Bring the boys to Ohio's Amish Country
by Ohio's Amish Country
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Spending a weekend in Amish Country isn't just for couples and families. This scenic portion of Ohio is the home to many attractions for a weekend away with the boys, no matter what the season.
If you plan on spending multiple days among the Amish, you may be interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the Amish culture and lifestyle. Before venturing deep into Amish Country, stop by the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center in Berlin for a complete look inside the Amish and Mennonite community, and the history behind it all. With a 265-foot mural-in-the-round depicting local life and culture, 'Behalt' is America’s most exciting cyclorama on the Amish faith and can be found inside the center. Visitors can enjoy videos of local life and culture, as well as browse the gift shop, bookstore and displays throughout the center. An early visit to here gives you a great perspective and appreciation for the rest of your time spent in Amish Country.
For a relaxing time in one of the most picturesque places around, spend some time golfing at one of the area's courses, whether it's Black Diamond or Fire Ridge, both in Millersburg, or beyond. Both your mind and body will be challenged as you work your way through the greens and fairways, having some laughs with the guys and experiencing the breathtaking views of Ohio's Amish Country. Many courses offer special pricing throughout the week and lodging opportunities right on the property for easy access on a daily basis. Black Diamond offers 18 holes, a driving range, bent grass fairways, and was rated as the number seven course in Ohio by Golf Week Magazine, and appeared in the top 25 in Golf Digest Magazine 2012. Fire Ridge also offers 18 holes on well-maintained greens and is a great place for golfers of all skill levels. Take some time to perfect your game while visiting Amish Country, and don't miss out on some of the most challenging and enjoyable golfing in the state.
Before you continue the rest of your vacation, stop by one of the area's finest shops for some trusted supplies. If you couldn't find the perfect pair of boots before your trip to Amish Country, you'll need not worry now that you're here. Make a stop at Charm Harness & Boot, where shoppers not only find everything in footwear, but can repair their existing shoes with custom and reliable work. Charm Harness & Boot offers everything from hiking and upper-end fur-lined boots, to Western styles and options to fit any occasion for both women and men. The customer-oriented store and friendly employees helps each and every customer find the perfect fit. You'll be telling your friends about this one, located right across from Keim Lumber in the quaint village of Charm.
Try out your new boots at Dutchman's Hunting Paradise. This guaranteed hunt isn't as easy as it sounds on rugged acreage southeast of Millersburg. Although big trophy bucks are lurking around all corners of Amish Country, it's still a challenge to see who can bag the biggest. Fair chase rules apply at Dutchman's, but no permits or licenses are required. Packages, which include food and lodging, are available, as well as velvet hunts in August and September.
Perhaps you just can't get enough of the beautiful countryside in Ohio's Amish Country. You won't want to miss something completely unique to this part of Ohio - The Holmes County Trail. This surefire way to leave the hustle and bustle of city life behind, the recreational trail is the nation's first to accommodate Amish buggies and now has 15 miles of it's 29-mile trail open from Fredericksburg to Killbuck. Bring your bikes, rollerblades or tennis shoes for a little outdoor exercise, or utilize the adjoining buggy and equestrian trail. The trail boasts itself as a great place to connect and reconnect with each other surrounded by nature's most beautiful landscape.
Because you'll have spent most of your morning clubs in hand or hiking through the hills, relax, take a seat and enjoy an evening race at nearby Hilltop Speedway, found south of Millersburg and east of Killbuck. Showcasing the best in dirt track racing, including the Holmes Tire Late Models, modifieds, Guerne Heights Mini Stocks, street stocks and Atom Pest Control Trucks, a Saturday night out at the track is a great way to spend your time in Amish Country. Originally opened in the 1950s, guests to Hilltop can hear the roar of the engines as they sit and chat with race fans about the best in local racing.
Canton is one of the more bustling spots in Ohio's Amish Country, but with that comes a large variety of fun for the guys. In North Canton, the Center Ice Sports Complex is a state-of-the-art facility that boasts a NHL-sized ice arena, outdoor street hockey area and on-ice broomball. Hit the indoor rink, which measures 200-feet-by-85-feet with room for 500 spectators, and cool off with an intense matchup between you and your buddies. Tours of the facility are available, and most groups skate for an hour and a half, followed by a 20-minute educational tour of the facility.
