Richmond, Indiana has a lot to offer for an Indiana Road Trip with appeal to a variety of interests.
I’m sharing more about the best things to do in Richmond, Indiana, along with additional local attractions within a short drive.
The Richmond area has a treasure trove of historical attractions that make it a bit of a hidden gem.
Where is Richmond, Indiana located?
Richmond, Indiana is located in east central Indiana in the county seat of Wayne County.
- 50 min (46.3 miles) from Dayton, OH
- 1.11 hr (72.9 miles) from Indianapolis, IN
- 1.19 hr (67.3 miles) from Cincinnati, OH
- 1.35 hr (105 miles) from Columbus, OH
- 1.58 hr (92.4 miles) from Fort Wayne, IN
Richmond, Indiana is a great place for a day trip or weekend getaway.
Learn About the History of the Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site & Interpretive Center
201 US-27, Fountain City, IN (14 minutes/ 9.2 miles from Richmond)
In 2016, The Smithsonian named the Levi Coffin House Interpretive Center “One of 12 new museums around the world to visit.”
Visitors can watch an orientation video to learn more about the historic site, tour the Levi and Catharine Coffin House (*check tour days), and experience hands-on learning through interactive exhibits including a mock false-bottom wagon and a cotton bale that you can try to lift.
Admission is FREE on
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Presidents’ Day
Take a Guided Tour of the Levi and Catharine Coffin House
201 US-27, Fountain City, IN (14 minutes/ 9.2 miles from Richmond)
In a city with a population today of 700+, there is a historical landmark that represents a critical time in our nation’s history.
What made this home extraordinary was the safe haven that it provided for more than 1,000 freedom seekers on their way to Canada.
The Levi and Catharine Coffin House is known as the Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad.
History Channel ranked the Levi and Catharine Coffin House as “One of the nation’s Top 25 Historical Sites.”
I HIGHLY recommend taking a guided tour to have a greater understanding of their important role in the Underground Railroad.
When are guided tours available at the Levi and Catharine Coffin House?
Timed, indoor tours are available at the Levi and Catharine Coffin House Wednesday- Sunday at 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM.
You should purchase your tickets online or call in advance to secure your spot. (765)847-1691
The Coffin home is a Federal-style brick home built in 1839 with two stories and eight rooms. During the tour, you’ll learn about some of the unique hiding places within the home.
What’s incredible is that every person who passed through the “Coffin Station” eventually made it to their freedom!
What Were the Risks for Helping a Freedom Seeker?
Slavery was illegal in Indiana but slave catchers could still capture runaways in Indiana. The Coffins took a big risk to help others on their path to freedom.
If someone was caught giving aid to a freedom seeker they would incur a $500 fine = to $20,000 today and 6 months in prison.
Most of the freedom seekers entered the home through the side door into the kitchen vs. the front door.
There were several advantages for freedom seekers who escaped during the winter. With less daylight, they had more time to travel each day and the Ohio River typically froze allowing them to cross the ice instead of swimming across it.
In the basement, you’ll find the summer kitchen on the original brick.
There is also a 4-foot spring-fed well in the basement which was rare and convenient.
You can learn more about Levi’s experience in his 1876 memoir, Reminiscences.
A visit to the Levi and Catharine Coffin Home is an excellent addition to visiting the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Rankin House and John P. Parker House in Ripley, Ohio.
“Freedom Is Found” Mural by Charles Guess
100 U.S. 27 North, Fountain City
After you visit the Levi and Catharine Coffin House make sure that you check out the “Freedom is Found” mural by Charles Guess.
The mural portrays enslaved people seeking freedom and Levi and his wife helping with safety.
Stand on Hoosier Hill – The Highest Point in Indiana
11404 Elliott Road, Bethel, IN 47341
The highest point in Indiana is only 11 miles north of Richmond at 1257 feet above sea level.
Indiana is a really flat state so be prepared to be a bit underwhelmed if you’re expecting dramatic cliffs from the highest point.
Be on the lookout for a green sign on the road for the “Highest Point in Indiana.”
