Written by MilwVon on 21 Apr, 2013
Please understand, this is purely from an observational perspective, having visited and photographed the Amish communities throughout Wisconsin for a little more than a year now . . . and after my first weekend experience doing the same with the Amish of Northern Indiana.While I…Read More
Please understand, this is purely from an observational perspective, having visited and photographed the Amish communities throughout Wisconsin for a little more than a year now . . . and after my first weekend experience doing the same with the Amish of Northern Indiana.While I have read a lot about these communities, rich in tradition and largely holding to the beliefs of what is known as the Old Order Amish, much of what I read about cannot really be observed by an outsider. For instance, the Amish in Wisconsin generally do not have indoor plumbing and still out outhouses. Even the schoolhouses here in Wisconsin still have outhouses. In Indiana, however, many if not most do have indoor plumbing.As I drove around Northern Indiana's Amish areas, the first thing that struck me was just how many farms and people made up their local communities. First evidenced by the number of horse & buggies seen out and about (even at 10:30pm on a Saturday night!) . . . and later realized while driving over rural roads and seeing the number of buggies in driveways and "carports".I wasn't sure at times if I was seeing an "English" farm (non-Amish) or one that was Amish or Mennonite because often there would be buggies in the driveway along with automobiles. I was later told that the Mennonite and Amish are often social with one another, often traveling together for shopping trips into town, etc. in the vehicle belong to the Mennonite. I saw this personally at Yoder's Meat & Cheese Company in Shipshewana.The other big difference I noticed was that the Amish people that I crossed paths with did not seem to mind if they noticed I was taking photos from afar using a long telephoto lens. In Wisconsin, even from hundreds of yards away I have found Amish children in particular will scatter if they realize I am photographing them. Here in Indiana, however, they seemed to be OK with it.I asked about this at Amish Acres and was told that generally the Amish in these communities near tourist attractions and local Amish businesses have grown somewhat accustomed to photographers taking pictures. While tolerant of the practice from afar, however, they would be understandably offended and refuse to pose for photos. That really helped to explain a lot for me given that I had taken some photos of young Amish children (under age 12 or so) who seemed as if to unknowingly pose because they simply did not move to avoid the camera.The use of bicycles in Northern Indiana was something else that I was surprised by. While I had seen bikes in Wisconsin, they largely seemed to be ridden on the driveways of their homes and not to school, church, work, etc. During my driving around on Sunday, the first time I saw a pair of young Amish teenagers riding their bikes towards what I knew to be that morning's church location, I was so surprised I couldn't get my camera out fast enough. I was later able to capture a couple of photos of the Amish going or coming from church on bicycles.The other mode of transportation, even on a somewhat rainy and blustery Sunday morning, was walking. Many families were seen walking to or from church during my driving around. I especially enjoyed the one image I captured of three generations walking home together.The last difference that I noticed during my time in Indiana is that they are required to license their buggies and obtain a "plate" (or "tag") much the same as what others have on their automobiles. The plate is numbered and specific to that buggy. The State of Indiana is reportedly the only state in the USA that has this requirement and they charge $25 to register the buggy.The Amish, regardless of where I've seen them, have all been friendly and quick to offer a wave. I have enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about their culture and lifestyle thanks in part to the time I've spent reading and subsequent driving around amongst them. I hope to be able to return to Northern Indiana later this year to see how they live come summer and later in fall during the harvest. Close
As I mentioned in another entry in this journal, the local CVB has produced a CD tour kit called the "Heritage Trail" which provides an audio accompaniment to aid in your driving experience through the Amish communities of Elkhart & LaGrange Counties. For those…Read More
As I mentioned in another entry in this journal, the local CVB has produced a CD tour kit called the "Heritage Trail" which provides an audio accompaniment to aid in your driving experience through the Amish communities of Elkhart & LaGrange Counties. For those who are a bit more adventurous and willing to just go where the roads may take you, I encourage you to do as I did and just get in the car and drive!My first morning in Nappanee, IN I was up very early knowing that I could not start my tours over at Amish Acres for several hours. It worked out well that I gassed up my car and just headed out of town. Once I was about five miles out, I took the first of what would be many turns to head into more rural surrounds. To be honest, I later found out I didn't even have to go that far out to be among the Amish and Mennonite people starting their day of Sabbath. That said, I was really happy with my