Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Amish Country Tours Great Winter Option

When the weather is questionable in the winter months then taking Amish Country tours are a great option.  This winter you can take a Highlights of Amish Country tour when you stay at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast.   They have their own tour bus and after indulging in a scrumptious breakfast at the B&B you can board the bus to see some of the most popular attractions/shops in Amish Country, Ohio.  The stops include:  Heini's Cheese Factory where you can learn how cheese is made, watch it in production, and taste up to 50 samples of cheese; Wendell August Forge with beautiful trays, coasters, vases, gifts, jewelry, etc., forged from aluminum, bronze, and copper; Ashery Bulk Foods which is loaded with every kind of spice, baking supplies, cheese, meat, etc., including locally produced foods; Lehmans which was originally built to cater to the Amish and has now become a major attraction and some of their products have been featured in Hollywood movies; Coblentz Chocolate Factory where you can see chocolates being made and shop their showroom; and Tis The Season which is Ohio's largest, year-round Christmas store.  Contact the bed and breakfast for reservations.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Monday, February 25, 2013

Winter Romantic Getaways in Ohio

When the snowflakes are falling and a chill is in the air people look for romantic getaways here in Ohio.  The Winter Special at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast makes it even more affordable too!
When:     Check-in Monday - Wednesday through March 31, 2013
What:     Buy your 1st night at rack rate and receive your 2nd consecutive night FREE
Rates:     From $105 + tax to $175 + tax depending on room type

On the same property is Cottages at Garden Gate Get-A-Way offering more privacy and a similar Winter Special:

When:     Check-in Monday - Wednesday through March 31, 2013
What:     Buy your 1st night at rack rate and receive your 2nd consecutive night 50% off
Rates:     $215 + tax
For more information on these romantic getaways check out the website at  Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Amish. Mennonite. The same or different?

When visiting Holmes County, Ohio, I've heard more that one person say that the Amish and Mennonites are one in the same ... or so they thought.  There are many different "levels" of both Amish and Mennonite people so what I share is representative of those I have met in Ohio Amish Country.  One of the best analogies that I can think of is the Catholic and Lutheran faiths.  The Catholic Church was first.  Martin Luther came along he didn't like some of the things about the Catholic church and wanted to get them to change.  When nothing changed he broke away and started the Lutheran Church.  Both churches worship and believe a very similar doctrine but minor differences keep them separate.  The Mennonite faith dates back to 1525 and was the first Anabaptist group of people (Anabaptist...believing in adult baptism).  It was in 1693 when the Amish division took place.  Jakob Ammann, like Martin Luther with the Catholics, felt that certain things about the Mennonite Church needed to be changed but didn't.  The differences between the different sects of Amish and Mennonite are more how they live than what they believe.  To learn more about these groups you can visit the Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center in Berlin, Ohio and tour the mural, Behalt, that depicts the history in more detail.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Take a Bird Watching Vacation in Ohio Amish Country

If you love to listen to bird songs in your own backyard but don't recogonize the bird singing them then you may want to take a bird watching vacation in ohio.    The Wilderness Center, located in Wilmot, Ohio, has a wonderful nature center and several trails.  On Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 1 p.m., you can take a class to learn bird calls.  One of the Naturalists at the nature center will put on a short presentation inside the nature center and then you will accompany them outside to identify bird songs.  There are several bird feeders just outside the nature center with the sounds/songs piped inside.  After your bird song class you may want to sit inside for a while and see how many birds you can identify.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Great Ohio Wineries in Amish Country

Who knew that you don't need Napa Valley for some great wine but you can find it right here in our backyard at Ohio wineries.   In fact some of the best Ohio wines are in heart of Amish Country, Ohio.
One Stop Wine Shopping
Gateway Place is located on US62 between Winesburg and Wilmot.  They are a wine tasting showroom and carry wines from all over Ohio plus other countries.  You will find everything from sweet watermelon wine to some of the best Cabernets out there.
Heini's Gourmet Market in Sugarcreek is home to Buckeye Wine Gallery.  Not only will you find many Ohio wines, but you can taste and purchase cheese, buy bread, sauces, dips, and more.  They offer Saturday afternoon entertainment and have an awesome lunch counter on site.

