Beyond Indy: Chicago family visits Hamilton County, Indiana

There’s no doubt that we love visiting Indianapolis, but this summer we also discovered a new getaway just outside Indy – Hamilton County. Located just about a half an hour north of Indy, this was a nice diversion from the hustle and bustle of the Racing Capital of the World.

All aboard!

With two train fanatics, we could not miss the opportunity to visit the Indiana Transportation Museum. Although not as large as those we’ve been to (we’re spoiled with the Illinois Railway Museum!), the highlight was riding on an actual caboose to get to the museum. Check their website for other types of train rides including an excursion train and dinner train.

A cute downtown square

When we were in town, we were lucky to catch the Strawberry Festival along with a vintage car show right in the middle of downtown at the historic Noblesville Square. We enjoyed perusing some of the many cute and charming boutique shops. Don’t forget to stop by the coffee shop, or even grab some ice cream to go!

Experience life as it was back in the day

A Smithsonian affiliate, Connor Prairie Park lets the whole family step back in time to explore life as it was in the 19th century. Explore a town where people and animals from that era are going about their typical duties or step back to the Civil War period and enlist in the army. Love animals? At the Animals Encounter Barn, your favorite farm friends await! We would have imagined the highlight would have been going on a tethered hot air balloon ride, but unfortunately the day we were there it didn’t operate because of the wind. Nevertheless, we still had fun stepping back in time!

Chow down

Families seem to go to Matteo’s for their favorite Italian dish. But the highlight of our visit was breakfast at Rosie’s Place on the square. If you can shy away from the treats and goodies that beckon you when you walk in, the menu offers a variety of your favorite breakfast foods. Don’t forget to try (and take home ) their homemade granola. Delish! If you’re a fan of the TV show, “Man vs. Food,” like my husband, stop by Bub’s Burgers and Ice Cream and conquer the Big Ugly Burger challenge. He did!

Where to stay

Cambria Suites, Noblesville

The newer hotel was a great place to stay with spacious all-suite rooms and a mini fridge. Plus, it was roomy enough for my two-year-old and four-year-old to run around! They also offer a breakfast buffet for an additional price.

Not enough time?

We only had a couple days in the area, but if we had more time we would have liked to visit a miniature doll museum, try biking, or even attend a music concert. We will be back!

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