Fall, Food, & Fun...along the Heritage Trail
Be sure your group wears their STRETCHY PANTS. These group-favorite tours have gotten nicknamed the “TEN-POUND TOURS.”
Feast on locally baked goods, jumbo jelly beans plus other candies galore. Dine in a famous diner on retro food, tour Indiana’s largest apple orchard and buy chocolates fit for Presidents! Take a break from your culinary adventure to see flour ground at Indiana’s oldest operating grist mill. THIS TOUR IS A FOOD FRENZY OF FAVORITES AND GUARANTEED TO TEMPT EVERY TASTE BUD PLUS BURSTING WITH FALL COLORS AND FUN!
FALL, FOOD & FUN ... 3 DAY / 2 NIGHT SAMPLE ITINERARY
NOTE: Prices subject to change without advance notice.
DAY ONE (Arrive in Goshen)
11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Lunch at the South Side Soda Shop
Dine in a restored diner with dining car & a 1940s soda fountain on classic American eats, shakes & malts. Featured on The Food Network “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” and in Gourmet magazine. In-house bakery, daily specials, fresh seafood, chili, homemade soups, sandwiches & pie.
1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Olympia Candy Kitchen Shopping for Chocolates served to Presidents
The Olympia Candy Kitchen has been welcoming visitors for almost a century in its unchanged location in downtown Goshen, Indiana remaining a family run business, passed through 4 generations over 100 years. All of their candies are handmade from scratch including the famous Turtles, which are made with their own home- made caramel, plus the famous Chocolate-Covered Cherries, which were so popular that they were served at the Inaugural Balls of both President Reagan and President George H.W. Bush. They also offer a wide variety of the highest quality hand-dipped sweets, such as creams and chocolate covered peanuts plus a great selection of gummy candies, jelly beans, licorice, and other non-chocolate treats. (No demo, shopping only.)
1:45 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Shop for flavorful popcorn at Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn
Munch on freshly popped Original Movie Theatre flavored popcorn kernels or taste tempting flavor combinations in this cute and “popping good time” downtown shop.
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Roll your own Pretzel at Jo Jo’s Pretzels
Hear the story behind the pretzel shape! Roll your own soft pretzel made from the King family secret pretzel dough recipe perfected by generations over the years. Some say they are the “world’s greatest soft pretzels”! In a flash, your pretzel will be hot out of the oven and will be served with your beverage of choice.
3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Goshen Brewing Company Afternoon Beverage Break
[on their own or included beer flight sampling]
Goshen Brewing Company is a 100% solar and wind-powered family-friendly brewpub serving a wide selection of beers and seasonal, local, farm-to-table food. Inspired by the quality and the range of beer styles available, Jesse Sensing, the owner and brewmaster, meticulously develops brew recipes including IPA’s, ales, stouts, and sours. Homemade sodas, locally roasted coffees, and teas are also served. The dining menu includes Southern-style smoked food combined with a bit of Asian influence.
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3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Electric Brew Gourmet Coffee Shop Coffee or Tea Concoction
The Electric Brew, a Fair-Trade Certified Coffeehouse, values a robust cup of coffee, so what better way to achieve that than to do our own roasting? They believe that the coffee producer should be paid a fair trade for his or her product. They specialize in coffees with stories including women owners/producers, a longtime family-owned farm, and an amazing co-op from Mexico. Knowing the story behind the coffee makes the coffee taste so much better. Today your group members will get their own personal choice to concoct their own personal beverage.
4:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. Kercher’s Sunrise Orchard “Apple Guided Tour”
Combine fun with an educational agricultural experience as Maureen Kercher tells all about running a modern day apple orchard and farm. Maureen has 25 years of experience in talking with groups all ages, and her sense of humor and appreciation of what it takes to operate the business shines as bright as her smile. The Mrs. Apple guided tour includes apple picking, hay ride, a “corny” field walk, a cup of fresh apple cider, and a 20 minute video on “Just what does it take to grow apples and get them ready for the grocery store.”
Check-in at your host hotel
6:15 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Buffet dinner at Das Dutchman Essenhaus & shopping
Dine on traditional family recipes passed down through generations in Indiana’s largest restaurant now seating over 1,100 guests. Enjoy the all-you-can-eat Buffet Dinner which includes 2 soups, salad bar, 4 entrees, numerous sides, and cobblers/puddings PLUS generous slice of fresh baked pie for dessert and beverages.
