Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast

6041 Township Road 310, Millersburg, Ohio 44654
Innkeeper(s): Carol Steffey

Essay Contest Misconceptions 12 Sep 2015, 1:14 pm

The latest trend in selling real estate, especially bed and breakfasts, seems to be via an essay contest.  This started when a Maine bed and breakfast offered their B&B for sale via essay contest in 2015.  In reading Facebook posts, and other Internet posts, about these contests we are surprised at the misconceptions floating around.  We hope that our blog clears up concerns about this.

Are Essay Contest real estate sales too good to be true?

Misconception #1:   If someone sells via essay contest it must be a scam.

No matter what the government says about the economy improving, those people that are trying to sell a home or business  realize how tough it is to find a buyer that can afford to buy their place.  When conventional methods like a real estate agent, auctions, or for sale by owner don’t work then you have to find a new creative way to sell.  That does not mean that it is a scam.  Read the fine print of the offer and judge for yourself.

Misconception #2:  Selling via an essay contest must be illegal.

Launching an essay contest costs time and money.  If the seller doesn’t make sure that it is legal they can be shut down.  If a seller wants to advertise the essay contest, the venue that they want to advertise with won’t want to list the contest if it is illegal.   After paying legal fees, advertising fees, and investing time to submit press releases, the sellers don’t want to be shut down because after investing time and money they have a lot to lose if it is discovered to be illegal after launching the contest.  Many of the sellers have contacted lawyers before launching the essay contest to make sure it is legal in their State.  Some of them are having people send the entry fees and essays to a lawyer and the lawyer is holding the money in their secure accounts until they know if the seller reaches their minimum number.  IF a minimum number is not reached the entry fees are returned to the people that entered the contest.

Misconception #3:  The only person who benefits from an essay contest is the seller.

The seller knows what they paid for a property, what they have invested in a property, and what they feel a fair price for the property is.  When they set a minimum number of essays to be received they know that IF they reach the minimum they will get what they feel they are worth.  If they receive more than the minimum then they make extra money or can donate the extra to charity.  The buyer, on the other hand, stands to receive a valuable piece of property for $125 – $200 + closing costs.  IF the buyer/winner were to turn around and re-sell the property they would make a huge profit  because the properties that have listed for sale via essay contest are worth far more than what the buyer is investing.

In the case of some of the bed and breakfasts they are giving money back to the new owner.  The Maine bed and breakfast advertised that if they reached the minimum number of essays that they would give $10,000 to the new owner to invest in their new business.  An Ohio bed and breakfast is advertising that the new owner will receive $5000 in prepaid advertising for 2016 if they reach the minimum number of essays.  Thus, some new owners get added bonuses!

Misconception #4: Anyone who sells via essay contest must be trying to dump a “money pit” that they could not sell via “normal” methods.

Many of the places selling via essay contest are award-winning bed and breakfasts.  These properties have excellent reviews online.    Valuable properties can take several years to find a buyer that can afford what they are worth.  An essay contest allows them to sell in a much shorter time and still make the same amount of money that they felt they were worth.   If these properties were “money pits” then they would have gone out of business long before an essay contest because people would not want to stay there.

Misconception #5:  It is no deal getting a property for $125 – $200 via an essay contest because there may be taxes or closings costs on top of the entry fee.

Do we have to spell it out?  So there is a home/bed and breakfast valued at $500,000 -$900,000.  The entry fee of the essay contest is $125 (for example) and the terms require the winner to pay closing costs that may be $3000 (for example).    How is this a bad deal to get a $500,000 property for $3125?????

Misconception #6:  If you get a place for $125-$200 then you will probably have to put a bunch of money in to maintenance, repairs, and upkeep.

Just because someone sells via essay contest does not mean that their place is a dump.  In the case of the multiple bed and breakfasts selling this way, they have won numerous awards and people write great online reviews about them.    Any home/business that you purchase will have maintenance, repairs, property taxes, and upkeep.  There is nothing in any of the contests that state that you cannot call the owner and ask if any major repairs need to be completed or the amount of property tax that they currently pay.  In some cases the property taxes on a bed and breakfast are cheaper than what some people pay for them home.

Misconception #7: You might win the Essay Contest only to find out that their are liens against the property or that the seller did not make enough to pay off their current mortgage.

