Something for Everyone

Visitors to Amish Country share their favorite attractions.

Hear the phrase Amish Country, and romantic images of horses and buggies and pastoral farms immediately come to mind. But picture-postcard ambiance is just part of the charm. We asked visitors from all of walks of life what they love best about being there. Here, they share their favorite places. We know they’ll soon become destinations for you, too.



Jeanne Corwin and Mark Deutsch

Where they live: Cincinnati
Jeanne Corwin, a gynecologist, and her husband, Mark, an ear, nose and throat doctor, love visiting Adams County with their three children — Katie, 17, Jon, 15, and Ellie, 12 — several times a year. The couple, who have been married for 20 years, believe it’s the perfect getaway. Jeanne, 48, who worked as a camp counselor during her undergraduate years at Miami University, would spend her free time hiking the countryside. “I knew back then,” she says, “that this was a place I wanted to return to again and again.”

Favorite place to stay:

“For us, there’s only one place, and that’s the Murphin Ridge Inn. We love the inn because it is close — only about an hour and 15 minutes away from home. The ambiance is quiet, simple beauty.”

Favorite place to eat:
The dining room at the Murphin Ridge Inn. The onion soup is creamy and delicious. In fact, our kids look forward to it so much that, when we make our reservation, we ask in advance that the soup be available for dinner.”

Favorite place to shop:
We always go to Miller’s Furniture, Bakery & Bulk Foods for butter, bread and baked goods. And we never leave without buying one or two apple pies to take home.”

Most memorable moment:
“We were walking in the woods around the inn one fall afternoon three or four years ago, and a little pony rode up pulling a cart driven by two Amish children, who were taking a shortcut home. They stopped to talk to us for a few minutes. Just being in the beauty of those woods with those two children is something my family and I will never forget.”


Jeff Grooms

Where he lives:
Cold Spring, Kentucky
Jeff became captivated with Adams County as a child growing up in neighboring Clermont County. “The Amish have brought so many wonderful things to the area,” the 48-year-old hairstylist says. “They’ve brought tourism and beauty to this part of Ohio. Although I moved to Kentucky in 1995, I always make the trip back two or three times a year. It’s like no other place on earth.
“When you go to Adams County, the pace of life slows down. And I like that slowing down.”

Favorite place to stay:
The Murphin Ridge Inn. “It’s not just a summer destination. To sit around the inn’s outdoor fire pit during crisp fall evenings and take walks in the surrounding woods amid the changing leaves is a beautiful experience.
“And there’s nothing prettier than watching snow fall outside, while sitting by the fire in one of the inn’s cabins. It makes me feel like a member of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family in The Long Winter.

Favorite place to shop:
GoodSeed Country Garden Center & Nursery. “The setting is beautiful. I’ve purchased a variety of annuals there, including mums and zinnias. They also have a great selection of colorful wooden barn quilts that make great outdoor decorations.

Favorite scenic drive:
“I make it a point to take St. Rte. 247 so that I can across the Harshaville Covered Bridge [located one mile east of St. Rte. 247 on Grace’s Run Road]. I always roll down the windows and listen to the rattle the loud wood makes as I drive across. It’s truly a trip back in time.”
“And I always make it a point to stop at Miller’s Furniture, Bakery & Bulk Foods for a butter log. I freeze it when I get home. Also, I can’t leave the store without a pecan pie and a cheesecake.”

Most memorable moment:
“Several years ago, as I was driving to Murphin Ridge Inn, I passed a line of Amish boys waiting to use a public telephone that was located outside one of the local businesses. Sure enough, a mile or so down the road, I came upon another phone. Only this time, the line consisted of girls. They were waiting to talk to the boys I had just passed.”



Les Roberts

Where he lives: Stow
Although Roberts is best known for the 25 whodunits he’s penned, there’s no mystery about why the 74-year-old author loves
Holmes County. “It’s a peaceful, yet fascinating place that’s truly another world,” he says. “Whenever friends visit from out of town, that’s the first place I take them.”

