2016 edition of area guide points way to fun vacations, good food and quality family time in Elkhart County

By Terry T. Mark

The 2016 edition of the official Elkhart County area guide will soon be appearing in mailboxes all over the Midwest and across the country.

Heritage Trail Adventures is a 68-page glossy magazine publication of the Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau. It features 185 businesses in the Elkhart County area which thrive on the steady stream of vacationers and visitors that arrive every year. Businesses which appear in the area guide include: 

This is the cover of the 2016 area guide published by the Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
This is the cover of the 2016 area guide published by the Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

— Established and successful favorites such as Amish Acres in Nappanee and Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury.

— Renowned museums and attractions such as the Midwest Museum of American Art in Elkhart and the Elkhart County Historical Museum in Bristol.

— Parks brimming with nature’s beauty such as Krider World’s Fair Garden Park in Middlebury and Wellfield Botanic Gardens in Elkhart.

— Restaurants and food establishments plating up an incredible diversity of cuisine from American favorites to Guggisberg Deutsch Käse Haus near Middlebury to foodie faves such as Artisan in Elkhart and Pizzeria Venturi in Goshen.

— Shopping experiences of every kind from the Old Bag Factory that has louis vuitton handbags sale in Goshen and Coppes Commons in Nappanee to Linton’s Enchanted Gardens in Elkhart.

— Comfortable and inviting lodging from the top national hotel brands in Elkhart and Goshen to charming bed-and-breakfasts in Middlebury and Nappanee.


“Wellfield Botanic Gardens welcomes visitors not only from around the region but also from throughout the Midwest. The area guide plays an important part in telling our story and helping people have the best experience possible when they come to Elkhart.”

Eric Garton, executive director, Wellfield Botanic Gardens, Elkhart


The guide also highlights long-running and tremendously successful brands which organize the visitor experience while they are in Elkhart County. Amish Country puts the focus on the treasured qualities of the Amish lifestyle as seen in the shops, restaurants and experiences of Nappanee, Middlebury and Shipshewana. The Quilt Gardens are an acclaimed attraction that brings together 19 unique gardens and 21 murals displaying distinctive quilt patterns. The Heritage Trail is the nationally recognized audio driving tour that guides visitors to each community in Elkhart County while imparting interesting facts and stories about the county’s past and present.

The Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau will be distributing about 200,000 copies of Heritage Trail Adventures. Copies are mailed to potential visitors who request a copy from the ECCVB or the state of Indiana’s tourism office or respond to print advertisements. The guides are also made available at various locations throughout Elkhart County such as the Visitor Center near Exit 92 of the Indiana Toll Road, local chambers of commerce, hotels and other lodging properties, and local attractions. The area guide is available for digital download at www.amishcountry.org.


“There are so many good things happening around Elkhart County, and many of them can be found in the area guide. Our visitors and business partners depend on the information in it. Even if you think you know everything about Elkhart County, you’re likely to learn something new in its pages.”

Diana Lawson, executive director, Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau


Other prominent features of the area guide include a list of major festivals happening in the Elkhart County area and profiles of each community in the county.

The Heritage Trail Adventures area guide is an important tool for visitors planning a trip to Elkhart County as well as local residents who wish to explore the area. In 2014, more than 33 percent of survey respondents said they decided to travel to Elkhart County after seeing the area guide. A majority of respondents said information in the guide directly led them to visit an attraction (61 percent),  visit a store or shop (60 percent) and visit a restaurant (52 percent).

The tourism and hospitality industry is an important contributor to Elkhart County’s economy. Studies completed for the ECCVB found that the industry contributed $294 million to the economy in 2013, the last year for which figures are available. Visitor spending contributes to more than 5,500 jobs in Elkhart County. Lodging properties sold nearly 450,000 room nights to visitors in 2013.

Further, visitors have an overwhelmingly positive experience in Elkhart County. According to a survey of more than 1,500 visitors to the county in 2015, more than 87 percent rated their experience in Elkhart County as either “very satisfied” or “completely satisfied.”

Copies of the Heritage Trail Adventures area guide can be picked up at the Elkhart County Visitor Center, 219 Caravan Drive, Elkhart, downloaded or a print copy requested at www.amishcountry.org, or requested by calling 574-262-8161.

The Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official tourism advertising/marketing and public/community relations organization for the Elkhart County hospitality industry. The ECCVB champions local businesses, programs and projects that serve residents, visitors and hospitality interests.

Terry T. Mark is the director of communications for the Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau.


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