Although a small town, Shipshewana, Indiana is one of the most visited towns in Indiana. Shipshewana’s close proximity to Indianapolis, Chicago and Detroit makes it a convenient destination for frequent day trips or weekend retreats for many people in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. Shipshewana is home to one of the nation’s largest Amish communities and a trip to this Amish town will let you see and experience an Amish community firsthand.
The Amish families live in the community next to non-Amish (or “English”). There is not a settlement or area set aside where the entire Amish community lives. Amish homes without electricity and other modern conveniences are next to non-Amish homes throughout the entire community. Amish and non-Amish families interact on a regular basis in their personal and business lives.
Some first time visitors may actually think what they see in the Shipshewana area is a “show”. It is not. It is everyday life for those in northern Indiana Amish Country. Many Amish families own and operate small businesses serving their neighbors in the community and visitors to the area. Visitors will find plenty of shopping in Shipshewana and in the surrounding community. Most stores are open Monday through Saturday and treat Sunday as a day of rest. Generally, all businesses are closed on Sundays.
When visiting Shipshewana, expect to see things that you likely do not see too often such as horse drawn buggies sharing the road with cars and trucks or handcrafted, solid wood furniture in a renovated dairy barn or a young boy working in the field with a team of horses instead of a tractor. These rarities make the area unique and a place for many to visit, relax and remind them of times gone by.
Several large restaurants featuring Mennonite and Amish cooking provide the locals and visitors with a place to dine. During the summer one of the nation’s largest outdoor flea markets – the Shipshewana Flea Market is a favorite of many that visit Shipshewana. Lodging can be found in local bed & breakfasts, campgrounds or hotels.