One of my favorite parts about traveling is stumbling across unexpected fun things and seeing what is down the side roads. We headed about 3.5 hours up the road this past weekend to a friend’s wedding in Columbus, IN - a town I had never visited and knew nothing about. Saturday morning we woke up and did a Google search for “Best Brunch near Columbus, IN” (as one does in a new town). Several options popped up and the first on the list that seemed to meet our location & non-chain criteria was called Blackerby’s Hangar 5. We thought we were heading to a downtown storefront with an industrial vibe and aviation-themed decor. However, as we drove through cornfields and over cute bridges it became obvious that our predictions were wayyyyyy off, but what was waiting for us was much more fun than what we had pictured.
The GPS took us straight to the parking lot of the Columbus, IN Municipal Airport - a tiny building that seemed to cater only to private planes and possibly small charter flights or regional airlines. A polite teenager clad in a “Flying Fords” tee-shirt flagged us down as we pulled in - they were having a free airshow that weekend; we could park in the field, the restaurant was straight ahead in the main building. Blackerby’s itself is actually inside the airport itself - through the front door and to the left. It has a fantastic retro-diner vibe and while the airshow had obviously brought a few extra customers with it, we were immediately seated at an empty booth with a great view of the runway and all the airplanes on display. The “Flying Ford” it turns out was the headliner of the weekend - an 1928 Ford Tri-Motor plane nicknamed the “Tin Goose.” 200 of these planes were originally built and only 5 are still in flying condition. Festival attendees could take a 20 minute ride on the antique aircraft for $77 per person and although we didn’t have time to take flight, we loved watching it take off and land while we ate.
Bartleby’s food did not disappoint either. My husband ordered a classic breakfast of eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast and I had a sausage and bacon omelette that was absolutely out of this world. Our waitress was quick and kind…all around a great dining experience. They were celebrating their 40th year in business and with food that delicious, it’s no surprise that they’ve been around that long.
The rest of our weekend took us to Brown County State Park, home of the oldest covered bridge in the state of Indiana, which was beautiful and well equipped with hiking options, a swimming pool and camping/cabin/lodge accommodations to meet anyone’s needs. We also dined at Upland Brewery and attended an event at Factory 12 Event Loft - both fantastic spaces in downtown Columbus. We also passed a million adorable antique shops and coffee spots on the drive from Columbus to the state park (which was located in Nashville, IN) that we didn’t have time to check out but wish we had. If you find yourself in Southern Indiana, we’d definitely recommend checking out some of the places we had the opportunity to visit. You never know where the road may take you!
bETHANY, YOUR HOST
AirBnB Superhost Bethany has lived in Nashville since 2006 and loves finding fun things to do at home and on the road!