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Have you ever enjoyed an Amish buggy ride through the woods with the vibrant colors creating a blur of vision? Bit into a still-warm Amish fry pie? Walked through crunching leaves to pick out the perfect pumpkin?
As the fourth largest Amish community in the world, Geauga County offers a unique opportunity to visit a beautiful rural area that’s a little more sedate and less commercialized than some of the other Amish communities. Middlefield is the center of the activity and features many unique Amish ‘cottage industry’ businesses. Enjoy handmade craft items, household goods, bulk foods and bakeries. Frequent visitors know to bring an empty cooler when visiting for all the tasty treats they will encounter.
Picking up some fresh cheese is a must, and we have two great options for you. If you visit Middlefield Cheese Co-op early on a production day, you can watch cheese production through a large window that overlooks the factory floor. Middlefield Cheese offers a museum that showcases its history and a video showing you the cheese-making process.
No trip is complete without fresh bakery products! Amish Home Craft & Bakery, Countryside Home Bakery and Nauvoo Family Market are brimming with home-baked goodness! Of course, no dessert until you have dinner, and Mary Yoder’s Amish Kitchen is a perfect choice.
With so much yet to see, enjoy a relaxing evening at one of our charming lodging facilities. Did you know that AAA rated Red Maple Inn as the largest 4-Diamond bed-and-breakfast in the area? Bass Lake Inn guests have easy access to gourmet dinners at its Taverne. Punderson Manor — part of the state park system — has wonderful cabins, as well as the lodge. There are also many intimate smaller B&Bs that truly make you feel as if you’re part of the family.
As long as you’re spending the night, take advantage of a really unique opportunity with a visit to Geauga Park District’s Observatory Park, a brand new “Dark Sky”-designated park that’s one of eight in the world! This amazing location is so void of light pollution, the stargazing is exceptional, and there are many educational programs to guide you through the galaxy and beyond.
When you wake up fresh the next day, you’ll be ready to discover many more treasures of the county. Geauga County is also the largest producer of maple products in the state, and a stop at the Burton Log Cabin or Richard’s Maple in Chardon will give you access to more goodies for your cooler, from maple candy to maple BBQ sauce. While in Burton, a stop at Century Village will provide you with an exceptional overview of our area’s Western Reserve history and a plethora of shops to wander through.
Chardon offers a wealth of history, and having just celebrated its bicentennial, the city’s signage on the Historic Square is fascinating to see. Main Street is dotted with shops and restaurants, making it the perfect place to pass the afternoon. Dining choices appeal to everyone, from a tea room to gourmet pizza to a brewery. The local markets and orchards are bursting with sweet and spicy apples, concord grapes and fresh cider — more goodies for your cooler!
Now that your cooler is full of take-home treats, and you’re too full to move, you may want to extend your stay because this is just the start of all there is to see and do in Geauga County!