Gateway to heaven—for maple syrup lovers
You’ll find a sweet deal in Medora, Indiana this weekend as the southernmost state in the U.S. maple belt celebrates the fine art of turning sap into syrup. Indiana is home to about a hundred or so maple syrup producers and Medora’s festival is billed as the first national event of its kind. Visitors can partake in talks, tours, and demos about the maple sugaring processes, from its ancient Native-American roots to modern-day manufacturing. The fest will also include live music, booths laden with the wares of Indiana artists, and locally sourced treats, including pancakes, sausages, maple pork chops, and maple baked beans. You’ll find most of the action at Burton’s Maplewood Farm, where more than 700 sugar maple trees provide the core ingredient for syrup-based condiments and candy. The farm is also the site of the Mellencamp Maplehouse, where a massive evaporator boils the sap into syrup; tours run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.GO Fourth Annual National Maple Syrup Festival at Burton’s Maplewood Farm (8121 W. County Rd. 75 S., Medora, Indiana; 812-966-2168, nationalmaplesyrupfestival.com); admission is $10.
Where to stay: The Ruddick-Nugent House (1210 16th St., Columbus; 800-814-7478, ruddick-nugent-house.com) has four guestrooms in a restored 1884 mansion; nightly rates range from $89 to $119. The Manor at Tabor Hill (7240 Hamilton Creek Rd., Columbus; 812-988-9635, manorattaborhill.com) has three guestrooms in an expansive Victorian mansion within short driving distance to numerous area art galleries; rates range from $165 to $225 per night.
Where to eat: The Muddy Boots Café (136 N. Van Buren St., Nashville, Indiana; 812-988-6911, muddybootscafe.com) offers nightly live music, a gallery of employee art, and many vegetarian options on the all-day menu. Big Woods Brewing Company (60 Molly Ln., Nashville; 812-988-6000, bigwoodsbeer.com) features a sizable roster of microbrews (among them, Busted Knuckle Ale and Possum Trot Pale Ale) as well as smoked meats, cured on premises.
Photograph: Courtesy of Burton’s Maplewood Farm