Accommodations throughout Indiana offer enjoyable staycation getaways without the crowds
Story by Glenda Winders
Desperate to get out of the house for a few days but still cautious about avoiding crowds? Good news! You can accomplish both in several exciting ways. Cabins, lodges and inns all over the state are ready to welcome you with secluded accommodations and suggestions for fun activities in the great outdoors.
“People are bored sitting at home and itching to get out,” said Sara Petri-Jones, office manager at Moondance Vacation Rentals in Brown County. “They’re looking for a safe and enjoyable place where they can relax and unwind.”
The 30-plus properties her company handles include cabins that range from one-bedroom to six as well as a farmhouse and two spots on Lake Monroe. Owners have intensified their cleaning protocols and upgraded their Wi-Fi so that families can take advantage of midweek rates while they do their jobs or go to school online. More than half are pet- friendly, and the majority have hot tubs and fireplaces.
At Swan Lake Resort Cabins in Plymouth guests stay in two- story rustic log cabins tucked into a wooded area. Each cabin sleeps six to eight people and has a full kitchen or kitchenette. A horseshoe pit and fire ring provide reasons to go outside.
Is romance in the mix? Check out Cabins and Candlelight in Colfax, where luxury accommodations come with fireplaces, oversized whirlpool tubs and screened porches. Breakfast and dine at your leisure in your full kitchen or grill outside. This wooded getaway overlooks a meadow area with a creek beyond, and Turkey Run and Shades state parks are nearby. Owner Rhonda Smith promises, “You’ll be on your own in your own little romantic cabin.”
Art lovers might prefer the Artist’s Retreat Guest House in Richmond. This 100-year-old Craftsman bungalow is appointed with art pieces, a library and fine antiques. The two-bedroom retreat sleeps up to five people and has a studio where guests can paint or write as well as a full kitchen.
If hip and urban is your vibe, Lofts on Main is the place for you. “‘Wow!” is the first word that comes to mind when I think of the Lofts on Main,” said Nancy Sartain, leisure marketing director at Richmond-Wayne County Convention and Tourism Bureau. “Each loft is infused with its own unique charm and elegance.” Located in the heart of Richmond’s Antique Alley, the two second-floor lofts in an 1890s building provide solitude and privacy. Both are open and bright with full kitchens, modern baths and spacious sitting areas.
The Starr Loft in an 1865 warehouse building is in the heart of Richmond’s lively Depot District. The expansive, airy loft sleeps six, and the decor is modern with vintage touches. The bath boasts a luxury walk-in shower and a claw foot tub for those who would rather soak, and in the kitchen you’ll work with top-of-the line appliances.
Also in Richmond is the Quaker Hill Cabin, an original 1830s log cabin on quiet grounds where horses graze in the adjoining field. Complete with fireplace, hot tub and kitchen, the rustic spot is just steps away from a trail head that leads to beautiful Thistlethwaite Falls.
In a wooded setting at the edge of Richmond is Abington Cottage, with three bedrooms and access to the Cardinal Greenway and Whitewater Gorge trails. In a downstairs game room two walls of windows provide natural light for reading or playing the games provided. Or sip your coffee outside on the patio and watch the deer graze.
The Brickhouse Loft in Martinsville is a brand-new boutique-style lodging option that sprang from the meticulous restoration of an 1897 apartment building. Choose one of eight suites that include two doubles, one that is wheelchair accessible and a bridal suite. Hold your wedding or event at the nearby Brickhouse on Main event venue and put your entire party up here.
White Pine Lodge at Wild Winds Buffalo Preserve in Fremont sits on almost 500 acres, where some 130 wild bison roam freely. Watch them from the porch that surrounds the lodge or make a date for a private tour of the herd. Hiking is a favorite activity, and there’s no TV to disrupt your serenity. Snuggle under buffalo robes made from skins of local bison and beds made from 2,000-year-old bristlecone pine.
A gorgeous spot for groups is the Lighthouse Lodge in Monticello. Its seven deluxe suites have private entrances, and five two-bedroom cottages have fully equipped kitchens. Enjoy views of Lake Shafer from your private balcony, play cards or pool in the recreation room, or gather around one of the fire pits.