People who make these comments have not read the full offer/entry form details.  The current offers being publicized at this time state that the contest winner will receive this property without any debts/liens against it.  The current owner could not close on the property with his bank/lawyer if they had any liens on the property.  The lawyer or real estate company processing the transaction would run title searches, etc., to make sure that the new owner is assuming a property with no debts/liens against it.

This blog was written by Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast in Millersburg, Ohio.  They are currently in the middle of an Essay Contest.  An Inn Broker tried to sell the B&B for 2 years and could not find a qualified buyer.  The current owners contacted the Ohio Attorney General’s office and the Ohio Lottery office to make sure that running an essay contest would be legal.  Next they hired a law firm in Millersburg, Ohio to further research the contest legalities before launching the contest.  All entry fees are being received by the law firm and being held in a secure law firm account that is monitored by the State of Ohio.  If an acceptable minimum number of essays are not received by 10/15/15 then all entry fees that have been received will be returned to the entrants.  If the minimum number is received and the contest is a success the law firm will handle the closing and run title searches, debt searches, etc., to insure that this transaction to completed legally.  For more information on this essay contest visit to print out the details and entry form and watch a video describing the contest.

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Bed and Breakfast Essay Contest for Ohio B&B and Cottages 10 Aug 2015, 3:09 pm

Want to own an award winning, Amish Country, bed and breakfast in Ohio?

You are just a bed and breakfast essay contest away

Millersburg, Ohio – Wanted: new owner for an award winning bed and breakfast located in the largest, year-round tourism area in Ohio, which is also the World’s Largest Amish Community. Experience: only the desire to own a bed & breakfast. Requirements: 200 word essay as to why you want to own this bed and breakfast plus a $150.00 entry fee.

Herb and Carol Steffey are ready to move on after 13 years of owning and operating Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast in Millersburg, Ohio. It is located about 80 miles south of Cleveland and 80 miles north of Columbus. It is also only a 2-hour drive from Pittsburgh and 4 hour drive from Detroit.

Part of the structure was once an Amish home. Several years later a Mennonite couple that owned it purchased a 1-room school to put an addition on the home. When they found out that the roads were too narrow to move the school building to the property they drew plans for a new addition and used the elements from the school to build the new addition. They incorporated 4 over-night guest rooms and in 1996 a country inn called Garden Gate Get-A-Way was born.   In 2002 the Steffeys purchased the inn and converted it to a bed and breakfast. Since 2002 they have added on a Jacuzzi suite with a fireplace and 2 romantic cottages targeting the honeymoon market giving a total of 7 units to rent. In addition some of the rooms have been remodeled.

One of the biggest positives for the new owners is the layout of the bed and breakfast in terms of owners quarters. The building is approximately 5000 square feet. The entire 2nd story is currently owner’s quarters. It has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room, kitchen, office, breezeway, and 2-car garage. There are so many possibilities for use of this space. Someone who has a home-based business, like web design & marketing, could operate another business from the current owner quarters. Some of the space could be used for additional rental rooms, which would result in more income.   The entire 1st story is bed and breakfast (5 guest rooms, Breakfast Room, Laundry, and storage).

Amish neighbors surround the bed and breakfast, which is a feature that guests absolutely love. They see horses grazing in the field next door, horse & buggy traveling down the road, and sometimes they even see a wedding in the neighborhood. You can wake up to a beautiful sunrise and birds singing. There are gardens that border the path to the guest rooms. In the middle of the gardens is a fire pit and guests love sitting around a campfire each evening and watching the sunset.

Holmes County, and the surrounding area, offers just about any activity a guest could want to partake in. When it comes to shopping you will find fine gifts, flea markets, antiques, and auctions. Many of the Amish have businesses on their farms or homesteads where people can purchase furniture, candles, baskets, and more. There are historical homes and museums to tour.  There are wineries, wine tasting showrooms, breweries, and beer tasting. For outdoor enthusiasts we have Rails to Trails, horseback riding, canoeing, hiking, and zip lining. There are also unique places such as an exotic animal farm where people tour on a horse drawn wagon and get to feed the animals. For those that like art we have art galleries, pottery, and locally produced arts and crafts. One very popular activity is “eating your way through the area”. We have bakeries, cheese factories, chocolate factory, Trail bologna factory, bulk foods, etc. When it comes to dining there is everything from fast food to fine dining, with Amish home cooking being the most popular choice. Over 4 million visitors come to our area every year!

