Getaway in Ohio's Amish Country
A backroad getaway in Holmes County, Ohio, reveals the quiet life and artistry of Amish shops, restaurants and homes.
Halfway between Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio's sprawling Amish Country offers travelers divergent paths to sample the rural lifestyle. Most people follow tour buses to the museums, Main Street shops and reliable restaurants. Hungering for a slower, more authentic experience, we followed the buggies along Holmes County's backroads to the farms and shops of everyday Amish life.Click through the next slides for a sampling of what you can see on a getaway to the world's largest Amish community.
An Amish home
Plunk down $13 for a tour and buggy ride, and 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 stroll through the 1885-built red barn filled with animals before climbing aboard a buggy for a turn around the farmstead. Yoder's Amish Home
A woman hangs laundry at Yoder's Amish Home. Tours here explain how Amish use straight pins to fasten their clothing to avoid ostentatious buttons and buckles.
A stop for sweets
Miller's Bakery offers warm sweet rolls the size of hands folded in prayer. Other specialties at the Amish bakery perched above State-557, the road to Charm: doughnuts, fry pies and cookies, all made from 40-year-old recipes.
Fresh from the farm
Fresh-picked veggies greet patrons at Hershberger's Farm and Bakery Ltd., which also sells jams, jellies, fry pies and baked goods.
Burst of color
Plain on the outside, Miller's Dry Goods holds lots of color inside, with more than 8,000 bolts of fabric. Among the items for sale: Handwritten recipes with handmade pot holders.
Shops among the hills
Blink and you'll miss the sign along County-77 for Baskets and Blooms, one of the small businesses— quilt shops, greenhouses, candle stores, furniture shops and more—that dot county roads. Most are owned by families living without phones, electricity and cars.
Amish Country: Before you go
Our trip guide on the following slides contains some suggestions on what to do, where to eat and where to stay in Amish Country. For more information, go to visitamishcountry.com
Note that addresses can be problematic here; mailing addresses do not always correspond to an actual physical location. Your best bet? Call for directions (cell service is spotty), get a map—and keep an eye out for road signs.
What to do: Customs and history
Yoder's Amish Home, 6050 State-515, Millersburg. From mid-April through October, guides lead tours through the buildings and explain Amish customs. At left, Leah Hershberger preserves peanut butter spread at Yoder's Amish Home.
Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center, Berlin. The center houses Behalt, a 265-foot-long mural that tells the history of the Amish and Mennonites. A
Kidron Auction, 4885 Kidron Rd., 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.
What to do: Food shops
Hershberger's Farm and Bakery Ltd. (pictured), 5452 State-557, Millersburg. The selection of jams, jellies, fry pies and baked goods will amaze you.
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, 5060 State Route 557, 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, 6005 County-77, Millersburg. You'll find 50 varieties of cheese made from milk from local Amish farmers.
Kidron Town and Country Store, 4959 Kidron Rd., Kidron. The shop combines a grocery store, bulk food store, butcher shop, deli, pharmacy and dry goods store; the basement restaurant is a hidden gem.
Amish Country: Where to eat
Rebecca's Bistro (pictured), Walnut Creek. This old log cabin is a cozy restaurant where you'll find delicious tomato-basil soup and cream-filled coffee cake.
Boyd and Wurthmann Restaurant, 4819 E. Main St., Berlin. Since the 1930s, the restaurant has served old-fashioned American food: sirloin steak, liver and onions, chicken and noodles, and pies.
Cafe Breitenbach, 5934 Old State-39 NW, Dover. This spot at a family-owned winery is a fun place to try panini, salads and hearth-baked pizzas.
Der Dutchman Restaurant, 4967 Walnut St., Walnut Creek. The menu features traditional chicken, ham and roast beef dinners, as well as Amish standards such as homemade noodles, date pudding, and fruit and cream pies.
Tarragon, Inn at Honey Run in Millersburg. Huge windows showcase forest views, and the seasonal menu serves simple, fresh flavors.
Miller's Bakery, 4280 Township-356, Millersburg. Off of State-557, this has some of the area's best baked goods.
Troyer's Genuine Trail Bologna Inc., 6552 State-515, Dundee. The Troyer family has been making bologna since 1912, combining beef with spices then smoking it over a hardwood fire.
Amish Country: Where to stay
Premier Carriage House Cottages (pictured). Berlin. These lovely cottages each offer a whirlpool tub, king-size bed, gas fireplace, satellite TV and Wi-Fi.
Charm Countryview Inn, Charm. This country inn has 15 rooms (all with en suite baths), with old-fashioned quilts on the beds. You won't find TVs, Internet or phones. Wake to a homey breakfast and fruit slushes.