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Appropriate Conduct when Visiting the Amish
Whether you shop for local Amish-made goods and furniture, stay overnight at a quaint bed and breakfast tucked under an authentic Amish quilt, stop by local roadside stands set up by the Amish to sell excess farm produce, or explore the scenic countryside, a visit to Amish country can be a rewarding and fascinating experience. From tranquil Amish farms and the clip-clop of horse-drawn buggies to tasty Amish foods, there are plenty of opportunities for a glimpse into the Amish way of life.
While visiting Amish country, it is very important to be considerate of the Amish and their lifestyle, however, just like you, they do not solicit or encourage people to take their picture or knock on their door. When visiting their community, please keep the following basic courtesy rules in mind:
- Don’t stare, gawk, or otherwise be disrespectful of the Amish.
- When driving, keep an eye out for slow-moving Amish buggies (especially at night), and give them plenty of room when following or passing. Keep headlights on low-beam and stay away from the horn.
- Don’t stop at a homestead unless there is a sign at the drive stating their business trade. NO SUNDAY SALES!
- No photos or videos, please. Most Amish consider posing for photographs to be an unacceptable act of pride and do not allow pictures of themselves. The Amish will usually allow you to photograph their homes, farms, and buggies if you ask respectfully, but even this can be intrusive and is better avoided. If you must take pictures, consider a telephoto lens, and avoid taking any photos which include recognizable faces. A picture of the rear of an Amish buggy as it travels down the road probably won’t offend anyone.
- Do not feed or pet horses that are tied to a hitching rail or harnessed to a buggy.
- If you are sincerely interested in talking to the Amish to learn more about their culture, then your best bet is to patronize an Amish-owned business and talk with the shopkeepers. Most Amish people enjoy talking with outsiders.
- In some Amish communities shops and attractions may not be open on Sundays.
- Enjoy your visit to Amish country, but be sure to follow the ‘golden rule’ and treat the Amish and their property the way that you would wish to be treated.
Amish Map – Printable version