We’re continually on the hunt for experiences that add richness to our lives. In the spirit of the revival of road trips, we are proud to feature a monthly section featuring destinations within driving distance of Charleston. We feel that our smart and savvy readers will find these trips interesting and entertaining.
Beautiful architecture in downtown Canton. All photos by Melody Pitman
Driving a little less than 4 hours Northwest of Charleston brings you to Richmond, Indiana. Bordering the state of Ohio, Richmond was once a thriving city that had ties to the recording industry. Years later, the town is undergoing revitalization and doing what they do best—sharing incredible hospitality. See what there is to see and do in this easternmost Indiana city. Start your trip by visiting the Old National Road Welcome Center and let them help you get acquainted. Be sure to pick up your Chocolate Trail passport that allows you free samples at several shops around town while you are there.
WHERE TO STAY IN RICHMOND
Like most US cities, the chain hotels are plentiful in Richmond. The Holiday Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites are both great choices, affordable, and centrally located. For a more unique stay, consider the historic Philip W. Smith Campbell Inn. This Victorian bed and breakfast offers five rooms (all with private baths) decorated with antique furnishings and features a gourmet breakfast and evening desserts with your stay.
WHERE TO DINE IN RICHMOND
The Olde Richmond Inn has been delighting diners for years. The historic old-world landmark provides room after room of dining options and a menu filled with classic dishes. I recommend the Beef Stroganoff and Onion Straws.
The Kitchen at The Loft (Depot District) is my top pick for dining in Richmond. Start your meal with the Roasted Beet Salad or a tasty flatbread to share. Entrees range from sandwiches to steaks, quiche to salmon, and delicious pasta dishes. The Kitchen at The Loft serves Ghyslain desserts, which are not only fantastic in taste, but also very Instagram-worthy.
Drop by the Joy Ann Cake Shop if you are craving a special sweet treat; Richmond is going to wow you! Stop by Abbotts Candies for the best caramels you’ve ever tasted or eat your favorite ice cream at Ullery’s Homemade Ice-Cream.
The Cordial Cork Wine Bar lets you have the best of both worlds: wine sampling and tasty eats in a classy, yet casual setting. A standout menu item is the sourdough boule with olive oil, herbs, garlic, and melted cheeses. It is amazing! Corky’s Cheese Flight (meats, cheeses, and crackers) and Lollipop Chicken are also nice choices. Pair these items with a drink flight or a glass of your favorite wine.
WHAT TO DO IN RICHMOND
Richmond is famous for antiques and you will find a treasure trove of them at Antique Alley. There are actually two trails devoted to year-round antiquing with a total of 1200+ dealers within the two loops. This allows Richmond the bragging rights to being Indiana’s premier antique destination.
A big surprise is that the Richmond High School houses the Richmond Art Museum, a do-not-miss institution. The touring exhibits are equally as impressive as the permanent galleries filled with American artworks. If weather permits, schedule time for the Rose Garden and Hayes Arboretum for amazing scenery and beautiful blooms.
Get familiar with and photograph the Madonna of the Trail along the National Road. These twelve monuments depicting the spirit of the Pioneer Women were erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution and run from Maryland to California. Richmond is home to the only one found in Indiana.
The historic Depot District, a trendy part of town, is where you’ll want to savor your favorite coffee drink, check out the street murals, browse a bookstore, and visit the Model T Museum. After dinner, take a stroll through the Gennett Walk of Fame, featuring colorful plaques dedicated to those jazz artists who recorded in Richmond such as Gene Autry, Lawrence Welk, and Louie Armstrong. The plaques lie in the ground along a paved bicycle and walking trail.
A short drive from Richmond is the Warm Glow Candle Company. This massive building (80,000 square feet) houses thousands of Warm Glow candles and unique housewares, wine, souvenirs, accessories, and lots more. There is even an onsite cafe and candy shop. Fun fact, the Warm Glow produces 15,000 candles per day.
RICHMOND: A TOWN THAT WILL SURPRISE YOU
Richmond, Indiana is a fun place to visit that doesn’t have showy attractions but still pleases both visitors and locals alike. Just when you think you’ve gotten familiar with the town, another opportunity springs up such the Levi & Catharine Coffin House & Interpretive Center Underground Railroad offering or the world-famous Ghyslain Chocolatier on the outskirts of town, that will leave you astounded! Have fun in Hooser territory.