'Paradise for Plain People:' The Amish Who Live in Florida Community Where Bicycles and Solar-Powered Buggies Are More Common Than Cars

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Every winter, scores of Amish and Mennonites flock to a small Florida community that is built around their way of life, where buggies powered by the sun and three-wheeled bicycles are more common on the streets than cars.

Pinecraft Park in Sarasota has been called ‘paradise for plain people’ as the top vacation spot for people who like to live a simpler life without too many modern amenities.

‘You just assume that everybody you see, especially in the wintertime, is Amish and Mennonite,’ Katie Troyer, who blogs about the community, told NBC’s Today Show.

Troyer says the Amish like to say that what happens in Pinecraft, stays in Pinecraft.

Some of the strict guidelines to Amish living are a little looser in Pinecraft, where women can be seen wearing flip-flops and some people attach motors to their bicycles.

The Amish generally try to avoid using modern innovations, including electricity, but one resident’s solar-powered buggy is attracting a host of Amish vacationers.

The owner said he wasn’t sure if the buggy would catch on among the Amish. But he said he’s getting good business – and even a few ‘thumbs-ups’ from Amish women he passes on the streets.

Loads of buses bring Amish and Mennonites from northern states down to Pinecraft every season of the year.

Katie Troyer’s blogs about Amish life in Pinecraft can be found here and here.

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