Who’s ready for a road trip? I recently had the opportunity to explore Fort Wayne, Indiana with the Visit Fort Wayne team, and I am so excited to share my experience with you. Prior to this trip, I knew nothing about Fort Wayne or Indiana in general (other than the fact that I have to drive through it to get to Chicago). Depending on where you live in the Metro Detroit area Fort Wayne is likely three hours or less. The quick drive makes it a really attractive distance if you’re in the mood to get out of Michigan for a weekend.
From Detroit, it’s a quick drive (around 2.5 hours – it took me 3 hours since I am outside of Detroit) to Fort Wayne, which makes it a great weekend getaway with friends or family.
Things To Do:
There’s a ton of fun things to do in Fort Wayne with your girlfriends, significant other or family. Here are some top picks from my trip to Fort Wayne.
See a TinCaps Baseball Game
You know I am a huge fan of baseball, and love checking out as many ballparks as I can. If you’re going to Fort Wayne I highly recommend checking out their minor league baseball team, the TinCaps. The name of the team is a tribute to pioneer Johnny Appleseed who is believed to be buried in Fort Wayne. With an adorable logo that features an apple wearing Johnny Appleseed\’s trademark tin cap, the TinCaps have called Parkview Field home since 2009 and continue to draw in fans young and old each season. The stadium is gorgeous, the atmosphere is a lot of fun and there is so much interaction you’ll never be bored.
Visit the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
Even if you aren’t visiting with kids the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is definitely worth checking out. The mission of the zoo is “Connecting kids and animals, strengthening families and inspiring people to care.” What I really love about that is it’s actually true, as someone who is 4’10” I struggle to see animals when I go to the zoo – so think about the kids who are smaller than me. Kids can actually see the animals without having to be picked up by their parents! The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo also offers Wild Encounters like feeding the stingrays, which I would highly recommend.
Explore the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory
If you love flowers you’re going to love the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory. Filled with tropical plants, a relaxing waterfall, and desert-themed room there is sure to be something for everyone. The conservatory hosts a variety of events and exhibits throughout the year, and beginning April 27 they will have a live butterfly exhibit that runs until July 7, which I cannot wait to go back and checkout.
Learn About Your Ancestors at the Genealogy Center
One of the coolest experiences was visiting the Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library and learning about my family history. With nearly a million physical research items plus additional online databases, the Genealogy Center is a completely free resource that draws people in from all over. Prior to the trip, I provided the librarians some information about my family, and they pulled some amazing information about my ancestors. I learned that I am French Canadian, Scottish, German and Irish – plus my family has colonial roots in the United States which is amazing. Learning about my family history was truly an amazing experience.
If you love art, you’re not going to want to miss out on the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. This museum provides an array of unique pieces of art from permanent pieces to rotating exhibits.
Check Out Science Central
Do you love science? If you do, then you definitely don’t want to miss checking out Science Central. The hands-on exhibits are educational, and you’ll learn so much in a short time. One of my favorite parts of Science Central is “Science On A Sphere,” this three-dimensional globe can showcase anything from the plants to storm systems.
Where to Eat:
Looking for ideas of where to eat while you’re in Fort Wayne? Here are a few places I highly recommend.
Breakfast – Proximo
Looking for a unique and delicious breakfast? Look no further than Proximo. This is a great space to go with friends or family. I ordered the Carnitas Benedict which featured braised pork served over house-made cornbread and is finished with arugula, poached eggs and hollandaise – oh my goodness was it delicious.
Lunch – Dash-In
If grilled cheese is your thing, you’re definitely going to want to head to Dash-In. They have a great selection of food, but are known for their grilled cheese sandwiches and have a unique variety of them. I tried the Green Goddess, and it was absolutely amazing. With muenster, provolone, havarti, pesto sauce, guacamole, and fresh spinach this sandwich is pure perfection. I paired it with their tomato bisque which is a rich and creamy tomato soup with hints of white wine, white onion and is topped with parmesan cheese and scallion – oh my gosh yum!
Snack – DeBrand Fine Chocolates
You can’t go to Fort Wayne and not try DeBrand Fine Chocolates. I loved the raspberry cream from the classic collection.
Appetizers – Copper Spoon
Looking for a great selection of wines, a huge cocktail list filled with unique options and delicious appetizers, then Copper Spoon is the place for you. This restaurant has a fun atmosphere that is perfect for gathering with friends or a significant other. Copper Spoon also shares views of Parkview Field where the TinCaps play. I tried the Charcuterie Platter (cured meat, cheese, pickles, spicy mustard, and baguette pieces) and Smutty Fries (patatas, sloppy joe, quest, pickled hot peppers, pickled onion, and scallions ).
Dinner – The Hoppy Gnome
The Hoppy Gnome is a fun and unique experience, this brewery rocks and amazing sophisticated food menu you’re sure to love. They focus on fresh ingredients and make an effort to change up their menu a few times a year. I enjoyed the Pan-Seared Scallops (jumbo scallops, hoppy hash, bacon and sweet corn relish with jalapeño tartar) and Asian Tuna Tartare (Sashimi grade tuna, Serrano pepper guacamole, soy glaze, and crispy wontons).
Dessert – Ruth’s Chris
I know that there are Ruth’s Chris chains all over the continental United States, but trust me you want to check out the one in Fort Wayne for dessert. Forget all other desserts on the menu, you want to get the carrot cake, it’s the best that I have ever had – and it’s only at a couple locations.
More Things To See and Do:
Promenade Park is opening this June, and you won’t want to miss the dining, Tree Canopy Trail, playground, kayak rentals and more.
If you like seeing the art around Detroit, you’ll definitely want to explore the many unique art murals and public art around town.
See the Embassy Theatre, with a history dating back to 1928 this place has been dazzling audiences with live shows, movies and more for years. Dress in your most elegant attire and head to the Embassy Theatre to see a show one weekend instead of the Fisher Theatre or Fox Theatre.
Fort Wayne, you were amazing! I had so much fun, and cannot wait to visit again.