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10 Of The Most Welcoming Towns In Indiana

by Staff

Vacationers, explorers, and history buffs alike Venture out to the Midwestern state to enjoy a slower pace of life and a naturally abundant setting. Nicknamed The Hoosier State, the people of Indiana are overly hospitable and caring for one another. Explore the ten most welcoming towns in Indiana as a local, and feel right in your hometown with the friendly gestures of locals. From wholesome experiences like visiting the Amish Community of Shipshewana to educational trips to the historically rich Madison, Indiana, caters to diverse interests and appeals, making it the ideal weekend escape or relaxing getaway. 

Greenfield

The Hancock County Courthouse in Greenfield, Indiana.

Greenfield opens the list of Indiana’s most welcoming small towns for its caring local, many parks, and quaint historic buildings. Visitors to Greenfield will feel at home in the town’s cozy ambiance and community events for every season, like the Riley Festival in the fall and Reindeer On Main in the winter. The lively artistic scene also contributes to the town’s allure with creative local works that can be appreciated at places like the historic H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts and Twenty North Gallery,

Nashville

Downtown Nashville, Indiana.
Downtown Nashville, Indiana.

This small town in Indiana ranks for its historic business district known as The Village. The town, founded in 1836, was named after Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville is one of the small towns where everyone knows one another, and locals all celebrate their town’s beauty with events and community gatherings like the Olde Time Flea Market and the weekly Nashville Farmer’s Market. Escapes and visits to Nashville are enhanced with homely stays like the Artistic Colony Inn and outdoor retreats that make for an excellent family vacation like the Nashville Ranch Retreat. 

Charlestown

Downtown Charlestown, Indiana.
Downtown Charlestown, Indiana. Image credit: Chris Flook via Wikimedia Commons.

Charleston is a diverse blend of different atmospheres, but among its most visited destinations are Charlestown State Park and Nine Branch Nature Preserve, making it the most welcoming town for nature enthusiasts. The town sits 14 mi north of Louisville, Kentucky, and is state-renowned for being a go-to Christmas village and winter escape as its city square and main street come alive with vibrant lights of the American Flag colors, winter music on every corner, and the Charlestown Express, an iconic train excursion covered in luminous colors. The 1902 Governor’s Mansion and Cobblestone Hotel & Suites rank among the most popular stays in town for a memorable visit to Charlestown.

Shipshewana

Aerial view of Shipshewana, Indiana.
Aerial view of Shipshewana, Indiana.

Escaping the usual calm small-town atmosphere with a lively main street, Shipshewana is one of the most welcoming towns in Indiana for the hospitality of its Amish community and insights into a unique lifestyle. A visit to Shipshewana is best started with a visit to Menno-hof, a non-profit museum dedicated to educating visitors about the Amish Faith and community values. Guided Buggy rides through the town and exceptional dining experiences will be the highlights of your visit, all while accommodating for the perfect family escape. Family-friendly destinations to visit include the Dutch Creek Farm Animal Park and Shipshewana Auction & Flea Market, titled the Midwest’s Largest Flea Market. 

Crawfordsville

The Montgomery County Courthouse in Crawfordsville, Indiana.
The Montgomery County Courthouse in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Editorial credit: Roberto Galan / Shutterstock.com

With a history in every corner, Crawfordsville stands out on this list of must-visit small towns in Indiana as an educational escape and a calm small town to regroup away from all crowds and tourists. The town’s quirky museums, like the Carnegie Museum of Montgomery County and the Rotating Prison Museum, display a unique Jail-cell design that became popular in the late 19th century. The Montgomery County Courthouse is the town’s most iconic building, centered in the historic business district. Super 8 by Wyndham Crawfordsville, Comfort Inn, and The Queen & I Homestead are among the top lodging options for overnight stays in Crawfordsville. 

Angola 

Downtown Angola, Indiana. 
Downtown Angola, Indiana. 

Angola ranks as one of the most naturally abundant destinations and is a small town enhanced by the hospitality of its residents. This small town in Indiana has been ranked among the best small towns in Indiana by multiple online travel blogs for its natural, historical, and festive advantages. Plan your visit to Angola near the holiday season to feel right at home among locals, or align your visit to the Angola Art Fest in the Late Summer. Visit the beautiful Pokagon State Park for winter sports or hike the Potawatomi Nature Preserve, two of the town’s natural gems and tourist attractions.

Madison 

Aerial view of Jefferson County Courthouse in Madison, Indiana.
Aerial view of Jefferson County Courthouse in Madison, Indiana.

Madison is a history enthusiast’s paradise and a patriot’s playground, standing out as one of the largest historic towns in Indiana for playing a prominent role in the early steamboat and railroad trade. The Railroad Museum and History Center narrate the town’s historical significance with tales and displays, while the Clifty Falls State Park is one of the most picturesque backdrops in the region. Additionally, Madison is beautified by the efforts of tasteful locals with works that can be appreciated at events like the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art and local art galleries like the Madison Art Club.

French Lick 

Aerial view of the Historic West Baden Springs Hotel in French Lick, Indiana.
Aerial view of the Historic West Baden Springs Hotel in French Lick, Indiana.

One of the smaller and classier towns on this list, French Lick is a historic resort escape town. The small town was established in 1811 by Dr. William Augustus Bowles, a controversial historical figure of various careers in politics and more. Stretching only 1.822 miles in size, no visit to French Lick is complete without an overnight stay at the massive West Badin Springs Hotel with its iconic glass ceiling and unique design dating back to 1845. This small-town escape also makes for the perfect family-fun trip with destinations like the French Lick Scenic Railway, classic golf courses that date back to 1917, like the Donald Ross Course, and Wilstem Wildlife Park.

New Harmony

Downtown New Harmony, Indiana.
Downtown New Harmony, Indiana. Image credit: GPA Photo Archive via Flickr.com

New Harmony, developed as a religious retreat by Harmonists in the 1800s, stands out today as one of the most welcoming towns in Indiana for its peaceful allure. Located on the Indiana/Illinois border, the Cathedral Labyrinth and Sacred Garden, as well as the original Harmonists Labyrinth built in 1815, are great places to visit and ideal for early morning meditation. Abstract architecture is also a major part of the town’s historic culture, with imaginative structures like the Roofless Church and the Atheneum Visitors Center that look like blocky icebergs. 

Corydon

Old Indiana Capitol building in Corydon, Indiana.
Old Indiana Capitol building in Corydon, Indiana. Image credit: Brent Moore via Flickr.com

Finally, wrapping up the list of the best small towns in Indiana is the state’s former Capital city, Corydon. This small town, which once played a dominant role in agricultural and industrial sectors, ranks for the remnants of its prosperous past of buildings, artifacts, and more. Learn more about the town and founding history of Indiana at the Corydon Capitol State Historic Site, the First State Office Building. Enjoy local delicacies at locally renowned tasting rooms like the Turtle Run Winery. Plan your stay in the historic downtown or bring your tent and get closer to nature at O’Bannon Woods State Parks.

Ultimately, the Hoosier State’s naturally abundant setting and open-hearted residents invite you to explore a balance of agriculture, history, and various national cultural settings. Choose from endless atmospheres and plan your escape to one of the most memorable small-town experiences.

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