An RV Journey through Indiana’s Amish Country

Longing to relax in a beautiful place that harkens back to another time? Indiana’s Amish Country is just such a place – abounding in cultural attractions, farm tours and quaint, historic villages. Take a trip with us as we tour this wonderful region by RV.

What You’ll Find in Indiana’s Amish Country
We suggest you start your trip in Elkhart, Indiana (the RV Capitol of the World!), two hours east of Chicago. Before leaving Elkhart be sure to visit Island Park where the St. Joseph and Elkhart Rivers meet and the premier celebration of RV travel, the RV/MH Hall of Fame. History buffs will also want to visit Ruthmere, the glorious 1908 home of the Beardsley family, early leading citizens of Elkhart.

From Elkhart, you’ll travel through towns and villages that celebrate relaxed rural living and the Amish heritage for which the area is famous. Here’s a sample itinerary:

  1. Take IN-19 from Elkhart to Wakarusa, where Schmidt Furniture offers tours of its heritage furniture building operation. From Wakarusa, continue south on IN-19 to Nappanee, IN, home of Amish Acres Historic Farm. Take a buggy ride, enjoy demonstrations of 1830s farm life and enjoy a “Threshers Dinner” at the Restaurant Barn. By the way, if it’s your first trip to Amish country, here’s a helpful guide to respectful travel among the Amish.
  2. From Nappanee, it’s a twenty minute drive past the hillside Amish farms on IN-119 to Goshen, Indiana, a 19th century village rich with Amish history. Shop and dine in historic buildings throughout the downtown district and explore the works of area artisans at the Old Bag Factory. One more tip for family-centered fun in Goshen: visit Knollbrook Farm, where rural delights such as corn mazes and the afternoon “cow parade” are sure to delight the kids.
  3. Your trip now follows bucolic country highways from Goshen to Shipshewana, IN, where we suggest RV travelers stop for the night at Shipshewana RV Park and Flea Market, just off US-20 on IN-5. It’s a marvelous stop for RV travelers, offering front-row access to the Midwest’s largest flea market every Tuesday and Wednesday from April to November. Shipshewana is also the site of a number of Amish country attractions. Here are some you’ll want to visit:
    • Yoder’s Red Barn Shops offers delights at shops like Wana Cabinets and Furniture and Red Bud Gourmet Coffee.
    • Menno-Hof Information Center takes visitors through a number of experiences including a “Quilt Garden” (one of many in the region) and fascinating exhibits that explore the history of the Anabaptists (Mennonites and Amish) from before the Reformation to modern times.
    • Hostetler’s Hudson Auto Museum, “the world’s largest collection of Hudson products.”
  4. On the way back to Elkhart, be sure to stop in the village of Middlebury, where another excellent area RV campground, Elkhart/Middlebury Exit KOA, greets travelers to Amish Country. Middlebury is also home to Das Dutchman Essenhaus, an Amish-style eatery in a picturesque setting.

All along your route from Elkhart through Indiana’s Amish Country, you’ll be surrounded by heritage farms, quaint villages and excellent cultural attractions. For information about travel in the region, be sure to visit A favorite with our readers, this is one of El Monte RV Rental’s recommended routes for Indiana RV travelers.

Posted in Indiana RV Camping, Indiana RV Camping Vacation | Tagged | Leave a comment

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore-A Perfect RV Getaway

Indiana Dunes National LakeshoreWouldn’t it be nice to lie on the beach, enjoy great RV camping and really get to know the region, all in the same vacation? We think it would, so we’ve put together all you need to start planning a trip to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. A Northern Indiana treasure, Indiana Dunes combines regional flavor and casual beach pleasures in one enormous RV camping destination.

What can we say first about this premier Lake Michigan attraction? How to get there is a good start! The National Lakeshore lies between Gary, Indiana on the west and Michigan City, Indiana on the east, and is roughly fifty miles from Chicago. For quick interstate travel to reach the beach, I-80/90 is the best east/west route. Once you’re there, you can access all areas of the Lakeshore from Indiana State Highway 12.

Now, to the reasons this will become one of your favorite motorhome camping destinations. Attractions you’ll surely want to spend time exploring include the following:

  • Bailly Homestead/Chellberg Farm – this historic landmark was once home to the first non-native resident in the region (and they still make their own maple syrup!)
  • Indiana Dunes State Park – adjacent to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a bonus-a two thousand acre state park on Michigan’s south shore boasting three miles of pristine beach and plenty of RV campsites.
  • Ly-Co-Ki-We Trail (PDF) – take the family on a memorable hike on loops of varying lengths, all offering the chance to learn more about the beauty of Lake Michigan’s windswept shoreline.
  • Mount Baldy – a natural wonder, this ever-moving twelve story sand dune will fascinate as you take the trail to the summit.
  • Northern Indiana Art and Earth Trail – seven scenic loops have been mapped to take you to regional attractions such as blueberry farms, farmer’s markets, and arts centers. Whether your tastes run to Amish handicrafts or the eclectic art of Winona Lake, you’ll find more than enough to enjoy on the Art and Earth Trail.
  • West Beach – located at the southern-most tip of Lake Michigan, West Beach is the only one of eight Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore beaches protected by lifeguards. Spend the day swimming in the lake, exploring the dunes or simply soaking up the sun at this classic summer attraction.

One more incentive to visit is the abundant availability of RV campgrounds. If you’re not camping at the National Lakeshore or State Park, try Sand Creek Campground at Chesterton, right in the heart of the Dunes. The family will also love Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Campground at Portage, Indiana, just south of the lakeshore.

There’s still time to unwind at the beach, and there’s no better place than Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Pack your swimsuit, pick up an affordable RV rental at our Chicago El Monte RV Rentals location and get ready for some later summer fun!

Posted in Indiana RV Camping, Indiana RV Camping Vacation, National Parks | Tagged | Leave a comment