The highest point is tucked away in a grove of trees a short walk from where you park.
On the rock, it states the elevation of 1257 ft along with the coordinates of the location at latitude 40° 00 and longitude 84° 51′ W.
Of course, I had to stand on the highest point in Indiana!
While you’re there make sure that you sign the logbook located inside the mailbox.
There are also souvenir cards inside the mailbox that you can take home.
Enjoy Scenic Views at Thistlethwaite Falls
65 Waterfall Rd, Richmond, IN
This man-made waterfall was created in the early 1800s by Timothy Thistlethwaite as a way to provide more power for his sawmill nearby.
A new channel was created in the Whitewater River at the West Fork section
This area is known as a great spot to search for fossils in the rock formations by the river. In the summer this is a very popular spot for wading.
You can visit the waterfall area for free from dawn to dusk.
If you want to continue enjoying more natural beauty and outdoor recreation, Springwood Park is a 104-acre park with a 30-acre lake nearby only .4 miles away from the waterfall.
Dine in a Double Decker Bus at Clara’s Pizza King
1224 N.W. 5th Street, Richmond, IN
You may be familiar with Pizza King, a popular pizza chain in Indiana but Clara’s Pizza King is a unique treat in Richmond.
The focal point of the dining room at Clara’s Pizza King is the vintage London double-decker bus that the building was built around.
If you like dining in unique places, one of the best places to dine at Clara’s Pizza King is inside the double-decker bus.
There is limited seating on the first level of the bus and the second floor of the bus is used for storage.
You can call ahead to reserve the bus for a party/ special occasion. There is dining space for 16 people within the bus. The basement level has plenty of additional seating for large groups.
*Fridays and Saturdays are first come first serve with no reservations after 4pm.
If the bus is full, another great spot is at the select tables with a swing on one side of the table.
Every stained glass lamp within the restaurant is different which makes each dining area one of a kind.
There is also a telephone at each table in the restaurant that you use to call the operator with your pizza order.
We started with their world-famous bread stix.
The handmade breadsticks are made from scratch and come with one free cup of dipping sauce.
We tried the garlic dill butter and the cheese sauces.
We weren’t super hungry so we ordered an 8-inch half-and-half pizza with the Royal feast and Sriracha Ranch Chicken Feast.
The Royal Feast is a popular pizza made with “a special blend” of pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, and green and red peppers.
The Sriracha Ranch Chicken Feast is made with a combination of chicken, banana peppers, red peppers, green peppers, and onions with our homemade Sriracha ranch sauce.
The toppings go to the edge of the pizzas and are cut into squares.
There is also a gluten-free option available for the pizza crust along with pasta and salads on the menu too.
Fill Your Passport on The Chocolate Trail
Free chocolate samples? Yes, please!
You can enjoy free chocolate samples (and a few non-edible items) from area businesses around Richmond on The Chocolate Trail.
Pro tip: Pace yourself. Your hardest decision will be deciding your first stop… and knowing when to stop.
We were pretty ambitious and visited all of The Chocolate Trail stops over 2 days.
You can pick up a paper copy of the Chocolate Trail Passport at the visitor center. (Old National Road Welcome Center – 5701 National Road East, Richmond, IN.)
To receive FREE chocolate samples you must present a Chocolate Trail Passport and be present with your passport. (One sample per person, per passport. No passport, no free samples.)
Many chocolate trail stops can be found in local businesses inside historic buildings in downtown Richmond.
You can enjoy a meal at Little Sheba’s restaurant while on The Chocolate Trail or shop for additional goods at an Amish store after you receive your chocolate trail sample.
Visit the Oldest Candy Store in Indiana – Abbott’s Candies
48 E Walnut St, Hagerstown, IN
(Part of The Chocolate Trail)
Established in 1890, Abbott’s Candies is the oldest candy shop in Indiana. Their chocolate gismos, chocolate cremes, and almond butter toffee are very popular.
Abbott’s Candies is most known for its handmade caramels that are shipped all over the United States.