choice of initial directions and where the roads took me.I ventured into one small Amish community that had several merchants and stores that served both the Amish and English communities. Garden shops, cabinet makers and woodworking were all seen in a small area. As the sun rose higher into the sky, I started to see horse & buggies out and about. Most were driven by married men, as evidenced by their long beards. On a couple of farms, I drove past men getting their buggies ready for their trip to church.In the Amish communities, they hold church service in one of the homes of a local church district member. I was fortunate to drive by a couple of different homes hosting church service on this particular drive.As the morning got later, I started to see more and more people out walking or riding their bikes . . . presumably to church as well. It was very interesting to see this as in the Amish communities I'm familiar with in Wisconsin, I have never seen folks using any other means of transportation besides their horse & buggy. I later learned that here in Indiana, with the large population of Amish, there are more people in a more densely populated area. There are more church districts with people closer together. In Wisconsin, the Amish farms are spread out requiring they travel greater distances to go to church.I drove in amazement of all that I got to see on that Sunday morning . . . and later that afternoon including children playing in their yards and driveways. That evening before nightfall, I observed several gatherings of Amish teenagers in fellowship at a local home. One location had the girls bringing baskets of food prepared the day before, to be shared with the group. At another farm that I drove by, there were three or four girls sitting up on the roof of the side building attached to the main house. It appeared that they had climbed out of a window in the house to get up onto the adjacent roof. They could be heard talking and giggling as I slowed down to catch a longer glimpse of them.I went to bed that night thinking about all of the great things I witnessed and experienced, even if I didn't get photos of most of them. It was a wonderful day!The next day, I spent time wandering the rural roads around LaGrange County, largely in Shipshewana and Middlebury. As with the day before, I was up very early. By the time I was venturing around some of the Amish farms, many of the ladies had already washed and hung laundry. By 8:00am, school aged children were walking and riding their bikes to school. One schoolyard had dozens of kids playing before classes started for the day. Girls were seen playing volleyball, while the boys were hitting softballs out towards the highway. I drove by carefully so as to not hit the youngsters shagging grounders as they entered the road before me.As the afternoon arrived there were several young people out tilling the land as spring planting is just around the corner. I saw mostly men working the teams of large Belgian horses, but was fascinated to see one young lady with her blue dress blowing in the wind as she steered her four-horse team and plow through the winter-hardened field.Throughout Monday, the Amish people were out and about doing their routine whether that was working at home, in the fields or in town; children going to school; or ladies taking the horse & buggy into town for their weekly shopping trip. I saw several older Amish gentlemen riding bikes to work.I felt so blessed to have been allowed to share in their life's experiences, even if from afar or through the lens of my camera. Close
I had heard about the Heritage Trail while researching my trip to Northern Indiana's Amish communities. Much of what you find on the internet speaks to it being "one of the top places to see in your lifetime" by the editors of Life Magazine.…Read More
I had heard about the Heritage Trail while researching my trip to Northern Indiana's Amish communities. Much of what you find on the internet speaks to it being "one of the top places to see in your lifetime" by the editors of Life Magazine. Readers of USA Today give an equally glowing recommendation. So when I checked into my hotel in Nappanee, IN I was pleased to learn that the desk clerk had a copy that had been left by a prior guest.The driving tour spans roughly 90 miles and covers sights of local and historical interest in the counties of LaGrange and Elkhart taking mostly rural roads through the countryside. Admittedly, as I took off out of Nappanee, I quickly became disinterested when the route took me to a more heavily traveled Hwy 19 north to Elkhart. It wasn't so much that I wasn't interested in Elkhart as I was more interested in staying on the back roads that connected small Amish farms and pastures.I found the Heritage Trail to be the same south of Shipshewana on Hwy 5. Although I must say, I did get one of my favorite photos on that section of highway, where two Amish buggies were heading south towards me, another was heading north just in front of me, and a fourth was traversing across Hwy 5 heading east to west. In one photo, I was able to capture the hustle and bustle . . . Amish Style . . . with four horse & buggies on a Sunday afternoon.I understand that the general purpose of the Heritage Trail marketing plan is to get people to explore the small towns that make up the framework around these Amish communities. The route takes traffic through Nappanee, Wakarusa, Elkhart, Bristol, Middlebury, Shipshewana and Goshen . . . the location of the first Amish