Some people think that the time to own a bed and breakfast is in your retirement years. They think you check people in one afternoon and cook them breakfast and then twiddle your thumbs the rest of the time.   We won’t lie . . . owning a bed and breakfast is a lot of work. There is cooking, cleaning, gardening, lawn maintenance, marketing, accounting, supply shopping, etc. The days are long but the wonderful people that come as guests and leave as friends are well worth it. Just like every business, we have a “slow season” and that is in the winter months. Winter is a great time to take a vacation or simply work shorter days and catch your breath.

The winning essay should speak from the heart as to why they want to own Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast. It should be grammatically correct and be no more than 200 words. Herb & Carol Steffey will read every essay that is sent to them. They will narrow all of the entries down to the top 20 essays. They will then pass along the top 20 essays, without names or addresses, to two people from the area whose identities will remain a mystery. Those two people will choose the final winner.

The new owner must be prepared to close on the property on or before December 15, 2015.

As an added bonus, IF at least 4500 essays are received, the current owners will give the new owners $5000.00 USD in prepaid advertising dollars with Ohio Magazine for 2016. If the number of essays exceeds 5000, then some of the entry fees will be donated to local charities.

The bed and breakfast will be “turn key”, meaning all of the beds, furniture, linens, remaining amenities & supplies, etc., will come with the B&B. The stoves and refrigerator in the innkeeper quarters (where they cook for guests) will stay with the bed and breakfast along with some baking dishes and kitchen supplies.

Full details of the bed and breakfast essay contest rules and entry information can be found on the News Page of the B&B website..



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Perfect Couple Getaways in Ohio 21 Jul 2015, 1:35 pm

If you want the perfect couple getaways in Ohio look no further than Holmes County.   Do you remember that getaway you once took to a hotel where small children were running up and down the halls squealing or fighting?  Do you remember the loud TV in the room next to yours that never seemed to shut off in the middle of the night?  Do you remember asking the front desk clerk where to find a good place for dinner or the best attractions in the area only to be told that he lives 30 miles away and doesn’t know the answers to your questions?  You won’t find that in Holmes County, Ohio!


Lodging . . .

Let’s start with lodging . . . For the perfect couple getaways in Ohio you need to start with a place that is peaceful, quiet, no children, and yet close to dining and attractions.  That place would be Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast.  You can choose from one of the 5 guest rooms that have a private entrance from the outside or a romantic cottage.   All lodging options here offer private bathrooms as well.  From the mattresses to the sheets to the bed side chocolates and homemade cookies to the breakfast, this Ohio bed and breakfast is what you would imagine when planning your couple getaways in Ohio.

Relaxing . . . 

If you just need some time to chill out, sip on a glass of wine, and listen to the birds sing, you will find that all over the property at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast.  You will find porch swings, gliders, rockers, and table & chairs with an umbrella to sit and relax with your sweetheart.  If you book one of the romantic cottages you actually have a private porch with your own glider and  table & chairs.  One the favorite ways that guests relax is to gather round the evening campfire with their favorite beverage and chat with other couples as you watch the stars come out.

Attractions . . .

Everyone has a different idea for couple getaways in Ohio but Holmes County can satisfy just about everyone!  If you are in to adventure you will find hiking, golfing, canoeing, zip lining, and horseback riding.  If you love wine you will want to explore the tri-county area where you will find about 15-20 wineries and wine tasting showrooms.  Shoppers will find fine gifts, flea markets, antiques, crafts, and Amish-made furniture and crafts.  Foodies will think that they died and went to heaven.  There are cheese factories, chocolate factory, Trail Bologna factory, bakeries, bulk foods, ice cream, wineries, brewery, fine dining, home cooking, and even fast food.  Couples who like culture and history will love the museums and historical homes that they can tour and explore.

Reservations . . .

If you are convinced that you want to make Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast the place to stay on your next couple getaways in Ohio you can book your reservation online at or give them a call at 330-674-7608.  The owners are happy to help you find places to eat, shop, and visit during your stay.


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Experience Ohio Amish Country 28 Jun 2015, 12:01 pm

There is a wealth of things to see and do in Holmes County, Ohio and the surrounding area.  You can really experience Ohio Amish Country at some businesses with demonstrations of how things are made.  Let Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast show you how.

