Friday, January 14, 2011


We recently returned from a one-week trip to Indiana and Michigan.  We stayed with Ed and Mary whilst in Goshen and then traveled to Evart, MI to visit with Rhonda's brother and sister-in-law.  We flew to Midway and had a rental car for the rest of the trip.  There was significant lake-effect snow during the week, but we managed to get out and about without getting stuck.  South Bend received over 25 inches in one 24 hour period, but Goshen only got 10 inches - enough to keep me busy shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. 

Goshen tends not to be a prime vacation destination, but if you do venture that way, there are several places that you might want to visit.  The historic downtown area has retained a vibrancy that many small towns have lost, and hosts a monthly First Friday event that draws thousands.  There are numerous nice restaurants, a variety of shops, and a stately courthouse.

Just north of the courthouse and across main street is one place that you should not miss - the Olympia Candy Kitchen.  Be sure to order a pork and olive sandwich on toast, and finish up with a soda, shake, sundae or phosphate.

Another place that you should hit is about a mile south of downtown on south Main Street - The South Side Soda Shop - check out the video.

If you go a bit further south on Main Street, you will come to the campus of Goshen College, and you might enjoy wandering around, visiting the bookstore and checking out the facilities, especially Sauder Music Hall [yes, that Sauder].  If you are there on a Sunday, visit College Mennonite Church to hear some fine a capella singing.

Then, be sure to head west from the College campus on Westwood Road - at the end of the street you will find the Goshen Dam and Millrace park and trails.

If you happen to be there July 22-30, 2011, be sure to visit the Elkhart County Fair at the fairgrounds on the edge of town.  It's one of the largest county fairs in the country, and activities range from 4-H to top entertainment, and of course lots of food and rides.  Also, only in the summertime, you can enjoy some great ice cream at The Chief.  Goshen also has many antique stores, a year-round Farmer's Market and one of the few Wal-Mart stores with places for the Amish to hitch their horses and buggies.

If you are downtown and feel the need for caffeine, stop in at the Electric Brew for a mocha and a pastry.  And if you need to wet your whistle, across the street from the Electic Brew you will find Constant Spring, Goshen's only non-smoking bar.  There you will find a dozen brews on tap, including some local craft beers, and often there will be live entertainment in the evening.  If you don't mind having a cold one in a smoke-filled bar, head west of downtown to the Oasis.  The O doesn't have a website, but they do have a YouTube video :-)  Stick with the video past the mixed drink to see the marvelous back-bar.


Steve Heller said...

Thanks for a great Goshen travelogue! Ya' got me interested in discovering more of the place. BTW, I thought Slugger did all the work around the Edwamar homestead.

Dr S said...

Primo - you are most welcome. And yes, Slugger is the prime caretaker at Edwamar, but unfortunately he has been quite hampered with blood pressure problems. At the moment, Claude is filling in with snow removal, and it may be that Slugger will not be able to return to his usual high-energy activities. Perhaps you and I will have to take over the chicken barbequeing tasks :-)