settlement in Indiana. In each of these communities there are Main Street merchants eager to serve your buying needs. Sorry to sound a bit jaded, but my thoughts are that while shopping is a fun experience, often it is shallow in terms of cultural learning.I also found the Heritage Trail to be very busy on the day I traveled it in and around Nappanee. Admittedly, it was a Sunday afternoon with lots of folks out and about. Because it seemed folks were following the routing provided on the CD, at times there were long lines of cars backed up behind a buggy heading home after church. There was nothing enjoyable about that sort of experience for me so I quickly diverted off the "beaten path" onto roads even less traveled and more out of the way. I was so happy that I did!As I read the colorful brochure that is contained in the CD jacket, I was intrigued by the description of the quilt gardens that can be found along the trail May 30th through October 1st. These quilted pattern gardens create colorful quilt like designs using more than 100,000 flowers in bloom. That is something that I would like to see in the future, so perhaps a return is in order.About the CD kit . . . it contains two CDs with the first providing an introduction plus coverage of Elkhart, Briston, Middlebury and Shipshewana. The second picks up in Goshen and heads west to Nappanee and on to Wakarusa. The driving route is in a clockwise direction with each area noted by track number. You are instructed to pause play when you are interested in stopping your vehicle or getting out to explore a particular area. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a pause button on my car's CD player so it became a bit of a hassle to try to follow along with the tour directions.The Heritage Trail CD kit is available at the Elkhart Visitors Center and at local merchants along the trail. If you do not have a CD player or don't want to use it, you can download the tour guide to an MP3 player from their website: http://www.amishcountry.org/things-to-do/heritage-trail . Perhaps the most valuable part of the Heritage Trail driving tour kit is the map contained in the CD jacket. I used it often, especially when venturing off the trail into more remote areas in search of a road less traveled and people out and about, not so mindful of the tourists looking to catch a glimpse of them going about their day-to-day lives. Close
If you've read some of my other travel journals from Wisconsin, you might know that I have become fascinated with the large 8' x 8' painted quilt squares found hanging on rural barns and buildings throughout Monroe County and other communities that have been organized…Read More
If you've read some of my other travel journals from Wisconsin, you might know that I have become fascinated with the large 8' x 8' painted quilt squares found hanging on rural barns and buildings throughout Monroe County and other communities that have been organized by the local University of Wisconsin Extension Office.While driving into Shipshewana, I happened upon a barn quilt or two. What I didn't realize until that evening back at the hotel, LaGrange County (where Shipshewana is located) has an organized Barn Quilt Trail.According to their marketing brochure (found on the "attractions" rack inside my hotel lobby), there are 37 hand-painted quilt squares or murals to be found in LaGrange County. They boast being one of the largest in the United States, the pamphlet includes a map (with GPS coordinates) and information on each of the quilts found along the trail.LaGrange County is comprised of seven towns: Howe, LaGrange, Middlebury, Mongo, Topeka, Wolcottville and of course Shipshewana. With several of the quilts being located in Shipshewana or its neighboring towns, I kept my search for quilts limited to the western side of the county.I found and photographed 12 quilts found at eight different locations. I am sure there were more that I should have been able to locate (like the one in the Yoder Shopping Center in Shipshewana) but I must not have had my quilt radar up when in those areas. In fact, according to the map, there are 14 quilt locations in Shipshewana . . . and I only got to 5 of them!One of the more interesting barns along the LaGrange Trail is at the Prough Farm. It is also known as the Brown Swiss Dairy Barn, and if you check out the photo posted with this story, you'll know why. As for the barn, it was built more than 100 years ago and is the only polygonal barn built in Indiana out of something other than wood as the walls of the barn were made out of hand-poured cement. As the cement hardened, the interior wooden boards were placed. Considering this was done without the use of machines or other equipment, you can imagine just how labor intensive the construction of this barn was. Today, it stands in great shape and is a photo op for visitors traveling east out of Shipshewana.Attached to this story are photos of the following quilts:LaGrange: "Air Castle"LaGrange: "Belgian Draft Horse"Shipshewana: "8 Pointed Star" & "Flower Basket"Shipshewana: "Center Diamond in the Square"Shipshewana: "Autumn Splendor"Shipshewana: "Mariners Compass" & "Big Dipper"Shipshewana: "Dutchman's Puzzle" & "Yankee's Puzzle"Topeka: "Mexican Star" & "Night & Noon"So if you find yourself out driving around the Amish communities of LaGrange County Indiana, I'd encourage you to be on the look out for these wonderful expressions of creativity and art. Close
Written by MilwVon on 20 Apr, 2013
