Quilt Gardens & Amish Country Tour
- 5 nights deluxe accommodations in Elkhart, Indiana – the heart of Amish Country
- Luxury motor coach transportation and area tour guides
- Includes breakfast each day, 4 dinners, and 4 lunches
- Visits to various gardens on the Quilt Gardens Tour
- Annual Shipshewana Quilt Festival
- Delicious evening meals in the Amish tradition
- Professional Broadway theatre performance
- The Blue Gate Theater Gospel Singing
- Admission tickets to all events including:
Shipshewana Quilting Festival
Amish Quilting Bee
The Alka Seltzer Home
Lerner Theatre - Behind the Scenes
Amish Acres Tour
The Broadway Musical Theatre
The Blue Gate Theatre with Gospel Singing
Arrival and Departure Information
Arrival at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is 3:00PM. We will board our luxury motor coach and leave for Amish Country. NOTE: Transportation to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is not included
Sunday, June 29
Return transportation from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is not included. Please plan for transportation departures from Chicago Airport after 1PM.
Join us for this fabulous journey through the Quilt Gardens of Indiana and through Amish Country. The Quilt Gardens are 17 different locations where gardens have been planted in the style of a quilt. Along with this, many of the locations also have large quilt murals on the buildings outside. But the Quilt Gardens Tour is only a part of our adventure. We will also experience the Amish life visiting historical homes, talking to the people there, and tasting their incredible cooking. We will have demonstrations of cooking and gardening from an Amish perspective as well a visiting some well known Amish quilt shops. In addition we will have quilting classes and lectures from quilt artists – even an Amish Quilting Bee! One of the highlights of our trip will be
the Annual Shipshewana Quilt Festival! For more information on the Quilt Gardens visit http://www.amishcountry.org/things-to-do/quilt-gardens
Tuesday, June 24 (Dinner included)
We leave Chicago and head out to Elkhart, Indiana, where we'll have dinner at the Texas Roadhouse. Legendary for their food and service, we'll sit down in this family-friendly restaurant and enjoy their hearty hand cut steaks, fall off the bone ribs, made from scratch sides and dressings, and hot, freshly baked bread. Alcoholic beverages are available to purchase on an individual basis.
We will then go to our host hotel, check in and get a good night’s rest to be fresh for our next exciting day!
Wednesday, June 25 (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
After breakfast at our hotel we will head out to the Amish Country Visitors Center where we will begin with a brief overview about the unique, one-of-a-kind Quilt Gardens Tour. We will then explore the beautiful, handmade works of art by fiber artists Diana Bennett and Lina Zerkle.
After that, we are off to Wellfield Botanic Garden. The Gardens accepts as truth that mankind is inseparable from nature. Therefore, the Gardens will provide a shared natural and man-made environment of unique beauty that attracts, inspires, and educates in a setting dedicated to the celebration of nature and art. The Gardens is situated on 36 acres including 18 acres of water, six blocks north of downtown Elkhart on a historical piece of property known as the North Main Street well field. This site has been a source of hydraulic energy and drinking water for the City of Elkhart since the middle 1800s. Currently the City's Department of Public Works operates 13 wells on the site and Wellfield Gardens is the city's largest source of drinking water. Enjoy the “Star of Hope” Quilt Garden dedicated to Breast Cancer and the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research while on site.
We will enjoy one more Quilt Garden at Elkhart City Central park, before we stop for lunch at Stack's pancake house who are known for their huge portions, including sandwiches, salads, and even a breaded pork tenderloin! They will, of course, also stack up flapjacks as high as you want.
After lunch, we will make one more stop by the Quilt Garden at Linton's Enchanted Gardens and then we will head toward Shipshewana, known as “the trading place of America”.
Our first stops in Shipshewana will be the Menno-Hof
Amish/Mennonite Interpretive Center Quilt Garden and the Quilt Garden at
Farmstead Inn. After that, we're headed to Yoder’s Department Store for a
bit of shopping. Since the old days when Ora Yoder started his dry goods
business in the 1940's, the Department Store, Hardware Store and Grocery have
expanded to 50,000 square feet. Over 12,000 bolts of fabric, 2,800 pairs of
jeans, overalls in all sizes and 10,000 pairs of shoes and boots can all be
found here. Yoder's features a large selection of men's,
women's and children's wear, hardware and tools, house wares, linens, home
accessories and gifts, hard to find items of all kinds, and groceries including
locally produced sausages, noodles, preserves and even flour. Old-fashioned.
Simple as that. We'll
visit the Davis Mercantile, featuring over 24 shops located on 4 floors, easily accessible by elevator, Lolly's
Fabrics, and you can even stop in for a hand rolled Jo Jo's Pretzel ... a
For dinner and entertainment, we will enjoy family-style dinner at the Blue Gate restaurant. Resembling a rambling, white farmhouse, this 600-seat restaurant at Riegsecker Marketplace in Shipshewana serves up a feast of home-style Amish and Mennonite favorites in a wonderful setting. We will dine family-style on Blue Gate’s much loved Monterey Chicken served with baked potato, green beans, fresh baked bread, tossed salad, and pie. Followed by an evening concert where we'll enjoy some beautiful gospel music.
