Dark chocolate—it’s one treat I can’t pass up. A few years ago on a press trip we were tasting chocolate at a chocolate shop. I was skipping the milk chocolate and going right for the dark. One of my fellow travel writers said, “Even if I never meet you again, I will always connect you with dark chocolate.” Yep, that’s me. I’ve tasted a lot of Midwest chocolate over the past few years, and am sharing with you 11 of my favorites, in no particular order, plus two from beyond the Midwest. Read more
I used to avoid staying in bed and breakfasts. The pictures I saw of them were lovely, but I wasn’t sure of the etiquette. Do I knock when I get there? How about every time we come and go? Will coming in late at night be a problem? Will we have to share a bathroom with other guests? (Please—no!)
Then I went on a press trip, and they assigned us to a bed and breakfast. Oh no! What to do? Everything worked out just fine that weekend. The beautifully decorated Victorian mansion included a Jacuzzi tub in every room, and we were the only guests staying there that night. Since then, bed and breakfasts have become one of our favorite types of accommodation, and we stay in them often.
If you have yet to stay at a B&B for any of the fears I had, fear no more. Here are answers to 10 questions you may have about staying in a bed and breakfast. Read more
In the late 1800s, huge natural gas fields were discovered beneath Kokomo, Indiana. The gas supply was thought to be infinite. As a result, manufacturing boomed in the city, particularly in the glass and automotive industries. During our stay in the area, we visited five Kokomo attractions that reflect those two industries. We learned why the glass and automotive industries, in particular, became prevalent in Kokomo. Read more
When was the last time you were shown to your room via horse and carriage? That’s what we experienced when we checked into Serenity Springs, the resort that specializes in romantic getaways for couples. After our driver loaded our luggage onto the carriage and we stepped aboard, Isabella, a rescued Belgian, led us through the 85 acre wooded Michigan City resort to our cabin. Read more
You don’t have to spend a fortune to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Here are 12 events throughout the Midwest that won’t break the budget before the New Year even begins. (Updated for New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2017.) Read more
You can bet a college town is going to have great places to eat. Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana, home of Purdue University, is no exception. Here are six Lafayette-West Lafayette restaurants where we dined during our weekend visit. Read more
“You’ll shoot your eye out!” cries everyone with whom little Ralphie Parker shares his dream of Santa bringing him “an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two hundred shot range model air rifle.” A Christmas Story, released in 1983 and based on author Jean Shepherd’s childhood years, has become an American holiday movie classic. Shepherd grew up in Hammond, Indiana, the model city for the movie’s fictitious town of Hohman. Hammond celebrates the movie every Christmas season at the Indiana Welcome Center with fun displays and special events. The 2017 event runs from November 11 through January 7, 2018. Read more
America’s fascination with Amish culture lures nearly 2 million visitors to Shipshewana, Indiana, each year. Shipshewana is located in LaGrange County, which is the home to over 45,000 Amish. But who exactly are these people who travel by horse and buggy and don’t use electricity, whose women wear long dresses and prayer caps and men wear pants with no outside pockets? What are their roots? Anyone who visits Shipshewana should begin their trip at Menno-Hof. Menno-Hof tells the story of Amish, Mennonites, and Hutterites, three groups who stem from the 16th century Anabaptist movement.
Brown County, Indiana, is often referred to as the “Little Smokies.” Similar to the Smoky Mountains town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Brown County boasts a wooded, hilly terrain that transforms into a palette of autumn color. Also like Gatlinburg, Brown County is an artist community. During our recent visit to this southern Indiana gem, we stayed at the Creekside Retreat. Creekside Retreat, with plenty of nicely landscaped open space, proved to be the ideal accommodation for us. It’s located minutes from Brown County State Park and a couple miles from downtown Nashville, the center Brown County, Indiana’s, art colony. And with a variety of room and suite options, Creekside Retreat fits everyone’s lodging needs. Read more
Old historic cities are often filled with stories of spirits from days gone by. Corydon, Indiana, is no exception, as we learned on the Real Haunted Happenings Tour. Read more