Favorite places to stay:
“The Charm Countryview Inn — a bed and breakfast 2.5 miles southeast of the town of Charm — and the Hotel Millersburg are both absolutely delightful.
“I love the town of Charm. It’s so small that if you’re driving and blink, you’ll miss it. The rooms are lovely and decorated with handmade furniture and quilts. There’s nothing like spending time on the great big front porch overlooking the valley, just relaxing. If you’re in a hurry, don’t stay at the Countryview Inn. You’re not going to want to leave.”
Established in 1847, the Hotel Millersburg is one of Ohio’s oldest operating hotels. Named to the National Register of Historic Places, the establishment retains many features from its original construction.
“The hotel is very Victorian. While you’re there, be sure to have a drink in the bar.”

Favorite places to eat:
“I recommend everything on the menu at Grandma’s Homestead, although I love the roast beef. And — oh my god — you must have pie. It is so good. The strawberry and rhubarb are my favorites.
“And Chalet in the Valley, across the street from Guggisberg Cheese, overlooks the scenic Doughty Valley in Millersburg. When I’m there, I have to have the chicken. They fry it in a pan the old-fashioned way.”

Favorite places to shop:
“I never visit Amish Country without stopping at Heini’s Cheese Chalet. In fact, you can have lunch just walking up and down the aisles, taking samples. The varieties of cheese are spectacular, and make great appetizers when company comes.
“For furniture, there’s Kratzer Furniture and Homestead Furniture. I’ve purchased bedroom sets from both, and the craftsmanship is superb. And of course, let us not forget Lehman’s. It’s an adventure to go in there and see all the old-fashioned merchandise made for the Amish lifestyle,” which includes crocks crafted to store butter without refrigeration, wood-burning stoves, hand tools and solar-powered lanterns.

Most surprising discovery:
“Going to The Kidron Auction. You can buy just about everything down there — from livestock to farm machinery to pots and pans to food the Amish community has grown or cooked. It’s absolutely astonishing.”


Herb and Bonnie Cook

Where they live:
Weirton, West Virginia
For 39 years, Bonnie and Herb Cook have made frequent pilgrimages to
Holmes County. “We don’t miss a season,” says Bonnie. “There’s never a day when the area isn’t lovely.”

Favorite places to eat:
“Dutch Valley Restaurant in Sugarcreek makes wonderful turkey and roast beef dinners.
“For dessert, we head to Der Dutchman Restaurant in Walnut Creek. They make the best chocolate cookies with caramel icing. They remind me of the ones my grandmother used to make. I think that’s why I like them so much.”

Favorite places to shop:
“There’s no place on earth like Tis the Season Christmas Shoppe in Millersburg. I collect Santas, and they have a wonderful selection. Staff members go out of their way to be helpful. In fact, we consider many of them to be our friends. Through the years, we’ve purchased trees, lights, ornaments and wreaths there. They have everything you could possibly want or need to decorate your home for the holidays.
“We also love Carlisle Gifts in Walnut Creek. They have a wonderful assortment of Thomas Kinkade paintings, as well as silk floral arrangements and centerpieces.”



Jeannene and Derwood C. Smith

Where they live: Shaker Heights
Jeannene, 72, a retired library associate, and her husband Derwood, 74, an associate professor of religious studies at Cleveland State University, like nothing better than spending holiday weekends in Geauga and Trumbull counties.
“It is,” Jeannene says, “the ultimate peaceful getaway.”

Favorite place to stay:
The Red Maple Inn. “What’s there not to love about it?” Jeannene says with smile. Derwood is partial to the freshly made popcorn that’s always available in the great room, while Jeannene can’t get enough of the homemade cookies — usually chocolate chip or macadamia — awaiting guests at the front desk.
And, she says, “the breakfasts are lovely. There are eggs served with bacon or sausage, wonderful doughnuts and delicious granola. We love the granola so much, we usually buy a bag to send to our son in San Diego.”
Derwood never ceases to admire the view. “We look through the French doors to our balcony and see wide open fields that are picture-perfect. At night, in the darkness, the lights of Middlefield twinkle from afar.”

Favorite place to eat:
“During our stay, we … make it a point to go to the Bass Lake Taverne & Inn for lunch. “The food is really, really great,” says Jeannene. “One of our favorite dishes is the tilapia. In summer, we love sitting on the patio amid the beautiful flower boxes that overflow with blooms. For a treat to take home with us, we like the sticky buns from Mary Yoder’s Amish Kitchen, Bakery and Gift Shop.”

