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Which is the most real 'AMISH' area in the USA?

Sydney, Australia
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Which is the most real 'AMISH' area in the USA?

We would like to visit an Amish area in the USA. We have heard that there are lots of very 'touristy' Amish tours, etc. (not necessarily run by the Amish?). Does anyone know which is the most authentic Amish area to visit in the USA? We would like to spend a few days touring around.

Thanks for any advice.

Brandywine Valley...
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1. Re: Which is the most real 'AMISH' area in the USA?

bandlh,

You probably should read the wikipedia article about the Amish. That will give you some starting points for research. You obviously know PA has an Amish area. Other U.S. states also have areas with high concentrations of Amish. Do some Googling.

I was gearing up to do a fair amount of research to answer this question, but then I thought to check your "contributions" to TripAdvisor. As far as I can tell, you've never once answered a question in the Sydney Forum (where you live). You've provided next to no advice or opinion on other forums -- just asked lots of questions -- and posted only two reviews.

So . . . at least I've given you a starting point for your query. Good luck with it. I'd have been a lot more inclined to go way out of the way to help with this if there were any indication that you are also givers, not just takers. At some point those of us who ask, but also answer, get a little tired ot helping askers-only who don't add any value of their own by responding to queries.

gettysburg, pa
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2. Re: Which is the most real 'AMISH' area in the USA?

What an interesting question! The issue, I think, is that there is a trade-off between accessibility and authenticity. People who are truly Amish (or one of the many related sects) do not really want to have people stop and look at them. So there is not much to tour.

Lancaster, of course, is well-known. There are many attractions that try to interpret the Amish way of life. So there is much more to "tour" in the Lancaster County area. It might make a good base. I find the area to the south, down by the Susquehanna River, to be an interesting spot to drive around in.

If you want something quieter, there are several other Amish areas in the state. PA 45 between Lewisburg and State College has many small farms along the way. Mifflinburg is one of the towns along the way:

http://mifflinburgpa.com/#_self

It's a lovely, unspoiled area, but very quiet. If you were to stay in a bed and breakfast, I'm sure the innkeepers could tell you about how to tour the area and answer your questions about the Amish. The bonus is that it is a very inexpensive and friendly area.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Which is the most real 'AMISH' area in the USA?

Thankyou very much aster143 and wythany for the information you posted.... it is so helpful to get a 'local' perspective! We'll have a look at the websites mentioned. Aster143, know what you mean about 'accessibility and authenticity', as you can imagine we won't have enough time to really explore to the depth we would like, but at least we will be able to 'have a taste'. We were also thinking of going to Gettysburg, which I believe is not too far from Lancaster County.... unfortunately only for 'another taste'. We would like to spend at least 6 months in your country!!! Thanks again for your input.

gettysburg, pa
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4. Re: Which is the most real 'AMISH' area in the USA?

If you want a side trip to Gettysburg (definitely recommended!), then Lancaster is your best bet. There are plenty of quiet roads that are off the beaten path. Enjoy your planning!

Over the Rainbow
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5. Re: Which is the most real 'AMISH' area in the USA?

If you're coming to Lancaster, you might like to consider a bed & breakfast. This type of lodging choice will certainly add to your overall experience. To find a good and reputable B&B, try www.authenticbandb.com. You can search by availability, price, amenities and location. There's even an Australian-named one. Thought you'd appreciate that.

The innkeepers, in addition to being a wealth of local information, can help you seek out the more authentic and less 'touristy' areas. They might even be able to set up a dinner with a local Amish family if you'd like.

Enjoy your stay.

Bangor, Pennsylvania
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6. Re: Which is the most real 'AMISH' area in the USA?

Remember that most tourist attractions will not be run by the Amish, although there are more and ,more Amish in Lancaster County engaged in commerce and interacting with tourists. Get on the back roads between Routes 741 and 23 and visit some of the many roadstands ,quilt shops and

furniture shops. Riehls Quilts, and Lapp Valley Farms Ice Cream, both run by Amish on working Amish farms are two good examples.

If you come in the Spring on a Saturday see if a mud sale is scheduled . There will be many amish bidding on buggy's, farm equipment and building materials.

Edited: 18 January 2011, 21:01
Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Which is the most real 'AMISH' area in the USA?

Thankyou 'JuneBJones' and 'brookquarry' for the info... we have just spent time searching the B & B site.... so much more personal than a hotel, etc.! Another question ..... the 'Sight & Sound Theatre' shows look good, have you been to one? Thanks in advance for any info.

Bangor, Pennsylvania
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8. Re: Which is the most real 'AMISH' area in the USA?

We have been to several. First just a reminder that this is religious theater and the message is overtly Christian. This is obvious from the website but some reviewers still seem surprised, so I thought it worth pointing out.

Second the production is done at a very high level. The staging and props are absolutely Broadway quality and the acting is at the level of a very good regional thater.

Singing and( especially) dancing are not quite that good but seem to be improving every year.

You should book tickets in advance, especially if you are going on a weekend.

Finally if you are interested in a Band B I can unreservedly reccomend Apple Bin Inn in Willow Street. We have stayed there and plan to go back. It gets universally high reviews. They can set you up with a dinner with an Amish family .

Edited: 19 January 2011, 11:30
Lancaster...
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9. Re: Which is the most real 'AMISH' area in the USA?

There are some B&B's that offer discounts to their guests who are attending a show at Sight & Sound. Also, some innkeepers can get you discounted tickets ($5 off/adult ticket) to the shows. You can also go directly to the Sight & Sound website (or call them) and not only get tickets for the shows, but also meal plans and lodging vouchers, too. Sort of a 'one stop' shopping option.

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Which is the most real 'AMISH' area in the USA?

Thanks 'brookquarry' and 'Lynne120898' for yet more good information .... last year we went to the 'Passion Play' in Oberammergau in Germany (as you may know, a 5 hr religious production and all in German!!), so we would definitely like to go to a production at the 'Sight & Sound Theatre' for the experience! If we can get a discount on tickets, so much the better, as we all know travelling 'ain't cheap'!! Thanks again.