barn near nashville

Top Things to Do in Nashville

While most people have heard of Nashville, Tennessee, I imagine not as many have heard of Nashville, Indiana.  Nashville, Indiana is a small artist community located in Brown County.  A few years ago, Nashville was named as one of the 20 Best Small Towns to Visit by Smithsonian Magazine.

I stumbled across the town nine years ago during my year-long road trip around the USA and have wanted to return to stay at the nearby Story Inn which is rumored to be haunted.  Finally, I made my return trip after going to Kentucky for the Derby.

I arrived Sunday night and stayed through Tuesday. Monday and Tuesday are very quiet days in Nashville. Some of the restaurants and museums are closed. I liked the quaintness, but for those who want more activity, visit on a weekend, as Nashville is a popular tourist destination and hopping.

Where to Stay in Nashville

While there are a variety of places to stay in Nashville from motels to small inns, as I mentioned above, I really wanted to stay at the Story Inn.  I was taken by its history, its architecture and its supposed hauntings by the Blue Lady.

History of Story

The Story Inn is located in Story, Indiana thirteen miles southeast of Nashville in the midst of Indiana’s rolling hills, farms, and state and national parks.  The now state of Indiana was opened to European settlement on September 30, 1809 with the signing of a treaty between Governor William Henry Harrison and the Miami Indians.

The boundary for the “Ten O’Clock Treaty” which opened three million acres to settlement is marked by the shadow cast at 10am on Sept. 30th.  The line passed through the center of the would be Town of Story.

The Town of Story was established in 1851 and became the largest settlement in the area supporting two general stores, a church, a schoolhouse, a grain mill, a sawmill, a slaughterhouse, and blacksmith’s shop and a post office.

At the onset of the Great Depression, however, Brown County lost half its population, and the Town of Story never recovered.  This afforded the state and national governments the ability to purchase thousands of acres of land.  Now this area is a nature lovers paradise and my happy place!

The Story Inn

The Town of Story was purchased in the 1980’s and the Story Inn came to be.  The Inn features a gourmet restaurant, a tavern, gardens, a barn, and 14 rooms and guest houses.  The Bed & Breakfast is a popular wedding venue and fun weekend attraction.

I reserved the Blue Lady room for two nights as it is supposed to be the haunted room. I left the blue light on for the ghost to visit, but I didn’t see an image.  A few weird things did happen, though I don’t know if they were related to the apparition.

Is the Story Inn Haunted?

So, I stayed at the Story Inn on Monday and Tuesday.  The Inn is actually fully closed these days, meaning there is no staff on duty and the restaurant and tavern are closed.  I thought this applied to the general public, but not to the guests too!  I was the only one staying in the main building while another guest stayed in a different house.

As such, it was a little strange to experience surges and temperature changes in the water during my shower that would normally take place with someone flushing the toilet.  Not to mention, the surges were much longer than the regular toilet flush.  I chalked it up to an old building, but it only happened during one shower.

In addition, my room had an attic.  The second day, I came back from hiking, and the attic door was open.  I suppose the sliding latch could have come undone on its own, but the latch wasn’t the easiest to slide close.  I’ll leave it to the reader to decide whether these were coincidental events or not.  It’s been reported the picture of the lady has fallen off the wall too, but who knows.  I was hoping an appearance of the Blue Lady to me would prove there are ghosts!

Story Inn Restaurant

While I didn’t get to have the full bed & breakfast experience at the Inn since it was closed the two days I had a reservation, I did get to enjoy a spectacular dinner at the Inn on Sunday evening.  I recommend at least having dinner at the Story Inn if staying at a haunted hotel isn’t appealing.

Top Things to Do in Nashville

There is so much to do in and around Nashville, Indiana.  Nashville is a perfect town for a weekend getaway.

Indulge in Nashville General Store’s Fried Biscuits

OMG!  I read about these fried biscuits in my Reader’s Digest Scenic Roadtrip book.  I wanted to just taste one, but they are only sold in batches of 10 for $7.99.  So, I ended up with 10 balls of cinnamon toast.  Don’t worry, I didn’t eat them all at once, but they are AMAZING! 

Fried biscuits at Nashville General Store

Be sure to stop in the Nashville General Store no matter what. The cute store and bakery offers a variety of treats and local products for sale.

Nashville General Store

Taste Some Wine

There are a handful of Indiana wineries with tasting rooms in Nashville.  Visitors to the town can conveniently pop into any of them to taste Indiana’s Upland wine.  Instead of tasting in town, I thought why not drive the backroads to Brown County Winery just a few miles east of Nashville.