This is the other guided tour available during a visit to Amish Acres Historic Farm and Heritage Resort. The 30 minute tour takes visitors on a circle loop around the property, passing by a number of historic Amish buildings that have been brought here…Read More
This is the other guided tour available during a visit to Amish Acres Historic Farm and Heritage Resort. The 30 minute tour takes visitors on a circle loop around the property, passing by a number of historic Amish buildings that have been brought here to preserve the history and heritage of the Amish people of this area.Included on the "ride-by" tour are the broom shop, the ice house, the Beer Maple Sugar Camp, a blacksmith shop and several houses. The one stop the tour makes is at the German schoolhouse located at the far corner of the property. Built in the 1880's, it is one of the oldest Amish schoolhouses in the Nappanee area and was acquired by Amish Acres in 2004 for restoration and preservation. On the same parcel of land is an original "school wagon" that was used to bring children to school from nearby communities. Today, Amish schoolhouses are scattered throughout the countryside, close to clusters of family farms close enough to walk or bicycle to.The schoolhouse was heated by wood or coal and had two outhouses. At the entrance were two coat rooms - one for the boys and another for the girls. Inside were rows of wooden benches and desk tops. Boys and girls did not sit together . . . and children only attended school through the eighth grade. Most Amish schools today teach all children from first through eighth grade.To learn more about this 19th century Amish schoolhouse, check out: http://www.amishacres.com/historic_farmstead/german_school.php .After time at the schoolhouse, we loaded back onto the wagon for the short ride back to the Greeting Barn and Wagon Shed. This tour is included in the ticket price for the House & Farm Tour. Close
The Farm Tour is a 45 minute guided walking tour of Stahly--Nissley--Kuhns Farm that dates back to 1873 and the original family that settled here. Since that time, the original farm has had several additions to include extra rooms added to the main house,…Read More
The Farm Tour is a 45 minute guided walking tour of Stahly--Nissley--Kuhns Farm that dates back to 1873 and the original family that settled here. Since that time, the original farm has had several additions to include extra rooms added to the main house, barns and outbuildings. Today, it is the only Amish farm that is on the National Register of Historic Places (1990).The tour begins with a brief stop in the orchard where fruit was grown and bee hives kept. As with all working farms, land and resources are used in a conservative manner so as to provide food for the residents and animals raised on the farm. We also viewed the small garden area, where the woman of the house grew herbs and vegetables for her family.Near the house, there were three wood burning smoke house type buildings used to dry fruits & vegetables, cook baked goods and smoke meats. We also learned how the Amish made lye soap.Inside the house, we were able to see how the Amish lived a simple and frugal lifestyle. Many of the furnishings inside were original to the property or genuine to the period from other local Amish farms. We learned how they stored and prepared food, as well as how large families with many children lived inside the main house. I was surprised to learn that on the property was another, smaller house called the "Grosdaddi House" where the grandparents would live out the remaining days of their lives on the family farm.During our tour of the main house, we also learned about the Amish clothing and had an opportunity to see men's, women's and children's clothing up close. It was a very educational experience, one I would recommend to anyone interested in how the Amish live and go about their day-to-day lives.Outside, visitors are encouraged to explore the various barns and other exhibits, some of which are original to this farm. The Schweitzer Bank Barn is the name of the type of barn and not the family name of the farmer. Bank barns are built so that the incline in the land topography provides easy access to the second story of the barn. This allows the farmer direct access by horse & wagon to store hay and other items upstairs while livestock can live beneath on the main ground level.Throughout the side pasture area were a number of old farm implements dating back to 1910, most of which were used with horse drawn power.The price for the Farm Tour is $12.95 ($4.95 children ages four to 11) and includes the Wagon Tour and two short documentary films shown in the Locke Meeting House. All three of these activities are also included in the PastPort which is available for $32.95 (adults)/$15.90 (children ages four to 11). Close
Written by two cruisers on 28 Oct, 2012
Brown County was formed from the aborted pioneer agriculture efforts of four different counties. The clear cut hills soon erroded and starvation ensued. Once the true beauty of the area was restored, artists flocked to the region where they could buy land cheap and had…Read More
