Archive for September 11, 2011

Noblesville: One of 8 Great Towns in Hamilton County

September 11, 2011 Leave a comment
Forest Park in Noblesville, Indiana.

Forest Park, Noblesville, Indiana. staff photo.

By Lisa Sirkin Vielee
Hamilton County CVB

Noblesville, Indiana, is the county seat of Hamilton County and even though the city is dedicated to preserving the past, it also is staying up-to-date with new trends and event that appeal to families, foodies and visitors.

One of the places you can see how this love of past and eye on the future combines best is in the Historic Noblesville Square. The Old Sheriff’s Residence and Jail, which is now home to the Hamilton County Museum of History, sits across the street from the modern courthouse and was once the temporary home of the notorious John Dillinger. On the other side of the square, Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano is run by Italian immigrants in one of the old storefronts. The Ruby Pear offers traditional high tea while Noble Coffee & Tea offers lattes and espressos to go. The Antique Mall sits down the street from Asian Grill, combining the best of Chinese, Thai, Korean and Vietnamese food.  All around the square, modern and traditional combine to create a one-of-a-kind community.

What brings all these businesses to Noblesville? Christy Whitesell, who owns Uptown Café’ on the southwest corner of the square, thinks it’s the pace of the place. She says, “People like to be low key but they are savvy as well. It’s like having two kinds of Aunts. One who is comfortable and has lived here forever and one who went away and came back with a love of unusual things.”

When they aren’t working, residents of Noblesville spend much of their time at nearby Forest Park (see photo above). There are trails for hiking, biking and even companies that will rent you a canoe for the day for a trip down the White River.  Forest Park has a miniature golf course, carousel and skate park for the kids and it’s also home to the Indiana Transportation Museum, which operates various excursions on the historic Nickel Plate rail line.  Beginning in October, trains will depart from Hobbs Station in the park for the FFA-run pumpkin patch in Arcadia for a one-of-a-kind Pumpkin Train experience. (If you prefer hay wagons to railcars, visit Stonycreek Farm’s Pumpkin Festival to pick a pumpkin, navigate a corn maze and even ride a zip line!)

In addition to unique shopping and outdoor destinations, Noblesville also is home to local artists and musicians. The Birdie Gallery showcases the Hamilton County Artist Association exhibitions and offers arts camps to aspiring artists. The annual Jazz on the Square features live music in downtown Noblesville, and the Belfry Theater provides musicals and drama on its stage every season.

You can experience a little bit of the special Noblesville blend of history and modern life at the First Friday: Upstairs Downtown event on September 2.  Get a sneak peek inside some of Noblesville’s most-historic and interesting buildings during a special open house tour.  Then, beginning at 7 p.m., jazz band The Tides will play live on the courthouse lawn. Tickets can be purchased the evening of the event on the courthouse lawn, or can be purchased in advance at the Noblesville Main Street office at 839 Main Street.

For more information on Noblesville or any other of Hamilton County’s 8 Great Towns, visit