The June 2023 Edition ©

Best Date Nights Ever in Ohio

At Romantic Adventure Getaways 

The first overnight escape room combined with a luxury resort in the country is housed in a Scooby Doo Mansion full of mysteries and the largest bed in Ohio, among many other delights.

Romantic Adventure Getaways, a mini resort 54 miles Northeast of Columbus, Ohio, is striving to become one of the most romantic getaway locations in Ohio.  This 1840s brick mansion is the first ever to combine the secret passages, trap doors, tunnels, and slides of a Scooby Doo Mansion with clues & riddles from an escape room with the luxury experiences found at resorts. The results are private Hollywood decor suites that have a choose-your-own-adventure feel which leads couples on a night of amazing adventure.

Touted as one of the “Best Date Nights Ever!”, this action-packed experience has guests entering the lobby of a mansion that holds three private themed suites with a code they are sent.  Once they find their private suite and enter another code, the magic begins!  Following the clues and riddles that are presented, couples work together to find hidden entrances to numerous rooms inside their private suite that soon becomes their pampered oasis of pleasure.

There are three suites to choose from:  The King Louis XIV Suite, The Genie Romance Suite, and Paradise Lost.

Each suite is themed with music, lighting, and ambient décor, along with gadgets and gizmos that make furniture pieces come alive and open passageways and reveal secrets.  The King Louis Suite boasts the Versaille Bed, the largest bed in Ohio.  In the headboard is a James Bond briefcase containing riddles and clues that, when solved, make the bed interactive and present presents.   It also contains the Prom Night Room queued with a couple’s wedding or favorite song that they have to dance to reveal the next experience.

The Genie Romance Suite has a flying carpet bed that actually flies when guests release a magic lever.   This suite contains the Chocolate Fundue Room, The Cupping Therapy Room, The Karaoke Room, and The Flying Carpet Selfie Challenge.  Its tub is designed to make massive mounds of bubbles allowing guests to get lost in “A Whole New World” of bubbly fun!

Paradise Lost, which opens in June, has guests going on an Indiana Jones quest full of challenges that lead to these rooms:  The Amazon Butterfly Massage Chair Forest, The Ionic Foot Detox Tiki Room, The Pottery Room (guests take home pottery they make), The Waterfall Love Vow Alter where couples write and read their admirations to each other and The Jungle Bed chalked full of surprises including the legendary Purring Tiger 2000 (it promises to make you laugh when you find it!).

The immersion provided by the themed suites allows guests to easily forget about the day-to-day routine and become focused on one another as the clues and riddles force them to connect to get to their next luxury experience.

Couples typically drive two to three hours for their stay and plan their trip in advance with reservations to one of the top steakhouses in the country, the Alcove. They arrive exactly at 5 pm and then experience a few of the rooms, get fancied up, walk to the restaurant, and then return to unravel the rest of the surprises in store for them.

Being the first overnight escape room combined with a luxury resort in the country, guests are booking well into 2024.  Some of the suites are already sold out for the rest of the year on weekends.  Booking in advance is highly recommended.

To check dates and learn more about this epic overnight adventure of relaxation and fun, please visit https://romanticadventuregetaways.com/.

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Summer Means Fests & Family Fun

“Everybody loves somebody sometime,” and Steubenville loves native son and classic crooner Dean Martin. Every summer, the city hosts a celebration of his career and music. This year’s festivities on June 17th and 18th include performances by tribute artists, a Dino 5K, a classic car cruise-in, an art show, a parade, and a Rat Pack Dinner Show. Visitors can take Trolley rides around the “City of Murals” and sing karaoke at the Spot Bar. Be sure to catch a showing of a special DVD at the Visitor Center featuring clips from Martin’s movies and TV shows where he mentions his hometown. A complete schedule with times and locations can be found at www.VisitSteubenville.com.

