About 10 years ago our family moved to Holmes County, Ohio where there are many Amish and tourist attractions. Recently I had the opportunity to visit Shipshewana, Indiana for the first time. I have heard people compare the two Amish destinations and now I can speak from experience.
When you first enter Holmes County you begin to realize that you are in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. There are many rolling hills and a lot of beautiful countryside. When you are driving in to Shipshewana the landscape is very flat.
The Holmes County area is home to many Swiss immigrants. Their yards and gardens are absolutely breath taking. Many of the homes near Shipshewana had no flowers, bushes, or landscaping.
When you drive the back roads in Holmes County you will see signs in front of some of the homes advertising candles, baskets, bulk foods, furniture, etc. The Amish in the area have businesses on their farms and homesteads and you don’t have to be Amish to shop there. I didn’t see any such signs in the Shipshewana area.
We had lunch at the Blue Gate Restaurant & Bakery. It reminded me of the mega-restaurants in Holmes County such as Der Dutchman. The food at both places is very good and so is the pie!
In the area of Blue Gate Restaurant there were a lot of gift shops and the area reminded me of Berlin, Ohio.
Holmes County has so many tourist attractions such as: fine gifts, flea markets, antiques, animal ranches, cheese factories, chocolate factory, wineries, museums, historical homes, Amish farm house tours, golf, etc. I did not see that kind of variety in Shipshewana.
From this writer’s perspective, you will have a much better vacation in Holmes County, Ohio than you would in Shipshewana, Indiana.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608 www.garden-gate.com