Travelers can immerse themselves in a different way of life by touring Ohio's Amish Country, situated in the northeastern corner of the state and mostly centered in and around Holmes County.
While the Amish live simply, tourists can avail themselves of modern-day accommodation choices such as hotels and inns with wifi and TVs, or they can rent a cabin or cottage in the woods or live out of their RV in one of several area parks.
In any of those cases, visitors will become accustomed to seeing Amish families getting around in horse-drawn carriages and even plowing their fields with horses. The Amish community arrived in Ohio in the early 19th century, having settled in Pennsylvania a century earlier.
Ohio's Holmes County has the largest population of Amish in the U.S., totaling around 42 percent of the population. Across Ohio, there are some 60,000 Amish, with the major Amish communities found in Berlin, Charm, Fredericksburg, Millersburg, Sugarcreek, Walnut Creek, and Winesburg.
A bit of background: Amish refers to a Protestant group who originally were Mennonites. Jakob Amman founded the group, and the word Amish derives from his name.
Most of the Amish in Ohio and elsewhere are dependent on agriculture and do not use cars, phones, or electricity. Visitors will see vast farmlands in this region of Ohio, and many family-friendly activities for visitors are centered around farming.
Contemporary Hotels And Inns Offer Modern Lodgings
The town of Millersburg offers several accommodation choices.
The Berlin Grand Resort has all of the comforts of home, including fitness and sports amenities such as a large fitness center with an indoor pool, hot tub and sauna, racquetball court, and its own movie theater. Rates start at about $150 per night.
The Holiday Inn Express & Suites is located on the main road, Highway 62, and offers easy access to stores and restaurants. The 72-room property is roughly one mile from historic downtown Millersburg. Room rates start at $137 per night.
Visitors who prefer a more cozy atmosphere can check out Schrock's Guest House, a recently remodeled property located within walking distance of the Berlin Antique & Craft Malls. Its rates start at $209 per night.
In nearby Sugarcreek, the Dutch Host Inn offers lodging for about $85 per night. Its furnishings are the work of local Amish craftsmen, and the property offers modern conveniences.
Park Your RV And Enjoy Life In A Campground
Travelers who arrive in Ohio Amish Country in their own recreational vehicles have several choices of RV parks in rural locations. Most offer multiple sites and full hook-up services. Family activities are available as well, including swimming, canoeing, hiking, and horseback riding.
Scenic Hills RV Park in Millersburg rents sites starting at $40 per night. It has 112 full hookup sites, is pet friendly, and provides wifi access. Amish shops are a short drive away.
At Baylor Beach Park in Navarre, RV campers can take advantage of the park's two-acre swimming and water sports lake, where activities include paddle boats and aqua bikes. The park also has a mini-golf course. Baylor Beach sites cost $44 per night, and water sports rentals cost extra.
Cozy Cabins Can Enhance Your Amish Country Visit
Cabin and cottage rentals are abundant in Ohio Amish Country. In Millersburg, Ferngully Creek offers several cabins that can accommodate couples as well as large families. Located in serene woodlands, the cabins are just a few minutes drive from restaurants, coffee shops, and many stores. The cabins, which start at $275 per night, are constructed of Michigan white cedar logs and have gas fireplaces, king beds, and a Jacuzzi.
Briarwood Cabins, located in nearby Walnut Creek in the heart of Amish country, offers full kitchens, wifi, outdoor hot tubs, TV/DVD, gas grills, and even washer/dryers. Rates start at $209 per night.
Visitors looking to go off the grid can choose the Deer Trace Cabin in Dundee. Located deep in the woods, renters can view wildlife, relax around a picnic table or outdoor fire pit, and play yard games. The cabin has a kitchen, bedroom, living room, and a loft area with bunk beds. The rate is $228 per night.
Family Activities Put Farming Front And Center
Once the lodgings are taken care of, tourists can choose from a wide variety of activities, including museum visits and shopping, but since Ohio's Amish Country is focused on farms and farming, families can choose to experience farms up close.
One place to do that is at Majestic Meadows, a 20-acre farm in Medina that raises alpacas and other animals.
Open pastures and fields are home to 70 alpacas, llamas, miniature cows, horses and donkeys, sheep, goats, two red kangaroos, miniature potbellied pigs, a dromedary camel, and a tortoise. A self-guided tour costs $10 per person. The farm also offers a program for children ages 8 to 14 called Farmer For A Day.
Youngsters can experience hands-on learning about the animals and are given a farm t-shirt to wear and take home. During the program, they'll use a two-way radio and learn how to communicate and work as a team. The three-hour session costs $100 per child.
Another way to learn about how the Amish live is through a tour called Tour Yoder's Amish Home. This Millersburg attraction offers tours of a historic home, barn, and school and includes a buggy ride. The cost is $13 for adults and $9 for children. Visitors can pet the farm animals and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the property.