Nashville, Indiana -- part of Brown County in the heart of the Hoosier National Forest-- is a short drive from Bloomington and about an hour south of Indianapolis. Billed as the “Art Colony of the Midwest,” Nashville and the surrounding area feature art galleries and shops that house the work of more than 250 local artists. For those staying in Nashville, lodging ranges from downtown bed and breakfasts to a western-style ranch.
The Orchard and the Abbey
The Orchard Inn and Abbey Inn are owned by the same group and each offers lodging options in Nashville. The Orchard Inn is one of Nashville’s oldest inns. Check-in is from 4-6 p.m., and it is suggested guests arrive during that time, as the Inn does not have a full-time staff. All rooms are non-smoking. Pets are not allowed. Plus, the Inn has “quiet hours” from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., during which guests are asked not to make loud or disturbing noises. Guests do have access to wireless Internet and free coffee. The Abbey Inn bills itself as a romantic getaway. All rooms have large hot tubs and no phones, the latter of which to ensure privacy. Rooms also have electric fireplaces. The grounds feature a wedding gazebo, walled gardens and walking trails. Both the Orchard Inn and the Abbey Inn are close to the Brown County State Park and the Little Nashville Opry.
The Downtown B&B
The Allison House Inn Bed and Breakfast is located in downtown Nashville, just a few blocks from the Chateau Thomas Winery. The Allison was built in 1876 by the same residents that started the local newspaper. The inn has just five rooms, but each has a private bathroom, wireless Internet access and complimentary bottles of water. Guests can enjoy the fireplace in the lobby during the winter months and the inn’s outside deck during the summer months. Guests can also park for free. The inn even offers discounts at nearby shops. Breakfast is served every morning at 8:30 a.m.
The Working Ranch
The Rawhide Ranch is in the country just outside of Nashville and offers a western atmosphere in the middle of Central Indiana. The hotel is a converted barn with 11 guest rooms that is adjacent to the ranch’s 16-horse stall and convention area. All rooms have private bathrooms, and guests can take advantage of common areas that have large fireplaces. Room furnishings include homemade quilts and bedframes constructed by craftsmen in nearby Amish villages. Outside the hotel, guests can ride horses on the 54-acre property, fish in one of the hotel’s two stocked ponds, explore the treetops of the Hoosier National Forest via ziplines or play horseshoes.
The Chain Option
The Comfort Inn Nashville is the only national chain hotel inside the Nashville city limits. The Comfort Inn offers breakfast with waffles, high speed wireless Internet access in all rooms, weekday newspapers and coffee in the lobby. There is also a business center, fitness center, indoor heated pool and lobby fireplace for guests. For those that want to upgrade, executive suites offer work desks, whirlpool tubs and microwaves. The hotel is 15 miles from Bloomington, making it an overnight hotel option for Indiana University alums who aren’t able to get a hotel in Bloomington.