Me and my running buddies in Carmel
I took my first trip to Carmel, Indiana this past weekend. Carmel is just north of Indianapolis and was hosting their annual Carmel Marathon & Half Marathon on Saturday. Our group included three of my running buddies and our wives. The ladies left early Friday morning and decided to do a little shopping before the guys left Friday afternoon and met up with them later. Carmel is a little under two hours from Russia, Ohio and one of the guys compared it to driving to the east side of Columbus, Ohio.
Carmel is a beautiful city. Most cities will have a good part of town and a bad part of town, I didn't see a bad part of town in Carmel. The homes are nice, it's very clean, and the people are friendly. We stayed at the SpringHill Suites and I commented to a hotel worker how manicured the city was for our race that weekend. He replied humbly that it's always that way. We ran the half marathon which was a 13.1 tour of the Carmel that took us through residential areas, past local businesses, onto the Monon trail, and ended in their cute downtown. It was a neat way to experience all the city has to offer. We also tried out some eateries over the weekend. We ate a pre-race meal at the Kona Grill in the Clay Terrace outdoor shopping mall, a post-race lunch at the Stacked Pickle, pizza on Saturday night at Bazbeaux's, and late night drinks at the Detour Grille listening to the band Chicken Bone. The food and atmosphere everywhere was excellent. I also have to mention that one of my Fish Report Twitter followers tweeted me on my way over to Carmel that I should enjoy the world famous roundabouts. I wasn't quite sure what a roundabout was, but I definitely understood after arriving. You will too if you ever go to Carmel.
I wouldn't exactly call Carmel, Indiana a vacation destination, but if you're looking for some good shopping, good food, and neat city, it's worth a weekend stay.