I recently read one of these "Only In Your State" posts, this one having to do with Indiana's Amish Country. The article is entitled "14 Places in Indiana Amish Country are Unique and Worth Visiting." I don't like being critical but, holy cow, I came away scratching my head after reading that. Yes, I could defend the writer, I guess, by pointing out that she is saying "places in Amish Country" not necessarily places to experience Amish culture, but I think 99 percent of people reading the article come away with that impression. Old Bag Factory?? Seriously? I mean, don't get me wrong, I am sure it is a fascinating place but not what people go to "Amish Country" for, here is MY list of 14 Indiana Amish Country places worth visiting.
14 Indiana Amish Country places worth visiting.
Now, in my defense, I sort of threw this list together quickly, I may have missed some places, but this is a far more accurate list, I think. Also, you know, this is tough because I could put specific places, like a business, on the list or more broad categorizations like "Parke County." For me personally I think just getting in the car and exploring is the single best Amish Country experience and you can do that in many places in Indiana. Watch for small signs advertising a home-based business. Buy some fresh eggs or baked goods. THOSE are my favorite Amish experiences. Okay, with all that aside, here is my list!
A unique Swiss Amish community. The Amish speak a different dialect here and most buggies have no roof, a peculiar custom found only here. And there's the ornate clocktower in downtown Berne. Get a unique Swiss Amish experience here. I recommend just picking one of the numerous country roads that sprawl out in all directions from Berne and exploring. You'll find some treasures, among them is Countrylane Bakery & Gifts 4224 S 450 W. Full of wonderful authentic Amish baked goods!
RENTOWN COUNTRY STORE: Another awesome, amazing Amish country store experience 1530 3rd Rd, Bremen, IN 46506
STOLL'S LAKEVIEW RESTAURANT: Some of the best Amish style food in Indiana. 15519 US Hwy 231 N in Loogootee. Love this place!
GASTHOF AMISH VILLAGE: 6747 E Gasthof Village Rd, Montgomery, IN 47558. This is in the southwest part of Indiana, Daviess County to be precise. I love the buffet and bakery there. But, geez, just explore the whole area, it is a amazing!
Maple Lane Bookstore: A veritable Amish-owned Barnes & Noble, stocked with all sorts of titles from best sellers to obscure religious tracts. Located at 6726 E 400 N, Montgomery, IN
FOUNTAIN ACRE FOODS: This is an Amish bulk food store that I have written about a ton. It does not have the full-throttle Amish Country ambiance that E & S has (and that's only because the Wayne County, Amish community is a fraction of the size of Shipshewana's) but what it lacks there it has in accessibility. Just a few miles off busy I-70, take exit 151 north and in 7 minutes you are there! Check out their huge spring cheese sale. And then, during the warmer months head to....
WAYNE COUNTY PRODUCE AUCTION: 8025 Carlos Rd, Williamsburg, in the heart of the Wayne County Amish area, this place is absolutely worth visiting to watch items being bidded and bartered upon.
One of the most enjoyable Amish experiences I've ever had was just exploring Grabill's very compact, but very large, Amish community. Amazing experience and the town is really just a stone's throw northeast of sprawling Fort Wayne. While there, check out Miller's Country Store at at 11205 Roth Rd, Grabill IN 46741a classic Amish bulk food and bakery!
RISE N ROLL BAKERY: This place isn't Amish-owned any more, but it used to be. And their doughnuts are still amazing. There are now several Rise N Roll locations, but go to the original (well, the rebuilt original) at 1065 N 1150 W in Middlebury, Indiana, The doughnuts are amazing, especially the cinnamon-caramel crunch. Wow.
This is a small settlement with not a ton of touristy things to do, but still worth a visit if you are in the area. While there, check out:
TROYER’S COUNTRY STORE: This gem is in Milroy, Indiana (see, my list actually includes the whole state), a truly authentic Amish country store experience 10599 S State Road 3, Milroy, IN 46156
Bucolic Amish country in west-central Indiana, dotted with covered bridges and countryside. While there, check out Swarey's Variety, 3767 N 100 E, Marshall, IN 47859, a classic Amish variety store!
The Barns of Nappanee (formerly Amish Acres) is a classic Amish tourist destination, and home of the famous Round Barn Theatre, located at 1600 W Market St, Nappanee, IN 46550. Not an Amish attraction, but a great base from which to explore surrounding Amish country.
This is the heart of Indiana's Amish country and there is so much to see and do here, from the world-famous flea market, to the Blue Gate, to my favorite: just exploring the backroads. BUT, if you only had 30 minutes to spend in Shipshewana and could just go to one place, this is where I would go:
E&S - An amazing Amish bulk food shopping experience. What I love so much about E &S is you get a truly authentic Amish cultural immersion. On a busy day this sprawling Amish bulk food emporium in Shipshewana attracts so many Amish shoppers that buggies occasionally outnumber cars in the parking lot. If the Amish are shopping there, that’s a pretty good bet the store is carrying some interesting stuff! So next time you are in Shipshewana, you have to put E & S on your list!
WICKEY VARIETY: This is one of the most authentic Amish experiences in the state of Indiana if you can find the place! It is out in the middle of nowhere, but if you can find the store it offers an authentic Amish shopping destination.