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Brown County Trip Guide

Hiking at Brown County State Park, shopping in Nashville, and learning about the area's artistic heritage at T.C. Steele State Historic Site are just a few of the highlights of Brown County. Check out our recommendations for what to do, where to eat and where to stay.

There’s a natural warmth to this region centered around Nashville. Brushstrokes of fiery oranges and reds compose landscape paintings inspired by Brown County’s tree-lined vistas. Owners of boutique shops greet shoppers like they’ve known them for years. If it does get chilly, Hoosier fare and cozy accommodations get things toasty again. 

Do

Bear Wallow Distillery Indiana-grown grains distill into whiskey moonshine and other craft liquors in Gnaw Bone. Watch the process during tours, then taste the fifths in a room meant to look like a backwoods shack. bearwallowdistillery.com

Bear Wallow Distillery.

Bear Wallow Distillery

Bean Blossom Covered Bridge A winding two-lane road leads to the older of two covered bridges in Brown County. Stretching across Bean Blossom Creek, the 1880 bridge once served as a major passage into Nashville, and thanks to the local arts scene, it’s become the state’s most popular model for bridge paintings as well as a top spot for photographers. browncounty.com

Bean Blossom Covered Bridge

Bean Blossom Covered Bridge

Brown County Playhouse and Performing Arts Center The curtains part on live events (plays, musicals, concerts and comedy acts) and movies in this 426-seat theater founded in 1949. browncountyplayhouse.org

Brown County State Park Climb a lookout towers for a bird’s-eye view of the 16,000 acres of forests, lakes and wooded campgrounds. The park’s 25 miles of mountain biking trails rank among the state’s best. stateparks.in.gov

Brown County State Park

Brown County State Park

Brown County Craft Gallery More than 30 area artisans show their works, including pottery, jewelry, silk scarves and baskets. browncountycraftgallery.com

Hoosier National Forest Picnic at one of the tables overlooking the 200,000 acres, and explore some of the 266 miles of trails. fs.usda.gov/hoosier

Rawhide Ranch Ride horses through the dense forests near Brown County State Park, then soar above the trees on five ziplines, which get progressively higher. rawhideranchusa.com

Shopping You’ll find antiques stores and craft studios throughout Brown County, but if you’d rather walk, spend an afternoon in downtown Nashville. Find sweet treats at stores like Miller's Ice Cream House or Carmel Corn Cottage, and swing by the Brown County Art Guild to see works by more than 45 local artists.

T.C. Steele State Historic Site Tours of T.C. Steele's home and studio teach about the Hoosier Group impressionist who is largely responsible for turning Brown County into an artists' colony. tcsteele.org

T.C. Steele State Historic Site

T.C. Steele State Historic Site

Eat

Big Woods Pizza Company Ales like the Hare Trigger and Six Foot Blonde are on tap at Brown County's only microbrewery. Pair them with pizzas such as Emily's Garden—tomatoes, spinach, onions, mushrooms and olives on a cracker-thin crust. quaffon.com

Hobnob Corner Restaurant Original oak fixtures from 1873 and a soda fountain counter from the ‘50s set a casual tone, but the menu reflects fare both homey (liver and onions) and upscale (orange-glazed duck breast on butternut squash risotto). hobnobcornerrestaurant.com

The Nashville House Hickory-smoked ham, fried biscuits, apple butter and other home-style cooking stars at the Civil War-Era hostelry. The adjacent country store sells folksy items. browncountyinn.com

That Sandwich Place Yes, you can order sandwiches, but the real draw is the cream-and-crimson interior crammed with memorabilia honoring Indiana University basketball and legendary coach Bob Knight. That Sandwich Place on Facebook

Stay

Abe Martin Lodge In the heart of Brown County State Park, lodge rooms have patchwork quilts and furniture trim resembling branches. On-site Little Gem Restaurant specializes in comfort food, such as fried chicken, meat loaf and mashed potatoes. indianainns.com

Artists Colony Inn Shaker-style furnishings, plank floors and four-posters decorate rooms at Nashville’s downtown inn. No matter your entree, try Sun Fries—made from sweet potatoes and served with brown sugar sauce—in the Colonial-style restaurant, complete with stone fireplace and Windsor chairs. artistscolonyinn.com

Robinwood Inn Friendly barnyard animals and a farm-fresh breakfast set a pleasantly rustic tone at this lodging a few minutes outside Nashville. A well-supplied art room encourages creativity for those staying at the cottages or treetop loft. robinwoodinn.com

Robinwood Inn.

Robinwood Inn

Story Inn Ten miles of country roads lead to this escape outside of Nashville. You’ll be staying in the renovated buildings—mill, general store, cottages—that made up the village of Story in the 1800s. storyinn.com

For information: Brown County Visitors Center browncounty.com

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