Heini’s Cheese Factory

Factory Tours

At Heini’s Cheese in Berlin you can take a guided tour of see how cheese is made when they bring the milk in from the Amish Farms.  They also have approximately 50 samples of cheese to taste in their store.


At Amish Country Essentials in Berlin they make natural soaps and bath products.  Some days when you visit their retail store you see them making the soap.  They are also very educated on common products that you currently use at home that cause health risks.

Bowden Bells

Bowden Bells is one of the most unique stores in the Holmes County.  They have garden art made from recycled materials.  They can even customize pieces just for you!  Jan Bowden has a glass kiln and makes wonderful pieces or garden art, jewelry,  and things for the home from fused glass.

Amish Businesses

When you wander off the State Routes you will find many Amish businesses on their farms and homesteads.  These include furniture, baskets, quilts, candles, etc.  At Lamp & Light Candles near Walnut Creek you can watch them hand dipping and carving candles.  At the Gingrich family home near Kidron you can see them hand weaving baskets.  At some of the furniture makers you have the opportunity to see where/how they make the furniture.

Up close with the animals

Feed the animals at Farm at Walnut Creek

Have you ever wanted to come face-to-face with a giraffe?  You can do that at The Farm at Walnut Creek.  Board a horse-drawn wagon and ride right up to where wild animals are grazing.  The wagon stops and you get to feed the animals.

So if you really want to experience Ohio Amish Country just ask your hosts at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast and they will map out an itinerary for you.


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Attn Ladies: Join Us For Girlfriend Getaways in Ohio 28 Apr 2015, 3:46 pm

In today’s world where ladies work long days and have to juggle their jobs, families, and friendships we need to schedule time for friends.  The best way to do that is to plan girlfriend getaways.  If you are one of those ladies who lives in Ohio with a hectic schedule then let us help you plan your girlfriend getaways in Ohio.  Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast is located in Berlin in the middle of Holmes County, Ohio.  Our accommodations offer 5 guest rooms and 2 cottages giving you a more intimate time with your friends than a big box hotel.   You will love our evening campfires which is the perfect place to kick your feet up, sip some wine, and visit with each other.

Shopping . . .

We feel that Holmes County, and the surrounding Amish Country, makes for the perfect girlfriend getaways in Ohio because of the wide array of activities.  Most ladies love to shop and we have some of the most updated stores for fashion, make up, accessories, and more.  A shop in Walnut Creek, bfearless , has consultants for hire to help you plan a wardrobe and make up that flatter you personally.  Another popular store in Berlin is the Berlin Village Gift Barn that carries clothing, Troll Beads, Pandora jewelry, home decor, and so much more.  Moxie, a sister store to the Berlin Village Gift Barn, is a short walk down the street.  These three shops just tap the surface of the shopping in our area.

Food . . .

When you need to take a break there are so many options for food or a snack.  Rebecca’s Bistro in Walnut Creek offers light, gourmet lunches along with coffees, teas, and wonderful desserts.  If you want a really healthy lunch or smoothie then a visit to Zest Fresh Eats & Smoothie Bar in Berlin is a must.  They offer salads, wraps, juices, and smoothies that are all fresh and sometimes organic.  A really unique pizza place calls Sugarcreek, Ohio its home, Park Street Pizza.  Every pizza, salad, and dessert that they make is all farm fresh and/or organic.  There is always the good, old-fashioned, Amish home cooking too.

Wine . . .

No girlfriend getaways in Ohio would be complete without a visit to some area wineries.  There are variety of wineries and wine tasting showrooms with in a short distance of our bed and breakfast.  Breitenbach Winery is one of the largest wineries in the State of Ohio.  At Ravens Glenn Winery you will find an awesome tasting bar plus a sit-down restaurant featuring a Tuscan-style menu.  For the “marriage of wine and cheese” visit Broad Run Cheese House.  Inside you can sample and purchase locally produced cheese but they also have Swiss Heritage Winery under the same roof for wine tasting.  There are several more wineries in the area to choose from.

Unique Places . . .

Some unique activities in Holmes County and the area include the Victorian House Museum, Warther Museum, David Warther Carvings, Berlin Creek Art Gallery, The Farm at Walnut Creek, Coblentz Chocolate Factory, Heini’s Cheese Factory, Guggisberg Cheese, etc.

Lodging . . .

