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History Lives in Holmes County, Ohio

Simplicity and relaxation reign in Ohio’s Amish Country. Far from busy interstates, crowded cities, and the hustle and bustle of daily life, this Midwest destination offers visitors the chance to explore and immerse themselves in Amish culture.

“We’re almost a perfect relationship between the English, which is the non-Amish, and the Amish,” said Tiffany Gerber, executive director of the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. “We live together. The Amish community actually embraces visitors. They like to share who they are and how they live. We’re welcoming; we’re open; we’re friendly.”

Six counties — Wayne, Stark, Coshocton, Tuscarawas, Ashland and Holmes, which is the hub — house the main concentration of Amish in the state and within this region. Visitors can spend multiple days learning about different trades, shopping locally made items, eating homestyle meals and exploring beautiful backroads.

While activities abound here, Gerber encourages everyone to make the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center in Berlin their first stop, as it provides plenty of useful background information.

“You are not only learning all about the culture of the area you are about to explore, but you can also ask those crazy questions that you just never knew who to ask about why Amish do what they do,” Gerber said. “Their staff is amazingly open.”

From the Heritage Center, groups can customize their trip to match their interests. For example, the area is home to several unique farms, including The Farm at Walnut Creek, Yoder’s Amish Home, and Hershberger’s Farm and Bakery. Plus, many communities, like Berlin, offer concentrated shopping areas. Several Amish families also sell goods out of their homes, hanging signs at the end of their driveways to point out-of-towners to furniture, brooms, quilts, fresh eggs, baked treats and more. When it comes to food, groups can find multiple restaurants that serve up homestyle dishes, though many families also invite people into their homes for a sit-down meal.

“Just picture a Sunday family dinner or a Thanksgiving,” Gerber said.

While Amish Country itself offers days’ worth of fun, the surrounding area is home to several other attractions that groups won’t want to miss. Here are four stops you and your group should add to your trip itinerary.

David Warther Carvings

Located in Sugarcreek, David Warther Carvings is a museum that showcases more than 90 creations made by fifth-generation carver David Warther, who is known for work that portrays the history of the ship. The museum features five rooms where guests can find replicas of ships tracing back to first dynasty Egypt. Each creation includes intricate scrimshaw engravings and is carved from elephant tusks that have been donated to museum. While visiting, groups can often find Warther in his on-site workshop, where they can ask him questions and view his carving techniques.

Ernest Warther Museum and Gardens

In Dover, groups can feast their eyes on the hand-sculpted works of Ernest (Mooney) Warther, who began whittling at the age of 5 and became known as the “world’s master carver.” Though he passed away in 1973, Warther’s family owns and operates the Ernest Warther Museum and Gardens, which is made up of his former home and workshop as well as his works of art. As a lover of steam engines, Warther created more than 60 pieces that focused on steam engines throughout his life. While perusing the museum, visitors can also find works created by Warther’s wife, Frieda.

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Canton — also known as the birthplace of the NFL — is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. While highly focused on football, there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy here. For example, groups can explore the Hall of Fame Gallery, which includes 354 bronzed busts of each Hall of Fame member, and a holographic theater called “A Game for Life” shows fans how football teaches life lessons. Inside the Hall of Fame’s Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery, groups can learn about the history of football by watching game footage, using interactive kiosks and exploring artifacts.

Historic Roscoe Village

Historic Roscoe Village in Coshocton is a quaint Ohio and Erie Canal town that’s been restored to honor its former canal era. While here, groups can catch a glimpse of what life used to look like in Roscoe, as costumed interpreters provide living history tours. In addition to tours, groups can explore the town’s eateries and multiple specialty shops found at The Famous Shops of Roscoe Village. Plus, a visit isn’t complete without a horse-drawn canal boat ride. During the excursion, the captain lets visitors in on a few old canal tales.