Historic Downtown Walking Tours

Seasonal: May – October

Explore on foot the quirky backstories of history in downtown Elkhart and Middlebury. Experienced local guides lead you to the landmarks and share amazing stories of rivalry, bravery and intrigue.

Elkhart Tours

Elkhart Main Street


Kings of the Hill –  (May – October, 2018)

How did Elkhart’s other half live? The city’s early industrialists, including the Beardsley family, helped tame the frontier before turning their eye to luxury on the banks of the St. Joe River. Each twist of their story on this tour tells a tale of ambition, innovation and reinvention.

Meet at the First Presbyterian Church parking lot at the corner of Beardsley Ave. and Grove St.

Trip Tip:  Consider taking a tour of Ruthmere, the home that Alka Seltzer built, after you tour to see how the Beardsley family lived.

 

Tastemakers & Risk Takers (May – October, 2018)
Downtown Elkhart is returning to its former glory with trendy galleries, cozy shops and eclectic entertainment but you won’t believe how it all happened. Artists, shopkeepers, philanthropists and political dealmakers all play a part in the city’s heyday and rebirth, told in one loop of Main Street.

Meet at the Lerner Theatre at the corner of Main and Franklin Streets

Trip Tip:  Hungry? There are plenty of restaurants to choose from along the Gateway Mile.

 

Tour Information
Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 10am (other times by appointment)
Cost: $10 per person and is non-refundable. Tips welcome
For Elkhart details and tickets call 574.596.7411

Helpful Hints:

  • These are walking tours. Please wear comfortable shoes.
  • You might want to bring a bottle of water
  • Tours go rain or shine. If it is calling for rain, you might want to bring an umbrella or wear rain gear
  • Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your tour’s starting time.

 

Middlebury Tours

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Gangsters, Saloons & Buggies on Roofs (Middlebury)
Buy Tickets (May – October, 2018)

Historic Middlebury is full of surprises. John Dillinger was the most famous criminal in the U.S. in the 1930s and it is rumored he passed through Middlebury and even spent the night in a boarding house.

In Amish Country, it’s not unusual to see buggies everywhere; on the roads, at banks and grocery stores, even at Walmart, but on the roof! Hear these inside stories and secrets and more from a local with this tour of downtown.

Meet at Middlebury Public Library, Winslow Street Learn More

Trip Tip:  Spend some extra time in downtown Middlebury exploring the unique shops and restaurants.

 

4.1.1

Giant Toadstools and the World’s Fair
Buy Tickets (May – October, 2018)

Take a guided tour through living history! The Krider family of Middlebury once captured the imagination of the world. This tour of the park that bears their name opens a window to the family’s nursery at the height of its creative powers. The natural beauty will take your breath away.  You may even spot a giant toadstool. This tour is great for kids so grab the family and the camera or camera phone. There’s plenty of opportunities for fun selfies.

Meet at the Middlebury Community Historical Museum Learn More

Trip Tip:  Take some time and explore the Middlebury Community Historical Museum and learn more about Middlebury’s historic past.

 

Tour Information

Tours will begin Wednesday, May 30 – September 27
Wednesdays, 10am – Gangsters, Saloons & Buggies on Roofs
Thursdays, 10am – Giant Toadstools and the World’s Far
Second Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm both tours will run
Other times available by advance request
Cost of the tour is $5 per person and is non-refundable. Tips welcome.

For Middlebury details and tickets: 574.825.4300

Groups: Have a group of 9 or more people?
Reservations are required and can be made by downloading this agreement found here (PDF)

 

Helpful Hints:

  • These are walking tours. Please wear comfortable shoes.
  • You might want to bring a bottle of water
  • Tours go rain or shine. If it is calling for rain, you might want to bring an umbrella or wear rain gear
  • Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your tour’s starting time.

Additional Tours:

Nappanee

Discover Nappanee’s fascinating past as a local guide takes you to historic homes and store fronts while narrating the colorful stories. Meet at the Nappanee Public Library Upper Level Gallery. Learn More

Tour Information July 19, September 20, October 25 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. The tour is free