Music lives on through the summer with performances by local and regional artists at the Berkman Amphitheater on Thursday evenings at the Fort Steuben Summer Concert Series. And melodies fill the downtown on First Fridays on Fourth, where music, art, food, crafts, and activities take over several streets one evening a month. June 2nd features a medieval theme with fencing, folk dancing, and fun, while July 7th celebrates freedom. New eateries and unique shops on 4th Street will also offer specials for First Fridays.

The award-winning songs of Ohio singer/songwriter Steve Free are among the highlights of Ohio Valley Frontier Days at Historic Fort Steuben on June 3rd and 4th. The annual festival brings soldier, settler, and surveyor reenactors together within the massive wooden walls of the reconstructed 18th-century military fort. Life on the Ohio frontier is recreated through presentations, crafts, and tours of the fort and the First Federal Land Office. The blacksmith, broom maker, candle maker, surveyor, and flintknapper will demonstrate their skills while the 1st American Regiment teaches military drills to young recruits. Besides a performance by Steve Free, there will be music on period instruments and opportunities to sing along with folk artists Bill Schilling and Rich & Kathy Small. Craft and food vendors, as well as book signings, are included in the activities. Visitors can also take trolley rides to the Main Library on Saturday afternoon for their Pioneer Days program. More information can be found at www.OldFortSteuben.com.

The lilt of traditional Greek music will have you tapping your toes and wanting to join the dancers at the 37th annual Holy Trinity Greek Fest from June 21st to 23rd. Savor the spanakopita and domaldes and the tasty loukoumades while enjoying the entertainment under the big tent. Tours of the magnificent church are on the schedule as well. https://holytrinitygreekfest.com.

A Juneteenth celebration at Second Baptist Church, a 1940s Themed Tea at Historic Mount Pleasant, a StoryWalk and nature hikes in Beatty Park, several Farmers’ Markets, and tours of Historic Fort Steuben and the Jefferson County Historical Museum can all be added to your summer calendar. And don’t forget to get a slice of the original DiCarlo’s Pizza…as Dean would say, “That’s Amore!”

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Troy Sculptures on the Square

Coming Back to Downtown Troy

This summer, downtown Troy will once again welcome a variety of artwork as part of Troy Main Street’s biennial Sculptures on the Square exhibition. This year’s exhibit features 25 sculptures from artists throughout the United States as well as local artwork that will be hung in local businesses. Sculptures on the Square will be running from June 16 – October 2, 2023.

The exhibition will kick off on Friday, June 16th, with the Sculptures on the Square Opening Celebration. The event will take place at The Rec in downtown Troy and additional activities centered around the theme “Wind and Water” will be happening on Courthouse Plaza that evening.

The schedule for the Opening Celebration is as follows:

  • 5:00 p.m. – Opening Celebration at The Rec
  • 6:00–7:30 p.m. – Live Music by Giana Allen on Courthouse Plaza
  • 6:00–8:00 p.m. – Courthouse Plaza Activities including Balloon boats, watercolor painting, Balloon Man, and Professor Bubbles

There will be a variety of fun events and activities to experience throughout the summer as well as local artwork featured in business throughout downtown as part of Troy Main Street’s Be a Part of the Art Events 2023.

The schedule for Be a Part of the Art is as follows:

  • June 17 – Grab n’ Go activity and scavenger hunt at the Cherry Street Farmer’s Market
  • June 24 – Monster Blow Paining at the Cherry Street Farmer’s Market
  • July 7 – 5:30-8:00 p.m. – Non-profit night featuring Brukner Nature Center
  • July 15 – Blow up Bird art activity at the Cherry Street Farmer’s Market
  • July 22 – 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. – Plein Air Artists in downtown Troy
  • July 22 – Miami County Parks activity at the Cherry Street Farmer’s Market
  • August 12 – Watercolor Weather Painting at the Cherry Street Farmer’s Market
  • August 25 & 26 – Info table with grab n’ go activity, coloring pages, scavenger hunt as part of Donut Jam
  • September 8 – 5:30-8:00 p.m. – Bubbles activity in downtown Troy
  • September 9 – Grab n’ Go activity as part of Troy Hayner’s Porchfest event
  • September 23 – Whirlygig art activity as part of the Cherry Street Farmer’s Market

