August 28- We will depart early this morning to begin the journey toward the focus of this trip, The Ark Encounter. We will be picking up other persons enroute south with several stops on the way to our first stop. We will be driving all the way to the Amana Colonies for our overnight stay […]
August 28- We will depart early this morning to begin the journey toward the focus of this trip, The Ark Encounter.
We will be picking up other persons enroute south with several stops on the way to our first stop. We will be driving all the way to the Amana Colonies for our overnight stay and supper. The Amana Colonies are seven villages on 26,000 acres located in Iowa County in east-central Iowa. Amana (or Main Amana), East Amana, High Amana, Middle Amana, South Amana, West Amana, and Homestead. The villages were built and settled by German Pietists, who were persecuted in their homeland by the German state government and the Lutheran Church. Calling themselves the True Inspiration Congregations, they first settled in New York near Buffalo in what is now the town of West Seneca. However, seeking more isolated surroundings, they moved to Iowa (near present-day Iowa City) in 1856. They lived a communal life until 1932.
For eighty years, the Amana Colony maintained an almost completely self-sufficient local economy, importing very little from the industrializing American economy. The Amanians were able to achieve this independence and lifestyle by adhering to the specialized crafting and farming occupations that they had brought with them from Europe. Craftsmen passed their skills and techniques on from one generation to the next. They used hand, horse, wind, and water power, and made their own furniture, clothes, and other goods. The community voted to form a for-profit organization during the Great Depression, the Amana Society, which included the Amana Corporation.
Today, the Seven Villages of Amana are a tourist attraction known for their restaurants and craft shops. The colony was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1965. We will be dining at the Colony Kitchen this evening.
August 29- Today we start to head east toward Springfield, Illinois, home of Abraham Lincoln. We will make a stop at the Lincoln Presidential Museum.
This state-of-the-art facility was carefully designed with exacting historical detail. Amazingly well-preserved artifacts tell the entire life story of our nation’s 16th President. Dedicated to the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln, the Presidential Museum, unlike any other in the U.S., features high-tech exhibits, interactive displays, and multimedia programs, as well as a reproduction of the White House as it looked in 1861.
The holographic and special effects theaters will entertain, educate and mesmerize you with ghostly images, live actors and high action. Witness the 1860 Presidential Election as though it were happening today, complete with television news coverage and campaign commercials. Items from the institution’s world-class Lincoln Collection, numbering in the tens of thousands, are exhibited on a rotating basis in the Museum’s Treasures Gallery, including an original hand-written copy of the Gettysburg Address, the evening gloves in President Lincoln’s pocket the night he was assassinated, and the quill pen used to sign the Emancipation Proclamation.
We will continue on toward the Ark after lunch and viewing the museum for our overnight.
August 30- After a short drive this morning we arrive at the Creation Museum.
The history of the Bible vividly comes to life at the world-class Creation Museum. On your walk through biblical history, you’ll encounter a realistic Garden of Eden, animatronic Noah, flood dioramas, stunning video displays and much more. This facility has welcomed millions of guests since opening. The Creation Museum shows why God´s infallible Word, rather than man´s faulty assumptions, is the place to begin if we want to make sense of our world.
This 75,000-square-foot facility allows families to experience earth history as God has revealed it in the Bible. Nearly 150 exhibits feature fearsome animatronic dinosaurs, talking heroes of the faith, and professional displays that honor God´s Word. The museum also boasts a fun-filled, 200-seat special effects theater, a state-of-the-art planetarium, a petting zoo, nature trails, and lots more. If you’ve been to the museum before, you won’t recognize our auditorium as the original special effects theater! In addition to cutting-edge 3D glasses and an industry-leading projector, everything in the 4D Special Effects Theater is new—from the carpet to the walls to the chairs, stage, screen, speakers, lights, and more.
At the heart of the Creation Museum is a chronological retelling of biblical history in seven parts called the Seven C´s. Guests step back in time, beginning with Creation, and fast-forward to Christ´s return. Along the way, they see how God´s Word provides the big-picture answers for our most difficult questions, whether about science, the Bible, or our personal relationship with God. The Creation Museum is a Christian evangelistic outreach of Answers in Genesis, as is our sister attraction, the Ark Encounter.. Prepare to believe!
