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Northern Indiana

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Northern Indiana

We will be meeting friends in Middlebury this Thursday then driving down to Lake Wawasee to spend the weekend with other friends. We will have time on our hands Thursday afternoon and most of Friday and would appreciate suggestions of things to see and do. We enjoy hiking but the weather does not look favorable. We're interested in things unique to this area (I understand it's Amish country) and a suggestion for lunch. We are staying Thursday night at Essenhaus. Thanks!

Elkhart, Indiana
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1. Re: Northern Indiana

Welcome OTR

I would suggest checking out Shipshewana 9 miles to the East. The Flea market won’t be open on Thursday but everything else is, including a number of good restaurants.

If you decide to visit “Shipshe” you could take US.20 but I would recommend taking Warren St (Country CR.16) east out of down town Middlebury. It a nice drive that takes you passed several Amish farms and you’ll end up in the heart of Shipshewana.

Use US.20 when returning to Middlebury, in 3 miles from Shipshewana at CR.1150 is Rise'n Roll Bakery and Deli. Now, even if you’re not in the least hungry you gotta stop in. I absolutely guaranteed you’ll find something that looks good to you.

7 miles from Middlebury and Shipshewana is Dutch Creek Farm Animal Park, you can read about it here on TA as well as reviews. Very cool place to spend an hour or two.

I hope you have a nice visit, please let us know about your experience.

Fremont, California
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2. Re: Northern Indiana

We had a nice lunch at Amish Acres a couple of weeks ago when in the area


The place has some small shops; you can do a small tour; and their theater productions are excellent. We saw Seven Brides for Seven Brothers - and it was so fun to see.

Nappanee where it is located is about 30 miles away from Middlebury.

Also, if its raining a lot, the history museum and Studebaker Museum (includes presidential carriages) is excellent in South Bend Indiana - about 30 miles again away from Middlebury.


Hopefully the weather forecast changes and you get in some hikes. The Indiana Dune area is amazing to drive through and explore and good visitor movie at the visitor center (we went there on a rainy morning).


Bloomington, Indiana
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3. Re: Northern Indiana

I'm not going to make specific suggestions at this time (well, maybe a few at the end), but will suggest you check out a few forums. Specifically:

1. Shipshewana - This is sort of "ground zero" for the Amish (at least in the TA forums). You find a fair number of postings for such a low traffic forum (particularly when you consider how small it is). There is at least one thread/posting that discusses restaurants in the area (well, really more other web resources to find out more about eating options).

2. Fort Wayne - Particularly when you get to the lake you're starting to get into the Fort Wayne area and it has a fair number of offerings. I know there is a recent posting on its forum about trails in the area which has a few links. You find a more traffic there than on the Shipshewana forums, but still nothing like a major city.

3. Others in the area - Given the organization of the TA forums, you might want to check out forums for some of the cities in the areas (South Bend, Elkhart, Goshen, etc.). Not only are they fairly close and might mention something that interests you, thing in the general area are often discussed.

All of the above forums are low traffic enough that I think you could scan them all in 15-30 minutes (or less); that might even be enough time to check out the details on any threads look to be of interest to you.

As for a few specific suggestions:

1. Cord/Dusenburg Museum (I think that's it's name) - Believe it is located in Auburn (a little bit north of Fort Wayne). It's a museum for the famous "Dusenburg" autos (which many people don't realize were built in the US). Seems like there is a thread that includes a trip report someone wrote up (not sure if on the Auburn or Fort Wayne forum).

2. Fort Wayne's Children's Zoo - While geared for children, it's not overly so. This is still one of my favorite zoos; not too big, not too small, not too crowded or expensive, etc. Certainly would get you in the outdoors, but with opportunities to get inside periodically if the weather isn't cooperating.

3. Lastly there are a few state parks, conservation areas, wildlife refuge type places in the area. Not as plentiful, large or varied as those in the south part of the state, but will probably offer enough hiking & nature type stuff to satisfy you. Here's a link to the Indiana DNR site: www.in.gov/dnr/

As a last general suggestion for ideas you might want to check out the various convention/visitor bureau websites for the area. I suspect you'll find most of these at the county level, but also think some of the larger cities (like Fort Wayne) will have their own. While all of these will focus on the their specific "jurisdiction" (not really the word I'm looking for, but I hope you get the idea), they will sometimes talk about nearby things (particularly things like state parks, etc.).

Hope this helps,


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4. Re: Northern Indiana

Thanks for all your help. We are looking forward to exploring this part of the state. We frequently visit our daughter in Indianapolis but have never ventured off the tollway up north:)

5. Re: Northern Indiana

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