Ohio happens to be home to the largest Amish population in the United States. Flourishing since their move from Pennsylvania in 1808, places like Berlin, Ohio are full of Amish culture and history, with several attractions that draw visitors from around the world. Today, there are over 40,000 Amish living in Ohio, and Holmes County is home to roughly 11 separate affiliations ranging from the more progressive New Order Amish to the Old Order (the affiliation with the largest population). Each Amish affiliation has their own beliefs and ideas when it comes to schooling, farming, and technology. It can be interesting and fun to explore the nuances of each community.
In the heart of Holmes County, Berlin, Ohio is the epicenter of Amish culture. Here are some of the best attractions for those looking to learn on their Amish Country vacation.
5 Key Attractions Celebrating Amish Culture
1. Behold, Behalt! This is a must-see attraction in Berlin, OH — it has been called “The Sistine Chapel of the Amish and Mennonites.” Behalt is a 10-foot tall, 265-foot-long cyclorama depicting Amish history, beginning in the year 1525 in Switzerland. The mural is located in the Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center, which offers guided tours of Behalt, a short film about the local community, and a collection of cultural artifacts including a Conestoga wagon.
2. Step Back in Time at the German Culture Museum. Visit the German Culture Museum in Walnut Creek to see a snippet of Amish life in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The museum spotlights the settlements surrounding Berlin and the development of the 11 unique Amish affiliations in Holmes County. The museum also tells the story of Jonas Stutzman, the first settler in Walnut Creek and the “Father of Ohio’s Amish Country.”
3. Get Your Buggy On Yoder’s Amish Home. Stop by Yoder’s Amish Home to see a real Amish home in working order. Tour guides will lead you around, navigating two homes and a barn full of animals. Be sure to take a peek in the Schoolhouse to see their resourceful adaptation of the modern copy machine. Can they really make it work without electricity? See for yourself. The family also offers buggy rides, and the farm includes a bakery and a gift shop.
4. Celebrate Style at the Victorian House. The Victorian House Museum sits at home on the National Register of Historic Places and offers a lesson in history and Victorian sensibilities. The Queen Ann style home boasts 28 rooms and collections exhibiting Victorian and Holmes County history, and is open for self-guided tours.
5. Become a Local at the Kidron Livestock Auction. Plug your nose and step into the oldest livestock market in Ohio at the Kidron Livestock Auction. For those who want to be right in the middle of everyday Amish culture, this is the place to be. This attraction brings Amish and English (the word for non-Amish) together every Thursday to auction hay and livestock. For those less agriculturally-inclined, there is also a flea market.
Once all the running around Amish Country is done, wash off, kick up your feet and relax at the Inn at Honey Run, located just minutes from the top Amish attractions. Take note of the Amish culture and turn off technology in one of our comfortable rooms or cottages.