If you and your sweetheart are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of every-day life, Indiana can provide you with the retreat you’re seeking. Enjoy the flowers of romance in an immaculate garden or a cozy evening in a quaint B&B. These honeymoon-like getaways are among the best in the Hoosier State. Here are our favorites.
In the town of Colfax, Cabins and Candlelight is a two-cabin establishment that has one purpose: Provide you and your sweetie with a quiet getaway when you need a break from the happenings of life. Each cabin is more like a luxurious ski lodge than a camping cabin, with rich glossy wood, fully furnished rooms, and even a limited food supply in the kitchen! All you need to pack is a tooth brush, a change of clothes, and your best romantic mood!
Sharing food is already romantic, but what if you could first dip that bite of food into a pot of smooth melty yellow gold (cheese sauce) or hot velvety black gold (chocolate ganache)? Even better. If this sounds like a hot date that's right up your alley, check out The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant that is equal parts fun, flirty, romantic, and friendly. Yes, it's a nationwide chain, but there's a reason for that. Plus, there's only one in Indiana, so if you want the experience while you're staying in Hoosierland, head to Keystone at the Crossing, one of the trendiest areas of Indiana. In order to get the freshest fondue and the freshest cut dippables, you have to make a reservation.
For a romantic getaway at a sweet Victorian bed and breakfast, check out the Oliver Inn Bed and Breakfast up in South Bend. Fireplaces, curiosities from the Victorian Era, rich 18th century décor, and family-style breakfast make for a cozy overnight and pleasant morning after a weekend romance. South Bend is near some pretty neat attractions, if you're looking for something to do after your yummy breakfast at the inn. The University of Notre Dame is close by just at the edge of town, and right next door to South Bend is a hopping shopping spot of Mishawaka. You can also find the Studebaker Museum and the History Museum, the latter of which owns the Oliver Mansion (a different building entirely from the B&B).
A stroll through a fragrant and colorful rose garden, quietly chatting and holding hands with the one you love … what a treat! The Lakeside Park and Rose Garden of Fort Wayne is a sunken garden featuring a serene reflecting pool in front of a pergola flanked by trellises. In 1928, Lakeside was named a National Rose Garden, even into its near-death due to neglect, under a heap of trash. It was rescued in 2005 and much of the original stone masonry has been recreated using more durable cement and concrete, some of it being cast in bronze. There are over 2,000 roses here, and 150 different varieties.
To some, dancing cheek-to-cheek is one of the most romantic moments ever. While “dinner and dancing” isn't as popular as it used to be in the Golden Era, there are still some groups that keep this romantic and fun activity alive. In various places around Indiana, both regular and special ballroom dance events allow you to shine your dance shoes and lead your sweetheart out onto the floor. The calendar above keeps an updated list of ballroom, swing, and Latin dances across the state, so check out the calendar for a social dance near you!
For those that look to the golden past for ideas of a perfect romance, nothing beats a horse-drawn carriage ride. Rosewood Carriage Rides near Fort Wayne offers year-round tours throughout downtown Fort Wayne, as well as seasonal rides at Christmas and Valentine's Day. Also, ladies, dreaming of riding off with your groom in a carriage after saying, “I do”? Rosewood offers wedding day packages that add a new dimension of romance to your special day. Three white carriages are available for your tour, each pulled by “a big majestic draft horse.” Cozy up under the winter carriage blanket, or let the summer air play with your hair, at Rosewood Carriage Rides.
In the same town as the Oliver Inn Bed and Breakfast is another historic mansion now converted into a tourist attraction and restaurant. The Tippecanoe Place was built during the years of 1886 to 1889 by Clement Studebaker of Studebaker automobile fame, who wished to build for himself “'a larger house and one more nearly corresponding in its character with the position he had obtained in the affairs of the world,’” according to its website. Indeed, it is a stately and magnificent building, with rich dark wood, plush carpeting, and impressive lighting fixtures. A popular wedding venue, the opulent Tippecanoe Place offers you and your amour an exquisite atmosphere to enjoy along with the fine dining prepared by culinary masters. You can walk together through the sprawling mansion on a self-guided tour, or you can book a guided tour with a Tippe expert. With an atmosphere so beautiful, how can you not fall in love all over again?