Over the years, a wide collection of artwork has been displayed downtown through the Sculptures on the Square exhibit. The exhibit has featured sculpture artist Seward Johnson several times. Exhibitions have also included engaging local artists and community groups to paint fiberglass biplanes or to create a door sculpture representing their local group or organization. In 2015, the exhibit featured a 31-foot sculpture of President Abraham Lincoln, also created by Seward Johnson. In 2017, the exhibit displayed 30 colorful steel bicycles created by artist Gilberto Aceves. In 2021 Troy Main Street switched gears and reached out to artists from all over the country to submit a sculpture that represented the theme “Taking Flight,” and 20 sculptures were displayed.

As we move through the summer of 2023, Troy Main Street has prepared another amazing exhibit. More information about this year’s Sculptures on the Square program can be found at TroyMainStreet.org. For other things to do while in Miami County, please visit homegrowngreat.com. Sculptures on the Square is made possible through a grant from the General Fund of the Troy Foundation as well as the generosity of sponsors. The public arts events that will take place throughout the summer are made possible through a donation from Upper Valley Medical Center/Premier Health.

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Grand Festival FUN Worth the Drive

Two Amazing small-town Historic festivals happening this June in West Central Ohio; you won’t want to miss offering Family FUN for the entire family with Great FREE Live music and fun and unusual entertainment…both are located in beautiful & charming small-town settings.

First up, the Annual Fort Recovery Harvest Jubilee is set for June 14 -18th, held at a beautiful Ambassador Park in Fort Recovery adjacent to the historic Fort Site Park.

Bring the entire family; admission, parking & entertainment are all FREE! The fun begins Wednesday evening, uptown at 5pm with the Taste of Fort Recovery. This is your chance to sample a variety of interesting & delicious foods, from various local Fort Recovery restaurants, all while listening to some Caribbean steel drum sounds from the party band the Sunburners!

Throughout the rest of the weekend, enjoy even more terrific FREE Live music, rides & amusement, Fort Recovery Food Stands, and an antique tractor display. Thursday night at 6:00 kicks off the jubilee with a hog roast, tug of war, jumper inflatables, a softball tourney, an outdoor movie, and live music by The LumberJacks. Join us Friday at 5:00 for the kiddie stands, Red Cross go-kart races, softball tourney, merchant’s business exhibits tent, pie baking contest, quarter auction, hot wing eating contest, live duck races, and music by Country Mile.

Saturday, starting at 9:00am with the Diggin Life CoEd volleyball tourney and softball tourney. Bring the kids later in the day for Cooper Farms Kiddie Day, which includes Amazing Circus stilt walkers, kiddie stands, a pet parade, and a High Action Bikes BMX stunt show. Later in the night will be the adult keg roll obstacle course, merchant’s business exhibits tent, bingo, Wayne IGA rib cookoff, live duck races, auction of Phil Wood artwork, and music by Grove Hill.

Finish your weekend with us on Sunday with Larry Stone memorial car show, the fireman’s parade, kiddie stands, merchant’s business exhibits tent, live music by Effexor Unplugged, BBQ chicken dinners, kiddie tractor pull, duck races, Mercer County challenger baseball, bingo, 50/50 drawing and Jubilee Rafflesoftball tournament, Tug-of-War challenge, and a “Family Outdoor Movie Night!”

Other featured events include… BIG Wheel Race, Kiddie Tractor Pull, local talent show, the famous Fort Recovery Racing Ducks, and the Jubilee Quarter Auction! The Fireman’s Parade begins at 2pm on Sunday afternoon and is followed by a Chicken BBQ dinner.  The weekend includes rides, games, & TONS of tasty festival foods!

