It's a shopper's dream in Amish County
by Ohio's Amish Country
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Ohio's Amish Country is a delightful place to spend several days perusing the unique shops filled with specialty, hand-made and hard-to-find items. When in the area, you'll have plenty of time to hit some of the region's most popular retail stores, as well as many of the fine artisans tucked away in the area's quiet nooks and crannies.
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.
Start your first day in the heart of Amish Country in the quiet village of Charm, by making a stop at Charm Harness and Boot on CR 70. Charm Harness and Boot offers the very best quality name-brand shoes, from fashion sandals and wool and leather clogs, to western wear, work boots, 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 on CR 70. So much more than lumber, Keim is an impressive world of home improvement packed with all of the items you need for your home. Keim offers a large selection of power and hand tools, hardware and home improvement products, garden flags, bird feeders, and lawn furniture, as well as ice cream freezers, high-quality stand mixers, and decorative lighting. Be sure to visit their Wood Shop, the exotic woods department. There, you'll see unique woods from West Indies, Africa to the Pacific Rim. At Keim, you'll find everything you want for your home, including the kitchen sink.
Be sure to make a stop along the way at Guggisberg Cheese in the beautiful Doughty Valley, just one mile north of Charm on 557. 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 on 557 and then east on SR 39 for a trip into the bustling town of Berlin. There, you will find a collection of more than 50 shops and attractions boasting everything from fine art to fine chocolates, from country gifts to country crafts. Not only is Berlin packed with places in every nook and cranny, it is also home to annual festivals and special events, often featuring live music on weekends.
At Berlin Creek Gallery and Blue River Gallery, you'll find extraordinary art by Thomas Kinkade, Diane Grabner and Bev Doolittle as they line the walls alongside many other artists, both local and nationally known. Or stop by Sol's Inspirational Showroom, just a few steps away, and come away inspired as you look through the 4,000-foot showroom covered in breathtaking art that features poems, Scripture verses and patriotic sayings. Engravings can also be done on sentimental items at Sol's, including jewelry boxes, pocket knives, clocks and more.
For the bargain hunter in you, be sure to check out 61 Surplus, beneath Java Joes. There, you will find an ever-changing selection of surplus goods including high-end electronics, kitchen appliances, linens, toys, and baby necessities, all at deeply discounted prices. All profits from every sale benefit orphanages in Africa.
Just east of the square of Berlin on SR 39, 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.
Homespun at Heart is a perfect stop, where you can find a custom and handmade bag to help tote all of your treasures and finds on your way back home. Unique, high-quality canvas totes, handbags and accessories fill the shop, run by the local Smucker family. Pick from the already made selection or design your own custom bag, and watch it being constructed and sewn right in front of your eyes! But totebags aren't the only thing you'll find at Home Spun at Heart. On the front porch of the store, you'll see old-fashioned looking buckets, perfect for flower pots or to accent your own home, and inside, you can browse all-natural skin care from Amish Country Essentials, quality-built Hickory Tree Furniture, gourmet syrups, scented jar and muffin candles, woven rugs and so much more.
Just north of town on County Road 77, you'll find Heini's Cheese Chalet, offering free samples of more than 50 varieties of cheese and cheese fudge. Heini's also has a large selection of Amish-style meats and hard-to-find items like souse and headcheese. Their gift shop offers exclusive gifts, hand-crafted by local Amish men and women.
Continue out of town north on SR 62 for 10 minutes to find Wendell August, America’s oldest and largest forge. The timber-frame building features a 5,000 foot retail space showcasing their hand-wrought elegant metal giftware, the world's largest Amish buggy, a hobby train winding around 300 feet of track, and an old-time Nickelodeon.
End your visit with a trip to Walnut Creek, straight east on SR 39, stopping at one of the many shops that line the route along the way. At Walnut Creek Cheese, fill your shopping cart with bulk foods, jams and jellies, beef jerky and specialty kitchen and home decor items in their beautiful retail space for the perfect ending to a wonderful Holmes County shopping adventure.
Begin your second day with a trip to Big Prairie to visit three of the most unique artisans of the county.
First, visit Cary and Elaine Hulin at Holmes County Pottery, located 20 minutes west of downtown Millersburg on SR 39, Holmes County Pottery is tucked away on CR 303 in Big Prairie, where the Hulins
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.
Take Ohio 514 south for about a mile and then follow Township Road 506 east to discover Bowden Bells where you'll find 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.
