These past couple weeks I've been driving around Hamilton County's 8 Great Towns, both for work and for pleasure. I've learned a lot about the county in my four months at the HCCVB, but it took these seemingly endless miles of driving for me to realize just how many different things this place has to offer. Having grown up in Noblesville, I always kind of took its historically charming downtown square for granted. Here, old time neighborly camaraderie mixes with modern shopping and urban flair. But, just a few miles away from the square, which houses the county seat, are both bustling cities and a quiet countryside.

Being so close to Indianapolis, the southern part of Hamilton County (Fishers, Noblesville and Carmel) definitely reflects the fact that it is a sprawling suburb. With an outdoor ampitheater, an upscale Arts & Design District, and two open-air shopping malls it's not difficult to find a city feel in Hamilton County. 

As I drove northward, however, it struck me just how close the quiet of the country was to all of this hustle and bustle. Driving through Atlanta, Arcadia, Sheridan, and even Cicero and Westfield, I was amazed to find a completely different world. With Morse Reservoir, the Atlanta Mercantile, Boxley Cabin, and the Arcadia Arts Initiative, these towns are full of things to do, just perhaps at a slower pace. 

From upscale art galleries to traditional art and craft workshops, from a local mercantile to an open-air mall, from history to a lazy day on the lake Hamilton County's 8 great towns, collectively, make it a unique place to be and a unique place for an Indiana family vacation.