Girls just wanna have fun... in Ohio's Amish Country
by Ohio's Amish Country
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We all know that girls can do anything; they can bring home the bacon, coach the soccer team, change the oil in the car, and be home in time to help the kids with calculus. Sometimes, though, girls just wanna
have fun, and with this three-day tour, women of all ages can feed their hunger for pampering at some of the most luxurious and unique spots Amish Country has to offer.
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.
When planning an adventure, never underestimate the importance of comfortable shoes. Start your tour in the heart of Amish country, in the sweet village of Charm by making a stop at Charm Harness and Boot. Don't let the name fool you. So much more than boots, Charm Harness and Boot offers the very best quality name-brand shoes, from fashion sandals and wool and leather clogs, to western wear and upper-end fur-lined boots, as well as fine socks and accessories to go along with them.
While in Charm, make sure to visit Keim Lumber Company across the street. So much more than lumber, Keim is an impressive world of home improvement packed with all of the items you need to make your corner of the world just a little brighter. Keim offers a large selection of garden flags, bird feeders, and lawn furniture, as well as ice cream freezers, high-quality stand mixers, and decorative lighting. You'll find everything you need for your home, including the kitchen sink.
Just a short drive north, you'll find Miller's Dry Goods, Holmes County's first quilt shop with two buildings of notions, batting, stencils and more 8,000 bolts fabrics to choose from, as well as gorgeous ready-made quilts in a rainbow of colors and patterns. Miller's Dry Goods opened in 1965 and operated out of the Miller family kitchen to serve the Amish Community and continues to serve the town of Charm with their helpful staff and wide selection.
Be sure to make a stop along the way at Guggisberg Cheese in the beautiful Doughty Valley, just one mile north of Charm. The area's Amish farmers have been taking their milk to the Guggisberg Cheese Factory for over 60 years to produce their award-winning cheeses, including the mild and creamy Baby Swiss that founders Alfred and Margaret Guggisberg invented in 1968. Their gift shop features both local and European-style meats, authentic Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks, and a unique selection of cheese accessories.
Next, make your way north and then east for a trip into the bustling town of Berlin. There, you will find a collection of more than 50 attractions, restaurants and shops, boasting everything from fine art to fine chocolates, from country gifts to country crafts. Not only is Berlin packed with shops in every nook and cranny, it is also home to annual festivals and special events, often featuring live music on weekends. While you're in town, be sure to stop into Java Jo Coffee Bar to check out their funky atmosphere and delicious offerings from their breakfast, lunch and appetizer menu as well as their excellent selection of hot and cold coffee and non-caffeinated beverages.
Just east of the square of Berlin, you'll find the Berlin Village Gift Barn, offering one of the widest selections of Vera Bradley and Willow Tree items in Ohio as well as an impressive gathering of candles, purses, luggage, and kitchen and dining accessories, all expertly displayed inside the walls of a bright red barn. The lower level and second gift shop across the parking lot, Country Gatherings, is filled with country cottage, primitives, early American colonials and other rustic selections.
For a little bit of rest and relaxation, find The Inn at Honey Run, north of Berlin off, for a full spa experience, including serenity, deep tissue, and pregnancy massages as well as the delicious Fruit and Honey Foot Glow, a 60-minute blend of reflexology, Japanese Shiatsu, and Swedish massage followed by an organic exfoliating foot glow.
During day two, explore Historic Downtown Millersburg and the surrounding area, starting your day with a trip to the beautiful historic Victorian House Museum just north of town. The Queen Anne style mansion, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built by a Cleveland industrialist in 1902 and offers 28 rooms of antique furnishings as well as hosting collections from the Holmes County Historical Society. Stop in the gift shop for a selection of specialty tea, including their own exclusive blend.
Head downtown to visit Amish Country Essentials, just east of the courthouse, where you'll find local gifts and natural skincare products ranging from soaps and salves, lotions and lip balms, shampoos and shaving soaps, all created from the finest natural ingredients. Their Dirty Boy soap is approved by farmers, fishermen, and factory workers. Even Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe has given the Dirty Boy soap two very enthusiastic, very clean thumbs-up.
If you love hand-crafted artisan pottery, it's worth the trip to venture west, 20 minutes from Millersburg, to Holmes County Pottery tucked away on CR 303 in Big Prairie, where Cary and Elaine Hulin specialize in hand-turned pottery fired in Ohio's largest wood-burning kiln. Their gorgeous hand-made pots for the house and garden are created using traditional techniques to produce fantastic and functional dinnerware, bird feeders, garden planters and more.
While you're there, visit Treaty Line Pottery. There, you'll find the creations of Carol Brann Ohl, a former medical technician who transformed a gentleman's farm into the workshop where she creates functional salt glazed pottery fired in a Japanese-style noborigama kiln she built in 2003.
