Wisconsin’s Amish Communities: Experience, Shop and Learn
Last Updated: 8/27/2014
Amish Shops and Tours
Wisconsin is home to a number of Amish settlements, and behind the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana, has the fourth largest Amish population in the United States. The exact customs of each community differ from one church district to the next, but most resist the use of many modern conveniences and technologies such as electricity, cell phones, driving modern automobiles and using the latest in farming equipment.
While the communities remain close-knit and relatively private, some are open to sharing their fantastic baked goods and other wooden works built through their skilled craftsmanship at stores around the state. A few even offer self-guided or narrated driving tours so visitors can experience an up-close look at the farms, stores and homes that make up these Amish communities.
One of the smaller Amish communities in Wisconsin, the settlement of Amish in Eau Claire County near Augusta, has been in existence since the late 1970s. While you won’t see an abundance of bakeries and shops found in some of the larger Amish communities, The Wood Shed is a very popular furniture store offering a variety of handcrafted furniture pieces, quilts and other crafts.
At The Wood Shed you can also arrange a tour through the Amish countryside. Tours last between 90 minutes and two hours and are priced by the carload. Your tour guide rides along in your vehicle and takes you to a variety of stops that can include an Amish home and farm, scratch and dent store, food stands and an Amish store open only to tour customers. These unique tours giving an inside look at the local community are offered seasonally from late April through October. Tours for larger groups, as well as off-season tours, may be specially arranged.
Cashton Area Amish
The Cashton area is home to the largest Amish settlement in Wisconsin. Start exploring on your own and discover Amish-owned businesses open to visitors offering everything from baked goods to handmade crafts and furniture to fresh produce. If you're hungry, start your day by picking up some treats at Hill & Vale Bakery and Miller’s Fresh Produce and Homemade Candies.
Located on Highway D is Old Country Cheese, a cheese factory that uses milk from local Amish farms to produce more than 20 varieties of cheeses. A factory outlet store is located on-site where you can purchase their cheese along with other Amish-made goods including jams, candy, maple syrup, trinkets and crafts.
If you’re looking to get a great feel for what’s available in the area, Down a Country Road is the place to start. This farm located, in the heart of Cashton’s Amish community, is made up of a variety of Village Shops selling furniture, crafts and specialty foods made by local Amish families. You can schedule a guided tour which starts at Down a Country Road. The tour guide will ride in your vehicle, sharing information about the Amish lifestyle, courtship and marriage customs, church services and much more.
If your visit includes an overnight stay, Country Pleasures Bed & Breakfast offers the unique opportunity to spend the night in a real Amish homestead. The five bedroom, four bathroom B&B was the former home of an Amish family and is now your quiet retreat in the heart of Amish country. Enjoy the 23 acre property of quiet farmland—a relaxing, authentic end to a day filled with touring and other area activities.
Dalton/Kingston Area Amish
Just a short distance northeast of Madison is an Amish community in Green Lake County. When driving through the town of Dalton, you’ll notice many stores dotting the streets and highways where you can shop for Amish-made goods. Barry Road is lined with stores showcasing wood-crafted goods, produce, bakery items and more.
Lilac Wood Shop is a must-stop, offering hand-crafted oak and cherry furniture from complete bedroom sets to outdoor lounge furniture. Across the street is the very popular Mishler’s Country Store. Here you'll find a wide array of goods from bulk spices to canned items to doilies (some Amish-produced and others items as well). As you wander the backroads around Kingston and Dalton look for places like Pleasant View Bakery and Oven Fresh Bakery where you can buy homemade breads, pies, candies and jams to enjoy when you get home.This entry was posted in Tours