One of the nation’s fastest-growing communities, Carmel, Indiana was named the “Best Place to Live in the United States” by CNN Money magazine in 2012. The city’s lively central gathering place is Main Street, rich with local culture and engaging attractions.
You can’t miss the street’s Carmel Arts & Design District, which promotes small businesses and local artisans and welcomes you with its distinctive brick and wrought-iron gateway. One of the largest of its kind in the Midwest, the Arts & Design District features art galleries, showrooms, restaurants, antique stores, interior design studios, and an array of specialty shops. During the holiday season, the street comes especially to life on Festive Fridays, when visitors enjoy shopping and entertainment in a relaxed, fun atmosphere late into the evening. Favorite gathering spots along the street include the Agave Bar and Grill, the Carmel Music Center, Scotty’s Brewhouse and the Pint Room.
Annual festivals hosted by the Arts & Design District include Carmel Artomobilia, which brings in an amazing variety of classic, exotic and rare autos, plus auto-designed art of all kind. In September, the Carmel International Arts Festival offers concerts, dance shows and children’s activities along with its main feature, a juried exhibit of work by artists from Indiana, across the U.S., and internationally.
A unique destination on Main Street is the Museum of Miniature Houses, whose seven exhibit rooms display more than 600 miniature homes, room boxes, dollhouses and other finely fashioned miniature items and displays. Carmel also has the World’s Smallest Children’s Art Gallery, so designated by the Guinness Book of World Records. The Monon Greenway, which passes through West Main Street, is a bicycling and recreation trail on the line of the old Monon Railroad, which connected Chicago and Indianapolis.
Carmel is also home to the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts, where the acoustics are world-class and the entertainers range from community-based theater, dance and musical groups to internationally known entertainers. And the city’s Carmel Clay Public Library, located just off of Main Street between Carmel High School and Carmel Elementary School, is one of the country’s most impressive community libraries. It contains over 300,000 books, 46,000 audiovisual items, and 665 periodicals.
All photos courtesy of City of Carmel