Looking for a one-tank trip for your next getaway? Maybe you’re looking for a family-friendly weekend the kids will enjoy, or a romantic trip with your significant other. Hop in the car for a quick drive to Hamilton County, Indiana – just north of Indianapolis.
The cities of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville and Westfield welcome thousands of out-of-town visitors each year – and it’s easy to see why. Discover recommended activities from travelers who’ve visited Hamilton County with family and friends. Get inspired by their weekend itineraries, and plan your own weekend getaway.
How to Get Here
Hamilton County is centrally located in Indiana and just a two-hour drive from cities like Cincinnati, Fort Wayne and South Bend.
Please note that Hamilton County follows Eastern Standard Time (EST).
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Chicago-based food and travel blogger Flo Lawnicki and her husband Dave visited in the summer for a weekend couples’ getaway. While they had driven through Hamilton County multiple times on road trips to Indy and beyond, this was their first time exploring “the beautiful gem that I repeatedly passed through.”
Flo and Dave stayed at the Drury Plaza Hotel in Carmel. She said, “This was our first road trip during the pandemic; the protocols implemented by the hotel when it came to social distancing and cleaning put me at ease. Our room was spotless.”
Their itinerary included “the best quiche of my life” and a decadent slice of Blueberry Lemon Cake at The Cake Bake Shop, make-your-own bath and body products at Bath Junkie, a stroll through the Kawachinagano Japanese Garden and drinks on the patio at Urban Vines Winery & Brewery. Flo and Dave's weekend of good eats continued with stops at Grindstone Public House, Four Day Ray Brewing and Eggshell Bistro.
"My husband and I agreed that we could have spent a few extra days because there was so much more that we wanted to see but ran out of time. Another trip is definitely in our future."
David and Angela (Dang) of Dang Travelers typically travel as a couple, but Angela visited Hamilton County with one of her oldest friends for a girls’ getaway.
Their trip started with shopping and exploring the Carmel Arts & Design District, including taking selfies with the life-like statues along Main Street. Angela and her friend grabbed a glass of wine on the patio of Peace Water Winery, shopped at Silver in the City for unique gifts and souvenirs, and visited the Museum of Miniature Houses & Other Collections.
Day Two’s adventures included a nature walk at Strawtown Koteewi Park, brunch at Rosie’s Place on the Historic Noblesville Square and a visit to the Hamilton County Museum of History and Old Sheriff’s Residence and Jail.
Angela recommends finishing your trip with an evening performance at The Center for the Performing Arts. “With hundreds of performances throughout the year, you’re bound to find something you like.”
Francesca lives with her two kids in Chicago and visited Hamilton County for a weekend getaway. Her family stayed at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Noblesville and said “the rooms really are ideal for traveling families.”
“I need to get back to Hamilton County just to spend more time in Carmel. The few hours we spent there were not nearly enough to try all of the restaurants, pop in all of the shops, and take in live music performances. What we did see and do in Carmel, we loved.”
But their favorite family-friendly attraction was Conner Prairie in Fishers. Francesca describes this Smithsonian Institute affiliate as, “…one of the best historical and educational attractions we have ever visited.”
More Family-Friendly Recommendations
Short on time? If you only have an afternoon or day to explore Hamilton County with your family, Cheryl Eugenio of “O the Places We Go” suggests her short-and-sweet itinerary of Conner Prairie, dinner at Bru Burger Bar and a sweet treat at MammaMia Gelato.
If you need more convincing, Chicago Parent named Hamilton County to its list of “5 Wonderful Weekend Getaway Destinations for Families” and is home to “home to lots of fun options for families.”