I am a homebody. There, my secret is out. I don’t travel well, though I do make a trip back home to Mississippi and Alabama every year. So, imagine my surprise when I was asked to write a blog about travel and my trips to visit the Amish.
A couple of years ago, I went with my family to visit the Amish in Etheridge, Tennessee. I loved visiting this very conservative Swartzentruber Amish community. We had a great time, but because they are so conservative, I didn’t take even one picture for fear of offending someone.
The Amish where I live in Oklahoma aren’t quite as conservative, but because that is the closest community to me, I respect their wishes about photography and usually don’t even take a camera with me on visits.
But…I have a trip planned: my bucket-list, fantasy, ultimate trip of a lifetime. And as my grandmother would say, “The good Lord willing and the creeks don’t rise,” this will be my working vacation in 2015. I’m going with my best friend, my writing assistant, and an insider in the Amish community.
How serious am I about this? I already have an itinerary! Here’s my list of places to go, eat, and visit while on my dream Amish trip in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania:
Centerville Bulk Foods. This is an Amish-owned and run bulk grocery store. They sell everything in bulk, from candy and snack mixes, to baking products and everything in between. They also sell fresh produce and items like cereal and canned goods. But most importantly, they have the best popcorn seasoning on the planet.
Glick’s Natural Products. This is also owned and operated by the Amish. They offer home remedies, vitamins, and some organic foods. It’s a “must see” for anyone visiting Pennsylvania.
Amishtown General Store. They sell seeds, muck boots, farming stuff, canning products, and scooters. It’s a huge store run by a hard-working Amish family. Be sure to say “hello” to owner Elizabeth Lapp while you’re there. She knows everything there is to know about the products they carry.
Roots Market. It’s open every Tuesday year-round, but in the summer they hold a produce auction at 1 pm. They have a live auctioneer it lasts for hours. The market area sells produce, baked goods, souvenirs, and more. There’s also an outside flea market and antiques area.
Bird in Hand Bake Shop. Perfect for every tourist, they offer great baked goods and souvenirs.
In addition to the places we’ll shop, we’ll definitely make sure to eat at:
But most of all, we will be driving on the country roads, taking in the beauty of the farmland, and enjoying the fresh air and the people we’re with.
Share in a comment below – what would be on your list for your dream Amish country trip?
Amy Lillard is an award-winning writer who loves reading romance novels. Born in Mississippi, she now lives with her husband and son in Oklahoma. She has always been intrigued with the Amish’s gentle ways and slower-paced lifestyle. Her latest book in the Clover Ridge series, Gabriel’s Bride, released in February. Her next book, Caroline’s Secret, will release on August 5, 2014.