Anyone looking to connect with the past has missed the opportunity if they have not visited Metamora, Indiana. Metamora is a quaint 1838 canal town full of history and beauty with many friendly shops and activities to provide a day of fun and learning experiences for kids and adults of all ages. Shopping, train ride, canal ride, eating lunch, whatever you are looking to do, it is available in this old-fashioned town.
Metamora is located in central eastern Indiana near towns such as Connersville and Indianapolis. It is about a 50 mile drive from Indianapolis and maybe 2 hours from Louisville and Cincinnati. It is the perfect place for a day trip if you are within driving distance.
Metamora has over 50 shops plus eateries and lodging available. Shopping includes places like The Smelly Gourmet, the Old-Fashioned Candy Store, Auntiques and Uncles Junques, Grannie’s Cookie Jars and Ice Cream Parlor, Ann’s, Briar Patch, Buttons and Bows, and Crema Fiore Bath and Body, just to mention a few. There are many coffee shops and dessert shops too. You will find homemade items, quilts, NASCAR items, art, almost anything that you could look for in this wonderful little town.
At The Smelly Gourmet, you will find 13 varieties of Indiana grown popcorn in this unique shop owned by Brenda and Steve Collier. This shop also offers homemade lotions, soaps, and bubble baths. Steve Collier learned to make his cappuccino in Italy and boasts that it is the best you will ever drink this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Another sweet treat in Metamora is at the Old-Fashioned Candy Store. Here you will find Robert McKain busy making homemade fudge where he has been for 12 years. He sells about a dozen different types of fudge on any given day and adds to that around the holidays. Ice cream and candy is also sold in his shop, but the fudge is the best.
The shopping is just an added extra in this town. The most outstanding feature of the town is the history that is contained within. Hop on the Ben Franklin III, a barge pulled by 2 Belgian horses that carries passengers down the Whitewater Canal. This canal was dug in 1843 and contains the only wooden aquaduct within the United States. Rides are available Wednesday through Sunday. You will learn a lot about Indiana History while on this ride.
Another amazing piece of history in Metamora is the Grist Mill. This mill was built in 1845 and will allow an interesting lesson in how grain is turned into things like cornmeal and flour. The mill offers freshly ground cornmeal and flour for sale on most days. Makes a great gift for a friend or loved one, so be sure to pick one up while you are there.
A great piece of history is also found as you board the Whitewater Railroad. This train can be boarded in Connersville and rode round trip with a 2 hour layover in Metamora. This train company offers many special trains throughout the year, such as a Polar Express ride and a Santa ride at Christmas time. Check out their website for more information about these rides or just to find out how to purchase tickets for your ride. Many kids these days have no idea what it is like to ride a train so it is the perfect place for a field trip or just a nice place to take a short trip that will provide a learning experience.
If you would like to hike the area, there is a 2.6 mile hiking trail available near the canal. Walking the town would also be a great hiking experience if you really do not want to hike, but just get some quick exercise. Many of the buildings have plaques on them so be sure to stop and read them to learn even more about the history of Metamora.
Just a reminder that even though there are many shops and activities are located within Metamora, there are also private homes within the town. In order to allow visitors to know what shop owners are open for business and which buildings might be personal homes, they have a rule that if there is a flag outside the door, the building is open for business. Please respect the privacy of the shop keepers and townspeople of Metamora while you are there.
Tourists are always welcome in this small town that is rich with history. Plan your visit today and you will find a step back into time is just what you needed to relax and learn a little more about the history of Indiana.