My new book, Murder Tightly Knit releases today (December 16), and to celebrate, I thought I’d share with you some travel tips from the town which serves as the setting for this story: Middlebury, Indiana. It’s located in the northeast corner of Indiana—3 hours north of Indianapolis, 2 hours east of Chicago, and 90 minutes south of Grand Rapids.
WHO would enjoy going? Anyone who enjoys small towns, good food, and a peaceful vacation.
WHAT can you do? My favorite thing to do is drive down a country lane looking at the houses and slowing for the Amish buggies.
You can also:
- Walk the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail
- While you’re on the Pumpkinvine Trail (which can be accessed from several roads), you’ll pass an Amish one room schoolhouse as well as an Amish family that raises camels in order to sell their milk (claimed to be good for people with Chron’s Disease and diabetes).
- Borrow a bicycle and ride down the trail
- Visit other area Amish communities like Shipshewana, Elkhart, Goshen, and Nappannee
- Take photos of the living quilt gardens
- Stroll through Krider Garden.
- Shop the local Amish stores and small businesses—one of my favorites was Legacy Home Furniture which has a scrumptious deli in the back called the Legendary Grind.
- Stop by the Middlebury Historical Museum
- Attend a concert at the Heritage Hall, a part of Das Dutchman Essenhaus
- Shop in the collection of stores at Das Dutchman Essenhaus, especially the Quilt Shop!
WHEN is the best time? I’ve visited during the spring, summer and winter. I loved all three times, and there was always plenty of things to do. The weather is quite beautiful in northern Indiana—but if you go in the winter be prepared for a little snow! The trail is especially lovely during the fall.
WHERE should you stay? There are several Bed and Breakfast facilities as well as chain hotels in the area. We stayed at the Essenhaus, which is also a wonderful choice.
WHY go to Middlebury? If you want an authentic Amish experience, there are plenty of Amish folk in the area. It’s a fun and relaxing place to visit! And I can’t say enough about the Amish food. On our last trip, we tried to sample as much pie as possible. We especially enjoyed eating at the restaurant and bakery at the Essenhaus.
Middlebury is a wonderful place to visit and gain a glimpse into the plain life. Whether you visit virtually or in person, I hope that you have enjoyed these tips.
Vannetta Chapman writes fiction full of GRACE. She has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Her first novel, A Simple Amish Christmas, quickly became a bestseller. Her latest release is Murder Tightly Knit released December 16, 2014. Chapman lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.
Purchase Vanetta’s books here.