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Trip Report

Illinois
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Trip Report

Four of us visited Nashville, IN, the weekend of April 23/25/25 – one 47 year-old couple and two 75 year-old ladies. Some notes about our trip:

Nature’s Nest “cabin”, Hills o’ Brown

After booking Nature’s Nest with Hills o’ Brown, I then saw some bad reviews on Hills o’ Brown, was a little worried. But our experience was fine. We arrived at 4pm, waited through a short line to get our key and check in. Things were carried out in a professional manner. (The only problem we encountered was that one bed at the cabin was not made up and no linens stored anywhere – upon calling found that they had mistakenly thought the owners were coming this weekend who bring their own linens. They were out within an hour to make up the bed.) We LOVED Nature’s Nest! It was located on five acres, back from the road on a lane. Very quiet / peaceful location. The house does not have a hot tub or pool table / ping pong table but we were not really needing that with our group. The cabin was decorated beautifully, the beds/linens were good quality. The kitchen was stocked with lots of equipment and nice dinnerware/glasses, etc. The appliances were all very nice. We decided next time we go, and we would rent this cabin again, we will cook more because the kitchen was so nice (and there was a grill on the deck). There was a terrific stereo system with speakers in every room. We had such a nice time sitting by the fire in the living room, listening to music. (Beautiful wood burning fireplace in the living room and a lot of wood already chopped next to the driveway to use.) One of the few negatives about the house was that there wasn’t enough seating in the living room with the fireplace. The only other negative I can think of is that the master bedroom with a king bed is in the loft with no bathroom facilities so you have to go downstairs if you get up in the middle of the night.

The web site did not mention a second bathroom – we wonder if they don’t advertise it to give renters an amusing surprise? There are no curtains/shades on any of the windows (lots of beautiful windows) and the first floor bathroom has a large picture window IN the shower with no covering of any kind. We took some fun pictures from the outside of each of us in the shower waving at the camera. Apparently the owners know the area enough that they think no neighbors are within any visual range. It was fun to have that kind of a view in the shower, just hoped no one was wandering the woods!

The first floor bedroom has a skylight so it is a very bright room, no way to darken it. I thought it was beautiful but the lady in our group who stayed in it was not so enamored of it. It has a sliding door to the deck which was nice.

The cabin has a wrap-around deck where it was fantastic to sit and read or just sit and look out at the woods relaxing. Lots of places to sit (and dine if the weather’s nice.) There were also sitting areas at the side of the cabin (out in the open) and on the bottom level (fire pit on bottom level) but we never did try those with the rain we received. There is also a firepit area outside at the edge of the woods for weiner roasts, etc.

We were not able to go hiking because of the rain but it looked like there could have been some good hiking. A path went into the woods behind the house.

There is a tv/VCR in the basement but we never did use it – just enjoyed talking around the fire in the living room. There is also a second bathroom in the basement that does not have a shower, just a clawfoot bathtub. The bedroom in the basement also had a nice large window to let in light. All the beds were neat wooden log beds.

The drive to the house is a good 15 minutes from town because of how woodsey and curvey the road is – beautiful drive. We encountered deer on the road every evening – fortunately saw them and did not come close to crashing any of the times.

Dining

Hob Nob

We had eaten a larger lunch and were not really hungry for much of a dinner. Went to Hob Nob because I had read that they made their soups from scratch. We were hoping for an appetizer menu but there wasn’t much. Three of us ended up getting soup and quiche. The third ordered a pork tenderloin sandwich which he said was good but the fries had been held (way) too long and were well past their prime. One of the specials was crab ravioli which the waitress said they ran out of very early in the evening. Our French onion soup was also just okay – almost all onions and very little broth. They were very busy that night so maybe just an off night. I took a piece of peanut butter pie home that we all shared. It was pretty good – a tad fluffy (I’m not much on whipped or chiffon desserts) but great flavor.

Artists Colony Inn

I really wanted to go to Bushman’s Brewhouse for dinner our second night but my husband thought it looked too far out in the country from the map I had and wasn’t willing to go try to find it. They dropped me at The Original to see if I could make dinner reservations – I didn’t get a great impression from the waitress who talked to me (not very friendly). So we then checked out Artists Colony Inn. It seemed like it would be good from research I’d done and a friend I talked to but it was just okay. My Mom ordered the house specialty meatloaf and it was so black peppered it was almost inedible for her. My husband had the catfish which I tasted – it was just okay. The homemade mashed potatos were okay but not really seasoned enough. The meal seemed like Bob Evans really. My husband and I also tried the corn chowder special that night instead of a salad – it was the best of the meal really but then corn was the vegetable side too, so too much corn. I had fried shrimp for my main which again was okay but nothing to write home about. We shared a piece of June’s sheet cake (w/ a scoop of ice cream and chocolate sauce) for dessert which was nice and chocolatey.

