The unique practices of Amish people make them one of North America’s most fascinating religious subcultures. Visitors to Lancaster County, PA, are often intrigued by the simpler way of life embraced by the Amish. Their way of dress is one of the most overt signs of simplicity.
How do the Amish dress? They adhere to the ordnung, a biblically-based expectation/blueprint that emphasizes separation from the English world and to be “non conformed.” Their manner of dress may vary among settlements, but generally can be described as modest and plain, without embellishments.
Some groups banish the use of buttons, zippers, and eye-and-hook fasteners, while other groups use them on their clothing. Fabrics are typically plain and muted hues of purple.
Their clothing is an outward form of their inward spirituality and is founded, partly, in the scripture: “Be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
This ordnung is not in writing but, instead, is taught verbally from one generation to the next among the Amish people. Specific details can vary across church districts and Amish settlements, according to “The Riddle of Amish Culture” by Donald B. Kraybill. Let’s take a closer look…
The first large group of Amish arrived in the U.S. in the early 1800s and settled in Lancaster County, PA, according to Learn Religions.
Pennsylvania has the largest population of Amish people, estimated at more than 81,000 in 2020 according to “Amish Population, 2020.” (Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College.) In fact, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is home to approximately 30,000 Amish and their presence is a significant draw for tourism. Chester, York, Belleville, and Mifflin counties are also home to Amish communities.
The Amish have also have increasingly settled in Ohio, most notably in Holmes County. Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia have also experienced a large increase in Amish settlements.
Amish settlements also exist outside the United States. You’ll find Amish communities in in Canada, Bolivia, and Argentina and more.
Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish food offerings are some of the heartiest dishes you’ll experience. The baked goods and desserts available in Lancaster County are hard to beat. The names of certain Dutch foods can be a bit odd, though.
When you stay at AmishView Inn & Suites, you’ll be in the heart of Lancaster’s Amish Country and have immediate access to some of these delicacies. You can find many of these at charming roadside stands. Also, nearby Miller’s Smorgasbord features locally made snacks, cheese, jams, and coffee so flavorful you won’t mind the morning’s alarm.
We encourage you to take a trip to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, for a culinary adventure and discover these tasty PA Dutch foods. We believe you’ll soon be a fan of these delicious Amish Country edibles despite their seemingly weird names.
Mud sales in Lancaster County are back this year! It’s not the full lineup that we’re used to, but some mud sales are still planned for 2021.
What’s a Mud Sale?
Mud sales are auctions and large “yard sale” type events mostly held in the spring in Lancaster County. The weather usually brings spring showers, which can create muddy grounds.
Members of the Plain Community as well as “English” (non-Amish or Mennonite) residents and visitors attend the events to find great prices on items, including Amish-made quilts, farm tools and equipment, and more.
When you first drive into Pennsylvania Dutch Country, it will become very apparent that you’re “not in Kansas anymore” (as Dorthy from the Wizard of Oz would say) while staying at Amishview Inn & Suites. One of the first things you’ll notice upon your arrival is the classic horse and buggies strolling through town.
Amish believe in keeping their buggies close to the farm, which means they do not use rubber on their tires because it’s not intended to go very far. Why not immerse yourself in the Amish experience and take a buggy farm tour during your stay in Lancaster, Pennsylvania? You can’t take a unique Amish tour just anywhere these days, and it will be one of your favorite things to do in Lancaster during your vacation.
Amish Country Tours
There are many ways to see Amish Country, PA, whether you’re flying high in the sky on a hot air balloon ride looking over the farms or are taking a walking tour through downtown Lancaster. Taking one of the buggies Amish Country tours will not only give you a chance to have an authentic Amish experience, but you’ll also gain insider information from the buggy drivers themselves! You’ll be able to ask as many questions as you’d like to during the tour with Aaron & Jessica’s Buggy Rides, which is a family-friendly owned business.
On tour, you’ll take a scenic ride around the Pennsylvania Dutch Country passing by the Amish schools, farmlands, shops, and many other areas that you wouldn’t think to view in your free time. If you have the Amish experience Monday through Saturday, you’ll be able to see a privately owned and operated Amish dairy farm. Lucky for you, the buggy rides are open year-round, and Amish Country tours happen during rain or shine! Learn more at amishbuggyrides.com or on our website under the attractions page.
Spring Break Relaxing Getaways
No matter what you have on your daily itinerary, you’ll be able to grab a seat in the Great Room each morning between 6:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m to get your fill of a freshly made breakfast! Breakfast includes a variety of delicious options from baked oatmeal to made-to-order waffles as well as bagels, fruits, and sticky buns.
During your stay with AmishView Inn & Suites, you’ll be happy to know that we offer coupons to use for Aaron & Jessica’s Buggy Rides, and they can be redeemed on our website. A buggy ride is a one-of-a-kind Amish experience in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that you won’t want to miss while you’re in town! Spring break is quickly approaching, so why not plan a relaxing getaway to Pennsylvania Dutch Country where you can take the time to relax and unwind? Give us a call today at 1-866-735-1600, or you can make your reservation online!