Since you're already in Big Prairie, hop over to Bowden Bells to delight in the whimsical metal and glass creations of Jan and Vince Bowden, who create recycled garden art for a sustainable tomorrow. Vince Bowden is a former machinist who found a way to turn old high pressure gas cylinders into impressive one-of-a-kind bells and wind chimes.
Take a leisurely drive south for about 30 minutes to Coshocton to visit one of the five wineries the area has to offer, including Raven's Glenn Winery & Italian Restaurant, Rainbow Hills Winery, Shawnee Springs Winery, Heritage Vineyards & Guest House and Yellow Butterfly Winery.
Be sure to take a stroll through Historic Roscoe Village, a living history community where you can learn about the restored 1800s canal town from period-dressed actors and artisans. The village also boasts a variety of quaint shops like The Cottage Gate on Whitewoman Street, filled with accessories for cottage-style living, and The Village Pantry, also on Whitewoman Street, packed with specialty kitchen items, cutlery, gadgets and linens.
End your day with a rejuvenating manicure or pedicure at Jillian's Salon, located just three minutes from The Village Pantry. Jillian's is a full-service salon which also offers Ultra Stress Relief massages and a variety of facial treatments as well as an amazing variety of salon services to bring out the best you.
On your third day in Amish Country, enjoy the sights and sounds of downtown Wooster. On Main Street on the square, you'll find some of the most unique shops and eateries in Ohio, including inspiring art galleries, cozy coffeehouses, amazing eateries and specialty gifts.
First stop, The Pink Tomato Paperie and Invitation Studio, east of the square up Beall Avenue, is a one-stop shop for stationery and custom invitations for any social event. Once there, step inside the Aroma Lab, where you can mix your own personal fragrance from their vast selection of oils.
Then head west on East Liberty toward The Bead Cafe, just northeast of the square, where you'll select from their ample collection of beautiful hand-crafted and semi-precious beads and accessories to engage in a bit of bead therapy. This inviting, full-service retail shop offers everything you need to create your own piece of wearable art, including classes, birthday parties, and bridal packages.
For the expert or novice knitter, get your yarn fix and grow your stash at Calla Lily Yarn & Gifts. Step inside to feast your eyes on their delightful retail space and sink your fingers into their huge selection of top-quality, hard-to-find and locally produced yarns. They offer classes in everything from beginning knitting to Fair Isle and Entrelac scarves, and their friendly staff is available to handle your most challenging knitting problems.
You won't want to miss Everything Rubbermaid Store, a retail store in downtown Wooster established in 1993, where you can find the largest selection of Rubbermaid items anywhere. Four floors filled inside this historic building offer everything from Goody hair care products, Shurline paint supplies, Sandford items such as Sharpie markers, coolers, food storage containers, garbage cans, laundry baskets and more. Be sure to venture all the way to the top floor for Bargainland, where obsolete items are available at a discounted rate.
At Today's Kitchen Store, a bit south of the town square, you'll find gourmet cookware, bakeware, cutlery, countertop appliances and other speciality products. This bright and bubbly shop also hosts demonstrations of cooking techniques and tools as well as a variety of classes ranging in everything from serving the best Superbowl snacks to perfecting your French puff pastry, all presented by local experts.
Just 10 minutes east of town, you'll find The Cat's Meow Village original factory where you can shop the largest assortment of Cat’s Meow pieces anywhere. Create your own Cat’s Meow keepsake and explore the Cat's Meow Mewseum, where you can learn the 25-year history of Cat's Meow and get a glimpse of the tools that creator Faline Fry Jones first used to shape the Cat's Meow into what it is today.
After you've explored the many fine shops in the Wooster area, head east for about nine miles and then north, where you'll find The J.M. Smucker Company Store and Cafe on Strawberry Lane. The store offers the Smuckers' brands of spreads, peanut butter and ice cream toppings as well as other gifts for the kitchen and home, unique gifts a custom gift basket design center, and a walk-through tour of the company's history.
Travel further north to discover Audrey's Attic in the heart of downtown Orville. Audrey's Attic is a country store filled with folk-art and packed with primitives. Look for themed goods for your home ranging from Americana and nautical to cats and birdhouses.
A short drive east to Dalton will bring you to the impressive P. Graham Dunn Factory Store where you'll find two floors of inspirational wood decor and giftware equaling 18,000 square feet of retail space in addition to an intriguing viewing gallery. P. Graham Dunn offers personalize laser-engraved gifts, canvas-wrapped wall art, and home accessories to fit ever budget.
Head back west and then venture south to find a collection of interesting shopping destinations, including the not-to-be-missed Lehman's Hardware. Lehman's is an amazing 32,000-square-foot retail store constructed from four pre-Civil War era buildings lined with museum-quality antiques and filled with thousands of new, but old-fashioned products like oil lamps, pottery, wood-burning cook stoves, simple toys, cast iron cookware, and more. Just strolling the store is an experience that will end your adventures in Ohio's Amish Country with memories you'll never forget.
