It’s a new school year, you’re in a new place, and you have some free time. What is there to do?

Goshen is no Chicago, but an afternoon off campus is worthwhile if you know where to go.

Here’s a quick guide to some of the best spots for eats, art, and activity in the Maple City.


Maple Indian Cuisine is a Goshen classic. On Main Street, satisfy your flavor needs with traditional North Indian recipes. Check out the buffet on Saturdays for the full experience. But be careful. With food this good, you can expect to eat too much.

The Southside Soda Shop is a lovely retro diner with satisfying food and a winning selection of pies. A ten minute walk from campus, Southside is a favorite among college students.

Anna’s Bread is warm and homey. You can enjoy fresh baked goods and brunch options while taking in local art that decorates the walls.

Goshen enjoys an abundance of high-quality Mexican food. Los Primos is one of the most popular family-owned restaurants, with two downtown outlets and a mouthwatering food truck.

For top tacos, try Taquería San José on Madison Street, or San Marcos on Main. If you’re in the mood for tamales, look no farther than The Universal Tamal.

Taco Bell is a popular late-night stop and, according to senior Nick Walter, “a staple in a college student’s diet.” The closest T-bell is five minutes east of the college by car.

For ice cream, The Chief is a no-brainer. Expect long lines and exceptional ice cream. La Michoacana offers Mexican ice cream bars, handmade with fresh cream and fun flavors. For a wholesome Midwestern experience, enjoy a frozen custard at Culver’s.


The Ignition Music Garage is the place for vinyl buffs looking for records or anyone looking for live music in an intimate venue. Ignition holds a handful of concerts each month featuring roots, americana, and bluegrass artists, among other styles.

The Electric Brew is a popular spot for sipping and studying. Coffee, roasted in-house, and freshly baked treats are a great incentive to get off campus to finish an assignment or relax with friends.

First Fridays are a chance to hear live music, eat street food, and shop the best of Goshen’s downtown. On the first Friday of every month, Main Street is packed with locals and tourists from Jefferson Street to Lincoln Avenue. This Friday’s theme is Volksfest, where you can see a lineup of Goshen’s most loveable German autos.

The Millrace Canal Trail offers a scenic route from campus to downtown. From Newcomer, head west down Westwood Road and you’ll find the trailhead. It’s perfect for a walk, run, or bike ride, and you can take it all the way north to reach The Chief for an ice cream reward.

If you’re looking for a longer trail, try The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail. The Pumpkin Vine runs for 25 miles, connecting Elkhart, Goshen, Middlebury, and Shipshewana. Head east for beautiful views of Amish country, or west toward Elkhart to reach Ox Bow Park.

Ox Bow offers easy access to forested hiking trails, fishing, disc golf, and Indiana wildlife. It’s a 15-minute drive, and admission is $3 per vehicle.

Going shopping?

The Goshen Farmers Market offers produce, cheese, pottery, clothing, and other local goods from warm cookies to worm castings. The market is open on Saturday mornings and Tuesday afternoons, and shares a building with Anna’s Bread.

The Depot is the place to go for used furniture at an affordable price. You can also find clothing, kitchenware, knitting supplies, and more.

Fables Books on Main Street sells gently used books and board games. Browse their growing collection, work on a puzzle, or sit in a comfy armchair and read.

Beyond this list, ask around for ideas or go exploring and find a new favorite.