These Are the 13 Most Charming Towns In Indiana

Indiana is the land of vast farmlands with agricultural production of corn and soybeans leading the economy. Enjoy varying sights from mills to limestone natural wonders, along with open views. The state with small towns, boasts some real charmers, with a unique set of memorable offerings. Choose one to set base and enjoy a freedom-inspired get away from the steel walls of the cityscape.

Visit any time of the year, whether you are a sight-seeker or a roamer, to find an engaging landscape with feel-good pursuits for any taste, including shopping and cafe visits. These 13 most charming towns in the Hoosier State will inspire, relax, and refresh amidst scenic sights.


Aurora, Indiana, small town street corner intersection with church steeple and hills in the background
Aurora, Indiana. Image credit ChicagoPhotographer via Shutterstock

Seek this charming town with a pleasant name only 40 minutes west of Cincinnati on a historically-inspiring getaway in time to the first half of the 19th century. Aurora spreads scenically along the Ohio River and the North Hogan Creek, with heritage ringing off the old buildings along the streets. Stroll through the captivating Main Streets with impeccable architecture amidst cute cafes and neat storefronts veiled in small-town charm.

Check out the wealth of modern restaurants and small-batch breweries with relaxing atmospheres, authentic cuisine, and friendly locals. Work off some energy along the beautiful bike path with river views, to Lesko Park for a scenic picnic and wistful hikes. Visit the Hillforest House Museum and the scenic Veraestau Historic Site, and head to the shores for a stroll in the evening with an incredible sunset over the waters.

Beverly Shores

The sun sets to the west over the Lake Michigan Shore near Beverly Shores, Indiana
Lake Michigan Shore near Beverly Shores, Indiana.

Find this charming town, a national historic site in its entirety, alongside the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Beverly Shores is the dreamy dark-sky town of Indiana with endless quaint charm to explore morning to night. Enjoy evening strolls through the dimmed landscape beneath billions of stars overhead. Seek the Century of Progress Homes displayed from the 1933 World Fair with awe-inspiring artistic homes, like the Armco-Ferro House. 

Relax along the town's stunning Kemil Beach, a crowd-less piece of heaven, or trek through the beautiful Indiana Dunes State Park with a picnic. Beverly Shore breathes a sense of tranquility with less than 1,000 residents and Lake Michigan's immense shoreline. It fills your lungs with fresh air, your mind with peace, and your heart full of emotions over this charming scrap of land. The retro town with iconic neon signs and architectural feats bounding a pristine beach is the most scenically-charged getaway any time of the year.


Historic buildings in downtown Corydon, Indiana, the first state capitol.
Historic buildings in downtown Corydon, Indiana.

Corydon boasts a deep and diverse history as the former capital of the Indiana Territory. The interesting town is full of historic charm and a homegrown feel that keeps one powering through its many sites. Find this town in one of the most naturally scenic parts of the state, amidst the Hayswood Nature Reserve and the Harrison Crawford State Forest.

Seek local nature via a hike, or zip-line over the lush foliage, along with many wonderful bird-watching opportunities around. Combine discoveries from the past on a fresh-air stroll through the inspiring Capitol State Historic Site. Head downtown Corydon for modern amenities and many original buildings amidst the well-preserved historic district.

Dune Acres

Front of the Dune Acres Clubhouse, located at the upper end of Clubhouse Drive in Dune Acres, Indiana
Front of the Dune Acres Clubhouse, located at the upper end of Clubhouse Drive in Dune Acres, Indiana.

This Westchester Township in Porter County boasts an idyllic setting amidst the state's most unique natural landscape. Find Dune Acres crowning the Indiana dunes, perched at the southern shore of Lake Michigan. Enjoy easy access by car, or via a scenic ride along the South Shore Line Commuter railroad. The high-altitude lakeside resort village sits optimally overlooking Chicago.

There are many charming sights to scavenge, like the famed Dune Acres Clubhouse, on the National Register of Historic Places, at the top of one of the tallest dunes on the Lake Michigan Indiana shores. Dune Acres is a real charmer for botanists, set-bounded by more, diverse ecosystems. The paradise town emanates waves of tranquility with a laidback atmosphere along the streets to spend the whole day hunting outside with a camera.


