Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blooms, Butterflies, and Birds Abound Near Holmes County Ohio

On Saturday, April 30, 2011, blooms, butterflies, and birds will abound near Holmes County, Ohio.  The Wilderness Center near Wilmot is having a native plant sale and gardening seminars from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.  The native plant sale is an annual event where you can purchase plants that are native to Ohio and therefore will be more hardy when it comes to keeping them in your garden.  Plants offered are for various areas of your garden from marsh plants to shade plants to those that thrive in sun.  The seminars include topics such as birds, canning, edible landscape, butterfly gardening, plant problems, and weeds.  There is a nominal fee for the seminars with the proceeds going to help support The Wilderness Center.  You can pre-register for the seminars but it is not necessary.  The plant sale is first come, first served; no advance orders.  Continue the fun on Sunday with a wildflower walk at 2 p.m.  While you are there take time to check out their various nature trails. The interpretive center inside is also worth a 2nd look.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Friday, April 22, 2011

Carol's Favorite Places to Eat on Your Amish Country Vacation in Ohio

It doesn't matter if you want Amish home cooking, fine dining, fast food, barbeque, pub-style dining, etc., you will find lots of choices on your Amish Country vacation in Ohio.  These are my favorites:

Chalet in the Valley.  This restaurant is owned by the Guggisberg family that moved here from Switzerland several years ago.  The cheese fondue and 5 kinds of schnitzel are awesome!  My husband thinks that Smothered Chicken is the only thing on the menu (and it is really good!)
Table.  A guest of ours describe Table restaurant as 5 star dining at 1 star prices.  This renowned chef/owner has worked with Wolfgang Puck, catered Emmy and Grammy awards as well as Julia Child's 80th birthday.  They are located in the back of a retirement village but don't let that fool you as to what kind of food you will experience.
Mrs. Yoders Kitchen.  If you are looking for Amish home cooking, this is your restaurant!  The food is fabulous and the salad bar is one of the best in the County.  Save room for homemade pie because it is second to none.
Bags Sports Pub.  Some people like to have a beer or cocktail with dinner and much of Holmes County is dry with no alcohol.  Bags offers 100 beers plus cocktails along with some fantastic food.  Whether you want a burger on a pretzel bun, Caesar Salmon Salad, a Grouper Wrap, or a Steak dinner, you will find it all at Bags.  The quality of the food is not quite 5 star but pretty close and yet the atmosphere is casual.
Millers Dutch Kitchen.  This restaurant is best known for their Broasted Chicken and authentic Amish cooking.  They have a good variety of home-cooked meals such as Swiss Steak, Pork Chops, Meat Loaf, and Roast Beef.   The desserts include homemade Vanilla ice cream, homemade pie, sundaes, and chocolate Angel Food cake.  They are located in Baltic across from Baltic Mills gift shop and bulk foods.
Rebeccas Bistro. You won't find menus in this restaurant because they offer different lunches every day.   They offer fresh foods and local produce in the quiche, entree salads, soup, and sandwiches.  They are not usually open for dinner except for the 2nd Friday of each month they have a special Gourmet dinner by reservation.

The restaurants mentioned are certainly not the only restaurants that offer good food in Amish Country but they are Carol's favorites.

Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Carol's 10 Favorite Places to See on Your Amish Country Vacation in Ohio

There are so many things to see and do in addition to experiencing the Amish culture on your Amish Country vacation in Ohio.  The following are my 10 favorite places that you should not miss:

