One of my most memorable field trips as a kid was a day spent in New Harmony, Indiana. My 10th grade social studies class was studying religious utopias, and New Harmony was the home of two failed utopian communities in the 1800s. The entire town has been preserved to maintain the uniqueness of these communities, and you can wander from building to building soaking it all in. While its history is certainly fascinating, its location along the Wabash River in Posey County in southern Indiana is equally as breathtaking. Fall would be the perfect time of year to plan a trip to this fascinating town.
Since it’s been 15 years since my high school field trip and some of the details are a little fuzzy in my mind, I suggest checking out Visit Indiana’s great guide for a trip to New Harmony. University of Southern Indiana has a very comprehensive website about New Harmony that can also help you plan a visit.
But despite the length of time since my last visit to New Harmony, several experiences still stand out in my mind. The first is the modern Atheneum building, which also serves as the Visitor’s Center. From here, guided walking tours of New Harmony begin so it’s a great spot to start your visit. They also show a brief movie here to help explain the town’s history.
My entire class was fascinated by the Labyrinth. Made completely of shrubs and flowering plants, it was reconstructed in the 1930s by the New Harmony Memorial Commission to closely resemble the originals developed by settlers in New Harmony in the 1800s. It’s a beautiful spot to explore, especially if you visit New Harmony with kids.
If you don’t get a chance to visit New Harmony in the fall, then Christmas in New Harmony looks like a great event. Held December 3-4, there’s a breakfast with Santa, carriage rides, Nutcracker performances, an art fair, and more.
If an ideal weekend getaway has you seeking peacefulness, natural beauty, with a bit of history and culture, you can’t go wrong with a trip to New Harmony.
Photo by Laverne Jones.