You may find yourself becoming naturally curious about the Amish community while staying at Amishview Inn & Suites. There are two main groups of Plain People in Lancaster, PA: the Amish and the Mennonites. Today we’ll be focusing more on the Old Order Amish traditions. The Old Order Amish community believes in a simple way of life and does not permit the use of technology and electricity. There are many unique things about the Amish community that may make you think twice about daily living. Keep reading to learn eight fascinating facts about the Old Order Amish traditions.
1. Daily Transportation
You’ll often see the Amish traveling around Lancaster, PA, on a horse and buggy on the local roads. Old Order Amish do not operate vehicles with motors, which also means they do not use tractors in their fields. The Amish will, however, use horses as well as mules to pull modern farm equipment.
Between the ages of 14 and 18, Amish teens can join the English world, which is known as Rumspringa. During this time, the teens decide whether or not they want to leave the Amish community entirely or if they’d like to return, become baptized, and dedicate themselves to the Amish way of life.
3. Yes, Amish Vacation
Yes, believe it or not, Amish do enjoy an occasional trip outside of their local community of Lancaster, PA. One popular Amish winter destination is Pinecraft, FL, which is jokingly referred to as “Amish Las Vegas.” Learn more about transportation and how the Amish travel here!
4. Facial Hair
In biblical times, it was quite common for a man to have a beard, which is perhaps one reason why you’ll find so many men with long beards in Amish Country, PA. Men without a beard are waiting for marriage to begin growing them out as a symbol of their transition into manhood. In the earlier days, wearing a mustache meant you were associated with the military (Amish are exempt from the military), which is why in Old Order Amish traditions, men shave them off entirely.
5. Lower Risks of Cancer
Researchers believe that the Amish have lower cancer rates because of their lifestyle. Amish eat and grow their own food and also do not allow alcohol or tobacco.
6. Simple Clothing
Amish wear Plain clothing that does not have patterns, zippers, buckles, or collars, and typically favor dark colors such as burgundy, brown, black, blue, or purple depending on the Amish community. While Amish females generally make clothing, they do purchase socks, fabric, shoes, hats, and other items from a dry goods store.
7. What Do Amish Believe?
While there are many intricate details of the Amish religion, in a simplified statement, their beliefs are similar to traditionalist Christians and are associated with the Anabaptist denominations. Lancaster County has an informative article about the Amish beliefs and practices related to their faith.
8. Amish Schooling
Amish children are only required to attend school until eighth grade (age 14) and typically attend classes in one-room private schools.
Escape to Amish Country, PA
While we could go on about the fascinating Amish beliefs and practices, we hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about the Amish traditions. This holiday season, if you’d like to learn more about shopping for Amish furniture and what makes the quality of each piece special, take a look at our Amish Furniture blog online. Indulge in a relaxing getaway to Amish Country, PA, where time slows down, and worries fade entirely. Please contact our staff at 1-866-735-1600 for general questions or, for convenience, book online!
Do you ever just get so tied up at work that you throw your hands up in the air and say, “That’s it. I need a vacation.” Sometimes you need an uninterrupted break from the daily grind, which is why planning a getaway to Amish Country, PA should be on your bucket list. Slow down from the everyday life happenings, relax away from the city, and let your worries fade while staying at Amishview Inn & Suites. Keep reading to find the top 5 reasons as to why your next escape should be to Lancaster, PA.
1. The Atmosphere
The best time to visit Amish Country, PA, is really any time of the year. You’ll quickly find yourself nestled around gorgeous Amish farms, breathtaking landscapes, and quaint shops all around the area. When you physically see how the Amish live, you’ll come to appreciate your time reflecting on life away from technology and the modern-day lifestyle.
2. The Furniture
When shopping in Lancaster, PA, we suggest taking the time to appreciate the Amish furniture. Each piece is truly one-of-a-kind, and the longevity of the furniture far exceeds any mass-produced product. The quality and care put into each piece means that the Amish maker has ensured that the selected pieces of hardwood have matured enough to last from generation to generation.
3. The Food
All around town, you’ll find farm stands, Amish baked goods, and the best restaurants in Lancaster, PA, that use locally grown Amish ingredients. Traditional Amish food is made with fresh ingredients, is deliciously hearty and will not leave you hungry. Get the taste of the Amish Country, PA, ingredients of Lancaster County at Miller’s Smorgasbord.
4. The Buggy Rides
Amish do not drive cars, let alone use transportation that has rubber on the tires as the tractors and buggies are meant to stay close to their farms. Which is why when you visit Lancaster, PA, you’ll find many Amish folks traveling around by buggy. We encourage you to take a tour of their farms and properties by buggy, which will allow you to get a real experience of the Amish traditions along the way.
5. The Amish Products
Not only does the Amish produce high-quality furniture and grow the best quality ingredients around, but they also craft many other products. You’ll find authentic Amish made clothing, canned goods, quilts, art, candles, leather goods and so much more while shopping in Lancaster, PA. Walk away from your vacation with a gift or keepsake that is one-of-a-kind.
