DAY ONE – SHIPSHEWANA FLEA MARKET AND BLUE GATE
Begin your day at the Shipshewana Flea Market, the largest outdoor market in the Midwest and home to over 1,000 vendors. Next, visit the Menno-Hof Amish-Mennonite Information Center for a lesson about the origins of the Amish. In the Amish country, 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.
Enjoy an evening of entertainment at Blue Gate Restaurant & Theatre in Shipshewana. This enormous, complex houses a 1,200-seat theater, seven dining rooms, and a bakery under one roof. Moreover, performances range from musicals with an Amish theme to country singers. Groups can register for dinner and a show package. It includes discounted rates and a delicious buffet or family-style dinner of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and fresh pie.
DAY TWO – QUILT GARDENS AND RV HALL OF FAME
Continue your journey through Amish Country with a tour of the region’s Quilt Gardens. Over 150,000 plants and one million blooms form immense gardens shaped like traditional Amish quilts. And visitors can step off to admire these arrangements while walking the charming downtowns of Elkhart, Goshen, and Nappanee. Afterward, enjoy a hearty family-style meal at Das Dutchman Essenhaus, where groups can also purchase Amish handicrafts at the Village Shops. Spend your afternoon exploring 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.
DAY THREE – STUDABAKER AND BASILICA OF THE SACRED HEART
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, it boasts the largest presidential carriage collection in the world. Allow your group to explore downtown South Bend, which has been transformed into a vibrant place for dining and shopping in recent years. Before departing the area, visit the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the University of Notre Dame campus. Built in the late 1800s, the church features one of the largest collections of 19th-century French stained glass in the world.
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