Visiting the village of Sugarcreek, Ohio... Little Switzerland
by Kyle Valentini
Randy L. McKee photo
Known as “The Little Switzerland of Ohio,” the village of Sugarcreek is a destination for visitors travelling to Ohio’s Amish Country for good reason.
Situated in the post-card worthy rolling hills of Western Tuscarawas County, Sugarcreek is a gateway to a rural region that is host to a variety of charming amenities often found in more metropolitan areas.
“Sugarcreek is well known for its welcoming small-town atmosphere,” said Christine Quickel, marketing administrator for the village. “Visitors can enjoy the Swiss-style architecture and the cheerful sound of polka music playing along the streets as horse-drawn buggies pass by. Our backroads are visually stunning, featuring beautiful rolling hills and peaceful farmland.”
Sugarcreek is for families who want small-town charm and a cultural experience at a slower pace, which allows them to disconnect from the rush of the modern world.
“Summer is a fantastic time to visit Sugarcreek,” Quickel said. “Its unique blend of Swiss and Amish culture makes it a one-of-a-kind destination, and we have many family-friendly attractions.”
Golfers enjoy Willandale Golf Club, a mainstay in Sugarcreek that dates back to 1929. This 27-hole course on 166 rural acres is suitable for golfers of all skill levels and is open year round.
Younger families enjoy Cabin Creek Golf, a family entertainment center. Cabin Creek Golf includes a miniature golf course with two 18-hole courses with pars of 70. The well-equipped courses include difficult obstacles, a geyser and running streams. There also is a driving range, two sand volleyball courts, a playground and a gazebo.
The Ohio Star Theater at Dutch Valley is a 500-seat playhouse where locals and visitors can enjoy Amish-faith musicals as well as wholesome, family-friendly comedy along with contemporary Christian, Southern gospel and bluegrass bands this summer.
Take a trip down tree-lined streets to downtown to the corner of Main and Broadway to see the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock. Built in 1972, the clock’s first home was in Wilmot but finally made its way to Sugarcreek in May 2012, thanks to the effort of a Walnut Creek resident.
The clock was painstakingly restored by Sugarcreek Main Street volunteers and was reanimated in November that same year. Every 30 minutes a 3-foot-tall couple on tracks dances the polka to Bavarian music played by a five-piece animated band.
Sugarcreek has a vibrant arts community. The Community Arts Council continually supports local artisans and provides venues in which to showcase their talents.
“The beautiful Swiss-style murals featured on the exteriors of downtown businesses were painted and designed by local artist Tom Miller,” Quickel said. “Many have moving displays such as Alpine skiers, locomotives and horse-drawn log carts.”
Downtown’s Brick Wall Sculpture by artist Sherry Crilow pays tribute to the history of Sugarcreek along with Baltic, Dundee, Ragersville and Shanesville.
With summer in full swing, the village hosts a magnificent firework display on Aug. 4 in honor of the Swiss heritage of the village. “It is known to be one of the best fireworks displays in the area,” Quickel said.
Sugarcreek has plenty of options for an overnight stay including Victoria Station at the Sugarcreek Village Inn downtown, where guests can stay in authentic railroad cars. The inn is within walking distance of a number of downtown attractions.
“If you are spending the night, we have multiple lodging options including the inviting Jacuzzi and fireplace rooms at the Dutch Host Inn,” Quickel said. “Carlisle Inn has an indoor swimming pool and is located next to a large restaurant featuring Amish cuisine.
Call 330-852-4112 or visit via the web at VisitSugarcreek.com for more details.