It was a tasting room on a somewhat busy backroad.  While I didn’t find the peaceful atmosphere of a winery, I was surprised at how much I liked their sweet wine for which the Winery is known.  I generally prefer dry reds, but their Vista Red Wine and Blackberry Wine won my approval.  They were dessertlike.

Take a Distillery Tour

Not far from Brown County Winery is Bear Wallow Distillery.  I figured while I was tasting wine, I may as well taste whiskey too.  Given I had just recently enjoyed several free bourbon tastings in Kentucky, paying for a tour and tasting in Nashville, didn’t entice me too much.  But for those not going to Kentucky, it’s worth $5 to have six tastes of Bear Wallow spirits.

Fortunately, Bear Wallow produces general bourbon, but also flavor spirits like Rootbeer, Lemonade, Margarita and more.  The flavored “moonshine” was awesome!  Bear Wallow offers additional tastings and tours, but I think Hard Truth Hills, with its serene location, might be a better choice for an in depth experience.

Learn How to Make Fudge (and Candy)

Nashville Fudge Kitchen, located in the heart of Nashville’s downtown, sells fudge, popcorn, candy, and ice cream.  It includes two stations for making fudge and candy.  Stop in to see the process!  I strolled into the store to a find a recently made batch of fudge.

fudge at Nashville Fudge Kitchen

Stop By Brown County Pioneer Museum and Old Jail

The Brown County Pioneer Museum is only open on the weekend, but the Old Jail can still be seen.  I think it is fun to see one room, log jails!  If only we needed one room jails now instead of massive facilities.  This one was constructed in 1874.

Ride the Train

The Brown County Pioneer Museum is only a two minute walk from the Nashville Express, a train that boards at the Fearrin’s Ice Cream Depot.  The 25-minute, narrated historical tour is free for kids under 5, so it’s a good activity for families.  In addition, the train travels to a few of the nearby hotels which offer ticket discounts to their guests.  The train operates every half-hour from 10-6.

Check Out a Show at Brown County Playhouse

The Brown County Playhouse opened as a stock theater in 1949. Nashville was the only county seat in Indiana that could boast a dramatic stock theater company without a film emporium. Now Brown County Playhouse hosts year-round programming and films!

Drive Brown County’s Backroads to Artist Studios

Nashville and Brown County are known for its artist community.  Pick up a brochure that indicates the artists’ studio locations and drive the backroads of Indiana.  Each studio has different hours and some places seem more inviting than others, but overall, its fun to drive through the hilly, farmland without getting lost!

Visit TC Steele State Historic Site

Speaking of artists, one of the most famous artists from the Nashville area, was TC Steele, an American Impressionist painter known for his Indiana landscapes.  The TC Steele State Historic Site includes three miles of trails and lovely gardens on its 211 acres.  Set up a place to paint on the pretty grounds or take a tour.

T.C. Steele State Historic Site, Indiana

Stroll Nashville’s Main Street

So far, I’ve mostly addressed eating, drinking and sitting!  Walk off all those calories in downtown Nashville.  While the Main Street is charming, be sure to check out all the side streets, especially artisan’s corner.  Nashville features a choice of restaurants, confectioneries, antique stores, and artsy shops.  Its picturesque streets invite an afternoon stroll.

Hike the Surrounding Trails

Need more than a stroll?  Take a hike.  Brown County is a nature lover’s paradise.  Nashville is surrounded by parks, both state and national.

Brown County State Park

Brown County State Park requires an entry fee.  $7 for Indiana residents and $9 for non-residents.  The nearly 16,000 acre park includes over 30 miles of bike trails, over 15 miles of hiking trails, and a large campground.

When I visited many years ago, I took a short hike on trail 7 around Ogle Lake with my dogs while looking for caches.

This time I took Trail 9 whose trailhead is located inside the campground. The ranger at the pay station to the campground will provide a parking pass for free.  I connected the loop trail to the extension to make a 7.4 mile hike. 

The shaded trail led me by a quiet creek, past blooming dogwoods and through patches of wildflowers as I followed it to the lake where I enjoyed lunch on a nearby bench.  The only unpleasant surprise was a bull snake on the side of the trail that initially scared me, though it was harmless.

Yellowwood State Forest

Another place with nice hikes is Yellowwood State Forest.  The forest is free to visit. I took a 4.4 mile hike on Yellowwood Lake Trail.  Most of the trail passes through the forest with limited views of the lake, though it is open near the spillway. It also passes through a few parking lots.

