Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Goshen, IN

  • Published 2022/12/06

If you haven’t been to Goshen, Indiana, then now is time to visit it.

The seat of Elkhart County, Goshen is a city where people of dissimilar groups come together to make it a spectacular and vibrant place for both tourists and locals.

It has been dubbed the ‘Maple City’ because of its abundance of maple trees.

Anyone who comes here will surely be challenged in terms of deciding on the activities to try and places to discover.

As the place where innovation meets craftsmanship, Goshen attracts creative young entrepreneurs and offers a wide array of cultural employment as well as educational and recreational activities for all.

Coming here means realizing you want a knick-knack that you never knew you needed, such as a locally handcrafted soap or a piece of poetry.

Goshen is also known as the ‘City on the Go’ because on the first Friday of each month throughout the year, entertainers, artists, and businesses throw a party in the city’s downtown.

Visitors and locals can also get busy with the many leisure and sports activities such as canoeing, camping, boating, sailing, hiking, biking, and trailing.

In a nutshell, Goshen aims to maintain its small-town values while providing a plethora of exemplary experiences, which are found in bigger cities.

This city deserves to be placed at the top of your bucket list, so plan that vacation now.

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the 20 best things to do in Goshen, IN:

Indulge in Some Outdoor and Sports Recreation at the Ox Bow Park

Two people walking along Ox Bow Park

Black Lion Cinematography /

Put your stamina to the test by going to Ox Bow Park, located on County Road.

It’s the perfect place for a fun day with the family as it is just minutes away from Goshen and Elkhart.

Get ready to spend an entire day here so that you can try and enjoy the many activities it offers—from woodland hikes and archery to nature programs and disc golf.

Try the Flying Disc Sanctuary, which is popular among local disc golfers.

It features a 24-technical course, perfect for every enthusiast.

A flowering tree at Ox Bow Park

Black Lion Cinematography /

If you’re into field sports, make sure to join the soccer, flag football, and volleyball games at the park’s two athletic fields.

With its wide expanse, you’ll surely be catching your breath after a game or two!

Don’t miss to go fishing, too, because Ox Bow Park boasts multiple piers and sites for casting a line as well as unlimited fishing opportunities at the Elkhart River.

During the winter, the park also offers winter activities with its two sledding hills and groomed trails.

Plus, it has a warming house for a fun-filled snowy day.

Trail marker at Ox Bow Park

Black Lion Cinematography /

Discover the History of Goshen at the Goshen Historical Society

One good way to start your excursion to Goshen is to learn a bit about its history.

Doing so lets you better understand why and how it is today.

The museum, located on S Main St, preserves, studies, and interprets images, documents, and artifacts.

It aims to increase public knowledge of the city’s history by displaying collections and providing related educational services.

The museum is a fun and informative place to bring the family to, especially with its unique way of showing the place’s history.

Explore the Shanklin Park

In terms of parks within Goshen, Shanklin Park is the largest, with an area of 90 acres.

Located on Plymouth Avenue, it lies between Millrace Canal and the Elkhart River.

It is Goshen’s hub of recreational activities, with facilities that include a canoe launch for the Elkhart River, a playground, the Kiwanis Pavilion, the community-built Tommy’s Kids Castle, a basketball court, and three lighted baseball and softball diamonds.

Go around and see the Shanklin Pool, developed in 1969 with three pools and two diving boards, as well as the marvelous Schrock Pavilion, a rentable enclosed pavilion that hosts many events and programs.

If you just want to laze and imbibe the quiet and peaceful atmosphere, then do so and be delighted by the park’s passive but significant features, such as its perennial garden, wildflowers, native grasses, and a long forested wetland.

Relax with the Family at Fidler Pond

If you just want to spend a day doing absolutely nothing or simply relax, then take the family to Fidler Pond, located on Lincolnway East in Goshen.

Goshen brims with many nature parks, but Fidler Pond is one of the best and most recommendable places for families.

Spanning 100 acres, this massive place has a pond of 80 acres that offers tons of various activities.

Go fishing with the kids and make use of the fishing pole rentals or do catch and release bank fishing.

Rent a canoe, kayak, or pedal boat and just bask in the sun and the ambiance.

Afterwards, you can just sit back on the swinging benches while admiring the stunning surroundings.

You can also opt to stretch your legs by walking on the popular trail around the pond before exploring the Chiddister Pavilion, which is a rentable open-air pavilion.

The pavilion hosts various events, including Goshen’s annual Rock in the Quarry Triathlon.

Note that in 2013, Fidler Pond received the Indiana Park & Recreation Association’s Park Development Award.

Hop to the Abshire Park

Located on East Lincoln Avenue is a smaller park than Fidler Pond—Abshire Park.

It has an area of 75.5 acres and was donated to the Parks & Recreation Department in 1986.