Thursday, June 26 (Breakfast,
Lunch, Dinner included)
Today, we will begin with the Annual Shipshewana Quilt Festival! This show will have a special guest speaker (TBD, optional) and will feature over 200 quilts.
After that, we will visit the Quilt Garden at Weaver's Furniture and then head to Middlebury. Enjoy the Quilt Garden displayed at historic Krider Garden. Take time to stroll through the “World’s Fair” garden that blends a wide variety of plants, shrubs, trees and waterfalls with area history. The gardens were originally designed by Krider Nurseries for display at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. We will have a catered Garden Party Luncheon here, with a box lunch included.
We will visit another quilt shop in Middlebury, and then we are off to visit the Quilt Garden at Dutch Country Market, we will drive by the quilt murals in downtown Middlebury, and then we will arrive at the Essenhaus for the evening. Here, you can browse the quilt shop, enjoy the quilt garden and mural on site, and then we will enjoy another family-style dinner at Das Dutchman Essenhaus.
Friday, June 27 (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
After breakfast, we will depart for Wakarusa, where we will visit the Quilt Garden here and also enjoy shopping at the Wakarusa Dime Store, home of the Jumbo Jelly Bean.
We won't want to miss shopping at Calico Point, located in Wakarusa. This locally owned Amish fabric shop features 3,000 bolts of fabrics, and is found in the heart of the countryside.
Then we will have a catered lunch inside the Crystal Ballroom located inside the Lerner Theatre. In 1924 Elkhart businessman, Harry E. Lerner, constructed a modern "theatrical palace" in downtown Elkhart. The 2,000 seat theatre hosted a variety of vaudeville, big band and theatrical reviews including stars such as Bob Hope. Today, the newly renovated Lerner Theatre captures the grandeur of its original 1920s design while being equipped with the finest structural, acoustic, technical and theatrical requirements of today and tomorrow.
Up next, we have Quilt Garden at Ruthmere. "Plop, Plop, Fizz,
Fizz, Oh, What A Relief It Is" is the famous Alka Seltzer advertisement. Mr. Albert Beardsley helped to found the company that created Alka Seltzer in Elkhart, Indiana. His elaborate 1910 beaux-arts style house, Ruthmere, named after his deceased daughter Ruth, is our destination. We'll see a fine art collection including Tiffany leaded glass, Rodin sculptures, velvet window coverings, hand painted walls, and walnut woodwork.
Elaine Jones at The Carriage House has invited us to join her and her family and friends in an Amish quilting bee. The ladies will first serve us a delicious home-cooked, 2 meat, traditional Amish meal, also known as a Haystack supper. Then we will pull up a chair around 4 original quilt frames filled with hand pieced Amish quilts.
They’ll demonstrate how to piece, mark and get the quilt ready to sew. Then we’ll sit beside them and participate, watch, learn or just chat as these Amish ladies lead the novice and experienced quilter in an old fashioned quilting bee.
Saturday, June 28 (Breakfast, Lunch included)
After breakfast, we hop the bus, and head to Goshen to visit the quilt murals and garden, ending at The Old Bag Factory, a quilt shop featuring original and unique contemporary designs that provide for breathtaking quilts. You'll meet owners, Dave and Shirley Shenk, who will explain their philosophy, technique, and showcase their unique copyrighted original designs that showcase quilting as an art form. Then, we'll shop in the artisan complex of The Old Bag Factory complete with pottery, furniture, candles, unique gifts and handiworks.
We will visit The Calendar Garden nestled within the River Preserve County Park in Benton, IN. The centerpiece of this captivating garden-- a pond filled with lush pink water lilies. And just like the seasons, the views in the garden are ever-changing. Time spent in the Calendar Garden will be time well spent, time for all seasons and time long remembered. It is truly enchanting.
Then, here we come Amish Acres, Nappanee. The 80-acre restored Amish farmstead, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the focal point of Amish Acres. This heritage resort echoes the simple life of Amish society through historic interpretation, dining, lodging, theatre, countryside tours, baked goods and 10 different shops. We will have a Salisbury Steak hearty lunch here complete with all the trimmings followed by a Professional Broadway musical production in the Round Barn Theatre.
Our last stop of the day will be at Benedict's Nursery, which is a bit like stepping into a scene from a fairytale – tiny, remarkable plants that make ordinary plants seem huge in comparison fill garden racks and specially made containers. That’s because Esther Benedict specializes in alpines and other unusual species that are seldom seen in a garden shop. It may seem curious that an Old Order Mennonite woman living in Nappanee, IN, is knowledgeable about species that manage to survive in high altitude or harsh desert terrain, but it’s her hobby. Esther can tell us all about these amazing, slow growing little plants. She also makes and sells the rugged, rock-like hyper-tufa pots ideally suited for these hearty miniatures and gives classes on making our own.
We will have an evening on your own
tonight to relax and recuperate from our exciting trip.
Sunday, June 29 (Breakfast)
Our trip is almost over! We will check out of our host hotel and head toward Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Please make travel arrangements for 1PM or later.
Pricing & Registration
Per Person Rate:
$1,095 per person double occupancy
Add $350 for single accommodation
A $200 Registration Fee is due now, with the final payment due by April 1st. .
Questions: You can reach
Clay at (903) 363-9810