Amish country is mainly in the states of Pennsylvania and Ohio, and is a special community of people that have not lost their way of life from hundreds of years ago. The Amish speak "Pennsylvania Dutch," which is related to Swiss German. Visiting Amish country is very relaxing: in the countryside, you can unplug and slow down to a slower pace of life while appreciating the beautiful handiwork that the Amish sell in their stores. You'll find handcrafted furniture, hand-sewn quilts, and smaller items like potholders, pillowcases, or kitchen aprons that you can bring back home.
We recommend the following seven attractions in Amish country, but make sure to drive down some side roads during your visit. Chances are that you'll see a buggy (a horse and carriage) on the road ahead of you, or a fruit and vegetable stand on the side of the road. Take time to stop and appreciate your surroundings, because you never know what you might find!
7 Attractions In Amish Country That You Should Visit
1. Heini’s Cheese Chalet
With complimentary samples of over 70 different types of cheese, Heini’s Cheese Chalet in Millersburg, Ohio is the perfect Amish getaway. The establishment offers a gift shop, fudge shop, and retail store for those needing a gift or two to bring home. Visitors can watch a cheese making video as they sample cheese made with milk from local Amish dairy farms. This shop is the primary outlet for local Amish farms in the region.
2. Schrock’s Amish Farm and Village
There is so much to do at Schrock’s in Berlin, Ohio, that you’ll be left wishing for more hours in the day. Visitors can get an authentic Amish buggy ride, take a self-guided tour of an Amish home, and shop at an antique mall. Kids will love petting the farm animals and exploring the inner workings of an Amish farm, including an up-close look at milking the cows and shoeing the horses. The farm and village is located in the heart of Amish country, with peaceful ponds and beautiful wooded areas to prove it.
3. Plain and Fancy
Located just outside Lancaster, Plain and Fancy in Bird In Hand, Pennsylvania, is an Amish destination for those looking to experience the Amish lifestyle. The on-site restaurant has been featured on the Travel Channel and has been proudly serving up farm-to-table food since 1959. You’ll get your money’s worth, as their farm feast includes scratch made golden-fried chicken, roast beef, chicken pot pie, mashed potatoes, vegetable medley, and a plethora of desserts and beverages. If you’re coming for the whole day, check out their country homestead which contains the county’s only designated “Heritage Site”. Or, catch a flick at their theater where you can watch an educational and entertaining video about the Amish lifestyle. You can always stay the night if you just don’t have enough time to explore it all, as the village has the AmishView Inn & Suites.
4. Broad Run Cheesehouse
Not only does this Dover, Ohio cheese house offer complimentary samples to visitors, it also boasts Swiss Heritage Winery where you can try 5 wines for $1. Talk about a bargain! While trying the wines, you’ll be seated at a countertop filled with savory dips, spread, and cheeses from the cheese house. The place is chock full of gifts for sale, and employees are dressed in traditional Swiss attire. For a great getaway inside Amish country, this is a great place to go.
5. Riehl’s Quilts & Crafts
Sam and Susie Riehl’s farm is much more than that, it is also home to over 200 quilts, wall hangings, pillows, dolls, and a variety of homemade crafts. More than 100 local craft businesses sell their items in the Riehl’s store, so the selection is incredible. If you’re looking for a quilt to put on your bed at home or a gift to give, chances are you’ll find both at Riehl’s Quilts and Crafts.
6. Peaceful Valley Furniture
With a display room full of handcrafted furniture for both homes and cabins, Peaceful Valley offers visitors plenty to see. The sales associates are known to be some of the friendliest people in the store, helping guests with any questions they have but not pushing them toward buying something. Most items are handmade from hardwood or pine, so the quality is high. This is a great place to stop in and see some authentic Amish furniture.
7. Kauffman’s Fruit Farm & Market
Driving along the Old Philadelphia Pike, a AAA-designated Scenic Byway, you might stumble upon Kauffman’s Fruit Farm and Market in Bird In Hand, and you’ll be glad you did. This market offers a variety of local, seasonal fruits and produce but also an assortment of bulk foods and specialties. From homegrown apples and peaches to apple-cider donuts and a deli-section, this place is the perfect stop for something to eat now or take home for later. Kauffman’s Sweet Apple Cider has beaten out 20 other entries in the Mid-Atlantic Fruit & Vegetable Convention to consistently claim the title of #1 cider.
This article was written by Julianne Aiello.