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Midwest Fresh in Indiana

If you’re not excited about the food in Indiana, you obviously haven’t spent enough time there.

With a long history as an agricultural state and a cultural heritage that is surprisingly diverse, it should come as no surprise that Indiana offers multiple opportunities for fresh, local and eclectic dining experiences. And while you’ll likely want to do other things while you’re in the state like visiting museums or exploring the outdoors, you’ll have to eat along the way. So why not make Indiana’s food part of a memorable group experience?

This tour is designed to engage the food lovers in your group as you make your way through the Hoosier State. If you’re flying, you can arrive in Louisville, Kentucky, and then cross into southern Indiana before heading north to Jeffersonville, Nashville, Indianapolis, Elkhart County and South Bend. The bare minimum time required for this tour is five days. To give yourself more time to explore along the way, plan for seven days from start to finish.


On the southern edge of Indiana, just across the Ohio river from Louisville, Jeffersonville is a pleasant town with a cute main street and old-fashioned feel. One of the most popular stops for groups touring the area is Schimpff’s Confectionary and Candy Museum, which is famous throughout the region for its history and handmade treats.

Schimpff’s has been open for business in the same location since 1891, when it was founded by a father-son team of candy-makers from Germany. Today, it is still configured as a 1950s-era soda fountain, and employees make numerous traditional candies from scratch. Groups can watch demonstrations of how favorites such as turtles, hard candy fish and cinnamon red hots are made. After sampling some of the goods, they can browse the on-site candy museum, which features old-fashioned candy jars and cases, antique candy-making equipment and descriptions of the company’s history.

While you’re there: Numerous wineries, breweries and orchards throughout the area make great stops for groups that are interested in food and drink. There are also interesting restaurants and historic attractions in some of the neighboring towns, including Clarksville, Sellersburg and New Albany.



It may not be as famous as its namesake city in Tennessee, but the village of Nashville, Indiana, has a distinctive culinary claim to fame: fried biscuits.

Surrounded by the scenic Brown County State Park, Nashville is an idyllic woodland village, full of quaint shops and artists’ studios. Among the most beloved institutions in town is the Nashville House, a restaurant founded in 1859. Visitors will find all sorts of Midwestern favorites there, but the restaurant is most famous for its fried biscuits, a treat that adds a decadent touch to traditional country food. The biscuits are served piping hot and accompanied by apple butter, which is made on-site using apples sourced from the surrounding area.

After enjoying the biscuits, fried chicken and locally cured ham, groups can take some time to browse the old country store at the Nashville House or even stay overnight in the adjacent Seasons Lodge.

While you’re there: Groups spending time in Nashville should plan to visit Brown County State Park. At more than 15,000 acres, it is the largest state park in Indiana and welcomes more than 1.3 million visitors annually. Options range from scenic drives to guided hikes, horseback rides and more adventurous activities. Overnight accommodations are available in park lodges.

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.