My day of fun in Frankfort, IN started with getting lost while looking for a covered bridge and ended with peach sherbet. In between was a lot of fun exploring. Clinton County was the latest county I checked out for my Explore Indiana project and I had a lovely day checking out what the largest town in the county, Frankfort, has to offer.
While searching on TripAdvisor for attractions in Clinton County, I stumbled across a beautifully restored covered bridge. As I love looking for covered bridges, I figured I’d start the day there as it was the furthest point from home and work my way back. Well, not only did I not find the bridge, but I also found myself on several gravel roads in the middle of cornfields. Welcome to rural Indiana I guess.
With plenty of time left to explore Clinton County, I eventually gave up and headed back to Frankfort, IN. Things began to look up immediately.
Frankfort has a zoo?
Well, a petting zoo. Still, not something you find often in small Indiana towns. TPA Park includes a cute little petting zoo and aviary with llamas, pigs, peacocks, goats, and many other animals and birds. It is only open on the weekends once school starts, but I was still able to see the animals wandering around. Several locals were sitting on benches enjoying their lunch break and watching the animals as it was such a lovely day.
TPA Park also has a fun playground, plenty of space to walk, and a very interesting log cabin. It was built in 1859 and was the original home of the Gettingsville Telephone Company. It was moved to the park in 1933. I love stumbling across interesting historical buildings like this. They were also setting up lights across several of the roads in preparation for the holiday season. In past years, they’ve had over a million lights at this park – we might have to head back in a few months one evening to check it out!
After walking around the park a bit and soaking up the gorgeous fall weather, I headed downtown.
Downtown Frankfort Fun
Downtown Frankfort is set up like most typical Indiana towns with a large courthouse in the center of a square. Luckily, the town of Frankfort appears to be doing well. There were a handful of interesting boutiques to shop as well as some delicious restaurants. I also noticed a coffee shop coming soon and a corner building that had been revitalized into downtown lofts.
After poking around the boutiques (and picking up a very cute bracelet), I had to decide where to have lunch. Growing up in West Lafayette, IN, there are several local chains that I love, and Frankfort had THREE of them right there on the square. So I had to pick between Arni’s, Greek’s and Pepe’s. Very tough choice for me. Since I had enjoyed Greek’s a few weeks ago when visiting Boone County, I opted for Pepe’s. Part of the draw was the beautifully restored building with an open garage door leading to outdoor seating. I was able to sit right inside with an open-air view of the courthouse.
Pepe’s is actually a small chain out of Chicago, and as the name implies, it’s Mexican food. It is definitely a different kind of Mexican than you’ll find in your standard Mexican-American places and definitely not TexMex. Since I grew up eating it, it holds a lot of fond memories for me. Plus, I couldn’t beat the $5.99 lunch special. Just look at all the food! More than half of it came home with me.
On my way home, I made two more stops. One was at the local ice cream stand (I ALWAYS check these out) for a small dish of peach sherbet. The second was at Shoup’s. Shoup’s is a local family-owned business that creates amazing sauces and seasonings. Their traditional Shoup’s seasoning is my absolute favorite flavoring for pork tenderloin. The shop also had a wide variety of Midwest made products and I picked up a few tasty-sounding treats to enjoy at home.
What a fun outing in Frankfort. In addition to what I found, Frankfort hosts several festivals each year, the biggest being the Hot Dog Festival. If you love hot dogs or just unique festivals, I suspect you’d want to put this one on your list of must-dos. In addition to hot dogs, they have live music, vendors and all kinds of family fun. It’s held the last full weekend of July. Why a hot dog festival? Because the Frankfort Schools mascot is the Hot Dog. Seriously. Only in Indiana!
TPA Park, 1 Adrian Marks Drive; (765) 659-3422
Pepe’s, 59 E. Clinton; (765) 654-9654
Shoup’s, 2048 South State Road 39; 765.654.6071
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