So, make your way to the banks of the Wabash, and enjoy the Fort Recovery Harvest Jubilee! While at the Fort, check out the historic Memorial Park, the fabulous murals, Fort Recovery State Museum & log cabins. For your complete Fort Recovery Harvest Jubilee schedule, visit www.facebook.com/FortRecoveryJubilee/.

Next up…The Maria Stein County Fest, which takes place on the beautiful & peaceful grounds of the Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics, June 23-25th!

FREE parking, admission & entertainment beginning with the featured performances of The Flying Cortes Trapeze Spectacular! Also, back by popular demand is the nationally known Country Fest Tractor Square Dancers! Additional special features at this AMAZING festival include Craft Show, Lift-A-Thon, Bingo, Raffles, Games, Petting Zoo, Rides & much more family fun!

Friendly competitions at Country Fest include Diaper Derby, Punt-Pass-Kick, Quarterback Challenge, and a 5K Run/Walk. Volleyball, Dodgeball, Corn Hole, and 3-on-3 Basketball. Also, enjoy GREAT Live music for ALL ages throughout the entire weekend, and come hungry because Country Fest has plenty of delightful food to satisfy everyone’s palate! For your complete guide to the Maria Stein Country Fest, visit www.mscountryfest.com.

For FANTASTIC festivals, events & TONS of summer FUN, visit SeeMore.org!

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Peanut Clusters in Amish Country

This Amish Country staple is one of the tastiest stops you’ll find. I stumbled upon Coblentz Chocolate Company on a rainy travel day last week. Oh, I’ve heard rave reviews about it, so I popped in. And what a treat it was!

There was a viewing window to see the hand-made sweet concoctions on their way to my goodie bag. Known for fresh ingredients and premium chocolate, I tried to decide between Almond Bark, Cherry Cordials, Chocolate Caramels, and Peanut Clusters. Since the Peanut Clusters have reached legendary status over the 30+ years since Coblentz opened, I chose those … and MORE!

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun

Our “All Ohio” Playground

This is part of a series of stories
“Wrong Turns Write Life”

The creek was long, and on one side, it had rolling hills. Shaped like three sides of a square, we’d pick it up at a corner where our trail led. There was nothing but a mile or so of woods between our backyards and this “playground.”

One day, we followed the creek up around another of its bends. Next to the grocery store was the American Legion. This was the time of year they would have live fire shooting ranges – turkey shoots, I think they used to call them. I imagine if you missed the target, the round ended up in the woods. They weren’t shooting, so we didn’t have to get our feet muddy in the creek. The creek on this stretch had no hills, but its earthen walls were steep, camouflaged by bushes and saplings.

We decided to venture up to the grocery store. Men were at the dock unloading huge sides of beef. Out of the truck, they would slide one slab at a time down a cable attached to a hook. It would slam into the other slabs at the end of the tilted line. We sat on the concrete ledge and whooped it up when a good slam could be heard. We went nuts when meat parts flung off. The workers were grinning as they worked, letting us carry on.

When they were done, they took a break, so we slipped inside to see what happened next. The saw noise was deafening, so when a guy yelled at us, we only saw lips moving. We exited at the nearest door and were now inside the store by the meat department and a water fountain. We strategically hit an assortment of free sample tables and actually satisfied our hunger.

Eric suggested we play hide-and-seek. The game had never been this much fun. After a while, we decided on one more round. Then, we’d go back to our playground.

I found the perfect spot. It was the cereal section. I moved enough boxes to slide my little body behind an outer wall of cereal. Then, I pulled one box over to hide my face. I was so proud of my creativity. I knew I’d never be found.

About the time I was cramping and dozing off, I thought about ditching my spot to see what everyone else was up to. That’s when I heard someone closing in. They were onto me. They must have been. Box after box was being moved to see what was behind it, I presumed. My anxiety from the anticipation of being found was off the charts high.

