I’ve been getting a lot of emails about a recent New York Times story about the Pinecraft Amish community, aka the “Amish Las Vegas”. Pinecraft is a neighborhood in Sarasota, Florida, and home to the only Amish population in the Sunshine State.

PinecraftThe year-round Amish presence is small, but Pinecraft’s numbers swell every winter, when tour buses bring loads of visitors from communities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana and elsewhere.  From the article:

Set against a backdrop of giant oak trees and Spanish moss, Pinecraft Park is a melting pot of Amish and Mennonite America. Old order, new order and nontraditional congregate. Clothing choices clue you in to hometowns: Men from Tampico, Ill., wear denim overalls; girls from Lancaster, Pa., cover their dresses with black aprons; and women from northern Indiana have neatly pressed pleats on their white bonnets.

“All these groups can mingle down here in a way they wouldn’t at home,” said Katie Troyer, 59, a year-round resident who left the Amish church but still embraces the culture. “That’s a puzzle people have been trying to figure out for ages.”

I have to say I was excited to see Katie pop up in the story.  It’s a short but interesting read; you can find the rest here.

You can also check out the Florida Amish state guide for more on Pinecraft.

Have any readers visited Pinecraft?  How was it?  What are the highlights?

Photo credit: Bobby Keith/flickr

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