We started off our adventure in Fort Wayne at Firefly Coffee House for lunch. I had a cheese toasty (or grilled cheese as some of you may call it) on sourdough. Honestly the best cheese toasty I’ve had. The atmosphere was amazing. It was obvious that the baristas and owners are very invested in the community and their relationships with customers. Books, magazines, etc were available to read – offering a ‘leave one, take one’ incentive. They also sell hand-crafted items from local artists.
We headed to the Arts United Campus so we could pick up a couple of bikes that would make it faster + easier to get around Fort Wayne. We parked downtown and paid a meter $.50 to park while we rode (The meters are only running 8a-5p, otherwise it’s free to park). There are 4 other locations in FW that host the Fort Wayne’s Bike Share and operate as places you can borrow and return the bikes. The program is operated from an app – including paying, unlocking, and returning. On their website they strongly recommend wearing a helmet, however, they are not required. Each trip under an hour is free, otherwise it’s $3/hour.
Last summer I did an internship at Arts United so I was excited to visit their campus and see updates and completed projects that I’d been a part of planning. Arts United has become the center of Fort Wayne’s arts and culture and a go to spot for organizations to host events. The FW Ballet, The Civic Theatre, the FW Museum of Art, Artlink Gallery, Pembroke Bakery, and several others are located on the AU Campus.
Here are a few photos + locations that we went/passed along our bike ride around downtown.
Allen County Public Library
Grand Wayne Center
The Hoppy Gnome
The City Exchange
Lace + Arrow
We returned our bikes near the Grand Wayne Center and Parkview Field and walked to Freshii for a bowl of frozen kefir (similar to frozen yogurt) to cool off from the hot sun. I added blueberries, chocolate chips, and honey on top. They also have other fresh foods + smoothies and snacks. Freshii’s patio over looks the Tincap’s stadium – we got a glimpse of a practice in progress. How cool if a game would have been going on?
After Lauren headed home, I ended the night at the Living Fort Wayne Concert Series supported by YLNI (Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana) at Headwater’s Park West. The first Wednesday of each month in the summer they host a concert that features a few local bands, local food trucks, and other activities. People who live in FW ride their bikes to the concert, but there’s also free parking nearby.
I got the San Antonio Breakfast taco from Sol Kitchen. Their tacos are SO good and filled with so much flavor and ingredients.
YLNI also hosts networking workshops and events, leadership conferences, the farmers market, etc. throughout the year.
The food trucks are all over FW at different events throughout the week and the year. They’ve created a Facebook page (+ other social pages) to help you track where they’ll be. My favorite is Sol Kitchen, but really, they’re all good.
After the concert, I walked back to downtown on the trails that go along the river.
I grew up near Fort Wayne and worked in the city last summer, but it’s always fun to spend time here – seeing what’s new, improved, and developing. Even though FW is much larger than North Manchester, a community still exists here that connects the people who live, work, and play there.