Indiana Itinerary: The Amish & Irish of Northern Indiana
The Itinerary at a Glance
The Northern Indiana landscape is one of the most varied in the Midwest. The geography includes sand dune coasts, tranquil forests, agricultural plains and glacier lakes, and the activities found here are just as diverse. Visitors to this region can step back into the 19th century in one of the world’s largest Amish communities, walk through the European-influenced Notre Dame University campus and learn about Indiana’s thriving industrial corridor in several museums.
3 Unique Experience on This Trip
- Shipshewana Flea Market
- Elkhart County Historical Museum
- Blue Gate Theater
Duration: 4 Days
This Itinerary is Ideal For: All
Afternoon: Today, your group ventures into the third-largest Amish area in the United States. The first stop is the Shipshewana Flea Market, the largest outdoor market in the Midwest and home to more than 1,000 vendors. After the Flea Market, you have a chance to stroll through the charming shops in the center of Shipshewana or visit Menno-Hof to buy locally crafted goods and learn the story of the Anabaptist movement.
Evening: After checking in to your local hotel, visit an Amish home for a behind-the-scenes look at an authentic Amish wedding. While discussing wedding traditions and customs makes an interesting conversation, the authentic Wedding Feast is the real highlight.
Morning: This day is an Amish Country Brown Bag Tour. Each member of your group will receive an empty brown bag that will be filled with a special goody at each shop and attraction visited along the way.
Afternoon: Today also features a customized quilt program and trunk show in Nappanee. You will see quite an impressive display of quilts and fabrics before sitting with a noted quilt designer who will share secrets and techniques about patterns and reveal how inspiration is found in the simple designs of Amish quilts. A stop is made at the Elkhart County Historical Museum, where there is an exceptional quilt display. You will see, handle and hear the stories behind many of the rare quilts in their collection.
Evening: The day ends with you enjoying an Amish Farm Cooking Class. Learn how to prepare a plain or fancy family-style meal in the kitchen on an Amish family farm before pulling up your chair for dinner.
Morning: Start the day at the renowned University of Notre Dame in South Bend. It may be known for the Fighting Irish, but there’s so much more to do when you pay a visit. Take a walking tour of the campus with its incredible architecture, visit the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and light a candle at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Afternoon: Pioneer roots run deep in South Bend, and you can discover it in the city’s downtown museum district, which explores covered wagon days through enterprises that created millionaires. The History Museum chronicles the development of the St. Joseph River Valley through a tour of Copshaholm, a 38-room mansion built by local industrialist Joseph Oliver. Time permitting, visit the spectacular collection of vintage automobiles and presidential carriages at the adjacent National Studebaker Museum and learn the history of this automaker that once called South Bend home.
Evening: This evening, enjoy dinner and a show at one of three area venues known for quality theater and outstanding food. The Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres features top-notch Broadway musicals. It was created from a 1911 round barn that was dismantled and resurrected at this historic farmstead. The Blue Gate Theater is developing a reputation for producing original Amish-inspired, family-friendly theatrical productions, while the Das Dutchman Essenhaus Heritage Hall is the newest venue in town, presenting wholesome family entertainment.
Morning: Check out of your hotel this morning and, after breakfast, get a small dose of the modern world again with a tour of a recreational vehicle factory. Four out of five American RVs are made in Northern Indiana, so this is definitely the RV Capital of the World. This message is brought home on a self-guided tour of the RV Hall of Fame and Museum, which features a fine collection of vintage RVs, including Mae West’s. There’s also a rotating display of the latest models from manufacturers like Jayco and Nexus.
Afternoon: Later today, you’ll visit Anderson’s Vineyard & Winery. Winner of local and national winemaking competitions, this family-owned vineyard offers tastings of more than 20 different wines. They have grown fruit in Valparaiso since 1927 but did not establish the winery until 1994. Be sure to stop at the gift shop for baked goods, locally made jams and jellies, crafts, and beer- and winemaking supplies.