There’s something so appealing about the American Midwest, isn’t there? From the stunning rolling plains and prairies to some of the friendliest small towns in the world, there are just so many things to love about this little section of the world. Indiana, for instance, is home to some of the best small towns in the Midwest. Take, for example, the town of Nashville – a town where dreams come true. There are tons of fun and interesting things to do in Nashville Indiana, and we think you’ll love it as much as we do.
Nashville isn’t gigantic, but it’s not microscopic, either. It’s a town steeped in art, history, and intrigue, that hasn’t lost its original spirit: that of the artist. You’ll find countless galleries, museums, shops, eateries, and more all over town. There’s a lot packed into a little place, and it’s most certainly a place worth unpacking for a Small Town Getaway.
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Is Nashville Worth Visiting? Absolutely!
Nashville, Indiana is an adorable little town in southern Indiana (population 1,266) that’s perfect for a visit, a vacation, or, of course, for living. There’s a genuine sense of community here, and just about everyone you meet will be kind and warm. That’s just the Nashville spirit! If you’re the outdoorsy type, Nashville is even more amazing thanks to the countless awesome natural wonders and outdoor attractions nearby. For history lovers, there’s plenty here, too – be sure to explore the historic places in Nashville IN.
Once upon a time – back in the early 1900s – a colony calling itself the Brown County Art Colony made Nashville its epicenter.
There is a rich art history here, as well as a rich history in general; to this day, the artsy history of the town lives on in the form of numerous bucket-list-worthy galleries and shops. Nashville is an artist’s dream come true! Countless artists have passed through here, most notably T.C. Steele, a famed American Impressionist painter. It’s a small town, with a total area of just over one and a half miles.
Even if you’re not an artist, no worries – you'll find something to love in Nashville all the same. There are countless shops, galleries, antiquing spots, wineries, state parks, and so much more to do and see. It’s the ultimate getaway destination for Hoosiers and out-of-staters alike. How To Get To Nashville
Nashville is a pretty easy town to find, which is great – all the more time to spend enjoying it rather than searching for it! Nashville is located in beautiful Brown County. From Indianapolis, you can take the I-35 south directly to town. It takes you right to the heart of downtown! You can also take the I-65 south to Columbus and exit at Exit 68. From there, continue on the SR-46 west until you reach town. From Cincinnati, take the I-74 west to SR-3 in Greensburg, then take Exit 134A. From there, head south on SR-3 for about four miles. Then, head west on SR-46 about 42 miles to Nashville. From Chicago, take the I-65 north toward Columbus. Take Exit 68 into SR-46 west and continue for about 16 miles until you reach Nashville.
Getting Around Nashville
Is Nashville, Indiana walkable? Absolutely! Downtown Nashville is actually famous for its awesome walkability. It’s even got a nickname: the “Tourist’s Neighborhood”, which is most certainly not a bad thing in this context. It’s absolutely perfect for those who like to explore on foot thanks to its design as one of the most walkable towns in the Midwest. You can get to just about everywhere worth seeing in Nashville on foot.
That being said, public transportation is also an excellent option.
Access Brown County does an excellent job of making this town a great place to live, work, and visit. The transport operates by appointment only, from Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ride requests must be made 24 hours in advance (and up to three months in advance) by calling 812-988-0185. The cost is $5.00 one-way in-county and $7.50 one-way out-of-county. Residents 60 and over always ride free!
Best Time To Visit Nashville
Nashville, IN is an awesome town to visit year-round, as every season has its perks. Nashville is an awesome town to visit year-round, as every season has its perks. There’s never a bad time to show up! However, if we had to choose, we’d say summer is the ideal time to visit Nashville Indiana; the temperatures never get too hot, and the nights are never too chilly. Weeks with what’s considered “ideal” weather typically range from late April to late June.
Oh, and did we mention there are oodles of can't-miss festivals in Nashville to attend? Yep - start planning!
No matter the season, there are festivals galore in Nashville, Indiana, that plenty of folks plan their entire trips around! Some of the best, most beloved festivals in Nashville include ones like the Corn Maze Beer Fest (early October), the
Brown County Rock and Mineral Show
(September), the Harmony Valley Music Festival and the Brown County Bluegrass Festival (August), the Festival of Lights (December), and many more. No matter the time of year, there’s always something going on.