Today it was very muddy with a variety of wildflowers dotting the edge. In addition, one section includes interpretive signs for those interested in the ecology.  It is best to use the AllTrails app in order to find the trail connections along the makeshift loop.

I have always liked Indiana, and I’m glad I returned to Nashville and the surrounding area.  It’s quite a wonderful oasis of art, antiques, culinary delights, and beautiful parks and countryside.  ETB

WANT TO VACATION SOONER?  IF SO, THIS VACATION CLUB IS FOR YOU!

SHOP

For notecards and key chains, visit My Shop.  For other products and digital prints, visit My RedBubble Products and my portfolio 123RF.

Best Travel Blog


Advertisements
living room at Graceland Mansion

A Guide to Graceland

A Guide to Visiting Graceland

So, I have wanted to visit Graceland for some time now.  Don’t ask me why because I’m not an Elvis fanatic nor do I know much about him.  But I feel as an American, it’s my duty see what all the craze is about.

Over the years, I’ve scanned Graceland’s website thinking I might get to Memphis soon.  Tickets used to be a reasonable $30, but recently with a massive renovation to the complex, the price to enter has sky rocketed. Tours range anywhere from $41 to see the mansion only to $174 for the Ultimate VIP experience.

Continue reading “A Guide to Graceland”
sunset on airport beach in sint Maarten

Things I Discovered About Sint Maarten

About Sint Maarten

  1. Sint Maarten is the Dutch side of the island.  Saint Martin is the French side of the Island
  2. The Dutch side is the southern part of the island and the French side is the northern part of the island.
  3. Phillipsburg is for the cruise ships
  4. Simpson Bay is for the airport
  5. The area near the airport is not safe
  6. Taxis need to be ordered, so showing up at the ferry dock without a taxi nearby is not a good choice
  7. Maho Beach is famous for watching the planes land.  What is enjoyable about this?  Not relaxing!  At least the sunset is nice
  8. Airport Beach is long and good for walking, but see 7 above
  9. The international line on the water between the Dutch and French side is marked by an anchor line with bikini tops hanging from it indicating the French topless area!
Continue reading “Things I Discovered About Sint Maarten”
SCUBA diving in Saba

Top Things to Do in Saba

About Saba

Saba is a Dutch island in the Caribbean Sea.  Only five square miles with a population of 2,000, this small island is known as the Unspoiled Queen. With little commercialization and no cruise ships, Saba is a tropical paradise!

Saba was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 but he did not consider the mountainous landscape important enough to colonize.  From its discovery until 1816, Saba changed hands many times…from the Spanish, to the French, and to the Dutch who took final possession.

The island includes four small settlements, the world’s shortest commercial runway (1,200 feet), the tallest mountain in the Netherlands which is the potentially active volcano Mt. Scenery, and world class SCUBA diving.

Continue reading “Top Things to Do in Saba”
runway at the bottom of the rocks

Hiking in Saba

Hiking in Saba on Our Dive Trip

A few years ago, I heard about an island called Saba in the Caribbean that had good SCUBA diving. I mentioned it to my dive buddies Rootie and Julie, and soon we ended up on a girls’ trip diving in Saba.  I didn’t know, however, that there are a lot of opportunities for hiking in Saba.  How perfect, we turned our dive vacation into a hiking trip too!

While we spent the mornings diving, we spent many of our afternoons as well as our last day on the island exploring.  As such we got to hike many trails in Saba.

Continue reading “Hiking in Saba”

Venice in a Day

Venice

This was my first trip to Venice and frankly I had low expectations after I told many I was going in June.  I got the “Oh it’s going to be so crowded and hot” comment over and over.  Not fond of crowds, I was apprehensive.  I spent 2.5 days in Venice with my friend Page, and I found myself pleasantly surprised by its rundown charm.  I’m glad I visited the city before it sinks! Continue reading “Venice in a Day”

Things to Do In and Around Ljubljana, Slovenia

Things to Do In and Around Ljubljana

Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital with a population of 270,000, seems smaller than its actual size.  Its central walking zone is compact and nearby the Ljubljanica River that bisects the city.  Many bridges cross the river while cafes line its banks.

We were only in Ljubljana for a half-day, and it definitely deserves a whole one or more.  But we were able to see several of the sights on our short walking tour before we relaxed at a riverside café. Continue reading “Things to Do In and Around Ljubljana, Slovenia”