The ‘Little Switzerland of Ohio’ offers an abundance of unique experiences

Clock by Christine Quickel
Christine Quickel

Take a trip down tree-lined streets to the corner of Main and Broadway to see the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock.

When you need a break to “stop and smell the roses,” the village of Sugarcreek may be the ideal place to enjoy a pleasant whiff.

“Life just moves at a slower pace here in Sugarcreek,” explained Christine Quickel, the village’s marketing administrator “There’s no other town quite like it. The ‘Little Switzerland of Ohio’ offers an abundance of unique experiences that can be as simple as just taking in the village’s cheerful and peaceful ambiance.”

Springtime, Quickel said, is a particularly beautiful time to visit Sugarcreek.

“It is the season of new beginnings,” she said. “The temperatures start to rise, and everything comes to life. As you drive through the rolling hills of Amish Country, you may see farmers planting crops or training young horses for work in the lush green fields.”

Located in the heart of Amish Country, Sugarcreek was settled by Amish and other German and Swiss families, the latter of whom made the village famous through their cheese-making skills. The mighty Alps may be conspicuously absent from the horizon, but apart from the missing mountainous vistas, Sugarcreek’s visitors might easily imagine themselves touring the streets of a small Swiss town — by foot or by horse-drawn buggy.

The World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock, featuring the happy music of an oompa band and an animated dancing couple who welcome delighted onlookers every half hour, is the signature attraction in Downtown Sugarcreek. The impressive 24-foot-high clock at the intersection of East Main Street and Broadway is surrounded by elaborate, hand-painted murals that depict breathtaking Swiss landscapes amidst an audial backdrop of polka music that permeates the village air. The historical murals adorn the facing of seven buildings, while across from the cuckoo clock, a 112-foot-long, 13-panel brick wall details the area’s history through sculpture.

The region’s rich history is cherished in Sugarcreek, as evidenced by such informative attractions as the Alpine Hills Museum and the unique Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum. The roundhouse museum, which features the largest private collection of steam engines in the United States, helps to preserve America’s railroad history.

“The roundhouse is the only one of its kind in the country,” Quickel said. “Even if you’re not a train enthusiast, you’ll find it to be magnificent.”

The 34-acre site includes 22 steamers surrounded by a depot, a store house, a coal loader, a wood water tank, an ash pit, a back shop and — the jewel of the site — a working, 18-stall brick roundhouse that surrounds a 115-foot turntable.

The Alpine Hills Museum — which is free to visit — displays a 19th-century Amish kitchen and an 1890s cheese house among its three floors of history. The museum also serves as a tourist information center where maps, brochures and other helpful information can be obtained.

“The best way to experience Sugarcreek may be to immerse yourself in the culture,” Quickel said.

The biggest annual celebration of Sugarcreek’s rich culture is the Ohio Swiss Festival, which will be held this year on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 2 and 3. Since 1953, the festival has celebrated the heritage of Switzerland with four days of wine and cheese samplings, races, contests, and parades.

After an enjoyable day of absorbing the sights and sounds of Sugarcreek, visitors may opt to relax by sampling wines from the five local wineries — or take in a performance at the Ohio Star Theater, Quickel said.

Guests who visit Sugarcreek, Quickel said, are very likely to return home with more than just wonderful memories. That’s because the quality furniture, home goods, antiques and local works of art may prove too tempting to leave behind in the village’s many charming shops.

“Anything you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Sugarcreek,” Quickel said.

That may be especially true during the village’s annual springtime community garage sales, which draw curious bargain hunters from all over Ohio. The sales this year will be held on Friday and Saturday, May 8 and 9.

Visit Sugarcreek online at or call 330-852-4113. Reach them via email at for more information.