Carmel, Indiana, is one of the best places to live in the United States.

Exterior Carmel Arts District Artist Statue

Just north of Indianapolis, Carmel is a big city that feels way too charming to be a big city. Any internet search will boast at length about how Carmel is one of the best places to live and raise a family—everything from “best place to launch a career” to “best cities for veterans.” You name it, we’ve probably been named it!

But what’s it like to actually live in the best city in the United States? Well, I’ve lived in Carmel for about 34 years now, and my family has gotten to know the city pretty well over the years. We’ve raised four kids here, tried just about every restaurant, shopped at every store, and lived in our current house for about 20 years.  

Now, my husband and I are actually building a new house—one that takes us into our next stage of life in Carmel. We did our due diligence and went looking around at other neighborhoods, but here we are again. We just love the community here. Everyone is so friendly and warm while still giving space for privacy. So, after looking all around the region, we are very happy with our decision to stay here in Carmel!

Carmel is a welcoming community of caring people.

For our family, there were many reasons we chose to build our new house here in Carmel. Our city has amazing career opportunities, a lower cost of living, access to great healthcare and entertainment, and a retail shopping scene unlike any other. But like us, most people will say that they moved here—and stay here—for the people! 

I was recently talking with a coworker who just moved here from Boston, and he was amazed by just how friendly everyone is here in Carmel. There’s a really unique atmosphere here, where all of the people are genuinely approachable. Strangers smile at you. People are glad to meet you. And when you meet somebody for the second time, they will almost always remember your name.

Your neighbors and coworkers form meaningful, lasting friendships.

In Carmel, there’s just something about the meaning of “neighbor” that goes beyond the “person who lives next door.” Our community is not only a place where everyone is welcome, but also a city where your neighbors care about you as a person. They want to get to know you and your family, and you can count on people to help each other when they need it. 

We’ve had the same neighbors since our kids were little, and our driveways are right next to each other. When the weather was nice, our kids would often be out playing together. And when you raise your families together side-by-side like that, your friendship deepens as your family grows. 

Now, for us, our home is our sanctuary. But as soon as the weather breaks, everybody is outside! Everybody is hanging out, walking in the neighborhood or chatting in their driveways, and stopping to talk about your yards or the flowers. You can visibly see the community come to life as people happily reconnect with friends and welcome new people to the neighborhood. 

Carmel is a city with something for everyone.

Whether you’re a recent graduate or a retired professional, Carmel is the perfect place for you! Our city is a truly multi-generational community, with an amazing mixture of younger and older residents.

My husband and I loved raising our kids here. And now that they’ve grown up, we’re discovering that Carmel is also a great place to be an empty nester. The city has everything we could want now that we finally have time to give attention to ourselves, our grandson, and the grandkids yet to come!

Part of that is because Carmel allows you to create your own space that fits your unique needs. You can choose to live downtown and be right in the center of the action, watching the summertime bands play from your townhouse window. Or if you’re looking for some peace and quiet, you can live on some secluded acreage outside the city center. Either way, Carmel is a place where you can connect with a community that fits your lifestyle.

Carmel is a safe place to raise a family.

As a parent myself, I know how important it is to find a place where you feel comfortable raising your kids. For one thing, Carmel is a remarkably safe city, especially for its size. Safewise has consistently ranked Carmel as one of the safest cities in the United States, and you can trust that it truly feels that safe here.

You’ll often see parents allowing their kids (or at least the ones with phones) to go out, explore the city, and have fun with their friends. Many of the close friendships our kids had growing up are still going strong today as they move to the next phase of their own adult lives.

Our public schools prepare your kids for academic success.

I’m also a huge supporter and fan of the Carmel school system. From our house, we live close enough to Carmel High School that we can sit on our deck, listen to the football games, and hear the band practicing outside. That feeling is truly the embodiment of our community’s small-town spirit—and a nostalgic reminder of our kids’ school days. 

My three daughters all went to Carmel Clay Schools, which are some of the best schools in Indiana. With exceptional athletics, arts, and academics, they had access to amazing teachers and advanced placement programs.

