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Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 | 1 comment

Ohio Route 39 – Amish Country Day Trip

Ohio Route 39 – Amish Country Day Trip

 

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Aside from Futureman, my mom is my most favorite travel companion. One of the best things about road trips with her is that she’s always up for stops along the way. Years ago, we took a trip from St. Louis, MO, to Columbus, GA, to visit my grandparents, and it took us two-plus days to get there, for a trip that should take one. On our journey southeast, we stopped at a few promising-looking antiques stores, drove through a stunning college campus on top of Monteagle, TN, visited some family in Chattanooga, went completely out of the way to find a flea market, encountered hundreds of spring-breakers heading to Atlanta for Freaknik {look it up, it was a real thing!}, shopped in Buckhead, and ate at a truck-stop diner. I don’t remember what we bought or ate, but the memories and freedom of stopping along the way, and not just having to GET THERE, remain with me.

{Sidenote: our dream is to drive the world’s longest yard sale, starting in Cincy and ending somewhere in Alabama. Mom, do you read my blog? Let’s plan it!}

If meandering here and there resonates with you, too, you need to drive Ohio Route 39 from I-77 to Millersburg. For Akron/Canton/CLE folks – good news – you can easily get there and back in a {long-ish} day. In my last post, I talked about Park Street Pizza, which is a must-stop on Route 39. On every day but Friday and Sunday, though, they don’t open  until 3 PM, so you need to plan your day accordingly. Also, Park Street Pizza is just one small slice {sorry, had to} of activity along Route 39. I’ve cataloged some additional stops that are almost all food-related, but that’s hardly a surprise if you’re a regular reader. Food IS what defines any outing.

Breitenbach Winery – This scenic winery looks like something out of a fairy tale, nestled among the rolling hills east of Sugarcreek and painted in shades of purple and red. There’s plenty to do at Breitenbach – taste wines, drink wines, buy wines, eat lunch at their indoor cafe or large outdoor patio {the BBQ items on the patio always smell divine}, shop for meats and cheeses, shop for knick-knacks, even host a wedding. Breitenbach, in my opinion, excels at their production of Ohio sweet and fruit wines: cranberry, sparkling raspberry, sweet red {Roadhouse Red}, ice wine {Frost Fire} and dandelion. Speaking of dandelions, Breitenbach hosts an annual dandelion festival each May where guests can sample wines and dandelion-themed dishes. I’m not sure I’ve eaten dandelion, but hey, why not?!

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Andreas Furniture – Andreas is an area favorite for mid- to high-end furniture; in fact, people travel from around Northeast and Central Ohio to shop at this Sugarcreek landmark. My favorite is browsing their selection of hand-crafted Ohio-made furniture. Most is made in Amish County and It.Is.Spectacular. There’s a difference when you see and feel quality, hand-crafted pieces; you’ll never want to go back to cheap, mass-produced furniture again, even if that’s what your budget, like mine, demands. For me? I’m planning a little splurge on an Ohio-made farm table….if there’s a piece that needs to stand the test of time {and hold all those family gatherings} it’s a dining room table.

Coblentz Chocolates – We discovered this Walnut Creek sweet spot over a decade ago and have been making return trips ever since. For some of the most fabulous dark chocolate sea salt caramels, peanut butter squares, and mint meltaways, be sure to stop at Coblentz Chocolates, at the corner of Route 39 and Hwy 515. Their sprawling counter includes milk and dark chocolates, truffles, white chocolate and sugar-free chocolate. It’s all made on premises, and you can watch through a viewing gallery as their chocolatiers make 113 varieties of chocolates. During the holidays, stock up on chocolate assortments, glittery ornaments, and home decor….there’s even some toys and a cute play area for the littles.

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Rebecca’s Bistro – Across from Coblentz Chocolates is a spot you might miss, so it’s a good thing I’m here to tell you about it. Wine and chocolate need a good meal for balance, and Rebecca’s Bistro does the trick. Now, you could stand in line across the street at Der Dutchman for a basic home-cooked meal, OR you could try one with a modern twist at the absolutely charming Rebecca’s Bistro. Everything’s made from scratch, and that’s reflected in the restaurant’s rave reviews. Faves are the tomato basil soup with housemade croutons and turkey berry sammie with swiss, grilled pineapple, strawberry jam and cream cheese on 12 grain. Rebecca’s Bistro is only open for breakfast and lunch, so the early bird gets…..to stop at Park Street Pizza for dinner.

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Millersburg Brewing Company – 
If you can stick it out all the way to Millersburg, you’ll be rewarded with…..beer. You’ll recognize the name if you’ve been to The Rail, Buehler’s or Gallery 121, or tasting events like the Taste of Tuscarawas or Blues and Brews. Lisa and I are both fans of their excellent craft beer creations, and with 10 year-round beers on tap, plus seasonal brews, there’s something for everyone. I’m partial to the French Ridge IPA – it’s a big West-Coast style beer, hopped with citrus and pine. Yum.

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Fresh produce - In growing season, you’ve got to hit up the large produce stand just off of Route 39 just west of I-77. The name escapes me, but you can’t miss it, and I’ll tell you that the prices are amazing and so is the selection. Plus? Who doesn’t love a roadside stand run by THE friendliest folks?

These are just a few of Route 39’s to-dos. There’s all of Sugarcreek, Berlin and Millersburg to explore, including endless bulk food stores, quilt shops, woodworking stores, furniture stores, and on and on. So take a friend, your family, yourself, or your mom, and create your own stops along the way.

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1 Comment

  1. I grew up on Route 39 near the winery and I have actually missed a few of these spots on our travels that direction. Thanks! If you are ever on Route 250 toward Tappan Lake, stop in at 250 Antique Mall and check us out!

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