The Itinerary at a Glance
Shipshewana, Middlebury, Nappanee, Elkhart and South Bend
3 Unique Experiences on This Trip
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- Shipshewana Flea Market
- South Bend’s Studebaker National Museum
- Basilica of the Sacred Heart
Duration: 4 Days
This Itinerary is Ideal For: All
Today you won’t want to miss a visit to the Shipshewana Flea Market, the largest outdoor market in the Midwest and home to over 1,000 vendors. Next, visit Menno-Hof Amish-Mennonite Information Center for a lesson about the origins of the Amish. You will be able to make your own souvenir by painting a birdhouse in an Amish furniture shop. In the Amish countryside, make stops at local markets like Dutch Country Market, which offers homemade jams, fresh produce and noodles made onsite. On your way to Nappanee visit Lera’s Rugs. See the weaving process firsthand and shop for Amish rugs, placemats and other woven items.
Stay two nights at Amish Acres Historic Farm and Heritage Resort, which offers craft demonstrations, wagon rides, meal options and a musical theater. After checking in, learn how to make shoofly pie in the Amish Acres kitchen bakery. Before dinner this evening, the fruits of the Round Barn Winery are presented to you in the loft tasting room.
This morning travel the scenic backroads of Amish Country, passing horse-drawn buggies, tidy farmhouses and whitewashed barns. Learn about the fascinating Amish lifestyle as your guide tells you about the history and traditions of the “plain people.” Enjoy a family-style Thresher’s Dinner in the old barn restaurant at Amish Acres. From hearth-baked bread to platters of steaming fried chicken, cider-baked ham and beef; the menu elicits “oohs” and “aahs” from hungry “threshers” of all ages.
Top off the day with a Broadwaystyle musical production in the Round Barn Theater, which is housed in a 1911 round barn that was dismantled and resurrected at Amish Acres. The professional repertory theater company is assembled from auditions across the
Start the day at two excellent transportation museums in Elkhart. Recapture the glory days of American railroading at the National New York Central Railroad Museum. Then tour the RV/MH Hall of Fame, which is dedicated to preserving the history of the RV and manufactured housing industries.
Stop at the Elkhart County Visitors Center, a great place to begin a Quilt Gardens Tour. More than 20 quiltinspired gardens and hand-painted quilt murals are available for viewing in the area. One quilt garden is at Ruthmere, the home that Alka-Seltzer built. This elaborate 1910 Beaux Arts-style mansion is a multi-faceted museum with stunning architecture and a vast selection of art. After your tour, step onto the covered piazza or into the historic game room for a swinging 1920s speakeasy filled with musical entertainment, hors d’oeuvres and vintage cocktails.
This morning visit South Bend’s Studebaker National Museum, which is home to a priceless collection of vehicles, artwork, archival material and artifacts spanning nearly 200 years. The museum displays the first and last cars the Studebaker corporation ever made and boasts the largest presidential carriage collection in the world. Allow your group to explore downtown South Bend, which in recent years has been transformed into a vibrant place for dining and shopping. Don’t miss the world’s largest chocolate store, showplace of the South Bend Chocolate Company. Before departing the area, visit the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Built in the late 1800s, the church features one of the largest collections of 19th century French stained glass in the world.