Brown County’s True Colors
Think “Brown County” and myriad images come to mind: camping in Indiana’s largest state park, strolling through Nashville’s quaint shops and galleries, ooh-ing and ahh-ing over spellbinding seasonal scenery.
The many festivals, musical shows, and adrenaline-rush sites only add to making this an ongoing destination for families and friends.
“For whatever reason you visit Brown County, you can count on an experience that only we can provide,” says Jane Ellis, executive director of Brown County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Visitors come for a getaway and to relax surrounded by the area’s scenic beauty. And with so many attractions to choose from, it’s hard to pick one.”
Welcome to Nashville
Located only 20 miles west of Interstate 65 in southern Indiana, the slow-paced, easygoing culture of Nashville definitely encourages relaxation. Whether you are a shopper looking for one-of-a-kind finds, a family seeking inviting accommodations, or are just hungry for a savory snack or fulfilling meal, all can be found along Main Street and every side street in the town.
Hotels such as the Artist Colony Inn feature local art and distinctive quarters. Abe Martin Lodge in Brown County State Park and Rawhide Ranch, along with numerous area cabin rentals, make your stay comfortable and unforgettable.
What’s a great trip without great eats? Nashville’s cuisine ranges from refreshing ice cream shops and renowned establishments such as Trolley’s BBQ to the Hobnob Corner Restaurant, a local spot offering comfort food. You can also get your sugar fix at Nashville Fudge Kitchen, or drop in for a local beer with a side of live music at Big Woods Brewing Co. taproom.
The Artists’ Colony
Since the early 1900s, artists have fallen in love with Brown County. Landscape painter T.C. Steele led the influx of artists in the early 1900s, earning it a reputation as the “art colony” of the Midwest. Today, more than 250 artists call the area home.
Maps of driving and walking tours throughout the community take you up close to capture pieces as they are fashioned from wood, stone, paint, textiles and other media.
SEE MORE: Fall Festivals in Brown County
“Visitors like to take drives, but many don’t realize while they are out they could stop in crafters’ galleries like Homestead Weaving and try their hand at weaving, or visit Rosey Bolte’s Uncommon Gourd, where she grows and decorates gourds,” Ellis says. “This one-on-one visiting is a very intimate experience.”
Other places to shop for something truly local include Ferguson House, a former boarding house for visiting artists that specializes in wrought iron décor; the Olde Bartley House, known for its scented candles; and 58 South Apparel, which sells unique fashions.
The Great Outdoors
Riding on mountain bike trails and zooming through the woods on a zip line – these are just a few of the exploits one can experience while enjoying the county’s high-velocity options. Holler Hoppin’, eXplore Brown County and the state park are havens for outdoor lovers and extremists. Between them, they offer camping, hiking, biking, ziplining, fishing, horseback riding, picnicking and ATV trails.
TripAdvisor ranks eXplore Brown County the No. 1 destination in the county. The attraction encompasses more than 1,000 acres. “It’s the only site in the state to offer 15 individual zip lines, including the state’s longest dual zip line at 1,220 feet,” says Mike Olofson, eXplore’s captain of adventure and zip-line designer and creator. “We now also feature new two-seater, three-point harness hill-climbing buggies.”
Another integral part of Brown County’s culture is its musical heritage. Bill Monroe’s Music Park and Bluegrass Hall of Fame in his hometown of Bean Blossom features the legendary artist’s music and foot-stomping colleagues. Various festivals and events add to the year-round melodious beat.
Brown County is the perfect one-tank trip for that moment you want to slow down and bask in a beautiful environment or try a new adventure.
If You Go…
For more information, contact the Brown County Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 753-3255 or browncounty.com.