Spending a day in Amish Country Ohio is definitely worth the drive! There is so much to do that we struggled to fit it all in. We have visited other Amish areas in the country, but Holmes County is the biggest settlement of Amish in the United States and maybe the world. You are really immersed in the culture there!
A couple of things to note when planning your trip: Everything is closed on Sunday and you can’t take direct pictures of the old order Amish as they strictly forbid it. Some Amish are okay with it though- ask first!
Our first stop was Yoder’s Bargain Store (open 8-5).
This was our first taste of Amish culture. The store is inside a home. There were a couple of outhouses the public could use. An Amish man and his horse and buggy parked next to us and also went into the store. It was interesting to see what types of things they would sell. We wondered about technology and where they draw the line. You can see some of their wares in the photos below.
Next, we moved on to the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center (open 9-5).
There was a sign on the front of their building labeled “Behalt” meaning “to keep or remember”. We paid for a tour of their cyclorama where we were taught about the origins of the Amish. It was interesting to learn about the differences between the Amish and the Mennonites. Afterward, we had lunch at Rebecca’s Bistro (open 8-3). The food was amazing and the atmosphere was very cozy. I would say it is geared to adults, less for kids. Homemade complimentary banana bread was included with our meal!
From here we headed to Yoder’s Amish Home (open 10-5).
They offer buggy rides, but we just opted for the house and barn tour. It did not disappoint! The home was interesting but even more interesting was the blunt questions that our Amish guide was asked. She didn’t shy away from giving us the low down on everything from the differences between the various Amish groups, to Rumspringa, to teen pregnancy in their community. The other really neat part of the tour was visiting the animals in the barn. There were quite a few that had just been born!
Based on where we were at this point we probably would have visited the Age of Steam Roundhouse museum (open 9:30-3:30), Sweetwater Farm (open 8-4), and the David Warther Carvings (open 10-5) but we had a Groupon to see The Victorian House Museum (open 1-4) so we set out in that direction even though it was out of our way.
It was fascinating to learn the history of the old house, seeing that it was temporarily a sanitorium for the insane, and to cringe at the large art piece made out of human hair, but the best part of going out of our way is that we drove past…
Hershberger’s Bakery and Shops (open 7am-2 or 3pm depending).
We decided to stop in. This place really makes you feel like you are having an Amish experience. We split one of their delicious fry pies which were super good! This is not a place to go if you are on a diet! We also noticed the Guggisberg Cheese shop. They advertise free samples of award-winning cheese with a little history thrown in, but we weren’t sure how much time we had so we didn’t stop in. We should have!
We were off to Shrock’s Heritage Village.
The iconic “Tis the Season Christmas Shop” (open 10-6) is not to be missed. Along with Berlin Pet Supplies where you can play with a lot of different pets! Other shops include the Berlin Antique Mall, the Berlin Craft Mall, Berlin Leather and Shoe, and Streb’s General Store. After shopping, we headed over to the Farm at Walnut Creek (open 8:30-5:30). However, we couldn’t justify the cost. If we had kids with us then yes, but we opted out.
It was time to visit the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock of course!
There are lots of other things to do in Sugarcreek as well if you have the time. Including the Alpine Hills museum, but it was closed by the time we arrived. So, we stopped briefly at the clock and then were off to dinner at Boyd and Wuthmans. We were told that this is where the locals eat, so we opted for this place instead of the famous Der Dutchman. I can’t say which one would have been better! Our final destination was the Amish Country Theater. This show was very funny and edgier than expected! We were laughing the whole time!
We visited Amish country on a Saturday and considered staying overnight to watch all of the Amish people in their Sunday best heading out to church in the morning, but we decided to stay over in Marietta, Ohio for a visit. That’s for a future post!
I hope you enjoyed, “A Day In Amish Country Ohio”! Safe travels!