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The Best College Town in Indiana

Sending your student off to college is a big step - we want to help college parents to make the transition to Grace College easier.

The Warsaw/Winona Lake community is where big business meets the best college town. 

Grace College is located in the idyllic lake town of Winona Lake, Indiana. The Village at Winona boasts the best of lakeside recreation, fine dining, artisan shops, and cozy cafes. The Village is a mere two blocks away from campus, that’s 30 seconds by car, 2 minutes by longboard, or 5 minutes by foot. No matter how you get there, a snowglobe resort town awaits you. But also just blocks from campus, is Warsaw, Indiana, the orthopedic capital of the world. Warsaw is home to Fortune 500 companies where engineering innovation abounds. 

Big business meets small town.

We are somewhat of an anomaly, but that’s what makes us one of the best small college towns. Read on to find out why our town is Indiana’s best-kept secret.

1. College is Better by the Lake

Student at the Lake - the best small college town

Ranked one of the best colleges near a river or a lake by the College Consensus, Grace College is known for its beautiful setting and breathtaking sunsets. Every year our Student Activities Board helps ring in the new school year by hosting a Lake Day. Students can paddleboard, kayak, and tube behind our Grace boat. Not to mention, Winona Lake is only one of over 100 lakes and streams in our county–all of which provide endless hours of on-the-water fun. 

Learn about educational opportunities with the lakes through the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams.

2. Fine Dining & Quick Bites

Visit Grace College and find great places to eat in Winona Lake. Plus our lakeside community features places to eat in Warsaw Indiana.

Warsaw and Winona Lake have a great mix of chain restaurants and unique eateries! Some of these are located just down the hill at the Village at Winona. And don’t worry – with Light Rail Cafe & Coffee Roasters, Latte Lounge, Wire & Steam, Three Crowns Coffee, and Kelainey’s, you will not go without coffee or tea for your late-night study sessions. New this year, as a student at Grace, you’ll receive $200 to eat at the unique restaurants in the Village at Winona. We couldn’t possibly choose one as our favorite. So grab some friends, head down to the village, and try them all!

Click the link below for an insider’s guide to our local eats!

Restaurant Guide E-book

3. Culture, Culture, Culture

Archaeology Minor - Grace College

Art enthusiasts, we’ve found the best college town for you. Warsaw and Winona Lake boast of its performing arts centers including the Wagon Wheel Theater. The Wagon Wheel brings Broadway-quality shows to town and best of all–it is a theater-in-the-round, so there isn’t a bad seat in the house! Winona Lake is also home to numerous artisan shops and hosts several art fairs each year where local vendors can sell their handcrafted goods.

For the history buffs out there, the town of Winona Lake is steeped in history. It is the home of renowned evangelist Billy Sunday and the backdrop of countless Bible conferences. Both the Billy Sunday Home and the Winona History Center are located on our campus, allowing students to be intricately involved. 

Winona Lake was also recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places

4. Thriving Businesses

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Our college does not just exist here, we thrive here–with several billion-dollar orthopedic companies in the neighborhood such as DePuy (a Johnson & Johnson Company), Medtronic, Paragon Medical, and Zimmer Biomet, our students form valuable connections and get hands-on experience in corporate America. We help guide students into internships through our applied learning experiences and provide over 250 opportunities in our area.

This is not rare in itself. We could make a list of hundreds of schools with big businesses close to campus, but to pair these career connections with our close-knit community, where you run into people you know at the store, is unique.

5. Greenway and Biking Trails

Winona Lake Bike Trails

Who said trails were just for the mountains? If you’re a biker, hiker, jogger or walker, you will love Winona Lake! Home to over 5 miles of greenway trails and nearly 10 miles of mountain biking trails, you are sure to find an exciting route for your workout or recreational ride. Oh, and did we mention the greenway trails directly connect to our campus? Now the playground of your dreams can be in your backyard!

Bikers and runners, we’ve found the best college town for you!

6. Indescribable Charm

The best small college town - Winona Lake Indinana

We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again. Our town belongs in a storybook or a snowglobe. This is why we made the Indiana Insider Blog “The 20 IN 20: You Won’t Believe the Charm in These 20 Small Towns.”  The charm of Winona Lake, Indiana is undeniable.

But you will never truly understand why Winona Lake is the best college town until you experience it yourself. Schedule your visit to Winona Lake today, and once you’re here, you’ll never want to leave.

Learn more about what makes Warsaw/Winona Lake the best college town.omar gona

Tagged With: About Grace College, Campus Life, College Visit, Connected Community