Plan a getaway at the Charley Creek Inn in Wabash
I returned recently to a city I had been to for the first time last year. It was also in the spring right around this time. And I discovered it’s a lovely time to be in this place that has a lot to offer visitors. It’s not far from the Region, either, making it ideal for a weekend getaway or overnight – or even a day trip, but I recommend spending at least a night there at the Charley Creek Inn.
Wabash is the county seat of Wabash County, Indiana and its downtown is full of historical sites, entertainment, quaint shops, and more. On this trip, I stayed at a historic boutique hotel that I’d been past last time and wanted to find out more about. The Charley Creek Inn opened in 1920 and definitely gives vibes of the luxury of the roaring 20s.
As is the case with many aging hotels, it went through a period of disrepair, but a local business owner and philanthropist, Richard E. Ford, bought the hotel and it underwent an extensive two-year renovation project to restore it to its former glory. In 2011, the hotel was presented with the annual Outstanding Commercial Rehabilitation Award by the State of Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. That same year, the property was also awarded the coveted Cook Cup for Outstanding Restoration (another was awarded to the historic Eagles Theatre, which is directly across the street).
The lobby has elegant features and a player piano fills the lobby with lively music. I stayed in the Gene Stratton Porter suite, named for the author, nature photographer, and naturalist from Wabash County. It included a large living room, a kitchen and dining area, a separate bedroom, and a large bathroom. There’s a total of 21 uniquely decorated guest rooms and suites.
You’ll also find in-house an upscale restaurant called Twenty, the Green Hat Lounge, private dining rooms, an ice cream shop, and a wine and cheese shop. During my stay, I dined at Twenty, which has such a wonderful, romantic, nostalgic ambiance in the decor and music. I started with salmon rangoon – something I haven’t seen on a menu before, so I had to try it – and then had teriyaki salmon as an entree. Both were delicious and nicely presented.
In the cute ice cream shop, you can enjoy a cone with about 10 flavors to choose from, along with candy, popcorn, soda, and other snacks. Just across the hall is the wine and cheese shop where I enjoyed lingering for a wine tasting. When checking in, you get a voucher that is good for a couple scoops in the ice cream shop or a tasting or glass of wine in the wine shop.
I opted for the wine tasting and decided to just order a cheese board as well and make it dinner. I pulled out my laptop and sipped and enjoyed my cheese and crackers. The manager, Jake, was super knowledgeable and friendly and gave a good explanation of each of the six wines I tried. Once I started trying wines, I found one I wanted to buy to take home. Then I found out that the wine tasting was complimentary when you bought a full bottle. That meant I still had my voucher and used it for ice cream for dessert.
Parking was easy and free in the lot right behind the hotel and there was street parking as well. There’s so much to do in the immediate area, as well, including live and film theaters, the historic courthouse, Wabash County Museum, Charley Creek Gardens, and plenty of eating and shopping options. The Wabash County Visitor Center is also across the street where you can shop for locally-made items and pick up maps and guides on the area. For more information, visit charleycreekinn.com and visitwabashcounty.com.
Written by Carrie Steinweg a writer for the Times of Northwest Indiana.