifts you can skip the big city traffic with a trip to Hamilton County, Indiana. Just north of Indianapolis, Hamilton County Indiana has a great mix of the uptown feel of shops with international designers and local artisans in Fishers, Noblesville and Carmel. Shoppers avoid all the hassles of parking and experience personal attention to detail making customers feel as if they had their own concierge.

 

In Fishers, Gallery 116 offers hand made jewelry and clothing along with home décor all inside of a cozy bungalow. Nearby Herbal Arts has locally made, organic soaps, lotions and bath products.

 

Noblesville’s downtown square will take you back in time for the holidays with the decorated windows at Faux Flowers and other shops, irresistible home decor trends at places like Corner Cottage, and a nostalgic hardware store.  Noblesville’s tradition of First Friday continues on December 7, when from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. shoppers will be served free hot chocolate and coffee as they listen to a caroling choir and maybe even take advantage of the horse drawn carriage on the square.

 

Carmel’s City Center has shops for home and wearable fashions you’d find in New York or Rome right alongside Nature’s Karma’s fair trade and recycled gifts as well as Bath Junkie where shoppers customize their bath products with personalized scents and colors. In Carmel’s Arts and Design District shoppers will find eight galleries within walking distance offering original works and limited edition prints, painting, art glass, sculpture, photography, portraiture, and more. These galleries feature local, regional, national, and international artists that work in the styles of impressionism, abstract impressionism, Italian-Baroque, plein air, realism and neo-realism. The Arts and Design district also has an extensive antique mall, boutiques, an incredible collection of holiday truffles in the Simply Sweet Shop and numerous blends of teas at Tea Buds. This is just a sampling of the things that can be wrapped up for everyone on that shopping list.

 

A trip to the area is easily topped off with an evening at Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts. This holiday season has performances in the large Palladium concert hall and 2 smaller theatres including A Brenda Lee Christmas, Scrooge, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream coat, Holidays with Sylvia McNair, Brass Empire, BB King and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

 

The Hamilton County Convention and Visitors Bureau promotes tourism growth through strategic marketing, hospitality and community development initiatives. It has welcome centers in Carmel, Fishers, and Noblesville.