Brown County was formed from the aborted pioneer agriculture efforts of four different counties. The clear cut hills soon erroded and starvation ensued. Once the true beauty of the area was restored, artists flocked to the region where they could buy land cheap and had a nice view also. The little settlement of Nashville finally prospered with the advent of tourism. Tourists love art colonies.Althought the country roads are full of artists studios and galleries, Nashville is the heart of the shopping district. And Van Buren Street is the heart of Nashville. We stayed in Nashville a week and each day we spent some time browsing the shops.There is a variety to choose from. We were most impressed with the Brown County Craft Gallery on Main Street. We bought beautifully worked wood bottle stoppers there. The store had other art quality crafts available, too. Another favorite was a family glassblowing business found in two stores. The Lawrence family has one shop on Van Buren and another around the corner on Franklin. If you are lucky the senior Lawrence will be in a chatty mood and between manipulations of the hot glass he will entertain you with his humorous dialog. The junior Lawrence doesn't have his father's sense of humor, but he does exceed his dad in his skills with hot glass. Mainly they make Christmas tree ornaments and small figurines. However if you have the $$$ they have some very fine glass sculptures that capture the movement of the subject beautifully. There were several Christmas stores, my favorite was Holly's on the corner of Van Buren and Mound Street. Just walking up the sidewalk to the store is entertaining. The walkway was lined with a colorful hedge of vegetables. Don't know what plants they were but I suspect they were related to cauliflower.Inside the shop were many varieties of Christmas tree and house decorations. The glass pieces resembeling candy resting in "paper" cups intrigued me.Another type of store found throughout town is what I call door and yard decor. Many many attractive door wreaths made from a variety of materials are available. The Woodlands Gallery on the corner of Van Buren and Gould Street had some very funny yard deer and moose. Each one had a funny big toothy grin.There are a few T-shirt shops. One or two are junk shops, but there also are two "Life is Good" shops. I counted three "all Halloween all the time" shops. Shops with preserves, chutney, relishes, mustards, and other edibles could be found all over town. Candy and fudge stores and pop corn stores offer interesting choices such as Dill Pickle Popcorn, but frankly they are very high priced per ounce. I had good luck finding nifty new gadgets in the cook's shop "Kiss the Cook" located on the second floor of building at 125 S Van Buren. And of course there were local artist jewelry stores. I managed to restrain myself and only bought two items. The same with bookstores. We liked "The Loft" which oddly was on the ground floor of a one story building on Honeysuckle Lane. I recommend this to people who are looking for regional books and books with unusual titles or subjects. This is not a place to shop for clothing, or for staples, this is a place to shop for ..."Will you look at that!" ....and "What fun!" Enjoy your self and go ahead, pay $13 for a medium size bag of popcorn, after all this is your vacation. Close
Written by two cruisers on 27 Oct, 2012
Always check the brochure rack in your hotel lobby. In amongst the waterpark, miniture golf and biggest ball of twine suggestions you may find something unique. This trip we found a lovely art gallery and a brochure titled "Antique Locator Nashville Indiana."In brief the art…Read More
Always check the brochure rack in your hotel lobby. In amongst the waterpark, miniture golf and biggest ball of twine suggestions you may find something unique. This trip we found a lovely art gallery and a brochure titled "Antique Locator Nashville Indiana."In brief the art gallery is called "The Brown County Art Gallery" and is located on the East end of Main Street. There is a large parking area which is free and admission is free, or free-will offering. Brown County has been an artist's colony for many many years, this gallery holds a quality collection made up of current works and early pieces. The four of us wandered the several rooms at our own pace and then met up near the lobby. We all had a favorite we had to share with the others. That is a sure sign of a good collection.The anitque guide listed eight stores or malls. 1. We visited The Brown County Antique Mall on the way to Gnawbone, across from the state park. This shop included a log cabin seperate from the main building. Both places loaded with a wide selection. My joy was two more Blenko water jug for my collection.2. A store front shop in Morgantown, Antique Co-op, had less do-dads and more structural or odd ball items. For example, my husband bought an MG steering wheel. We enjoyed chatting with the owner.3. In town just off Van Buren, the main business street, we visited Brown County Clocks and Collectibles. Another shop next door is Wandering past. The constant clicking in the clock store could drive a person crazy, but they did have some very nice choices.4. We day tripped to Bloomington, IN the home of the University of Indiana. Before lunch we spent a parking meter's worth of time in the Bloomington Antique Mall at 311 West 7th Street. Three floors of assorted quality antiques. The treasure I found was too big to transport in our van or to display in our home, but I visited it 3 times while in the store!5. After lunch at the Scholar's Inn Bakehouse, we found in a nearby neighborhood the Second Avenue Antique Mall at 222 W 2nd Street. Free parking here.There were more shops listed on the brochure, but by this time I was ready to look at that kitchen store on the Courthouse Square, Goods for Cooks, where I could buy bright shiny gadgets. Close
Written by RoBoNC on 10 Dec, 2009