Visitors to Abbott’s Candies are welcome to watch candy making, during production hours, through the glass windows for viewing.
Tours of Abbott’s Candy Factory are available by appointment only for small to large groups.
See the World’s Largest Candle at the Warm Glow Candle Co.
2131 N. Centerville Rd., Centerville, Indiana
*Part of The Chocolate Trail
You can see the largest Warm Glow candle outside the Warm Glow Candle Company Outlet Store. The giant candle outside is only decorative but you’ll find plenty of real candles inside.
The Warm Glow Candle Company creates unique individually hand-dipped candles in Centerville, Indiana.
Warm Glow candles have a very distinct look with a bumpy outer covering of the pillar-style candle. You’ll find an assortment of scents to choose from in the 22,000 sq ft store.
I also want to point out the unique star bricks created in Nelsonville, Ohio that can be found near the candle outlet entrance and near some sidewalks in downtown Richmond.
Find the Colorful Murals Around Richmond
There are more than 80+ murals in the Richmond area.
The fun part is discovering the murals on the sides of buildings during your visit.
There isn’t an official Richmond Mural Trail map but the majority of the murals can be found in Downtown Richmond, Richmond’s Historic Depot, and along Main Street in Cambridge City.
I’ll give you a few easy ones to find within close proximity. There is a mural on the side of Firehouse BBQ and Blues and The Model T Ford Museum within walking distance of each other.
Dine In One of Indiana’s Oldest Bars – Legends Southside Bar
401 S 5th St, Richmond, IN
Legends Southside Bar has stood the test of time as the oldest bar in Wayne County and the 2nd oldest continuous bar in Indiana dating back to 1858.
Legends has a cozy local vibe with walls covered in photographs and a neon “Southside” sign to the left of the bar.
- There is a silver dollar on the floor of the bar that was used to fill the space in the original tile flooring.
- Kahler’s Penguin Tenderloin sandwich is similar to the one served at Penguin fast food restaurants that closed in the area
- The wood bar is original, built by Kramer Manufacturing
- The basement has a turtle pit that was previously used for live turtles in case a guest wanted turtle soup.
We started with “Cindy T’s” shrimp chowder. The shrimp chowder is a secret recipe that contains 8 shrimp in every serving.
If you want to try a popular Indiana dish try “Kahler’s Penguin Tenderloin.”
The GIANT hand-breaded tenderloin is served on a classic bun with lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, ketchup, mustard, and mayo.
You’ll find an assortment of chicken and fish sandwiches, wings, and burgers on the menu too.
Enjoy a Flight of Ice Cream at Ullery’s Homemade Ice Cream
168 Fort Wayne Ave, Richmond, IN
(Part of The Chocolate Trail)
This ice cream shop is a fourth-generation family-run business that was started by the grandfather who would sell his ice cream at festivals and fairs.
You can still find their ice cream sold at 20-25 Indiana and Ohio events each year.
Thankfully you don’t have to wait for a festival because you can visit their ice cream parlor in Richmond’s Depot District for the majority of the year.
I highly recommend upgrading to the “Soaring Scoop Sampler,” which is an ice cream flight that allows you to try your choice of 4 different flavors in a small glass or homemade mini waffle cone bowl.
See Classic Cars at the Model T Ford Museum
309 N 8th St, Richmond, IN
We have the opportunity to see historic driveable art thanks to the efforts of The Model T Ford Club of America, the largest Model T club in the world.
Their mission is “to preserve and promote the Model T Ford for future generations by educating people of all ages in the history, lore, and skills of maintenance of the car that put America on wheels.”
It’s fitting that the museum is located in Richmond, previously known as the transportation mecca of the 19th century.
There is a lot to take in at the museum so I would recommend allowing extra time, especially if you are a car enthusiast.
Highlights at the Model T Museum include:
- 1920s Model T Garage
- The 5 Millionth Model T
- 1909 Model T Touring #394
- Fruit Truck
- 1922 Snowmobile
- Hands-on Model T simulator
- Vintage tools, artifacts, and additional 1920s-era objects
The museum is deceptively larger than it appears because its contents aren’t contained to only one building.
