Top 15 Local Favorites in Northern Indiana

History, festivals, and exquisite dining collide in Indiana’s Cool North. We asked locals to list their favorite attractions, activities, and events so you can get the most authentic experience possible on your visit to Northern Indiana. Whether you take in one or go for the full 15, you’ll learn just what makes our corner of the country so special.

The Gateway Mile – Botanic Gardens and the Riverwalk

It’s a mile you won’t want to miss and a perfect way to discover the trendy urban vibe that continues to emerge in downtown Elkhart. The designated mile runs along South Main between Wellfield Botanic Gardens, a 36-acre oasis filled with lush flowers, plantings, sculpture and serene ponds, and historic St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. The area is set against a backdrop of the city’s popular RiverWalk, which flanks the St. Joseph and Elkhart Rivers and passes trendy cafes, coffee houses and brew pubs along the way, which may be open for dine-in or carry-out.

Take note of the places you will want to visit when the time is right, including the elegantly restored Lerner Theatre, which opened as a vaudeville house in 1924 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Or the opulent 1910 Ruthmere mansion, filled with period furniture and fine art and surrounded by beautifully tended gardens. Stop by parks along the Mile as a way to relax or enjoy some outdoor fun.

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