In the summertime, Steuben County, Indiana, lures scores of outdoor enthusiasts to its more than 100 glacially-formed kettle lakes teeming with recreational opportunities, but wintertime offers a breed of seasonal thrills all its own. Wait in line for a rush down the refrigerated toboggan run at Pokagon State Park, where speeds on the ¼-mile track reach up to 40 miles an hour. Scenic hiking trails and skiing provide even more leisurely ways to experience the park’s nearly 1,300 acres of natural beauty.


Potawatomi Inn Resort and Conference Center

This 137-room inn perched on the banks of Lake James lets visitors overnight right on the Pokagon State Park grounds. Accommodations range from courtyard- and lake-facing rooms furnished with cozy quilts and country décor to historic cabins and rustic suites; the main structure is riddled with nooks and crannies perfect for reading and relaxing. On Sundays, the Historic Dining Room draws crowds for its robust brunch buffet. 6 Lane 100A Lake James, Angola, 260.833.1077,

Wild Winds Buffalo Preserve

In addition to its resident herd of 200 or so bison, this 400-acre preserve also houses guest rooms, a library, a museum and a lookout deck within the White Pine Lodge, where comfortable bed-and-breakfast accommodations in an inviting log-cabin setting take the edge off roughing it. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can spend the night in a raised safari tent or an authentic Native American teepee instead. 6975 N. Ray Road, Fremont, 260.495.0137,

Holiday Inn Express

This nicely furnished, modern hotel appeals to families with kids in tow and budget-minded fashionistas intent on exploring The Outlet Shoppes at Fremont right next door. The location offers proximity to wineries, lakes, restaurants and Pokagon State Park, and spoils guests with contemporary rooms and suites, local YMCA access, a hot breakfast buffet and nightly milk and cookies. 6245 N. Old 27, Fremont, 260.833.6464,


Ole Lake George Retreat

Dining at Ole Lake George feels like slipping into your favorite pair of broken-in jeans. The history of this little lake shack dates back to the early 1900s; formerly the Lake George Hotel, the retreat as it exists today took shape in the 1970s when it was rebuilt after a fire. The small dining room overlooks Lake George and offers particularly pretty views as the sun goes down. The views, atmosphere and comforting fare like burgers, steaks, fish, ribs, pizza and sandwiches keep loyal customers coming back. 35 Lane 130A, Fremont, 260.833.2266,


This family-owned restaurant capably satisfies Italian-food cravings with thoughtfully dressed pizzas, panini, pastas and “torpedoughs” – calzonelike creations of meat, veggies, sauce and cheese wrapped in dough and baked to hot-bubbly perfection. Overwhelmed with tasty temptations? You can’t go wrong with the gut-busting sausage roll or the daily chef’s choice ravioli special. 2435 N. 200 W, Angola, 260.833.2617,

The Captain’s Cabin

For decades, Steuben County locals have made this intimate, dinner-only destination a tradition for celebrating special occasions with old-school surf and turf, including expertly prepared prime rib, lobster tails, salmon and a gorgeous shrimp cocktail. If you can tear yourself away from the wine list, the martinis are served ice cold in a swanky stainless steel “glass.” And don’t miss the blue cheese coleslaw. 3070 W. Shady Side Road, Angola, 260.665.5663,

The Hatchery

The Hatchery sits in a handsome brick building near “The Mound,” Downtown Angola’s main roundabout radiating out from a Civil War monument. On the menu you’ll find steaks, lake perch and Indiana duck. Top off your meal with a scratch-made slice of cheesecake, or take it to go. The popular steak Gorgonzola pasta drapes sliced sirloin and a creamy blue cheese sauce over fettuccine. 118 S. Elizabeth St., Angola, 260.665.9957,

6 Autumns Food & Spirits

It might be attached to a Ramada hotel, but 6 Autumns is far from a cookie-cutter hotel dining room. The owners are obsessed with bourbon and have managed to amass an extensive collection, claiming to offer the largest selection in the state. The food’s good, too – think modern gastropub fare along the lines of steaks, chicken, pasta, fish, salads and sandwiches. 3855 N. State Road 127, Angola, 260.624.3644,


Satek Winery

Down a charming country lane, this friendly operation evolved from a commercial vineyard to a full-fledged winery in 2001. Customers can congregate in the tasting room to try a couple dozen of Satek’s red, white, fruit and dessert wines on for size, many made entirely from locally grown produce. 6208 N. Van Guilder Road, Fremont, 260.495.9463,

Chapman’s Brewing Co.

Quench your craft beer thirst at this unassuming microbrewery with samples of Englishman Southern Brown Ale, Valiant American Stout and Undaunted Single-Hop IPA. If you like what you taste, you can purchase a pint to sip on the spot or fill up a growler to go. Fun fact: The name is a nod to local native son Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman. 300 Industrial Drive, Angola, 866.221.4005,

Briali Vineyards

Overlooking the gently rolling terrain of Country Meadows Golf Resort, this sophisticated little winery relies on biodynamic growing techniques to turn out a slate of sweet and dry wines that includes a Petite Sirah, Riesling and a blueberry fruit variation. The tasting room provides an upscale backdrop with handsome décor and stained-glass windows. 102 W. State Road 120, Fremont, 260.316.5156,

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