My 5 Favorite Amish Communities To Visit

I put together a video on my five favorite Amish communities to visit. In total I’ve been to around 70 Amish communities, many of them multiple times. These are my favorites to return to.

I won’t give away the communities here, but I can say that one is in Ohio, two are in Pennsylvania, one in Virginia, and one in Tennessee.

Okay, okay, I’ll give them away here 🙂 But check out the video for more images and more on why I enjoy each. Here are my favorite five:

  1. Holmes County, Ohio – the second-largest Amish settlement is home to the widest variety of Amish groups, from very plain to progressive. Friendly community, beautiful scenery, and a nice pace of life.
  2. Ethridge, Tennessee – A Southern Amish settlement of the plainest Amish group (Swartzentruber). Many, many small shops and porchfront sellers of produce, candles, furniture, rugs, baked goods, and lots of other fun things. Good one if you like stopping at Amish places and seeing what they have for sale
  3. Big Valley, Pennsylvania – White buggies, black buggies, and yellow buggies in a beautiful 30-mile-long valley
  4. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania – the oldest and largest Amish settlement. I often stay with Amish friends here.
  5. Burke’s Garden, Virginia – A small Amish community tucked away in a very isolated and unusual valley in a corner of Virginia. Getting there is half the fun.

Video below, runtime 7:09. Which are your favorite communities to visit?

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    1. Richard J. Traunero

      Our lists are similar

      Erik, our lists are very similar! We know and have stayed with Amish friends in Holmes County (only about 100 miles from our home), Lancaster County, and in the Big Valley in Belleville. I would echo everything you said about these locations. Wonderful scenery, and friendly people. I enjoyed your video very much!

      1. Richard I’m happy to hear that! Though they are of similar size as far as Amish population, I find Holmes Co and Lancaster Co quite different. I like both though for different reasons

    2. Gary Denniss


      Having visited Bird-in-Hand/Lancaster and Shipshewana, my wife and I have some appreciation for the Amish people. I enjoy your videos and this one was especially interesting as you ranked your informed favourites. Please keep your work coming…one day we hope to visit Holmes County, Ohio. We are somewhat familiar with the Amish communities in Ontario, Canada, but the American Amish communities hold a greater interest for us. Gary and Grace Denniss, Bracebridge, ON, Canada.

      1. I appreciate that Gary. I’d love to visit some communities in Ontario (or Canada in general) but haven’t had the chance yet. As I understand it, Mennonites are generally the better-known group in Canada, aren’t they?

        1. Gary Denniss


          Yes, Mennonite groups tend to be more well known, perhaps due to historical precedence. The Amish population in Ontario is considerably smaller than the Mennonite groups. As you no doubt are aware, The Amish are moving into new areas of our country now. I find it interesting to track such migrations.

    3. Marcia Taylor

      My favorites

      I live in Chester County which borders Lancaster County on the east. It’s sad to see how much farmland is being lost as development spreads westward from Philly. Many of the Amish travel to work here in Chester County— building decks, roofing and selling in farmers’ markets. I buy all my plants from Amish or Mennonite greenhouses. I also find the Pinecraft settlement in Sarasota FL to be fascinating. Breakfast at Der Dutchman and Yoder’s is so unexpected in Florida.

      1. Pinecraft is a special place as well! You are right the growth makes farming less and less doable for families but Chester County especially provides a well-off market for Amish builders as you note. I do like the Amish areas of Chester County such as the Honey Brook area and south from there. Still feels like Lancaster County at least in those areas.

        1. Marcis


          Just wanted to mention that the YouTuber who visited several Amish communities is Peter Santanello. His videos, especially the one he did in Pinecraft, are fascinating.

    4. Al in Ky

      The first Amish community I ever visited was the Hazelton, Iowa (Buchanan County) community in the 1960’s. My uncle (non-Amish) farmed in that community amongst the Amish. Since that time, I have visited 45 additional Amish communities in 11 states.

      My two favorite Amish communities are Elkhart-Lagrange, Indiana, and Orleans,Indiana (Orange County).

      I like Elkhart-Lagrange for its opportunities to learn more about Amish faith and life (Menno-Hof, Northern Indiana Amish Library, Heritage Bookstore, etc.); Amish Plays (The Cove Amish Youth Center in Shipshewana); Benefit dinners; Stores (E & S Bulk Food, L & R Footwear & Gifts,etc.); and observing the slow but sure changes almost every year in the use of more technology.

      I like the Orleans settlement (Swartzentruber) because it is such a contrast to Elkhart-Lagrange in that the Amish in the Orleans area use only very minimal technology. This settlement is only about an hour from my home so I can visit it frequently, and enjoy regular conversations with several Amish residents there that I have gotten to know through the years. It is a beautiful area (rolling hills) and there are many farmstands which sell excellent home-grown produce from about May through October.

      My “honorable mention” communities would be Holmes County, Ohio; Munfordville, Ky.; Daviess County, Indiana; and Fillmore County, Minnesota (Canton/Harmony).

    5. Amish are a private people

      I don’t believe the Amish would approve of all this publicity. I know and have know Lancaster County all my life.

    6. Terry Ball

      What about Wisconsin?

      Again Wisc isn’t on your list!!! The offer I have extended to you for how long now, might have to be rescinded…sigh…but I could reconsider!

      SEEYOU soon!!

      As Maudie says in the Budget…Make it a good day!

    7. Brenda

      Very Interesting!

      The Burke’s Garden, Virginia area Amish sounds very interesting. I’m curious; was there a place to stay overnight?

      Out of all the Amish communities that you have visited, which one(s) was the friendliest?

      I am not too far from Lancaster, PA and have visited quite a few times. Although I really never got to interact with the Amish. I really like your suggestion of stopping at their stores and outdoor stands to get to know them.

      I have also visited the Goshen, Shipshewana area. The Amish there seemed to be pretty friendly.

      Of course I have been to Pinecraft many times because I grew up in Sarasota and my one set of grandparents lived in Pinecraft. A YouTuber visited the Amish there recently. I was very surprised at how open and talkative the Amish were with him. In the 70’s when I was growing up there, they would not speak one word to an “Englisher” (someone who is not Amish). It’s refreshing to see that has changed.

      Thank you Erik, for the video and all of the information on the Amish. My Parents were Amish when they were very young. Then their parents “jumped the fence” (as they termed it) and converted to Mennonite. Beyond my grandparents pretty much everyone was Amish. I enjoy learning more about my Amish roots. Perhaps I will try visiting some Amish areas as well.