Road Trip: Kristin Chenoweth, Beer Festival, and a Historic Hotel in Wabash

Wabash won’t feel like a small town during its sophisticated ArtsFest, with Chenoweth headlining.
Charley Creek Inn in Wabash
Broadway darling Kristin Chenoweth performs at the Honeywell Center in Wabash on June 26. That’s quite the marquee show for a town of about 10,000, less than two hours from Indy, and Wabash is making the most of it with a full slate of activities, called ArtsFest. But first, right this second, before reading on, go book your room for Friday night at downtown’s Charley Creek Inn. The historic 1920s gem, fully restored, is sold out Saturday night, but you can stay there Friday then move to the Holiday Inn Express. Or hope for a cancellation at Charley Creek, a destination unto itself with its grand interior, a wine and cheese shop, a piano bar, and an upscale restaurant.

Back to the weekend plans. Artfest kicks off Friday night with a gallery walk featuring a local teenager’s rather impressive Beatles mural. Then a deejay spins for a free afterparty that evening. Saturday, there’s a downtown farmer’s market and a beer fest, Taste of the Hops ($15 for six samples). You can round out the day exploring the area. Don’t miss Charley Creek Gardens downtown—it’s free to amble this serene greenspace, which includes a waterfall. Brandt’s Harley-Davidson is one of the top dealers in the country, and the family also owns a Harley-themed golf course, the Waldo. You could pick strawberries at Doud’s Countryline Orchard, the second-oldest orchard in the state. Or head up the road: It’s an hour to Winona Lake, a waterfront village with a collection of cute, artsy boutiques and the original Cerulean restaurant, and 45 minutes to Logansport’s France Park and its overwater zipline. Make sure you’re back in time for dinner at Charley Creek’s Art Deco Twenty restaurant, and perhaps the Jennie Devoe concert (just $15) at the Eagles Theatre, a restored movie house.

The Honeywell Center serves Sunday brunch at Eugenia’s Restaurant. Afterward, Travis diNicola, who runs Indy Reads and Indy Reads Books and hosts WFYI’s The Art of the Matter, will talk about the arts ($10) at the Dr. James Ford Historic House. Chenoweth, an Emmy and Tony winner, performs songs from Wicked and Glee (as well as new numbers) at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $55 to $150—and 20-percent off right now.