By Donna Christenberry

welcome jasperBoutique shops, a great place to satisfy the sweet tooth, and a stop to snap up some alligator bites – Jasper has all these and more. For the Hoosier traveler looking for a stay-cation, the city offers items for the foodies, the history buffs, and the shoppers.

A recent visit was too brief to hit all that Jasper has to offer, so this article will touch upon just a few.


dubois museumFor history buffs, the Dubois County Museum at 2704 Newton St. offers an amazing tour through the past, from fossils to log cabins to the milling industry. The modern entryway doesn’t quite prepare the visitor for the expansive collection, one of the largest county museums in the state. The Main Street exhibit has 17 rooms displaying a turn-of-the-century newspaper, shoe shop, barber and bank. Look for the dog-operated butter churn in the agricultural section.

snaps restaurantThe wooden alligator outside Snaps Restaurant at 1115 Main St. greets customers to an establishment that started as a saloon and boarding house in 1872. The tin ceiling tiles and the layout of the restaurant hearken back to that time. Snaps keeps a collection of private beer mugs hung on the walls for all the regulars. As for their food, the alligator bites with the boom boom and honey mustard sauces were great, and the steak nachos made nice starters. The turkey burger was nicely seasoned, and the mandarin and pecan salad was delicious. The waitress was warm, funny, and helpful. Give Snaps a try.

Shopping on the courthouse square in Jasper revealed hidden treasures and unique items. At Indigo Roots, check out the beautiful glassware, items for dog lovers, and the large birdcage in the window. Next door at Just Whimsy are unique ladies’ clothing and accessories and exotic candles, among other items. The L.H. Sturm Hardware Store has been in the family for three generations and is well-stocked with items for the handyman and some unique items modern chain hardware stores don’t carry.

chocolate blissOn a hot summer day, the ice cream at Chocolate Bliss, tucked in a corner next door to Sturm Hardware, hit the spot. The ice cream is freshly made locally and several flavors are available. However, it’s the case full of Chocolate Bliss’ own chocolates – cream filling, truffles and caramels – that cause the chocolate lover to drool. The shop also carries specialized cooking utensils and flavored oils, among other items.

The day was too hot to enjoy the Riverwalk, a 2.1 mile paved path along the Patoka, and the Jasper City Mill alongside, but Wabash Valley Wonders hopes to make another visit to Jasper in the future.