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Explore East Central Indiana Through Fun and Food

Take a tour of the region with this list featuring one must-try activity and eatery in each county.

By Lindsey Hyde on June 16, 2022

New Castle Motorsports Park
Rebecca & Daniel Jacobson FREELANCE

Whether you’re looking for a unique restaurant to try on a Friday night, a farmers market to peruse on a Saturday morning or a coffee shop to meet friends on a Sunday afternoon, the East Central Indiana region has you covered. This nine-county area is flourishing with entertainment options, and residents love that they don’t have to venture outside the region to have some fun.

Want a taste of all East Central Indiana has to offer? Take a tour of the region with this list of one must-try activity and eatery in each county.

Ole Rooste
Nathan Lambrecht


Activity: Let your inner artist come alive at Arts Place (Blackford County Arts Center), a nonprofit that works to make the arts accessible in the region, and try a one-time class, such as ceramics or watercolors.

Eatery: A trip to Blackford County isn’t complete without a stop at Common Grounds. This locally owned coffee shop serves up steaming cups of joe as well as soups, muffins, and homemade biscuits and gravy.


Activity: Relax and unwind while exploring Muncie’s Minnetrista, which offers 40 acres of gardens and a museum, among other things. During the summer months, check out the Culinary Herb Garden, where you can pick, smell and even take home various herbs.

Eatery: Located off Ball State University’s campus, Amazing Joe’s Grill serves up just about anything you are craving, from steak and burgers to sandwiches and pasta. Make sure to ask for the chunky chocolate cake.


Activity: Take a trip back in time and walk through the Longwood Covered Bridge in Roberts Park. Built in 1884, this historic bridge was moved from its original location over Williams Creek in 1984.

Eatery: Enjoy a dinner with family or friends at Connersville’s Ole Rooste. Whether you choose a burger, sandwich or steak, keep the owners’ (Cary and Lori Hardy) mantra in mind – “At the table, time stops, and there is no place for technology.”

Gas City Brewing Co.
Nathan Lambrecht


Activity: Get your wheels turning at Idyl Wyld Roller Palace, a rollerskating rink in Marion, where you can also try your hand at arcade games, pool and ski ball.

Eatery: Unique ice cream flavors and combinations await at Ivanhoe’s (the cookie monster shake is delicious). This Upland restaurant also has a menu full of salads, nachos, burgers and sandwiches.


Activity: Feel the wind rip through your hair while racing around the track at New Castle Motorsports Park. For $25, you can rent a cart for 10 minutes.

Eatery: Twirl your fork through a plate of spaghetti with meatballs in marinara at Primo, a local Italian restaurant – and be sure to pair your meal with a nice wine.


Activity: Get out and enjoy nature at the 475-acre Loblolly Marsh Nature Preserve, which offers approximately 3.5 miles of walking trails.

Eatery: Order a few slices from Dick’s Pizza Palace in Portland. No matter what toppings you choose, this local pizza joint is sure to create a culinary masterpiece.

The Bridge Cafe in Upland, Indiana
Nathan Lambrecht
The Bridge Cafe in Upland


Activity: You’ll be on the edge of your seat, as you watch cars speed around the half-mile track at Winchester Speedway. Want to stay awhile? Camping is available for all events.

Eatery: Stop in for a sandwich and a slice of your favorite pie (ahem… peanut butter chocolate cream) at Mrs. Wick’s Restaurant. While there, make sure to check out their store for must-buy items such as take-home chicken pot pies.


Activity: Load up your car with blankets, snacks and drinks and head to Rushville’s Riverside Park Amphitheater for free live music. It’s hard to beat a night under the stars here.

Eatery: The Corner Restaurant in Rushville is a local favorite where you can find homestyle meals and regular customers swapping stories. Try a Texas Swiss burger and a side of slaw.


Activity: Find the perfect vintage piece for your home by following one or two antique trails, which have stops in and near Wayne County.

Eatery: Richmond’s Little Sheba’s Restaurant is known for its delicious dishes, from cheesy pizzas and juicy burgers to crisp salads and unique sandwiches (be sure to try lil’ John’s BLT).

Get to Know East Central Indiana

Want to learn more about living and working in East Central Indiana? Check out the latest edition of Livability East Central Indiana.

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Array ( [0] => 160571 [1] => 160549 [2] => 154925 [3] => 111972 [4] => 111961 [5] => 111954 [6] => 157090 [7] => 79922 )

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