Humble, welcoming, and hard working. Sound like Wisconsin to you? Well for Wisconsin’s Amish, it’s truly a way of life.
The Amish live according to beliefs that go back to a sixteenth-century Protestant movement in Europe. While different communities have different rules, they all value humility, family, discipline, and hard work.
Wisconsin has one of the largest Amish populations in America, with settlements all over the state. You’ll find some of the larger Amish communities in Wisconsin in:
- Vernon County – Hillsboro
- Monroe County – near Wilton/Tomah
- Taylor County – Medford
- Green Lake County – Kingston-Dalton-Marquette, Redgranite, and Richford
- Clark County – Owen, Neilsville, and near Greenward/Willard
Encounters with Amish Culture
If you’re looking for Amish-made items, try farmers’ markets in towns like Viroqua (Vernon County) or Ferryville (Crawford County). If you’re really interested in Amish culture, experience it firsthand by visiting their shops and roadside stands. These places provide a great chance to interact, in a respectful way, with a culture that otherwise keeps a distance from the outside world.
Because the Amish don’t seek attention, you generally won’t find listings for their businesses – especially not online. But drive through the back roads in Amish country, and you’ll spot hand-lettered signs for traditional Amish crafts like furniture, cabinetry, quilts, baskets, baked goods, and candy.
Wondering where to begin? Learn your way around Wisconsin Amish country with one of these tours:
- Trempealeau County offers a car tour around Amish settlements, and audio guides to listen to as you pass Amish farms, sawmills, ferries, and a buggy shop.
- The Tomah Convention and Visitor Bureau offers a driving map that highlights several local Amish homesteads and farms, as well as a number of shops where you can find Amish craftwork and foods.
- Down a Country Road tours, based in Cashton, will guide you through a quilt shop, woodworking shop, cheese factory, and bakery, as well as homes and farms.
Read more about Wisconsin’s Amish communities.