The second-largest park in Goshen, Abshire Park aims to maintain balance in the recreational and passive opportunities in the park’s system.

If you’re coming from Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, you can hop to Abshire Park, as it is located adjacent to the trail.

To the north of the park is a managed natural area featuring a traditional forest, wetlands, and a prairie restoration.

To the southwest is the Rock Run Creek, which is an excellent habitat for the fauna.

Explore the Wines and Go on a Wine Tasting at the Wine Cellar Supply Winery

Are you a wine lover?

If you are, Goshen has exactly the place for you—the Wine Cellar Supply and Winery.

It is the state’s only micro-winery and wine bar and is also considered the most extensive wine supply store.

Visiting the place lets you see what Goshen’s first winery and Wine & Ale retail supply store has in store for both tourists and locals.

As a licensed winery, it ages 18 various wines and features wines in bottles.

You’ll be amazed to discover that all wines are made on premises, which you can buy by the glass, case, or bottle.

There are also wine education, private parties, and wine tastings at the Wine Cellar Supply Winery.

Conquer the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail with the Family

A person riding a bike along Pumpkinvine Nature Trail

Bbeachy2001, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spanning 17 miles is the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail that covers Goshen, Shipshewana, and Middlebury.

It is a greenway and linear park situated on the former Pumpkinvine railroad corridor.

The trails are complete, featuring limestone and asphalt surfaces, suitable for bikes with narrow tires.

You can either walk, bike, run, or go on rollerblades and behold urban areas and small towns as well as agricultural communities.

Pumpkinvine Nature Trail lets you into beautiful and scenic views and landscapes, including sights from the three cities’ large Amish communities.

You’ll be able to see Amish people hand-cutting flowers in fields, tending their fields with horse-drawn plows, and biking in old-fashioned clothing.

Exploring the trail is safe even for tourists, with markers that show directions and distance.

So, if you want to be one with nature, make sure to be here.

Go Extreme by Trying the Stutsman Ballooning

Not all cities and towns have this, so make sure to try it in Goshen.

Located on Indiana Avenue is the Stutsman Ballooning, with 35 years of flying experience.

For so many years, this business has been flying both locals and tourists to see the grandiose beauty of Goshen and Elkhart County.

Your experienced pilot will take you over Larimer Village and Larimer Green, as well as over the new Middle School and the Model School.

Balloon flights are a great and scenic way to see Goshen, and it is a must-try for everyone!

Enjoy a Wide Selection of Beers and Food at the Goshen Brewing Company

After an intense day of exploring the city, cap your day with a good beer and delicious food at the Goshen Brewing Company.

The place is proud to be a 100% solar and wind-powered facility serving a delectable selection of local farm-to-table food and beers.

The food and beer are complemented with an industrial yet comfortable space for dining and socializing as it utilizes the former Northern Indiana Public Service Company building.

Its close proximity to the downtown area of Goshen allows its patrons to enjoy the views of the woods and the river from its patio.

Learn about Motorcycles at the Janus Motorcycles

Janus Motorcycles, located on 5th St, is the motorcycle enthusiast’s slice of heaven.

It manufactures motorcycles to a unique and personal product.

Using only true-and-tried components, it builds machines that connect with their owners; thus, only selling them directly.

The store designs and builds motorcycles that are built for the kind of riding the owner wants to do—zipping through busy city streets, county road joy rides, through windy roads and testing the bike’s limits without risking life.

Go Shopping at the Old Bag Factory

The Old Bag Factory is situated in an abandoned factory in 1984, which was mostly just debris and ruins.

Thanks to the buyer’s vision, they renovated the building and transformed it into a glossy wood finish, with the railroad track turning into a walkway.

Today, this century-old red brick building is home to artists, specialty shops, antiques, and cafes that feature everything from handcrafted furniture to intricate pottery.

Be Fascinated by the International Art Display at Found

Go to Main St and find Found, a shop that markets artifacts, arts, and antiques from around the world.

Explore three floors of curated art and modern furniture along with treasures from across the world.

It is the owners themselves who travel around the world to find the treasures that you can see in Found—covering continents like Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and more.

Surely, there will be more than one item that you will love here.

So, include Found in your itinerary.

Feel Like a Local as You Explore the Goshen Farmers Market

Do what the locals do by exploring the Goshen Farmers Market.

Be in the midst of a wide array of fresh seasonal produce, including free-range meats, baked goods, cheese, eggs, dairy, jams, jellies, Amish goods, maple syrup, honey, dried fruits, vegetables, flowers, jewelry, and artisan pottery.

The produce comes in various eye-popping colors that you’ll surely love.

You’ll definitely want to come here every day to witness how the locals go about their usual grocery shopping day.

It’s a great way to go on an immersive experience in Goshen.

Embark on the Heritage Trail Audio Driving Tour

Follow the Heritage Trail on a different level.