The Blue Heron Guest House in Lake Winona is a sumptuous home built just a decade ago but in the manner of sophisticated Old World Europe. Enjoy watching blue herons from your private balcony or taking a boat taxi to dinner.
Nearby Chestnut House B&B, also on Winona Lake, is a 1906 Queen Anne-style home that has recently been remodeled into four elegant suites. While you’re here take a walk, run or cycle through nature on the paved Winona Lake Trails. A short stroll to The Village at Winona will take you to restaurants and stores.
Specializing in log cabins, vacation homes and guest cottages, Hills O’ Brown in Brown County is a full-service vacation cabin company with a wide variety of vacation homes, guest houses, guest apartments, and home stay residences in Nashville, Indiana and Brown, Monroe and Jackson Counties. In business for 25 years, Hills O’ Brown has more than 125 properties to choose from and range in size from two to 12 guests. Locations range from forest seclusion to the heart of downtown Nashville.
On Lake Shafer in White County, Indiana Beach Boardwalk Resort Lodging is just a short walk from the fun and excitement of the Indiana Beach Boardwalk Resort. They offer townhouses, cabins, motel units, suites and cottages. Many units are located lakeside and some even have a view of the Boardwalk Resort. Prices range depending on the type of accommodation. There are also two campgrounds. While summer is always a popular time to visit the resort, winter is a great time to just get away and relax. And the best part of winter visits? Off-season pricing which makes it even more affordable. Reservations can be booked online at www.indianabeach.com.
In Owen County, about an hour southwest of Indianapolis, you’ll
find Wasatch Lake, a 300-acre private woodland that’s open year- round. Lakefront and wooded view cabins offer tranquility, and the 50-acre stocked lake is perfect for swimming, fishing, and canoeing. There’s also hiking and tennis, and— during winter months—there’s cross country skiing, ice skating, and sledding. Or you can just curl up by your own cozy fireplace.
For a truly unique experience, spend a couple of nights—or more—at the historic Charles Davis Mansion in downtown Shelbyville’s historic district, just 20 minutes south of Indianapolis. The square home was builtin 1898, and has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a commercial- grade kitchen, private gated parking, and more. During warmer months, guests love to congregate on the 20-foot by 40-foot wrap-around porch. This Victorian Queen Anne masterpiece can accommodate up to 15 overnight travelers. www.charlesdavismansion.com
For another experience in history, book a room at the Cole Porter Inn in downtown Peru. This home is where famous American composer Cole Porter spent the first ten years of his life, and the current owners
have lovingly turned it into overnight accommodations with four suites, aptly named after the composer: the Cole Porter Suite, the Anything Goes Suite, the Kiss Me Kate Suite, and the Night & Day Suite. Each suite
has a kitchen, private bathroom, sitting room, sun room, cable TV, and high speed internet. www.coleporterinn.com
Small hotels with fewer rooms and upgraded safety protocols are always an option. The historic Sherman in Batesville was built in 1852 by a German immigrant and later named to honor Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman. Here you can dine on German-American cuisine or sip a toddy in the Black Forest Bar. In the Sherman 1852 Restaurant new alcoves and partitions provide for private dining, public areas are cleaned several times a day and its 22 rooms are emptied and cleaned thoroughly between guests.
The best part of the new 15-room Whittaker Inn in West Lafayette is that the owner is also a chef. For your dinner he will whip up dishes such as Salmon With Curried Yogurt or Mojito Chicken, and if you don’t feel comfortable gathering in the dining room, he’ll package up your feast to go.
With so many options through-out Indiana, your overnight accommodations will help put the “stay” in your staycation.
Artist’s Retreat Guest House
Blue Heron Guest House
Cabins and Candlelight
Charles Davis Mansion
Chestnut House B&B
Cole Porter Inn
Hills O’Brown Vacation Rentals
Indiana Beach Boardwalk Resort Lodging
Lofts on Main
Moondance Vacation Rentals
Quaker Hill Cabin
Swan Lake Resort Cabins
The Lighthouse Lodge
The Starr Loft
The Whittaker Inn
White Pine Lodge