One of the best things about a girls getaways in Ohio at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast is that we are centrally located in Holmes County.  The nearest shopping and dining is only 2 miles away.  Most places you will visit are within a 15-20 minute drive from our B&B.  We can help you map out an itinerary to places that you want to visit or you can take some of our self-guided itineraries that we have already created and follow that route.


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Summer Sightseeing in Amish Country Ohio : 4 Awesome Places to Visit 20 Apr 2015, 3:32 pm


Amish Country is known around the world for the culture and is a popular summer attraction.  With miles of rolling hills, there are many places to go sightseeing in Amish Country Ohio .   Some  of our favorite summer places include The Farm at Walnut Creek, Hershberger’s Farm & Bakery, Bowden Bells, and Yoder’s Amish Home & Farm.  When you stay at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast this summer, check out our favorite places to go sightseeing in Amish Country Ohio .

Visit a farm . . .

The Farm at Walnut Creek has over 700 animals sprawling across 120 acres.  You board a horse-drawn wagon and are given animal feed.  As they take you through The Farm they describe what animals you are looking at and tell you about them.  They make stops along the route for you to feed them.  You will probably never get this close to exotic animals again.

Hershberger’s Farm & Bakery has Ohio’s largest, Belgian work horse, Big Ben.  They also have goats on the roof that you can feed, horse & buggy rides, fresh produce, flowers, bakery items, sandwiches, kettle corn, and a shop that sells wooden toys and horse tack.  It is a really fun experience for kids of all ages.

If you have ever wanted to visit an Amish farm the way to do it is to stop at Yoder’s Amish Home & Farm between Walnut Creek and Trail, Ohio.  Once a real Amish farm, it is now more of a “museum”  You can tour 2 Amish homes that are not longer lived in but you are taken on a tour of them. They explain how the Amish live and the homes are furnished how an Amish home may really look.  On the same property you can also tour a one-room school and take a horse & buggy ride.  It really feels like a day at a farm when you see puppies and chickens roaming around.

Explore unique garden art . . .

Bowden Bells is north and west of  the village of Millersburg.  They not only sell bells made out of recycled materials, but they have lots of original garden art also made from recycled materials.  Jan Bowden has a glass kiln and makes both indoor and outdoor decor using fused glass.  Both Vince and Jan Bowden are artists and this is a don’t miss stop when sightseeing in Amish Country Ohio .

Let Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast help you plan your sightseeing in Amish Country Ohio by mapping out routes to visit the kinds of places that you want to visit.  Our award-winning bed and breakfast sits on a hill surrounded by Amish neighbors and you will find horses grazing in the field next door.  While our location is peaceful and quiet we are just a couple of miles from Berlin, Ohio where you will find dining, shopping, and attractions.  On the same property as our B&B you will find romantic cottages near Berlin Ohio too. No matter what kind of lodging you prefer we have a little bit of everything to make your Summer stay special.


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Plan a Perfect Romantic Getaway in Ohio 7 Apr 2015, 11:36 am

Where to Stay . . .

Planning the perfect romantic getaway can sometimes be challenging when the price quote comes.  Ask the lodging establishment to put chocolates or other special touches in your room and you can rack up quite the bill.   We found one 2-night package that cost over $1600.00 for just lodging with no airfare.  At Garden Gate Get-A-Way we think that we have come up with the perfect romantic getaway in Ohio.  For starters, everyone receives a hot breakfast each morning that includes homemade baked goods and it is included in the rate!  If you stay in one of our cottages a “Welcome Package” is included.  That consists of a cheese & cracker plate with locally produced cheese, a chocolate sampler from Coblentz Chocolate Company, and a chilled bottle of Sparkling Juice.  You will also find homemade cookies in the kitchen when you arrive along with bottled water, coffee, tea, & hot chocolate.  Each cottage has a 2-person, Roman-style Jacuzzi tub with big white pillars and tile surround.  It also has a peninsula fireplace that can be seen from the bed, loveseat, or kitchenette.  Want to sit outside and sip some wine?  No problem!  You cottage porch as a glider and table & chairs where you can sit and watch the horses grazing in the field next door.  We also have romantic rooms at the bed and breakfast on the same property.  Each room has a private entrance from the outside.  Some have fireplaces or Jacuzzi tub, plus upscale mattresses and linens.

Take a break . . .