MAPS Air Museum is also located in North Canton. This non-profit organization is dedicated to educating people about the history of aviation and its impact upon society. The museum is full of restored and preserved exhibits of aviation culture. Trained tour guides will take you through the museum, showcasing the 28 military aircraft in various stages of restoration, from a 1908 glider from World War I to a C-47 from the Korean War, as well as a Gallery of Heroes, which displays artifacts from the nation's military conflicts.
Spend some time at one of the most popular attractions in the nation, found right in Canton, Ohio - the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As the premier sports museum and show place, this stop is the perfect way to start the day. The Hall of Fame offers packages surrounding their biggest events, but whether in town during the Enshrinement Festival or just stopping by for a trip through the museum, there's always plenty to see and do. Check out the stats of pro football's biggest names, from Jim Thorpe to Deion Sanders, and see first-hand how the game has evolved throughout the years. Chat with fellow football fans as you tour the facility, where you'll find mementos from both historic and modern players.
It's a car lover's paradise at the Canton Classic Car Museum, just down the road from the Hall of Fame. Established in 1978 by the late Marshall Belden Sr., the museum houses 45 rare and unusual classic and special interest automobiles. Surrounded by other historical memorabilia, visitors to this museum will not only find vintage vehicles, but steam engines, movie posters, photography, and more. Open seven days a week, this stop is perfect when most Amish shops are closed on Sundays. If you're looking for a 1932 Chrysler Customer Imperial or a 1970 Plymouth Super Bird, or something else in between, you'll find it at the Canton Classic Car Museum.
For a truly unique experience, visit the Blue Water Majesty Museum, just down the road. Here you can see amazing works of art, ship models made of exotic woods handcrafted the same way ships from hundreds of years ago were. Each ship is made with the utmost attention to detail and never stained, so that the natural beauty of the wood can come through and be recognized.
Just because you're with the guys, doesn't mean you can't do a little a shopping. Stop in at the Buzzbin Art & Music Shop on Cleveland Avenue in Canton, the heart of the Canton Arts District, to find the best in T-shirts, vinyl records, books, gifts and more. Also known as the headquarters for Northeast Ohio's wildly popular what-to-do paper, Buzzbin Magazine, free live music is a regular occurrence. Full of color and music, vinyls are available for both playing and retro art, music is constantly playing, and racks of trendy, freshly print shirts are always available.
Maybe you want to experience Amish Country from a little different perspective. On I-77, to the east of Amish Country's center, you'll run into Adventure Harley Davidson in Dover, a full service dealership for all your motorcycle needs. Harley enthusiasts come for miles to shop the 38,500-square-foot showroom full of beautiful bikes and accessories. With more than 100 new and pre-owned motorcycles and rentals available, pick up a ride for the weekend and enjoy the hills of Ohio's Amish Country while feeling the wind in your face. Events are hosted throughout the riding season, so check it out for a fun time with all your fellow bikers.
Whether on two wheels or four, make you way to Wood's Tall Timber Lake Resort, a 157-acre area with a lake and beach, camping and cottages, a resort with clubhouse, and more. The guys will stay busy all day long, whether soaking up the sun by the lake, checking out the target range, hiking through the scenic trails, or loading up on supplies at the bait shop. Boasting a putt-putt course, as well as Woodpecker Par 3 Golf Course, you better bring your clubs while at this stop on your tour. Wood's Tall Timber Lake also offers a leather shop, stables, Lisa's Saloon and more, all conveniently located right outside the overnight cottages.
For those who enjoy the color of camouflage or miss their hunting dogs back home, Coulters Dog & Hunting Supply will satisfy any outdoorsman. Offering outerwear from CoreTec, SilverTec and more, available in multiple patterns ranging from snowfall pink, mixed pine, conceal green, flooded timber and several others, if they don't have it, owner Larry Coulter will find it for you. With a down-home approach to selling animal supplies, service and prices are one of a kind and hard to beat in this New Philadelphia shop.
If the weather is anything but warm and sunny, you may want to spend some time indoors. You can easily visit Dover and it's gem, Warther Museum. Ask for Mark Warther as your tour guide and get to know the history of his grandfather, Ernest "Mooney" Warther, a man known as "The World's Master Carver." Today, second, third and fourth generation family members have expanded their Swiss chalet-style museum into an amazing state-of-the-art facility. The museum showcases the 64 ebony, ivory and walnut train carvings created by Mooney Warther, a one-of-a-kind collection that has been appraised by the Smithsonian Institution as a “priceless work of art.” In the summer months, stroll through the Swiss-style flower gardens to the Button House, where Mooney's wife Frieda compiled a collection of over 73,000 buttons arranged in beautiful designs on the walls and ceiling, or stop for a visit in the original Warther home for a trip back to the 1920s. The Warther family also continues to make kitchen cutlery, some of the finest you will ever see.
