Experience a simpler time at the Rockome Gardens

written by Enjoy Illinois on July 5, 2013 in Central Illinois and History and Land of Lincoln with no comments

In today’s fast-paced world, sometimes we need to sit back, relax and take a moment to appreciate the simplicity and beauty of nature. You can do exactly that when you visit the Rockome Gardens, nestled in the Land of Lincoln region and the heart of Amish country in Arcola, Illinois, where the motto is “preserving a simpler time.”

Flowers blooming at the Rockome Garden

Flowers blooming at the Rockome Garden

In 1937, Arthur and Elizabeth Martin bought the property that later became Rockome Gardens. Originally just a small family farm, the Martins had a bigger dream of creating the largest flower garden in Douglas County, spanning seven acres.

With such an impressive garden of flowers and rock formations, many who saw the property referred to it as the “Martin’s rock home.” Eventually, the Martins dropped the “h” in the name and simply called it Rockome.

Enjoy a home-cooked lunch on the property at Rockome Restaurant before exploring the many shops and attractions, like a trading post, blacksmith’s shop, Amish museum and more. One of the shops on the property is Rockome Garden Foods, which features homemade cheeses made by a local Amish dairy farm. Stop by the grocery for a wide selection of cheeses, meats, pastries, breads, nuts, pickled and canned goods, and other specialty items. If you’re lucky enough to make it on a Thursday, you might just see them making fresh cheese curds, a Midwest favorite!

The village blacksmith shop, part of the guided country tour

The village blacksmith shop, part of the guided country tour

If you want a deeper look into the property and Amish culture, Amish Country Tours are available year-round and should be booked five days in advance. On these tours, you will enjoy an authentic meal in an Amish home, see the Amish museum, homestead farm, woodworking and buggy shop.

– Illinois Office of Tourism