French Lick Springs Hotel: A Stay in Historical Luxury

French Lick Springs Hotel: A Stay in Historical Luxury

When the Monon Railroad built a line from Chicago to French Lick, Indiana, in the late 1800s, everyone who was anyone from Chicago began visiting French Lick. Well-to-do folks played golf on a championship course. They bathed in the healing mineral springs. And they stayed in the luxury French Lick Springs Hotel or the nearby equally luxurious West Baden Hotel. Read more

11 Midwest Popcorn Shops You Must Try

11 Midwest Popcorn Shops You Must Try

I’ve mentioned here before that if  I could have only one snack food for the rest of my life, it would be cheese popcorn. But not just any cheese popcorn. The supermarket stuff won’t do. It must be super cheesy, the kind you can only find in a gourmet popcorn shop. So every time I stumble upon a popcorn shop in my travels, I must go in and buy some.  Here are 11 Midwest popcorn shops I’ve come across in the past few years that offer rich gourmet cheese popcorn—and caramel corn in lots of flavors if you prefer your popcorn sweet. Read more

RV-MH Hall of Fame Exhibits Campers of Yesteryear

RV-MH Hall of Fame Exhibits Campers of Yesteryear

It wasn’t long after automobiles became the mainstay of American society that people began converting them into recreational vehicles or pulling camping trailers behind them.  Both the first motorhome and the first travel trailers made their debuts in 1910. Last summer we visited the RV-MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana, where campers dating as far back as the 1916 are on display in the museum, including some once owned by well-known people. Read more

Midwest Wanderer 2016 Top 10 Posts

Midwest Wanderer 2016 Top 10 Posts

At Midwest Wanderer we write about a variety of article topics. We like to include a mix of restaurants, attractions, festivals, and accommodations. So I was pleasantly surprised when I ran the list of the Midwest Wanderer 2016 Top 10 (most viewed) posts and the top four were a bakery, an attraction, a hotel, and a festival. Apparently you, our readers, like a variety of topics, too. Here is the list of Midwest Wanderer 2016 Top 10 posts: Read more

Monastery Immaculate Conception: Touring the Castle on the Hill

Monastery Immaculate Conception: Touring the Castle on the Hill

In 1867 four Sisters of St. Benedict arrived in Ferdinand, Indiana, from a monastery in Kentucky to teach in the parish school. By the 1870s, with over 70 sisters working at a boarding school they had started for girls in Ferdinand, the group became independent of the Kentucky monastery.  Today the Monastery Immaculate Conception is one of the largest communities of Benedictine sisters in the United States, and the Romanesque-style domed monastery they live in is celebrating its 150th anniversary. We recently visited the Monastery Immaculate Conception, where Sister Christine gave us a brief history of the monastery and took us on a tour of what some call the “castle on the hill.” Read more

Elwood Haynes Museum: Automotive Pioneer Invented World’s Strongest Metal Alloy

Elwood Haynes Museum: Automotive Pioneer Invented World’s Strongest Metal Alloy

As field superintendent in Indiana’s new natural gas industry, Elwood Haynes needed a way to get from gas field to gas field. So he invented a horseless carriage. There were several automobiles being developed around the country at the same time, but Haynes called his vehicle “America’s first,” and the title stuck. Haynes also invented Stellite in the early 1900s. Stellite was world’s strongest known metal alloy. The Elwood Haynes Museum in Kokomo, Indiana, tells the story of Haynes, his inventions and his contribution to history. Read more

Dining at Key West Shrimp House: Iconic Restaurant on the Ohio River

Dining at Key West Shrimp House: Iconic Restaurant on the Ohio River

French Fried Shrimp…Shrimp Orleans…Shrimp Panama…Coconut Shrimp… Shrimp Scampi… Browsing the menu that includes nine shrimp entrees, plus other seafood options, you might think the restaurant was located along the Gulf Coast. But the iconic Key West Shrimp House overlooks the Ohio River in Madison, Indiana. Read more

Touring Southern Indiana’s Marengo Cave

Touring Southern Indiana’s Marengo Cave

If you’ve ever toured a cave, you’re likely familiar with stalactites, stalagmites, columns, soda straws, and flowstone. Maybe even draperies and cave bacon. But have you ever heard of a calcite flower? Or seen a pool of water so reflective that you mistake the reflection for a deep recess of the cave? Every cave offers something special. A calcite flower and the reflective water are just two unique attributes  in southern Indiana’s Marengo Cave, arguably the most decorated cave in the Interior Lowlands of the United States. Read more

Schimpff’s Confectionery: Peppermint Candy Made before Your Eyes

Schimpff’s Confectionery: Peppermint Candy Made before Your Eyes

The sugar mixture boiling in the copper kettle was not quite 325 degrees when we arrived at Schimpff’s Confectionery. As soon as it reached is “magic temperature,” we would watch Warren Schimpff make peppermint candy with same equipment his great-grandfather used over a hundred years ago in this Jeffersonville, Indiana, candy shop. Read more

League Stadium: Where ‘A League of Their Own’ was Filmed

League Stadium: Where ‘A League of Their Own’ was Filmed

The stadium was quiet on this late October morning, deserted except for a lone maintenance man. Vintage billboard signs that usually line the outfield fence had been taken down to be touched up. There were no roaring crowds or ballplayers in knickered uniforms. But standing in the outfield, looking into the dugout, took me back to the most famous scene of the 1992 movie A League of Their Own, which was filmed here at League Stadium in Huntingburg, Indiana. Read more