For years, Lisa Fisher kept her eye on the historic "house on the hill" in Vevay.
"I grew up in the area and watched that old house deteriorate, and I knew no one else was going to save it," she said.
Fisher and her husband, Jerry Fisher, were farmers, but in 1998, she persuaded him to buy the house and transform it into the Schenck Mansion Bed & Breakfast.
The gamble paid off, and the Fishers are now full-time innkeepers. The bed and breakfast has since been recognized as one of the best in the Midwest. Fisher said it is often booked up months in advance.
The 35-room mansion was built in 1874 in the Second Empire style, with a four-story tower, a mansard roof and elaborate tin trim. The house has four porches, seven balconies, eight chimneys and four original copper-lined bathtubs.
Five rooms are available to guests, with prices ranging from $90 to $200 per night.
The bed and breakfast is rumored to have ghosts -- as many as seven of them, according to a medium who visited the site.
Fisher said guests often report passing a young woman on the stairs who doesn't respond when they say hello. Because the woman is dressed in old-fashioned clothes, guests often complain to Fisher that the "Amish housekeeper" is rude -- but of course, Fisher doesn't have an Amish housekeeper.
Guests who get through the night without getting spooked will enjoy the farm-style breakfast, complete with scrambled eggs, bacon and seasonal items, such as blueberry pancakes in the spring and apple pancakes in the fall.
Travelers also have several dining options in downtown Vevay, which is pronounced "Vee-vee." Locals recommend Roxano's, an Italian restaurant offering pizzas and pastas.
"They have really great spaghetti and meatballs and unique breadsticks you cannot get anywhere else," said Angie Satterfield, a Vevay resident and director of the Indiana Foodways Alliance.
Locals also recommend Mo's Steakhouse, known for the Mo Burger, prime-rib specials on Friday evenings and "delish blackened tilapia," Satterfield said.
The newest option is the Java Bean Cafe and Confectionery, a full-service restaurant that also sells lattes and gourmet chocolates.
After eating, visitors can explore the shops and galleries, such as the Bizarre Ladies Uppity Gift Shop, in pedestrian-friendly downtown Vevay.
"One of my favorite places in Vevay is the cute little Main Street," said Indianapolis resident Jeanne Vrabel, who has made many trips to the area. "It has several antique shops and little boutiques."
Other local attractions are the Dagaz Acres zip-line course, the Historic Hoosier Theater, the Ridge Winery tasting room and Belterra casino. Visitors can also drive to scenic Madison, about 20 minutes away, or visit Cincinnati or Louisville.
"Our location is wonderful, because if you want quiet, you're going to get quiet and small here," Fisher said. "But you're only an hour's drive from the big city."