Hamilton County is one of the fastest-growing areas in Indiana and the country, and our destination shows no signs of slowing down in 2018. We've compiled a list of the can't-miss, must-do things this year. With new attractions and restaurants opening in 2018, it's going to be an exciting year to #VisitHC.
1. Drink local at one of two new rooftop bars.
Known throughout Indiana and the Midwest for its craft beer, Sun King Brewing is opening a new venture in 2018 along the Monon Trail in Carmel’s new Midtown area. Sip on gin, rum and moonshine craft cocktails in the taproom or on the rooftop patio at Sun King Spirits. Just a few steps away will be Anthony’s Chophouse and 3UP rooftop cocktail bar, opening in spring 2018 on the corner of Main Street and the Monon Trail.
2. Dine local at one of 90+ local businesses.
And the list keeps growing. Added to the roster in the upcoming year is Indie Coffee Roasters, Big Woods Brewery & Restaurant and the Cake Bake Shop, among many other delicious developments.
3. Walk and bike the Monon Trail.
The pedestrian pathway spans north past Grand Park in Westfield to Sheridan and south to connect to Indy. Pedal or stroll beneath canopies of trees along the Monon Trail before quenching your thirst at a local brewery along the way.
4. Explore the four attractions at Strawtown Koteewi Park.
Tucked off IN-37 in Noblesville, Strawtown Koteewi Park is far more than gravel paths and prairie land. In the warmer months, zip line and conquer aerial obstacles at Koteewi Aerial Adventure Treetop Trails, saddle up for horseback riding at K-Trails Equestrian Adventures or aim for the bullseye at Koteewi Range: Sport and Target Archery Center. When the temperatures drop, return in the winter to tube with Koteewi Run Seasonal Slopes on a hill with man-made snow.
5. Cruise through the county on an electric bike.
Park the car because Hamilton County is one of the most bike-friendly communities in the country. Rent an electric bicycle at Pedego Electric Bikes Carmel just off the Monon Trail in Carmel.
6. Devour an Indiana staple, the pork tenderloin sandwich.
You haven’t experienced the Hoosier state until you’ve tasted a tenderloin. Here in Hamilton County, we love them so much we have a Tenderloin Trail comprised of 50 restaurants in Hamilton County that serve them on their menu. But the best time to try one is on a Tuesday in July, during the annual Tenderloin Tuesdays celebration. Stay tuned for participating restaurants and dates!
7. See your favorite performer live at Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center.
It’s the 30th anniversary of this beloved central Indiana outdoor amphitheater, and there’s no better place to see a show during the summer. Expect country stars and rock bands in the lineup, along with popular artists like Kesha and Macklemore.
8. Hear soaring symphonies, in a concert hall or under the stars.
Carmel is home to the world-class European-style concert hall, the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts. The performance season is filled with classical symphony concerts, in addition to country, comedy acts and more. Like your music al fresco? Don’t miss Symphony on the Prairie in the summer months at Conner Prairie.
9. Visit one of Hamilton County’s signature festivals.
Hamilton County enjoys five seasons: winter, spring, summer, fall and festival season. Mark your calendar for Artomobilia, Greekfest, Indiana Renaissance Faire, Atlanta New Earth Festival and more great festivals.
10. Practice your golf swing at Topgolf or one of Indiana’s Premier Golf courses.
Tee up on beautifully manicured greens, including courses along the famous Pete Dye Golf Trail. If you want to add food, drink and entertainment to the mix, swing on over to Topgolf for target-oriented practice.
11. Savor the flavors along Restaurant Row in Westfield.
You won’t see the words “Restaurant Row” on a street sign, but it’s the unofficial name for the eateries tucked away on Park Street. In the mood for sushi? Chiba is your place. How about Italian? Italian House on Park can satisfy those pasta cravings. And the farm-to-table restaurant Rail Epicurean is sure to catch your eye, located inside a restored red barn.
12. Paddle down the White River by canoe, tube or kayak.
White River Canoe Company in Noblesville offers various excursions for you to cruise down the White River. Let the water do the work for you and travel by inner tube for a party on the water. Walk parallel along the water on Noblesville’s new Riverwalk, perfect for biking and walking.
13. Travel back in time at Conner Prairie.
Fishers is home to Conner Prairie, a nationally-acclaimed interactive history museum that allows families and history buffs to wander the grounds. Interact with Indiana settlers in 1836 Prairietown or march along with soldiers at Civil War Journey. Don’t leave without flying high in the sky aboard the 1859 Balloon Voyage.
14. Explore the one-stop shopping districts in Noblesville and Fishers.
Shop antiques, boutiques and more to find unique items. One shopping hotspot in Hamilton County is the historic Noblesville Square, where local shops and restaurants surround the iconic courthouse. If you’re in Fishers, the Nickel Plate District is the place to be for shopping and dining. Browse Swedish furniture selections at the new IKEA Fishers nearby.
15. Shop for farm fresh food and artisan goods at local farmers’ markets.
Taste the bounty of Indiana’s rich agriculture. Shoppers line up for favorites like My Dad’s Sweet Corn or ready-to-eat treats like walking waffles. The variety is worth the early morning wakeup call – plus, there’s a farmer’s market in each community.
16. Discover your new favorite artwork at a local gallery.
There’s an electric energy at Nickel Plate Arts on a First Friday, with live music, libations flowing and artists’ studios open for perusing. Interact with makers face-to-face to see how they create their masterpieces. Gallery walks in the Carmel Arts & Design District are another monthly staple, encouraging patrons to explore the shops, galleries and restaurants along Main Street.
17. Board a new train excursion on the Nickel Plate Express.
Coming soon: ride the Nickel Plate Express from Atlanta, nicknamed “Midwest Traintown, USA”, to Arcadia. Special-themed excursions will be available for holidays. Stay tuned for more details.
18. Visit a traditional European holiday market, the Carmel Christkindlmarkt.
Thousands of visitors enjoyed gluwein, raclette melted cheese sandwiches and traditional German sweets at the opening of the Carmel Christkindlmarkt last year. It returns this winter along with the outdoor ice skating rink, the Ice at Center Green.