Carmel, Indiana, is a popular tourist destination located north of Indianapolis. It’s one of the most populated cities in the state, known for its vibrant culture, historic districts, and great attractions.
In fact, it has been listed among the “Best Places to Live in America,” making it a great place to visit. And with so much to see and do, I’ve compiled 17 of the best and fun things to do in Carmel, Indiana. Let’s get started!
Things To Do In Carmel Indiana
1. Take A Walk Through Carmel City Center
Carmel City Center is the heart of the city and one of its most popular tourist attractions. All around the center, you will find wonderful activities to indulge in and exciting sights to see.
This City Center mostly features mixed-use development with shopping areas, restaurants, art galleries, movie theatres, and even residential units, making it a great place to take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the atmosphere.
But that’s not all! Carmel City Center also has plenty of outdoor activities, such as the Monon Trail and other walking trails that traverse the area.
It’s the perfect opportunity to take in some local sights, grab a bite to eat, or just relax by the water.
In addition, this is also where the burgeoning Carmel Farmers’ Market is held every Saturday during summer.
And on top of that, you can find unique stores, boutiques, and galleries at Carmel City Center.
With plenty of indoor and outdoor events throughout the year, you are sure to find something to do here.
Address: Veterans Wy, Carmel, IN 46032, United States.
2. Explore Cool Creek Park
Encompassing over 90 acres, Cool Creek Park is one of the cool sites in Carmel (IN) to take a break from your busy life and just enjoy nature.
This park has a lot to offer for everyone: families, kids, hikers, and nature lovers alike. There are numerous activities to choose from, such as hiking, running, biking, and rollerblading.
You can also take a leisurely stroll on the nature trails or just relax and take in the sights around you.
There is also a covered pavilion with picnic tables and even a playground with equipment for the kids.
The park also has a nature center which is home to a variety of wildlife and plants, making it the perfect place to learn more about nature.
All these things make Cool Creek Park one of the top Carmel attractions and the perfect spot for enjoying the great outdoors.
Address: 2000 E 151st St, Carmel, IN 46033, United States.
3. Have Fun at Dr. James A. Dillon Park
Dr. James A. Dillon Park is another great place to have unforgettable experiences.
This beautiful park has more than 77 acres of green space and is full of things to do.
The park features play structures, multi-use fields, a skate park, a spray ground, and disc golf.
Therefore, it is the ideal spot to go to get some exercise, have fun with friends and family, or just relax.
You can bring your own food and have a picnic at one of the many tables in the park.
For those who want to relax, there are plenty of benches scattered throughout the park.
And if you love camping, then you’re in luck. This park also has campgrounds that provide a perfect setting for a weekend getaway.
Plus, the park also has a lot of trails for biking and walking. With its lush green surroundings, you can take in some fresh air and admire the beauty of nature.
So if you’re looking for cool things to do in Carmel that will get you outdoors, this is the perfect place.
Address: 6001 Edenshall Ln, Noblesville, IN 46060, United States.
4. Unwind at Midtown Plaza
Midtown Plaza is an outdoor shopping center that offers a unique shopping experience.
With its modern and family-friendly atmosphere, it’s definitely one of the best spots to visit in Carmel.
Midtown Plaza has a variety of things to do, making it an ideal place for travelers and tourists alike.
The outdoor shopping area features shops, restaurants, and cafes. Many of these shops provide an eclectic mix of things to do and experience, such as bike rentals, beauty salons, and art galleries.
There’s also a range of dining options, including traditional American fares like pizza and burgers.
Moreover, there are plenty of things to do for kids, such as a spray park and an outdoor playground.
The plaza also hosts events such as concerts and movie nights throughout the year.
So if you want to take the time to unwind and relax in a peaceful environment, then a visit to Midtown Plaza is a must.
The plaza also has plenty of things to do during the day, making it an ideal spot for tourists and travelers.
Address: 365 Monon Trail, Carmel, IN 46032, United States.
5. Discover the Monon Trail
The Monon Trail is perfect for those who want to enjoy nature with a bit of activity.
This rail trail is over 20 miles and stretches through Westfield and Grand Park to the town of Sheridan.
This popular spot is ideal for a leisurely bike ride, running, or walking and provides a great way to explore the local nature and sights.
The trail passes through various parks and provides a great way to explore the beauty of Carmel.
If you don’t have a bike, you can always rent one. You will find several rental stations placed on the trail, so you don’t have to worry about having your own bike.
I recommend the Carmel Bike Share, as they have comfortable bikes and great rates.
The trail is easily accessible from various points in the city, making it a popular attraction in Carmel for people of all ages.
The best part is that it is free and a great way to spend an afternoon.
6. Visit the Indiana Design Center
Wondering what to do in Carmel? A visit to the Indiana Design Center is sure to please you. It is a one-stop shop for all things interior design.
The center houses 15,000 showrooms and 45 kitchen displays. In short, this center is a wonderland for design enthusiasts.
It offers a lot of resources to both professionals and homeowners who are looking to spruce up their houses. In addition, the center is well-stocked with the latest home appliances and fixtures, making it a great place to shop for your house.