There is a main museum building with vehicles and additional vehicles and exhibits are housed inside the vintage Ford Agency building.
For a greater appreciation of the automobiles and exhibits, I HIGHLY recommend a guided tour that really enhances your visit.
Learn About Local History and Beyond at Wayne County Historical Museum
1150 North A Street, Richmond, IN
There are eight buildings on the campus for the Wayne County Historical Museum that dates back to 1930.
The museum was founded by the Wayne County Historical Society which was formed back in 1882.
Visitors will learn more about the history of the Richmond area and beyond including early pioneer life, the industrial revolution, and modern day.
Founder, Julia Meek Gaar is responsible for gifting many of the international items on display that were brought back from her extensive travels worldwide.
Area residents have also contributed memorabilia and family heirlooms to the museum to help preserve their place in history for years to come.
Highlights at the Wayne County Historical Museum include:
- A 3,000-year-old mummy on display
- Dollhouse built in 1880
- 1922 Pilot Speedster
- An authentic Conestoga wagon
- Early Richmond made automobiles
- The first Davis airplane, manufactured in Richmond in 1929
- Two log cabins of local origin
- The first direct-dial car telephone invented in 1948
- 1912 Baker Electric Vehicle – 2-Door Sedan Left-Hand Drive
I really appreciated the vehicles inside the Wayne County Historical Museum even more after visiting the Model T Ford Museum.
There are so many unique vehicles and features that were that were WAY ahead of their time including the 1912 Baker Electric Vehicle and the first direct dial car telephone invented in 1948.
There is a LOT to see at this museum between all of the buildings and the basement of the main building.
It’s safe to say that there is a little bit of everything that will appeal to a wide range of interests.
Visit an Art Museum Inside a Public High School Richmond Art Museum
350 Hub Etchison Pkwy, Richmond, IN 47374
The Richmond Art Museum was originally founded as the Art Association of Richmond in 1898 and consists of 4 galleries, classrooms for music and art, and an auditorium.
The Richmond Art Museum has bragging rights as the:
- The only active public art museum housed within an active high school in the United States
- The oldest cultural institution in Wayne County
- Second oldest art museum in Indiana
The best part is that you can visit the Richmond Art Museum for FREE!
*Special events and art classes may have an additional fee.
The Richmond Art Museum has paintings by American Impressionists from the late 19th and 20th centuries in their permanent collection in addition to a variety of mediums for their special exhibits.
Learn About the Music History in Richmond on the Gennett Records Walk of Fame
201 South 1st Street Richmond, IN
Richmond has a rich music history thanks to the pioneering artists who recorded at Gennett Records in a variety of styles and genres including jazz, blues, and country.
Gennett Records was a brand that was part of Starr Piano Company which opened in 1872.
Artists who previously recorded at Gennett Records:
- Louis Armstrong
- Duke Ellington
- Hoagy Carmichael
- Gene Autry
- Jelly Roll Morton
- Thomas A. Dorsey
- Charley Patton
- Fiddlin’ Doc Robert
- Gene Autry
- Ernest Stoneman
Be on the lookout for large bronze replicas of Gennett records on the Walk of Fame along part of Richmond’s Whitewater Valley Gorge Park. Each record features a musician who recorded there.
*Make sure that you check out the special exhibit of the Starr-Gennett Foundation inside the Richmond Furniture Gallery.
See the Giant Chair at Richmond Furniture Gallery
180 Fort Wayne Ave., Richmond, IN
If you love quirky roadside attractions, you’ll want to check out the 40-foot giant chair that stands over the doorway of Richmond Furniture Gallery.
Richmond Furniture Gallery prides itself as the “Most Unique Furniture Store in the World” housed inside a building that dates back to 1886.
