Little Switzerland of Ohio - Sugarcreek, Ohio

Top 9 Things to Do in Little Switzerland Ohio & Visitor Tips

Somewhere in the Buckeye state, there’s a little village that’s quaintly tucked into a portion of a Tuscarawas County village called Sugarcreek, and its nickname is Little Switzerland Ohio.

Tuscarawas (called Tusk for short) isn’t the most famous county in the state, but it is widely known to Ohioans for its gorgeous cliffs, recreational activities, and Amish culture.

Little Switzerland is small but incredibly interesting and unique. Why? Well, it has a little to do with cheese and clocks, but there’s a lot more to it than that!

Little Switzerland of Ohio - Sugarcreek, Ohio
Little Switzerland of Ohio | photo via Kreuzfeld

About Little Switzerland Ohio

Sugarcreek, east of New Philadelphia (the county seat), is actually considered a gateway location for Amish Country. Ohio has a few cities and counties that are largely inhabited by Amish families. Sugarcreek is one of those places.

Yet, the village being known as Little Switzerland is a nod to early inhabitants that came from Switzerland and infused Swiss culture into the village and surrounding region.

Little Switzerland of Ohio - Sugarcreek, Ohio
Little Switzerland of Ohio | photo via @euro_barn

The History of Little Switzerland Ohio

Originally, there were two neighboring towns — Shanesville and Sugar Creek. Eventually, these two places merged and formed the village that is now known as Sugarcreek. Although there are only about 2,200 people technically living in Sugarcreek, it receives quite a few visitors every year.

In general, Ohio Amish Country attracts more than 4 million visitors a year, and Sugarcreek is one of those areas. Despite that, area residents are a blend of Amish and non-Amish.

The First Settlers

The people who first settled in the area were largely German, Swiss, and Amish families. Tuscarawas County has many established places, but the stunning landscape is full of rocky cliffs, rivers, and woods.

Early residents had to work hard to clear some of these structures to make the area habitable. In 1882, a railroad brought other residents to the area, and the population grew.

Swiss families brought their cultural skills, setting up cheese factories. In fact, some of the best Swiss cheese that can be found in the state comes from Sugarcreek!

The Architecture

Visitors are also in for an architectural treat when they visit the village. Many of the beautiful buildings have distinct Alpine architectural stylings, a direct tribute to the common type of building found in villages throughout the Alps in Europe.

While the architecture was borne of a simplistic need to protect buildings and inhabitants from the colder elements of the Alpine region, it developed into a highly admired style that was utilized in Sugarcreek, as well as other places throughout the United States that are heavily populated by Swiss immigrants.

The Swiss are also known for their clockmaking and watchmaking skills. One of Sugarcreek’s main attractions is the giant clock located in the middle of Sugarcreek’s Swiss Village.

Little Switzerland of Ohio - Sugarcreek, Ohio
Little Switzerland of Ohio | photo via @euro_barn

Things to Do in Little Switzerland Ohio

You’ll find plenty of enticing sites to see and activities to do in Sugarland Ohio to keep you busy for a few days. Check out some favorites of locals and visitors alike.

Shopping in the Village

You don’t want to miss out on grocery shopping when you visit Sugarcreek. Swiss Village Bulk Foods is a well-known grocery store where people will travel from other counties and states to lock down great cheeses and spreads. Many make a day or weekend out of the trip!

There are other mom-and-pop shops that specialize in authentic Swiss and artisan cheeses that you can check out too. Don’t forget to dip into a craft store to check out hand-carved wood sculptures and handmade furniture as well.

The World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock

Sugarcreek has the quirky and cute honor of being home to The World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock. Giving props to the well-known craftsmanship of Swiss clockmakers, this giant clock is 24 feet wide and over 23 feet tall. It was the Guinness Book of World Records’ cover model for its 1977 issue.

If you stick around the clock for about 30 minutes, you’ll see its bird emerge, which happens every half hour. Be prepared for some festive Polka music to play whenever this happens.

However, when the weather gets cold — and it gets cold in this part of Ohio — expect to stay warm inside instead of bird-watching.

Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum

As Sugarcreek was once a booming railroad town, there is a museum that honors that heyday. The Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum is an excellent place to visit and check out this rail history.

When Jerry Jacobson, a former railroad employee, retired in 2008, he made sure to preserve all of the equipment he gathered. He made a point of preserving the steamers and eventually turned them into a museum.

