If you’re looking for a small-town experience in the Indianapolis area, you’d be wise to consider the benefits of Johnson County. Most areas of the county are located just about half hour from downtown Indy, on the newly improved stretch of I-65.
Just over the Marion County line to the south is the town of Greenwood, home of the 150-store Greenwood Mall. In the summer, Greenwood’s WAMM festival (for Wine Art, Music, Microbrews) is a fun way to meet with friends and listen to live music while sampling local beverages. Two longtime favorites in Greenwood are Mrs. Curl’s Ice Cream stand (serving up frosty confections since 1962) and the 40+ year old Lotus Garden Chinese/American restaurant, with its over-the-top but authentic tiki kitsch décor. Newer local favorites include Roscoe’s Tacos and A Piece of Cake, a great place to order special treats for special occasions.
Further south, the city of Franklin grew up around beautiful Franklin College, founded in 1834. The city of Franklin includes many beautifully preserved vintage buildings and homes, thanks in part to historic preservation efforts of the city’s non-profit Franklin Heritage organization. The group’s major success is the 1922-vintage Artcraft Theatre where you can catch classic feature movies shown on the original projectors. Before each movie, the Artcraft presents short subject films, raffles, skits to make you feel as though you’ve returned to the 1930s. The theater is located near the lovely 1881 county courthouse, and the Johnson County Museum of History, housed in the renovated Masonic Temple. Franklin presents popular events and festivals on the town square each year, offering live music, beer and wine tasting, the Strawberry Festival, and historic Heritage Day.
On the south side of Johnson County, visit the Edinburgh Premium Outlet Mall for name-brand bargains, and Mallow Run Winery for live music and locally produced wines. If you’d like to find out more about life in Johnson County, visit co.johnson.in.us.