Visiting Sugarcreek

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Randy L. McKee

A visit to Sugarcreek is the “ultimate road trip,” said Christine Quickel, the Swiss village's marketing administrator. “Life just moves at a slower pace here in Sugarcreek. There’s no other town quite like it.”

Throughout the year, the “Little Switzerland of Ohio” offers an abundance of unique experiences that can be as mesmerizing as the intricacies of the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock or as simple as just taking in the village's cheerful and relaxing ambiance.

“Visitors enjoy the Swiss-style architecture and the happy music playing along the streets as horse-drawn buggies pass by,” Quickel said. “Hand-painted murals scattered throughout the village feature beautiful Swiss scenery. As you wind your way through the back roads of Sugarcreek, you will discover specialty shops, locally owned wineries and beautiful, rolling hillsides.”

Located in the heart of Ohio's Amish Country, Sugarcreek was settled by Amish and other German and Swiss families, the latter of whom made the village famous through their cheese-making skills. The mighty Alps may be conspicuously absent from the horizon, but apart from the missing mountainous vistas, Sugarcreek’s visitors might easily imagine themselves touring the streets of a small Swiss town by foot or by horse-drawn buggy.

The World's Largest Cuckoo Clock, featuring the joyous sounds of an oompa band and an animated dancing couple who welcome delighted onlookers every half hour, is the signature attraction in downtown Sugarcreek. The 24-foot-high clock at the intersection of East Main Street and Broadway is surrounded by elaborate hand-painted murals that depict breathtaking Swiss landscapes amidst the musical backdrop that permeates the village air. The historical murals adorn the facing of seven buildings, and across from the cuckoo clock, a 112-foot-long, 13-panel brick wall details the area’s history through sculpture.

The region's rich history is cherished in Sugarcreek, as evidenced by such informative attractions as the Alpine Hills Museum and the unique Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum. The roundhouse museum, which features the largest private collection of steam engines in the United States, helps to preserve America's railroad history.

"The roundhouse is the only one of its kind in the country," Quickel said. "Even if you're not a train person, you'll find it to be magnificent."

The 34-acre site includes 22 steamers surrounded by a depot, a store house, a coal loader, a wood water tank, an ash pit, a back shop and — the jewel of the site — a working 18-stall brick roundhouse that surrounds a 115-foot turntable.

The Alpine Hills Museum — which is free to visit — displays a 19th century Amish kitchen and an 1890s cheese house among its three floors of history. The museum also serves as a tourist information center where maps, brochures and other helpful information can be obtained.

"The best way to experience Sugar-creek may be to immerse yourself in the culture," Quickel said.

Guests who visit Sugarcreek, she added, are very likely to return home with more than just wonderful memories. That's because the quality furniture, home goods, antiques and local works of art may prove too tempting to leave behind in the village's many charming shops. Along with a variety of gift shops, the village also hosts many local wineries.

“You can also visit one of our local farmers markets, where you can cut your own bouquets or pick your own produce,” Quickel said. “The kids will love petting the animals at Smokey Lane Farm, which is located across from the round-house museum.”

Meanwhile, Sugarcreek offers a loaded calendar of fascinating special events throughout the year.

“No matter what season you visit Sugarcreek, you will be sure to find a special event going on,” Quickel said. “From car shows to concerts, we offer amazing events throughout the year for the entire family. Be sure to check out our website to plan your visit around one of our visitor favorites like the Fabulous 50’s Fling, the annual Ohio Swiss Festival and Light Up Sugarcreek.”

The Ohio Swiss Festival, held in October, celebrates the achievements of the cheese makers and the other hardworking Swiss families who first chose Sugarcreek as their new home.

Visit Sugarcreek online at or call 330-852-4113. Reach them via email at contactus@villageofsugarcreek. com for more information.