What to Do in Carmel, Indianapolis

For such a relatively small city there is quite a lot to get up to in Carmel. A little bit of history and context first however, as it’s always nice to understand where you’re going to go.

So Carmel is a small city located in Hamilton County in the state of Indiana. As a frame of reference, it is located to the immediate north of the state capital, Indianapolis.

The first settlers in this area were Quakers, who established the town in around 1837, naming it Bethlehem. The name of the town would remain as this for close to 40 years until, in 1874, it was changed to Carmel.

One little historical fact about Carmel IN – it was home to one of the first automatic traffic signals in the United States, with a set of traffic lights being installed at the intersection of Main and Rangeline Roads in 1924.

Carmel has been recognized by such publications as CNN Money Magazine and Niche.com as one of the best places to live in the United States. The latest such accolade, handed down by Niche.com, was made in 2017 so this is certainly not a case of a city trading off it’s past glories!

If you find yourself in Carmel, either has a tourist or as potential future resident, you may wonder whet there is to get up to here in the town. Luckily there are a wealth of fun activities and attractions to enjoy here in Carmel, such as:

Rollfast Gran Fondo

If you’re a fan of pedal powered adventures then the Rollfast Gran Fondo will definitely appeal to you! A Gran Fondo is by the way is a long distance cycle event – usually covering 75 miles or more. Carmel hosts the only Gran Fondo in the state of Indiana, so if you fancy taking part in this challenging ride then Carmel is the city to do it in.

Carmel Farmers Market

If you prefer a more leisurely paced experience, or if you just really appreciate your food then the Carmel Farmers Market could well be the place for you. Founded in 1998, this market has quickly established itself as one of the largest in the state.  Running every Saturday morning from May through to October, the market boasts over 60 independent traders with a heavy emphasis on locally produced foods.

Japanese Garden

Opened in 2009, this garden was constructed to honor the 15th anniversary of Carmel’s sister city status with the Japanese city of Kawachinagano. A tea Gazebo was added in 2011 helping to cement the reputation of the gardens as one of the most enchanting attractions in the local area.

City Center

Finally, the center of the city itself has recently undergone a $300 million redevelopment. The jewel in this crown is the Palladium at the Center for Performing Arts, which includes both a 1,600-seat concert hall and a 500-seat theatre, helping to make Carmel a true hub of the performing arts.


There is an awful lot to see and experience in Carmel, so no wonder it is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States!