Four things you want to know about the Amish but were afraid to ask
Do you wonder about the Amish? They’re our friends, neighbors and – sometimes – our business partners. So when you visit Elkhart County, we can help you figure out what’s going on and keep you from doing (or saying) something you’ll regret.
I just got to Elkhart County. Where can I see the Amish?
You’re more likely to see Amish while exploring our rolling farmland rather than the urban centers of Elkhart and Goshen (not saying it’s impossible, but …)
Our Heritage Trail guided tour takes you into Amish enclaves such as Middlebury, Nappanee and Shipshewana. The backroads offer glimpses of the Amish community, from one-room schoolhouses and churches to working farms, artisan shops and Amish riding their bikes to work at an RV factory. Be sure to pick up your FREE copy of the Heritage Trail audio driving tour
It’s so cool to see horses and buggies and how the Amish dress. Can I take some photos?
Out of respect to the Amish culture and their beliefs, don’t take photos of the Amish or ask them to pose for a photo or be in a selfie with you. The Amish are modest and believe photography to exhibit pride and individualism that takes them farther from God.
Here are more do’s and don’ts about interacting in Amish communities, including a more detailed explanation about their customs.
So I can’t take photos. Is it OK to talk to Amish?
Of course! The Amish are no different than you or your friends and love to chat with people. If you’re in an artisan shop, you can learn a lot from chatting with the artists and asking how they create amazing quilts, furniture and baked goods.
What do I do if I encounter an Amish horse and buggy on the road?
Please exhibit courtesy and care when maneuvering your car around the Amish. Honking or flashing headlights is not only discourteous but also dangerous, as you may startle the horse. By law, horses and buggies share the road, so just be careful, move slowly and leave plenty of room if you’re going to pass.
Read more here if you want to know more about Amish history and their way of life.