As a theology scholar interested in learning about the Amish people and other non-traditional religious groups, one of my best experiences as I research and learn more about people and the world has been interacting with and living with the Amish people. I’d been asked about the Amish by my theology students several times, many of who wanted to know if all the many TV dramas that perceive them as an isolated, backward community were true. To put all the myths to rest, I took a trip to Ohio and lived in the community in one of the small towns where I learned all about the Amish people and what to expect from the many Amish Ohio towns. So, what is the best Amish town in Ohio?
Millersburg and Berlin, Fleming, Charm, Negley, Glenmont, Loudonville, Lucas, Mansfield, and Wooster are some of the best Amish towns between Columbus and Cleveland. Amish Country Ohio is found in Northeast-Central Ohio and boasts the largest Amish Community worldwide. These towns are not only the most stunning and quaint Amish towns but also culturally and religiously rich towns that will give you an actual insight into the Amish people.
In this article, I’ll share more insights into what the best Amish towns in Ohio offer and what to expect. So, keep reading as we delve deeper into these Amish towns, the languages spoken, and even the best day to travel to the Ohio Amish Country.
What is the best day to go to Amish Country, Ohio?
When planning a trip to Ohio’s Amish Country, I’d recommend being there on Fridays or Saturdays because the towns come alive on these days. These are the busiest days, and you will see so much more these towns offer. Avoid visiting on Sunday since most places would be closed unless you just want to feel the quiet offered by the Ohio towns.
In terms of the season of the year to travel to Amish Country Ohio, the best time to travel and feel the experience of Amish Country Ohio would be in Fall because the weather is just perfect for exploring and with the landscape taking on the best of fall colors. I was there in October, and I cannot think of a better time to recommend a trip to this part of the country. With all the activities scheduled for Fall, like the Swiss Festival hosted in Sugarcreek and the Antique Festivals in Millersburg, there couldn’t be any better time for you to experience the charm and beauty of the towns while encapsulated in the authentic Amish traditions and cultures that teach you so much more than you could ever imagine.
Which city in Ohio has the most Amish?
The Ohio city with the largest Amish population is Sugarcreek in Tuscarawas County, with over 93,263 Amish people. This city is not only idyllic but also the best place to visit and live among the Amish people. Located in the middle of the Amish Country, Sugarcreek boasts breathtaking sceneries and hosts several holiday events.
Next is Berlin, an Ohio city also located right at the center of Ohio in Holmes County, with a total population of about 44,223 people. Picturesque Berlin is also the most famous city in Ohio, and you’re sure to live the most authentic Amish Country experience. Holmes County boasts more than 40% of the total Amish people population. You may also like to visit Walnut Creek in Holmes County. All these cities promise the most natural experience with the Amish and boast the largest Amish populations.
In terms of counties to visit, Holmes County, established in 1824, carries the bulk of the Amish people in Amish Country, Ohio, and it has not only the biggest number of Amish people but also the second-largest Amish population in North America.
Second in line is Geauga County, with the 4th largest Amish population in the country and over 80 districts. You also have Swartzentruber Amish, Ashland & Medina, Knox, Nebraska Amish, and other Small Ohio communities like the over 100-year-old Plain City and Hicksville Amish communities.
What language do Amish people speak in Ohio?
The Amish people residing in Amish Country, Ohio, speak in a German dialect called Pennsylvania German or Pennsylvania Dutch. This German dialect is spoken by the Past, Present, and Future Old Order Amish, and the dialect is notably close to the standard version of German but with some Dutch and local influencers. Additionally, the Amish also speak and understand modern English (Denglish) and Swiss-derived German.
Regarding the languages they can read, the Amish read Pennsylvania Dutch (Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch), which bears English elements.
5 Best Towns to Visit in Amish Country, Ohio
Also called the Village of Sugarcreek, Sugarcreek City boasts the largest Amish population in Ohio, and it offers a rich cultural experience. Sugarcreek stands out because of its unique blend of Amish and Swiss heritages and features attractions such as the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock, the Alpine Hills Museum, and the Age of Steam Roadhouse.
This picturesque hillside city in Ohio’s Amish Country boasts the largest Amish population worldwide, and it is known for continuing to honor its Swiss roots through festivals like the Ohio Swiss Festival that takes place in the Fall, as well as the fact that Sugarcreek is also known as The Little Switzerland of Ohio. Walking through the town will leave you in awe as you come across the fantastic Swiss architecture and the endless idyllic murals on storefronts.
You’ll learn much about Amish history at the Alpine Hills Museum at the Swiss Village Corridor off Rt 39. It would be best if you also popped into the Swiss Village corridor to experience the pub food, their food stores, and restaurants, perhaps snag an Amish-made quilt or craft pieces and collectibles, and so much more. The buggies will help you explore deeper into Sugarcreek, and you’ll get a feel of what real Amish living feels like.
Berlin and Millersburg
As one of Amish Country’s cities with a large Amish population, Berlin and Millersburg should be on top of your travel list since they give an actual Amish feel while allowing you to learn all there is to know about the Amish people, culture, and traditions. These are made possible by the Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center. This large center lends its visitors all the knowledge needed for a deep understanding of the Amish, Mennonite, and Hutterite communities and their beliefs. Some of the exhibits in the center include a traditional barn depiction from Pennsylvania and the Cyclorama Painting, and an Amish school.
You could also buy Arts and Crafts by the Amish people from Sol’s Palace, in the sprawling mall full of booths selling candles, quilts, pottery, and furniture. You can find more furniture at Schrock’s Heritage Ville.
To enjoy the local delicacies, visit Boyd & Wurthmann, which has been open since 1938. This fine establishment is known for its changing menu featuring authentic Amish dishes like chicken-fried steak cooked in traditional dandelion gravy and meatloaf. In the next city of Millersburg, you could have a full craft cheese experience at the Bunker Hill Cheese Chalet, which is family-run and has been using cheese from the local Amish farms since 1935.
And for music and performances, the Berlin Farmstead would be a welcome sight, given the presence of theaters and talented artists ready to wow you.
Though it appears to be a smaller town, Loudonville is a gateway to the best parts of Amish Country in Ohio, and you will enjoy access to the 1100-acre Mohican State Park that is home to the historic grist mill, stunning waterfalls, the covered bridge, as well as miles of hiking or mountain biking trails.
It’s best to visit Loudonville during the warmer months since you can have the whole Shipley’s Canoe Livery experience, where you will get a feel of the tavern, the canoe outfitting, and the campground. A 3-7-mile guided trip takes you down the river, culminating in a pizza-sharing experience and camping by the riverfront.
Also called in Holmes County, Walnut Creek is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the full Amish Country living thanks to the town’s setup at the heart of the Ohio Amish Country. It’s a rural town that gives you an experience with the local Amish people. This town is picturesque, and you may never want to leave because you’ll get to interact with the locals, indulge in their hearty meals, and even have a great experience of their cuddly little goats roaming through the town and their expansive fields. For the best of this chance to commune with nature, the Farm at Walnut Creek would be a great place to start your trip.
Though tucked away in Ohio’s Northeastern Middleton Township, Negley is famous for its rustic appeal and the quaint little shops and stores all around. You will experience the Youngstown and Southern Railway Stop and the post office, among other small shops and stores that allow you easily interact with the locals. Negley is located in Columbiana County and is a must-visit for that old-town charm.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.