For many years, Brown County was our day-trip go-to. It’s a short distance from Indy (just over an hour), and yet it feels like a true getaway. With great shopping, delicious food, wonderful hiking, and fun activities, it truly has everything needed for a terrific day trip or weekend getaway.
Yet, in recent years, we’d stopped going. I suspect the main reason is that we don’t have free days as often as we used to. Probably also a little bit of wanting to explore new places.
Being in the midst of my Explore Indiana series, it was time to go back. And I’m so glad we did! Brown County has changed dramatically in the last few years, yet the atmosphere and relaxing feeling has stayed the same. So join me on our recent shopping and sipping trip to Brown County, Indiana.
Start your day with shopping!
Nashville is the largest town in Brown County and if you enjoy poking around unique boutiques, it is a true gem. There are dozens of interesting stores to discover up and down the main drag. If you head off on some of the side streets you’ll find even more shops.
What I love about shopping in Nashville is the variety. There are plenty of craft stores, but you’ll also find toys, books, fudge, candy, etc. Even a sock store! Truly a little something for everyone.
Grab a slice for lunch
There are many delicious options for lunch (I’ll mention another one a bit later in this post), but if you don’t want to stop for long, a tasty option is Brozinni. This little house just off the main street is the ideal spot for a quick yet delicious meal.
Grab a slice of their New York-style pizza and a few of the truly amazing breadsticks and enjoy! If the weather is nice, they have a lovely outdoor patio, or to-go is always a yummy option.
Walk off lunch at the park
After filling up with breadsticks and pizza, head over to Brown County State Park to walk off some of those calories. With 16,000 acres of beautiful hills and ravines, it’s simple to find the perfect trail. If mountain biking is your thing, this park also has some fun biking trails.
If it’s fall, watch out for crowds as the leaf-peeping is fantastic. Brown County is where the state loses its wide-open cornfields and the topography gets hilly. So, the terrain is quite a bit different than just an hour north, and the fall foliage is amazing.
With a cozy inn and cabins to rent, this park is wonderful any time of the year. If you want to extend your stay in Brown County, a room at the Inn would be an ideal place to spend the night.
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In recent years, Brown County has become a hotbed for distilleries, breweries, and wineries. On our last visit, we checked out two of the distilleries, Hard Truth Distillery and Bear Wallow Distillery. Although we loved them both, they were polar opposites in regards to atmosphere and drinks.
Hard Truth Hills is incredible. You’ll get your first taste of what to expect as you enter the winding road lined with trees and head up the hill to the distillery. The welcome center and bar in the first building is a fun place to start your visit.
We enjoyed a tasting of 5 of their delicious spirits. The cinnamon vodka was tasty, but the coconut cream rum was outstanding. A bottle of that came home with us to add to our weekend coffee – YUM!
If a tasting isn’t to your liking, you can order one of the fun drinks created with their spirits, OR try one of their beers, bottled under the lable Quaff On!. In addition to tastings, Hard Truth Hills offers cocktail making classes, distillery tours and all kinds of other fun events.
Behind the tasting room is a small outdoor bar where you can grab a drink and enjoy the grounds, or even take a hike through the woods on site. A bit further back is my second suggestion for lunch – Big Woods. With upscale bar food and creative appetizers, it’s easy to find something everyone will enjoy.
The second distillery we visited is called Bear Wallow. Located in an adorable barn-like structure, the inside is cozy and eclectic. All their whiskeys are 100% Indiana sourced and they are a small, family-owned business.
Bear Wallow’s claim to fame is their flavored Hoosier Hooch (similar to a moonshine). I especially appreciated that there is no artificial flavoring – the ingredients are natural and carefully crafted to bring out the flavor. We shared a flight of fun flavors like sugar cream pie and bananas foster and then indulged in a hot spiked cider to enjoy on the outside patio.
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If your preferred drink is wine, almost directly across the street from Bear Wallow is Brown County Winery. We were out of time on this trip, but it looks interesting, and will definitely make our list the next time we visit the area.
With all that Brown County has to offer, it’s an ideal day trip from Indy, or even better a fun weekend getaway. We just barely scratched the surface on this visit and are already planning a few more fun trips this spring!
Are you looking for more great ideas for Midwestern weekend getaways? Check out these 5 fun and unique getaways!
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