You’ve heard all the buzz words before – girlfriend getaways, quaint historic towns, unusual dining, spa spoiling – but Miami County, Ohio is where it is experienced by girls who just want to have fun.
Whether it’s amidst the historic architecture of Piqua, the artistic town of Troy or the old canal town of Tipp City, the backdrop sets a scene to remember. All-day shopping at one-of-a-kind shops is only interrupted by scrumptious stops for coffee, lunch, dinner and drinks. And when the proverbial “…til you drop” commands the body to quit, there’s an extraordinary spa in a serene setting waiting to nurture your mind, body and spirit to fulfillment.
This lovely daytrip or overnight stay is well-suited for mom and daughter(s), friends reuniting or ladies that just can’t get enough of days like this.
Piqua is a good place to begin.
The recently restored and historic Fort Piqua Plaza is a visual treat but inside you’ll find mouthwatering chocolates and coffees at Winan’s. Since the late 1800’s, four generations have delighted patrons with their premium handmade treats, gourmet coffees and gifts. But in Piqua, Winan’s is just as well known for the friendly smiles poured with every cup.
When you walk into Barclay’s, you step back into time. This clothier is a family-owned business in its 3rd generation offering women labels like Brighton, Fossil, 600 West, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans and Vera Bradley. You don’t stay in business for more than 40 years if you don’t know the meaning of service! Barclay’s is also known for their distinctive men’s department featuring classic suits to casual wear.
Down the street is Apple Tree Gallery where you can get lost in original ornaments and collectibles. The name comes from the family ownership’s small orchard on their nearby farm. Here, every day is Christmas! But the building itself is an ornament of sorts, ranging from its decorative tin ceiling to the hardwood floors.
Troy is where you want to have lunch. The picturesque downtown often has art displayed in its square surrounding a large fountain within sight of outdoor restaurant patios shaded under awnings.
A lovely restaurant nestled on the square, taking full advantage of the atmosphere, is La Piazza. The name is Italian for “the square.” They may have lost track of how many “best of” awards they’ve received but people near and far have not lost track of where to find dishes that make you want to say aloud, “mamma mia!”
Now, explore The Treasured Gift. It’s a quaint shop with personality breathing from the gorgeous ceiling design above to the quality offerings throughout. If you want one-of-a-kind, this is one place to find it in the form of hand blown glass, pottery, paintings and jewelry.
Nothing may emphasize the theme of this trip more than the story behind Pinky Scout. This children’s boutique began many years ago by three little girls –“besties!” And today, their list of friends keeps growing with every person who walks through their door. When you visit, it’s fun, affordable quality and social.
If you’re looking for “a little something extra,” go to the place that says it – albeit in French – in the name, Lagniappe! This eclectic shop combines consignment furnishings, new decorative items and permanent floral arrangements designed by the owner. And for that little something extra, there are lamps, pictures, jewelry, china and much more.
Speaking of eclectic, head over to Tipp City – an old canal town – for what’s sophisticated and new.
If you have a love affair with Vera Bradley, you’ll want to get acquainted with Urban Ava. This popular boutique is small town charm mixed with big city style. The floor is always a buzz with ladies combing the place for the PERFECT chic style that’ll set them apart and the jewelry, bags and accessories that complete the look.
There’s just one last stop before getting ready to go out on the town for dinner and more fun – Living Simply Soap. They specialize in handmade olive oil soaps, body products, bath bombs, candles and gifts. This family-owned business prepares all of their products on site in their soap kitchen.
Short one hand for the juggling act to manage the bags a bulging, it’s time to take a load off and dine.
Welcome to Harrison’s Restaurant. The menu is as diverse as the patrons lured by that aroma of the freshest ingredients wafting out the door and down the sidewalk. There’s a full bar, made-to-order appetizers, hand-cut steak and seafood as well as their specialty in-house smoked BBQ ribs and chicken and plenty of other crowd favorites.
When you’re ready to push away from that table, walk off enough room to stop in a tiny but sweet shop – Sweet! Where else can you still get candy for as little two cents? But they’re known for their cupcakes. More than 50 creative flavors change with the seasons. Betcha can’t just have one.
Being spent in more ways than one, the true spoiling is about to begin.
Just outside of Tipp City is a dream you’ll remember – Harmony Farm. Close your eyes and enjoy a massage. Sit in a hot tub peering from behind a waterfall on the edge of bliss overlooking a lake and nothing but a natural world as far as the eyes can see. Walk away with a deeper comfort, peace and discovery that expands your own inner wisdom.
When you return from your stay, you’ll be rattling off the usual buzz words– girlfriend getaways, quaint historic towns, unusual dining, spa spoiling, etc. But it is what people will hear in your tone and see in your face that starts them thinking, Miami County, Ohio. It’s where girls go to have fun.
If you want to create an itinerary, including the hours and locations of the aforementioned shops, and discover additional options to have fun with the girls in Miami County, Ohio, plan your trip by calling call 1-800-348-8993 or visiting www.visitmiamicounty.org.
Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler by Frank R. Satullo, The OhioTraveler