Now, they’ve all graduated and earned both their undergraduate and graduate degrees. As they each entered their first year of college, my daughters said they felt incredibly prepared for the rigors of college. Their teachers and mentors could not have given them a better start to their education and careers by challenging them and supporting them in their studies and extracurricular activities.


Fun Facts

Carmel has more than 125 roundabouts, which is more than any other city in the United States. Statistically, they’ve reduced the number of accidents in the city by about 40%!

When the town was first planned in 1837, the founders wanted to name it Bethlehem. But by the time it was officially incorporated, there was already a town with that name in Indiana.

Carmel has two international sister cities: Kawachinagano in Osaka, Japan, and Xiangyang in Hubei, China. The Carmel High School regularly partners with a school in Kawachinagano for educational opportunities and international exchange programs.

Exterior of The Palladium with Jazz Musician Statues in the foreground
People on the Monon Trail in Carmel

Carmel is a city for young professionals and executive leaders.

As a whole, the Indy region is an ideal place to advance your career, and Carmel is right at the heart of our industry community. More than 125 corporate headquarters call Carmel home, and all of Indianapolis is accessible within about a 30-minute drive. So, you can live in a neighborhood you feel comfortable while working the job of your dreams.

If you’re mid-career or just starting your career, Carmel provides amazing opportunities for you to network and get involved with the community. There are organizations all across the region that offer regular meet and greets. And our community helps young professionals get real experience through internships and a seat at the table early in their careers, positioning them for success in the future.

Simply enough, if you want to get connected, you can get connected here. And that applies to your work network as much as your out-of-work network. The people you meet in your daily life here become connections, and every person is willing to connect you with their personal networks. Because in the Indianapolis region, collaboration is a way of life.  

As an executive at Roche, Carmel has been my home as I advanced my career both locally and globally. I enjoy travelling, yet I love returning home to Carmel. 

In my experience, people are always amazed by the life they can build here compared to the coasts. That’s partially because of our competitive cost of living. Your money goes so much farther here, so you have many choices for schooling and housing. But overall, it’s about the high quality of life you can have here. Our affordability allows you to live the life you want to live—without compromise.

There’s always something new to experience in Carmel.

Living in Carmel almost feels like a staycation because I don’t have to go far to make a day feel special! I especially love being able to do things on a whim, and Carmel really makes it easy to be spontaneous. Some days, I just go out and explore the Carmel City Center or start walking along the Monon Trail and see where it takes me. You don’t always have to have something planned ahead of time, and that means you can easily have a Saturday filled with more than one activity. 

It helps that Carmel and our neighboring cities are so great at communicating. Whether it’s a citywide festival or a local restaurant opening, they make sure everyone knows what’s going on in our community. So, if you want to be tapped into the local Carmel happenings, you can easily be in the know—and never miss out on a great opportunity.

From Carmel, it’s also a quick and easy trip down to Indianapolis. With the interstate close by, it only takes about 30 minutes to travel downtown, connecting you with the city’s museums, athletic events, and holiday festivals. And at that point, that’s barely even traveling. It’s just a drive away!

Explore Carmel’s parks and nature trails.

When our kids were little, we would pick a new park every weekend and go out to explore! There are 17 different parks and greenways across Carmel alone, so there were always new adventures right around the corner. We never knew what we would find, but we would always pack a lunch and get ready for a day of making memories. 

One of the things I love most about the parks in Carmel is seeing how they change through the four seasons. There’s something magical about watching the leaves change colors and enjoying the different seasonal events throughout the year. Fall is my favorite season, and I always plan a trip down to Brown County to enjoy their scenic parks. They have nearly 20 miles of tree-lined roads down there, and it’s practically a Hoosier tradition to visit when the leaves change.  

Of course, in the winter, our family would go scouring the parks for the perfect sledding hill. And in the summer, we regularly frequented the Monon Center to go swimming with our friends and their families. Now, Carmel also has The Waterpark with plenty of waterslides and even a lazy river for the kids to enjoy.

