Lebanon, Indiana, is a friendly city with a big heart.

Overhead view of the Lebanon downtown square

Photo courtesy of Pyatt Builders

It’s been hours since I turned onto I-65. I’m going south, headed back from a fishing retreat in Michigan. Dusk is coming on, and there’s been little to see other than farmlands and windmills towering like giant sentries. As I turn around the final bend, I see a bright splash of color bridging over the interstate—the decorative Lebanon bridge on Exit 139. This is my exit. I’m finally home in Lebanon.

Lebanon is a booming city nestled comfortably in the countryside, about halfway between Downtown Indianapolis and Purdue University. With lush fields, sparse forests, and farmland along every road, there’s no doubt of Lebanon’s farm-town roots. But our rural city never feels too remote. 

Within the city limits, you’ll find lively small businesses, residential areas, and a newly renovated downtown square where the Boone County Courthouse sits. And thanks to the nearby interstate access, Lebanon’s only about a 20-30 minute commute to Indianapolis, Lafayette, or the Indianapolis International Airport. 

This strategic location and hometown feel makes Lebanon a hidden gem amongst the northern suburbs of Indianapolis. After 8 years of living here, the consensus from our visiting friends and family has been that Lebanon embodies what small-town America was meant to be. Between all the attractions, culture, and opportunities Lebanon has to offer, I’m inclined to agree.


Lebanon is a family-friendly community everyone can enjoy.  

Many people choose to live in Lebanon because it’s a great place to raise a family. New neighborhoods are being built all around town. We have well-rated schools with talented teachers, and there are plenty of parks and playgrounds within biking distance. 

In fact, our community has over 100 acres of public parks to explore, including an all-inclusive, ADA compliant playground at Memorial Park. All of the spaces are easily accessible if you live in town. There’s even a growing trend in our neighborhood to travel around in modified golf carts—which are street legal when registered.

Lebanon also offers a wide range of housing options to fit your lifestyle. You can always find an apartment near downtown square to stay in the center of the action. But if you’re looking for a quieter place to live, I recommend finding a house in the rural country around Lebanon. 

Boone County farmland is beautiful, and some properties even maintain parts of old-growth forests. It’s not uncommon to see rope swings suspended from towering oaks and maple trees out in the country, and both mornings and evenings offer dazzling displays of sunrises and sunsets over vast fields of crops that rival watching the sunset over water.


Fun Facts

Lebanon was named by one of the city’s first commissioners, Adam French, when he saw a cluster of hickory trees that reminded him of the Cedars of Lebanon from the Bible.

The Lebanon Courthouse reportedly has the largest monolithic limestone columns in the world!

The city hosts a podcast called #LovinLebanon that helps residents stay connected and learn more about the events happening in Lebanon.

Rob and his family holding up a catfish they caught

Photo courtesy of Rob Kern 

Rob and his family eating ice cream outside the courts

Photo courtesy of Rob Kern 

Experience Hoosier Hospitality—Lebanon-style.

Lebanon is called “The Friendly City” for a reason. Our community offers a staggering amount of events throughout the year, and the neighbors I meet are always inviting, warm, and hospitable.

I remember one time at the RC park down in Abner-Longley Park. My son and I happened upon it while we were exploring, and we realized it was a veritable off-road playground for remote-controlled trucks. We were immediately welcomed in as new-comers and invited to attend a beginner’s competition.

Since then, we’ve purchased an RC truck for ourselves and competed in a few local competitions. At the last event we attended—The Operation 11 Charlie Fun Run—my son was given a free t-shirt and RC truck body. The turnout at these competitions is always great, attracting people from all across the state. But at the end of the day, the memories we’ve made are even greater.

Beyond these RC competitions, Lebanon offers a variety of events to entertain the entire family. The city hosts annual parades on Christmas and the 4th of July. From June to August, the weekly Lebanon City Market offers live music and vendors selling homegrown produce on the courthouse plaza. And in 2022, Lebanon is planning on hosting the city’s first ever Fall Festival. 

Other fun community events include local art exhibitions, a civil war reenactment, the “Battle of the BBQ,” Halloween Trunk or Treats, Augtoberfest, car and motorcycle drive-ins, and an annual Kiwanis Fishing Derby and Pancake Supper.

The Courthouse Square is a lively place with a unique history.

My favorite place to go for a fun evening in Lebanon is the downtown square around the Boone County Courthouse. The courthouse itself is an impressive structure, surrounded by a grass lawn hedged in by a waist-high curb. Over the years, it’s become a family tradition of ours to eat ice cream cones on the curb and let the kids romp around in the grass for a while after they’re done.

At the time of its construction in 1910, the courthouse’s columns were some of the United State’s tallest, single-cut limestone columns. Now, the courthouse stands as an iconic landmark of our city’s history. Throughout the year, the translucent dome of the courthouse’s roof lights up with different colors to celebrate holidays. 

