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Many Shipshewana & LaGrange County visitors are fascinated by the Amish culture in our area, and are often curious about the reasons behind the Amish lifestyle and traditions. 

Amish man driving a buggy being pulled by 4 horses

Amish Farmer

1. Rules of the Road

Travel Tips: 

  • Understand the Grid! Road names and numbers can be confusing. Road names are based on the distance in miles from US 20 and State Road 9 (SR 9):
    • The East & West roads are east and west of SR 9. The North & South roads are north and south of US 20.
  • Take it Slow! Watch for buggies, pedestrians and bicyclists on the roads. Some roads are bumpier than others and may be gravel, all of which require slower driving, but add to the cultural experience.
  • Stop and enjoy! You’ll pass by roadside stands, Amish Cottage shops and Barn Quilts, perfect for an Amish Country Adventure. 
  • Plan! Store hours in Amish Country may vary. Amish-owned businesses have limited hours, are closed after 5 and are closed on Sunday for them to be with their family.

2. Photography Etiquette 

Personal photos are discouraged by the Amish church, to avoid contributing to vanity. Some Amish are fine having pictures taken if their face is not shown. We ask our visitors to ask permission first and to respect the answer you receive! 

3. Secrets to Shopping in Amish Country

Below you’ll find tips to remember while you’re out and about:

  • Most Amish businesses close at 5pm.
  • All Amish and Mennonite businesses are closed on Sundays.
  • Some Amish business owners only accept cash or check.
    • For a list of these Amish Cottage Shops  click here for the Off the Beaten Path Trail Map.
    • Pick up a copy of the Off the Beaten Path map at the Official Amish Country Visitors Center. 
    • ATM’s can be found at the Blue Gate Restaurant, E&S Sales, and the Davis Mercantile. 

4. After 5pm Activities

While it’s true that many of the local Amish close up shop at 5pm, it’s not a problem in Shipshewana because there’s always more to do in the Heart of Amish Country. We’ve compiled some lists of things that are open or available past 5pm to make your schedule planning easier! Click here to see what is open! 

6. Dive into the Amish Faith at Menno-Hof

The Amish and Mennonite communities are devout, and every aspect of daily life is tied to their faith. Their goal is to live simple lives that focus on their family and community. Mennonites lives are based on the same religious doctrine, but they are more lenient regarding appearance and modern technology. The Amish choose to avoid most modern conveniences such as cars or phones and electricity inside their homes, although many now have phone booths outside their homes. Some Amish business owners use electricity inside their shops for things like card readers and registers, and some also use cell phones and computers in the running of their business, but all of these are kept separate from the Amish home. 

Visit Menno-Hof Interpretative Center to learn about the history of the Amish and Mennonite communities. 

7. Questions? Stop by the Visitors Center

Thousands of visitors choose to explore the area using both guided and self-guided tours and trails, such as the Off the Beaten Path Trail, the Barn Quilt Trail, the Pumpkinvine Bike & Hiking Trail, or the new Art Trail Brochure that will lead you to all the local murals and sculptures. Always start your visit by stopping at the Visitors Center, located at 350 S Van Buren St. in Shipshewana! You’ll find knowledgeable staff, coupon books, and answers to all your questions. You’ll also be able to pick up a copy of the latest Visitors Guide!

  • Receive tips & referrals.
  • Pick up the FREE Off the Beaten Path Audio Driving Tour.
  • Ask about new adventures and trails.
  • Pick up a FREE Coupon Book.
  • The Visitors Center is open 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

8. Location 

Shipshewana/LaGrange County are in the Eastern Time Zone and observe Daylight Savings Time. Centrally located 2 hours from Chicago, 3 hours from Detroit, 2 hours from Grand Rapids and 3 hours from Indianapolis. 

Planning a Trip?
Stop by the Visitor's Center for local tips, referrals, FREE coupon books and visitor's guides. We are located at 350 S Van Buren St.