1.  Warther Museum.  The thing that sets this museum apart from others is the guided tour.  You really get to know Mooney Warther and understand what you are looking at when family and friends of Warther deliver your tour.  Mesmerizing, Amazing, incredible!
2.  Wendell August Forge.  They make everything from coasters to trivets to platters to chip 'n dip plates and more.  There are only 2 in the USA and we have one in Berlin, Ohio.  They have designs for everyone's taste.
3.  Walnut Creek Cheese.  They are so many things under 1 roof!  You will find a granola, jam and jelly factory, bulk foods, bakery, ice cream parlor, Uncle Mike's beef jerky, kitchen gadgets, lunch counter, and of course, cheese.
4.  P. Graham Dunn.  This inspirational gallery has wall decor, home furnishings, and gifts.  Through a glass wall you can view how they make everything since the factory is attached to the retail store.  Be sure to visit the seconds room.
5.  Millers Bakery.  This Amish-owned bakery is just off of State Route 557.  Everything is homemade, not processed by a bunch of stainless steel!  I love their cinnamon rolls but you will also find cookies, cream cheese tarts, donuts, breads, and more.  My favorite bakery in Amish Country.
6.  Behalt.  This 360 degree mural was painted by Heinz Gaugel and it depicts the history of the Mennonite and Amish communities.  Not only is it one of the most beautiful works of art I've ever seen, but it is a history lesson.  The tour of the mural is narrated.  Behalt is one of four cycloramas in North America.
7.  Rolling Ridge Ranch.  I love animals and on this tour you sit on a horse-drawn wagon with a bucket of feed and see over 500 animals from around the world.  The driver stops every few minutes for the animals to approach the wagon and eat right out of your bucket.  Have you ever seen a Zonkey?
8.  Amish Country Essentials.  Shane learned to make soap from his grandmother at the age of 12.  Today he sells homemade soaps both retail and wholesale.  You will be shocked to find out all of the bad ingredients in the soaps that you use at home.  You can purchase bar soap, bath bombs, bath salts, shaving bars, lotion and more.  They even offer soap making classes!
9.  Guggisberg Cheese.  When I have tasted cheddar, coolly, jalapeno jack and other common cheese in Holmes County they all seem to taste the same.  Guggisberg Baby Swiss has not been duplicated in my opinion.   It's delicious, it's unique, and has won many awards.  Stop in their store between Berlin and Charm and see for yourself.
10.  Coblentz Chocolate Company What woman doesn't like chocolate?  I'm no exception.  These family chocolate recipes are wonderful!  They have a viewing gallery where you can watch chocolate being made on the weekdays.  Choose from pre-boxed chocolates or visit the candy counter and build your own box to take home.  A couple of times each year they sell tickets for a chocolate tasting and making where you go in the factory and make some chocolates!

I've left out many wonderful places so make plenty of time on your Amish Country vacation in Ohio to visit more than these ten.

Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Produce Stands in Amish Country Ohio

Almost nine years ago when some bed and breakfast owners in Amish Country, Ohio were asked by guests where they could find produce stands it was hard to come up with an answer.  People assumed that every Amish family had a garden and sold their produce.  What they didn't realize is that many Amish families have gardens but they can their produce to provide food for their families.  Today more and more produce stands are popping up around Holmes County Amish Country.  The next time you visit Amish Country visit these places:
Hershberger's Farm and Bakery  Some of you know this business on State Route 557 as Hershbergers Truck Patch.   Started by Daniel Hershberger, this place used to be a seasonal produce stand.  The next generation has taken over and you not only will you find fresh produce, but they have a bakery that specializes in cinnamon rolls and fry pies.  They also have their own label of canned produce.  There is a store/gift shop and a petting farm.  Children love to feed the goats and take a ride on Big Ben, Ohio's largest Belgian work horse.  Plan on spending a while because you will find kettle korn, homemade ice cream, lunch, animals, produce and more!  Hershberger's Farm and Bakery is located at 5452 State Route 557 just south of State Route 39/US 62 and north of Charm.
The Farm at Walnut Creek  Not only is The Farm a place to view exotic animals from around the world, but they also have a working farm.  Tour Amish homes, blacksmith, barns, etc., and learn what it is like to live on a farm.  The produce grown on this farm is available for sale on the premises.  They are located in Walnut Creek, Ohio at 4147 County Road 114 just south of State Route 39.
Blessing Acres  Visit an Amish farm between Mt. Hope and Berlin for fresh produce.  They are located on Township Road 362 and the Miller family owns and operates this 25 acre produce farm.  You will find hand-painted signs to guide you to their stand and depending on what is in season the sign changes. The farm-fresh produce includes strawberries, zucchini, onions, potatoes, beets, cucumbers, corn, etc.  You will also find honey and pickles for sale at Blessing Acres.
Hillcrest Orchard  This is an apple orchard and produce stand located at 2474 Township Road 444 in Walnut Creek.  They are just past the famous Der Dutchmann Restaurant.   You will find fresh produce, squash, pumpkins, honey, apples, maple syrup, jams and jellies.  They also have 50 acres of apples and peaches.  In the fall you will love their homemade apple cider.
Sharp Run Market  This is the newest produce stand in Holmes County and it is located at 5841 State Route 39 just west of Berlin.  They offer various produce depending on the time of year.  In 2010 they set up an organic corn maze in addition to the produce stand.
There are other produce stands in Amish Country Ohio but we've just mentioned a few.  To find the most fresh produce drive up and down the back roads and look for signs in front of Amish farms.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Friday, April 15, 2011

Horseback Riding in Holmes County, Ohio

Millions of visitors venture to Amish Country, Ohio each year for Amish culture but many are looking for a place to go horseback riding in Holmes County.  Amish Country Riding Stables offers tourists a place to go horseback riding.  They accept both experienced and non-experienced riders.  You ride in small groups and there is a trail guide that goes out with you.  Experienced riders get the chance to not only walk the horse, but trot and run too.  Rides are available most days from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays.  Rides usually last around 45 minutes and they do have a weight limit. Riders must be at least 7 years old.  The rides take you through the beautiful Charm countryside with breathtaking scenery all around you.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sunday Sunsets in Your Ohio Amish Country Getaway