The Ark Encounter will be our next stop. The Ark Encounter features a full-size Noah’s Ark, built according to the dimensions given in the Bible. Spanning 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high, this modern engineering marvel amazes visitors young and old.
August 31- This morning we start traveling north to Ohio with a stop at the Neil Armstrong Museum.
The Armstrong Air & Space Museum stands as a repository of Ohio’s aeronautical history and a monument to Ohio’s contribution to aviation and space exploration from the early pioneer days through the space shuttle era. See a moon rock, two full-sized aircraft flown by Neil Armstrong, the Gemini VIII space capsule, artifacts from the Apollo 11 mission and more.
The museum features many one-of-a-kind artifacts including the Gemini VIII spacecraft, Neil Armstrong’s Gemini and Apollo spacesuits, and an Apollo 11 moon rock. The museum is also home to two full-size aircraft, both of which were flown by Mr. Armstrong. A 15-year-old Armstrong learned to fly at Port Koneta, a long-gone Wapakoneta airfield. He flew a yellow Aeronca Champion now on exhibit at the museum.
This is no static museum; it is filled with motion and sound. There are seven interactive exhibits, ten audio/visual elements, and three simulators. Visitors can practice landing the lunar module and space shuttle, or docking the Gemini capsule, as Neil Armstrong did in 1966. Adults will find the simulators just as challenging and entertaining as the kids do. The 56-foot dome in the center of the museum houses the Astro Theater, a unique venue that allows guests to enjoy the 25-minute documentary about Apollo 11’s lunar landing. There is no additional charge for the simulators or the film.
We now head west to our overnight hotel for the next two nights in Indiana.
Sept 1- This morning we will explore the Amish area of Indiana. The most impressive stop may be the quilt gardens found in this area with million of blooms. One of our stops will be Amish Acres. This is the only Amish Farm Listed in The National Register of Historic Places.
You will experience the restoration of the Stahly-Nisley-Kuhns farmstead, the only Amish farm listed in The National Register of Historic Places. Widow Barbara Stahly and her five sons migrated from Germany to the southwest corner of Elkhart County, in 1839, making them, according to University of Chicago historian James Landing, likely the first Amish settlers in Indiana.
By 1873 son Christian had acquired eighty acres of land to build a house and barn for his son Moses. From that beginning rose the main house in 1893. Moses Stahly sold the farm to his wife’s cousin, Noah Nisley, who at his retirement, in turn sold it to his son-in-law Manasses Kuhns. Moses sold the farm because he was moving his family to Kansas.
The farm was purchased from the Kuhns estate for the purpose of preserving the buildings and traditions of the three generations of Amish families who lived on the farm and tilled the soil.
Following a year of meticulous restoration Amish Acres opened to the public in 1970. Since then visitors have experienced life as it was in most families and continues to be lived by the Amish surrounding Nappanee. See the recent article in Home & Away magazine for an overview of the farm’s activities.
Escape to Amish Acres in Nappanee, Indiana and share the heritage of these intriguing people in quiet celebration of America’s tolerance for diversity. Time stopped over a century ago and preserves, in the Amish, a way of life adhering to nearly forgotten patterns of living in today’s fast paced world. The legacy of the three generations of the family who lived here is seen and felt through a nostalgic visit to the farm and homestead.
Discover the tools and trappings of yesteryear and relax as you view the documentary films, walk the oaken floorboards of the 138 year old Amish homestead, and take a leisurely farm wagon ride around the 80 acre farm. You’ll learn the whys and ways of the Amish as your guide winds you through the twelve room white frame house, the Grossdaadi Haus, the Schwietzer bank barn and inviting outbuildings. You’ll experience the sights and sounds of a working farm, alive with barnyard hens, livestock, gardens and apple orchard.
This afternoon we will head to the large Round Barn Theater for a presentation of Anne of Green Gables. The world-famous novel Anne of Green Gables comes vibrantly to life as a modern classic musical. The story of an orphan just looking for a place to belong, and maybe find a kindred spirit along the way, becomes a timeless love story once she meets the handsome Gilbert Blythe. Ultimately accepted into the home of the plainspoken Matthew and his spinster sister, Mirilla, the high-spirited Anne changes the lives of all she encounters on the way to evolving into a learned young woman. With beautiful tunes like “Around the Bend”, “A Kettle of Fish”, and “Making Up For Lost Time” Anne of Green Gables joins the pantheon of great American musicals.
