by Kristin Lindsey
Whether exploring the area independently or embarking on a guided tour, there is much to see and do in Geauga County. This is especially true during the autumn harvest when apples, pumpkins, hay rides, corn mazes and other seasonal treats and activities take center stage. You can find a list of fall harvest activities online at www.tourgeauga.com.
If the idea of experiencing Amish culture firsthand appeals to you, I suggest scheduling a guided tour through Ridgeview Country Tours. With their “Meet Our Amish Friends” tour, you’ll spend the day visiting a few Amish-owned businesses, enjoy lunch in an Amish family’s home, tour an Amish schoolhouse, visit a local farm and also enjoy some shopping. I recently had the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Amish wedding feast, complete with baked chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, seven-layer salad, Amish date-nut pudding, rolls, and a slice of homemade pie. Not only was it deliciously filling, it was also a memorable and enriching experience to talk with an Amish woman named Emma and her family and get a better understanding of their lifestyle. For tour information, visit www.ohioamishtour.com or call the Geauga County Tourism Council at 800-775-TOUR.
A few other points worth checking out along the way:
Swiss cheese factory, museum and store. 15815 Nauvoo Road, Middlefield 800-327-9477 www.middlefieldcheese.com
Flea market held every Saturday and Monday throughout the year. Other independent shops include Country Arts & Jewelry, Nauvoo Country Furniture and more. 15848 Nauvoo Road, Middlefield 440-632-3196
End of the Commons
The oldest general store in Ohio. Features unique soaps, novelty items, retro candy and other nostalgic merchandise. 8719 Rt. 534, Mesopotamia 440-693-4295 www.endofthecommons.com
Red Maple Inn
Luxury bed and breakfast overlooking the rolling farmlands 14707 S. Cheshire, Burton 800-646-2753 www.redmapleinn.com
Mary Yoder’s Amish Kitchen
Full-service restaurant, featuring Amish cooking at its best, as well as a take-home bakery and gift shop. 14743 N. State St., Middlefield 440-632-1939 www.maryyodersamishkitchen.com
White House Chocolates
The area’s largest selection of gourmet chocolates, including more than 20 flavors of fudge. 14607 Kinsman Road, Burton 440-834-3133
Country Side Furnishings
Fine wood furniture that will last a lifetime, available in several styles, including Country, Mission, Shaker and Queen Anne. 16403 Nauvoo Road, Middlefield 800-819-6160