 Northern side of the Pilgrim Holiness Church, located at 312 Main Street in English, Indiana, United States.
Pilgrim Holiness Church, English, Indiana.

The small town with a population of fewer than 700, is also located in a particularly scenic area of the state. English boasts a cozy landscape and one of the smallest county seats in Indiana, nestled quaintly between Camp Fork Creek and Bird Hollow Creek. The charming town inspires relaxing strolls with scenically-charged sights of local nature and hospitable residents for friendly chats. 

Although the scenic creeks cause timely havoc with flooding waters during heavy rainfall, the town thrives with a continuous string of tourists. Enjoy this idyllic respite from the city's lights and sounds during the dry season with homegrown charm, nature ventures, and water views.

French Lick

This image shows and idyllic rural, small town church chapel building with trees and a blue sky behind.
French Lick chapel. Image credit GypsyPictureShow via Shutterstock

French Lick is not eccentrically named for nothing, but with plenty of color and flavor around the scenic streets to back up the moniker. The hip, small town with modest beginnings thrived quickly from the rise of the French Lick Resort and Casino in the middle of the 19th century. It is also a long-time destination to rejuvenate at the natural mineral springs in town, before and after the entertainment at the blackjack table.

Today, the hotel comprises an optimal stay for any group including family visits and couples, where some play cards, while others enjoy an invigorating spa treatment. Take a stroll along the charming downtown with its pronounced retro vibe and an inspiring swath of colorful buildings. Enjoy a ride along the picturesque French Lick Scenic Railway for 20 miles, passing the impressive Hoosier National Forest.


The Elkhart County Courthouse
The Elkhart County Courthouse. Image credit Roberto Galan via Shutterstock

The "Maple City" of Goshen is a charismatic town with many renowned landmarks and feel-good pursuits for the entire family. Find the welcoming village with brick buildings and a large Amish community near the Michigan border, in the northern part of the state. The Old Bag Factory, revitalized from an abandoned factory in the 1980s, is a destination for all arts and culture fans.

Seek local creativity on full display through the modern interior with galleries, artisan shops, and old factory memorabilia. Stop by one of the state's largest county fairs in Goshen, and follow the townspeople to the Fidler Pond Park during a summertime visit. Enjoy plentiful relaxation, recreation, and water pursuits from scenic shores, like SUP, kayaking, or simple strolls and picnics.


Clifty Falls in Clifty Falls State Park in Madison, Indiana
Clifty Falls in Clifty Falls State Park in Madison, Indiana.

Madison is a real charmer along the Ohio River Scenic Byway, with cozy, leafy streets and a 19th-century vibe. Find the town neatly tucked along the rolling hills, with stark limestone bluffs, and packed with historical sights for dramatic views all-around. Take a cultural stroll through the many landmarks and museums like the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site from 1844 proudly crowning the town's vibrant Historic District.

Sight-see the gorgeous Shrewsbury-Windle House classical revival feat of architecture from 1842. Enjoy more than just a natural outing amidst the lush landscape around, sprinkled with many quality wineries. Visit the Lathier and Thomas Family wineries in the late summer or early fall for a glass amidst the best scenery. Enjoy daily strolls through Madison Downtown amidst inviting boutiques, cozy cafes, and beer gardens, as well as public parks with live music.


 Front of the only surviving building at Union Christian College in Merom, Indiana
 Union Christian College in Merom, Indiana.

Merom is a tiny townscape, established in 1817 in Sullivan County, part of the Terre Haute Metropolitan Area. Its big personality shines through natural charm and historic charisma along the laid-back streets with plentiful attractions. Find tons of old-school shops and overhear about the Battle of the Waters at Merom from the Bible, around the conflicting Israelites and the Canaanites, where the former triumphed. Although the archeological evidence from the story does not exist, the town is very real in Indiana.