When you want to take a break and explore the area there are many things to do.  If you like wine there are several wineries to choose from that offer award-winning wines.  At Ravens Glenn Winery you can sit down to a romantic dinner in front of the tall, stone fireplace and look out the window at the Tuscarawas River.   Stop in Coblentz Chocolate Company to get some chocolates to accompany the wine that you purchase.  If beer is more your thing you can head out Millersburg Brewing Company and try out some local brews.  They also offer wine tasting at the brewery.  If you like the outdoors we can help you set up horseback riding at a local stable.  If you prefer to enjoy the outdoors on your own 2 feet you can visit The Wilderness Center in Wilmot and take a hike on one of their many trails.  Holmes County and the surrounding area offers something for everyone including shopping, museums, historical homes, food, golf, Amish culture, animal farms, wineries, beer, and more.

It is not hard to see why we think that a romantic getaway in Ohio is the answer for your plans instead of hopping on a plane.  Whether you want to relax and destress or be on the go visiting attractions, we have it all here in Holmes County.  At Garden Gate Get-A-Way we will be happy to help you with planning what amenities you would like on property as well as planning an itinerary to explore the area.

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7 Fun Things to Do in Amish Country Ohio 26 Mar 2015, 2:49 pm

Kick the stress away . . .

Many of us lead stressful lives these days and want to unplug when we travel.  We’ve come up with a list of fun things to do in Amish Country Ohio that will help you do just that.  Amish Country is made up with several small towns and each one has something unique to offer.

  1. Rolling Ridge Ranch is a place where you board a horse-drawn wagon and take a trip through woods, by a pond, and in to an open field.  They have over 500 hundred animals with over 100 species from around the world.  The wagon stops along the trail for you to feed the animals.  You will never get this close to wild animals again.
  2. Amish Country Theater offers a variety of shows throughout the season. You will find good, clean humor that will have you laughing or rolling in the aisles.  They perform several skits (some with Amish humor), have a blue grass band, entertain you with a ventriloquist, and even have a little audience participation.
  3. Wendell August Forge offers unique metal items that are hammered in so many designs that there is sure to be one that you will fall in love with.  They sell coasters, platters, jewelry, gift items, and more.  The fun part of this store is going in the back room and getting to hand-hammer a souvenir design that even comes with a paper frame.
  4. Coblentz Chocolate Company is located in Walnut Creek.  Who doesn’t love chocolate but it is really fun to watch it being made from the viewing gallery.  Many days you will find samples sitting out to try these mouth-watering delights.
  5. Yoder’s Amish Home & Farm teaches you about Amish life.  Take a ride in a real Amish Buggy for a fun experience that you won’t soon forget.  Tour 2 homes to see the difference between Old Order and New Order Amish.  Visit the 1-room school house and learn about Amish education.  You may even get to pet a puppy wandering around.
  6. Millersburg Brewing Company brews local brews named after places in our area.  Stop in for a beer paddle and do some tasting.  If someone in your party doesn’t like beer then have no fear because they do wine tasting too!
  7. Heini’s Cheese is the most fun cheese factory you will every visit.  In the mornings take a tour of cheese making or just visit the viewing gallery as you watch cheese being made.  Visit the retail area where you can sample 50 different kinds of cheese!  They also sell fudge, ice cream, gifts, coffee, and more.

Spend the night . . .

After all of these fun things to do in Amish Country Ohio you will surely want to spend the night in the area.  Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast offers Berlin Ohio lodging with an evening campfire and flower gardens.  So beat the stress and have some fun.

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Amish Country Food is Not Always What You Think 23 Mar 2015, 10:32 am

At our bed and breakfast we see guests return from a day of shopping with bags of Amish Country food and coolers full of food.  They share with us that they know that the food is better if they buy it here.

Bulk foods for sale in Amish Country Ohio

Just like shopping in the big city, you should know where your Amish Country food is coming from.  One day we stopped in a bulk food store and saw the staff with a 50 lb. bag of Gold Medal flour.  They were scooping out the flour in to smaller bags and then weighing it, labeling it, and putting it on the shelf. Thus the person who purchases that bag of flour is basically getting the same Gold Medal flour that they could buy in the big city.

