Travel

Exploring Ohio Amish Country

One of the many farms we passed along the country roads in Berlin, Ohio

Sometimes you need just a short trip out of town to relax and explore so I packed up the car with my kid and my parents and we headed off to Amish country. Most folks in the midwest know of several areas you can visit that offers a peek into the Amish lifestyle, my mom’s favorite is Berlin, Ohio so that was where we headed for short 3 day adventure. This is not a typical adventure that my daughter and I do, in fact we hadn’t been there in probably 9 years but I figured a few days for us both to unplug would be a good thing.

We stayed at the Berlin Grande hotel which was beautiful! The rooms were spacious and super clean, probably the cleanest hotel I’ve ever stayed in. With friendly staff, a salt water pool, hot tub, outside courtyard with plenty of seating to hang out and talk, plus a complimentary breakfast this hotel was more than worth the price. The added bonus is that you are walking distance to the Farmstead Restaurant, which was so good we ate there twice, and just a few short blocks from the main street in town with lots of shopping. Since it was over 90 degrees while we were there we drove to the main shopping area but it is absolutely walkable as well.

We were only there for one full day and two half days so there was a lot that we didn’t do but here were a few of our favorites. It’s not a trip to Berlin without a stop at Heini’s Cheese (even in a downpour). While you wander through their cheese section you get to try all of the yummy options, my hubby swears their Ghost Pepper Cheese is the best, my daughters favorite was the Pepperoni Cheese, or maybe the sharp Cheddar or was it the Butter Cheese…honestly she ended up loving a lot of them and she had so much fun trying them all. But don’t think they just have cheese, they have incredible homemade fudge that is so yummy we had to get some of that too.

After cheese shopping we were headed to Miller’s Bakery, which had my mom not been with me there is no way I would have found it on that back country road, to pick up donuts and bakery goods that are some of the best we ever tasted. Helpful hint, they almost always run out of powdered sugar donuts but you can call ahead to place an order and just let them know which day you will be there to pick them up. On the way back into town we passed a petting zoo so my animal obsessed daughter insisted we stop. She spent well over an hour wandering through and petting farm animals and holding bunnies. The area with the animals you could interact with was more than worth the cost of admission. She also wanted to ride the horse and when they say the horses are big, they are not exaggerating. She got to ride for a decent amount of time and had a lot of fun.

Overall, I think spending just a few days was the perfect amount of time unless you are a big shopper. In the past I had gone there to order a kitchen table, still in great shape after 9 years of abuse, but this trip was just to relax. There was more to do that we just didn’t have time but with having a kid that loves to be online it was just the right amount of time for her to “unplug” and get some swimming in. With that said, the hotel had free wi-fi and I only lost my phone signal once but we were way off the main path into some back roads and it was just in one spot. So even though we unplugged, we really didn’t have to it was just a choice we made. So head to Amish country, eat some incredible fresh food, do some shopping, enjoy the scenery and do some relaxing.

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