Every year someone calls us to ask about our Group Travel programs. We define a group as any number over 50 persons because our supporting businesses around Amish country can service groups up to 50 well. Since most groups want to ride the wagon tours, we call 30 a good number because a wagon can carry 30 at a time in a single wagon and they usually have two wagons in operation. So any group of 50 or under can be supported by the staff of each business. Charter busses hold about 55 people so we try to accommodate Group Travel programs starting at the 50 person level and school trips at the 240 person level. We have listed our top recommendations further below this page with additional information to help visitors decide which places are for them.
We have a numbered list below to help you plan your trip
- 1Be sure to have a few dates that will work for your group in case the place you want is already booked. This will help with getting you booked at your appointed time with an alternative date.
- 2Know how many people are actually going with you so the places you are interested in can plan accordingly with your group or possible other groups.
- 3Call and email each place to keep in contact with them so you can get prices and amounts you need to tell your guest and to have a way of communication if plans change.
Here are a few things to consider: Groups move slower than just a car load of people. We suggest an overnight stay and a few points of interest while you are here. A good place to eat with larger seating capacity and a limited menu so that the cost is lower and the food comes out way faster than with a full menu. Also, points of interest should be close together to keep from wasting time between places. Tourism is built on where to stay, where to eat and something to do. We try to match the group to the best places that offer the group these 3 concepts! There is a difference between traveling as a group and group travel. We will explore the charter bus vs the school field trip in more detail.
Charter Bus vs School Bus
School trips regularly visit the Amish community and have the need to get in quick and see as much as they can before going back to school for their parents to pick them up. Homeschooling families also take a caravan load of kids with them in a group travel way but usually have a group of vans or charter a bus. Tour companies like our First Class Charter company can offer more possibilities to travelers by overnight hotel stay and transportation to more areas. A school bus may be used like a tour but but in most cases, we see them used more in line with their original purpose as student transportation.
Group Travel Size and Ideal Itinerary
Group size and age of participants have a lot to do with how we suggest an itinerary for your trip. A group of 50 adults on a charter bus is easier than 300 students getting off of school buses so we want to give you our top itineraries in a table below so you can match your group travel with your ideal itinerary.
Standard 50 Person Charter Bus Itinerary
In the below itinerary we show how a morning would best be experienced coming from an early rise from a hotel room you stayed in the night before. Buses can get delayed by traffic or events that would make a same day activity list problematic but feel free to modify our list. Times and places can be altered but since the summer season is our most popular, we feel getting your Amish wagon ride in as early as you can to beat the heat. We do allow time to take the tour and see the surrounding shopping places that have heating and air conditioning. Hinie's BBQ is our top recommended place to eat and can handle a 1:30 lunch time well after the locals eat at 12pm noon. We include a trip back to the hotel and include an optional evening event for those who want to get out on their own with a service or a group travel to another point of interest from our list below!
Charter Bus Post Hotel
Standard 100+ Person Charter Bus Itinerary
This 2 charter bus is an excellent option for larger tours. Once you go over the 50 person amount the places change. We do not have many places that can accommodate a larger number of patrons to our breakfast lineup. The David Crockett State Park has the ability to offer a buffet style breakfast in their event space. The wagon tours will need to call in extra wagons and drivers to carry more people at one time and Hinie's will need to set up one of their Venue North rooms but the same itinerary is still the same. We must require a guarantee of arrival to set up this level of service due to the logistics of larger group travel.
2 Charter Bus Post Hotel
School Bus Field Trips
We get a lot of school field trips and homeschooling associations that come every year to see the Amish community. Since the school field trips have large numbers of students we will show an itinerary for the larger group. We usually see groups eat at school and leave on busses so we do not include a breakfast place on our list. We also do not list an optional evening event due to the school wanting to get kids back to their parents. If a school does want a stay over event then we would have them follow the itinerary of the charter busses above. There are 4 places we recommend that provide an educational experience we feel best covers the Amish community and farm living. Rotating busses between these places would allow a better experience for the kids and allow the business to have a smaller group to facilitate. Most groups include adult chaperones so we figure the number of people on a school bus at 60 persons so a grade level of 4 busses would be 240 people. Basically a bus would go to each location and leave when the next bus pulls up or at a designated time.
Things to know before you go!
School Field Trip
Our Top Recommended Amish places for large groups.
Amish Wagon Tours
The Amish Welcome Center operates the wagon tours that take visitors around the Amish backcountry with a guide to the Amish homes. It cost $5 per child and $10 per adult at this time.
You see everything here from the milking of the cows to the final product of milk and cheese! The tour includes petting baby cows and seeing what they eat. It is $5 per person at this time.
Holiday Acres Farm
This farm tour has an educational center inside where kids can play and participate in set up supermarket, petting zoo, kid maze, and many more farm activities. It is booked by the day.
Plowboy Produce Auction
Learn how the economics of farm living is buying and selling at scale. The Amish like to auction their produce off at these sale barns to the highest bidders who also take delivery of their purchase.
