Celebrate love locally with a guide for a perfect date night

Tired of driving out of town to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a loved one?

Or maybe you are scrambling to come up with a date night plan?

Make your Valentine’s Day magical with the help of local businesses and the beauty that surrounds this small town with a guide.

Jordan Richart, public relations manager for the Jackson County Visitor Center, said Jackson County provides many opportunities for locals to celebrate love.

“Jackson County is a great place for people to celebrate Valentine’s Day because of the diverse and ample offerings our county has, but it really depends on what you’re looking for,” Richart said.

Known as the Crossroads of Southern Indiana, the multiple train tracks intersecting the city have become a symbol of connection with many businesses surrounding both sides of the tracks in downtown Seymour.

Enjoy an atmosphere decorated in railroad memorabilia with a burger or a steak from Rails Craft Brew and Eatery, a locally owned restaurant on the north side beside the CSX railroad line at 114 St. Louis Ave.

After dinner, spend some quality time in the cozy lounge of Vat and Barrel with its Indiana-only beer, wine and spirit offerings just around the corner and down a block on 212 E. Second St.

Sometimes, a sweet treat for your sweetheart can make Valentine’s Day extra special. Stop in at Frosted by Macy, a local woman-owned bakery at 414 W. Second St. in Seymour, for all of your sweet-tooth needs. Started in 2021, Frosted by Macy offers various bakery items that will make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

Speaking of gifts, are you having trouble figuring out the perfect gift for that special person? Maybe you want to get them more than flowers or something they will cherish for years to come. There are plenty of shopping locations that offer perfect gifts for your Valentine.

“Everyone always likes to think about gifts for their valentine, and Jackson County does offer quite a list of stores that surely have an offering to make your Valentine’s Day a special one,” Richart says.

812 Rustics at 408 Circle St. in Seymour offers that perfect gift for mom or a loved one in all things house décor, house plants and various other house gifts.

Owner Anne Staley said they will spend the time to help you find the perfect gift that your special someone will love this holiday.

“Cut flowers and roses might only last a week, so why not get your valentine something that they can love forever, like a plant, handmade jewelry or a nice candle? We help you pick out the right gift and wrap it up just for you. It makes the perfect gift for mom, a girlfriend or someone you love in general,” Staley said.

She said she tries to source most of her items from U.S. companies and is especially proud of the handmade candles she receives all the way from Florida.

Couples can enjoy learning about the charm of a small town through the many landmarks and nature that encompass Jackson County.

Re-create the love story of “Jack and Diane” under the beautiful mural downtown honoring Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee John Mellencamp on the side of This Old Guitar Music Store in downtown Seymour. Stop in and see all of the Mellencamp memorabilia inside the music store that been around for generations.

Take a drive to Vallonia to see the rare phenomenon of the Stuckwish Round Barn just off the beaten path on County Road 460W. The barn was completed in 1911 by Daryl Carter for George Stuckwish and is an artistic expression in the rural countryside of Jackson County.

After taking in the views and brushing up on some history, enjoy some pizza, minigolf and shopping at Tiemeyer’s Farm Market at 3147 S. County Road 300W in Vallonia.

Couples can also enjoy quality time together in the serenity of the outdoors with a hike.

“Jackson County has more than 50 miles of hiking trails between the Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, Jackson-Washington State Forest and Starve Hollow State Recreation Area,” Richart said.

There also are hiking trails in the Hoosier National Forest in the northwestern part of the county near Maumee.

After a midday hike, couples can enjoy making a special dinner at home with a trip to Darlage Custom Meats to buy a fresh cut of meat and pair it with a wine from Salt Creek Winery in Freetown or Chateau de Pique in Seymour.

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples anymore but a day for families to celebrate love together. Families can enjoy a night out at the many different pizza shops in Jackson County, such as The Brooklyn Pizza Co. and Pizza Palace in Seymour and Blondie’s Pizzeria in Brownstown, just to name a few.

So instead of driving out of your way to the big city, consider celebrating a day of love locally with Jackson County.