(P.S. Artists Colony Inn also gave us a booth instead of a table in the main room -- an air vent was directly under our table, blowing right up my leg. It was raining and the temp had dropped. I should've probably asked for us to be moved -- I just froze the entire meal. Tried laying my umbrella over it but needed something larger.)

Story Inn

We went to church Sunday morning at the Nazarene Church on Old State Road 46 (wonderful worship experience there) – then drove to Story Inn on our way out of town for lunch. It is such a pretty drive to get there. The setting is so neat, our table was too dark (rainy again on Sunday) and could have used a lamp or overhead light but otherwise it was a terrific meal. One of the ladies with us ordered the Story Inn’s special pork barbeque which had a touch of blackberry jam in it I think – it had a nice smokey sweet flavor, she really liked it. My husband had the basic angus burger which he said was good and both their sandwiches came w/ sweet potato fries. My husband also had a salad which he said was very good and had a nice peppery vinaigrette with it. My mother and I ordered the shrimp alfredo special. We were worried how it would be because alfredos are so different restaurant to restaurant. The alfredo was very, very good but the shrimp were odd. They were edible but almost seemed like leftover cold shrimp cocktail that had been warmed with the pasta, they just had an odd texture. The Inn had had a wine event the previous day so the guess could be likely. I also ordered the Moroccan vegetable soup instead of a salad and it was very good although very thick / not much liquid, but good flavor. The two ladies wanted to order carrot cake for dessert but they were out from the festival the day before so they shared an apple crumb type cake. They didn’t rave about it but must’ve been okay. I, however, had the chocolate pot de crème and it was just to die for. I’m not a big fan of dark chocolate – this was like a milk chocolate so right down my alley and the waitress told us it was made with a Belgium chocolate. Sooooo good. We would go back here again for sure and I would like to try it for dinner next time. (My Mom also had the Inn’s special Brown County coffee – she said it was good but brewed too strong.)

Ice Cream

We had a big breakfast at our cabin and decided to be bad and just have ice cream for lunch. I can’t remember the name of this place but it was the ice cream shop on the same street as Harvest Moon Pizzeria. It was advertised as churned ice cream. We all thought it was really good ice cream, lots of flavors.

Shopping

Our two 75 year-old ladies have a lot of trouble walking these days so we did not do the shops on our trip. We enjoyed mainly being at the cabin and relaxing and dining. We did stop at the candy shop right next door to the ice cream shop above, on the same street as the Harvest Moon Pizzeria. They have a really great selection of candy to buy by the pound and make fudge where you can watch them. The caramels in the bins were really good and the taffy on the taffy wheel with lots of flavors was soft and creamy. I purchased a slice of peanut butter/chocolate fudge but we have yet to try it. (Typing this the day after our trip.)

General Comments

Overall we enjoyed our trip – would love to buy a cabin in the area! The city of Nashville itself is very touristy but very quaint and pretty. It is difficult to find reviews of Nashville restaurants on the internet so not sure about other places. I think if we went back we’d cook more at our cabin and maybe go to Bloomington to eat out.

noblesville, Indiana
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1. Re: Trip Report

Great trip report FA7363. Thanks for sharing your experience.

SB2

Bloomington, Indiana
Destination Expert
for Bloomington
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8,664 posts
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2. Re: Trip Report

Thank you so much for the extensive trip report. We really appreciate it, particularly since this forum has so little traffic. I am certain it will be helpful to future TA users.

Glad to (finally?) hear of an overall good Hills o' Brown cabin rental experience. Similarly you restaurant experiences, even though not stellar provide worthwhile feedback for future visitors. About the only observation I'll make is that I generally don't expect a fine seafood experience in Indiana restaurants, after all we're some 500+ miles from the ocean. That said, sounds like yours was even sub-par for what I would hope it would be.

If you ever do return to the area and decide to use Bloomington for eating (or other) purposes, be sure and post any questions on the B-town forum. I'd be more than happy to answer them and/or point you in the right direction.

Again, thanks for the feedback,

hlo

3. Re: Trip Report

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