A recent trip to a bulk foods store had us purchasing multiple 10 lb. bags of chicken leg quarters because they were on sale for $.49/lb.  When I went to cook the chicken I found “tons” of extra fat and bones that were not trimmed off.  I also found tiny hair or feathers that had not been removed from the legs.  I spent a half hour trimming the chicken before I could cook it.  I also realized that I paid more than the $.49/lb. after I trimmed off the “junk”.  The chicken was distributed from Colorado and not locally raised chicken.

An informed shopper will find some wonderful Amish Country food to take home.  If you bring a cooler to purchase meats, some of our favorite places to shop are Doughty Farm Meats on SR557, Winesburg Meats on US62, Wholesome Valley Farm on US62, or Stans Meats on CR201.  We have several award winning cheese factories in the area that get their milk from local farms.  Some of the bakeries are commercial unlike Miller Bakery on TR356 which is Amish-owned and everything is made from scratch.  When it comes to the bulk foods you should not assume that you are getting something fresher, healthier, or better for you just because you purchased it in Amish Country.  When in doubt of what is in the bag . . . ask.  Many bags will show the brand name such a M&M candies or Gold Medal flour.  We would like to clarify that we are not against these bulk foods, especially if they are a better price than the grocery store, but just be aware that the plastic bag and twist tie doesn’t mean it is better or locally produced.

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Best Wineries in Ohio are near Amish Country 17 Mar 2015, 12:45 pm

Guests at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast often ask us where the best wineries in Ohio are located.  We may be prejudice but we think that the best wineries in Ohio are right in our back yard near Amish Country.

Breitenbach Winery among wineries in Ohio

It is said that 80% of people that drink wine prefer sweet wines.  Most of the wineries in Ohio cater to that taste but they also carry semi-sweet and dry wines too.  No matter if you are new to wine tasting or consider yourself a wine connoisseur you will be happy with what you find at our wineries in Ohio.

One of Ohio’s largest wineries is located near Sugarcreek, just a short drive from I-77.  They are best known for their signature Dandelion Wine which is a sweet dessert wine.  Name a fruit and Breitenbach most likely makes a wine in that flavor.  Do you prefer a nice Merlot?  They have that too.  During warm weather months you will find musical entertainment and outdoor BBQ on the weekends.

There isn’t a wine that Ravens Glenn Winery makes that we don’t like.  They have a wonderful tasting bar and the friendliest staff of any of the wineries in Ohio that we have visited.  The also have a wonderful restaurant that sits on the Tuscarawas River in a beautiful setting.  During the summer you can eat outside under the pergola and enjoy the river.  Dry wine drinkers will have a hard time choosing between Rosso Grande, Merlot, White October, and their Cabernet but sweet wine drinkers are not left out either.

In the quaint town of Baltic sits an old mill that is now Baltic Mill Winery.  The ambiance is fantastic as well as their wines.  Sit a while and enjoy their cheese plate along with your wine.  They also offer classes at the winery from time to time and dinners too!  They are one of the newest wineries in Ohio.

Located inside the old Building 6 one-room school house is School House Winery.  All of their wines are named after something school related such as Principal or Class Clown.  You can order pizza, sandwiches, and cheese plates to snack on while you visit.  Almost every weekend you will find musical entertainment there.

They call it the “marriage of wine and cheese”.  This winery is housed inside Broad Run Cheese, which is one of the oldest cheese factories in the State of Ohio.  Not too long ago they added a winery and tasting bar inside the cheese house.  Most of their wines are sweet wines that accompany their cheese just fine.  On weekends that have some snacks out at the tasting bar to go with your wine tasting.

Just around the corner from Breitenbach Winery and Swiss Heritage Winery you will find Silver Moon Winery.  They make the wine on site and offer a variety from sweet to dry.  There are couches and comfy chairs inside to relax while you sip some wine.

Down a quaint country road you walk inside this historical dairy barn to taste wine here.  There is an old stone fireplace inside and you can nibble on some pizza and Italian snacks from their old world recipes.  Don’t be surprised to see cows grazing outside; it is just part of the charm of this winery in Ohio.

When planning to visit these wineries in Ohio and other wine tasting showrooms in the area you might prefer a designated driver.  Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast has a tour bus used exclusively for their guests.  They have monthly wine tours that are pre-planned itineraries or you can charter the bus and plan a specific itinerary.  There is a fee for using the bus.

So the next time you want to find the best wineries in Ohio and do some tasting don’t ignore Amish Country and the surrounding area to sip some great wine.

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