Explore Ohio: Amish Country
Driving through the winding, hilly roads of Amish Country, it is immediately clear you are no longer in the fast-paced city. Farm animals that us city-dwellers rarely get to see in person inhabit almost every pasture. Crops and plants fill the fields. Clean laundry hangs on clothes lines. Horses and buggies traverse the roads. A sense of peace floats in the calm air, reminding us that we are not within congested corporation limits, but instead breathing country air. Located just under two hours Northeast of Columbus, Ohio’s Amish Country is a popular destination for those living in and around Central Ohio. The towns of Millersburg, Berlin, Walnut Creek, Charm, and Sugarcreek are all located in close proximity to one another, allowing day-trippers to easily make the most of their time in Holmes County.
Recently, my husband and I had the opportunity to spend a few days exploring Amish Country. Below are a few of our favorite things we got to experience while there, which we’d recommend for anyone looking to explore Holmes County.
Millersburg Brewing Company
Located in the main strip of Millersburg, nestled among quilt shops and restaurants, is Millersburg Brewing Company. Although only six years old, the brewery has already made a name for itself. Their taproom, a collection of upcycled items and exposed brick, houses 12 beers on tap. Their most popular are Panther Hollow Vanilla Porter, Lot 21 Blonde (my two favorites) and French Ridge IPA. All of their beers have a local story behind their name and feature the local legend horse, Wild Rosie.
In 1955, Jay Lehman founded a hardware store to help supply the Amish with non-electric household items. Today, Lehman’s Hardware has grown into a staple in Amish Country. Located in Kidron, the store is comprised of several connected buildings. Although the store now also carries electric items, they are still committed to helping others live simply. Wood burning stoves, garden and yard tools, and hand-cranked butter churners are among the items Lehman’s carries. Additionally, they sell kitchen gadgets and appliances, oil lamp parts, hand-dipped candles, and pocket knives, to name a few. Antique items, such as sewing machines and old receipts, adorn the walls throughout the building. Lehman’s also boasts over 300 flavors of bottled soda, everything from bacon to sweet corn, as well as a huge variety of root beers. Guests can easily spend a few hours browsing the many departments, especially since the in-house café offers meals, drinks, and desserts.
Red Mug Coffee Co.
This small batch roaster can give Columbus coffee shops a run for their money. Located in Mt. Hope, Red Mug Coffee Company hosts a simple menu of handcrafted drinks and bakery items. The dark wood tables, comfy seating, Edison bulb lights, and succulents create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Their coffee was so good my husband immediately bought a bag to bring home with us.
Berlin Village Antique Mall
When hunting antiques, Berlin Village Antique Mall is a necessary stop. Conveniently located right on the main strip in Berlin, this two-story building is home to endless treasures. During our visit, we purchased a working 1958 Voigtlander camera. Also spotted in the Mall were Gone with the Wind collectors plates, a dress from the mid-1800s, genuine leather horse saddles, vintage posters, typewriters, and wooden furniture. This is a place that truly has something for everyone.
Hershberger’s Farm and Bakery
We went to Hershberger’s Farm and Bakery per a recommendation by a friend who grew up in the area. He claimed they had the most authentic, Amish cinnamon rolls we could find in the area. He was so right! We wanted to buy everything in the bakery, but we settled for apple cream cheese cinnamon rolls, chocolate crinkle cookies, and fruit fry pies. In addition to baked goods, the store has any kind of jelly and jam you could want, homemade maple syrup, and a range of snacks and candies. We also brought home a little bottle of Grade A dark amber maple syrup, which was made locally, and several jars of homemade jam. Outside of the bakery, Hershberger’s carries fresh fruit and plants, and has a food stand selling sandwiches, popcorn, and other treats. There is also a petting zoo which offers buggy rides and horseback rides.
If you want to turn your day trip into a weekend getaway, Amish County has no shortage of places to stay. Resorts and cabins are scattered throughout the area that provide guests with everything they need for a peaceful stay. There are also several AirBnBs available in the area. We opted for the AirBnB route and were so pleased with our small cabin. Nestled on a hill, we were surrounded by fields, trees, and flowers. The best part was being greeted every morning by the horses in the adjoining field.
Whether you are looking to explore the shopping and dining options or commune with nature, or a combination of the two, Amish Country has what you are looking for. Quaint, friendly, and relaxing, Amish Country is ready to be your next destination.