Do you ever find yourself missing the tree-lined streets of the fictional town of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls—with Lorelai and Rory strolling along talking about pop culture and drinking coffee (so.much.coffee)? The show debuted 19 years ago, but the streets of Stars Hollow almost felt dropped in from an even simpler time in America.
Then, one fine day, I realized that I need not fire up Netflix to get my fix. All I needed to do was head north to Zionsville, our very own Stars Hollow, complete with idyllic settings and fantastically-named local stores like Persnickety Stitchers (for all your needlepoint needs), The Cinder Box, a spot dedicated to chimney services, natch. Oh, and there’s a bakery just for your doggie treats—Three Dog Bakery.
But the similarities run far deeper than that, as you’ll soon see. Honestly, I’m surprised Zionsville doesn’t have a Festival of Living Art.
Who needs Luke’s Diner when you’ve got the cozy (and locally-sourced) deliciousness and neighborhood vibes at Rosie’s Place?
10 South Main St., Zionsville, (317) 344-6500, rosiesplace.net/zionsville.
Brick Street Inn
The Independence Inn (and in later seasons The Dragonfly Inn) were central to the lives of Lorelai, Rory, and, of course, Sookie and Michel. And the Brick Street Inn offers all the charm of those fictional spots. Why not plan a little staycation to enjoy the town and the fall foliage?
175 South Main St., Zionsville, (317) 873-1900, brickstreetinn.com.
Flap Jack’s Pancake House
When Lorelai and Rory weren’t eating, they were talking about what they were going to dine on next. And they loved the pancakes from Al’s Pancake World. IRL, you don’t want to miss the stacks at Flap Jack’s.
67051 Whitestown Parkway, Zionsville, (317) 344-2222, www.flapjackspancakehouse.com/zionsville.
Stars Hollow’s Town Square is lined by quirky stores and dining establishments—and has a gorgeous gazebo at its center. From the Autumn Festival to the Bid-on-a-Basket Fundraiser and a very special wedding of two major characters, so many important events take place there. Zionsville has Lincoln Park with its very own gazebo and storied history. Did you know that Abraham Lincoln stopped there in 1861 en route to his inauguration?
41 S. 2nd St., Zionsville, www.zionsville-in.gov.
Village Antique Mall
Rory was often spotted visiting her best friend Lane at her family’s business—Kim’s Antiques. And while nobody, real or fictional, will ever replicate the incomparable Mrs. Kim, you will be able to find so many random treasures at this Zionsville staple.
45 South Main St., Zionsville, (317) 873-3615, Facebook.com/thevillageantiquemall.com.
My Sugar Pie
Stars Hollow had Weston’s Bakery for all their sugary needs, and Zionsville has My Sugar Pie. We highly recommend their Sugar Cream Pie—there’s nothing fictional about how dang delicious it is.
40 East Pine St., Zionsville, (317) 733-8717, www.mysugarpie.com.
Black Dog Books
Other than her mom, books are at the center of almost everything Rory Gilmore does in life. She loves them dearly and would find herself very much at home at this indie shop that we’re sure rivals her own Stars Hollow Books. Stop by and spend some time perusing new titles and vintage favorites or attend one of their regular readings or signings.
115 South Main St., Zionsville, (317) 733-1747, blackdogbooksin.com.
Abby Gardner is the Executive Editor of Indy Maven and she believes to her core that Lorelai should have ended up with Christopher and Rory’s soulmate is obviously Jess.