Actual Wineries
Ravens Glenn Winery is probably the fastest growing winery in Ohio.  Their wines are so good that once you have had them you keep going back for more.  Whether you are a sweet or dry wine drinker, or something in between, you are sure to love this winery.  Check out their awesome sit-down restaurant while you are there.
Breitenbach Winery is located off State Route 39 near Dover.  The are one of the largest wineries in the State.  Dandelion Wine is unique to this winery and is a sweet, dessert wine.   You will have over 40 kinds of wine to choose from and a majority of them are fruit flavored wines such as apple, peach, raspberry, etc.  Don't miss the annual Dandelion Wine Festival the first weekend in May each year.
Winery at Perennial Vineyards is the oldest winery and vineyard in Stark County.  It is housed in an old dairy barn.  They have food inside the barn as well as weekend entertainment.  Check out their website before you go for weekly specials on wine and food.
Swiss Heritage Winery was born at Broad Run Cheese in Dover.   Their specialty is sweeter wines but dry wine drinkers will love the Cheesemaker's Red.  On Saturdays you will find them making a frozen slush Sangria with fruit and it is wonderful!  They have a cheese factory and gift shop on site to visit as well.
Rainbow Hills Winery is about 7-8 miles away from Ravens Glenn Winery.  The ambiance is really quaint.  They are in the middle of the woods and the tasting room is like a little log cabin on the inside.  In the winter months they even have a fire going.  In the summer there are outdoor decks with tables overlooking a fountain and gardens.  Buy a loaf of their homemade bread and cheese plate, get a bottle of wine and enjoy the outside views.  They offer sweet, semi-sweet, and dry wines.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Ohio Bed & Breakfast Shares Top 5 Places to Shop for Cheese in Amish Country in 2013

The Amish have dairy farms which supplies a lot of milk to local cheese factories.  Guests at our Ohio bed and breakfast often ask us where to shop for the best cheese.  Our definition of "best cheese" is whatever you like.  Below we have listed our favorite 5 places that offer several types of cheese to shop from:

  1. Guggisberg Cheese, near Charm.  They have won more awards for their Swiss cheese than any other cheese factory in the area, but they do sell a variety of cheese.
  2. Broad Run Cheese, near Dover.  They are one of the oldest cheese factories in the State and have samples that you can try before your buy.  They also have a winery on site to compliment your cheese purchases.
  3. Troyers County Market, Berlin.  This bulk foods market not only offers lots of cheese, but a deli, ice cream, fresh produce, Amish Wedding Foods, and lots of samples.
  4. Walnut Creek Cheese, Walnut Creek.  From the outside it looks like 5 stores but inside you will find cheese, bulk foods, ice cream, lunch counter, jam/jelly factory, granola factory, bakery, and kitchen gadgets store!
  5. Heini's Cheese, Berlin and Heini's Gourmet Market, Sugarcreek.   At the Berlin location you can watch cheese making and sample 50 kinds of cheese.  At the Sugarcreek location you will find a gourmet market with cheese, wine, spices, snacks, and more.
There are lots of places in Amish Country to purchase cheese, but the ones mentioned above offered special experiences to visitors so they are our favorite picks.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Friday, February 15, 2013

Top 5 Restaurants in Holmes County, Ohio

Let's face it ... we all love food, especially on vacation.  The next time you visit Holmes County, Ohio, in the middle of Amish Country you won't want to miss these five restaurants:

  1. Mrs. Yoder's Kitchen, Mt. Hope.   The best Amish home cooking in the County!
  2. Chalet in the Valley, near Charm.  From the cheese fondue to the schnitzel the Swiss cuisine is the best thing on the menu (American favorites for the not-so-adventurous too)
  3. Der Dutchman, Walnut Creek.  The prettiest views are from this restaurant that specializes in Amish kitchen cooking.
  4. Rebecca's Bistro, Walnut Creek.  Our favorite lunch spot with gourmet cooking, desserts, and specialty coffee/teas.
  5. Bags Sports Pub, Millersburg.  Sometimes you just don't want Amish home cooking.  The Salmon dinner and BBQ Rib dinners are our favorites.  They also have a liquor license just in case you would like a cocktail with dinner.
There are several wonderful restaurants that we did not mention but ones listed above are our favorites.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Top 10 Places to Visit on your 2013 Amish Country Vacation in Ohio

Many guests at our bed and breakfast ask us what we recommend as the "don't miss" sites on their Amish Country vacation here in Ohio.  If you are visiting in 2013 the following are favorites of the innkeepers at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast:

  1. Warther Museum, Dover.  Hard to just have to see it; You won't be disappointed.
  2. Wendell August Forge, Berlin.  Some of the most unique gifts and household items that you will find on a vacation.
  3. Behalt, Berlin.  Located inside the Amish & Mennonite Information Center, this mural/tour will teach you all about the history of the Amish and Mennonite people.
  4. Rolling Ridge Ranch, Berlin.  This is the original exotic animal ranch where you board a horse-drawn wagon and get to feed the animals and see them up close.
  5. Millers Bakery, Charm area.  This is an authentic, Amish bakery with some of the tastiest delights you will ever experience.
  6. Heini's Cheese, Berlin.  If you want to see and learn how cheese is made this is the place.  They also have about 50 samples of different cheese sitting out for you to try.
  7. Coblentz Chocolate Company, Walnut Creek.  Watch chocolates being made on the weekdays.  Every kind of cream, caramel, truffle, etc., that you can imagine is all under 1 roof.
  8. Yoder's Amish Home & Farm, Walnut Creek area.  Tour 2 homes, a school, and take a buggy ride of this formerly, Amish farm.   This is a great place for the whole family to learn how the Amish live, work, and educate themselves.  This is a seasonal business so check to see if they are open before going there.
  9. Swartzentruber Quilts, Berlin area.  What's a trip to Amish Country without checking out homemade quilts.  Step inside an Old Order Amish home while you shop from these Amish sisters.
  10. Lehmans.  Take a step back in time at this store that was founded to serve the Amish and those living with no electricity.  Today they are so much more: stove and refrigerator reproductions, fireplaces, books, kitchen gadgets, yard supplies, camping supplies, oil lanterns, candy, and more.
Our list of things to see does not end with these 10 businesses.  We have several pages of places to share with guests when they check-in our B&B.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Monday, February 11, 2013

Learn About Amish Church When You Travel Ohio Amish Country

The Amish people and their church sometimes seem a mystery to the outside world.  When you travel in Ohio Amish Country you will witness many examples of the values and foundation that their church is built on:

  • Amish believe that the Bible is God's Word
  • They see Church as the body of Christ fulfilling God's purposes on earth
  • Their faith is practiced DAILY and not through creeds and buildings but by actions and lifestyle of helping others
  • When there is a conflict of Church and State they always choose God first
  • Worship is about the hearts of people and the people gathered, not symbols such as crosses, robes, stained glass, candles, etc.
Holmes County, Ohio; Amish walking to Church
There is something to be learned from the Amish.  Many people that call themselves Christians or religious say that because they go to a worship service every Sunday morning and that is the only way that they express their religion or Christian beliefs.  The Amish will call on a sick neighbor, do their chores, bake them food, help their children and more.  If they see a tourist car broke down on the side of the road they will stop to see what they can do to help.  If they read about a need in the newspaper they will donate time and money to the cause.  They live the way that most religions preach that people should live even though most of the congregation members in those religions do not live what they are taught.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Easy Danish Recipe is among Bed and Breakfast Recipes

Looking for a great Easter brunch recipe?  Try this easy Danish which is among the bed and breakfast recipes at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast.  It does take a little time because of letting the dough rise but the process is simple.

