Experience Simpler Times in Sarasota

When you think of the Amish, scenes of Dutch Pennsylvania and surrounding states probably come to mind. Sunny Florida, a partier’s paradise, is likely the last place you’d think of. But think again! Everyone enjoys a good vacation in sunny weather, even the Amish, and they have even created a well-established Amish community near Siesta Key. Consider visiting Pinecraft Community in Sarasota. It’s one of the more unique things to do while visiting Siesta Key!

amish couple in buggy

Pinecraft Community

Amish and Mennonite farmers first arrived in Sarasota during the 1920s to grow celery, a common Amish crop. They found the soil was not right for growing large celery crops, but many decided to stick around – or at least visit once a year.

There are some all-year Amish residents in Pinecraft, but not very many. Most homes are rented out during the winter months to snowbirds fleeing the harsh winters of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other northern states. Each winter, busloads arrive with Amish families and their belongings, prepared to spend the winter. 

It might not be what you expect, conservative Amish families vacationing just miles from bars and other taboo amenities. The Sarasota Amish community is, in fact, a bit more liberal than its northern counterparts, but you will find its neighborhoods stand in stark contrast to the rest of the city. Homes and yards are strikingly modest, and on Sundays, the town is almost deserted. 

Pinecraft Park is perhaps the best glimpse into Amish life. Like other parks in the city, it has the basic playground equipment, but there is an emphasis on adults joining in on the fun. There are sand volleyball, basketball, and shuffleboard courts. Families and friends are regularly spotted crowding these spots making the most of their time together in the beautiful weather. 

pie

Goods Produced in the Community 

As might be expected, Pinecraft is known for its fine handcrafted goods and hearty homemade dishes. Streets lined with locally owned businesses offer dolls, quilts, soaps, wooden toys, scented candles, and other items that would make fine souvenirs. You will also find high-quality rocking chairs and wood furniture that are typical of Amish craftsmen, the kind of purchase that could pass through the family for generations. 

And of course, the food. There are jams and jellies, canned and jarred goods, fresh fruits and vegetables and meat. Not to mention the delicious “comfort food” that Pinecraft is famous for. Yoder’s Amish Village is among the most famous establishment in town and regularly boasts lines out the door. Come and try the delectable pot roast and some of the best fried chicken you’ve ever tasted. The real attraction, however, is the pies. Yoder’s makes more than 100 fresh pies every day with more than 25 varieties. Pie slices are giant and decadent – you’ll be dreaming above these pies long after they’re gone!

Can I Visit as a Tourist? 

You might be wondering if it is appropriate to visit Pinecraft. After all, Amish communities are often quite closed off to the outside world. Here, at least, visitors are warmly welcomed, so there is nothing to fear. The community used to be isolated from the rest of Sarasota, but the city grew up around it. Now, the community’s inhabitants are used to intermingling with visitors, and their businesses are dependent on tourism. 

That said, it is always important to be respectful to the locals and their way of life. You are a guest in their neighborhood, after all! 

Visiting Pinecraft Community makes a great day trip – although, preferably not a Sunday when most shops are closed. After grabbing a hearty lunch, window shopping, and taking a stroll around the park, head home to the comfort of your Siesta Key vacation rental.

Plan Your Visit

We offer luxury condominiums, primarily 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom units near Siesta Key Village with all its shops and restaurants. You’ll be right in the middle of everything, a stark contrast to the simple life of Pinecraft! 


Our Location

Crystal Sands Condominiums
6300 Midnight Pass Road
Siesta Key, FL 34242

Toll-Free: 888-419-1446
Local: 941-349-7007

Fax: 941-346-1963

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