Peaceful Lancaster, PA, Hotels
The Amish take a slower approach to life, and when you visit Lancaster, PA, you’ll get to partake in the experience. Escape from the busy city life and take time to nurture your family connections in Amish Country, PA. During your stay at Amishview Inn & Suites, enjoy a freshly prepared breakfast each morning with the view of an Amish farm just outside the window as you eat breakfast. While we offer a peaceful escape, we also provide modern-day amenities such as free wi-fi and TVs that will keep you connected during your getaway. Please give us a call to book your stay 1-866-735-1600 or book online.
You’ll pass by numerous buggies and farmlands while staying at our Lancaster hotel in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. The Amish community takes a slower approach to life, which will give you a new found appreciation for quality time. While in Amish country, you’ll notice the variety of handcrafted one-of-a-kind items while shopping in Lancaster, PA. There’s an abundance of Amish owned storeswhere you can pick up handmade quilts, furniture, baked goods, and more! Once you bake a pie with freshly farmed Amish ingredients, you’ll never look at baking the same again! The beautiful side of the Amish community is that they cater to faith, family, and farming which is fascinating to the modernized world today, and will leave you with a better understanding of the important things in life!
The Amish are often recognized by one of two things: their dress, or their buggies. The Lancaster landscape is peppered with gray and black-topped buggies as well as the sound of hooves on asphalt. Visitors to Lancaster are awed by the sight, and surprisingly little is known about the Amish outside their towns. As a result, visitors often ask about how the Amish get around, and we’d like to oblige!
Plain folk prefer modes of transportation that are slower, it’s true. But they’re not limited to horse-drawn buggies – they also use pony carts, scooters, and tractors. Their vehicles usually don’t utilize electricity, and are limited in distance capability. The reasoning is far more complex than its surface implies.
The Amish prefer slower, lower tech transportation because it encourages introspection and community. The longer the trip, the more thinking. Traveling in horse-drawn buggies or scooters allows more time for contemplation. Not consistently being busy zooming here and there leads to fuller, richer living.
Additionally, the Amish heavily depend on each other as neighbors and friends with each trip. Imagine a typical errand trip for you: groceries, appointments, and shopping. It might take three hours, tops. But for the Amish, that same trip would take triple the time. They must rely on the community to watch the kids, or feed the livestock, or even manage the business.
These requests foster relationships, and in turn trust. Having a tight-knit community of reciprocated familiarity and trust is integral to the Amish culture. As much as they’d like to completely travel in this fashion, there are exceptions.
Typically, the Amish will try alternate methods before resorting to contemporary vehicles. Sometimes the distance is just too great, or the situation is time sensitive. For example, say an Amish business owner hears about a last-minute sale on livestock – but it’s in California. If it’s important enough for his family’s livelihood, he must purchase it. He cannot reasonably be expected to travel there and back, with thousands of pounds of cargo, in a more traditional Amish vehicle. He will instead contact a driver with a truck.
Drivers like this exist all over areas replete with Plain folk. The Amish individual will not drive the vehicle, but in keeping with his church’s guidelines will ride as a passenger. He can purchase the livestock and transport it without risking speed or his beliefs.
Depending on the sect, the Amish can contact drivers for much simpler scenarios. They can also travel on boats and trains – as long as the church approves.
It’s All Relative
Ultimately, the Amish decided to take a step back, and to focus on each other and their religion. With this kind of discipline, they have been able to preserve a deep cultural heritage. Their close-knit community thrives despite lacking some modern technology.
For people residing outside of Lancaster County, the Amish can seem like a mystery. Why do they reject the use of some modern technology? What do they believe? Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions with brief answers. It is impossible to summarize any culture in such a short text, but we’d like to give you some basics.
When did the Amish begin?
They trace their roots back to Switzerland in 1525 during the Anabaptist movement. The emphasis for Anabaptists at the time was voluntary adult baptism – as well as a church that the state did not control. The Amish remained a part of this movement until 1693 when they formed their own group under the leadership of Jakob Ammann.
What language do the Amish speak?
A majority of the Amish speak the Pennsylvania German dialect that is commonly referred to as Pennsylvania Dutch. A few communities favor a Swiss dialect. For most in the community, English is learned during school and is their second language.
Where do the Amish live?
Currently, there are communities in as many as 31 states and several Canadian provinces. The vast majority,roughly 63%, reside in the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. In total, about 2,260 local congregations exist – called church districts. Each of these districts typically includes between 20 and 40 families. Pennsylvania has both the largest and the oldest population of Amish in the United States.
How many Amish are there?
In North America, there are estimated to be about 308,000 adults and children. Since children make up more than half of most communities, it is likely that there is about 138,000 baptized adult church members.
Are there different kinds of Amish?
Yes. When referring to “the” Amish, most people are actually referring to many different affiliations, each with its own distinct culture. Dress styles, technology restrictions, occupations, and more all rely heavily upon individual Amish groups.
If you would like to learn more about the Amish, take part in one of the many experiences offered by AmishView Inn. This includes our Visit In Person Tour where you can interact with the Amish culture first hand!