Archive for June, 2011

Richmond Wayne County Chocolate Trail

June 11, 2011 Leave a comment
Ghyslain Chocolates

ABOVE: Artisan chocolates at Ghyslain Chocolatier & Bistro in Richmond's Historic Depot District.

Guest Blogger:
Nancy Sartain, Richmond-Wayne County Convention & Tourism Bureau

Richmond/Wayne County’s Chocolate Trail is filled with treats sure to wow chocolate lovers. Complimentary chocolate specialties are featured at each stop and presented in many varieties. Here is a sampling of what you’ll find along the Chocolate Trail.

Start at Ghyslain Chocolatier & Bistro located in Richmond’s Historic Depot District. Ghyslain’s signature line of artisan chocolates (see photo above)  combine the finest chocolate, eclectic ingredients and techniques, creating nothing less than works of art and taste unlike any other. The Bistro features extraordinary desserts, authentic gelato and mouth-watering entrees. An artisan chocolate will be your treat at Ghyslain.

Next is Parker’s General Store where you’ll be treated to a scoop of local-made chocolate ice cream. Browse through the store which offers an endless array of foods, vintage toys, old fashioned candy, kitchen accessories, and gift items.

Olympian Candy, a downtown Richmond landmark since 1909, continues to follow the original Greek recipe. Your sample will be a chocolate from their display case – nine flavors of chocolate creams to choose from, all hand-dipped in milk and dark chocolate. These creams are luscious, decadent, and capable of producing audible moans when tasted.

At J & J Winery you’ll be treated to a glass of smooth chocolate wine. And don’t forget to sample their award-winning wines.

Warm Glow Candles are made in Centerville. At their store you’ll receive a chocolate scented votive candle. Schedule some extra time to shop as the store features 11,000 square feet of pure shopping pleasure.

Pour House Antiques & Sweets in Cambridge City produces made-from-scratch fudge daily, ready to be sampled. They also serve up gourmet coffee blends, teas and smoothies, homemade pies, cakes, sandwiches in a shop filled with antiques and accents.

Another stop is Abbott’s Candy Factory in Hagerstown, still owned and operated by the 4th generation of the Abbott family. They are known for their quality chocolates and soft buttery caramels.  The original 1890 formulas are followed today. The large pink building that houses the candy factory is a favorite stop for families who come to watch the candy being made and to sample a sweet creation.

Many Chocolate Trail attractions offer exclusive discounts, Chocolate Bucks, to those partaking in the trail. Even a discounted spa treatment featuring chocolate is offered. At the Gennett Mansion, the first Friday they serve a gourmet dinner showcasing chocolate as an ingredient in each course!

The Chocolate Trail is available to explore and taste year-round. To receive your complimentary chocolate samples, you must present a Chocolate Trail Passport, available at the Old National Road Welcome Center, 5701 National Rd. E., Richmond.


Southeast Indiana Artisan Trails

June 10, 2011 Leave a comment
Artisan Trails in Southeast Indiana

ABOVE: "Handcrafted and Homegrown" 130-page guidebook to southeast Indiana's Artisan Trails.

Guest Blogger:
Jennifer Clayton, Dearborn County Convention, Visitor & Tourism Bureau

“Handcrafted and Homegrown by Hoosier Hands” (see image above) is a guide to a tapestry of artisans in residence throughout the rolling hills and river towns of scenic southeast Indiana. It’s like your Little Black Book of regional artists: who they are, what they create, and where to find their work.

Four self-directed Artisan Trails bring together the region’s artists, craftsmen, and specialty food and beverage producers for all art-lovers, foodies, and road-trippers to enjoy.

Vist galleries, studios, markets, wineries, and special events as you discover the talent and artistry woven throughout the region. And don’t worry, we’ve included several historic sites, unique dining stops and quaint lodging options along the way.

For your copy of the 130-page Artisan Trails guidebook pictured above, visit, or call 800-322-8198 for more information.

Downtown Lafayette: Three Great Districts

Downtown Lafayette-West Lafayette

ABOVE: Lafayette-West Lafayette: Three great districts, one great destination.

Guest Blogger:
Amanda Gordon, Lafayette-West Lafayette Convention & Visitors Bureau

Downtown is wonderful, vibrant and inviting place to discover. You’ll find awesome local flavor restaurants, unique shops, a variety of entertainment options and much more. Spend time strolling along tree-lined streets where you can enjoy outdoor art and beautiful turn-of-the-century architecture. There are three great districts in one great destination:

Chauncey Village

The Chauncey Village Downtown District is the area of West Lafayette situated between the Purdue campus and the Riverfront district. The name “Chauncey” is from the original settlement in this area in 1866. In 1888, the town’s name was changed to West Lafayette. This district caters to visitors, students and alumni with an emphasis on Purdue traditions and memorabilia, great night life, shopping, fun and college atmosphere.