That last box I placed in front of my face was moved. I looked out and saw the slacks of a lady. She was holding the box between us. It looked like she was reading the back of it because staring at me was Count Chocola. I held my breath and remained motionless. I don’t know when she sensed me, but when she did, she dropped the Count and screamed so damn loud I felt like bursting from my hideout and sprinting for the exit. But my body would not move.

I got a good scolding in the manager’s office, but before he was finished, someone came in and alerted him of more boys creating mischief.

He pointed at me and said, “Don’t you move!”

He disappeared, and so did I.

Cautiously, I walked out of the office, looked around, turned the corner, and strolled right out the front doors. Once I was in the parking lot, I sprinted around the far corner of the building into an open field, heading for the woods. I kicked into overdrive when my friends flew around the opposite corner of the building and into the field. Three men were in hot pursuit. We made a “V” toward each other and the creek.

We ran right up to the edge of the creek and jumped. We knew we couldn’t clear it, and that wasn’t what we had in mind. We splat into the far bank, righted ourselves, and splashed down the middle of the creek in the direction of the American Legion. The men weren’t far behind.  They drew closer quickly, running along the upper edge of the creek, peering down when their view wasn’t obstructed.

We stopped when they stopped.

Everyone took notice of the gunfire.

One of the men made a motion with his finger for us to come his way, thinking we were at a dead end, so to speak.

My friends and I looked at each other, smiled, and then bolted toward the gunfire …and to “safety.”

Later, we took to our playground again, this time emulating the veterans at the American Legion, BB guns in hand.

We had been in position for 30 minutes, firing BBs into a hornet nest.

It wasn’t just any hornets’ nest – it was the mother of all hornets’ nests! Our BBs seemed to have no effect. We shifted our strategy to the base, where it hung in the tree, but we were just too far. Granted, it was a safe position when calculating how far the hornets were seen buzzing around the nest. However, we needed to get closer since our target went from a huge gray mass to the base, where it clung to the tree branch.

Some of us dressed in green camouflage, others in white tee shirts, blue jeans, and ball caps. We low-crawled through the waist-high, light brown brush of the open field and found a new position much closer.

It was close enough to put the slingshot into action with more accuracy.

“Wow! Nice shot!” was the consensus as the hole was visible and the flurry of hornets thickened.

Twenty minutes later, several holes torn into the nest, we realized this could take all day to bring it down. We needed a bolder plan.

“Danny, run up closer and throw this at it.”

“Screw you!” was the reply.

“C’mon, man,” the peer pressure poured on until Danny, the youngest of our group, went home.

Down a man, we re-examined the pecking order.

“Don’t look at me; you go,” Joey said to Kevin.

“Heck no,” said Kevin.

“Wimps!” I yelled as I sprinted in an arch pattern at the nest with a chunk of shale and whipped it like skipping a rock. It missed.

“Crap, I think I got stung,” I said when my adrenaline level came back down as I returned to our position.

Like a dam giving way, the throbbing-stinging pain spread across my left hand. I tucked it into my gut, bending over.

“Who’s the wimp now,” said Eric.

Joey and Kevin laughed.

Meanwhile, I spotted what looked to be a section of a telephone pole on my loop back. We low crawled to it. Weird as it was; indeed, a small cut section of a telephone pole lay in the brush. It was the perfect size to get two of us on each side and have room to spare. Plus, it was light enough to …

“Ahh, that’ll be awesome!”

“Did you fall and crack your head or something,” they replied.

But when I really wanted to be persuasive, I could usually bring my friends around to do the most stupid of stunts.

So there we were, rushing at a mega hornets’ nest with what can only be described as a battering ram. We hit it solid, launching it straight into the ground, where all hell broke loose.

We scattered, running for our lives, running for our homes – more to the point, our moms – screaming bloody murder the entire way.

