17 Best Things to Do in Carmel, IN

Carmel, IN
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Are you passionate about the arts?

If so, you'll find the best things to do in Carmel, Indiana!

Carmel, a suburb of Indianapolis, is renowned for its cultural offerings.

Carmel is your place if you're looking for sculpture, glasswork, painting, live performance, or even some artisanal chocolate.

"Bethlehem" used to be the name of this city.

Alexander Mills, Daniel Warren, Seth Green, and John Phelps platted and documented it in 1837.

There were several Quakers among the first immigrants.

Originally established in Bethlehem at the junction of Rangeline Road and Main Street, a clock tower presented by the local Rotary Club in 2002 reminds this location.

In 1846, a post office was created as "Carmel" because the state already had a post office named Bethlehem.

Bethlehem became "Carmel" in 1874 when a post office necessitated its incorporation as a municipality.

People and companies alike can prosper in Carmel, Indiana.

More than 100 free events are offered throughout the year, including a Gold Medal park system, a strong sense of community, and world-class entertainment and cultural offerings.

A dedicated and professional workforce is the driving force behind its success.

Carmel is home to more than 125 business offices, with a committed and skilled staff.

Read on to find out the best things to do in this thriving city.

Take Photos at Coxhall Gardens

View of Coxhall Gardens
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The Coxhall Gardens in Carmel, Indiana, a nature-filled town, is a fascinating and unusual park that awaits tourists to explore.

An aesthetically stunning Centerpiece and two 90-foot bell towers highlight the 125-acre contemporary botanical garden.

View of Coxhall Gardens
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As a bonus, the Coxhall Gardens have a Children's Garden with an array of fun attractions for kids, including Tiki houses, echoing walls, peek-a-boo hills, and town stores.

It's open throughout the week, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., in the Coxhall Gardens. Garden parties and other events are also available.

There is a lovely art gallery atmosphere at the Art on Main Gallery and Presents, located in Carmel's Arts and Design District, providing visitors with various abstract, modern, and conventional gifts and digital photography.

Gifts, posters, and unique artworks are all available at reasonable prices at the gallery.

From 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., on Wednesdays and Thursdays, until 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays until 8:30 p.m., and on Sundays from midday until 5 p.m., the Art on Main Gallery and Gifts is available to the public.

Visit the Museum of Miniature Houses & Other Collections

The Museum of Miniature Houses is another creative outlet in the Carmel Arts & Design District.

Only five museums of this sort exist in the United States, each dedicated to the fine art of miniatures.

A 1:12 scale miniature is an exact reproduction of the original object.

They are right in terms of history.

The Museum of Tiny Houses is home to tens of thousands of miniatures, including objects, room boxes, and full miniature homes.

It is not a toy like a playhouse.

This museum was built to make it simple for visitors to explore.

You'll find chairs, stools, and magnifying glasses for peering at stuff above eye level in every area.

The dollhouse for children was also a big success. In addition to the free audio tours, the museum offers scheduled guided tours for an additional fee when requested in advance.

Get Some Water from the Artesian Well at Flowing Well Park

Carmel Clay Park & Recreation's first park offered to the public was Flowing Well Park.

There is a long history of this 15-acre park off 116th Street and Gray Road in Carmel for water enthusiasts, whether it's water for getting together, playing, drinking, or fishing.

Artesian well is on the land of Flowing Well Park, making it a one-of-a-kind park.

In 1904, a group of drillers searching for natural gas unearthed the well by mistake.

Natural gas was not discovered, though.

Instead, the drillers discovered an artesian well!

As a pipe protruding from the earth, the well sat for decades.

In 1926, a concrete building was erected around it when the well was given.

People now travel from all around Hamilton County to gather the water that flows from the "Old Faithful" artesian well.

Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation recommends boiling the water for a minute and then letting it cool before drinking it because it is untreated groundwater.

Meditate at Kawachinagano Japanese Garden

Nearby, the Japanese Style Garden is a peaceful park inspired by the city of Carmel's Japanese Sister City, Kawachinagano, in Osaka, Japan.

Members of Carmel Sister Cities have contributed a great deal of time and money to the garden project.

Everyone who worked on it hopes that many people will enjoy it for many years to come, and this is a legacy for the community.

As a resting location for trail users and a place for families to picnic, the garden is just off the Monon Trail in the middle of a wooded area.

Go Biking or Hiking at Monon Trail

View of Monon Trail
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The Monon Trail is a concrete, rails-to-trails walkway that links to the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and the city's downtown area.

The Monon Trail's trailhead is located on 96th Street in Carmel, Indiana, before it continues for almost twenty miles via Grand Park, Sheridan, Westfield, and through some of the area's attractions.

Visitors may either take a stroll or bring their bikes along to explore the path.

At a Zagster bike-sharing station, you may also rent bicycles.

Parking is free at the 96th Street entry point.

Go Birdwatching at Cool Creek Park and Nature Center

The Cool Creek Park, one of Hamilton County's most popular parks, offers a wide variety of activities and amenities for visitors and locals.

Visitors may enjoy the park's ninety-acre expanse and year-round access.

More than four miles of wooded paths are available for birdwatching, running, or trekking; there are also picturesque concrete roads excellent for bicycling and rollerblading.

