Here in Ohio, we have plenty of unique stores, farms and other attractions just waiting to be discovered. From the rolling hills of Ohio Amish Country to the small town treasures and state parks, the following are 12 of our favorite hidden gems along Ohio’s countryside that are so worth the drive. See how many you’ve been to before:
1. End of the Commons General Store
Ohio's oldest general store appropriately sits in the heart of Amish country. You'll find this truly charming general store at the center of Mesopotamia Township, the fourth largest Amish settlement in the country and the second largest settlement in Ohio. End of the Commons General Store has been in operation since the 1840s and is located at 4366 Kinsman Rd., Mesopotamia, OH 44439.
2. Idle-Hour Ranch
If you’re looking for a fun place to take the whole family this summer, then you should consider visiting one of Ohio’s best, little-known attractions. Idle-Hour Ranch in Troy, Ohio offers visitors a truly unique experience with animals you wouldn’t really expect to find in Ohio. From camels to elephants, you never know what you’ll encounter at this family owned and operated ranch. You'll find it at 4845 W Fenner Rd., Troy, OH 45373.
3. Hershberger’s Farm and Bakery
This lovely Millersburg farm and bakery is the perfect day trip destination or stop when you're exploring Ohio's Amish Country. The heartwarming setting itself is enough to make you stop and stay while. But it's the goodies inside that make it really worth the trip. (The fry pies and the cinnamon rolls are simply irresistible.) You'll find it at 5452 State Route 557, Millersburg, Ohio 44654.
4. Hocking Hills Market
Open all year round is the Hocking Hills Market in Rockbridge, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from sunrise until 5 p.m., where you can hunt for unique indoor and outdoor treasures. It is located at 26792 US Highway 33, Rockbridge, OH 43149.
5. Lehman's Hardware
This unique store in Ohio Amish Country specializes in antique style appliances, retro home furnishings, non-electric kitchenware, old-time toys and a lot more items that will take you back to yesteryear. It is located at 4779 Kidron Rd., Dalton, OH 44618.
6. The Farm at Walnut Creek
This interactive farm features more than 500 animals, including a beautiful herd of giraffes. The Farm at Walnut Creek is open Monday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at 4147 Co. Rd. 114, Sugarcreek, OH 44681.
7. Clifton Mill
One of the largest water powered grist mills still in existence, Clifton Mill is fueled by the Little Miami River. This historic site of Clifton Mill features a vintage mill, a covered bridge, a 1940s-era gas station and a quaint American restaurant. It's located at 75 Water St., Clifton, OH 45316.
8. Tis The Season Christmas Shoppe
While there are several shops throughout the state that sell plenty of beautiful Christmas items, there’s one shop in particular that’s all things Christmas, all the time. Tis The Season Christmas Shoppe in Millersburg is Ohio’s largest year-round Christmas store—and it’s truly magical. You'll find it at 4363 State Route 39, Millersburg, OH 44654.
9. The Barn Inn
This charming bed and breakfast is another picture perfect place to stay while you're exploring the area. (As an added bonus, the formerly Amish inn-keepers can give you firsthand insight into the culture and Amish faith.) The Barn Inn is located at 6838 County Road 203 Millersburg, OH 44654.
10. Walnut Creek Cheese
This massive fresh food market features delicious meats and cheeses, bakery items, produce and much more. It's a must-stop before you leave Ohio Amish Country. Walnut Creek Cheese is located at 2641 State Route 39, Walnut Creek, OH 44687 and 4727 US 62, Berlin, OH 44610.
11. Rebecca’s Bistro
When you’re exploring Ohio Amish Country, you expect to find fried chicken, mashed potatoes and hearty Amish pies. What you don’t expect to find is an unbelievably charming bistro housed in a log cabin, serving up some of the freshest and most delicious breakfast and lunch. Tucked away in Sugarcreek in the heart of Ohio Amish Country, you’ll find Rebecca’s Bistro. It’s a homey little restaurant that almost looks straight out of a fairytale. It's located at 4986 Walnut St, Sugarcreek, OH 44681.
12. Malabar Farm
If you live in Ohio and have yet to visit Malabar Farm State Park, you’re truly missing out. Nestled in the hills of Pleasant Valley in Lucas, Ohio is a picture perfect farm with an unbelievably nice restaurant. It’s beloved by locals and a hidden gem to Ohioans who don’t live in the area. It's located at 3645 Pleasant Valley Road, Lucas, OH 44843.
How many of these attractions have you been to before? What other countryside gems deserve to be added to this list? Share your thoughts and experiences with us!