On our trip out west we meandered from Sandusky Ohio over to Carmel, Indiana. Rather than being a tourist type place, Carmel is on our list of potential places to relocate. It is a smaller city that is 20 minutes north of Indianapolis. We stayed at a very affordable campground called White River campgrond which is a private campground that was taken over by Hamilton County. It’s actually located in Cicero, IN rather than Carmel but it’s pretty close. We liked Cicero and Carmel is even nicer. Carmel was CNN Money’s winner for best place to live in the United States in 2012. In 2013 another close by town won. Really the entire northern Indianapolis area is nice.
When we look at what makes a place “great to live” for us, we look at things that have an effect on our core daily life. Those things are space, proximity to civilization, places to work and a lack of traffic. Obviously business don’t like to locate strip malls in the middle of nowhere. Traffic is a problem in prosperous areas with many places to work. These demands are counter to each other and thus this list is a very tall order. Amazingly though, the general northern Indiana suburbs delivers. For starters Carmel itself has a huge business district so you wouldn’t necessarily have to commute into Indianapolis proper. In terms of space and proximity to civilization this place seemed very special. It truly seemed like rural cornfields and huge spread out properties were speckled by shopping centers with Meijer, Chick Fil-A, sushi joints and other deliciously bad ways to spend money. We did our best to hit traffic and we could find none - the roads are wide. Almost all 2 lane roads are a giant passing zone. The properties people had seemed to be quite large - 1-2 acres minimum and generally had RV’s outbuildings and other features. When it comes to the things that make us happy in our daily life - this seems to be it.
Where we were at in Cicero was on the absolute fringe of the more populous area. Down the street was a ridiculous golf course called Purgatory golf club. The entire golf course looked like a trap designed to bewilder the average golfer. The very idea of it made me laugh but alas I’m not a golfer so I didn’t try out the course. Across the street was a network of hard packed gravel horseback riding trails. We rode our bikes over them and enjoyed every minute. Beautiful fields of wildflowers separate the trails.
While we were here we decided to start trolling the Flavortown USA website where the list of Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives restaurants are posted. Indianapolis featured a couple. The first place we ate was an absolute hit called “Zest-Exciting Food Creations”. I had a very typical for me terrible selection - a meatloaf sandwich with home made mac and cheese. Doesn’t sound like much right? Holy bejeebus check out the picture. It was as good as it looks. Wow. Marina had some kind of rib sandwich with a bleu cheese mousse! It also was amazing. The other place we ate at was called Jersey Cafe. It was good, but not mind blowing like Zest was. While there we also visited Indianapolis briefly and partook in the LINKIndianapolis Motor Speedway MuseumLINK. It was meticulously clean and well curated but surprisingly small. The street to get there piqued our spidey sense as being not the safest place. We didn’t explore the surrounding area much in light of that.
Last modified: 21 October, 2014
Created: 6 March, 2014