At first, I was okay, running through the field. I laughed heartily, seeing Joey fall, get up and cry his eyes out; he was getting stung so badly. Just when I thought I might have escaped unscathed, it felt like I was sprayed by tiny, potent bullets from a machine gun. From my fingers waving frantically in the air, across my outstretched arms to my head, neck, and shoulders, even down my back, butt, and legs, I went from thinking this prank was hysterical to being hysterical.

I stumbled through my back gate and fell to my knees, head cocked back, arms wide in the air like a scene from Platoon, except I was crying like there was no tomorrow, as my mom ran to me.

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun 

This Edition’s Featured Sponsors

This month’s edition is sponsored by

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Visit Sidney Ohio
Sidney is a Spirit

Making Tracks to History

On The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway 

Family fun is only a train ride away on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway (HVSR). Passengers will make tracks to history when they ride this historic tourist railroad located in Nelsonville, Ohio, near the Hocking Hills.

The HVSR is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that offers historic train rides between Nelsonville and Logan along a section of the former Hocking Valley Railway. The Nelsonville area was once rich in coal mining and brick production.

The railroad offers diesel-powered trains each Saturday and Sunday from Memorial Day Weekend to the end of October. There are even special steam-powered trains scheduled multiple times throughout the year. There are also specialty trains such as Robbery Trains, a Halloween Train, a Caboose Train, and the popular Santa Trains in November and December. Reservations are recommended for most of the special trains because they tend to sell out.

The railroad also offers various dinner trains, from elegant dinners to barbecue trains. Anyone interested in when dinner trains will be should watch the railroad’s Facebook page. Tickets for all trains can be purchased at hvsry.org or by calling (855) 32DEPOT.

Passengers on the HVSR are treated to vintage passenger cars from various railroads. The cars were built between 1916 and the early 1960s. One car was built for branchline trains, while three others were built for commuter trains. Some of the railroad’s cars were built for

long-distance trains and currently feature air-conditioning. There is even a 1950 dining car used on the dinner trains. Three passenger cars are former freight cars that have been converted to open-air cars.

The railroad owns six vintage diesel locomotives and one steam locomotive. The diesel locomotives were built between 1944 and 1957, and three are currently in operating condition. One diesel, Chesapeake and Ohio No. 5833 is identical to locomotives that likely operated in Nelsonville during the 50s and 60s. In April, the HVSR purchased a 1956 diesel switcher from an industry in Columbus, Ohio. The locomotive will soon be moved to Nelsonville by rail and will receive some minor repairs upon arrival. Once repaired, it will begin a new career hauling passengers.

The railroad’s steam locomotive, No. 3, was built in 1920 for Beech Bottom Power Company in West Virginia and was in service until 1968. The locomotive was donated to the HVSR in 1982, and its restoration commenced 19 years later. The volunteer-led restoration was completed in 2015, and No. 3 is currently the only regularly operating standard gauge steam locomotive in Ohio.

Aside from the steam locomotive, restoration projects have ranged from rebuilding a diesel locomotive to restoring passenger cars. The current major shop project is converting an ex-Canadian Pacific coach into a table car for use on the dinner trains.

The railroad’s history dates to the mid-1800s as the Nelsonville area’s coal industry developed at a fast pace. The Hocking Canal could not keep up with the coal industry’s rapid development. Ground was broken for the railroad in Columbus in 1867, and it reached Nelsonville in 1869. The railroad’s arrival helped bring an economic boom to the coal-rich region. Nelsonville once had over 40 mines and mining communities. Brick production was also a prominent industry in the Nelsonville area that thrived with the railroad. On board the train, passengers will see several historic sites, such as brick kilns, a canal lock, and an old company town named Haydenville. Haydenville was named after industrialist Peter Hayden, who incorporated the Haydenville Mining and Manufacturing Company to produce clay products from the rich clay. Many company houses are still standing and can be seen from the train. A round silo brick house and the Haydenville Methodist Church can also be seen from the train. The Church incorporates more than 24 types of brick and tile pieces.

