Breakfast at Blue Gate Garden Inn: Shipshewana, IN
We've spent the weekend visiting Shipshewana, Indiana for a fun festival that I love going to - the Shipshewana Ice Festival. It's a two-day annual festival that is perfect for all ages where you can see blocks of ice being transformed into elaborate ice sculptures. I've been to it in the past and it makes for a great winter getaway. Shipshewana is in the heart of Indiana Amish Country, so when you're there you have to partake in a big Amish buffet. The Blue Gate Restaurant has a nice dinner buffet where you can get your fill of delicious comfort food (pie for dessert included!) and if you're staying at the Blue Gate Garden Inn, you can also enjoy an Amish breakfast buffet, which is included with your room.
There's no way you could leave hungry from this breakfast buffet, where our choices included biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, sausage, potatoes, pastries, waffles, fruit, yogurt, muffins, cereal and more. One day there was stuffed French Toast and egg, bacon and hash brown casserole. Another day there was bread pudding. The options change a little each day. There's also a customize your own omelet station. I always love those and I got one loaded with ALL the meat and ALL the veggies (ham, bacon, sausage, green pepper, onion, mushroom, tomato plus cheese).
Blue Gate Garden Inn is our favorite place to stay in the Shipshewana area. It's great for families and we always see lots of multi-generational groups staying there - lots of kids with parents and grandparents. Some large families rent the event rooms for reunions or other family gatherings. There's an indoor pool, arcade, outdoor basketball court, a fitness center, an ice creamery and pizzeria. On our visits I've seen large family groups gathering for birthdays or delayed Christmas gatherings, a group of ladies having a quilt retreat and a grandmother teaching her grandkids how to make tied fleece blankets. (She was sweet enough to let us sit in and she showed us how it was done).
They also have a number of different room configurations that can accommodate from 2 to 8 people, including one with two sets of bunkbeds. Next door is the Blue Gate Performing Arts Center, which features a number of acts - from names like Starship, Postmodern Jukebox, Scotty McCreery, Amy Grant, Clint Black, Crystal Gayle and Jeff Foxworthy and also a lot of really good tribute bands. We went to a performance while we were there from Captured: The Ultimate Journey Tribute and they put on a really good show. Additional musical acts and musicals can also be seen at the Blue Gate Theatre, which is just down the street.
There's plenty of shopping along and just off the main Street through town (Van Buren Street). Don't miss the 1906 carousel at the Davis Mercantile! I also recommend bringing along a cooler because if you're like me, you'll be heading home with lots of foodie souvenirs - baked good, cheese, milk, meats, cinnamon rolls, bread, jellies, tea, popcorn and more.
Amish country is so peaceful and I always feel refreshed and content after a visit. For more information on Blue Gate Garden Inn, go to BlueGateGardenInn.com. And for more info on the area, go to visitshipshewana.org