A trip to Amish Country wouldn't be complete without venturing into the neighboring Tuscarawas Valley, where specialty shops abound. But before you travel all the way east, hit up a few stops along the way.
Walnut Creek Cheese is easy to locate and boasts Amish Country's finest foods. One step inside and you and the girls will be delighted by the array of products, from fresh produce, quality meats and one-of-a-kind cheeses, as well as freshly made meals and homemade ice cream at the Mudd Valley Creamery. For over 30 years, Walnut Creek Cheese has been offering the best in customer service, deals you can't find anywhere else and tastes that are unrivaled. But it's not just grocery shopping at Walnut Creek Cheese. Stop by the Test Kitchen to learn new spins on old favorites, and pick up all the supplies to make it yourself while you're at it. Butterchurn Kitchenwares offers thousands of kitchen accessories that are both decorative and functional, and freshly made doughnuts and coffee are offered for free every Tuesday.
Also in Walnut Creek, you'll find the beautiful Rebecca's Bistro. Since 2002, Rebecca Miller and her staff have offered the best in elegant meals in an inviting atmosphere to both locals and visitors alike. The restored log cabin, which was built in the early to mid-1800s is the perfect place for entertaining and dining, whether it's breakfast or lunch. The menu includes salads, sandwiches, soups, entrees and desserts, as well as specialty drinks, teas and fruit smoothies. The rustic, yet feminine feel to the restaurant will create an atmosphere unlike any other, and you're sure to visit Rebecca's Bistro every time you come back to Amish Country.
As you pass by Sugarcreek, pull off at Dutch Valley Gift, where among the flowering gardens, white fences and shady trees, you'll find a cleverly reinvented outbuilding full of unique treasures and gift items. What used to be the Lorenz family farm is now the home to hutches, artwork, ceramics, plants and anything your heart desires when it comes to decorating. A few favorites include Camille Beckman creams, Heritage Lace, Kameleon jewelry, Miche bags, Stephan Baby and Vera Bradley. Even though the items are houses in a once-rustic barn, you'll get the best in high-quality boutique shopping at Dutch Valley Gifts. While you're there, stop by The Coop as well, a restored chicken coop filled with some of the area's finest furniture and home needs. Inside, you'll find Colonial candles, Stonewall Kitchen, Now Design, Aire Gourmet, Donna Sharp handbags and more.
After traveling through Amish Country all weekend, take some time to pamper yourself at Renaissance Salon, just east of Sugarcreek in downtown Dover. Founded in 1998, the team at Renaissance specializes in hair color and design, and feature Bumble and Bumble, as well as Aveda products. With the goal of offering the community a quality experience in a professional environment, the client care specialists can help you look and feel your best, whether it's with your hair, makeup or nails. Come in for a trim, a five-minute makeup touch-up as you continue your travels, or an ultimate pedicure with your best friends. Named one of the top 200 fastest growing salons by Salon Today Magazine, Renaissance is a stop you won't want to miss.
Drive south to New Philadelphia, where you'll find the New Towne Mall, a quaint stop with so much more than retail chain stores. Inside you'll find trusted companies such as Maurices, Bon Worth, PacSun, and Claire's Boutique, but also local retailers like Dunkin's Diamonds and Gold, Gorant's Candies, Lou's Motorcycle Apparel and more. Pick up new athletic clothing at Dunham's Sports, find the perfect scent at Bath and Body Works, grab a pretzel at Auntie Anne's Pretzels, or catch a movie at Regal Cinema. Anchor stores include Elder-Beerman, Sears, JC Penney and Kohl's. A food court, ample parking and plenty of nearby restaurants also highlight this stop on your tour.
Downtown New Philadelphia is the home to Rodriguez's House of Stones, where everything you could want in world-class jewelry is available. Having been dedicated to customer service for over 125 years, the House of Stones is truly a premier jeweler in Ohio's Amish Country. Each diamond has been hand-selected in Antwerp, Belgium and the watch gallery houses some of the finest Swiss time pieces in the world. Harper's Bazaar even listed Rodriguez's House of Stone as one of the best jewelry and watch retailers in America - so you won't want to miss a chance to browse the silver, gold, diamonds and so much more.
Just a few blocks away from the downtown area is Molly's Runway Rags, offering the best styles from the best designers, including Brighton, Barbara Lesser, Insight, Libra, Nic and Zoe and more. At Runway Rags, it's all about helping women look and feel great in the clothes they wear. Upscale designers are the focus, but the prices won't bowl you over. The shop offers impeccable customer service from women who boast the fashions themselves and is a one-of-a-kind boutique only Amish Country can offer.
Finish your day by catching a show at the new Kent State Tuscarawas Performing Arts Center in New Philadelphia. This state-of-the-art masterpiece hosts top touring productions, comedians, and the biggest names in music. The 50,000-square-foot facility boasts an 1,100-seat theatre with a mezzanine level and a communication balcony. Events are always changing and tickets can be purchased ahead of time online.
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