Elkhart’s Gateway Mile

Ten Under $10

Wellfield Botanic Gardens

Otters and egrets and bears, oh my!  Not to worry, the “wildlife” at Wellfield Botanic Gardens is cast in bronze and always approachable.  Kids love the “hunt;” everyone enjoys the lush gardens surrounded by charming pump houses and fun water features. The best part? You can see it all for just $5 (kids 3 – 12, are $3). Shop artisan finds inspired by the great outdoors then taste a delicious sampling of small plates from the area’s most popular restaurants at Taste of the Gardens. It’s a visual and culinary feast! August 22, 11am – 6pm.


Hand-carved Cuban mahogany and Tiffany glass perfectly complement the 1908 Beaux-Arts beauty of Ruthmere Mansion. You can even tour the servant’s quarters, kitchen and pantry for a Downton Abbey-like window into the fascinating world backstairs. Time travel here for just $10.

Havilah Beardsley House

The original owner visited his patients on horseback. A recent restoration of the Havilah Beardsley House reveals how Elkhart’s oldest home, built in 1848, evolved through the years along with a few secrets. Your guide will share them for $5.

Quilt Gardens

Stitched quilts can cost thousands, but the blooming beauties on the Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail are always free.  See gardens planted in patterns of actual quilts at Ruthmere, in Central Park and next door to the Lerner Theatre. (There are 19 quilt themed gardens countywide on view through October 1.)

NIBCO Summer

The free splash pad at NIBCO Water & Ice Park is just one gem in the necklace of parks that line the city’s RiverWalk. Give the kids a workout then fuel up for your next outdoor adventure with a creamy Gelato or sugar-spun cupcakes at nearby b on River.

Rockwells share space with Warhols at the Midwest Museum of American Art. This neo-classical building once housed a bank and even the vault showcases cool stuff. From Pop art to primitives, you can see it all for just 5 bucks.

June Jurcak

You might be tempted to frame the hand painted notecards by local artist June Jurcak; her nature-inspired watercolors seem almost too gorgeous to give. Snag a few at b on River for just $5.50 each.

Moringa Tree

What looks as good as it tastes? Just about everything at Moringa Tree. Whether you choose a savory taco salad or fruit-filled smoothie everything’s organic on their menu that changes daily. And with offerings under $10, you’ll leave full and so will your wallet.

Iechy da Brewing Co

Sample craft sips on tap (5 oz. at just $1 per) at Iechy da Brewing Co. Pair a frosty mug with their “Kidwelly” pizza, just awarded Critic’s Choice in Northern Indiana’s Pizza Wars competition (It’s flavored with ham, smoked Gouda, mozzarella, arugula, and balsamic).

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