Featuring 23 steamers, this place keeps Sugarcreek’s esteemed railroad history alive for all visitors and future generations.

Little Switzerland of Ohio - Sugarcreek, Ohio
Little Switzerland of Ohio | photo via @euro_barn

Important Tips About Visiting Little Switzerland Ohio

One of the most important things that visitors to Little Switzerland Ohio need to be aware of is that many Amish people still use horse-drawn carriages as transportation.

Unfortunately, motorists don’t always pay attention to this and, as a result, there are many motor vehicle and carriage accidents on the roadways. Some of those accidents result in fatalities, particularly for carriage drivers and their horses.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has established guidelines to raise awareness about the issue. Many Ohio roads stress the importance of following these guidelines by posting state signs to demonstrate high horse-drawn carriage activity so that motorists can be more mindful.

If you visit Sugarcreek, you can help by paying special attention to the surrounding traffic and road signs.

Getting to Little Switzerland

Speaking of roadways, Sugarcreek is fairly easy to access when you are traveling from I-77, east of the village. Coming in from other directions is easier when you are already in a neighboring county or town.

If you are traveling from any point that is due south, east, or northeast of the area, taking I-77 is a straightforward route that makes the village impossible to miss if you stay on course.

Little Switzerland of Ohio - Sugarcreek, Ohio
Little Switzerland of Ohio | photo via @balticmillwinery

More Things to Do Near Little Switzerland Ohio

While Sugarcreek is its own type of paradise, Tuscarawas has its own charm outside of the village. You can expect some rugged terrain, historic towns, and cool animal farms.

The Farm at Walnut Creek

While the address says Sugarcreek, there is a nearby town called Walnut Creek, which is home to this petting zoo. You can see an array of animals — giraffes, camels, llamas, and kangaroos.

During winter, the place shuts down as many of the animals are native to warmer climates.

Zoar Village

Historic Zoar Village is a place in Tuscarawas County that was settled by German immigrants who separated from Germany in 1817 and settled in Zoar. The village hasn’t changed much in more than 200 years and is a popular tourist destination.

Little Switzerland of Ohio - Sugarcreek, Ohio
Little Switzerland of Ohio | photo via @mr._kgarcia

Dining Near Little Switzerland Ohio

Sugarcreek is full of great food that utilizes some of the great Swiss ingredients that the village is known for producing. Here are a couple of places to check out when you’re in town.

Dutch Valley Restaurant

You can expect to find some nice comfort food that is made with care and fresh ingredients at Dutch Valley Restaurant. One of the best things about food in Amish country is that it is made with care and prepared as if every customer is actually a part of the family.

Brick Towne Tavern

You can spend the day in Sugarcreek and then wind the day down with a stacked cheeseburger and a cold beer. After a long day of touring, a freshly made burger with the toppings you want can be perfect.

Little Switzerland of Ohio - Sugarcreek, Ohio
Little Switzerland of Ohio | photo via @euro_barn

Lodging Near Little Switzerland Ohio

There are some interesting lodging choices near such an interesting place as Sugarcreek. Check out these two!

Sugarcreek Village Inn

This inn offers different lodging options, and some of the rooms are located in buildings that have been converted from trains! The Victoria Station has three guest rooms per train car.

Of course, there are traditional rooms too. Whichever you choose to book, it’s a unique experience that is clean and comfortable.

Berlin Woods Treehouses

Forget about traditional hotel stays, and spend a night in an Amish treehouse! These treehouses are suspended 30 feet from the ground and connected by adorable wooden bridges. Large enough to accommodate families, it’s a woodsy retreat that’s quaint and quiet.

Ohio Swiss Festival - Sugarcreek, Ohio
Ohio Swiss Festival | photo via @balticmillwinery

Exploring All of Little Switzerland Ohio

Whether you love clocks, cheese, or Alpine buildings — or just want a different experience in a cool place — consider a visit to Little Switzerland Ohio. There’s no shortage of things to do and see. Plus, it’s one of the top things to do in Ohio before you die.

Besides, you can get a current taste of old history when you go. Pick a weekend, and check out a fun little place called Sugarcreek!

Little Switzerland of Ohio - Sugarcreek, Ohio
Little Switzerland of Ohio | photo via @greg_moomaw

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