Fun fact: Brown County is considered the most beautiful part of the entire state of Indiana, and Nashville just so happens to be smack-dab in the middle of it all.
In the spring and summer, wildflowers come alive almost everywhere the eye can see. Typically, in late April, Brown County has its annual Wildflower Foray, a three-day event featuring amazing hiking trails and, of course, mind-meltingly beautiful wildflowers. In the fall, Brown County is set ablaze with incredible color, making it a popular destination for leaf-peeping in Indiana.
No matter the time of year, there’s always something going on in Nashville, which is also quite close to the city of Cincinnati.
No matter the season, for example, you’ll find awesome hiking trails and ways to get out and explore the great outdoors. Nashville’s got trails open year-round, so get outdoors and enjoy! In the winter, Brown County comes alive with all sorts of outdoor activities, like snowshoeing, skiing, sledding, and more.
In the spring, admire the returning greenery on countless hikes, at numerous festivals, cabin rentals, and more. Summertime brings with it sunflowers, sunshine, and plenty of water-based shenanigans like river tubing, kayaking, canoeing, camping, hiking, and, of course, backpacking. Brown County is a paradise for any lover of the outdoors. Fall brings with it many opportunities to admire the incredible changing colors, and the fall festivals in Brown County and Nashville are second to none. Keep an eye out for u-pick sunflower fields. Nashville is nothing short of pure perfection all year long. Where To Stay In Nashville
There are numerous wonderful, historic, and otherwise epic places to stay in Nashville. Take, for instance, the
, one of the oldest inns in the Midwest. It was originally established right here in Brown County during the 1850s, making it more than a century old.
The Brown County Inn is another option.
It's quite a bit younger than the Story Inn (by at least a century or so), but don't let that fool you: it's also delightfully cozy, and the perfect place to call your home base while you're here exploring.
There are also hundreds of amazing stays available in Nashville on both Airbrb and VRBO.
One of our favorites is the to-die-for
5-Star Cabin in Brown County
, which is absolutely perfect for those who prefer an authentic log cabin experience.
Other places to stay in Nashville are places like The Cornerstone Inn, Artists' Colony Inn & Restaurant, and for those who prefer a more hotel-like experience, Grand Wood Suites. The best news is, though, that you cannot possibly go wrong when it comes to this amazing little town. Just about everywhere you can book is worth it.
So, given all of this information, let’s take a couple of days to explore the amazingness that is Nashville. We’ve gone ahead and created a handy-dandy itinerary you can follow (or adapt to your needs and interests). Check it out:
Nashville, Indiana Itinerary: Morning One Breakfast: Hobnob Corner Restaurant Hobnob Corner
In business since 1979, this little mom-and-pop stop has been a favorite among the locals for decades. It’s got the perfect breakfast menu filled top-to-bottom with the best all-American comfort food in the Midwest. Everything here is made by hand in-house, and it’s pretty much as close to perfection as you’ll ever get. Be ready for your new favorite breakfast place.
Next up: let's explore Brown County State Park. After you've had your fill of the park (honestly, it might be days... just saying), get the scoop on some important local history at the T.C. Steele State Historic Site.
This one’s for everyone from the artists to the history buffs to the nature lovers, as there’s just about a little bit of everything around here. Steele was born in 1847 and eventually called Brown County home right up until the end. It became the focus of much of his work, and today, you can tour the studio and home of the brilliant artist. The
T.C. Steele State Historic Site
is open from Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s definitely worth pointing out that the gardens are worth visiting on their own!
Nashville, Indiana Itinerary: Afternoon One We'll have lunch at The Nashville House.
Rebuilt in 1943 following a fire that burned the original structure (built in 1859) to the ground,
The Nashville House
is a much-loved staple in Nashville that serves up the best country cookin’ you’ve ever had (next to Hobnob Corner, of course). Nothing on this menu has changed since the beginning; we recommend anything with the marinara involved. It’s a 120+ year old recipe that’s so perfect it never needed any modification.
Delicious. Now, to help the food settle, check out Salt Creek Trail. After that short-and-sweet hike, we think a winery visit is in order. After all, hiking is tiring.
