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Shipshewana – in the Heart of Indiana’s Amish Country

Amish Country, Homemade Noodles, Middlebury, Shipshewana Indiana

Shipshewana, Indiana is located near the Michigan/Indiana border along Highway 5. To reach Shipshewana from the Indiana Toll Road (I-80/90) take Exit 107 or Exit 121, south to State Road 120, then continue to State Road 5. This peaceful community is small in size but big on attractions and is one of the Midwest’s hidden gems. Shipshewana, Indiana is located in the center of the third largest Amish community in the United States. It is a part of LaGrange County, which is known as the “Home of the Plain People,” – the Mennonite and Amish. The influence of these gentle people has greatly contributed to Shipshewana’s unique atmosphere. The town’s downtown is filled with over 90 specialty shops featuring antiques, Amish quilts, gourmet food, collectibles, books, candles, copper goods, Amish crafted furniture, hormone free meats and more. These shops are open Monday-Saturday, 12 months a year. Shipshewana is also home to the Menno-Hof Interpretive Center, which is a non-profit information center operated by the Amish and Mennonites. Amish builders erected the barn structure used for the museum that presents colorful displays and multi-media presentations to help visitors explore the fascinating way of life of these people. Shipshewana is probably most well known for its large 1,000-vendor flea market – the largest outdoor flea market in the Midwest, which is open Tuesday and Wednesday, May through October. At the Shipshewana Flea Market, you will find a mix of traditional and Amish items, including primitives, refinished and untouched antique furniture, toys, pottery and glass, quilts and much more. You name it, and you will most likely find it at the Shipshewana Auction and Flea Market.

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As you visit Shipshewana and Indiana’s Amish County, you will want to take a drive through the winding backroads and rolling hills, where you’ll discover other quaint towns, Amish farmlands, general stores, antique stores, auctions and flea markets. Other attractions include a restored log house village that hosts a living history celebration. It’s one of the few places in the country where you can take a buggy ride to explore the countryside and tour an actual Amish farm. Several quality, custom-made furniture stores are also situated along the country backroads. The area also has many parks for picnicking, swimming, hiking and biking. Please remember that horse-drawn carriages travel slowly, so please be careful as you drive, especially when cresting a hill. Also, the Amish, in keeping with their religious beliefs, prefer not to be photographed.

Shipshewana Indiana is also home to several festivals and special events throughout the year. One such event is the Antique Appraisal-Fun Fair – held each year the second Saturday in February. Here you can have your family heirlooms looked at by a panel of experts for the approximation of value. Maple Syrup Days are usually held in early March and runs for two days, and the Shipshewana May Fest is a local tradition that features a hometown parade, live music, entertainment, games, lots of good food, story telling and kids’ activities. In autumn, (which is a gorgeous time to visit the area, by the way, for the beautiful fall colors,) you can enjoy the Shipshewana Fall Crafters Fair – a celebration of the area’s crafting and old-fashioned roots. For the holidays, Shipshewana celebrates a “Country Christmas” when local shops feature country Christmas décor, demonstrations, food and great gift ideas. This event is usually held three weekends in November. In mid-December, a Live Nativity is held in Shipshewana, with costumed interpreters re-enacting the birth of Christ. Live animals and music groups provide the realistic setting for the production.

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Dining is another activity you will want to experience while visiting Shipshewana. The town has several great Amish restaurants that feature homestyle cooking – things like mouth-watering tender meats, mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade noodles, breads and pies. The following is a list of some of the restaurants in Shipshewana and the surrounding area. Enjoy the simple way of life in Indiana’s Amish Country!

Wana Banquets Country Cooking
4605 N 675 W
Shipshewana, IN 46565
260-768-7320 ext. 2

Yoder’s Homestyle Cooking
10525 W 325 N
Shipshewana, IN 46565

Amish Acres Restaurant Barn
1600 West Market Street
Nappanee, IN 46550

Blue Gate Restaurant
106 East Middlebury Street
Shipshewana, IN 46565

M & L Acres Homestyle Banquets
9135 W US 20
Shipshewana, IN 46565

Patchwork Quilt Country Inn
11748 CR 2
Middlebury, IN 46540