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5 Tips for a Trip to Amish Country

Updated on July 17, 2017

Traditional Wheat Harvest

An Amish farmer uses horse power to harvest wheat in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
An Amish farmer uses horse power to harvest wheat in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania | Source

A Brief History of the Amish People

Visiting the Amish country of the United States is where the past thrives in the present. Breaking away from another Christian group in 1693, the Amish believe the community should be tied closely to the faith. The beliefs of the Amish include adult baptism and strict separation of church and state. They have never participated in any war because of their interpretation of religious guidance. Indeed, the Amish people teach their children in private schools. This education extends to children with special needs if such instruction is determined to be beneficial.

Learning about the history and present situation of the Amish people can guide you on a rewarding adventure. After moving to Pennsylvania from Europe, the Amish eventually spread to other territories. Currently, the largest population of the Amish is in Ohio, followed next by Indiana. Lancaster County in Pennsylvania has the third largest population of the group in the U.S. The communities of Amish people are called “settlements.” Each of these settlements consists of twenty or thirty family farms.

There are approximately 250,000 Amish in America. That number is expected to rise due to more Amish youth deciding to stay in their communities and raise families. This means more opportunities for tourists in the long-run to explore the culture and beauty of the country where they dwell. Below are some tips for you when you go to Amish country. I enjoyed every minute of the peaceful surroundings and the good-natured people who live in Lancaster County when I took a trip there.

Cottage Industries

Homemade root beer is just one product available at Amish farms. Many Amish rely on cottage industry for extra income
Homemade root beer is just one product available at Amish farms. Many Amish rely on cottage industry for extra income | Source

Tips for Traveling in Amish Country

  1. You cannot help but marvel at the self-reliance of the Amish people. Although the city of Lancaster is teeming with modern stores, convenient stores are tough to find once you go into the county. However, the Amish people have little “cottage industries” at almost every farm (shown in the picture.) But don’t be surprised to see the Amish people hard at work in the fields with their horses when you visit.
  2. The Horses and buggies of the Amish travel on the roads with cars. The Amish believe the use of the automobile creates strain on the structure of a family. For this reason they use horses and buggies for transportation. The buggies used by the Amish people can be in different designs and shapes. There are buggies for complete families and two-seaters. In fact, buggies in the more modern Amish groups will have lights on them for driving at night.
  3. The Amish people are not opposed to technology. Each settlement figures out how to apply new technologies in a way consistent with their spiritual values. Appliances such as hot water heaters may be found in homes like the one in the picture. Cell phones and computers may be present in some settlements, and Youth get together and go out on dates as well.
  4. Food is not glamorous. Dishes from the local restaurants are wonderfully simplistic and delicious. Spices are not lavished on meals, but the friendliness of the people is fulfilling.
  5. There are websites and booklets devoted to the Amish way of life. Read some of them before you take a trip to better appreciate the atmosphere of the area. If you need to experience a less complex perspective on life, then a visit to Amish country is the right choice to make.

A typical farm

A typical Amish farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
A typical Amish farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania | Source


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    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 2 months ago from Louisiana, USA

      When I lived in Hershey, PA I was around several Amish and Amish markets. One of my favorite restaurants was Shady Maples and one of the best Amish markets was Roots. Being from Louisiana I am used to Cajun spices cuisine, but the Amish provide some amazing dishes as well that prove you do not need to spice things up.