WANE’s Summer Road Trip

Local News

Day 5:

Classic cars may be filling Auburn for Labor Day weekend, but there are plenty of things to do in the city all year long too.

The final day of the WANE Summer Road Trip took Alyssa Ivanson and photographer JR Carmichael to DeKalb County. A beautiful sunrise greeted foggy farm fields on their way to Byler Lane Winery.

Byler Lane opened in 2016 not far from Auburn. Two families, the Byler family and the Lane family, opened it and run it together. All the wood, except for the chairs and the main doors, are from four old barns in the county that were in disrepair and the winery was able to re-purpose the wood and tin roof.

The winery’s annual Crush Party in October allows teams of two to compete for who can stomp the most juice out of grapes. Team spots fill up quickly, so register soon. Alyssa got to try her “foot” at grape stomping. The chilled grapes were quite cold!

Auburn is full of quaint diners and places to grab great local food: from The Brown House, to the North Main Street Diner to the Deli at Sixth and Main, just to name a FEW. In the building with the deli, is clothing boutique, Birch & Bell and unique gift store Paper Gourmet.

The Auburn City Steakhouse has been downtown for about a year and a half and is giving new life to an old hardware store.

It’s full of history and much of the hardware store is still there, now re-purposed for the restaurant. Alyssa got a tour on the road trip.

Also around the courthouse square downtown, are some sweet spots. Classic City Creamery is scooping up smiles and Classic City Cookies is cutting out custom creations. This weekend, fittingly, there were car cookies!

Just a few blocks away is a new kid in town. Auburn Brewing Company just opened last November.

It’s in an old service station and still has the look and feel of a garage, which is perfect for the Classic City.

The brewery also gives back to three local charities. Watch Alyssa’s tour with the owner to learn how that works!

Of course, Labor Day in Auburn means the Auburn Fall Auction! There are hundreds of all kinds of cars that will be auctioned off over the holiday weekend. Even some of the golf carts are sweet rides!

Downtown, the ACD Festival goes Friday and Saturday, also attracting hundreds of car owners and enthusiasts from across the country.

Outside of the festival weekend, the ACD museum is a great stop to see the Auburn Classics: Auburns, Cords and Duesenbergs. Alyssa also had a little fun with the statues in the museum plaza.

In nearby Garrett, two drive-ins are local favorites. Blue Moon has been serving ice cream since 1952 and the Auburn-Garrett Drive-In movie theater opened in 1951.

Day 4:

It was a jam-packed day for Alyssa Ivanson and photographer Jeremy Magers all over Noble County.

The day started with a beautiful sunrise in Huntertown and in LaOtto at Country Heritage Winery.

Breakfast was a short drive away at the Magic Wand in Churubusco. The diner is full of hundreds of clowns. The owner laughed that “they had to decorate with something,” and her mother had given her a clown.

The collection started and just kept growing. Customers even bring in clowns to add to walls and shelves.

From there a drive through the country ended in Albion and Black Pine Animal Sanctuary. They take exotic animals rescued from bad owner situations.

Watch a tour of the facility with the new executive director below.

Ligonier is known as the City of Murals, and for good reason! There are 33 people can find – and there’s even a map to help people see them all.

Also on the main street through downtown is Gabriela’s European Desserts and More, full of beautiful sweet treats.

Just up the road, the smells turn sweet in Annie Oakley Natural Perfumery. Perfumes are made, start to finish, right there in the studio and then shipped to retailers across the United States and around the world.

Guests can even mix their own scents and leave with a perfume unique to them!

About 10 minutes away, along U.S. 33, sits a majestic old home with a charming cafe and bed and breakfast inside. Kimmell House Inn‘s restaurant is open Wednesday – Saturday and there are three rooms were people can stay.

Moose Lake Christian Craft Village in LaOtto is an experience like none other!

The 1800’s-themed destination has a pond stocked with giant fish for fishing, cabins to rent, a restaurant, general store, antique Amish buggies, interactive craft village, wagon rides and the list can go on.

In Kendallville, you can find the Mid-America Windmill Museum – full of windmills of all shapes and sizes.

