Indianapolis shoppers paradise is just a short drive from the Circle City, located in Shipshewana, Indiana, near Elkhart. The Midwest’s largest flea market is right in the heart of Indiana’s culturally rich Amish Country. Shipshewana is the perfect spot for a fun day trip from Indianapolis, packed full of shopping, exploring and relaxing.
The Shipshewana Auction and Flea Market is open for business from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday from May through October. All summer long, shoppers flock to the Crystal Valley area from Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and of course the Hoosier State. Some weeks bring in more than 50,000 people, hunting for goods ranging from handmade knick knacks and fresh produce to organic soaps and local artwork.
Aside from the Auction and Flea Market, Shipshewana has a fantastic little business district that features more than 50 shops, dozens of cozy restaurants and a few unique museums. Shopping isn’t the only fun activity to discover in this cozy Northern Indiana town. Start out the day with a tour from Miller’s Buggy Line, and go sight seeing in a horse drawn buggy. Similar to the horse and carriage rides available in the busy downtown Indianapolis, these rides are relaxing, beautiful, scenic, educational and possibly romantic.
If you’re planning an extended stay in the area, consider lodging at one of the charming bed and breakfasts nearby or planning a family camping trip. Splash University Waterpark and Resort is another nearby lodging option. This water resort features 100,000 gallons of liquid fun and summer temps of 84 degrees all year.
Traveling musicians, local artists and other art lovers can be found hanging around the Courtyard of Arts. Guests can find anything from wooden toys to classy antiques in this working artisan village. Located in the center of the action in downtown Shipshewana, the Courtyard of Arts is the place to grab a bite to eat or to find goods from local artists. One popular shop in the Courtyard of Arts is Jerry’s Eggs, where intricate hand-carved filigree lace eggs are sold.
Antique lovers, seekers and collectors can visit the Trading Place Antique Gallery year-round, where guests can explore over 31,000 square feet of antiques. Antiques are also available at many of the various auctions in Shipshewana. Nestled among several shops in the area is the eye-catching Davis Mercantile Carousel, a Dentzel Carousel with hand carved animals built in 1906.
The area around the Shipshewana is often referred to as the Crystal Valley, because naturally clear water springs stretch through several of Indiana’s small towns, including Bristol, Middlebury, Howe, Nappanee, Topeka, Goshen, Wakarusa and Wolcottville. Some of the best farmlands in Indiana are in this area, so many Hoosier farmers flock to Northern Indiana to purchase livestock. Fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers can also be picked up in Shipshewana.
The Trading Place of America and the heart of Indiana Amish Country is just a 3 hour drive from Indy, but plan on sitting in traffic and long waits for parking. This village of 500 residents sometimes hosts 25,000 people at once, but finding parking for all those guests is sometimes a struggle. Bring along friends and family, pack car picnic and some patience and head up to Shipshewana.