If you have ever visited Holmes County, Ohio on a Sunday you have probably asked yourself, "Why are so many businesses closed?"  Learn the answers on an Ohio Amish Country Getaway.  This is one community where God and family beat out the "almighty dollar".  Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast has come up with a Sunday evening activity.  From July through September 2011 they will offer a 'Sunday Sunset' tour of Amish Country.  The Sunday night bed and breakfast guests have the option to take a 2 hour tour of rolling pastures of Amish Country.  While on their private tour bus you will learn about the Amish church districts.  You'll find out why the Amish businesses are closed on Sundays.  Your innkeepers will explain their education and more mysteries of their culture.  To keep things in the "English" world each guest will be treated to a glass of wine and some cheese while they traverse the roads of Holmes County Amish Country.  When the tour ends you can unwind at the night campfire back at the bed and breakfast.  For more information and rates check out their Amish Country Tours on the website or call 330-674-7608.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Monday, April 11, 2011

History in the Making at Ohio Amish Country Getaway

You never know what new things you are going to find when you visit Holmes County.  Our Ohio Amish Country Getaway strives to offer guests very unique experiences.  This summer you could literally be part of history in the making in two respects.  A weekend package features an outdoor picnic dinner with a guitar concert by Grammy-nominated, Bud Preston.
The first way you are part of history is that Bud Preston has written a series of original songs that depict the history of building the Ohio Erie Canal.  Preston is also a storyteller.  His concert includes stories of how the canal was built and what the working conditions were like.  He put this into a fictional story about a couple, Rachel & William, that are young, married and William leaves Rachel temporarily while he goes to work on the Erie Canal.  William's hopes are to make enough money to buy some land and start a homestead with Rachel.  In between each song he plays he shares different historical references that went along with building the Canal.  It is hard to put in to words what a great experience this is.
The second way that you may be part of history in the making is the Bud Preston is unlike any guitar artist that you may have ever heard.  He uses more piano techniques when playing his acoustic guitars so his sound is very unique.  Sometimes people are just mesmerized when they see his hands going up and down the neck of the guitar as he plays certain songs.  The tones that come out of the guitar when he taps on it or re-tunes it are extraordinary.  He was nominated for a Grammy with his first CD release, 'Welcome'.  We expect him to be nominated for Grammy again and even to win one for this Ohio Erie Canal music.
For more information on this summer getaway experience, and future concerts, visit our Amish Country Ohio bed and breakfast website.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dinosaurs Still Exist in Holmes County Ohio

Today homemade food and baking seems as extinct as the dinosaur, but have no fear because dinosaurs still exist in Holmes County, Ohio Amish Country.  It is easy to understand that when a couple works 12-14 hour days they don’t come home from work and bake a cake or cookies.   Unlike the rest of the world life is at a much slower pace in Amish Country.  Restaurants and bakeries offer scrumptious pies, cakes and cookies.  Staying over night at a bed and breakfast is likely to bring you homemade cookies in the afternoon and homemade bread with your breakfast the next morning.   If you miss Grandma’s home cooking plan a vacation in Holmes County Ohio.  Stop by Hershbergers Farm and Bakery when you get in town for some fry pies, apple fritters or cinnamon rolls.  At dinner time go to Mt. Hope for dinner at Mrs. Yoders Kitchen where you will think that your Grandma is back in the kitchen!  Spend the night at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast where you will be treated to homemade cookies, cupcakes, or brownies after you check-in and indulge in a homemade breakfast the next morning that includes baked goods that are made from scratch.  When you venture out in Amish Country the next day be sure to stop at Millers Bakery near Charm for homemade breads, noodles, and baked goods to take home.  Take a step back in time at Boyd & Wurthmann Restaurant to this diner-style restaurant with good, old-fashioned, home cooking.  Let your innkeepers map out direction to local cheese factories and the chocolate factory as well.  Before long you will begin to see what we say that dinosaurs still exist in Ohio Amish Country.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Land & Lake Summer Fun at 2 Ohio Bed and Breakfasts

2 Experiences - 2 Nights - 2 Ohio bed and breakfasts - 2 Fun Days - 2 Savings
It is not often that a bed and breakfast owner will send guests to another bed and breakfast but this is the exception.  When Herb & I needed a break from our bed and breakfast we discovered a wonderful place that is only a short drive away.  We were so impressed with the owners, the building, the grounds, the room, our food, etc., that we decided to team up with them to offer something special to our guests.