Wabash Riverfront

Spanning the river, our Wabash Riverfront Downtown District is an area between River Road in West Lafayette and 4th Street in Lafayette. This district hosts some of the area’s largest events and includes many attractions such as the John Myers Pedestrian Bridge, Riehle Plaza, Tapawingo Park, Wabash Landing, and the Tippecanoe County Courthouse. Enjoy the many restaurants and coffee shops featuring an eclectic mix of flavor from around the world, and the public art on the Courthouse Square.

Arts & Market District

The Arts & Market Downtown District encompasses 4th Street to 12th Street and South Street to North Street in Lafayette. This district offers quaint shops, museums and galleries in addition to theatre, live music venues, great restaurants and coffee shops. Also, don’t miss the Lafayette Farmers Market, one of Indiana’s oldest outdoor markets, operating for over 165 years. It runs from early May through late October, three days a week.

For more information about Downtown Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit, or call 765-447-9999.

Tombstone Trail in Noble County

Tombstone Trail in Noble County

ABOVE: Tombstone Trail. Photo credit: To The Roof Photography. Photo provided by Noble County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Guest Blogger:
John Bry, Noble County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Historic cemeteries were truly the first public parks in America. They were often designed to welcome visitors to explore their grounds surrounded by peace, quiet, and nature. Graveyards are full of beautiful examples of the art and craftsmanship found in the many unusual and caried monument styles and materials used to create them.

Along the Tombstone Trail in Noble County, the nation’s first historic cemetery trail, opening for the season in August 2011, you will learn of people who will make you laugh, cry, and walk away with a newfound respect for their lives and contributions not only to Indiana but to the world.

This is a road trip like no other, featuring eight historic cemeteries across several northern Indiana counties and communities. More than 75 stories spanning the centuries and miles will be found along the Grand Army of the Republic Highway (US Highway 6). In 2011, the Trail pays special tribute to the 150th anniversary marking the beginning of America’s greatest conflict–the American Civil War. Stories from both the Union and the Confederacy will be featured in our local cemeteries.

The Tombstone Trail will also mark the 70th anniversary of the United States entering World War II, and will pay tribute to the men and women who served some role during this global battle that defined a generation.

For some a graveyard may seem like the end of the road, but in northeastern Indiana it is just the beginning of a months-long celebration of the lives of those who have gone before us.

Guided, group, and self-guided tours through these silent cities of stone are available. For more information, contact the Noble County Visitors Bureau at 877-202-5761, or visit our Web site at

Twilight Tours at West Baden Springs

Big Jim Colosimo

ABOVE: Meet Big Jim Colosimo on the West Baden Springs Twilight Tours. Photo provided by Indiana Landmarks.

Guest Blogger:
Sandi Woodard, Indiana Landmarks Center

During its early days, the majestic West Baden Springs Hotel in Orange County was a retreat for the rich and famous, who sought out the healing mineral springs, luxuriated in the spa and rolled dice in the valley’s casinos. On select Saturdays through October, Indiana Landmarks will present Twilight Tours, a lively trip back into time, where visitors will meet costumed characters representing guests and employees of West Baden during the ‘teens and ‘20s.

A guide portraying a long-time, early 20th-century hotel employee will lead visitors through the “Eighth Wonder of the World” and its grounds. Along the way, they’ll meet famous and notable guests, including: Col. Bliss, commander of US Army Hospital No. 35 (the Army leased the hotel as a hospital from September 1918 through April 1919); Walter Hagen, who won the PGA at French Lick in 1924; Helen Keller, who was a guest at the hotel’s grand opening; author Edna Ferber; Chicago mob boss Big Jim Colosimo (see photo above); and Margaret Brown, better known as the “Unsinkable Molly Brown,” who survived the sinking of the Titantic and though may not have been a guest of the hotel, was a well-traveled woman of the era.

Visitors also will hear from hotel employees and entertainers, such as Mademoiselle Louise, the hotel’s resident palmist/mentalist in the early 20th century; Fern Brown, a hotel cashier; Charles Rexford, West Baden’s hotel manager; and Dr. Hassenmiller, the hotel physician.

The 75-minute tour will end before 10 p.m. – the hotel’s universal bedtime during its heyday.

After the tour, visitors are welcome to enjoy one of the hotel’s restaurants, visit the French Lick Resort Casino, take a moonlight stroll in the gardens or check into one of the recently renovated rooms.

For more information or to make a Twilight Tour reservation, contact Sandi Woodard, French Lick-West Baden Program Coordinator, at 812-936-4034, or via e-mail at