10 reasons to fall in love with Goshen

Originally published in The Elkhart Truth, September 25, 2014.

Good of Goshen • 10 reasons to fall in love with Goshen

Over the last decade, Goshen has seen quite the revival — especially in its historic downtown district.

As modest as the Goshen community may be about its virtues, the new Good of Goshen campaign aims to celebrate the people and organizations that strive to make Goshen a nice place to live.

So it’s a good time to take a moment and count up all the reasons Goshen is such a loveable town.


The Great Outdoors

Goshen boasts 501 acres of green space and forests, 19 parks and 32 miles of nature trails, making it a paradise for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors.

So whether it’s taking a hike through Ox Bow Park, biking the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail or renting a canoe at Fidler’s Pond, there is plenty of open-air fun to be had for the nature-lover.

And for those looking to take “fresh air” to the next level, Goshen Municipal Airport offers flight lessons.

Good of Goshen • 10 reasons to fall in love with Goshen

Creative Community

Good of Goshen • 10 reasons to fall in love with Goshen

Where there’s art, there’s culture — and Goshen has both in spades.

The city is home to five artists’ guilds for clay artists, woodworkers, photographers, painters and jewelers. Open studio tours allow the public to catch a glimpse inside artists’ creative spaces, and several galleries and shops around town showcase their work.

The Goshen art scene is so thriving, in fact, that LaCasa, Inc. is in the process of renovating the historic Hawks Building into artist lofts. (More on that later.)


All the World’s a Stage

From performing arts to live music to movies, there’s no shortage of diversions for Goshenites.

Art House brings together independent film, theater and comedy in its intimate second-floor space on Main Street, and for live music fans, Ignition Garage and Constant Spring regularly host local and touring groups. Goshen even has a resident Shakespearean theater troupe, GoShakes.

Goshen College Music Center’s performing arts series is a destination for larger performers, and for folks who prefer their movies mainstream, Linway Cinema is just a hop, skip and a jump from downtown.

Good of Goshen • 10 reasons to fall in love with Goshen

Foodie’s Haven

Good of Goshen • 10 reasons to fall in love with Goshen

Perhaps one of Goshen’s greatest boons is its bounty of independent restaurants. Foodies need look no further than downtown for artisan pizza (Venturi) and bread (Rachel’s Bread), craft beer (Constant Spring), tapas (Kelly Jae’s Cafe), and now Indian food (Maple Indian Cuisine).

Plus, South Side Soda Shop, The Chief and Olympia Candy Kitchen bring plenty of hometown charm.

For home chefs, Maple City Market, the Goshen Farmers Market and Mattern’s Butcher Shop bring local meats, produce and more.


Fit as a Fiddle

Even aside from its wealth of bike paths and bike-friendly streets, Goshen makes it easy to live an active and healthy lifestyle.

The downtown area alone is home to fitness classes from yoga to kickboxing, and the city parks play host to club sports like soccer, softball, basketball and ultimate frisbee.

Plus, residents have easy access to state-of-the-art health and wellness facilities at IU Health Goshen, including classes, support groups, screenings and more.

Good of Goshen • 10 reasons to fall in love with Goshen

Lessons for Life

Good of Goshen • 10 reasons to fall in love with Goshen
Between Goshen Community Schools and Goshen College, the quality education systems in Goshen stretch from kindergarten through grad school.

At Goshen Community Schools, students and staff represent 43 countries and seven languages from around the world.

And Goshen College was recently named the eighth most affordable private college in the Midwest (on a list by Great Value Colleges) and third best Christian college in the U.S. (on a list by Christian Universities Online).

Besides being good neighbors, 3,948 Goshen College graduates are now helping to shape the Elkhart County community as leaders and entrepreneurs for the common good.


Home Sweet Home

Goshen’s residential neighborhoods are home to people in all stages of life, from young professionals to young families, empty-nesters to retirees.

Plus, 15 historic Goshen neighborhood associations bring residents together to organize block parties, yard sales and beautification efforts.

Good of Goshen • 10 reasons to fall in love with Goshen

For the Young and the Restless

Good of Goshen • 10 reasons to fall in love with Goshen
There is no shortage of activities for kids and teens living in Goshen. The Goshen Parks and Recreation department offers everything from summer camps to dance classes, with plenty of youth sports leagues to choose from.

Plus, the Goshen Public Library boasts an award-winning lineup of programs, from book clubs to crafts to storytime.

And don’t forget that Elkhart County 4-H clubs have their home base at Goshen’s 4-H Fairgrounds and Campground, which is host to one of the largest county fairs in the nation.


The Startup Spirit

The city of Goshen has a long history of embracing small business, and this dedication has only increased in recent years.

The LaunchPad co-working space and business incubator lives on the second floor of the Goshen Chamber of Commerce, and a rich assortment of Goshen-born startup companies share office space in the Innovation Center of Downtown Goshen, The Exchange, The Famous and The Bricolage.

Good of Goshen • 10 reasons to fall in love with Goshen

On the Millrace

Good of Goshen • 10 reasons to fall in love with Goshen

It’s clear that Goshen does not intend to slow down anytime soon.

LaCasa Inc. is in the process of renovating half of the historic Hawks Building into affordable live-work spaces for artists and entrepreneurs, while Hawks 1886 is working to convert the other half of the building into a boutique hotel and brewpub.

Meanwhile, developer David Matthews is building a strip of luxury townhouses along the canal to the south, and Goshen Brewing Company is renovating the old NIPSCO building for another brewpub to the north.



10 reasons to fall in love with Goshen was originally published in The Elkhart Truth, September 25, 2014.

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