Reviews & Comments
Nappanee, INNice Small Town, Good Ole Boy Network
I've lived in Elkhart County, Indiana, my whole life, and went to high school in Nappanee. Nappanee is a nice little rural town. The library is great and not so great - great because they have a terrific staff, great programs for kids and adults...not so great for me because I often have trouble finding books that I need, typically because they are older (although not ancient) books. They can often get them through interlibrary loan, which is helpful. There's the best butcher shop around downtown, both for the quality of locally raised meats and the super friendly and helpful people who work there. There are other nice shops as well. A small movie theater that shows fairly new movies for only $4, and often have free movies for kids. Restaurants are nothing spectacular...your typical fast food joints and some local places that are ok. Amish Acres is a big tourist attraction, but honestly, I've never been there.
They have an annual apple festival, which if you like that sort of thing is nice. We live right in town on the main drag and it is a royal pain during festival days as thousands of people flood the town for garage sales and the activities. There's also an art festival at Amish Acres, but that's on the other side of town and I haven't been to that.
Some of the things I don't like about the area are all the horse poop all over the roads (we can't walk to the library or down town without dodging "road apples"...completely disgusting), the people are mostly friendly but very "clique-y"...if you don't have the right last name, live in the right neighborhood, or wear the right clothes, you will find yourself not very included. It's a touristy area and people come to see the Amish and the quaint little stores and along with that comes people who appear to not know how to drive. We have a major State Road and US highway that intersect right downtown, so lots and lots and lots of truck traffic and traffic in general. Oh, and I can't forget that our former Dictator...or Governor...forced the state to begin observing DST, which I hate more than I can possibly articulate. I've never understood how it even makes any sense to do that to begin with, and whatever time zone they put us in doesn't seem to be the right one, it's pitch dark for the kids to get on the bus in the morning and stays light until 10 pm. So unbelievably stupid. Only the government could believe you can cut a foot off a blanket, sew it to the other end, and have a longer blanket...wisdom from an old Indian chief.
The weather here is typical Indiana weather...if you don't like it wait around for 5 minutes and it will change. Springs are often rainy and stormy, summers can get horribly hot and humid and rainy and stormy (with tornadoes), winters can be cold and snowy but often are just cold...Lake Michigan really influences our weather and you never know what it will do, fall is beautiful although it can get really hot some years, and somehow the yellow jackets know when it's September because they come out in droves.
There isn't much to do in Nappanee proper, there's a public pool and some parks and a golf course. We're about an hour from Michigan, 2.5 hours from Ft Wayne, 4 hours from Chicago so you can drive somewhere else if you want to.
I am anxious to move out of Indiana because I'm bored and restless and want to live somewhere else before I die. I also want to live somewhere where they have the sense to not mess with the clocks, so we are planning a move to Arizona as soon as we can, as I can not take another year in this state.
Nappanee moves at a slow pace, it's a small town with a "good ole boy" network, and doesn't have much crime. The schools are ok I guess, I graduated from the High School here, although I hated it...I don't belong to the good ole boy network so...I don't know how they are now as we homeschool. There's a ton of churches of many denominations, mostly of the anabaptist or missionary persuasion. Not a lot of jobs. Some would find the place charming, but the charm has worn off on me and I can't wait to move.