Getaway in Ohio's Amish Country
Halfway between Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio's sprawling Amish Country is one of the largest Amish settlements in the world, with an estimated 37,000 Amish in Holmes County and surrounding areas. Travelers take divergent paths to sample the rural lifestyle. Many people follow tour buses to the museums, Main Street shops and reliable restaurants. But if you're hungering for a slower, more authentic experience, follow the buggies along Holmes County's backroads to the farms and shops of everyday Amish life.
Our trip guide gives a sampling of ideas on what to do, where to eat and where to stay in Amish Country. Be sure to get directions before you head out; cell service is spotty, and a mailing address may not always correspond to the actual physical location. We recommend getting a paper map—and keeping an eye out for road signs.
Keep an eye out, too, for your own discoveries. Small businesses—quilt shops, greenhouses, candle stores, furniture shops and more—dot county roads. Most are owned by families living without phones, electricity and cars. Slow down, look around, see what's around the corner. Your best finds may be the things you weren't looking for at all.
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What to Do
Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center, Berlin
The center houses Behalt, a 265-foot-long mural that tells the history of the Amish and Mennonites. Thirty-minute tours illuminate the journey of the Amish and Mennonites from their origins until the present.
Kidron Auction, Kidron
Held on Thursdays, the no-frills livestock auction dates to the 1920s. Outside, the parking lot is crowded with trailers, wagons, buggies and vendors selling food and fresh produce.
The area's specialty museums include The Millersburg Glass Museum, which highlights the history of a local glass plant; The Victorian House Museum, a 28-room Queen Anne-style home; German Culture Museum, with displays of Amish, German and Swiss heritage; and Ernest Warther Museum and Gardens, the home and workshop of master carver Warther.
Yoder's Amish Home, Millersburg
From late April or early May through late October, guides lead tours through the buildings and explain Amish customs. Purchased by Eli and Gloria Yoder in 1972, the rundown farm was renovated and opened for visits in 1983. On the tour, you'll see a farmhouse filled with authentic furniture and clothes. In each room, learn about the rituals: how Amish families practice their religion, how girls' clothes change as they become women, how families work and play together. Visitors can also stroll through the 1885-built red barn filled with animals and climb aboard a buggy for a turn around the farmstead.
Where to Shop
Coblentz Chocolate Company, Walnut Creek
The Coblentz family produces about 100 kinds of premium chocolates and other candies, including fudge made in copper kettles, caramels hand-wrapped in waxed paper and chocolate Amish buggies.
Guggisberg Cheese, Millersburg
Billed as the Home of the Original Baby Swiss, this shop is a great resource for snacking, with crackers, pretzels, mustards, sausages, bologna, jams, jellies and candies in addition to cheese.
Heini's Cheese Chalet, Millersburg
You'll find up to 25 varieties of cheese made from milk from local Amish farmers at Heini's Cheese Chalet, the retail outlet for Bunker Hill, a third-generation store that dates to 1935.
Hershberger's Farm and Bakery, Millersburg
Fresh-picked veggies greet patrons at Hershberger's, which also sells jams, jellies, fry pies and baked goods.
Kidron Town and Country Store, Kidron
The multi-purpose shop combines a grocery store, bulk food store, butcher shop, deli, pharmacy and dry goods store; the basement restaurant is a hidden gem.
Miller's Bakery, Millersburg
Off of State-557, this shop has some of the area's best baked goods. Specialties include cookies, pies, apple fritters, bread, cheese tarts and doughnuts.
Miller's Dry Goods, Millersburg
Plain on the outside, Miller's holds lots of color inside, with thousands of bolts of quilting fabric. Among the items for sale: Handwritten recipes with handmade pot holders.
Where to Eat
Boyd and Wurthmann Restaurant, Berlin
Since the 1930s, this restaurant has served old-fashioned American food: sirloin steak, liver and onions, chicken and noodles, and pies.
Cafe Breitenbach, Dover
This spot at a family-owned winery is a fun place to try panini, salads and hearth-baked pizzas.
Der Dutchman Restaurant, Walnut Creek
The menu at this classic Amish restaurant features traditional chicken, ham and roast beef dinners, as well as Amish standards such as homemade noodles, date pudding, and fruit and cream pies.
Rebecca's Bistro, Walnut Creek
An old log cabin houses a cozy restaurant where you'll find delicious tomato-basil soup and cream-filled coffee cake.
Tarragon, Inn at Honey Run, Millersburg
Huge windows showcase forest views at Tarragon, and the seasonal menu serves simple, fresh flavors like Miso Mushroom Soup and Braised Lamb Neck.
Troyer's Genuine Trail Bologna Inc., Dundee
The Troyer family has been making bologna since 1912, combining beef with spices then smoking it over a hardwood fire. Stop into Troyer's at lunchtime for a Troyer's Genuine Trail Bologna sandwich with cheese (served in wax paper) or buy bologna, ground beef and beef sticks to take home.
Where to Stay
Charm Countryview Inn, Charm
This peaceful country inn has 15 rooms with old-fashioned quilts on the beds and views out over the countryside. You won't find TVs or phones. Wake to a hearty Amish breakfast served family-style Monday through Saturday and a continental breakfast on Sunday.
Premier Carriage House Cottages, Berlin
These lovely cottages each offer a whirlpool tub, king-size bed, gas fireplace, satellite TV, Wi-Fi and other amenities.
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