Travelers may be surprised to know that Ohio Amish Country is not just a county, but a region that spans a wide swath of Ohio. Sugarcreek, one of our area’s popular destinations, is actually located in both Holmes and Tuscarawas counties.
The town is known as “The Little Switzerland of Ohio” for the strong Swiss and German roots of those who settled here. As you walk downtown, you will notice the building designs are inspired by its European roots.
The Alpine Hill Museum, located across from the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock, tells the story of life in Sugarcreek throughout the years. The cuckoo clock overlooks the town square and operates spring through fall. During the day, spectators are treated to a musical performance each hour. The clock’s doors open and a wooden polka band pops to life as a man and lady dance to the lively tunes. The production momentarily transports you to life in a small Swiss Village.
There is plenty of fun to be had wandering the shops in downtown Sugarcreek, but I recommend exploring outside of the square as well. The Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum is a hidden gem for those willing to venture a few miles into the countryside. You don’t have to be a train lover to appreciate and enjoy the working roundhouse, which is open Thursday through Saturday from April to November.
Tour the grounds and see how the restoration teams preserve steam locomotives, railroad cars and the tools and machinery needed to work on the trains. This collection was a passion of train enthusiast Jerry Jacobson and is adjacent to the Ohio Central Railroad main line track. The site consists of storage tracks, a storehouse, coal dock, wood water tank, ash pit and back shop.
The jewel of the site is a complete, working, 18-stall brick roundhouse surrounding a 115-foot turntable and turntable pit. Other than a few, small roundhouses recently built for railroad museums, it is believed to be the first full-sized, working roundhouse built in the U.S. since 1951.
Not far away is Erb’s Coleman Lantern Museum. The collection shows how over the years the Coleman company created everything from lanterns, lamps and camping equipment to clothing and motorcycles. This diverse company story is all captured in the museum, thanks to Erb’s drive and passion.
Cabin Creek Golf is exactly what every family adventure needs. The two mini golf courses are beautifully manicured and allow for kids of all ages to play together. Also on the grounds are batting cages, a driving range, shuffleboard, and sand volleyball courts. Make it an evening of fun competition for the family, and this could become the memory that turns into a tradition.
Most people believe Ohio Amish Country is a “dry” area, when in fact only Berlin and Berlin Township prohibit alcohol sales. We have many wineries across our counties, including options around Sugarcreek. Baltic Mill Winery in the nearby village of Baltic is the ideal backdrop for those looking to relax and listen to the horse’s hoofbeats on the pavement. With a variety of sweet and dry wines and rustic warm ambience, this is anything but a run-of-the-mill winery!
Looking to explore more of the wines in our region? Breitenbach Winery is tucked along the hillside of a vineyard located off of the main road. The name “Breitenbach” is German, meaning “bright or broad stream” and is the name of the stream that runs through the winery grounds. The Bixler family has spent years ensuring that their guests feel the magic that is here. From live entertainment on the weekends, to distinct wine choices, to fire roasted pizzas, you’ll feel a sense of connection that will make you want to return each time you visit Ohio Amish Country.
Just down the road, you’ll find Hans’ Place restaurant and Swiss Heritage Winery. They are the newest additions to Broad Run Corner. Hans’ Place is a wine manufacturing facility, tasting room, and cafe named in honor of cheesemaker Hans Schindler. The unique setup sets this dining facility apart. Decks built among the trees and string lights create a fairy garden atmosphere. The weekly entertainment performs below and the tunes cascade through the woods.
The Dutch Valley Campus and Ohio Star Theater are well known in the area, and for good reason. The Dutch Valley Restaurant and Bakery offers the Amish style cuisine that visitors crave. Broasted chicken, noodles, dressing, mashed potatoes, and home-made pies are always on the menu here. There’s plenty for everyone, and you’re sure to leave feeling fulfilled.
After a hearty meal, you will be ready to relax and unwind. The Carlisle Inn Sugarcreek is just steps away from the restaurant. Enjoy the breathtaking views, an enclosed pool, a lavish library, and incredible rooms. Finish your day in Ohio Amish Country by watching a performance at the Ohio Star Theater. This Broadway production theater has fantastic live shows year-round. Currently playing is “Josiah for President”. The theater also has special performances throughout the year featuring Bluegrass and Gospel talent.
While it may be known as “Little Switzerland”, you will find that this region of Amish Country has an abundance of things to do and places to explore.