Return to your host hotel following your dinner
6:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at your host hotel
8:45 a.m. Meet your guide in the hotel lobby
8:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Great Life Tours “Real Farmers of Amish Country”
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to run a dairy farm and try to make a profit in today’s dairy market? Visit a modern all-natural Creamery who has some savvy marketing ideas. See farming through the eyes of an Amish artist. Meet an Old Order Mennonite Buggy Maker who goes way beyond buggies, making farm wagons, pony carts and sleighs too! Tour Coppes Commons the former Coppes Brothers Factory to see where thousands of step-saving Hoosier Cabinets became the center of food preparation beginning in 1898. While there savor lunch on your own and a little shopping of course. Finally meet a dairy farmer of a different sort, one with a bit of a hump to get over. Fortunately, they have a squeaky-clean approach to marketing their Camel Milk.
Your stops include:
Visit a Modern Dairy Farm, Creamery and Farm Store
A small family business presenting you and your family with fresh wholesome dairy products. The creamery is located directly on the farm, where we as a family grow the crops, milk the cows, and process the cheese and yogurt. We produce our products in small batches, with minimal processing, paying attention to every detail. The cows live a comfortable life on a diet of alfalfa, corn, and grass, which is grown in the fields surrounding the farm.
Old Order Mennonite Buggy & Wagon Maker
Meet an Old Order Mennonite Buggy Maker who goes way beyond buggies, making farm wagons, pony carts and sleighs too! Many do not realize that there are horse & buggy Mennonite churches as well as Amish. While similar there are many differences including the design of their buggies and churches that set them apart. You’ll enjoy an informative seated presentation of their customs and a peek at this private collection of toy buggies and wagons, followed by a walking tour of his impressive inventory of the real thing. A workshop tour winds up this exclusive experience.
Visit a Camel Dairy Farm
You will meet an unusual dairy farmer who crafts fine soaps and lotions from camel milk. Pet these friendly ships of the dessert and get a selfie with these four-legged celebrities. Here in the USA, we are just beginning to learn about the therapeutic value of this alternative milk product, but those in the middle east have known for hundreds of years. Interact with “one humpers” by feeding and brushing them. Then Luke will show you how they milk the camels by hand and use it to manufacture lotions and soaps on the farm. This is a fun and unique experience for all ages.
Lunch on your own at Coppes Commons
Meet local creative people for an afternoon of hands on fun
Your group will sit down with local artist, Linda Pieri, and be shown painting secrets developed throughout the ages. Linda has taught over 1000 people in the art of acrylic painting encouraging them to “not just look at what you are drawing or painting, but to see what is really there.” You will be able to observe a demonstration and follow step-by-step instructions that will help you create your own masterpiece. This is not a paint by number situation. Linda helps each person discover the creative artist inside of each of them. Everything is provided including: easel, canvas, acrylic paints, brushes, brush basins, palettes, and paint clothes. Acrylic paintings are on 5” x7” canvas board postcards. Everyone leaves with a finished painting reflecting a single pumpkin design (other designs available) that they will be proud to display or give as a gift.
Return to your host hotel to relax and freshen up a bit
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Fall Farm Fun & Dinner at Meadow Brook Farm
Do you enjoy the sight of a tractor harvesting stalks of corn, the touch of a furry donkey nose, or the smell of warm apple cider? These are all things that can be found at Meadow Brook Farm and Historic Home in Northern Indiana. Come take a tour of the 1860 vintage home that was constructed during the Civil War. Hear documented stories from the farm’s Author and Storyteller from visitors that traveled the nearby Pumpkinvine Railway, while sipping on some cider and munching on a homemade donut. The carefully restored barns are places of gathering and fellowship and is your host location for a delicious lunch or dinner. Enjoy hands-on fun with a make-take homespun donkey craft followed by the story of the Jesus Donkey with opportunities to pet and take a fun fall photo op which is just irresistible!
