Driving through Illinois? Stretch your legs at this roadside stop.
Driving north on I-57 through Illinois, the landscape is primarily corn fields, barns and exit ramps. As billboards and blue highway signs make clear, most of the exits offer similar businesses: gas stations, fast-food and hotel chains.
One notable exception to the routine is the Tanger Factory Outlet Mall, which would be hard to miss since a series of billboards alerts you for many miles that it’s up ahead.
But you’ve seen outlets before. Prefer something really different? Loop behind the Tanger Outlets to the big red barn labeled “Amishland.”
Having driven by it a few times, I decided to stop and finally get an answer to the question, “What is Amishland?”
Inside are restrooms (which are clean and modern), a buffet (which I did not try, but smelled yummy), and lots of shopping. It’s huge! There’s a 10,000-square-foot furniture showroom, “Amish Country Heirlooms,” featuring hardwood furniture by Amish craftsmen—custom orders welcome. There are also dozens of antique dealers operating in booths that are designed to look like a village. There are more estate-sale type finds than the handcrafted goods I’d expected, but items are clean and nicely presented; odds are good that something will catch your eye and, perhaps, spark a memory.
Whether you simply want to stretch your legs or do some serious shopping, Amishland is worth a stop.
Amishland is located off I-57 at Exit 212 in a big red barn next to the Tanger Factory Outlet Mall in Tuscola, Illinois. It’s approximately 3 hours from Chicago, 2 hours from Peoria, 2 hours from Indianapolis, and 2-1/2 hours from St. Louis.
1304 Tuscola Blvd.
Tuscola, IL 61953