A 90-mile route, it lets you enjoy the Elkhart County area in the comfort of your car while seeing various attractions, parks, restaurants, and shops.

It covers Goshen, Shipshewana, Wakarusa, Bristol, Nappanee, Elkhart, and Middlebury.

You’ll discover interesting views and Amish heritage along the way and go through scenic backroads dotted with Amish-owned shops.

America voted it as the top USA Today Reader’s Choice, while editors of LIFE® consider it one of “America’s Most Scenic Drives.”

Dive into the Maple City Market

Much like Goshen Farmers Market, this is the place where you can find the locals busily catching the day’s freshest meats, fruits, and vegetables.

Be lost in a wide array of produce that is unique to Maple City.

Why not try purchasing their fruits and jams and take them home or with you during your excursions?

There are a plethora of items that will surely tickle your fancy.

Don’t wonder why you’ll end up going back to your accommodation with bags in tow!

Enjoy the Attractions at the Fire and Ice Festival

Join the exciting Fire and Ice Festival held at Goshen’s downtown area every first Friday of the year.

You’ll find various activities your whole family will enjoy throughout the day.

See the professional ice carvers showcase their talents as they turn blocks of ice into wonderful ice sculptures.

Watch the amazing moves of fire dancers as they light up the night at Washington and Main Streets.

You can drop by the downtown stores and enjoy delicious hot food and seasonal beverages; likewise, get to enjoy shopping discounts at several stores.

Take pictures of your kid sitting on the ice throne or sleigh and don’t forget to roast your free marshmallow over the outdoor fire.

Enjoy the night at the Fire and Ice Festival.

Have Good Coffee and Tasty Food at Electric Brew

Electric Brew located on East Washington Street offers you a place to get a good cup of coffee, tasty food servings, and a great place to hang out.

The coffeehouse welcomes visitors with comfortable indoor and outdoor seating areas.

The business started in 1996 when it opened its first cafe in Elkhart County and was eventually sold to the present owners Myron and Dana Bontrager who retained the cafe’s original concept but expanded the menu choices.

Drop by from Monday to Saturday, and Sundays from noon until the afternoon.

Enjoy their specialty Hot or Cold Coffee beverages like Café Au lait or Nitro Coffee.

Build your own sandwich or try assorted bagels, hearty Veggie, and Bacon Quesadillas, Dana’s Parfait, a Bowl of Granola, or Baked Oatmeal.

Try some lunch fare like Turkey Pesto, Bacon Lovers, and Bacon Grilled Cheese; likewise, enjoy Paninis, House Salad, Chicken Salad, and Turkey Pesto Wraps, plus their Homemade Soup.

Electric Brew also offers assorted drinks like tea, smoothies, lemonade, and more as well as baked goods like cookies, bars, biscottis and other treats.

Watch Fantastic Shows at Goshen Theater

You’ll enjoy family-friendly shows at the historic Goshen Theater on South Main Street.

This iconic landmark first opened as Jefferson Theater in 1905 but was destroyed by fire the following year.

It was rebuilt, reopened, and later converted into a cinema; but it closed in 1986 due to economic situations.

From various transitions throughout the years, it now invites locals and visitors to witness great shows.

The theater facility includes a 590-seat auditorium, offices, concessions, a bar area, and a third-floor ballroom.

Check out films, theater performances, and workshop schedules at the theater’s website.

Goshen Theater also hosts acting workshops and classes and is home to the Goshen Theater Drama Club’s Summer Camp.

Visit the Goshen Public Library

Drop by the Goshen Public Library located on South 5th Street.

The library building is in itself a local landmark originally built in 1968.

It’s a free lending library providing various services and activities that encourage learning and reading.

Browse through different books, printed materials, and others that might catch your interest.

The lower level focuses on Children’s, Audiovisual, and Technical Services which you can also check out.

Let your kids join Goshen Public Library’s programs like Kids Book Clubs or have your teens sign up for Teens Nerd’s Night Out, Teen Cafe, or the Youth Book Club.

Join the Events at Elkhart’s 4-H Fairgrounds

One of the largest country fairs in the country, you’ll have so much fun when you drop by Elkhart’s 4-H Fairgrounds.

Thousands of visitors flock to this fair to enjoy free grandstand entertainment and concerts.

Be sure to check out the exclusive souvenirs and booths by 4-H members promoting youth and agriculture in the area.

Park your RV or camp out on the grounds.

Your kids will also enjoy watching attractions like rodeos, harness racing, tractor pulling, demolition derby, and of course the Queen Contest.

Have a fun day at Elkhart’s 4-H Fairgrounds.

Final Thought

A place that is easily accessible with a wide array of sightseeing opportunities, Goshen should be at the top of your destinations list.

Bring your family and friends and spend a relaxing time in this city with a small-town vibe!

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