In Valparaiso, a few minutes away from Chicago, the Taltree Arboretum and Gardens bloom in anticipation of a romantic walk with your sweetheart. You can sign up for master naturalist classes together when your honey wants to “do something constructive together,” or book a guided tour of the grounds. There are summer camps and youth activities and even ways to volunteer if you just can't get enough Talree. The rose garden, full of that flower that blooms in honor of love, is dedicated to the memory of the late Audrey Hitz by her husband Leonard and designed by her son after her favorite game, Scrabble.
A subsidiary of the famously lavish Caesar's, the Horseshoe in Elizabeth, Indiana, is a ritzy getaway for those who prefer a little poker with their romance. Gold and marble await your eyes in the common areas, and lush quarters in each (very reasonably priced) hotel room await your stay. The casino welcomes you to game responsibly and maybe win a little spending cash for your shopping trip or visit to the spa. There is also a bar and lounge to responsibly enjoy a tasty cocktail before retiring to your quiet room for private time in luxury.
The Kintner House in Indiana's first state capital is a romantically historic spot in the south of the state, with period decorations and even a honeymoon suite complete with iron bed warmer and beautiful mirror-topped hearth. The 1873 house features a period-decorated parlor and stately dining room festooned with lace and polished silver. The website lists the stunning features of each room and their composition, including those features original to the structure, and furnishings that belonged to the house's original owners. After a cozy night in one of the period guest rooms and breakfast in the dining room, you can sightsee around Indiana's first capital and see the Constitution Elm, the original capitol building and Hendrick's Courthouse, museums, and even some free concerts depending on when you book your stay.
In the Romance Package at the JW Marriott, you'll get an upgraded room with a view of one of Indiana's prides, the White River State Park, with a bottle of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries upon your arrival. And to make sure you can have as much morning cuddling as you want, the Romance Package offers a late check-out of 1 p.m. The package also includes breakfast for two at a premiere fine-dining Italian restaurant, Osteria Pronto. You and your loved one are sure to have a memorable time at the JW Marriott of Indianapolis.
If you've been following “Best Things in Indiana” for very long, you'll know that a treasured nook of our state is Brown County. The town of Nashville is a specialty-shopping mecca and popular day-cation destination, but the Cornerstone puts a weekend experience within reach. The stately Victorian home houses thirty-five guest rooms and full breakfast hand-prepared fresh from scratch every morning and yummy goodies throughout the day. Unfortunately, the inn doesn't allow pets or even emotional support animals, so if you were hoping to bring Fido along, it would be a no-go … but romantic getaways are supposed to be just the two of you, aren't they.
The Conrad is much more than a ritzy hotel. It's a hotel, salon, spa, fitness center, and art gallery. A short walk from Monument Circle and all the happening goings-on there, the Conrad is an elegant, luxurious getaway spot to relax, refresh, recharge, and reconnect. Enjoy massages in the spa, facials in the salon, a walk through the art gallery, and maybe even a chocolate treat at the South Bend Chocolate Company's Cafe on the Circle. If you stay during the Christmas season, you can take a ride in the horse-drawn carriage around the circle!
One of the most romantic spots in the whole state is without question the incredible, luxurious and opulent resort at French Lick. Part of the sprawling building was established in 1845 and then the rest of what now stands was added in 1901. Four hundred and forty-three non-smoking guest rooms throughout the resort invite you and your honey with their stately elegance and inspiring charm. Once you're ready to rejoin society after your alone time in the luxurious rooms, you can enjoy one of the 15 resort activities which are included in the 30 amenities the resort provides. Ride horseback through one of the trails, enjoy a swim or a bubbly soak, let out your inner child on the playground, or take a walk through the Formal Gardens. And, provided you're both over the age of 21, you can try your luck at the casino and maybe win a little spending cash for the gift shops and the surrounding boutiques and stores off-site. If you're a skiing couple and want to make a weekend of snow sports, Paoli Peaks is a 15-minute drive away. If you and your honey really want to treat yourselves to a special getaway, French Lick Springs Hotel and Resort is the premiere Indiana spot.