Our Blue Gate Amish Tours guide, Allen, encouraged us to ask questions of the Amish bishop we were about to meet in Shipshewana, Indiana. “Nothing’s off limits,” he told us. So the twelve guests on the Evening in an Amish Home tour spent the time asking Bishop Monroe Yoder questions. We came away realizing that although the Amish culture is different in many respects from mainstream America, we have more in common with them than we knew.
We recently spent a few days in Shipshewana, the heart of Indiana’s Amish country and the state’s most popular tourist destination. During the day we shopped, went to plays, visited museums, toured the Amish countryside, and filled up on Amish country cooking. At night we retreated to the Blue Gate Garden Inn, just a few blocks from downtown Shipshewana. With amenities and activities that go beyond what you’d expect at a mid-range hotel, the Blue Gate Garden Inn made it easy to relax after a busy day.
Last summer we headed to Elkhart County in northern Indiana to travel the world’s only quilt gardens driving tour. The quilt gardens are intertwined with the area’s Heritage Trail, so we essentially took two driving tours simultaneously. The drive takes you along city streets and country roads in both Elkhart and LaGrange Counties, passing through seven cities and towns, including Nappanee and Shipshewana, the heart of Amish Country.