BROWN COUNTY, Ind. — With October just a few short weeks away, Nashville and Brown County, Ind., are gearing up for the busiest tourism season of the year.
More than 1.3 million people a year find their way to this hilly, quaint mecca that has streets lined with tiny shops selling local art, crafts and unique finds. They venture along curvy, windy roads through the state’s largest park, Brown County State Park, where they ride horses and mountain bikes, hike, camp and picnic amid the squirrels, deer and other wildlife.
The terrain is what drew artists to the area at the turn of the 20th century. Painters like T.C. Steele, Ada and Adolph Shulz, Marie Goth and Carl Graf, and many others, all made their homes in the hills that provided endless inspiration for their work.
And now, visitors follow that same trek each October as the green foliage evolves into hues of orange, red and yellow.
“Vibrant hues can be seen throughout the county in our rolling hills. Check out our famous foliage while hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, zip lining, and more,” said Aubrey Sitzman, public relations coordinator for the Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
One of the main attractions in October is the Back Roads of Brown County Studio Tour, which offers visitors a glimpse inside the world of local artists.
“Not only will you get to admire the area’s fall colors as you drive along, but you’ll also have the chance to visit a dozen home studios, featuring the work of more than 20 artists. Watch these artists in action, explore the spaces that inspire them, and, if you like something well enough, purchase art directly from its source,” Sitzman said.
The economy of the experience is one that the community and small business owners depend on each year. Of the 15,000 residents, 24.7 percent work in the retail, service, arts and entertainment industries fueled by the high number of visitors each year.
With the high number of visitors, though, diners and shoppers may have to wait in line.
“Most restaurants don’t take reservations so plan ahead,” Sitzman said. “Be sure to give yourself plenty of time for dining as most restaurants do not take reservations. Maybe pick out where you are wanting to go ahead of time and remember to be patient. Take in your Brown County/Nashville surroundings and just enjoy the company you are with.”
“From information on shops, restaurants, attractions and lodging properties to finding parking, restrooms and other attractions, the app makes navigation easy,” she said. “You can make reservations, use maps and directions, search for local events and even connect with the Visitors Center on social media. No need to wander or drive around aimlessly, just refer to that app and let it show you the way. Think of it as your very own personal tour guide, one that just so happens to conveniently fit in your pocket.”
For more information about October events, visit the CVB website.