It also has a nature center, which is available to the public every day of the week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Cool Off at The Waterpark

To have a safe and enjoyable day out, visit the Carmel Waterpark!

Ride the waves, go wall-climbing, grab a snack from the snack bar, and relax in your cabana.

Family-friendly fun awaits you at this amusement park.

It has everything you need, from kiddie pools to water attractions for the more adventurous!

Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation is committed to providing a safe, family-friendly environment.

Have a Retail Therapy at Carmel City Center

Locals and visitors to Carmel City Center may enjoy shopping, dining, and entertainment within walking distance of their homes or workplaces.

Activities and venues are all within walking distance for visitors to enjoy a day of excitement.

Located at the Monon Greenway, this center is Carmel's newest and most vibrant downtown.

Attractions include the Carmel Farmers' Market, Carmel Christkindlmarkt, and Hotel Carmichael, which are scheduled to open in 2014.

It is an excellent location for those who want to be close to the Carmel Arts and Design District.

Music and theater performances, summer festivals, and accessibility to Carmel's most popular attractions are just a few of the activities available to visitors in Carmel City Center.

Revitalize at Sol Hot Yoga Studio

The Sol Hot Yoga Facility in Carmel, Indiana, is a family-owned and operated studio for the extremely popular kind of yoga.

Hot yoga courses at this studio are taught in a systematic therapeutic sequence to help individuals soothe the mind and reawaken the body, deliberately advancing from easy poses to more advanced ones.

Yoga's slow and steady movement helps to avoid damage to the body.

Sound, lights, and temperature all come together at Sol Hot Yoga Studio to create an immersive experience for students.

Classes are available every day of the week, from Sunday through Saturday.

Catch Various Performances at the Center for the Performing Arts

Front View of Center for the Performing Arts
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As a non-profit, Carmel's Center for the Performing Arts hosts an arts campus and offers a wide range of cultural events and activities for its neighbors and the general public alike.

The Palladium, the center's 1,600-seat, state-of-the-art music auditorium, features a 200-seat Studio Theater and a 500-seat Tarkington Theater.

All year long, The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel hosts a variety of programs, including dance, foreign music, Great American Songbook performances, and a wide range of other genres of music.

The facility also offers outreach and instructional initiatives.

Explore the Magical World of Music at the Great American Songbook Foundation

Visit the Great American Songbook Foundation in Carmel, Indiana, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The museum's changing displays aim to preserve and promote music from the Great American Songbook.

The Great American Songbook is a collection of some of the most popular and influential American songs of the early 20th century.

The songbook's history, culture, and music are displayed in public exhibitions.

In 2021, the museum exhibits music by George and Ira Gershwin and has previously displayed the Meredith Willson and Andrews Sisters from The Music Man. Every year, the show changes.

Watch a Play at Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre

The Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre in Carmel is a unique collaboration of directors, artists, and professional musicians who combine their diverse abilities with brilliant avocational community actors to present a range of high-quality theatre shows.

The theatre also offers many educational and outreach initiatives in Central Indiana.

Founded in 1915, it also happens to be one of Indiana's largest community theaters, and it has played an important part in the town's cultural environment from its beginning.

Grab Some Sweet Treats at Xchocol'Art

XChocol'Art, an award-winning chocolate company, offers a variety of handcrafted chocolates.

The chocolates at this shop continue the artistic concept with their intricate designs.

In Austria, Joann Hofer, the proprietor of XChocol'Art and a chocolatier, learned to make chocolate.

A former painter, she began working with chocolate as a medium.

Chocolates dipped in chocolate with images of Indiana can be found, as can confection with dried flowers and seasonal fruits.

You may have chocolate-covered strawberries in the spring and figs packed with whiskey, honey ganache, and chocolate in the fall.

They're as visually appealing as they are flavorful.

Sip Wine at Peace Water Winery

The Peace Water Winery in Indiana is the only locally owned "California winery" in the state.

Peace Water's wines are created in Napa Valley, one of California's most renowned wine-growing areas.

Visitors to the Peace Water Winery Tasting Room can try some of these Napa Valley wines without making a reservation.

The Tasting Room operates from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays through Thursdays, till 10:00 p.m. on Fridays, noon to 10:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and noon to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays.

Bring Home Vintage Decors from Carmel Old Town Antique Mall

The Carmel Old Town Antique Mall is situated in a historic building in the historic area of Carmel, Indiana, where the town's first fire vehicle was formerly stored.

The antique mall, which opened in 2002 with just five sellers, now has more than fifty specialty dealers selling various antique things, including vintage jewelry, linens, books, ceramics, toys, furniture, and much more.

It runs throughout the week from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Bring Your Friends to Bier Brewery North

Bier Brewery's goal is to provide Indianapolis with the finest and most flavorful lagers and ales available.

Each batch of Bier is made by hand, allowing Bier to control all of the elements that contribute to our unique flavor profile.

Various events in the state, the country, and the world have enjoyed and appreciated the end resultant delectability.

Bier Brewery won the Indiana Brewers Cup Champion title in 2011 and 2012 and won over 110+ medals in state, national, and global events.

It has both draft and canned beer on tap.

Final Thoughts

One of Indiana's best-kept secrets is Carmel, a little town with a quaint charm.

Carmel, Indiana, is a great place to visit.

It's no wonder that visitors come year after year to the city's vibrant arts area, thriving downtown, and famous bike track.