Just 16 miles north of Indianapolis lies our home base, Carmel, Indiana. That’s definitely close enough to take a quick drive into the big city for some fun and entertainment. But what about Carmel itself? 

Local residents know that there are plenty of fun things to do in Carmel that don’t require a 30-minute jaunt to Indianapolis. Today, we’re going to share some of the local favorite hot spots, plus some must-sees if you’re ever in the area.

The Best Restaurants in Carmel

Do you live in Carmel, or just passing through and need a bite to eat? Here are some of the best spots to grab lunch or dinner in the area.

Charleston’s Restaurant

Charleston’s Restaurant is a casual but upbeat restaurant serving American favorites made from scratch every day. They have delicious appetizers like housemade queso or artichoke dip, or you can grab a hickory burger, their famous french dip, or even a market-priced prime rib. No matter what you’re in the mood for, Charleston’s restaurant never fails to deliver.

shot of male and female servers taking customers' orders at Charlestons in Carmel, Indiana
Source: Charlestons.com

Pad Thai Restaurant

If you’re looking for authentic Thai food, look no further than Pad Thai Restaurant in Carmel. Their menu boasts impressive spring rolls, soups, curries, and a $10 lunch menu that will make you never want to hit the drive-thru again. You can easily order online for pick-up or stop in to enjoy this authentic family-owned spot that will leave you and your taste buds satisfied.

Pies & Pints

Everyone needs a good pizza place, and if that’s what you’re craving, check out Pies & Pints. This spot is really cool inside and offers your essential garlic bread appetizers, delicious hero sandwiches, and specialty pizzas that will appease any. If you like beer, you will love their super long list of 36+ beers on tap—and weekly happy hours to meet up with friends after work!

Family-Friendly Activities

From beautiful parks to interesting museums, there are dozens of places to take your family for a day of fun in Carmel. Make sure to hit any of the restaurants we listed above in between.

The Waterpark

Yes, the name is just The Waterpark, but don’t let its basic name fool you—this place has everything you and the kids need to spend a beautiful summer day. The Waterpark in Carmel has adventure slides, a lazy river, shaded cabanas, and the famous FlowRider®, where you can take a stab at boogie boarding on an artificial wave.

Smiling little girl at The Waterpark in Carmel Indiana
Source: CarmelClayParks.com

Monon Community Center

When The Waterpark is closed in the summer, you and the family can utilize the adjacent Monon Community Center. In fact, the community center can provide fun all year round. They have a state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor pool and track, a skatepark, gymnasium, and the KidZone for kids up to 12 years old.

Conner Prairie: Indiana’s Living History Museum

Conner Prairie has amazing attractions for the whole family and is one of the most visited outdoor museums in the entire country. Take a trip back to the 1800s with a visit to Prairietown, a 19th-century village, to see how people lived back in the day.

Then, take a ride in the giant tethered helium balloon that signifies the original balloon that set voyage in 1859, marking the first-ever successful air mail delivery. Visitors can also experience a journey through a Civil Water reenactment, visit the Lanape Indian Camp, and do any number of the extraordinary historical attractions in the Conner Prairie Museum.

Must-See Attractions & Parks

There is still so much to see throughout Carmel, Indiana, but let’s go through some of the must-see stops and beautiful parks the area has to offer.

The Center for the Performing Arts

The Center for the Performing Arts is the place to be for any live events like musicals, tribute bands, book readings, holiday shows, magicians—you name it! There are also numerous classes for adults and children, from dance to acting to vocal coaching. It’s truly a beautiful building, and if you ever get the chance to visit any of the events going on, you must go—you won’t regret it.

exterior shot of the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel Indiana
Source: TheCenterPresents.org

Monon Trail

The Monon Trail is a scenic bike trail that runs along the old railways of Indiapanolis that helped make it a major hub in the 1800s. This 27 mile stretch of paved trails runs from Indianapolis all the way north of Carmel. It’s a great, safe trail to take the family on a daily bike adventure—making stops along the way to enjoy the scenery while getting some exercise.

Coxhall Gardens

This unique park, Coxhall Gardens, is a must-see stop in Carmel, Indiana. Its beautiful scenery makes it ideal for weddings and large events. But also, this 125-acre park includes twin 90-feet bell towers right in the center, next to a recreation lake. Families can also visit Children’s Garden, which has fun village shops, Tiki Huts, echo walls, and more.

Source: VisitHamiltonCounty.com

Flowing Well Park

Flowing Well Park has beautiful scenery and a unique history. In 1904, drillers came to seek natural gas, but what they found was an artesian well! To this day, visitors will visit the park with their water bottles or jugs to get clean, freshwater from the artesian well. In addition to the delicious water, this park also has some stunning views and perfect fishing spots to bring the kids. It’s genuinely one of the best parks in Carmel, if not Indiana.

This list is just a small piece of our favorite spots in Carmel to visit. There is also the arts and design district, the Carmel farmers market, and the Carmel City Center. Visitors will never get bored trying to find fun things to do in town; we can guarantee it.

If you’re a Carmel local who needs roofing work done, be sure to contact Impact Roofing! While we work on your roof, you can take a stroll to any of the above hot spots, then come home to a brand new roof. So don’t hesitate—get in touch today!