Northern Indiana’s Amish communities reach across county lines, and since Shipshewana & LaGrange County neighbors Elkhart County, it just wouldn’t be right not to talk about our friends over there.
Only a ten minute drive from Shipshewana is the little town of Middlebury, Indiana, home to the Essenhaus Inn & Conference Center, retail shops, Heritage Hall where concerts and dramas are performed, a mini-golf course (seasonal, of course), and the famous Essenhaus Restaurant.
You could spend several days at this location, there’s so much to do. The inn is so nice you might be tempted not to venture out any further, but please do.
Nevertheless, the inn in and of itself has much to offer, starting with its charming atmosphere. Each room is decorated with beauty and simplicity, with most of the furniture locally-handcrafted. The rooms are also spacious, very clean, and light and airy, providing more of a suite feel to the regular sized rooms (although suites are available).
Commons areas are found throughout the hotel where you can play games, read quietly, or just enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.
You’ll also find conference areas on the first floor, and you’ll also discover a beautiful, expansive indoor pool and lounging area with a game room right beside it. I can only imagine how much fun it would be to go with the family and play for hours on end here!
The second floor contains another lounge area and refreshments. Breakfast is also served in this area.
Depending on what time of the year you come, you’ll find the inn decorated beautifully with its seasonal delights. Right now, it’s Christmastime, and the Inn contains several tall trees, a manger scene, and of course, loads of furniture, floral arrangements, and ornaments you can buy at the Essenhaus stores all within a few steps of the Inn.
One of my personal favorite things to do is walk the Essenhaus path that surrounds the entire campus, particularly the inn. You’ll discover a pond and fountain, a quaint walkway, and in the distance, the famous covered bridge.
If you don’t feel like walking, then not to worry: Essenhaus provides horse and carriage rides. You really will feel like you’ve stepped back in time when enjoy the clip-clop sound of the horses’ hooves and the stories told by our favorite local Amish guy who guides the white horse and carriage along the trail.
When you get hungry, head over to the restaurant for an old-fashioned Amish “Thresher’s Meal.”
Then afterwards, walk through the shops located on the same campus.
Rooms are priced very reasonably for what you get–a get away from it all, spoil me vacation.
Click here for more information on Essenhaus Inn & Conference Center.
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