Sept 2- Today we will take a short detour to the famous Shipshewana Flea Market. Shipshewana Trading Place / Shipshewana Auction Inc. is a destination in Indiana’s Amish Country famous for hosting the Shipshewana Flea Market – the Midwest’s Largest Flea Market – with over 700 vendors.
The family-owned organization has been operating since 1922 when six pigs, seven cows and several head of young cattle were sold at the home of George Curtis during the very first livestock auction.
In 1930, the first Auction Restaurant started in Curtis’s garage and was operated by the ladies of the Methodist Church until 1940, when Curtis asked Milo and Ruth Miller, who were then catering farm sales, if they would be interested in taking over the operation. Each day, the Millers backed Mr. Curtis’s automobile out of the garage, swept the floor and set up the restaurant equipment and gas stove. The vegetables came from Mrs. Miller’s garden, and the pie came from her oven at home. She even made homemade catsup to go on the 20 cent hamburgers.
In 1947, Curtis sold the auction to Fred Lambright, who is the grandfather of Keith Lambright (current owner). He built a new sale barn at the present location and put in a large scale to sell fat hogs and cattle by the pound. In those days, people would bring items to sell out of their car trunks, unofficially starting the Shipshewana flea market. A roof was built for the flea market in 1947, though people continued to sell from their cars. In 1950, Lambright built a new Auction Restaurant, which could seat 50-60 people.
Walter Schrock purchased the business from Lambright in 1961. He expanded flea market grounds in 1968, which had grown from 100 to 400 vendors. The weekly antique auction had increased to ten auctioneers who were simultaneously selling, so in 1978, an antique auction building was put up.
The Livestock Auction barn was destroyed by a fire in 1979. However, it was rebuilt in just 3 months, with the help of volunteers. Robert Lambright, along with his sons Keith and Kevin, purchased the business in 1981. The flea market was expanded to 1,000 vendor spaces, and a new restaurant and office building were built.
The Farmstead Inn was built in 1997 to provide convenient and excellent lodging right across the street from the Auction and Flea Market. In 2014, a conference center was added to the Farmstead to accommodate retreats, conventions, banquets and meetings.
The Shipshewana Antique Mall opened next door in 1998 and was a place for people to find quality antiques for 18 years. During its operation, the Shipshewana Antique Markets began in the summer and still continue to be a popular event for antique lovers today. In 2017, the mall became the Farmstead Expo Barn, a place to host special events and auctions. The Expo Barn is accompanied by the Farmstead Event Pavilion, built in 2012, which provides a farmer’s market-type venue for shows, reunions and weddings.
After finding your prized purchase, we will continue onward to Wisconsin. We will make a stop
at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Stroll through 16 acres of outdoor display gardens and an indoor, tropical conservatory at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. In the outdoor gardens, visit the Thai Pavilion and Garden. Olbrich’s Thai Pavilion is the only one in the continental United States and the only one outside of Thailand surrounded by a garden. Stop and smell the roses in the Rose Garden, opened to the public in 2005. Olbrich’s rose garden features innovative mixed borders of Midwest hardy shrub roses and perennials. Also stroll through other specialty gardens such as the Perennial Garden, Sunken Garden, and Herb Garden. Olbrich’s outdoor gardens are open daily, year-round.
Next, visit the tropics without leaving Madison! The Bolz Conservatory, a sunny 50-foot-high glass pyramid, houses a diverse collection of tropical plants, a rushing waterfall, free-flying birds, and blooming orchids. See the plants on which some very common foods grow, such as banana, coffee, and vanilla. Get an up close and personal look at carnivorous plants as well! Temperatures in the Conservatory range from 65 degrees to 95 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, making this a truly tropical escape. The Bolz Conservatory is also home to Olbrich’s Blooming Butterflies – an annual event from mid-July through mid-August. Free-flying butterflies emerge from chrysalises daily and fly around the Conservatory.
