BY JANE AMMESON
The start to a perfect Girlfriend’s Getaway is the accommodations, and what could be more perfect than the historic Grant Street Inn. Built-in 1883 and originally known as the Ziegler house, which began as a small, quaint bed and breakfast grew into a highly sought-after luxurious boutique inn offering one of the most hospitable experiences in Bloomington. Today, the inn offers 40 distinct rooms ranging in style from victorian-chic to a modern, old-world elegance allowing each of your “besties” to choose the perfect setting for a weekend of fun!
What makes the Grant Street Inn so ideal, is that it’s located right in the middle of downtown and Indiana University making it easy to enjoy the town’s atmosphere fully.
Grant Street Inn is considered one of Bloomington’s signature boutique establishments that transports visitors into an opulent and sumptuous Victorian past. Despite its renovation, much of its marvelous detail work remains, including the original parquet hardwood floor and trim, hand-carved rosettes and stair rail, a mosaic fireplace located in the lobby, and the oh-so-charming wrap around front porch. It turns out, even the stars seek out the charm. Near the mosaic fireplace is a photograph of Danny Glover, actor, and star of the movie The Good Catholic, who stayed at the inn while filming.
Check in and then check out all that Bloomington has to offer
The historic courthouse square is lined on all sides by galleries, boutique shops, restaurants, and salons – there’s no reason not to shop until you drop! Check out trendy shops like EllieMae’s Boutique, Mirth, Tivoli Fashion and Jewelry, By Hand Gallery, and more, all located inside Fountain Square just off of Kirkwood Avenue (south side of the square). Look for hidden gems at eclectic shops such as vinyl records at Landlocked Music, vintage clothes at Cactus Flower, and unique collectibles at the Bloomington Antique Mall.
Take a break
Enjoy a cup of java at Soma Coffee House & Juice Bar or Pourhouse Café, and for smoothies and bubble tea, visit Bapu Fresh.
Taste Your way through B-Town
Bloomington has been rated one of the 50 Best College Food Towns in America by the Tasting Table in 2017. There are a number of local places that help contribute to that success, such as FarmBloomington that uses seasonal fresh ingredients, Feta where you can create your own meal bowls and smoothies, Feast Market & Cellar which offers a full-service bakery as well as a wine bar, and Rainbow Bakery that offers fresh vegan and gluten-free baked goods. And, for cuisines from around the world, definitely check out 4th Street, it’s only a short walk from the inn.
When you’re ready to chill, Bloomington abounds with breweries, cideries, and distilleries such as Cardinal and Oddball Fermentables. Visit the tasting rooms at Butler Winery & Vineyard or Oliver Winery, Indiana’s oldest and largest winery east of the Mississippi River.
Be Pampered Together
Beautify, relax and revitalize at Bloomington Massage and Bodyworks or Elan Spa. Rev up for the weekend with a Halotherapeutic experience in the pink crystal lined Bloomington Salt Cave.
Bloomington is a great walking city, and luckily, the Grant Street Inn is just a few blocks away from the Indiana University campus and downtown. For larger groups of 8 – 16 people hop aboard the Pedal Pub for a fun and unique way to tour the local sites. For further destinations, consider taking a scooter or an Uber ride.
Grab a snack inside Indiana Memorial Union, the heart of Indiana University for over 100 years, and take some time to tour the building. It’s filled with towering oak-paneled rooms, lush tapestries, stained glass windows, and walls lined with paintings by Hoosier greats such as T.C. Steele. Or go a little further and consider some short road trips that wind along the country roads to delightful destinations such as Nashville, Indiana with its charming Victorian downtown, Hoosier National Forest, and the Brown County State Park (the only one in the state with a double wide covered bridge). Saddle up and take a guided horseback ride through Brown County State Park or Schooner Valley Riding Stable east of Bloomington. Deeper into the country, Story, Indiana, about 10 miles south of Bloomington, is a pre-Civil War village with an old general store now a farm-to-table restaurant.
Get Some Sun
Beach it at Riddle Point Park on Lake Lemon, or Hardin Ridge and Fairfax Beach on Lake Monroe. Walk, hike or bike on the Bloomington Rail or B-Line Trail, wander along Jordan River running through Dunn Meadow at Indiana University or stroll the beautiful oasis of the I.U. Arboretum.
Check out the local gallery scene and art exhibits, music venues, concerts, or performances at the Jacobs School of Music. Enjoy a laugh at The Comedy Attic, catch a show at the I.U. Cinema or a new play at Bloomington Playwrights Project.
There is so much to do, the hardest decision is just deciding where to start! Life’s too short not to enjoy every moment. Keep the excitement alive and make plans to reserve a getaway for you and the girls! For reservations call 812.334.2353 or visit grantstinn.com.