We’re cruising the rolling hills of Brown County, Indiana in this week’s Wild Wednesday column, where the fall foliage will soon provide a beautiful background for viewing Indiana’s covered bridges. Brown County has two bridges, and is where you’ll find the thriving artist colony of Nashville, in which we discovered beautiful works of art, unique boutique’s, visited Cedar Creek Winery, and reveal more to experience on your trip. Enjoy!
Just a short drive from Bloomington, Indiana is Nashville, a small Artist Colony in the heart of Brown County. It’s a beautiful cruise down through the rolling hills of Brown County, where the fall colors and festivities welcome travelers from across the country. The journey has become a tradition for many travelers like us, who enjoy an afternoon viewing the covered bridges and browsing through the artists’ studios to see what’s new.
Indiana’s Covered Bridge Loop
Travel along the Indiana Covered Bridge Loop and you’ll find 9 different covered bridges spread throughout 6 counties in Central Indiana. Two of these bridges are located in Brown County, and the fall foliage creates a beautiful background for viewing the historic Bean Blossom and Ramp Creek covered bridges.
Crossing over Bean Blossom Creek on Covered Bridge Road, the Bean Blossom Bridge is located just outside the artist colony of Nashville. It was constructed in 1880 by Captain Joseph Balsey, and is among the rare bridges in the state, and one of only three Howe Single Through Trusses to still exist.
The Ramp Creek Covered Bridge crosses over Salt Creek on the north entrance of the Brown County State Park nearby Nashville. This bridge was built by Henry Wolf, and is not only the oldest covered bridge still standing in Indiana; it is also the only double tunnel covered bridge in the state.
Discover Beautiful Creations n the Artist Colony of Nashville
On each trip to Nashville we discover new works of beautiful glass, sculptures, paintings, and an assortment of creative crafts and jewelry. Often, you’ll find the artist’s hard at work, and happy to talk about their creative process. This is a great opportunity to learn about their techniques and the history behind their creations.
Fall is a exciting season to visit Nashville for art lovers, who can join events like Great Outdoor Art Contest And Local Tastings at the T.C. Steele Site in Brown County. This event lets artists create an original piece of artwork on site, which is later judged by peers and fans. They also showcase local crafts, tastings and a live outdoor concert.
One of the ways to experience the art scene in Nashville is on the Back Roads of Brown County Studio Tour. This free, self-guided tour guides you to the home studios of many local artists. Their talents vary from hand-woven items, to stunning paintings, metalworks and other creative works. It’s a engaging experience to watch the artist’s transform a lump of clay into beautiful pottery creations.
Find Unique Gifts in Boutique and Antique Shops
For those who enjoy shopping or just browsing for that unique gift, you’ll find many boutiques and antique shops to explore in Nashville. We enjoy visiting the Antique Mall that has many wonderful pieces of furniture, jewelry, china and an assortment of items for sale. It’s entertaining to listen to the stories antique dealers share about their favorite pieces of furniture. The old photos and postcards are also interesting, especially those of Nashville, which reveal how the town has changed, yet still retains its small town charm.
There are also a number of boutiques with lovely clothing, woven items, as well as lace. If you’re looking for a leather coat, gloves, or chaps you’ll find these items available several of the leather shops. You’ll also find a collection of hand-made scented soaps and body products, fresh herbs and cooking oils and gourmet dog treats available at the boutiques in Nashville.
Wine and Dine in Nashville
(photos via Melody schubert and cedar creek winery)
Nashville is home to several wineries that offer wine tasting and host events. Among our favorites is Cedar Creek Winery that has another location just a few miles away, where they host concerts on the weekends. Our host, Tony Payne, was on hand to serve up several samples of red wine in Nashville on our visit.
Tony explained the different types of wine offered, which include dry, semi-dry, and sweet wines as well as dessert wines. We tried the Artesian Spirit that is a nice red wine with sweet flavors if black raspberries. The Pom-Pourri is a delightful red wine with a rich, sweet taste of pomegranates. You can select six wines for sampling, although once we tried Cedar Creek Winery’s Blue Velvet wine there was no need to try the others. The slightly sweet flavor of blueberries with a hint of cherry spices was perfectly blended.
After purchasing a bottle of Cedar Creek Winery’s Blue Velvet wine, and browsing through the shops, we took time to enjoy lunch at the Daily Grind. They have a nice Turkey Club sandwich, as well as an assortment of other menu items, in addition to the variety of hearty coffee blends available. There are many dining choices in Nashville like the home style menu selections at the Nashville House and the Hob Nob Restaurant, to BBQ and pizza. With so many choices you can try something different each time you visit. And, don’t forget to sample some of the tasty treats that include kettle corn, rich fudge, ice cream, and more.
A visit to Nashville and Brown County is always memorable whether viewing the fall foliage, joining a festival, or just enjoying a afternoon lunch and browsing the unique shops!
Plan Your Visit To Nashville, Indiana
To explore the covered bridges, arts, annual events, lodging options, dining, and boutiques in Nashville visit the Brown County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau or call 1-800-753-3255 to order a visitor’s guide.
Wild Wednesday Facts:
- The Ramp Creek Covered Bridge in Brown County State Park is one of four double tunnel covered bridge’s in the United States.
- When cruising along the highways to the bridges in Brown County, Indiana you’ll find overlooks and picnic areas, which are perfect for taking in the stunning views in any season.
- Hundreds of cyclists will gather for the Brown County Epic in Mid October. The mountain bike festival will feature games, great prize raffles, product and bike demos. Entertainment, food and brews will also be available. The Brown County Epic ride will take place within Brown County State Park and Yellowwood State Forest, and cover around a hundred miles of terrain, with 100, 75, 50, and 25-mile routes.
Will you visit Nashville, Indiana?
photos via Melody Schubert unless otherwise noted
feature image via Brown County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau