Aerial view of Elkhart Courthouse and suburban townscape of Goshen, Indiana.

6 Picturesque Small Towns in Indiana for a Weekend Retreat

Looking for a fun and vibrant itinerary for a weekend getaway in Indiana? These six captivating small towns of the midwestern Hoosier state will leave you longing for the next retreat. Whether you crave a romantic getaway, a family adventure, or a solo escape to reconnect with nature, these charming destinations provide the perfect backdrop for a memorable weekend retreat.

New Harmony

Colorful downtown of New Harmony, Indiana.
Colorful downtown of New Harmony, Indiana.

Visiting an open-air cathedral might not have been on your list, but it might be why you chose the town of New Harmony as an appealing destination. A historic landmark like no other, the Roofless Church is an architectural marvel with stunning views of the Wabash River. The Historic New Harmony Atheneum is another necessary stop for its design and exhibitions. The Atheneum is an award-winning building that brings the outdoor scenery of the town into the three-story structure, where vibrant exhibits take place. While the small town has its share of local inns, it is worth booking a stay at New Harmony Inn Resort & Conference Center for the feel of luxury and the myriad of amenities at your fingertips, from a pool to the resort’s own restaurant offering delectable and sophisticated buffets, just under a 10-minute walk from the Wabash River and major sites.


A covered Bridge Paoli, Indiana.
A covered Bridge Paoli, Indiana.

Paoli is a destination you will want to keep in your planner across the year. With exciting offerings for each season, the town’s infamous Paoli Peaks remain a favorite in the winter. This gorgeous alpine ski resort has 17 runs and many chairlifts for snow sports enthusiasts. If you are a long-time skier or first-time snowboarder, the resort has everything from equipment to lessons and facilities at your disposal. Visitors can choose to stay at the cozy Big Locust Farm Bed and Breakfast, especially in the warmer months, to benefit from this 93-acre farmhouse and flower gardens. In addition to the picture-perfect location, the quaint bed and breakfast offers great food and comfortable rooms. The getaway would not be complete without shopping at the Persimmon Tree Gifts in the historic square, a family gift shop with various plushies, puppets, artisanal jewelry, and more quirky small-town knick-knacks.


Water flowing at Metamora Grist Mill
Water flowing at Metamora Grist Mill.

Picnics and scenic rides are among Metamora’s most treasured activities. If you seek a laid-back time, the town promises a nostalgic time on the historic steam train offering rides through the countryside. The round-trip excursions made available by the Whitewater Valley Rail Road are set to fill your day with unforgettable views and a generous layover in the historic town, with tickets starting at $27 for adults. With views of the Whitewater River, one cannot miss sharing a picnic spread with family or friends when in town. One of the town’s most celebrated festivals is the Metamora Cana Days Autumn Festival, which has been running for over 50 years. The Canal Days take place on the first October weekend for three days, bringing in thousands to shop for antiques, handcrafted items, collectibles, and artisanal merchandise from local vendors. A great stay can be secured at the Metamora House Inn, a historic downtown inn, offering elegant rooms and a fine-dining restaurant.


Aerial view of Goshen, Indiana.
Aerial view of Goshen, Indiana.

The booming artistic scene in Goshen is worth the trip alone. Starting with the Goshen College Music Center, visitors can catch performances all year round. As for theater lovers, the Lerner Theatre might become a favorite. The rich scene extends to the Goshen College Art Gallery, which combines an array of works from contemporary art to 2D and 3D media. Visitors can also participate in First Fridays Art Walk, where downtown merchants host monthly free community events. The walkable area hosts hip restaurants and cafes such as the Electric Brew, known for its specialty beverages and baked goods, and JoJo’s Pretzels, serving mouthwatering soft pretzels since 1989, based on an Amish family recipe. Certainly, you will want to stay in the thriving Main Street district at the Inn on South Fifth, offering generous breakfasts and four spacious and character-forward guest rooms.w


Village of Aurora in New York. Image credit:Timothy Valentine/Flikr.
Village of Aurora in New York. Image credit:Timothy Valentine/Flikr.

Step back in time at the magnificent Hillforest Mansion, a crown jewel of Aurora. This Gothic Revival masterpiece, built in the 1850s, features stunning architecture, opulent interiors, and manicured gardens. Many guided tours are available to take you around the grand rooms, learn about the family who built them, and gain a glimpse into 19th-century life. Another picturesque spot must be the Lesko Park and Bike Path that spreads along the scenic Ohio River Greenway, ensuring breathtaking river views and possibilities for hiking, biking, or soaking in the tranquility of nature, even including a dog park. One of Aurora’s most prized landmarks is the Kryptos Comix, an iconic comic book store with extensive and impressive collections. To complete your stay, Tuggles' Folly Bed & Breakfast is bound to offer you the home-away-from-home feel throughout your getaway.


The Historic Town Square in Corydon, Indiana. Image credit: Charles Edward via Wikimedia Commons.
The Historic Town Square in Corydon, Indiana. Image credit: Charles Edward via Wikimedia Commons.

As Indiana's first capital from 1816 to 1825, Corydon played a significant role in the state's early development. Explore historic landmarks like the Corydon Capitol State Historic Site, the Indiana Territory Courthouse, and the Governor's Mansion to delve into the town's fascinating past. Its location in the rolling hills makes it all the more attractive for a retreat. Even going for a glass of wine can easily turn into a shoot, particularly at Oliver Winery, where delicious meals are prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients while taking in the beautiful views of the surrounding vineyards. You can also venture into the Indiana Caverns, the state’s longest cave and the 7th largest in the United States. As for accommodation, there are plenty to fit all budgets, from the affordable and homey Baymont by Wyndham Corydon to the more luxurious stays such as the Holiday Inn Express Corydon.

So, pack your bags, embrace the Hoosier spirit, and check off your list of one of these small Indiana gems. Whether you yearn for artistic engagement in Goshen, a historical adventure in Corydon, or a scenic escape in Metamora, these destinations promise a rejuvenating and picturesque weekend retreat. Make sure to keep your phone in hand because every moment will definitely be worth a snapshot!

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