story by GLENDA WINDERS
A road trip is always better if you can see lots of places and do lots of things without driving long distances in between, and several counties in the eastern region of Indiana make the promise that you can do just that.
If you start in the north with DeKalb County, you’ll want to make a day of the four automotive museums located here: the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, Early Ford V-8 Foundation Museum, the International Monster Truck Hall of Fame, and the National Auto and Truck Museum. Those in your party who aren’t gearheads will find plenty of shopping opportunities at locally owned spots such as Birch and Bell Boutique, Blue Fruit Jar, All About You and Betsey’s Boutique. Or they can go wine-tasting, try a flight of craft beers or choose from several possibilities for a relaxing lunch.
Then head on over to Kosciusko County, where shopping is also the order of the day. Who could resist boutiques with names such as Beloved, the Beaded Peacock and Glam? At My Unique Wooden Toys you can pick up handmade playthings to take home to the kids.
For a special adventure make time for the River Jordan Camel Dairy, where you can buy soaps, lotions and body butters made from camel milk as well as clothing and home accessories. Call ahead to arrange a tour so that you can visit the animals that live on the farm.
Honeywell Arts & Entertainment is dedicated to providing arts, education, and entertainment for all in Wabash County. From new release movies at the Eagles Theatre to live performances at the Honeywell Center and providing interactive visual art, music, and theatre classes and workshops through an initiative titled Arts for All, the organization’s various offerings take place at the Honeywell Center, Eagles Theatre, Honeywell House, Charley Creek Gardens, Dr. James Ford Historic Home, and the 13-24 Drive In.
While at the Honeywell Center, have lunch at Eugenia’s Restaurant, where menu options include salads, paninis, soups, and sandwiches. You can also have dinner here prior to most shows in the Ford Theater at the Honeywell Center. Grant County is James Dean country, so fans are in for a real treat. Here they’ll find his birthplace memorial, the James Dean Gallery and more about him at the Fairmount Historical Museum. They can also visit his grave at Park Cemetery and shop for memorabilia at Rebel Rebel.
“Garfield” creator Jim Davis was also born here, and the Garfield Trail is fun for everyone in the family. As you drive through the county, watch for 14 life-size statues of the famous cartoon cat.
The Paramount Theatre in Anderson/ Madison County is one of Indiana’s most beautiful historical theaters. Here, you’ll see musicals, rock concerts, and Broadway performances in a theater built during the Great Depression, where residents traveled to watch Vaudeville Acts and silent movies. Upcoming performances at the theatre include Ace Frehley on November 3; B – The Underwater Bubble Show on November 9; and The Oak Ridge Boys on November 25. Visit andersonparamount.org to learn more and purchase tickets.
Entertainment of a different kind can be found at Harrah’s Hoosier Park for horse races and casino fun. They have shows here, too, and dinner will be at the Homestretch Steakhouse.
Other highlights of Indiana’s “East Region” include Antique Alley, the Indiana Glass Trail, outdoor recreation, and so much more.