Bestie Staycation in Carmel


It seems like every Indy family leaves the area each spring and summer, filling up as much of the kids’ time off from school as possible, and typically us moms lead the charge in planning these vacations and activities that we hope will lead to lasting memories for ourselves and our children. But when was the last time you prioritized creating wonderful memories for yourself and your bestie?

Sure, you may get the occasional out-of-town bachelorette party or milestone birthday celebration, but what if you took a night or a full weekend away from your family and stayed just a few miles from home? You could take in (I mean really take in – not distracted by a child demanding an endless supply of snacks or claiming all of your attention) the amazing sights that are constantly around you, but with an entirely different lens. If you find yourself in need of a fun-filled weekend with your girlfriends, then take this as your sign to plan a bestie staycation in Carmel! I was fortunate to be able to do this recently with a few members of my mom crew, and we soaked up every second of time with each other (literally checking out of our hotel at the last possible minute).

Here are a few ideas to get you started on planning your bestie staycation in Carmel!


Hotel Carmichael is the obvious choice for those wanting to experience all that downtown Carmel has to offer, although it comes at a hefty cost (often more than $400/night). If you can swing it, then the location of the luxury hotel cannot be beaten. Located along the Monon Greenway and next to Carter Green (which hosts the Farmer’s Market and Christkindlmarkt), it has wonderful walkability. More reasonably-priced options (that would still be walkable or a quick Uber ride at ~1 mile to the Arts and Design District) include Home2 Suites and Fairfield Inn & Suites.


Try your hand at creating your own candles in midtown Carmel’s Penn & Beech Candle Co. The atmosphere is relaxed and fun, with the staff serving adult beverages if you want them to pour some drinks while you pour your custom soy candle. Midtown Plaza hosts wonderful events throughout the year and boasts a big screen for airing popular sporting events and movies. Carmel also has a bike share program that allows you to rent a bicycle so that you can spend your time getting fresh air while seeing even more of the area. Downtown Carmel often welcomes festivals like Art of Wine and Porchfest for music lovers. We are also lucky to have amazing performances at the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre and The Center for The Performing Arts.


Visitors to Carmel can get their caffeine fix at the social media influencer’s dream Java House, a woman-owned business with delectable pastries Helen Coffee Shop, a spot for chocolatey snacks and savory breakfast sandwiches, Carmel Chocolate Café, and Carmel’s third-wave fave Indie Coffee Roasters.


An Indy classic with a twist, Sun King Carmel Distillery offers a food hall meets local bar atmosphere that is family-friendly and has multiple outdoor spaces. Other hot spots for craft beers and cocktails include 3UP Rooftop Lounge, Wine and Rind, and the newly-opened Regalique fine wine boutique. Beer-loving locals favor The Pint Room, which boasts 124 taps with a spotlight on local breweries. 


If you’re looking for a unique dining experience where you can try everything your besties order, then you should definitely check out Divvy, which offers shareable plates and delicious craft cocktails. Other area highlights include Bub’s Burgers & Ice Cream for faithful favorites, Social Cantina for tasty tacos, Matt the Miller’s Tavern for appetizing American staples, Savor Restaurant for marvelous Mediterranean/Italian dishes, and Juniper on Main for superb southern coastal fare.


Stay on-trend with stunning items from Honey permanent jewelry and gift boutique. What better way to link yourself to your bestie crew than with the adult version of friendship bracelets? Silver in the City is another popular local gift shop with quirky, cute items. Whether you’re looking to splurge on yourself or have fun window-shopping, the shops at Carmel City Center offer a variety of unique businesses to support. You can also find luxury showrooms and studios at the Indiana Design Center.

Carmel, Indiana offers an immense amount of ways you can spend a day or a weekend for a bestie staycation. No matter what you decide to do when spending time with your mom tribe, be present, enjoy the moment, and make memories to last a lifetime. After all, life is precious and unpredictable, and you are lucky to have them by your side.