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The International Arts Festival takes place in September and brings in people from all over  / Image: Hamilton County Tourism // Published: 2.10.18
The International Arts Festival takes place in September and brings in people from all over  / Image: Hamilton County Tourism // Published: 2.10.18
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Carmel, Indiana Makes For A Fun Artsy Day Trip From Cincy

Cincinnati has a lot going for it, so much so that sometimes you’d be hard pressed to find a reason to leave the city limits. But leave them, you must. Not for long (we’d miss you too much), but for a vacation now and again. Or better yet, for a quick day trip.

“And where should I go on this day trip?” Glad you asked.

You should head to the other Hamilton County. Specifically, Carmel in Indiana. The suburban city is located just north of Indy. Turns out this community is chock-full of culture, from the outdoor sculptures to the breweries to the weird little museums

That’s why we spoke with Whitney Riggs whose job, as the Communications Coordinator for Hamilton County, Indiana, is to be one of the city’s biggest cheerleaders. It didn’t take Riggs long to come up with this list of seven reasons why a visit to Carmel should be in all of our futures.

written by Whitney Riggs

The Palladium: No joke, it’s truly a place you have to see in person. The Palladium is a world-class performing arts venue where big name singers, bands, and comedians take the spotlight. The intimate European-style building is a beauty and popular for classy date nights or a night out on the town with friends. Musical history buffs must stop in “The Great American Songbook,” located inside The Palladium where rare and priceless items from the Great American Songbook era can be found.

Monon Trail: The 20-mile walking/biking trail connects from the city of Westfield through Carmel to downtown Indianapolis. Rent a bike with our bike share program or bring your own and spend the day exploring nature. Stop at one of the local restaurants or breweries along the way like Union Brewing Company in Carmel, which welcomes everyone including your four-legged friends!

Arts & Design District: Art galleries, local eateries, and shops line the streets of the Arts & Design District in Carmel. Spend the day browsing, shopping, or have a cocktail or late lunch at one of the local favorites like Tina’s Traditional Tearoom. Here you have to split a Queens Royal High Tea, which is a three-tier stand of British goodies like homemade scones and jam. Don’t forget to take a selfie when you’re out and about in the district with one of the 17 life-like statues or street murals.

Eggshell Bistro: Larry Hanes is the chic designer, owner, and chef at Eggshell Bistro. His unique menu consists of worldly dishes like shakshuka, truffled egg brioche, and caprese strata. Don’t plan for a quick bite at this eatery, as Larry wants visitors to sit back, read a newspaper, and take their time with their morning, sipping Four Barrel Coffee.

Museum of Miniature Houses: Think tiny. The Museum of Miniature Houses displays thousands of detailed pieces smaller than your thumb, most in decorated doll houses. Bring the whole family and play the scavenger hunt, searching for particular tiny pieces in the museum.

Peace Water Winery: Drink up and give back to charity! This local winery located in the Arts District of Carmel gives half of its proceeds to a charity of your choice. You can select one from the “giving wall” inside the tasting room, where the charities were narrowed down by the owners’ eight kids. In the warmer months, order a glass of “Grateful Red” and kick up your feet on the quaint patio around the decorative fire pit.

International Arts Festival: People come from all over to see the summer festival that showcases hundreds of juried artists exhibiting watercolor, oil, photography, and more. This Midwest favorite includes live music, dance performances, and an array of food vendors.

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In case you need any extra convincing, scroll back to the top to see the beauty of Carmel, Indiana in a gallery of photos.

Note: Carmel is a two-hour drive from Downtown Cincinnati.