About Elkhart

GEOGRAPHY

Elkhart, Indiana is located 15 miles east of South Bend, Indiana, 110 miles east of Chicago, Illinois, and 150 miles north of Indianapolis, Indiana. Elkhart has the larger population of the two principal cities of the Elkhart-Goshen Metropolitan Statistical Area, which in turn is part of the South Bend-Elkhart-Mishawaka Combined Statistical Area, in a region commonly known as Michiana. The population was 50,949 at the 2010 census. Despite the shared name and being the most populous city in the county, it is not the county seat of Elkhart County; that position is held by the city of Goshen, located about 10 miles southeast of Elkhart.

TRANSPORTATION

Major Roads

Elkhart is located on the Indiana Toll Road (Interstates 80/90) at exits 92 and 96 and on the eastern portion of the St. Joseph Valley Parkway (U.S. Route 20) which by-passes the southern side of the city. State Road 19 runs through the city while U.S. Route 33 and State Road 120 terminate in the city. U.S. 33 used to run through the city and that route was part of the original Lincoln Highway.

Rail

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, services the Elkhart Train Station. Two routes, the Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited, stop at the station, along the former New York Central Railroad line. The Capitol Limited connects Chicago to Washington, DC and the Lake Shore Limited connects Chicago to New York City and Boston. Both lines connect to their eastern destinations via Cleveland with one train offered for each direction on each route daily.

Airports

Elkhart Municipal Airport (EKM) is located on the city's northwest side. No commercial flights are offered but two charter flight services operate out of the airport. South Bend International Airport (SBN) is the closest airport with commercial airline service.

The Mishawaka Pilots Club Airport (3C1) is just outside the southwest edge of the city of Elkhart. Mishawaka Pilots Club Airport is a privately owned, public-use facility.

Interurban Trolley

Elkhart is a central hub for the Interurban Trolley regional public bus service, which stops at various destinations throughout the city and connects to neighboring Goshen, Osceola, Dunlap, and Mishawaka. It was originally known as the BUS system. The system’s name is derived from its use of vintage-trolley buses that run between several different cities and towns, evoking the interurban train networks that were common in the United States during the first half of the 20th century. The Interurban Trolley operates each day, except Sundays or major holidays.

Connections to Other Transit Systems

Bittersweet/Mishawaka Route links up with TRANSPO's Route 9 in Mishawaka, which in turn connects riders to downtown South Bend and the South Shore Station, TRANSPO's transit hub. North Pointe Route stops at Elkhart's Greyhound station. Elkhart-Goshen and Concord routes both stop near the Elkhart Train Station.

CULTURE

Theater

In 1884, the Bucklen Opera House opened its doors for the first time, with a seating capacity of 1200. It was common for one performance to take place every week. Elkhart's location on the railroad made it a good stopping point for shows traveling from New York to Chicago. In 1896, the first movie was shown in the theater, which was also used as Elkhart High School's auditorium until 1924. The Bucklen was demolished in 1986. 

Outside view of Lerner Theatre

The Lerner Theatre, formerly the ELCO Performing Arts Center, is a small theater located downtown. After being built in 1924 and undergoing two name changes, it became the ELCO in 1934. Ownership switched hands several times, but the end of the Lerner appeared to be in sight when owner William Miller died in 1987. In 1990, the city bought the theater to prevent further deterioration due to vacancy. Also, that year, a commission was formed by some locals to oversee restoration. Funding issues led the city to get involved further in the form of getting a federal grant. The grant helped with major upgrades and the hiring of full-time staff.

The ELCO was renamed The Lerner when it reopened after an $18 million renovation and expansion in June 2011. It is now used for a wide range of concerts, special events, and local productions.

Museums

There are many different museums located in the city.