Sitting catty corner to the courthouse is the Lebanon Public Library. Built in 1905, the original Carnegie library building has been expanded. In addition to the typical trappings of a library, it also includes an impressive, top-notch children’s department with fun events and classrooms for adult education. In the winter, it’s one of our favorite local destinations where our kids can let out some energy indoors.   

Much of our city’s history lives on in the downtown square, including my own family’s history. Thirty years ago, my father and grandfather owned a shoe store on the south side of the square, called Kern Bros. Shoes. Although that location is now gone, I can’t help but remember the way it used to be. Sometimes, I even peer into the windows of the current occupant and imagine the store as it was in my youth. 

Lebanon is home to many vibrant small businesses.

Although my family’s store has left the square, many other attractive businesses now surround downtown Lebanon and its adjacent blocks. If you want to find some great handmade goods, you can always visit shops like Samson Family Leather or the Craft Room. Whenever you need a day to pamper yourself, you can make an appointment at the Roots on Main Salon and Spa. You can even find more interesting items at the Tru-Finds Treasures Flea Market. 

Our downtown square also has some great places to eat if you’re hungry. You can get dinner at 1830 Chophouse, grab a drink at Klooz Brewz, and end your night with some ice cream from Paradise Shave Ice & Ice Cream. The square has even more ambiance at night if you go for a late night stroll down Meridian Street. The lights drape over the street, illuminating the outdoor patios and creating a more intimate atmosphere.

Walk Score


Bike Score



  • Lebanon Community School Corporation
  • Traders Point Christian Schools
  • Boone Prairie School


  • 1830 Chophouse
  • Greek’s Pizza
  • Parky’s Smokehouse


  • Samson Family Leather
  • Navy Blue Boutique
  • Tru-Finds Treasures Flea Market


  • Seashore Water Park
  • Ulen Country Club
  • Big 4 Trail


  • 30 Miles from Indianapolis Airport
  • 35 Minute Drive 

Dog Parks

  • Lebanon Dog Park

Lebanon is constantly developing exciting new attractions.

If you’re looking for something fun to do, Lebanon offers many great attractions you can return to time and again. No matter what season it may be, there’s always an adventure waiting to be had, so long as you’re willing to look for it. 

First off, the Seashore Water Park is the perfect place to cool off in the summer. For a small admission fee, your family can splash and play on two large water slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, a kiddie area, and more. 

For the fishermen out there, Hot Pond Park and Conservation Park are two popular fishing spots across the street from each other. When the weather is mild, nothing beats throwing a line in the pond to see what you might hook. This past Father’s Day, I took my dad and son fishing at Hot Pond, and we managed to land a monster, personal record blue catfish!

Lebanon also has a lot of new attractions that are sure to bring even more excitement and variety to local life. One of Lebanon’s most interesting developments is the Big 4 Trail—a new paved path following an old railway. When it’s finally completed, the trail will connect Lebanon with Thorntown, Whitestown, and Zionsville.

Another promising development is the new Stone Eater Bike Park under construction just two miles northwest of Lebanon. This new facility will help our community stay active with 4-season, world-class mountain bike trails for families and professionals alike. 

Lebanon will also be breaking ground on an exciting new venue: the Hickory Junction Fieldhouse. Once completed in 2024, this fieldhouse will offer indoor space for basketball, volleyball, football, soccer, and baseball. Later phases of development will bring additional retail space and more entertainment to the surrounding area.


Halloween celebration in downtown Lebanon

Photo courtesy of Rob Kern 

Lebanon is a home for all generations. 

While there’s clearly a lot happening in Lebanon, that’s not the reason that I love this community. There’s something unique about Lebanon that I’ve never encountered anywhere else. Because Lebanon stands at a generational intersection.

The Old Guard know and love Lebanon for its historically rural, tight-knit community feel, while the younger generations look to modernize and bring new life to the town. Some may consider this to be an iconoclastic battle of ideals, but I’ve found that the intermingling of preservation and development is uniquely endearing to Lebanon. 

I believe our town’s identity is firmly rooted while still taking shape. Lebanon is a hot iron waiting to be struck, but it’s also a welcoming and unassuming community. So, if you’re looking for a home where you can get involved in a meaningful way, look no further than Lebanon. 

We are a city that moves forward, but we do so with deliberation and honor for both our heritage and our potential. Some may dislike the change, and others will undoubtedly want more. But no matter your opinion, Lebanon is a town where you can be heard and make a measurable impact on your community. Here, you’re not lost in a sea of masses, nor written off as an obtrusive outsider. If you see a gap, you can help fill it.

I’ve lived in other places that are beautiful, metropolitan, quiet, and intellectual, but never before Lebanon have I lived in a place I truly loved. The tenderness of Lebanon’s soul is what makes this often-overlooked suburb the perfect place to live. Because whatever you give to this community, it’ll pay you back several times over. Lebanon truly is the ideal small town, where it’s easy to know and be known.