My husband and I go to Amish Indiana mostly to feast—and to feast our eyes—but we also do some shopping. Over the years I’ve brought home gardening supplies, plants, bird feeders, yard art, furniture, house décor, clothing, quilted items, books, and who knows what else? So I thought I would share The Ten Commandments of Shopping in Amish Indiana.
Check the current Shipshewana Visitor’s Guide. It’s free and available everywhere, and it contains the popular places that most tourists visit, but also some great out-of-the-way places.
Check out the local visitors' center in Shipshewana on Route 5. They have lots of brochures describing out-of-the-way places to shop, and they can answer nearly any question!
The further you get from the tourist traps, the better the prices. Taking a little time to do your homework—or just cruising around the countryside with your eyes open—can save you some money. If prices matter to you more than convenience does, do some exploring before you buy.
If you see a homemade sign by the road advertising something you might be interested in—pull over. Drive up the lane and check it out. They wouldn’t have the sign out there if they didn’t want you to stop by.
If you like yard sales at home, check them out on the road. I’ve come home with all kinds of things from yard sales in Amish Indiana.
If you like auctions, and you drive by one, pull over. Chupp’s Auction House is on Shipshewana’s main north-south road (Route 5), but on any given weekend, there are auctions happening all over the countryside. Pick up a free copy of The People’s Exchange, check bulletin boards in the stores and restaurants, or just keep your eyes peeled as you drive around. We don’t often buy, but we love to watch. (And there’s often food available, usually as a fundraiser for a local Amish school.)
Bring a cooler. Don’t leave home without it! You never know what you might find, and it’s a real shame to pass up something good for want of a cooler. A bag of ice is only $1.50, so bring a cooler!
Don’t load up at the first place you stop. This holds true for bakeries especially. There are so many good places to explore, so pace yourself! Stop at lots of places. Try some new ones. And save the big tourist traps for last—they’re open late.
Bring home something yummy to share. I used to bring home goodies for my elderly mother. Many places have small loaves of bread or pies, packages of three cookies, and other smaller things that make great gifts—so for a few dollars, you can make someone at home very happy.
Try someplace new every time you go. No matter how often we go to Amish Indiana, we never run out new places to shop, and this is true for me even after 20+ years. Every country road has a bakery or a farm stand or a sign advertising bread or eggs or honey or maple syrup or candles or something good.
So there you have them... The Ten Commandments of Shopping in Amish Country. Go, and sin no more.
My family is going to northern Indiana in a few weeks. Your blog is my homework!ReplyDelete
Great! Email me if you have any questions. (See "about me" above right.)Delete