Shop at unique boutiques and small businesses.

Carmel is a major retail hotspot here in Indy, and I love shopping here with my daughters and close friends! The city has lots of walkable shopping center areas, which are perfect for spending a day out browsing the local businesses. And while there are larger chain stores, Carmel has a very strong small business community. There are boutique clothing stores, jewelry artisans, and gift shops—all with unique products I don’t see elsewhere.

My family especially enjoys shopping on Main Street because our girls all have such different interests. My youngest is majoring in history, so she is fond of the more nostalgic places with vintage LPs  and antiques. She also loves the Museum of Miniature Houses and Other Collections, a fun little museum in the center of the city. So, no matter what your interests are, you can find something to satisfy your eclectic tastes.

Dine at delicious restaurants.

My husband and I are practically connoisseurs of Carmel cuisine. I don’t think there’s a restaurant we haven’t tried, and we always love popping in for new restaurant openings. We are long-time, long-term Muldoon’s fans, which is a Carmel staple. And Savor is one of our new favorites. We were actually there for Savor’s opening, and I don’t think we could have had a better first experience there because they were so fun and friendly.

That’s one thing we enjoy about restaurants here. The owners really take a front role! When you go to restaurants, the owners are often milling about, and they’ll come over to talk with you personally. They share why they started the restaurant, what they love about their work, and what brought them to Carmel. I love hearing the stories behind the restaurants, and the whole experience makes you feel personally connected to the community. 

Experience community festivals and live events.

Carmel also hosts a wide variety of events to bring the community together. Every year, the city organizes the annual Carmel International Arts Festival, lining the streets with art and entertainment. Then, in the winter, the Carmel Christkindlmarkt opens for business! The Christkindlmarkt is a festive German market and a family favorite, with an ice-skating rink and delicious food. My family has German heritage, and we always love the authentic cultural flavor!

My husband and I also like to stop by the local Farmers Market, mingle in the streets when there’s an Auto Show, and catch a local concert at one of our favorite restaurants. If you’re a music lover like we are, Carmel puts you in close proximity to both local musicians and international performers.

Our Center for the Performing Arts is a world-class, high-quality venue, the likes of which are typically only seen in major metropolitan cities. There, you can watch the Carmel Symphony Orchestra and other performers at the Palladium—a state-of-the-art, 1,600-seat concert hall. And we’re right next to the Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville, the largest outdoor concert venue in the area. Back in 2019, we got together with friends and spent an unforgettable night seeing Darius Rucker and Barenaked Ladies perform!

Walk Score


Bike Score



  • Carmel Clay Schools
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel
  • Midwest Academy


  • Savor Restaurant
  • Muldoon’s
  • Agave Bar & Grill


  • Nine + Roxy
  • Endeavor Boutique
  • Kits & Kaboodles Toys


  • The Palladium Concert Hall
  • The Monon Trail
  • The Waterpark


  • 35 Miles from Indianapolis Airport
  • 40 Minute Drive 

Dog Parks

  • Central Dog Park
  • Dog Park at Clay Terrace
  • Meadowlark Park

Carmel is a city you feel proud to call home.

When you’re looking for a new neighborhood, you want to live in a place where people care about their home. You want to live somewhere you can be proud of—somewhere you want to put down roots and call your own. That pride comes from a collective sense of community, where everyone in your neighborhood shares the same desire to make your home better.

Here in Carmel, you see that pride everywhere you look. It’s in the simple things, like the unique art installments in the roundabouts, how the trees light up during the holiday season, and the gorgeous flower pots hanging all the way down Main Street in the spring and summer.

As I said earlier, Carmel is a big city, one with countless opportunities. But even though we’re a big city, Carmel never feels too big. It never loses its small-town charm. Looking around, you can find so many new places to explore and yet never feel lost. There’s always that grounded sense of community to keep you centered—and that’s what makes Carmel home.

Exterior Carmel Arts District Street