Everyone knows the North Pole as being the home of Santa Claus. The North Pole conjures up images of a magical wonderland covered in snow while elves work nonstop throughout the year for that one special day, Christmas. Although most places only celebrate…Read More
Everyone knows the North Pole as being the home of Santa Claus. The North Pole conjures up images of a magical wonderland covered in snow while elves work nonstop throughout the year for that one special day, Christmas. Although most places only celebrate Christmas one time a year, it is always Christmas in Santa Claus, Indiana. Santa Claus is a small town of 2000 people located in southern Indiana, about fifty miles from Evansville. The town welcomes visitors all year long as Christmas is more than just a holiday. The question that is always asked is how did the town acquire its name? Although many different stories exist, there is only one held to be true. In 1856, the town applied to the US Postal Service to have a post office installed. The ten years preceding that application, the town was known as Santa Fe. However, there was already a town called Santa Fe located in northern Indiana. The US Postal Service told the town that they had to find a new name. This is where fact and legend come together. On Christmas Eve, the town gathered at the church for Christmas service and a town meeting was to directly follow to decide on a name. For months, proposals were submitted and none of them had a majority approval. While the town elders were debating, the sound of bells could be heard outside the church. A young child shouted out "Santa Claus" and after a vote, the town officially had a name. The town draws tourists all year round. The summer sees a huge increase in tourists because of Holiday World and Splashing Safari. An amusement park that opened up in 1946, it has expanded to over 47 rides including four roller coasters, and one of the best water parks in the area. December, of course, also draws huge crowds as festivals and light shows light up the town. The town has numerous events from November 20-December 20 mostly on the weekends. There are one time events such as the Rockport Christmas Festival, Christmas Parade, Christmas Lake Village Festival of Lights and the Radio Day Christmas Show. Weekend events include Christmas Karaoke, Tree Lighting with Caroling, Land of Lights, and Santa’s Great Big LED Tree of Lights. If you have a competitive spirit, there are plenty of contests. There is the fastest Christmas tree decorating, fastest gift wrapping, fruitcake eating contest, or who can build the best gingerbread house. When you get hungry, look for the Santa’s Food Booths. Most of the contests and festivals are held either at the Kringle Place Shopping Center, Santa’s Candy Castle, or at the American Legion. Most of the events are free and you can get a schedule by visiting www.legendaryplaces.org. Be sure to visit Santa’s Candy Castle, the town’s first attraction. Here children can log onto the North Pole Network. Children can talk to an elf, let Santa know what they want for Christmas, and even find out if you are on the good list. If you are, then you can take home a certificate of your good standing with the big man. Satisfy your sweet tooth with the many different confections and gourmet candy canes. During December, events include Santa’s visit, Christmas Wood Carving demonstrations, and experience roasting chestnuts on an open fire. Close
Written by mfolk on 24 Nov, 2004
Nashville Indiana is a quaint village on the northern edge of the Brown County State Park. The park is the largest in Indiana and is sometimes referred to as "the little Smokey Mountains." There is a lot of up and down on the…Read More
Nashville Indiana is a quaint village on the northern edge of the Brown County State Park. The park is the largest in Indiana and is sometimes referred to as "the little Smokey Mountains." There is a lot of up and down on the hiking trails. Sometimes the low clouds hanging around the hill tops remind you of the Smokey Mountains. The park is open year around with an entrance fee of up to $5.00. Even a drive through the park with stops at vistas and overlooks can make an enjoyable afternoon and will take up to 3 hours or more.
Like Gatlinburg in the Smokey Mountains, the park boasts a tourist zone on the northern edge. Nashville’s popularity started with a group of artists who moved to the area to paint the local scenery of Brown County. When you think of Indiana, I usually picture flat fields of corn and soybeans, but the glaciers never made it this far south and so the hills and valleys remain rugged and picturesque. Along with numerous galleries, including a large permanent exhibit by the ever popular Kincaid, there are droves of small shops selling "tourist art," knick-knacks, and assorted novelties. It is not uncommon to see several buses arriving from nearby cities filled with shoppers.
October is by far the busiest time of year. The colors from the changing leaves draw a huge sightseeing crowd. Pre-holiday shopping in November is fun, with the entire village dressed up for the holidays.
This is a great long weekend visit, but unless you want to spend a lot of time hiking or just want to sit around the pool/hot tub, you will probably be ready to go elsewhere within 4 or 5 days. There is one restaurant called The Ordinary that exemplifies the entire region’s culinary choices. While there are decent places to eat, everything is just ordinary. Nothing stands out as a must-visit.