Boone county is full of adventures. It was my most recent “explore Indiana” adventure. Most people (including me) automatically think of Zionsville when they hear Boone county. I’m sure I’ll get back to Zionsville soon as it’s a wonderful town and a really fun place to visit, but for this trip, I wanted to see what else Boone county had to offer.
Aside from Zionsville, Lebanon is the largest city in Boone County. With a population of around 16,000, it’s a large enough city to have a traditional downtown square with a gorgeous courthouse.
On a beautiful sunny day, the best place to spend at least part of your visit is Memorial Park. This well-maintained park is home to a cool little waterpark called Seashore Waterpark. Not only are there several slides, but it houses one of my all-time favorite waterpark attractions – a wave pool. So.much.fun!
Outside the pool area, you’ll find playgrounds, shelters, and a lovingly restored cabin called Herr Cabin. Herr Cabin was built in 1839 and was given to the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1937 as a memorial to Abigail Herr.
After a fun few hours in the sun, a food break is in order and although the downtown doesn’t have a lot in the way of shopping, there are several delicious dining choices. I suspect that based on the amount of construction I saw going on that the downtown is in the midst of a revival – I hope so as I love shopping and dining in quaint downtowns!
I enjoyed a yummy lunch at Greek’s pizza. Greek’s is an Indiana-based chain with a very distinct pizza sauce – it’s slightly sweet and very unique. With daily lunch specials, Greek’s is also a super affordable choice.
On my way out of town, I had to make several pit stops. The first was Donaldson’s chocolates to pick up some treats for the kids. Donaldson’s has been a Lebanon staple since 1966. The chocolates are all handmade with real ingredients, so they are a decadent indulgence. Their recipes are a secret, but if you are lucky, you can watch the chocolates being made through the big glass windows.
My next stop was a nostalgic one for me. Ice cream paradise. Growing up in West Lafayette, with grandparents living in Indy, the drive between cities was a frequent occurrence. As Lebanon is halfway, more often than not, my dad would pull off the I-65 exit for a stop at Ice Cream Paradise.
This family-owned ice cream stand has been serving affordable and delectable ice cream treats for 31 years and as soon as I pulled up I was flooded with childhood memories of our many visits.
My final stop on the way out of town was Becky’s Market. Becky’s market is a local family-owned Greenhouse market just outside of downtown. If you are looking for fresh fruits and veggies, it’s the place to stop. I had to pick up some fresh corn (for our Mexican Street Corn) and peaches. Yum!
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It was fun seeing what this little county just outside Indianapolis had to offer – for anyone with kids who love the water, it would be a perfect summer day trip. I also loved how many of the businesses I visited are family-owned and have been around for dozens of years. Lebanon showed me lots of great reasons to visit again soon. I know we’ll be back!
Have you ever taken off for the day with just a vague idea of where you are going? More to explore and see what you can find than to go to a specific place? It’s one of our favorite things to do and a great way to create family memories!
Seashore Waterpark, 130 E. Ulen Drive, (765) 482-8860
Greek’s Pizzeria, 105 W. Main Street, 765.859.5005
Donaldson’s Chocolates, 600 South State Rd. 39; 765.482.3334
Ice Cream Paradise, 1416 West South St.; 765-482-4558