2 packets of Active Dry Yeast
1.5 cups warm milk
4 c. pastry flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 t. salt
1 c. cold butter
4 egg yolks
2 egg whites, beaten
Pie filling
1.5 cups powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
2-3 T. milk

In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk.
In another bowl combine flour, sugar & salt.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.  Stir in yeast mix and egg yolks.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours.

Punch the dough down and turn on to a lightly floured surface.   Divide the dough in 3 sections.  Roll each section out into a 9"x7" rectangle.  Cut into 7 one inch strips.  Form a circle with the dough and place circles 2" apart on a greased cookie sheet.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Brush each circle with egg whites.  Make an indentation in the center with a teaspoon and fill with indentation with pie filling.

Bake at 350 degrees for 14-17 minutes until slightly browned.  Cool on wire racks.  Once cooled combine the topping ingredients and drizzle over the danish.
Yields about 21-24
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ravens Glenn Winery Featured on Ohio Wine Tours

The Ohio wine tours offered at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast feature a visit to Ravens Glenn Winery.  This Ohio bed and breakfast is the first B&B in the State to purchase their own tour bus to be able to offer tours exclusively to their guests.  The owners of the bed and breakfast had visited Ravens Glenn Winery for winery tours, wine tasting, and dinner and decided that this was the place to bring their bed and breakfast guests and they have been doing so for over 7 years.  Ravens Glenn sits on the Tuscarawas River offering some of the best wines in Ohio.  To top it all off they have a fabulous restaurant that features Tuscan-style food that is the perfect pairing for the wines that they produce.   Having a designated driver to chauffeur you on these Ohio wine tours is something guests appreciate so that they can really enjoy all of the wine that they get to sample.  These weekend wine tasting packages are offered once a month.  Whether you are on a wine tour or visiting as a couple you will enjoy the great wines, great customer service, and great food at Ravens Glenn Winery.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Participate in a Murder Mystery Weekend in Ohio

If the super sleuth in you has been itching to participate in a murder mystery weekend in Ohio then look no further.  In the middle of Holmes County Amish Country there is a bed and breakfast where you can do just that.
March 8-10, 2013, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast will "transport" you to a California wine festival where unfortunately someone has been murdered!  Worse yet, you are a suspect.  The bed and breakfast will mail you a character name, description and costume suggestion before you arrive.  On the night of the mystery you will be provided with all of the clues you need to solve the murder...if you ask the right questions.  The murder mystery game is played in rounds and in between each round you will be served a different course of a progressive dinner.  You don't have to be a professional actor/actress to have tons of fun with this murder mystery weekend.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Amish Country Ohio Bed and Breakfast Says: Enjoy the Arts this Winter

You may be familiar with the Amish Culture near our Amish Country, Ohio bed and breakfast, but you can also enjoy the Arts.  In New Philadelphia, Kent State University, has a state of the art theater with some special venues this winter.
March 6, 2013 come and see A Chorus Line, the Broadway musical
March 24, 2013 music lovers can enjoy the music of JS Bach in a performance of The Saint Matthew Passion
You can purchase tickets for these performances from the Performing Arts Center. 
The Tuscarawas Campus of Kent State University is just a short ride from the wineries, bakeries, cheese factories, shops, and museums of Amish Country.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Friday, February 1, 2013

Amish Country Inn Answers: Do the Amish have fun?

Guests at our Amish Country Inn often ask if the Amish have fun since there is no television, video games, golf clubs, and other kinds of recreation that the outside world participates in.   The answer is YES!  The Amish kind of recreation is more "homemade" than what most of us do.  When was the last time you made your own toys or games?  When was the last time you play "Hide and Go Seek"?  How about a good game of tag?  What about running barefoot in the grass?  Singing songs and reading books are another form or recreation.   Fun can even happen in the kitchen by story telling while cooking and canning food.  In the winter months sledding and building snowmen is a common scene.  Families may go to a livestock auction together as a form of recreation.  They still purchase some toys and games but they don't feel deprived because they don't have electricity for recreation.  The Amish definitely take time to "smell the roses".
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608