Labor Day weekend is also when the annual Northern Indiana Tri-State Bluegrass Festival takes over the Noble County Fairgrounds in Kendallville.

New friends from three different states have an impromptu jam session in the campgrounds at the Northern Indiana Tri-State Bluegrass Festival in Kendallville.

It runs Thursday to Sunday and brings in bands and guests from all over the United States.

Day 3:

Day three of the WANE Summer Road Trip was a tale of three W’s and an M. Warsaw, Winona Lake, North Webster and Mentone.

The day had an egg-cellent start as Alyssa Ivanson and photographer JR Carmichael visited the “World’s Largest Egg” in Mentone. The 3,000-pound egg stands ten feet tall and was built in 1946 to help advertise the local egg festival.

Breakfast was a short drive away at Creighton’s Crazy Egg Cafe – a popular restaurant in what used to be part of the family’s egg farm, which started in the 1920’s. Specialties include Scotch Eggs and a Waffich (waffle and egg sandwich), and JR and Alyssa agreed it WAS all it’s cracked up to be!

At Warsaw Cut Glass, the owners gave a behind-the-scenes look at how they etch glass with the same tools used when the company started in the early 1900’s. They have a showroom with lots of pieces for sale and can also do custom orders.

A cute downtown full of shops, beautiful gardens at Central Park, and of course burgers and shakes at Schoop’s rounded out the Warsaw visit.

Winona Lake, a stone’s throw away, is full of charm. The Boathouse Restaurant is right on the water and anyone with a sweet tooth will have a hard time picking just one item in Rocket Fizz candy shop.

Add in some history at the Winona Lake History Center and a tour of the Billy Sunday house and the visit is complete. The Village at Winona is increasingly becoming a tourist destination for weekend getaways.

About 25 minutes away is North Webster and Webster Lake, where they found the Dixie.

The historic boat has been on the lake since 1929 and the captains said this year guests reached 14,000. Rides only cost $7 a person.

Day 2:

Day two of the WANE Summer Road Trip took Alyssa Ivanson and photographer Jeremy Magers to Bryan, Ohio.

One of their stops was at The Ohio Art Company with Bill Killgallon, board chairman, who had worked at the company since 1968 before retiring a few years ago.

Alyssa and Jeremy also stopped at the Kora Brew House and Wine Bar, and they got to chat with the owner of the “cute little shop.”

Father John’s Microbrewery is a sight to behold. The level of detail and decorating in every room is incredible!

Spangler Candy has been making Bryan a sweet place to visit for more than 100 years. Every day they make more than 12 MILLION Dum-Dums lollipops! Spangler also makes Saf-T-Pops, candy canes and Circus Peanuts.

Day two ended in Archbold, Ohio with a trip back in time at Sauder Village. Alyssa and Jeremy got a sneak peak at the new expansion to the walk through time too – a 1920’s Main Street! It should be fully open in 2020.

DAY 1:

Day one of the WANE Summer Road Trip took Alyssa Ivanson and photographer JR Carmichael to Roanoke and Huntington.

First stop was zip lining through the woods and over a lake at Timber Lake. Timber Lake also has campgrounds and cabins people can rent.

See the Facebook live video Alyssa did while on the zip lines here.

Also in Roanoke, WANE met up with Grandma Sue herself from Grandma Sue’s Pies and More. She had some great tips and tricks to rolling out pie crust and how to get that perfect crimped edge. See that here.

They also visited with Alice Eshelman, the owner of Joseph Decuis, and got a tour of the restaurant, that some say, was the catalyst for what Roanoke is today.

The Patio: Pizza & BBQ is new in Roanoke and Moose & Mollie’s Cafe & Gelato has long been a favorite on the block.

In Huntington, Alyssa checked out Antiqology – an antique boutique and soda shop. Not only are there hundreds of sodas from which to choose, there are giant sundaes and milkshakes!

Also in Huntington, they stopped by Memorial Park and the Sunken Gardens, the Quayle Vice Presidential Learning Center and Pizza Junction.

Of course, there are many more attractions in Huntington County – too many for just one day! You can take your own road trip and find your favorites. Here are some more things to do in Huntington County.

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