Did you know there’s wine country in Indiana? Yep. Sure is: and much of it is right here in Nashville and/or Brown County in general. One of the
best wineries in Indiana
is perfect for the late afternoon; the Brown County Winery offers tours, tastings, and even a modern wine bar. Guests under 21 must be accompanied by a guest over 21.
Finally, dinner time means time for some of the best pizza in Indiana.
A classic neighborhood pizza joint,
is home to excellent, fresh toppings, house-made dough, and excellent vibes. The slices are HUGE – more like a quarter of a whole pizza – and the salads are also excellent and fresh, sourced with all the best local ingredients. Oh, and good luck sharing the garlic knuckles. You’ll absolutely want to devour them all.
Finally, the time has come to rest. Kick up your feet and enjoy whichever inn, hotel or
VRBO you choose! After all, tomorrow’s a whole new day. Nashville, Indiana Itinerary: Morning Two It is time again for breakfast, which means it's time to check out one of the best little spots for breakfast in Nashville: Bird's Nest Café.
This adorable little spot is popular among local artists and it’s definitely got the vibe to prove it. This little café serves up excellent coffee and delightful breakfast in a small, intimate setting, not to mention the
best breakfast in Nashville
. Be patient and take your time – folks in a rush will find this place to be too low-key for them. It’s a local favorite for a reason, and it exists in a laid-back artist town where time just goes a little slower than usual. Savor every bite.
After breakfast, get ready to get your nature on, because we're exploring Yellowwood State Forest.
When we say you could spend a year doing this, we mean it. There are so many jaw-droppingly beautiful things to do and see in these old woods that you might want to just live in the trees forever (same). In the spring and summer, its lush greenery is like something out of a fairy tale. In the fall, the forest comes ablaze with intense, brilliant color you’ll never forget. There are 11 amazing hiking trails within the forest, including the famous
Yellowwood Lake Trail
and the stunning
Scarce O'Fat Trail
. You should also consider driving Yellowwood Lake Road; it’s one of the
best scenic drives in Indiana
Nashville, Indiana Itinerary: Afternoon Two Let's stop for lunch at the Farmhouse Café & Tea Room.
There’s a reason many of the reviews for
mention its impeccable service and menu, and they’re correct: this is one of the best places to eat in Nashville, Indiana, if not the entire Midwest. Lovers of comfort food and other goodies ought to bring an appetite; there’s so much good stuff on the menu it’ll be almost impossible to choose (at least right away). Reservations are recommended, but not required – though if you don’t make any, be prepared to wait! Every moment spent waiting will be well worth it, though – we promise!
After lunch, wethinks a visit to the legendary Brown County Art Gallery is in order. No visit to Nashville is ever complete without it!
This is just one of many awesome galleries worth visiting in Nashville, and it’s probably one of the biggest. Founded in 1926 by members of the artist colony that called this town home, this 15,000 square-foot splendor is easily one of the best art galleries in Indiana, period. It’s home to a permanent collection of historic artworks, and it’s also home to 60 (very lucky!) local, working artists. You could easily spend the entire afternoon here! Nashville is beyond perfect for a
summer day trip in Indiana. Oh, and just for fun, you might want to stop at The Candy Emporium... because everyone needs to leave Nashville with at least one pound of candy they'll only find right here. Now, let's head over to the Copperhead Creek Gem Mine, where we're in for a super-fun, family-friendly time!
family-friendly attraction in Nashville
, Indiana is a geology geek’s dream come true (and fun for everyone else, too). Pan for arrowheads, gems, fossils and more, and identify them via the handy-dandy identification guide you’ll be given. Choose from a variety of mining bags ranging from $9.00 to $30.00 and have a blast! Can’t get enough of the crystal life? No worries – check out the customized crystal boxes, too.
Nashville really is a town that dreams are made of; it’s got the perfect blend of history, arts, entertainment, tradition, and everything else you’d expect from an idyllic little place worthy of calling home someday. Come out and visit for a day, a weekend, a week, or maybe even forever – this beautiful little Indiana town is calling your name! No matter the season, you’ll find it to be one of the most amazing little towns you’ll ever experience. And truly, it’s an experience – one does not simply visit Nashville. One
Check out this delightful, short video highlighting everything there is to love about Nashville:
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