We finally will head to Richland Center for our overnight stay.
Sept 3- We travel through the bluffs of Wisconsin to a few final stops. The first stop will be at the small village of Coon Valley.
Valley Market is a small town, friendly place to shop. It has been open year-round since Feburary 2011. It offers a great variety of bulk foods such as flours, spices, snacks, pasta, breakfast foods, candy & more. It has a growing selection of gluten- free products, and some organic options too! The prices are cheaper than most, because they are able to purchase these items in bulk, and bring them to you in family-size quantity. They are very proud to provide you with Local, Raw Honey, which they extract from their very own hives right here in the Coon Valley area. This you may also purchase in bulk. You bring us your own container & we will fill it for you at a lesser cost. We are passionate about providing you with quality foods, as well as friendly, helpful service! Often, if you do not see what you are looking for, we will be able to order it for you! Please ask! The same is true if you are looking to buy bigger quantities for your special occasions such as weddings or parties. We offer fresh- cut sandwich meats & cheeses from our deli, sliced daily, and upon request can be cut any way you like! During the summer months, we display a vast array of flowers and produce, all locally grown by farmers and gardeners strictly in our area.
The next stop will be a cheese outlet. It may be that the workers will be working on the other side of the glass as you observe the process. There are free samples, of course. You may find just the variety that you cannot live without.
We will now continue on the last leg of the journey and arrive home for the evening.
More for Le$$ Tours Value with everything included below. Make WISE
comparisons with similar tour offers. We have included more than other
companies at a lower cost.
Included: Roundtrip transportation for entire journey
6 nights at personally selected hotels
All admissions and tour fees
Personal tour guide to accompany you from start to finish
More for Le$$ Tours Sights and Activities- We offer more activities and
sights on our trips than any other company at no additional cost
(no optional side trips).
Amana Colonies Visit
Neil Armstrong Museum
Round Barn Theater Performance
Shipshewana Flea Market
Olbrich Botanical Garden
The cost of the tour is $875.00 based on current estimates.
This cost will only be increased if these costs increase
significantly in the interim since printing.
More for Le$$ Tours Terms and Conditions
To maintain our lower level of overhead and to be able to
provide small group tours at these prices, please read and
agree to the following conditions for our tours.
Prices shown are per person, double occupancy,
stated in US Dollars. Single supplements will be $200
for this tour
Deposit of $275 per person is due upon reservation.
Please send check to address on payment page or pay
by credit card. Payments made by credit card will be
charged a 2% convenience fee.
Final payment will be due August 1, 2019.
Deposit and payments indicate that you have read and
consent to the provisions contained within these terms
and conditions section.
This tour does not include personal expenditures,
such as room service, laundry service, tour and driver
gratuities, personal items, baggage fees for airlines,
passport fees, and meals
If there are special medical or dietary requests, please
inform us of the specifics at the time of registration to
allow us to try to accommodate for these requests
(no guarantees on some requests in some locations).
We operate with a no smoking policy in the van,
at the sights, and at the hotels for the comfort of
everyone on the tour.
Cancellation in writing prior to final payment date will
receive payment refund less deposit of $100 plus cost of
any non-refundable tickets if already purchased. From
If minimum required number of participants is not met
for any given tour, all money will be refunded to all
We strongly recommend that you purchase travel
insurance with cancellation coverage to protect yourself
in case you need to cancel. We recommend Travel Guard
Insurance, as they have competitive rates and great
service. We are licensed providers of travel insurance and
can help you with this if desired.
Neither we nor any other vendor or person connected
with this tour shall be liable to the participant directly or
indirectly for any accidents, damage, delay, or injury
caused to the participant, including, but not limited to,
acts of war, acts of terrorism, malfunctions of equipment,
strikes, theft, weather, quarantines, or change of itinerary.
If additional costs are incurred due to the above reasons,
such as additional hotel, meal, and transportation, the
participant will be responsible for these additional costs.
Please reserve a space on the _________________________________tour for ________persons.
Name(s) as you would like to be known for the trip:
Medical concerns (if any)_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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Please enclose $275 deposit per person for this trip. This deposit indicates that I have read and agree with the terms and conditions as stated in the brochure.