Our Top Recommended Restaurant for large group travel
Hinie's BBQ - Venue North
The closest and newest restaurant is Hinie's BBQ who operates a 300 person capacity room and a 150 person room in the back of their bbq restaurant called Venue North. It has its own kitchen and prep area to cook at scale for their seating area so the catering side is distinct from the bbq restaurant. *What we would suggest is that you call or email them to find out a menu what limited menu they can provide you to narrow the amount per plate and let Venue North have a chance to buy a mass amount of those foods used in the limited menu. We don't have another place as good as Hinie's and Venue North for Group Travel or school groups to see the Amish Community. Keep scrolling for the link!
For groups of under 50 we suggest just showing up at Hinie's BBQ. They can facilitate groups of under 50 quite well. For anything over 50 persons we suggest you call or email them to tell them of your date of arrival so they are not double booked or or they are out on their Hinie Wagon. Call them as soon as you get your dates planned to give them time to facilitate your group. Inside Hinie's BBQ they have a Tootsie Room where smaller groups can book to keep from going to Venue North. During the week there isn't usually as many people so they may be able to put tables together.
See the button link below where you can go straight to the Hinie's BBQ and Venue North webpage to get more information before you go on your trip!
The Best Western Hotel in Lawrenceburg
The best hotel in Lawrence county for group travel is the Best Western Plus Hotel in Lawrenceburg. It is brand new and has an indoor pool. Busses can pull through easily and it is north of town and the closest to the Amish. You make a right turn into the hotel when returning back from your visit and it is far away from the highway for safety and quiet. Make sure to call them for group travel rates and reservations of room blocks if a large group is coming with you. See our page where we recommend places to stay based on size of your group or alternatives to hotels in the button link below!
See the button link below where you can go straight to the Best Western Plus website to get more information before you go on your trip!
Select a few local points of interest
People love to visit here for the country aspect of life. We get people from all over the world who visit our Amish and The Farm due to their popularity. We are close to Nashville Tennessee and Huntsville Alabama so those taking the music city tours and the NASA space and rocket center tours can pass right through our area. We also have what people would call "Redneck Fun" where they can do things that are a bit dangerous like shoot machine guns and 50 caliber rifles at ranges or float down the creek on a tube, kayak or canoe in the woods famous for bald eagles. Be sure to add these places to your group travel or personal travel itinerary. Below we have listed a few pages where we show these place of interest so be sure to click on them and see what else we have to offer our wonderful visitors to Lawrence county!
Indoor activities are essential for inclement weather and nightlife recreation! We have bowling, pool, and axe throwing. Yes! Axe throwing at Kicking Axe in Loretto is a very popular destination for those wanting to throw axes and try to get out of an escape house where they lock you up as a group inside a group of rooms where you must use clues in order to find the key to get out! We also have Crockett Theater where you can see shows and live concerts performances! If movies are your interest then Crockett Cinemas are here to give you the best viewing experience with all the snacks and foods you would expect from a working movie theater!
Click the link button below to see our indoor activities webpage! We have collected all the best indoor places in Lawrence county to help you add these places to your plans or itinerary for your stay! The Amish don't offer any kind of nightlife so we want to bring you options to make sure you can enhance your vacation with a few indoor activities!
We have more outdoor sports than we do inside sports. Let's divide team sports up with parallel sports. A parallel sport is one that is played the same, no matter how many players there are. So if you like golf, tennis, motorcycle and atv, or bicycle sports then we have the place you will love! We have both ball golf and disc golf courses and plenty of places to ride your ATV on wooded trails and jumping hills! We also have archery and gun ranges where you can take your best shot and be on target!
Our outdoor activities webpage is where you can find all of our listings of outdoor activity in Lawrence county! This directory explains our top places for outdoor recreation! The button below takes you to the outdoor page so click the button and get started on planning your trip itinerary with these outdoor activities in mind!
Area Woods and Watersports
We have many awesome rivers and lakes in Lawrence county. Visitors come from all over to participate in our great tubing and kayak adventures. There are three great places for fun on the water. Each place we feature opens around May and close labor day weekend. The water temperatures are a bit cold before May and after August. Crockett Shoals Tubing Company is our pick for kids 10 and under as the water is very shallow and the tubes have a bottom so you can't slide out into the water. If a child does fall out of the tube, it is only a foot deep in most places so they just have to stand up. Upa Creek kayak rentals have both tubes, canoes and kayaks and offer different drop off locations according to how long you want to float. Upa Creek is right beside a great restaurant called the Taco Shack if you want to eat after a long float. Double G canoe and kayak rental is for the person who wants a good long float with great scenery. They can even facilitate wheelchairs and other needs for those with disabilities. At Double G they can offer the longest float and the most unique way of putting the kayak in the water!
All of these places and more are featured on our webpage that is devoted to woods and watersports. Please see our detailed guide for more information on seeing which places best fit your needs for a day in the woods or out on the water!
We have a page devoted to the areas best events where you can combine interesting events to include into your vacation itinerary! See our page in the button link below!
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We (The Amish of Ethridge) do not guarantee the accuracy of the links it shares as the URL may be changed without warning from the original location. We also do not represent any business listed above or the Amish Community we share. Anyone who consumes our content and acts on what they perceive, is doing so of their own volition. We built our website and trails to show our visitors possibilities to include in their itinerary to experience on their vacation.