Next, follow CR 51 south to SR 39 east, where you'll find the turn-off for Treaty Line Pottery on Township Road 501. 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.
From there, take 39 east to the county seat where you can enjoy the storefronts and shops that Historic Downtown Millersburg offers, like Amish Country Essentials on East Jackson Street, across from the the Holmes County 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.
Stop into The Jackson Street Gallery for upscale accessories for every corner of your home. The talented staff at Jackson Street Gallery have just the right touch, so the displays throughout the store are sure to spark your creativity.
Another excellent place to find vintage goods and other items at discount prices is Save & Serve Thrift Shop a few minutes south of town on SR 83. Save & Serve Thrift Shop provides a pleasant, inspiring retail experience in a clean and well-organized environment offering everything from used clothing to vintage books at reasonable prices.
When you've finished exploring the shops and attractions of Millersburg, travel south on SR 83 for about 30 minutes to Coshocton to visit the 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 boasts a variety of unique shops like River Ridge Leather Company on North Whitwoman Street. Owner Dennis Knight has been a leatherworker for more than 37 years and his shop is packed with high-quality, handmade leather belts, briefcases, shoulder bags, custom holsters and more.
Just a few doors down, visit Medbery Marketplace, a naval era hotel offering deli meats and cheeses, international foods and kitchen items. Also nearby, you'll find The Village Pantry, packed with specialty kitchen items, cutlery, gadgets and linens.
For the musician looking for a memorable experience, Wildwood Music on North Whitewoman Street is filled with top-quality nationally and regionally crafted guitars, banjos, dulcimers, and more. Wildwood is owned and operated by musicians who understand the importance of a selecting a superlative instrument. They pride themselves in helping musicians get the best instrument at the lowest prices possible.
Take a short drive to West Lafayette, just east of Coshocton, to experience the Unusual Junction, a restored historic 1895 train station which features a retro '50s diner, gift shop, and gourmet deli offering a large variety of local cheeses and meats as well as one of Ohio's largest selections of hot sauces.
On your third day of shopping, head to the hip and happening downtown area of Wooster, where you'll find edgy artisans, specialty shops, and books galore, just to name a few of the merchants surrounding downtown's historic square.
The Gallery in the Vault, located on the southeastern corner of the town square, calls itself a place where you can indulge your artistic appetite. Beautifully filled with fine creations of blown glass, hand-formed pottery, delicately designed jewelry and more, The Gallery in the Vault has represented more than 500 creative and high-quality artisans in the past 15 years.
Just a few steps to the east on East Liberty Street, and you've arrived at Calla Lily Yarn & Gifts, a place where both novice and advanced knitters can get their hands on a huge selection of top-quality, hard-to-find and locally produced yarns, pattern books, and knitting accessories. Calla Lily's friendly staff is available to handle the most challenging knitting problems as well.
On the south side of The Vault, you'll find a variety of shops and storefronts, including Today's Kitchen Store, a beautiful retail space filled with high-quality, name-brand kitchen products like All-Clad, LeCreuset, Wusthof, Kitchen Aid and much more. Today's Kitchen Store also offers knife sharpening as well as a variety of culinary classes.
Just down the street on the other side of South Market is the swanky SoMar Wine Cellars & Wine Bart, offering an exceptional variety of wine selections from around the world. At SoMar, their wines can be purchased by the bottle, or at their cozy, casually sophisticated wine bar either by the glass or by the flight.
There are two well-stocked and expertly-staffed bookstores along Wooster's main street, and both have their own unique flavor, so book lovers will do themselves a great favor by stepping into both. The Wooster Book Company, located across from the Wayne County Public Library on West Liberty St., is one of Ohio's largest independent bookstores and also a publisher of titles by local authors about Ohio and Amish life. The well-read staff will gladly assist you in finding just the right reading material for yourself or as a gift for that special someone.
Books In Stock is on the other side of the square, occupying an inviting storefront on East Liberty Street. Books in Stock specializes in used, rare and out-of-print titles. Their well-organized shelves are stocked with more than 90,000 books in genres from reference to romance, fiction to fantasy, and, upstairs, an entire room is dedicated to children's books of many eras, all of great quality and at great prices.
After you've explored the many other fine shops in the Wooster area, head east on 30 for about nine miles and then north on OH 57 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.
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 on SR 30 and then venture south on Kidron Road 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 all ages will enjoy.
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