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12 Charming Small Towns in Indiana

We hate to break it to you but Pawnee, the fictional city depicted in the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation, wasn't a real place. Now for some good news: Muncie (fans of the show will recall Garry Gergich called it his favorite vacation destination) is an actual city in Indiana. And, since this is a list of small towns, it’s obviously worth mentioning that there are tons of tiny, cute and colorful communities across the state that everyone from Leslie Knope to Ron Swanson would surely love—and you will too! Scroll on for the most charming small towns in Indiana.

13 CHARMING SMALL TOWNS IN ALABAMA


charming small towns in indiana williamsport indiana
Jimmy Emerson, DVM/Flickr

1. Williamsport, Indiana

Getting There: 1 hour 20 minutes from Indianapolis International Airport

Where to Stay: Creekside Treehouse

Despite being the largest of the four incorporated towns in Warren County, Williamsport isn’t what we’d call big. It has a population of just under 2,000 and oodles of small-town appeal. Williamsport Falls, Indiana’s tallest cascade, is a huge selling point as are the historic downtown buildings and lovely views of the Wabash River.

charming small towns in indiana merom indiana
Nyttend, Public Domain

2. Merom, Indiana

Getting There: 1 hour 30 minutes from Indianapolis International Airport

Where to Stay: Cozy Cottage

When we think of true small-town living in Indiana, it’s often Merom. Founded in 1817, this tiny Sullivan County community is home to just 230 residents and the beautiful brick buildings that once belonged to Union Christian College (now the Merom Camp and Retreat Center). The timeless charm and relaxed pace just can’t be matched.

charming small towns in indiana patriot indiana
Nyttend, Public Domain

3. Patriot, Indiana

Getting There: 1 hour from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport

Where to Stay: Cozy Cabin in the Woods

Patriot typifies what it means to be a small town. This Posey Township community on the banks of the Ohio River covers a mere .26 square miles. And just over 200 people call it home. Besides the quaint charm of Main Street, you’ll find hiking trails and riverfront recreation such as fishing and kayaking.

charming small towns in indiana stinesville indiana
Stinesville Mercantile/Facebook

4. Stinesville, Indiana

Getting There: 55 minutes from Indianapolis International Airport

Where to Stay: Creekside Cabin

Another tiny town that’s big on charisma, Stinesville, which sits in Bean Blossom Township (such a cute name, right?), about 15 miles northwest of Bloomington, was the birthplace of the Indiana limestone industry and a prominent railroad stop. Today, its bygone-era charm lives on through heritage buildings and old-school shops.

charming small towns in indiana pine village indiana
Huw Williams/Public Domain

5. Pine Village, Indiana

Getting There: 1 hour 30 minutes from Indianapolis International Airport

Where to Stay: Charming Home

An 1800s trading post turned full-fledged village, Pine Village is a lovely place to wander around, eat some local grub and visit nearby Fall Creek Gorge. Fun (and surprising) fact: it actually had a pro football club from 1915 to 1922. Its professional sporting prominence may be in the past, but its charm definitely endures.

charming small towns in indiana monterey indiana
Adam Moss/Flickr

6. Monterey, Indiana

Getting There: 1 hour 40 minutes from Fort Wayne International Airport

Where to Stay: German Haus

If you paid close attention in the Mexican American War unit of history class, you might recognize the name Monterey (or Buena Vista) from the Battle Of Monterey. If not, no worries. This old-world gem will charm you with its small-town staples—hardware store, post office and tavern—as well as the Tippecanoe River.

charming small towns in indiana madison indiana
Warren LeMay from Cullowhee, NC, United States, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

7. Madison, Indiana

Getting There: 1 hour 10 minutes from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport

Where to Stay: Historic Brick House

Established in 1809, Madison was home to the first railroad in the Hoosier State and has one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the nation. No surprise, it continues to attract history buffs. Its perch along the Ohio River makes it a lovely destination for fishing and boating, too.

charming small towns in indiana angola indiana
Derek Jensen

8. Angola, Indiana

Getting There: 55 minutes from Fort Wayne International Airport

Where to Stay: Historical School House

A famous Civil War monument, photogenic landmarks—notably the Steuben County Courthouse and the Steuben County Jail—as well as plenty of shopping and dining options are a few of the reasons Angola continually receives praise as one of the best historic towns in the country. You can also access nearby Pokagon State Park.

charming small towns in indiana aurora indiana
Chris Flook

9. Aurora, Indiana

Getting There: 45 minutes from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport

Where to Stay: Rabbit Hash with Old-World Charm

For somewhere with a bit more excitement and vibrancy but no less small-town charm, we’d suggest Aurora. It’s a great spot for a weekend getaway that’s packed with history, riverfront fun, beer (Great Crescent Brewery is sort of a big deal in Indiana) and great food.

charming small towns in indiana goshen indiana
Bob Weston/Getty Images

10. Goshen, Indiana

Getting There: 1 hour 30 minutes from Fort Wayne International Airport

Where to Stay: Happy House Downtown

The perfect pitstop along northern Indiana’s Heritage Trail, a scenic 90-mile road trip route, Goshen is emerging as a cultural and artistic hub of the region with all sorts of wonderful restaurants, bars, cafes, boutiques, art galleries, restored historic buildings, live performances and fun events like dance in the streets on First Fridays.

charming small towns in indiana greenfield indiana
J. Stephen Conn/Flickr

11. Greenfield, Indiana

Getting There: 45 minutes from Indianapolis International Airport

Where to Stay: Home with Pond, Fire Pit and Large Yard

Whether you’re looking to relax, tour the historic district, shop or do a self-guided food tour (why not all of the above?), Greenfield will most assuredly tick the box. The birthplace of author James Whitcomb Riley has a range of stores and restaurants, plus beautiful architecture and a chill vibe.

charming small towns in indiana nashville indiana
Serge Melki from Indianapolis

12. Nashville, Indiana

Getting There: 1 hour from Indianapolis International Airport

Where to Stay: Betty Lou's Garden Guest Suite

The only incorporated town in Brown County, Nashville is best known for the Brown City Art Colony, which was established back in 1907. It also has many darling shops, art galleries and the popular Quaff On! Brewing Company. Fans of the great outdoors will enjoy exploring the hiking trails in Brown County State Park.