A Journey Through Time: Exploring the Amish Communities of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania, steeped in history and tradition, is home to some of the most vibrant Amish communities in the United States. These communities, known for their simple living, traditional customs, and resistance to modern technology, offer a unique window into a different way of life. Our journey through the Amish communities of Pennsylvania begins with the charming and lesser-known town of Smicksburg.

1. Smicksburg: A Hidden Gem in Western Pennsylvania

Tucked away in Indiana County, Smicksburg is home to a the 4th largest Old Order Amish community. Established in the early 1960s, this community has retained its traditional ways and offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

What to Experience in Smicksburg:

  • Amish Craftsmanship: The town is famed for its high-quality Amish furniture, handmade quilts, and unique crafts.
  • Local Delicacies: Treat yourself to homemade Amish baked goods, jams, and jellies available in local small shops.
  • Serene Countryside: Take a leisurely drive through the rolling hills and scenic farmland that surround Smicksburg. Many of the Amish have shops at their homes.

You can learn more about Smicksburg and the attractions it has to offer at www.VisitSmicksburg.com

2. Lancaster County: The Heartland of Amish Culture

Lancaster County is perhaps the most iconic Amish community in America. This region offers a deep dive into Amish culture, with its vast farmlands, traditional horse-drawn buggies, and a slower pace of life.

Highlights of Lancaster County:

  • Farm and House Tours: Engage in educational tours that provide insight into the Amish way of life.
  • Shopping: Explore the numerous Amish markets for handmade goods, fresh produce, and quilts.
  • Cultural Experiences: Visit the Amish Village or take a buggy ride for a more immersive experience.

You can learn more about Lancaster and the attractions it has to offer at www.Discoverlancaster.com

3. Intercourse and Bird-in-Hand: Charming Villages with Rich Heritage

The quaint villages of Intercourse and Bird-in-Hand are quintessential stops in Amish Country. These towns are not only rich in history but also offer unique shopping and dining experiences.

Exploring These Villages:

  • Artisan Shops: Discover locally made crafts, furniture, and artworks.
  • Food Tours: Sample authentic Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, including whoopie pies and shoofly pies.
  • Scenic Beauty: Enjoy the picturesque countryside, an ideal backdrop for photography enthusiasts.

You can learn more about Intercourse and the attractions it has to offer a www.villageofintercourse.com

4. Belleville: Home of the Big Valley

Belleville, located in Mifflin County, is home to a unique Amish community known as the Kishacoquillas Valley (or Big Valley). This area is distinctive due to the diversity of Amish and Mennonite groups residing here.

Unique Aspects of Belleville:

  • Colorful Buggies: Notice the different colored buggies, signifying various Amish sects.
  • Weekly Auction: Visit the Belleville Livestock Market for the weekly auction, a central social and economic event.
  • Rural Charm: Experience the peaceful, laid-back lifestyle of the Big Valley.

You can learn more about Belleville and the attractions it has to offer at https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g52183-Activities-Belleville_Pennsylvania.html

5. New Wilmington: A Serene and Close-knit Community

The Amish community of New Wilmington, in Lawrence County, is known for its tranquil atmosphere and strong community ties. It’s one of the largest Old Order Amish communities in Pennsylvania.

Visiting New Wilmington:

  • Amish Market: Explore the New Wilmington Amish Market for fresh produce and handmade goods.
  • Countryside Tours: Take guided tours to learn about the community and enjoy the beautiful landscapes.
  • Local Eateries: Enjoy home-cooked meals at local diners and restaurants, offering a taste of traditional Amish recipes.

You can learn more about New Wilmington and the attractions it has to offer at https://livenewwilmington.com/visit/


Exploring these Amish communities in Pennsylvania is not just a cultural excursion but also a journey into a world where simplicity and tradition are cherished. From the artisanal crafts of Smicksburg to the sprawling farmlands of Lancaster County, each community offers its unique charm and a peaceful respite from the modern world. A visit to these areas is an opportunity to appreciate a lifestyle that emphasizes community, hard work, and a deep connection to the land.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Amish Communities in Pennsylvania

Q1: What makes Smicksburg a unique Amish community to visit? A1: Smicksburg stands out for its high-quality Amish craftsmanship, especially in furniture and quilts, along with its homemade baked goods and serene countryside. It’s a lesser-known gem offering a tranquil escape and a glimpse into traditional Amish life.

Q2: Why is Lancaster County considered the heartland of Amish culture? A2: Lancaster County is renowned for its vast farmlands, traditional horse-drawn buggies, and a significant Amish population living according to old traditions. It offers immersive cultural experiences, educational tours, and a wide range of Amish-made products.

Q3: What are some must-visit places in Intercourse and Bird-in-Hand? A3: In Intercourse and Bird-in-Hand, visitors should explore artisan shops for local crafts, participate in food tours to taste authentic Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, and enjoy the scenic beauty of these charming villages.

Q4: What makes Belleville’s Amish community unique? A4: Belleville is unique due to the diversity of Amish and Mennonite groups, evident in the different colored buggies used by each sect. The weekly Belleville Livestock Market auction is a central social and economic event in this community.

Q5: Can visitors take guided tours in these Amish communities? A5: Yes, many of these communities offer guided tours, which provide insightful information about the Amish lifestyle and allow visitors to explore the beautiful countryside and local landmarks.

Q6: Are there specific accommodations recommended for staying in these areas? A6: While the blog post doesn’t specify accommodations, visitors can find various options ranging from bed and breakfasts to local inns that offer a more authentic experience in these communities. If visiting in Smicksburg, it is highly recommended that you stay at The Smicksburg Inn.

Q7: Is it possible to purchase Amish-made goods in these communities? A7: Absolutely. Visitors can purchase a variety of Amish-made goods, including furniture, quilts, crafts, and food products like jams, bread, and pies in these communities, particularly in places like Smicksburg.

Q8: What should visitors expect in terms of technology and modern conveniences in these communities? A8: Visitors should expect minimal use of modern technology in these communities. The Amish lifestyle focuses on simplicity and traditional practices, so modern conveniences like electronic payments or Wi-Fi may not be readily available in some areas.

Q9: Are there any special events or festivals in these Amish communities? A9: Yes, many of these communities host seasonal festivals and events, offering an in-depth look at their culture and traditions. It’s best to check local event calendars for specific dates and events during your visit. Smicksburg especially hosts multiple shopping experiences and festivals throughout the year.

Q10: What is the best time of year to visit these Amish communities in Pennsylvania? A10: These communities can be visited year-round, but spring through fall is ideal for experiencing outdoor markets, beautiful scenery, and community events. Winter visits offer a quieter but equally charming experience.

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