Return to the hotel following your evening
6:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at your host hotel and Check-out
8:15 a.m. Depart hotel
8:45 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. “Udderly” Fun at Knollbrook Farm plus Corn Maze
See plenty of contented cows touring family-operated Knollbrook Farm in Goshen. It’s one of only ten robotic dairy farms in Indiana using cutting-edge technology and sustainable practices in maintaining their herd of more than 100 dairy cows. Watch as their “girls” are pampered relaxing on the regularly aerated compost bedding pack (soft, fluffy, sustainable bedding) and roam freely with no stalls to hamper their movements. Then observe how they line up for their “candy” treat while being robotically milked. And where there are dairy cows there are always irresistibly cute calves. Groups love the chance to get close to these “cuties” to pet and feed them. Great photo op too! The farm also provides plenty of fun photo ops around the “cow” and “spider” made of hay bales. Come autumn (mid-Sept-Oct) their giant corn maze and pumpkin sling shot are extra sure-to-please activities. Guarantee your group an “udderly” fun day and plan a tour of Knollbrook Farm.
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Fall Edibles at Ox Bow Park
Taste delicious fruit native to Indiana, such as Pawpaws, Persimmons and other wild edibles found in the fall. The first part of the program will include a hike at Ox Bow, where the class will learn to identify edible plant species found locally. Following the hike participants will learn foraging basics and will have the chance to taste some of our foraged finds.
11:00 a.m. Depart Goshen for Bristol
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Stone Ground Flour at Bonneyville Mill, Bristol
Feel the floor shake as giant millstones rumble into action grinding grain into flour at Indiana’s oldest continuously operating gristmill. A friendly miller tells all about the process and types of grain. Explore the 150 plus year-old mill where there’s a story on every floor. The mill is picture perfect and the surrounding county park is ideal for a nature-filled walk along well marked paths.
12:15 p.m. Depart Bristol for Elkhart
12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Lunch at Five Star Dive Bar
Welcome to downtown Elkhart’s popular Five Star Dive Bar. When you are hungry and looking for some delicious American food, Five Star Dive Bar is the place to come in Elkhart. Discover their extensive menu including such items as salads, soups, wraps, fish, and sandwiches that will bring you back for more. Featuring fresh, never frozen burgers. Locals love the loaded tot appetizers, yummy breadsticks, and giant loaded nachos with plenty to share! A full bar is available on site for individual purchases on their own if desired.
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Light Afternoon “Witches Brew Tea” & Tour at Ruthmere
Who remembers the famous Alka Seltzer advertisement, “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, Oh, what a relief it is”? Elkhart,
Indiana was the home to entrepreneur Mr. Albert Beardsley who helped found the company that created Alka Seltzer. His elaborate 1910 Beaux-Arts style house, Ruthmere, named after his deceased daughter Ruth, is available for your groups guided tour. You’ll see a fine art collection including Tiffany leaded glass, Rodin sculptures, velvet window coverings, hand painted walls, and walnut woodwork. Following your mansion tour, enjoy the “Witches Brew Tea”. You’ll shiver as the ghostly shape materializes right before your eyes! You’ll hear the wolves howling announcing your arrival at THE WITCHES BREW TEA! A special guest is expected to fly in all the way from the wicked west - Willow the Witch! But, don’t be afraid, my pretties, you will be among friends. (You hope!) Come; pick your poison - ah - tea, at Ruthmere’s Witches Brew Tea. There will be ample parking for your broomsticks or bicycles. You’ll have a bewitching time with delicious teas and tea foods! (Tour first, tea after)
Depart for home
FALL, FOOD & FUN ... ITINERARY ADD-ON OPTIONS
Amish rug weaving demo & Cookie break
Leo & Lorene Miller welcome you to their Old Order Amish home where Leo has been handweaving rag rugs for years. Taught by his family, Leo will demonstrate how he weaves and creates his beautiful and functional rugs. Meanwhile Lorene, his wife, will serve you her fresh from the oven cookies and cold lemonade as both the Miller’s welcome your group and answer questions about their personal Amish lifestyle.
Cook’s Bison Ranch Wagon Farm Tour & Chuckwagon BBQ Buffet
Take a hay-wagon ride with your local expert guide into the pasture to hand feed the great American Bison in its own habitat. Learn the intricacies of raising, feeding and managing this wild animal. A unique experience for all ages. Dinner tonight is an old fashioned chuck-wagon bar-b-que featuring bison and pulled pork plus all the fixings and sides including a dessert & beverages that groups love. (Tour first, then buffet.)
Dutch Creek Animal Farm
Tour the farm on a horse drawn wagon ride or on foot, but only the guided wagon ride allows you to feed the animals! Fun for all ages! You’ll want to see this alternative farm where cows, llamas, monkeys, camels, deer, ostriches, kangaroos, porcupine make their home. Be sure to bring your camera as you will be close to the animals!