The “ART” in Elkhart
Whether you’re planning a fun stop-over or a lively multi-day stay, it’s hard to beat the variety of experiences available in Northern Indiana Amish Country. Our easy to reach destination, one of the most popular for groups in the Midwest, is accessible from the Interstate 80/90, State Road 120, State Road 19, US 6 and US 20. Using a network of scenic highways, your group can arrive in Amish Country/Elkhart County with less than a day’s journey from the Midwest’s major metropolitan areas.
Spend a day exploring the creative with “The ‘ART’ in Elkhart…along the Heritage Trail” suggested daytrip itinerary. Begin at b on the River, a café and gift store overlooking downtown Elkhart’s scenic RiverWalk. Skilled artisans lead groups through crafts like jewelry making and paper arts to create a customized piece to take home. Lunch there includes specialty sandwiches, salads and tempting desserts.
Nearby, the Midwest Museum of American Art welcomes groups to view its extensive collection of 19th & 20th century art including works by Grant Woods, Grandma Moses and Indiana’s largest collection of signed Normal Rockwell lithographs. Their personable curator tells all about it.
While on Main Street take a behind the scenes tour of the recently restored Lerner Theatre constructed in 1924 as a “theatrical palace.” Today it is still a palace with its magnificent auditorium and gilded appointments, yet it boasts the latest in modern amenities.
Continue on the path of opulence with a visit to Ruthmere, an exquisite house museum overlooking the St. Joseph River. Built by one of the early founders of Miles Laboratories, maker of Alka-Seltzer, Ruthmere retains its original grandeur with carved mahogany woodwork, silk wall hangings, Rodin sculpture and a collection of fine art.
Before heading home, be sure to stop at the Elkhart County Visitors Center to see its impressive display of contemporary quilts hand-crafted by award-winning fiber artists. Take time to view the “Quilt Gardens Tour” video that gives a brief overview of the one-of-a-kind Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail, an ABA Top 100 Event.
Want more? Consider some delightful options like a Wine & Canvas “Artsy Party.” Groups have a great time expressing their inner Renoir as an artist gives step by step instructions on how to create a personal masterpiece while sipping their favorite libation or non-alcoholic beverage. When the party is over, everyone has a painting to take home and enjoy.
Wellfield Botanic Gardens is another art-filled option sure to please. Winding paths lead through 36 acres of woodlands, lush and cleverly themed gardens, and stunning water features all enhanced by sculpture throughout the grounds.
For more information and personalized complimentary service contact Sonya L. Nash, CTP at 800.262.8161; e-mail Sonya@amishcountry.org; or visit AmishCountryTours.org.