One of my favorite places to stay in Shipshewana is Songbird Ridge B&B.
Gwen Newcomer is a second-generation bed and breakfast owner, and she learned from the best. Her parents, Ruth and Paul Miller, ran a bed and breakfast just up the road from where Songbird Ridge is located. (Ruth and Paul are retired now, and their old place is being run by a new owner.) There are five lovely rooms at Songbird, all bird-themed. Our favorites are the three at the lower level, which have their own living room.
It should be said that my husband is not a big bed and breakfast fan—he doesn’t like the idea of “staying in somebody else’s house.” If he has to rub shoulders with a bunch of strangers, he’s not a happy traveler. But he makes an exception for a few B&Bs, and this is one of them. There is enough privacy to suit him, but enough social interaction to suit me.
There are many reasons I like Songbird Ridge. The breakfast room, for one. It is a wonderful place to eat, and the views are wonderful, particularly in the winter when the leaves are off the trees. The grounds are lovely; the rooms are comfortable and pretty; the front porch is a delight on a nice summer evening, when one can hear the clop-clop of the horses on the road.
My husband appreciates the homemade bran muffins served for breakfast every day. And being a birdwatcher, he takes advantage of the binoculars to check out the wildlife from the big picture windows in the breakfast room.
Bed and breakfasts tend to come and go in Shipshewana, but a few of them have staying power, and this is one of them. Gwen and her husband make their guests feel welcome and well taken care of. Time after time, they have gone out of their way to make our stay comfortable or help us with a handy piece of information or advice. Going back there is like having a home away from home. The prices are similar to the motels in the area, but the ambience is very different.
Right down the road from Songbird Ridge is another B&B, Hidden Creek, which is run by third-generation B&B owner Gretchen—Gwen’s daughter. And Gretchen learned her hospitality lessons well—her place is another delight. I’ll talk about Hidden Creek another day.
Their website: www.songbirdridge.com