Road tripping has never been more popular. Experts, after all, say it’s the safest way to travel during the pandemic, and no doubt that will remain true for months to come. While things may not be fully open yet, it doesn’t hurt to start planning for the future. One stop you should put on that bucket list, especially if you’re a vegan? Uplands PEAK Sanctuary.
PEAK is Indiana’s first farmed animal sanctuary, and it’s appropriately located in Freedom, where nearly 50 rescued farmed animals have claimed their independence from factory farming. Take, for instance, Andy and Annie, a brother-sister duo who were PEAK’s first residents, arriving as piglets from a backyard butcher in Minnesota. Or Star and Freeda who were rescued from a dairy farm in Vermont. And don’t forget Lily, a turkey with a big personality who escaped a transport truck.
Once tours are back on the schedule, you can meet many of these residents in person, even stay on property. PEAK offers two lodging options: A modestly equipped cabin or the Retreat Room, a private suite in the main house. No matter which you choose, you’ll be able to say good night and good morning to the animals.
While at PEAK (or even now if you’re itching to get out), you can always spend a day in Bloomington, home of Indiana University and a vegan hotspot that’s just 30 minutes from the sanctuary. There, you can grab a latte from Hopscotch Coffee, enjoy lunch at vegan-friendly Owlery, do curbside delivery at Rainbow Bakery for vegan sweet treats like cookies and cupcakes, sip a beer at Upland Brewpub, and if you’re feeling globally inspired, dine outside at one of the many restaurants on the globally diverse 4th Street. Try, for instance, Anyetsang’s Little Tibet for Tibetan, Thai and Indian dishes; Burma Garden which specializes in Burmese cuisine; and the Turkish- and Mediterranean-inspired Anatolia Restaurant.
Southern Indiana is also ripe for outdoor adventure (and it’s the perfect way to complete PEAK’s mantra: people, earth and animals in kinship). Some suggestions? Rent bikes and explore Bloomington on the popular B-line trail or drive to McCormick’s Creek State Park for hiking or Brown County State Park where you can access over 18 miles of hiking trails or mountain bike on one of the many designated trails. Feel like jumping into a canoe or kayak? They’re available for rent on Griffy Lake in the heart of Bloomington.