It’s OK to show off a little bit.
Whether you’ve lived in Elkhart County for years, or you’re newer to the area, entertaining your friends and family around town is a snap. With exciting outdoors experiences, unique shopping finds, and dining options of every kind, here are some of our favorite ideas.
Follow the Heritage Trail
For a great day exploring each of Elkhart County’s close-knit communities, pick up a Heritage Trail CD or flash drive at the Elkhart County Visitor Center for your car’s stereo system. This 90-mile loop is packed with fascinating stories, folklore and facts along with turn-by-turn directions.
Find all the Quilt Gardens
Every year, sites all over Elkhart County fill with color in the one-of-a-kind Quilt Gardens. Unique quilt patterns are rendered in a vibrant rainbow of annuals in these giant gardens.
Bike, hike or run the Pumpkinvine
The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail is a true gem as it winds through the natural beauty of the woodlands, farmsteads and prairie connecting Goshen, Middlebury and Shipshewana. Whether on foot or on two wheels, the 20-plus miles of trail is a treat for the senses.
Stroll Wellfield Botanic Gardens
An urban oasis in the middle of Elkhart, Wellfield Botanic Gardens is a serene escape perfect for a brisk walk or a peaceful stroll.
Explore the past at Ruthmere
The Ruthmere Mansion (and nearby Havilah Beardsley House) are a window into the early history of Elkhart and the industrialists who shaped the city.
Lunch at Das Dutchman Essenhaus
A hearty meal awaits you at Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury, where you can dine at Indiana’s largest restaurant. Save room for dessert and then walk off those calories as you stroll the beautifully manicured grounds and browse the Village Shops.
Shop till you drop at Coppes Commons
Once a center for manufacturing in Nappanee, Coppes Commons replaces machinery with an eclectic and attractive array of shops, eateries and a museum.
Feel the urban vibe in downtown Goshen
From a gloriously restored historic theater to artisan shops offering everything from hand-crafted soaps to hand-rolled pretzels to hand-dipped chocolates, the handful of blocks in downtown Goshen has just about everything for a day out.
Relax at Fruit Hills Winery
Need a place with a panoramic view of natural beauty? Fruit Hills Winery’s tasting room and patio delivers a scenic vista of the family-owned farm’s rolling fruit hills. It’s the perfect backdrop for a wine tasting.
The RiverWalk in downtown Elkhart is an unforgettable way to see everything the city has to offer, from the Main Street arts and entertainment district to the River District. Cozy coffee shops, trendy bars and restaurants, a world-class art gallery, and year-round concerts and shows are only steps away.
Fun festivals and events
There’s always something to do. From the monthly First Fridays in downtown Goshen, to the Nappanee Apple Festival, to outdoor concerts at the Elkhart Jazz Festival and all summer long at Wellfield Botanic Gardens, there are a wealth of events that will keep the entire family entertained. Find something fun to do year-round on our events calendar.