Experience Ohio Amish Country Tips

Wade Wilcox Photo - used by permission

The following list of "Amish Country Tips" are things we've learned over the years. Some things we've learned the hard way. Others we've sort of stumbled upon. Hopefully, these "Amish Country Tips" will help save you from missing out on the things you'll want to experience!

  • Best Times
  • Bargains
  • Must See
  • Picture Perfect
  • Samples
  • Courtesies
  • Best Maps
  • Best Times

  • The best time of year to go - if you want to avoid crowds - is between December and March. You can often get great rates and good deals on lodging during these times as well!

  • Tourism picks up beginning in April and is busiest in the Fall from September through October.

  • The best time of year to go - if you want to see the most beauty - is in the Fall with the changing of the leaves. Unfortunately that's the busiest time!

  • The best time of the week to avoid crowds is Monday through Thursday. Fridays and Saturdays are busiest.

  • Don't plan to do much on a Sunday, most places are closed Sundays as it is their day of rest and worship.


  • Most Amish and Mennonite businesses are also closed on Good Friday (the Amish actually have church on Good Friday), Ascension Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and some national holidays that don't normally occur on a Sunday.

  • Plan your day ahead of time. To get an early start - consider spending the night before your big tour day. Many shops do not open until 10:00 a.m. and most places of business close at 5:00 p.m.

  • Shop and browse till 5:00 p.m. and then go eat - restaurants are about the only thing open past 5:00 p.m. The shops affiliated with both Carlisle Inn locations and only a few non-Amish businesses are open later.

    Amish Country Tips

    Looking For Bargains? Want The Best Value?

  • Some of the lodging establishments offer "Winter" or "Walk-in Rates." This is usually from November through March and is for Sunday through Thursday nights. Friday and Saturday nights are normally busier and are excluded from these specials. Be sure to call ahead to see what specials may be available.

  • Don't be afraid to ask lodging establishments (especially the smaller ones) for a better deal! If it's an off day or time of year ask them if they will come down. If you're staying more than one night see if they'll give you an extra break. Tell them what you're looking for and see if they'll work something out for you. It never hurts to ask - they are better off filling a room for less than not having it filled at all.

  • We've found that eating "Family-Style" is often the best deal - and the best meal - at many restaurants. It usually includes beverage and desert with different choices of meats. All together it's cheaper than ordering off the regular menu.

  • Some restaurants have all-you-can-eat buffets on different evenings - or at least an evening special - so call ahead to find out. This is often an even better value than the "Family-Style."

  • Want huge ice cream cones? The Mud Valley Creamery at Walnut Creek Cheese gives a more than generous portion to their scoop size.


  • If you eat at an Amish Restaurant with a bakery or stop at an Amish or Mennonite bakery on a Saturday afternoon/evening, you'll find a special bonus - since they are not open the next day, they will often discount items for quick sale!

  • If you want heirloom quality furniture - pieces that will last beyond a lifetime and become tomorrow's antiques, you must check into Amish crafted furniture. "Amish Made" has become a brand of its own synonymous with the best in quality hardwood furniture.

    Amish Country Tips

    Must See

  • Don't just stick to the main highways - get adventurous -you'll be amazed at what you can find off the beaten trail!

  • Follow the little signs as well as the big ones - many Amish & Mennonite homes have some type of home-based business you'll enjoy.

  • If you want to see cheese being made, it's best to go during the week and early in the day. They don't usually make it on Saturdays, and are often done by afternoon.


  • While driving through Amish Country - Slow Down! Many of the roads twist and turn around hills and you never know when you might come upon a slow moving buggy or wagon. Some of the Amish and Mennonites ride bicycles and many walk as well. Besides, the views are so beautiful there's no sense in speeding past so much wonderful scenery!

    Amish Country Tips

    Picture Perfect

  • If you're a photography buff - remember to respect the privacy of the Amish and their way of life. Most Amish do not believe in posing to have their picture taken, nor do they like pictures being taken up close or in a way that singles out an individual adult.


  • Speaking of pictures - if you want some really great views, the Walnut Creek area of Holmes County has some of the most breath-taking scenery. The Der Dutchman Restaurant overlooks a beautiful valley of Amish fields and farms.

  • Another hidden gem is the view from the parking lot behind the Holmes County Expo Center. It overlooks the gorgeous (though oddly-named) Mud Valley. It is especially beautiful in the fall!

    Amish Country Tips

    Would You Like To Try A Sample?

    Of course I would, wouldn't you! And we have - so here's a list of just some of the places we've found that offer free samples of great tasting goodies:

    * End of the Commons General Store - offering samples of some of the jams, jellies and cheeses they sell.

    * Guggisberg Cheese - samples of a wide variety of cheeses made from Holmes County Amish farm-fresh milk. Watch it being made.


    * Heini's Cheese House & Country Mall - sample over 50 different Amish cheeses - including yogurt cheese! Their all natural cheese is artisan made from 100% hormone-free, Amish farm milk. Watch it being made. Be sure to check out their cheese history mural and gift shop while you're there.

    * Swiss Village Bulk Food Store - samples vary from day to day: fresh-ground peanut butter, relishes, meats, cheeses and more.

    * Troyer's Country Market - sample meats, cheeses, fudge, ice cream & more!

    * Walnut Creek Cheese - sample their jams, jellies, mustards, cheese, meats and of course ice cream.

    Amish Country Tips

    Amish Country Courtesies

  • Respect for private property - You are certainly welcome to go anywhere signs advertise shops, attractions or events. But remember to respect the Amish people's personal and private property.


  • Exercise some horse sense - Amish horses can't travel as fast as a car. Don't honk your horn when passing or use high-beam headlights when approaching. Don't try feeding a horse at a hitching rail or harnessed to a buggy. It's best not to try petting a horse either, at least not without the owner's permission.

  • Respect their personal space - The Amish are a quiet and simple people who do not wish to be seen as tourist attractions. They would rather be known for their work ethic, family values and deep religious faith. Rather than "cornering" them on the street, feel free to chat with those who are shop owners and artisans who welcome guests to their shops.

    Amish Country Tips

    Want more "Amish Country Tips?" - keep checking back, we'll be adding more over time!

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