Travel to Sugarcreek, where nestled in the heart of Ohio's Swiss Village, you'll find Collectors Decanters & Steins. Offering a wide selection of classic and collectible decanters and other unique items, this local shop features the state's largest decanter museum, with over 3,000 unique works of art. With more than 80 different brands represented, the avid collector will enjoy tributes to Elvis Presley, Bob Hope and Marilyn Monroe, as well as limited editions of Ski Country Decanters. Guests can take a tour through the museum, which is free with any purchase.
Every guy needs a good belt, and where else can you get the highest quality leather than in Ohio's Amish Country? Sugarcreek’s R.W. Leather began in 1994, when owner Roy Wengerd was inspired by his grandfather’s work refacing Irish horse collars, and began selling leather merchandise out his home. In 2008, the business expanded to almost twice the size of the original and now hosts one of the largest collections of belts in the area. Using domestically tanned leather, R.W. Leather can create a customized waist belt in any size. The store also carries a large selection of purses, wallets, leather care and sheep skin products.
Many don't realize that Knox County is also an exciting part of Ohio's Amish Country. Take a trip back in time and visit the Knox County Agricultural Museum, a place devoted to farm and home lifestyles of the 1800s ad 1900s. The museum boasts more than 3,000 items, each depicting the way America's forefathers lived and worked. This museum is believed to be the only one of its kind in Ohio. Located on the Knox County Fairgrounds, the museum houses a 1923 Model T school bus, horse-drawn hearse, Conestoga wagon, butchering tools, blacksmith tools, cider press, a Massey-Harris four-wheel drive tractor and so much more. Visit the museum during the Knox County Fair or by appointment.
Obviously, if you love the outdoors, it's a natural fit for you to visit Ohio's Amish Country. Natural Fit Outdoor Adventure in Glenmont, nine miles south of Loudonville, offers the state's newest outdoor experience - recreational tree climbing. The goal of Natural Fit is to provide an environmentally friendly method of ascending into the tree tops, utilizing techniques once reserved for the professional arborist. Climbing trees is a favorite past time for many guys, and this stop will help you feel like a kid again. Tree climbs are guided for both adults and children, and anyone, regardless of age, can learn the proper techniques from trained staff members.
Mohican Country is also another portion of Amish Country that shouldn't be missed while you're in the area. There's plenty for the guys to do in Ashland and beyond. Check out Byers Woods, a 130-acre Ashland County Park where visitors will find varied habitats and great opportunities to enjoy nature. Recreation activities include hiking, fishing, and horseback riding. Four main trails traverse the Park and the adjacent Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center: Prairie Trail, Woods Trail, Career Loop Trail, and Pine Loop Trail. In addition, a Bluebird Trail runs throughout the park.
Make your way east to Orrville, where you can visit the Orrville Railroad Depot Museum. Operated by the Orrville Railroad Heritage Society, the museum boasts free admission and offers an assortment of railroad memorabilia in its restored ex-Pennsylvania RR Union Depot building. Mainline trips, all day rides and special seasonal excursions are offered from 50 to 120 miles in length. Make sure you stop at the gift shop, which is open during all depot events and takes the show "on the road" during all excursions.
Add a little fun to your tour, and travel back in time to experience childhood all over again at the Toy & Hobby Museum in Orrville. The museum has in its collection toy farm equipment, pencils, dolls, pedal tractors and metal custom imprint trucks ranging from 1/16 to 1/64 scale.
Lehman's Hardware is a must-see in Amish Country, where being old-fashioned is always in fashion. Located in Kidron inside an 1840s-era barn, this one is in the heart of it all. You'll feel like you stepped back in time 100 years, as the 32,000-sqaure-foot retail store contains four pre-Civil War era buildings, with museum-quality antiques lining the walls and thousands of products you thought they quit making years ago surrounding you as you shop. Oil lamps, wood-burning stoves, retro refrigerators, tin toys, cast iron cookware and water pumps are just some of the things you'll find inside. Founded in 1955 by Jay Lehman, today, what was once a tiny hardware store now has become the world's largest purveyor of historical technology. Find something you never thought you'd see again at Lehman's.
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