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A less commercialized experience in Amish Country?

Columbus, Ohio...
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A less commercialized experience in Amish Country?

Hello fellow travelers,

We will be driving by lancaster and we're thinking of stopping by the Amish Country. We've been to the Amish Country in Millersburg, and Berlin Ohio and everything there was just so commercialized, all the shops and restaurants and etc.

What are some things to do to actually get away from all the hype and really experience Amish people's life and heritage?

Thanks

Sean

PA
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for Hershey, Harrisburg
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1. Re: A less commercialized experience in Amish Country?

Unfortunately, a lot of the Lancaster County Amish Country experience is also commercialized. Driving the backroads and visiting some of the smaller road side markets, quilt shops, etc. will give you a better experience. I like the Countryside Road Stand in Ronks. They have a nice selection of crafts and homemade baked goods as well as a small concession stand with excellent soft pretzels, ice cream, and home made root beer & birch beer. Many other posters are more familiar with the area and I'm sure will be suggesting more "off the beaten path" places.

Columbus, Ohio...
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2. Re: A less commercialized experience in Amish Country?

thanks flyeagle! attractions on the off beaten paths r definitely what i'm looking for.

Elizabethtown...
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3. Re: A less commercialized experience in Amish Country?

I have never done it, but have heard that the tours offered through the Mennonite Information Center are well done and not commercialized.

Over the Rainbow
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4. Re: A less commercialized experience in Amish Country?

As an addition to your 'non-commercial' tour, please consider staying at a locally owned Bed & Breakfast. Knowledgeable innkeepers can assist you in making the most of your resources with advice on where to go, what to do, where to eat, etc.

Bangor, Pennsylvania
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for Lancaster
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5. Re: A less commercialized experience in Amish Country?

The Mennonite Information Center tour, where a Mennonite guide will ride in your car is a good idea.

As mentioned Countryside Roadstand on Stumptown Road, is an excellant stop for their delicious soft pretzels and reasonably priced crafts. Amish owned and run.

Just north of Countryside Roadstand (turn right on Eby Road where Stumptown Road intersects) is Riehls Quilts, which is the largest Amish owned quilt and craft store, located on the Riehls farm.

,

Lapp Valley Farm Ice Cream, on Mentzer Road, south of New Holland is Mennonite run. All their excellant ice cream is made on the farm using milk from their herd of Jersey cows (Jerseys are the breed with the highest butterfat content in their milk hence the creamiest ice cream). A beautifull peaceful setting to relax.

The visitors center website has several 'covered bridge tours" that will allow you to drive the backroads and through some of the counties many covered bridges.

Finally, stay off route340 and (especially) Route 30, which are extremely touristy.9From what I have heard the commercialism on these roads far exceeds anything in the Ohio Amish Country.

Abetter choice is Route 772, which cuts northwest from 30 to 340, and beyond to Route 23, goes through the heart of the Amish country. Many Amish will have road stands selling produce, baked goods. There are more and more quilt and craft shops on Amish farms. Get a good map and explore the backroads east of Lancaster. between Routes 741 and 23.

Finally, if you stay in a Band B your innkeepers may be able to set you up with a dinner at an Amish familys home.

Edited: 18 June 2012, 00:38
Lancaster, PA
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6. Re: A less commercialized experience in Amish Country?

I agree with many of brookquarry's suggestions. Lapp Valley Farms is a wonderful and authentic place to stop. The New Holland and Blue Ball areas are scenic and rich in Amish culture, yet not in the commercialized ways that Lancaster tends to be. Along Rt 772 and Rt 23 you will find many road side stands, especially this time of year. You may also want to just grab a map and drive around the back roads. There are lots of farms and horse and buggies in those areas, if you're looking to just see them. For the actual Amish experiences/culture, I again second previous posters suggestions of utilizing a B&B inkeeper and/or the Mennonite Information Center. Happy Travels!

7. Re: A less commercialized experience in Amish Country?

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