Utopia was on the minds of both men who tried to develop ideal communities in southwest Indiana. George Rapp bought land there in 1814 to settle 800 German Lutheran immigrants from Wurttemberg, Germany. A decade later, he gave up his quest to establish the perfect Christian community and sold the town to social reformer Robert Owen. Owen's utopian dreams, too, faded.
Today, a visit to New Harmony, a small community of less than 1,000 people, is a step back in time to a simpler era—but with all the modern conveniences, including the New Harmony Inn and its award-winning restaurant, The Red Geranium, often recognized as one of the most romantic restaurants in the Midwest.
Make Richard Meier's startling Athenaeum/Visitors Center your first stop in New Harmony. Guided tours are offered daily mid-March through late December, but self-guided visits are possible year-round.
Another favorite is the peaceful Harmonist Labyrinth, which underwent restoration in 2008. The formal foliage maze rewards its patient guests with a small temple at its inner core.
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