In addition, you can visit the to-the-trade showrooms located upstairs. You can tour these showrooms with your own personal designer and find unique pieces for your home.
Or, you can find one of their featured designers listed on their website and create a custom design plan.
Address: 200 S Range Line Rd, Carmel, IN 46032, United States.
7. Explore the Central Park
Central Park is the best destination for outdoor fun and relaxation in Carmel, Indiana.
This renowned park is home to numerous attractions, giving people something to do while they spend some time outdoors.
One thing that makes this park so magnificent is its diversity; it has something for everyone, no matter your age.
Young children can enjoy the playground area or KidZone at the famous Monom Community Center.
You can also have fun with the various sports and recreational activities that are open to adults, such as the slides and fitness center.
The Monom Trail is another excellent attraction that shouldn’t be missed. This trail winds through the park and is perfect for walking, running, or biking.
You can even take a leisurely stroll and admire the beauty of nature while you are there.
And being one of the famous attractions in Carmel, Indiana, Central Park also hosts many events throughout the year, such as concerts and festivals.
It’s also the perfect place to hold picnics, family reunions, and other get-togethers.
Address: Central Park Dr. W, Carmel, IN, United States.
8. Go Shopping at Carmel Farmers’ Markets
A visit to the farmers’ market is one of the most exciting things to do in Carmel. The market is open from May through October and is located at 510 3rd Avenue SW.
Here, you will find over 60 vendors selling fresh produce, delicious bakery delights, farm-fresh eggs and cheeses, canned and pickled goods, honey, and jams.
You can get a variety of things here, including seasonal fruits and vegetables, gluten-free items, artisan cheeses, and much more.
Moreover, you can also find handmade items, such as jewelry, pottery, and hand-crafted soaps.
And if you’re looking for something to snack on, there are plenty of things to choose from, such as fresh-packed popcorn or homemade ice cream.
The Carmel Farmers’ Market is a great place to pick up things for your next picnic, a romantic dinner, or an outdoor event.
The market is also a great place to get some souvenirs.
Address: 2 Carter Green, Carmel, IN 46032, United States.
9. Take a Stroll Through Carmel Arts and Design District
Carmel Arts and Design District is the place to go for art lovers. With more than ten galleries, shops, and restaurants in the heart of downtown Carmel, this district is a haven for art enthusiasts.
You can wander through Carmel Arts and Design District, browsing in interesting art galleries, shops selling vintage clothes and collectibles, jewelry boutiques, antique stores, and many more.
As you stroll through this area, you will be able to absorb the creative atmosphere of this bustling district.
Besides looking at fascinating artworks displayed in the galleries, there are also many other activities you can enjoy while here.
There are plenty of restaurants serving tasty cuisine from around the world and cafes where you can grab an espresso or a cappuccino before continuing your exploration throughout this area.
And don’t forget to visit the life-sized sculptures of the American Norman Rockwell, one of the most popular and well-known American painters.
This sculpture was created by the celebrated Realist John Seward Johnson II.
Address: Carmel, IN 46032, United States.
10. Visit the Local Wineries and Distilleries
Carmel is a great place to sample some of the finest wines and spirits from the region.
There are a variety of wineries and distilleries that offer tours, tastings, and more.
A trip to one of these wineries or distilleries is a great way to experience something unique and sample some of the finest local wines and spirits.
One popular winery in Carmel is Peace Water Winery. This winery produces some of the finest wines in the area and offers visitors a unique experience.
You can take a tour of the winery and learn about the production process.
Additionally, tastings and special events are hosted on a regular basis. You don’t need a reservation to visit this winery.
So you can just show up and start tasting the wines.
Another popular winery is Sugar Creek Winery. This winery has been producing some of the finest wines in Indiana since 2012.
They produce a variety of wines, from sweet and fruity to dry and robust. During your visit, you can take a tour of the winery and learn the story behind each wine.
You can also taste a variety of wines and learn more about the winemaking process.
No matter which winery or distillery you choose to visit, it is sure to be a unique and enjoyable experience.
11. Play a Round of Golf at Brookshire Golf Club
Brookshire Golf Club is an 18-hole championship golf course located on the picturesque banks of Cool Creek.
It is one of the most visually stunning and challenging courses in the state of Indiana.
The course offers a variety of interesting challenges for all proficiency levels.
Its design contains undulating greens, numerous changes in elevation, and wide fairways with lush vegetation.
The course also has a popular driving range, practice green, and chipping area for honing your skills.
Therefore, if you love golfing, you should include it on your things-to-do list in Carmel.
Other golf courses in the city you can also check out include Prairie View Golf Club and Dye-designed Plum Creek Golf Club.
These three courses are public and hence accessible to everyone.
Address: 12120 Brookshire Pkwy, Carmel, IN 46033, United States.
12. Unwind at Coxhall Gardens
Coxhall Gardens is a peaceful and tranquil spot to relax and unwind in Carmel, Indiana.
This 125-acre modern botanical park was the former residence of Jesse and Beulah Cox, who donated the site to the County in 1999.