  • Woodlawn Nature Center is a small natural history museum and activity center that includes 10 acres of woods. It features exhibits and programs for all ages that are designed to connect as many people as possible to nature, natural history and the future of the planet.
  • The Midwest Museum of American Art has over 6,000 works in its collection, and also offers 8-10 temporary showings per year.
  • The National New York Central Railroad Museum tells the history of the New York Central, Penn Central, Amtrak and Conrail railroads. Conrail established the Rail Yards in Elkhart that are now owned by Norfolk Southern.
  • The RV/MH Hall of Fame & Museum was once located in the city, but now has been moved to a new facility along the toll road. Elkhart County is known as the RV Capital of the World.
  • The Ruthmere Museum (which was the mansion once occupied by Albert R. and Elizabeth Baldwin Beardsley, the descendants of the city's founder) and the "Time Was" Museum are also in Elkhart. They are both small, historical museums that depict what life was like in the early twentieth century.
  • The Hall of Heroes Superhero Museum is a small private museum preserving and displaying the 80+ year history of superheroes in comic books, film, television, and other media.

Wellfield Botanic Gardens

Kisetsu: The Year of the Island Garden -- Sensational Summer: Monday through Sunday, 12 to 6pm, wellfieldgardens.org

Here’s what you can expect when you arrive!

A ‘Modified Visitation Plan’ emphasizes the health and safety of guests, volunteers, and staff while allowing for enjoyment of the grounds, including Wellfield’s NEWEST themed garden space – – the Japanese-inspired ISLAND GARDEN – – Now open to the public!

Wellfield’s spacious 36 acres, wide pathways, and stunning landscapes are an ideal environment for “social distancing” between families and friends. While the guest entry experience may look and feel a little different, Wellfield is more gorgeous than ever! After parking, approach the Visitors Cottage. You will be greeted by friendly staff and volunteers wearing face coverings. They will invite you inside. More information on the website below.

https://wellfieldgardens.org/

APARTMENTS FOR RENT

The website below lists apartments in Elkhart, currently available for rent. Each Apartments.com listing has verified availability, rental rates, photos, floor plans.

https://www.apartments.com/elkhart-in/

THE BEST Airbnb DEALS

Save money on your stay in Elkhart!

Find the biggest discounts for top-rated Airbnb rentals at the website below.

https://www.airdna.co/top/us/indiana/elkhart

DINING IN ELKHART COUNTY

Bring Your Appetite.

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Hearty meals of fried chicken and slow-roasted beef with all the trimmings. Homemade noodles and fresh-baked pies. This belt-loosening fare can be found at welcoming diners and popular family-style restaurants where steaming platters and bowls of food are passed around the table. And then there are the cozy cafes, eclectic downtown eateries, and locally-owned restaurants all popular for delicious signature fare and friendly service. It’s all a part of the incredibly diverse menu along the Heritage Trail. See website below.

https://www.visitelkhartcounty.com/restaurants/

ELKHART HEALTH AND AQUATICS

This unprecedented community collaboration provides comprehensive health, fitness, swimming, and community center solutions for Elkhart. More information at the website below.

https://elkhartcenter.com/

GYMS IN ELKHART AREA

  • Beacon Health and Fitness
  • 200 E Jackson Blvd
  • Gyms, Trainers, Aquatics, Group
  • Fit Stop Elkhart
  • 5230 Beck Drive
  • Gyms, Tanning Beds, Trainers
  • Anytime Fitness
  • 322 Bittersweet Road
  • Gyms, Trainers
  • Planet Fitness
  • 3253 Northview Drive
  • Gyms
  • Planet Fitness
  • 2616 Peddlers Village
  • Gyms
  • Eastlake 24 Northpointe
  • 3130 Northview Drive
  • Gyms, Trainers, Tanning
  • Anytime Fitness
  • 712 Lincoln Avenue
  • Gyms
  • Bare Fitness
  • 1002 Mitchell Jelison Drive
  • Circuit Training Gyms, Trainers
  • CrossFit RAZE
  • 254116 County Road 6
  • Interval Training Gyms
  • Steve’s Gym Elkhart Martial Arts and Fitness Academy
  • 1120 Bristol Street
  • Martial Arts, Gyms, Self-defense Classes
  • CrossFit South Bend
  • 3927 N Home Street
  • Interval Training Gyms

Indiana University South Bend

1700 Mishawaka Ave
South Bend, IN 46615
Phone: 574-520-4872