Favorite places to shop:
“In November, we stop at Sunrise Farm because it is a fabulous place to get a jump start on holiday shopping,” Jeannene says. “Through the years, we’ve purchased ornaments, jewelry and inspirational plaques. The gift shop also carries a nice selection of cheese, nuts, cookies and teas, which the staff will fashion a gift basket from. In fact, they’ll even mail it to your destination.”
And to satisfy their sweet tooth, the couple frequent White House Chocolates. “It’s a must-stop,” says Derwood, who can’t resist the cherry cordials and dark-chocolate almond clusters.


Paul and Dotty Kelly

Where they live: Mayfield Heights
For Paul and Dotty Kelly — and Dotty’s mom, Ann Rinella, 96 — a trip to Amish Country is the ideal way to get away from it all.
“It’s peaceful, it’s quiet and when you drive the back roads, you really get back to nature,” says Paul, 73, a customer service representative at Petitti Garden Center in Richmond Heights. Adds, Dotty, 71, a former registrar’s assistant at Case Western Reserve University: “It’s the perfect place to have a relaxing day.”

Favorite places to shop:
End of the Commons General Store in Mesopotamia, which dates to 1840. The emporium features more than 1,000 bulk food items, as well as Amish meats and cheese, hand-dipped ice cream, popcorn and penny candy.
“We love browsing there,” Paul says, “because they have a lot of products you are not going to find anyplace else.”

“Fig Tree Bulk Foods in Middlefield is a baker’s delight. They specialize in different colored sugars, as well as a variety of cookie cutters and placemats,” Dotty says.
Middlefield Cheese House is also a favorite. “We stop for lunchmeat and cheese,” Paul says. “All of their products are excellent. We love the garlic and Swiss varieties.” Tuesday is Senior Day: Golden Buckeye Card holders receive 10 percent off their purchases.


GoodSeed Country Garden Center & Nursery
200 Storer Rd., Peebles 45660, 937/587-7021.
Miller’s Furniture, Bakery & Bulk Foods
960 Wheat Ridge Rd., West Union 45693, 937/544-8524.
Murphin Ridge Inn
750 Murphin Ridge Rd., West Union, 45693, 877/687-7446.

Carlisle Gifts
4962 Walnut St., Walnut Creek 44687, 330/893-2535.
5060 St. Rte. 557, Millersburg 44654, 330/893-2550.
The Charm Countryview Inn
3334 St. Rte. 557, Baltic 43804, 330/893-3003.
Der Dutchman Restaurant
4967 Walnut St., Walnut Creek, 44687, 330/893-2981.
Dutch Valley Restaurant
1343 Old Rte. 39, Sugarcreek 44681, 330/852-4627.
Grandma’s Homestead
4450 St. Rte. 557, Charm 44617, 330/893-2717.
Heini’s Cheese Chalet & Country Market
6005 Co. Hwy. 77, Millersburg 44654, 800/253-6636.
Homestead Furniture
8233 St. Rte. 241, Mt. Hope 44660, 866/674-4902.
Hotel Millersburg
35 W. Jackson St., Millersburg 44654, 330/674-1457.
The Kidron Auction
4885 Kidron Rd., Apple Creek 44606, 330/857-2641.
Kratzer Furniture
1255 Kidron Rd., Orrville 44667, 330/857-4756.
4779 Kidron Rd., Dalton 44618, 888/438-5346.
Tis the Season Christmas Shoppe
4363 St. Rte. 39, Millersburg 44654, 888/893-3604.

Bass Lake Taverne & Inn
426 South St., Chardon 44024, 440/285-3100.
End of the Commons General Store
8719 St. Rte 534, Mesopotamia 44439, 440/693-4295.
Fig Tree Bulk Foods
15970 E. High St., Middlefield 44062, 440/632-0102
Mary Yoder’s Amish Kitchen, Bakery and Gift Shop
14743 North State St., Middlefield 44062, 440/632-1939.
Middlefield Cheese House
15815 Nauvoo Rd., Middlefield 44062, 800/327-9477.
Red Maple Inn
14707 South Cheshire (St. Rte 700), Burton 44021, 888/646-2753.
14607 Kinsman Rd., Burton 44021, 440/834-3133