Today, the landscape is filled with serenity and beauty, with open gardens, walking trails, and a lake to explore.
The park also has a variety of gardens, including the Rose Garden and the Children’s Garden.
The highlight of Coxhall Gardens is the 90-foot bell tower, which serves as an impressive beacon to Carmel residents.
Visitors can also take a walk on the paved trails, perfect for biking and jogging.
This is the ideal spot to spend a day picnicking with family and friends or just lounging in the sun.
And if you happen to be in the area during summer, don’t miss the concerts which are held in the outdoor amphitheater.
And if you love birds, this might be one of your favorite places in Carmel to capture egrets and herons!
So why not spend a day exploring the grounds, taking in the sights and sounds of nature.
Address: 11677 Towne Rd, Carmel, IN 46032, United States.
13. Participate in Fun Events at The Center for the Performing Arts
The Center for the Performing Arts is a vibrant performing arts venue located in Carmel that offers year-round entertainment for all ages.
Here you will be able to attend a variety of shows and events such as concerts, plays, comedy shows, musicals, and more.
There are three theatres in this complex, and each of them offers a variety of shows. The Palladium is the largest theater, and it has a capacity of 1,600 people.
It is the venue for professional touring companies, symphonies, and other classical performances.
The Tarkington Theatre seats up to 500 people and is the venue for live performances, plays, and comedy shows.
Finally, the Studio Theatre seats up to 200 people and is used for various educational and community programs.
The Center for the Performing Arts also offers classes, workshops, and summer camps to children.
In addition, they have a gift shop with souvenirs and other items related to the performing arts.
Address: 1 Center Green, Carmel, IN 46032, United States.
14. Shop at Carmel Old Town Antique Mall
Another amazing thing to do in Carmel, Indiana, is shopping at the Carmel Old Town Antique Mall.
This mall is located within a historic building that was home to the town’s first fire truck.
In 2002, it started operating with only five vendors, but as the years passed by, it has grown to accommodate over 50 vendors and turned out to be a popular tourist attraction.
You can find unique things like vintage houseware, architectural salvage items, furniture, and other things that make for great conversation pieces.
You can also find some cool things like vintage toys and interesting books.
This mall is a perfect spot for those looking for fun things to do in Carmel, Indiana, with unique things to buy.
You can spend hours wandering and looking at things, but don’t forget to look for things that you can take home as souvenirs.
Address: 38 W Main St, Carmel, IN 46032, United States
15. Catch a Show at Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre
The Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre is Indiana’s oldest and largest theatre, founded in 1915.
And although it has been refurbished and modernized, the theatre still retains its classic architectural features.
Today, the theatre has become one of the top places to visit in Carmel, especially for lovers of live theatre.
Here you can catch a variety of shows, from musicals and dramas to children’s shows and holiday favorites.
It is also a great way to spend an evening out with friends and family.
The theatre has become an important part of the Carmel cultural landscape, and its shows feature some of the most talented actors and actresses in the area.
The theatre is open year-round and presents a wide range of performances and events.
Address: 3 Center Green, Carmel, IN 46032, United States
16. Visit the Museum of Miniature Houses and Other Collections
The Museum of Miniature Houses and Other Collections is a museum dedicated to exhibiting, preserving, and interpreting miniature houses, mostly on a 1:12 scale.
This museum contains hundreds of dollhouses and miniature scenes.
The exhibits are set across seven rooms with a good range of things to view, from antique dollhouses to miniature dioramas. Each scene is detailed and works as an interesting mini-world.
You can also find the creative works of local artisans who recreate things like tiny furniture and accessories, as well as hand-crafted pieces that are used in dollhouses.
The museum also offers an educational program as part of its mission to promote a greater public understanding and appreciation for miniature art.
It is open to children and adults alike, with interactive activities like arts and crafts, puzzles, and scavenger hunts.
All this makes this museum a great place for the whole family and a must-visit attraction when in Carmel.
Address: 111 E Main St, Carmel, IN 46032, United States.
17. Enjoy the Culinary Treats of the Carmel
There’s something special about the Carmel area when it comes to culinary treats.
From delicious snacks and delightful pastries to an eclectic mix of flavors and spices, there’s something here that you’ll love.
So why not indulge in a tasting tour and discover all that Carmel has to offer?
Start things off with some classic favorites like the Carmel pizza at Bazbeaux Pizza.
This delicious treat is a classic that never gets old and satisfies the taste buds of locals and visitors alike.
Or, if you’re in the mood for something a little bit different, try the Bub’s burgers at Bub’s Burgers & Ice Cream.
These signature burgers are juicy and delicious, never frozen, hand-pattied burgers, and 100% ground chuck that are perfectly flavored with special spices.
For a special treat, indulge in the delightful pastry creations of the artisanal bakery at Carmel Bakery.
Here, you’ll find a variety of delicious cakes, cookies, and other treats that are made fresh daily.
Therefore, if you’re looking for cool things to do in Carmel that will make your mouth water, a culinary tour should definitely be on the top of your list.