Seek out the Merom Sandstone Site and Fort Azatlan on a nature hike with 55 feet of the bluff’s rock. It is a great place for a photo shoot, a selfie, or just a scenic picnic in the fresh air that overlooks the Wabash River. Surrounded by an idyllic farm landscape with peaceful sights, Merom evokes a sense of tranquility on a stroll. You can also enjoy a relaxing car cruise with the cute town to one side and the serene countryside to the other.


Landscape photo of Paoli, Indiana from the hillside
Paoli, Indiana.

The quaint neighbor of French Lick, Paoli, veiled in local charm, boasts unique experiences in Southern Indiana. The adorable small town is a family destination with fantastic attractions for any age throughout the year. Spend close-knit holidays beneath the scenic Paoli Peaks in a small-town atmosphere, and activities like skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. The glorious landscape turns into blooming fields of flowers in the late spring and summer.

Feel enchanted on a hike along the meandering trails through various terrain of the vast Hoosier National, or set camp to relax and swim from the nearby shores of the beautiful Ohio River. Paoli downtown includes historical landmarks like the Underground Railroad amidst unique shops and cute cafes to treat yourself in-between cultural insights. 


ATV with driver front view. He drives off-road in the forest.
Off-road vehicles (ORV) are popular at Interlake State Recreation Area just outside of Spurgeon.

The quaint Indiana town with just 200 residents carried the essence of its original name, Pleasantville, into the present day. Spurgeon's cheery locals proudly share the many historic sights you will see today, like the post office from 1866. The pleasant vibe expands throughout the old streets that have seen everything from the town's thriving tobacco industry to mining at the Enos Coal Mine.

Visit the Old Ben #1 tipple just a few miles outside and head on a drive down Country Road 150 E amidst surrounding lakes and creeks for the best picnic spot under the sun. You can always choose the closest Patoka State Fish and Wildlife Area to relax along the shores or hike. The Interlake State Recreation Area is great for adrenaline junkies including ATVs and hills to conquer for panoramic views.

Star City

This image looks up the Tippecanoe River, through the branches of a fallen tree, at Tippecanoe River State Park in Indiana.
Tippecanoe River State Park is just outside of Star City, Indiana.

The gem town tucked within Pulaski County, once called Scarborough, sports a much more complementing name today. Star City, since 1861, following a popular vote by the citizens, sits veiled in a countryside atmosphere and tranquil sights. The town bursts at the seams with charisma and tons of feel-good pursuits to disconnect from the city. 

Star City is an idyllic family destination with memorable activities for all, like the best Pond View Golf Course with lessons, horseback riding, and farm visits. Satisfy your sweet tooth at the Apple Blossom Honey Farm and stop by the first ever robotic milking stead in Indiana, the Jones Dairy Farm. For a real, filling meal, head to the Oak Grove Restaurant with delicious fare and a relaxed atmosphere.  


Williamsport Falls plunges from a channel carved a massive sandstone ledge.
Williamsport Falls.

Nicknamed "Side-Cut City," Williamsport is the largest town and the seat of Warren County, set along a short canal once used to re-route shipping traffic from the nearby Wabash and Erie Canals. Head to Williamsport for the annual Warren County Fair with charming events amidst the town's fairgrounds. Find the beautiful Williamsport Falls right downtown Williamsport, the state's highest waterfall at 90 feet.

While you are there, stroll through the Old Town amidst historic vibe and architecture like the oldest post office from 1829, and marvelous views over the Wabash River. Stop by the old Presbyterian Church from 1889 and the Tower House from 1854, and tour the Warren County Courthouse from 1907. Share a pizza at lunchtime from Biggy’s Pizza before an afternoon of browsing through the eccentric book collection at the Mind Song Books.

This comprehensive list offers waterside locales near the beautiful Ohio River, mountain enclaves, and many towns along the famed rolling hills of the state. The southern towns boast renowned local charm and hospitality, while the mid-to-northern townscapes will take you through Indiana's most-unique nature.

Sprinkled throughout Indiana, these towns will charm your next getaway from the city. Each continues to inspire new tourists and those pulled back by the local, ever-expanding charisma of nature and historic sights.


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