Planes, Automobiles and Wine…Oh my!

Adventures abound in Auburn, Indiana, where it’s hard to choose what to do first. One can visit automobile, truck and airplane museums, wineries, brewpubs and other attractions.

a wine barrel painted in a cartoon-like ocean theme
Downtown Auburn is decorated in wine barrels bought and painted by different people and organizations. Lucky bid winners will take them home after an annual banquet and auction event. What a fun idea!

We were northbound on Interstate 69 and decided to stop and see the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, which we’d heard about during a previous visit to the region. There just so happened to be two Harvest Host locations nearby, which provided the perfect opportunity to try out our membership for the first time.

Plan on spending at least one full day at the Auburn Cord Deusenberg Museum, if you love museums as much as we do, and plan for at least a half-day each at the National Auto and Truck Museum and the Hoosier Air Museum. Grab a Museum Passport at the first museum you visit, and receive $1 off admission at several other member locations of the DeKalb Alliance of Museums.

sunset scene with motorhome and cornfield in background
With the whole place to ourselves at sunset, we feel like royalty at the Hartland Winery. Earlier that day, master winemaker Alan, a third generation farmer of that land, taps out a special sample of Montage, one of his current red blend experiments. We can hardly wait for the bottling!

Since we were northbound, we parked first at Hartland Winery, went to the auto and truck museum for the afternoon, then made it back to the winery an hour before they closed. After a quick relocation to Briali Vineyards the next morning, we spent the whole day touring the Auburns, Cords and Duesenbergs. When it closed, we had enough time to stop for a meal and a taste of locally crafted brew at nearby Mad Anthony’s.


1932 Duesenberg convertible. Black with lots of stainless steel and chrome
This Duesey and the T-bird were designed 24 years apart by the same man, Franklin Q. Hershey.

Madly in love were we with their veggie burger done in a black and bleu style and their IPA battered fish and chips. We both subbed Scooby snacks for the waffle fries, and our waitress was fabulous with all our requests.

Light green 1956 Ford Thunderbird
This 1956 Ford Thunderbird has something in common with the 1932 Duesenberg J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe. Can you see it?

After happily stuffing ourselves, we returned for the last 45-minutes of wine tasting at Briali’s, where they have an amazing collection of old vinyl and a dust-free turntable to play it on. We left our coach parked there most of the third day while we toured the air museum. Both wineries were easy to find, easy in/out with mostly level parking, and both had excellent, masterfully crafted wines. We are already planning a return for more!

fake trillion dollar bill on bathroom counter
Want to be a trillionaire? Then visit the little dress-icon room at the Hoosier Air Museum. This is one for the toilet tourism file!
close up of an antique car spare tire with word-shaped tread that reads no skid
Interesting details abound at museums, if one looks closely enough.
cartoon image of snoopy in flight gear on a fighter jet
Snoopy is ready for action at the Hoosier Air Museum!
antique airplane used by French in World War One
Seeing this plane at the Hoosier Air Museum is a treat after watching the movie Flyboys!
a clothes-rack collection of military pilot uniforms from different periods in history
This is just one of several racks full of period uniforms at the air museum, which houses myriad collections of everything from models to personal mementos and huge library for both research and entertainment. What an amazing place!

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