I’ve written lots over the years about Pinecraft, Florida, the Anabaptist enclave tucked away in a quiet corner of Sarasota. I love this community and visit there any chance that I can! The village-within-a-city has a college-town feel in the sense that the winter part of the year it is bustling and crowded while the summers and early fall are sleepy and quiet. When I lived in tiny Oxford, Ohio – home to Miami University – half the year the town was clogged streets and crowded restaurants while the other half was quiet and relaxed. Pinecraft has a similar feel. The busiest months are the winter when Amish snowbirds arrive on the Pioneer Trails bus and take up residence for weeks at a time in tiny shotgun homes, cottages, and bungalows. The rules are relaxed a bit as everyone relaxes under the west Florida sun. Ordnung? What ordnung?:)
A Miami Herald reporter recently visited Pinecraft and was shown around by the lovely Sherry Gore. Here is her article. In the weeks ahead the last of the snowbirds will begin to pack up, the restaurants will get a little less crowded, and the Pioneer bus will reduce its runs. There’s a plain presence year round in Pinecraft but it does take on a slower, sleepier rhythm after Easter. Still some places are always worth a stop in Pinecraft: Yoder’s Restaurant and Big Olaf’s Creamery for some amazing ice cream! This photo was taken when I was in Pinecraft last summer. Had the photo been taken during winter you might have seen few cars in the photo and more of the ubiquitous adult tricycles (Pinecraft buggies) that the Amish use while visiting in place of the more familiar horse and buggies.