Less than 100 miles from where we live in central Ohio, you have some of the most beautiful farms in the United States. All of which are maintained by the Amish community.
You are able to explore the unique culture of the Amish with a vacation in central Ohio, home of the world’s largest Amish community. Enjoy beautiful scenery, visit an Amish farm, savor homemade foods and listen for the clip-clop of a buggy. And be sure to Shop for handmade quilts, artwork and furniture in Millersburg, Berlin or Walnut Creek; all far from the city lights of Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, Canton and Pittsburgh.
You can just feel yourself "unwinding" as you drive down the country roads and rolling hills. Once you get here, you will understand why this is the 2nd most visited tourist destination in the state of Ohio. There is something special in these rolling landscapes.
Ohio Amish Country is a 3-5 county area of Ohio where approximately 40,000 Amish people live and work. It consists of Holmes County, where nearly half the county's residents are Amish, plus Tuscarawas Coshocton, and Wayne Counties. Ohio Amish Country is located in the rolling hills of east-central Ohio.
There is much to do in Ohio Amish Country. Like I mentioned above, the scenery and landscapes are one of the top reasons people come. But there are others: Restaurants - mostly Amish cookin' made from "scratch". Antique Shops, Crafts, Cheese - (some of the best cheese in the US is made here), Quilts which is not only a way of life, but also a piece of art. And the farms are filled with Horses. (There are more horses than people in Ohio Amish Country.) Farmer's Auctions, Furniture - heirloom quality furniture made by the Amish and Lodging - B & Bs, hotels, motels, camping, are all available.
Find that Shopping in unique one-of-a-kind shops throughout the area will help you discover more of their Culture and find out what the Amish do and why they do it.
And O yes, don’t forget to visit the Bakeries where home-made pastries that melt in your mouth are still baked.
But most of all you will find the people to be honest, friendly and hard-working folks.
This is such a unique area, that most people think they can come and see it in a day or two. Big mistake! You need to plan at least a few days, or come back every couple months like some people do. Visit on weekdays and Saturdays when Amish owned businesses are in full operation. Sunday is a day reserved for church and family. Their businesses will not be open on Sundays. However, the scenic roadways are always open. Come view the natural beauty of rolling hills and groomed farmsteads. On Sundays you will see Amish families in buggies traveling the roads between church services and family visitation.
Most people have heard of Berlin and Millersburg, but what about Charm, Farmerstown, Baltic, Walnut Creek, Winesburg, Becks Mills and New Bedford? Each town has its own set of unique features.
And I never go into that area without visiting the village of Sugarcreek. Nestled in the rolling hills of Tuscarawas County, this Ohio town is proud to trace its heritage back to numerous Swiss and German settlers. It is not only a part of Ohio’s Amish Country, but known as the “Little Switzerland of Ohio.”
I would recommend that when you visit Ohio, to include the Amish country that I have described above.
From my weekly column
Dr. Alton Loveless is the former CEO/President of Randall House Publications, Nashville, Tn.; He is a freelance writer and has written for assorted publications printed both nationally and internationally. To see photos and read other stories click on http://altonloveless.blogspot.com