Begin your adventure touring Holmes County Amish Country and discovering unique shops, hidden antique treasures, wineries, Amish made furniture and witness the simple life of the Amish as they move from place to place in a horse and buggy.  Check-in Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast near Millersburg, where you will have the opportunity to have dinner in an Amish home, prepared by an Amish family serving their traditional foods including a homemade dessert.  When you return to the bed and breakfast hang out at the evening campfire mingling with other guests enjoying the cool night air.  After a peaceful night's slumber you'll be ready for a wonderful breakfast served to you in the newly renovated breakfast room overlooking the gardens and neighboring pasture.

When you are ready to check out your innkeepers will map out directions to the second bed and breakfast.  On the way to your next night's adventure be sure to visit the awesome Warther Museum and take a tour.  Your innkeepers will have a discount admission coupon for you.

Your next adventure will begin on Atwood Lake with a self-captained pontoon boat ride from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the East Marina.  Down the road is Whispering Pines Bed & Breakfast where you will spend your second night.  Relax on the balcony before heading out to The Lighthouse Bistro for a casual dinner, weather permitting outdoor patio dining.  Back to the B&B for smores at the fire pit enjoying the star studded sky.  After another good night's sleep, an early morning coffee, a delicious breakfast will be served to you in the newly built sunroom overlooking picturesque Atwood Lake.

2 Experiences, 2 Nights, 2 B&B's, 2 Breakfasts, 2 Fun Days, and 2 Savings: $10 room discount from each B&B to help cover the rising cost of gas.  This discount and 2-night offer is valid Monday-Thursday through September 1, 2011.  Contact Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast at 330-674-7608 and we'll make your reservations at both bed and breakfasts for you.  If you are traveling from the north and want to make Whispering Pines Bed & Breakfast your first night then call 866-4lakevu.  Total cost will depend on which room(s) you choose to stay in so contact us for a price quote.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ohio Bed and Breakfast Offers One-Of-A-Kind Service To Guests

Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, an Ohio bed and breakfast in the heart of Holmes County Amish Country, is the first B&B in Ohio (that we are aware of) to purchase a tour bus to offer exclusive tours to their guests.  "There have been different tour companies in the area over the 8 1/2 years that we have owned this bed and breakfast.  It hasn't always been easy finding availability on these tours for our guests.  We can now guarantee if we are offering the tour our guests can have a seat.", said Carol Steffey, one of the owners.  There are so many things to see and do in the Holmes County area that tours can take on many themes such as wine tasting tours, Amish culture tours, Ohio Erie Canal history tours, etc.  The first tour to launch will be Saturday, April 9, 2011 and it is called 'Red, White & You: Wine Tasting Weekend'. This tour will be repeated once in May and once in June.  The Steffeys are also planning itineraries to teach their guests about Amish culture and customs and these tours will launch in May 2011.  For updated information you can contact the bed and breakfast at 330-674-7608 or visit the Seasonal Packages page of their website.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bed and Breakfast in Millersburg Ohio Recommends Ohio Light Opera

Last summer our bed and breakfast in Millersburg, Ohio had the pleasure of packaging with Ohio Light Opera.  Until that time I had never hear of this wonderful company and yet they have quite a history.
What is a light opera you may ask?  It was described to me as being similar to a musical but with more singing than acting.  When I attended my first performance I was surprised that it was sung in English.  I always thought of opera as foreign language.  If you like the theater you would will love this Company.

Ohio Light Opera got its start in 1968 as the Kent State Light Opera.  They did not perform in Freelander Theatre at the College of Wooster until 1976 as a one time engagement.  When the Kent State Light Opera dissolved arrangements were made to move the opera to Wooster and in 1979 the first Ohio Light Opera was performed.

The 2011 season include performances that many people are familiar with: Camelot, Jubilee, Madame Pompadour, The Fortune Teller, The Merry Widow, The Pirates of Penzance,  Triple Bill, Evening Wind, Cox and Box, Trial by Jury.  There are special events like the 4th of July Pops Concert featuring songs from the Ohio Light Opera cast.  The season will run from June 18 - August 13.  You can choose from 2:00 p.m. matinee performances or 7:30 p.m. evening performances.

If you are visiting Ohio Amish Country during the day you will notice that many gift shops close by 5 p.m.  This schedule will allow you to catch dinner and attend the 7:30 p.m. performance.  The schedule will allow you to see more than one performance while you are here.  The tickets sell so fast that this year we are not "packaging" Ohio Light Opera, but encourage you to call and order your tickets, then contact our bed and breakfast to reserve your room.  This will ensure getting in the performance that you choose and picking the seat that you prefer.

We discovered that one of the actors, Spiro Matsos, actually owns Matsos Restaurant in downtown Wooster.  We had a wonderful meal there after our Sunday matinee performance.  I really enjoyed looking at a pictorial history of the Ohio Light Opera hanging on the walls of the restaurant.  If you have never been to Ohio Light Opera then you will want to check it out this summer.

Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608