Inside the furniture store you’ll find the following… in addition to furniture:
- “Christmas Room” with model train displays all year long
- “Jazz Mural” and Starr-Gennett Foundation’s Jazz Museum and Gift Shop
- Handmade penny castle
- Overbeck Pottery
- Displays of the “Rarest HULL Pottery Pieces Ever Made”
- “Presidential Room” with memorabilia from 22 Presidents
- “Old Richmond Room” displays the history of the Richmond area
Learn About Recording Artist Who Visited Wayne County on The Midwest Music & Heritage Trail
There are 50 sculptures and plagues sharing about some of the incredible recording artists who previously visited Wayne County.
You can find them along downtown Richmond’s Loop Trail and at Jack Elstro Plaza. (47 N 6th St, Richmond, IN)
See Elk Upclose at Quiet Harmony Ranch
10684 Morrison-Mikesell Rd, New Paris, OH
(Part of The Chocolate Trail)
Quiet Harmony Ranch is an agritourism attraction that’s great for families providing both education and fun!
During the winter, you can enjoy a large piece of fudge, purchase locally sourced goods and elk-themed products in the gift shop, and admire the elk outside.
There is an additional number of things to do at Quiet Harmony Ranch if you visit June- October on Fridays and Saturdays.
There isn’t a petting zoo but there are still plenty of family-friendly activities and opportunities to see the elk up close.
Here are a few of the one-a-kind adventures during the summer/ fall at Quiet Harmony Ranch:
- Outback Encounter (ATV tour)
- Elk Adventures (Drive-thru ranch tour)
- Walk the Woods and Discovery Trails (trails through the beautiful forest)
View Incredible Ice Sculptures at The Meltdown Winter Ice Festival
The Meltdown Winter Ice Festival takes place in the historic Depot district in downtown Richmond during the last weekend of January each year.
There are a few pre-festival events that take place earlier in the week but the main events are during the weekend if you are planning an overnight stay.
One of the best things about the festival is that it’s FREE to view the ice sculptures.
There are so many fun things for families to do during The Meltdown Winter Ice Festival including the magical snowflakes scavenger hunt and ice carving competition.
* Some of the special events may have an additional fee.
It’s fascinating to watch the ice sculptors in action transforming giant ice blocks into incredible works of art.
Many of the pieces are interactive for photo ops too.
I would recommend viewing the ice sculptures during the day and at night. You’ll appreciate the craftsmanship even more seeing the intricate details in the daylight and at night with lighting in different colors.
If you plan on walking around for a few hours it’s a good idea to wear snow pants as an extra layer of warmth.
The ice sculptures can last a day – a week depending on the weather/ temperatures outside.
If you get hungry there are plenty of local restaurant options for great food downtown.
There aren’t any parking meters in Richmond and you’ll find plenty of parking in the Richmond Depot District and throughout downtown.
Additional Things to Do in Richmond, Indiana
- Hayes Arboretum – (Nature Center, mountain bike trails, nature trails, and nature playscape) 801 Elks Rd, Richmond, IN
- Starr Gennett Buiding (101 S 1st St, Richmond, IN)
- Glen Miller Park – (The largest park in Richmond, established in 1885, with picnic areas, tennis courts, and a splash pad ) 2200 East Main Street, Richmond, IN
- Joseph Moore Museum – (Explore Natural history and the natural world with exhibits and interactive displays ) located at Earlham College (801 W National Rd, Richmond, IN)
- Cambridge City (heart of “Antique Alley” filled with antique shops)
- Richmond Rose Garden (Over 100 varieties of All American Rose Selections, butterfly and herb gardens) Lower Dr, Richmond, IN
- Whitewater Grove Trail – (paved trail along a historic gorge area) Hub Etchison Parkway Richmond, IN
- Indiana Glass Trail – The Reid Center (has 62 Tiffany stained glass windows) 1004 N A St, Richmond, IN
- Richmond Civic Theater – A theatre inside a historic building that dates back to 1909. (1003 E Main St, Richmond, IN)
- Dougherty Orchard– (Get fresh produce at the oldest family-owned apple orchard in the state of Indiana dating back to 1883)
- Old Richmond Historic District – 213+ historic structures
Thanks again to Visit Richmond Indiana for hosting my visit. All opinions are my own.