A Walk in the Woods in Blackford County

A Walk in the Woods in Blackford County

It’s time for another Explore Indiana adventure. This time, I grabbed my son (he’s a great travel partner) and we took off for Hartford City. Hartford City is the largest city in Blackford County. I have to admit, this adventure made me a little nervous as I couldn’t find much on the area online. Would this be my first “fail” in proving there is something to do wherever you are? As we made our way to Blackford, we drove by numerous cornfields and farmhouses. It was an absolutely beautiful day – low 80’s, blue skies and no humidity. I couldn’t ask for better exploring weather. As we tend to do, our first stop was downtown. The courthouse in Hartford City was beautiful in a very different way than most of the ones I’ve recently seen. This one was built in 1893 – 1895. It’s called a Richardsonian Romanesque style. To get a feel for the size, the clock tower is 165 feet – so it definitely towered over the rest of downtown. Sadly, this downtown area was pretty deserted. There weren’t really any shops and only one local restaurant that we could see. Many boarded-up buildings. It’s really too bad as the architecture of the buildings was beautiful – I imagine it was a lovely downtown square at one time. Just a block from the square is a very interesting building that houses the Old Blackford County Jail and a speakeasy. Unfortunately, it was closed the day we visited. Supposedly it’s haunted! If I’m passing back through I’ll make a point to stop if it’s open as it looked...
A Hunt for Covered Bridges

A Hunt for Covered Bridges

Covered bridges in Indiana? If you are from the state, I bet the first place you think of is Parke County. I know I do. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that less than an hour from Indianapolis, Rush County has a long history of covered bridges. Originally there were 23 covered bridges, but today only six remain. As part of my Explore Indiana project, Rush County was on my list of places to visit. With a free afternoon, my 12-year-old son and I took off to see if we could find those remaining six bridges. We found four and had a delightful time looking for them and enjoying Rushville, IN. The first bridge we found is called the Moscow Bridge. It’s located in Moscow, Indiana and was one of two we were able to get out and walk around. It is very nicely preserved and at 334 feet the third longest one in Indiana. It was originally built in 1886 but destroyed by a tornado in 2008. Luckily it was rebuilt in 2010 using as much of the original materials as possible. Our next covered bridge was a bust. Although we followed the directions on Google Maps when we “arrived” there was no bridge to be found. Feeling like a snack was in order, we headed over to the largest city in Rush County, appropriately named Rushville and decided to check out a local favorite, Stagg’s Dairy Treats & Restaurant. This restaurant is exactly the kind of place I enjoy finding in small Midwestern towns. With an affordable and fun menu and delicious ice cream treats, it was...
BEST local coffee shops North of Indy

BEST local coffee shops North of Indy

Love coffee? Me too. In fact, one of my favorite lounging around shirts has the saying “Coffee ’til Cocktails” on the front. Pretty much sums it up for me! Although I do like Starbucks, what I really enjoy is checking out local coffee shops. We will even often add that to our vacation itineraries as an afternoon treat. So you can bet, I’ve explored all the coffee shops near me. Today I’m sharing my favorites located North of Indianapolis. Noble Coffee & Tea – this one is just a mile from my house and right downtown on the charming Noblesville square so it’s definitely a favorite. For years, I would take my kids there for “coffee shop day” before school started once a week so this place has lots of great memories for me. It has two rooms with plenty of seating for working or meeting with friends. My teen daughter and her friends love to hang out at this coffee shop and study for finals or summer school. Of course, the coffee is excellent AND they have Circle City Kombucha on tap. Yum! Indie Coffee Roasters – right on the edge of downtown Carmel, the vibe in this coffee shop is relaxing but a little edgy. The coffee is strong and bold which I love. The decor is a bit industrial and I’m a huge fan of the outside patio. It’s a little far for me for regular visits, but if I’m near Carmel I’ll definitely stop by! Della Leva – I found this coffee shop during a recent promotion of my 5-Day Add More Adventure to Your...
Dinner & a Movie – Small Town Style!

Dinner & a Movie – Small Town Style!

Is a movie and dinner your standard date night? Or a typical weekend outing for the family? We actually only do dinner and a movie a few times a year, but recently we decided to not just complete this common night out, but kick it up a notch by enjoying it in a nearby small town. Since I love old theaters (my current favorite is the Artcraft in Franklin), we decided it was time to introduce the kids to the Diana in Tipton, IN. Tipton is a small town of around 6,000 just 30 minutes north of Indianapolis. The Diana has been showing movies since 1926 and has been family owned the whole time. There is only one theater, but the shows change frequently. Typically the Diana will show one movie for a week or two, with two showings a night at 7 and 9:30. They are all first-run movies. The best way to discover what is playing is to call the theater or check out their Facebook page. We were lucky that Aladdin was showing the night we decided to go. It is a movie I had been wanting to see and although my family doesn’t all love going to the movies, they do all love adventures and since this wasn’t our normal local theater, they were in for the experience. Our goal was to hit the 7:00 show and have dinner before. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten it does take some time to drive up there, so it was a movie first and THEN dinner. Thank goodness the prices at the Diana are amazing. I was able to offer...
Adventure is Everywhere

Adventure is Everywhere

Think you live in a place where there is nothing to do? I hear that all the time regarding my state and I disagree. With the right mindset and a little creativity, you can find adventure wherever you live. You don’t need to travel out of the country or even out of your town. I’d be willing to bet you can find something fun and interesting to do wherever you are. Once you learn that adventure-seeking skill you can use it wherever you go to create more excitement in your life. To prove my theory, I’m embarking on a really long (like probably a few years) experiment to find something enjoyable to do in every county in Indiana. Let’s face it, Indiana isn’t a vacation hotbed – most people head to a big city or the beach for their annual vacations, so I figured if I can prove that my middle of the country state has something interesting to do EVERYWHERE, my point will be made! There are 92 counties in Indiana, so it’s a pretty daunting task. You can expect to start seeing posts each month covering a county or two (or three). I’ll still continue to share other trips, travel info, ideas for things to do, etc., this will just be a fun little addition. Luckily for me, I’ve already covered a few so I have a bit of a headstart. I’ll come back to this post and add links as I complete each county. I’ve broken down the state into regions and to keep it simple, I just followed how Visit Indiana categorizes them. Ready to...

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