Monday, October 15, 2012

What Else is There to Do in Elkhart, IN?

Elkhart, IN     High:  63     Low:  48    Cloudy       Better temps!

Just ask Sparky what there is to do!  She still has a BIG list of things yet to do in Elkhart County, all of which are within less than an hour's driving time. Time is running out...Twelve days left and here's the list yet to be accomplished:

1. Check out Bonneyville Mill--Indiana's oldest continuously operating gristmill in action in Bristol.
2. Tour the Ruthmere Mansion in Elkhart and get a glimpse of the 1910 lifestyle of Indiana's wealthy
3. Take the Menno-Hof Museum tour to find out about the faith and life of the Amish and Mennonites
4. Check out the restored Lerner Theater in downtown Elkhart--1920's movie palace transformed into a beautiful performing arts center
5. See the Wellfield Botanical Gardens
6. Visit the South Side Soda Shop..featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
7. Eat at the Blue Gate Restaurant in Shipshewanna. We like it better than the Das Essenhaus, and it's a little cheaper.
8. Have a steak at Miles Lab, supposedly the best steak in the area.
9. Eat at Heinnie's Back Barn, another great place for steaks--it doesn't look like much, but man, is it good food!
10. Check out some of the Art and Earth Trail...over 150 studios, galleries, farmer's markets, lodgings and quaint little shops...
11. Visit Cook's Bison Ranch--oops! Only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day...rats!
12. Hall of Heroes Comic and Superhero Museum--Tel: 574-293-0755--the world's largest collection of comic books, superhero memorabilia...
13. The Heritage annual CD audio tour..nationally recognized tour route, top rated by editors of USA Today and Life magazine.
14. Pick your own apples off the trees at Kercher Orchards in Goshen, although the apple growers were hit extremely hard this year with bad weather...It looks like we can't go picking this year--2012.
15. Visit the Nappanee Center...all about the history and packed with memorabilia of area cartoonists and furniture crafters. Nappanee is home to about 3,500 Old Order Amish and rural retailers..think QUILTS! and CABINETRY!
16. Stock up at Yoder's Meat and Cheese Company, adjacent to the flea market in Shipshewanna--antibiotic-free, hormone-free, grass fed beef, steroid free, no by-products...Dry aged meats...19 varieties of jerky, 100 varieties of cheese. Let's go, Eldo! Put that at the top of the list!
17. Vist the Guggisberg Deutsch Kase Haus Cheese Factory--ELDO! HOW DID WE MISS THIS ONE IN ALL THE TIMES WE'VE BEEN HERE???!!! (That's Sparky, the CHEESEHEAD, the gal who has a produce drawer in the fridge SOLELY devoted to all kinds of cheese! explains E.) This is moving to number two on the list!
18. Play frisbee golf at Oxbow County Park....

Jumbo jelly beans
And HEY! We forgot to tell you, we visited the Wakarusa Dime Store, serving 400 nostalgic candies...another wonderful little place in Wakarusa, IN, that has been serving customers for over 106 years. Sparky bought Jelly Belly jelly beans, and Eldo bought some jumbo jelly beans, they say the "world's largest". The store sells over 75 TONS of these every year! They are at the Shipshewanna Flea Market on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, May thru October. Remember Bonomos Turkish Taffy? Candy Buttons? Clove gum? Candy cigarettes? Wax Lips? They have it all!

Ooh--ooh----ooh! FIZZIES! Remember them? Those little tablets you plunked into water and they fizzed up like Alka Seltzer tablets and made a carbonated drink?

In the same town of the nearby town of Wakarusa is the Wakarusa Hardware Store, open since 1904. It sells items from the wall of over 900 wooden drawers. You might call it a vintage hardware store. Not very big, but very cool!

Think that's enough to do? And look at all the things we've already done! Who would have thought there's all that in Elkhart? Now you know!    Sparky thinks Elkhart ought to hire her to promote tourism in RV traveling circles....


  1. We like the Blue Gate better than the Das Essenhaus too. They seem to have a little larger selection of food too. When we first started to go up to Shipshe, the Blue Gate was a hole in the wall with approx. 6 tables. Can you believe how it has grown. Eat some fried chicken for me!!!

  2. Great list. We did many, many of those attractions last year.

  3. ha ha. . .loved those wax lips as a kid. . .and remember, there were also wax harmonicas. . .so much fun. . .great memories!