Goodbye 2018, hello 2019: with a new year comes new, exciting things to do in Hamilton County, Indiana. We’ve rounded up the things you should check out this year in Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield and beyond. Read below to see why you should #VisitHC in 2019.
1. Indulge in a slice of cake at The Cake Bake Shop Carmel.
Gwendolyn Rogers’ highly anticipated The Cake Bake Shop will open in Carmel City Center this summer. It will be just as Instagram-worthy as the original location in Broad Ripple (think Swarovski crystal chandeliers and lots of glitter) but even bigger and better, with seating for more than 100 guests and a covered patio space.
2. Check out The Yard Fishers development.
Just east of I-69 and 116th Street near IKEA is The Yard Fishers, a 17-acre culinary and shopping district. Here you’ll find 1933 Lounge by St. Elmo, Nicey Treat, Sangiovese Restaurant and Sun King Brewing, among others. Restaurants and stores are expected to start opening fall 2019.
3. Enjoy enhanced connectivity along the Monon Trail.
The Monon Trail now connects downtown Indianapolis to the town of Sheridan, traveling through Carmel and Westfield, too. That’s more than 24 miles of multiuse path to run and bike. Next summer, a new bridge over State Road 32 in Westfield will be completed, making it easier for trail users to enjoy the new northern portion.
4. Celebrate the 10th anniversary of Tenderloin Tuesday™
2019 is the 10-year anniversary of Hamilton County’s Tenderloin Trail™ and Tenderloin Tuesday™ promotion, so expect a delicious celebration of the classic Hoosier pork tenderloin sandwich to toast to a decade of good eats.
5. Witness the Monon Boulevard transformation in downtown Carmel.
The Monon Trail is getting a facelift in downtown Carmel. Rebranded as the Monon Boulevard, the trail will expand from a 12-foot wide path to a 140-foot wide corridor with bike lanes, sidewalks, one-way streets, green spaces, public art and more through Midtown and the Arts & Design District. It’ll be even easier to visit local businesses like Sun King Spirits, Luxury Cakes, Pedego Bikes and more.
6. Ride aboard the Nickel Plate Express with more excursion and experiences.
The Nickel Plate Express opened fall 2018 and quickly became a popular family-friendly attraction with the Pumpkin Express and the Reindeer Ride. Train fans can look forward to new excursions in 2019 and a renovated dining car experience.
7. Raise a glass to new breweries on tap.
Hamilton County’s beer scene now boasts more than 15 breweries, including old favorites like Barley Island Brewing Company and newcomers like MashCraft Fishers. Bier Brewery will expand operation to Carmel near US-31 and 136th Street in late 2018 and Primeval Brewing is expected to open spring 2019 in downtown Noblesville.
8. Visit one of three statewide cultural districts.
The arts community in Hamilton County is thriving, and others are noticing. The Indiana Arts Commission has designated the Carmel Arts & Design District, the Noblesville Cultural Arts District and most recently the Nickel Plate District in Fishers as statewide cultural arts districts. Each area offers its own flair and personality with cultural assets to discover.
9. Check out a “sweet” new business.
2019 is going to be a “sweet” year with new businesses to satisfy your dessert cravings. Longtime farmers market vendor Xchocol’Art will open a storefront in Carmel’s Midtown, and the owners of Rail in Westfield are opening an ice cream shop along Park Street called Cone + Crumb.
10. Explore the White River by land or water.
The city of Indianapolis and Hamilton County Tourism are partnering to envision a plan for the future of the 58 miles of the White River in central Indiana. While big ideas are still on the horizon, visitors can experience this waterway by tubing or kayaking with White River Canoe Company or walking the new White River Greenway development in downtown Noblesville.
11. Sip a spirit at Sun King Spirits.
“We’ve got spirits, yes we do.” After opening in July 2018, Sun King Spirits in Carmel’s Midtown started with a cocktail menu featuring spirit collaborations with other distillers. In the new year, expect SKS to start distilling and serving their own concoctions on-site.
12. See a concert at one of three premier venues.
Whether you prefer a country concert, soaring symphony or jazz band, you’ll find it in Hamilton County. Check out the schedule for Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center, the Center for the Performing Arts and Symphony on the Prairie (coming soon).
13. Check off your foodie bucket list.
There are more than 100 local businesses to choose from, ranging from classic American fare to international cuisine like Ethiopian and Jamaican. How to decide where to dine, you ask? Look no further than Yelp Indy’s list of the top 10 places to eat in Hamilton County, or browse our dining page for more delectable options.
14. Explore the amenities at Strawtown Koteewi Park.
Have you visited Strawtown Koteewi Park and all it has to offer? If not, put it on your adventure list, stat. Visit during the warmer months to walk the trails, explore the Taylor Nature Center of History, zipline at Koteewi Aerial Adventures Treetop Trails, shoot a bow and arrow at Koteewi Range and ride horseback at K-Trails Equestrian Adventures. In the winter, return for the tubing hill at Koteewi Run Seasonal Slopes. While you’re in the area, visit Mercantile 37 just up the road for a bite to eat and shopping.
15. Attend a signature event or festival.
Mark your calendar for the can’t-miss events in 2019. Popular festivals include the Carmel International Arts Festival, Indiana Renaissance Faire, Artomobilia and the Carmel Christkindlmarkt, among many others. Plus, the Indianapolis Colts Training Camp returns to Grand Park Sports Campus in July and August.
16. Visit a top-rated family-friendly attraction.
Hamilton County is ideal for family-friendly activities with attractions like Conner Prairie, the Monon Waterpark, Strawtown Koteewi Park, the Monon Trail, the Escape Room and more.
17. Tee off on award-winning golf courses.
Golfers can find Indiana’s Premier Golf on the links of golf courses here in Hamilton County. Test your skills at Purgatory Golf Club, Prairie View Golf Club, Woodwind Golf Club and more. Try target-oriented practice at Topgolf in Fishers, too.
18. Stay at a new hotel property.
There are currently 4,000 hotel rooms to rest your head after a busy weekend getaway. In addition to 35+ hotels, Springhill Suites by Marriott Westfield will open during the calendar year and Hyatt Place Carmel is slated to open late 2019.
19. Stroll a local farmers market.
Discover farm fresh foods Saturdays year-round at one of the local farmers markets. During the summer, grab a ready-to-eat breakfast sandwich and coffee to enjoy while you browse the vendors and enjoy live music.
For more travel planning inspiration, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and request your copy of the 2019 Travel Guide.