Amish Country Food, Theater & Gardens

A few days in northern Indiana’s Amish country will introduce you to delicious made-from-scratch meals, amazing craftsmanship, delightful theater works, tons of shopping and horse-drawn carriage rides.

About This Road Trip

Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail, Elkhart County
Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail, Elkhart County

Explore Amish Heritage

The Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail combine quilting, gardening and art into one extraordinary ride where you’ll see 16 quilt gardens composed of more than a million blooms, as well as hand-painted murals. Be sure to visit Menno-Hof to learn about Amish, Mennonite and Hutterite history, lifestyle and beliefs with multimedia presentations and 24 display areas. You’ll travel through five centuries of history, from origins in Switzerland to their arrival in America. Another great way to explore the area is riding the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, which began life as a railroad corridor. Now the 25-mile trail lets you view seven wooden-trestle bridges, two Amish schools, 31 species of wildflower and a camel farm.

Shipshewana Trading Place Flea Market
Shipshewana Trading Place Flea Market

Shop Amish Craftsmanship and More

There are all kinds of places to shop for handcrafted items in Amish Country. Shipshewana Trading Place Flea Market is home to the Midwest’s largest outdoor seasonal flea market, where 700 vendors cover 40 acres of land, selling everything from home decor and clothing to plants and tools. If you love the spirit of competition felt at a live auction, you’ll want to visit on Wednesdays for the Shipshewana Trading Place Auction. You can move from ring to ring to see what’s up for bid as 6-10 auctioneers work simultaneously to sell antiques, collectibles and primitives. The Old Bag Factory is a fully renovated 1896 building housing local small businesses specializing in handmade hardwood furniture, jewelry and novelties.

Blue Gate Restaurant & Bakery, Shipshewana
Blue Gate Restaurant & Bakery, Shipshewana

Now This is Home Cooking

You’ll feel like you’re at a Thanksgiving meal whenever you eat in Amish country. Portions are generous and the homemade goodness comes through with every bite. You can dine family-style or order from the menu at Blue Gate Restaurant & Bakery, where they bake up to 29 varieties of pie. While you’re working up your appetite, shop around in any of the onsite shops, featuring handcrafted furniture, a craft barn and bakery. Das Dutchman Essenhaus invites you to share the time-honored tradition of sharing a family-style meal featuring creamed chicken and biscuits, beef and noodles, and more pie.

Blue Gate Carriage Company, Shipshewana
Blue Gate Carriage Company, Shipshewana

Plenty of Entertainment Options, Too

It’s not all eating and shopping in Amish country. Every seat in the house is a good one at the Blue Gate Theatre, where you can catch a well-known musical act or see an original stage production. Check out the 1906 Dentzel Carousel in Shipshewana. The original part of the carousel includes the center pole, gears and mechanisms and was originally in Germany. A local young man carved the farm animals now on the carousel, so you can choose to ride a pig, cow, chicken, horse or goat. While you’re in the area, be sure to catch a ride at the Blue Gate Carriage Company to see the sights and get a truer sense of the Amish life.

Map Out Your Road Trip

See the road trip stops on the map below. To customize and save your itinerary, click the list button. Remember: you should contact the destinations for updates.

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