Plan your rides at Hocking Valley Scenic Railway.

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Room to Roam This Summer

Southeast Ohio offers families
“Room to Roam” during the summer months

Where can you enjoy a movie at sunset on a lakeside beach, hit the links on a top-rated golf course, kayak with the family next to a herd of grazing deer, or even embark on a safari with rhinos and zebras? It’s all closer than you think in Cambridge/Guernsey County, Ohio.

Cambridge and Guernsey County, Ohio, is an expansive outdoor oasis full of activities that delight adventurers of all ages. Home to the state’s largest park and third-largest inland lake, this wild wonderland is conveniently located at the crossroads of two major interstates (I-70 & I-77) – an easy day trip or overnight getaway from Ohio’s major cities to the perfect place to play.

Seneca Lake, one of the state’s largest inland lakes, offers so many ways to paddle and play. From watersports and fishing – bluegill and bass are plentiful here – to swimming at their beaches, it’s a laid-back spot to camp and unwind.

At Salt Fork State Park, the state’s largest, choose your outdoor adventure. Keep things cozy by pitching your tent in the campground and select from 14 gorgeous hiking and six bridle trails or create an upscale adventure in the full-service lodge or deluxe vacation cabins, gazing on the misty morning hills from the 18-hole golf course. Families love exploring the Civil War-era hideout Hosak’s Cave or panning for treasure at the gem mining station. Don’t miss the enchanting new Storybook Trail! The half-mile-long trail has child-height panels featuring pages of a children’s book and an activity to accompany the text on the page. Whichever path you choose, ensure it leads to the 3,000-acre Salt Fork Lake.

Those who prefer their water fun within city limits will find the Cambridge City Pool the perfect place for an in-town splash-around; guests enjoy a water slide, in-pool fountains and sprayers, lap lanes, diving boards, a baby pool, and concessions.

You don’t need a passport to have an exotic adventure. The Wilds, operated by the Columbus Zoo, offers up-close (and safe) animal encounters for the whole family. From painted dogs to graceful giraffes, The Wilds bring the African plain to Guernsey County. With a rooftop Terrace Grill, specialty and zipline tours, and more, there’s always something new to explore.

If you’re lucky, you’ll see more than a few deer during any visit to Guernsey County, but there’s no better place to spot and learn about these beautiful animals than the Deerassic Park Welcome Center. A dock offers fantastic views of the resident deer, while interactive activity centers, a slide, and a mural give families a fun introduction to the plants and animals that help the region thrive.

For more information, contact the Cambridge/Guernsey County VCB office at 627 Wheeling Avenue, Suite 200 in downtown Cambridge, call 740-432-2022, email info@VisitGuernseyCounty.com, or log onto VisitGuernseyCounty.com.

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A Few Favorite Things in Sidney

A visit to Sidney offers an incredible number of experiences unique to the area. After a good night’s sleep in one of Sidney’s comfy hotels and a hearty breakfast to fuel your energy level, your excursion begins by “getting riveted” on the Airstream Travel Trailer Factory Tour. Rated as one of the top factory tours in the United States, this experience gets you up close and personal on the plant floor as skilled operators assemble these world-class travel trailers one step at a time. Also offered is the Airstream Touring Coach Factory Tour. These beauties are customized Mercedes Benz Interstate 24GL Touring Coaches, and they are incredible. You won’t believe your eyes as you witness these luxury travel trailers and touring coaches come to life right before your very eyes.

Oh yea, there’s also the Airstream Heritage Center. Also located on the Airstream campus is the recently opened Airstream Heritage Center. This interpretive center is essentially an Airstream Museum that traces the history of this iconic brand with vintage units on display, memorabilia, and collectibles you won’t find anywhere else.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Sidney’s Tawawa Park and Canal Feeder Trail are perfect for hiking and pedaling. Tawawa Park features 220 acres of old-growth trees, paved and natural surface trails, two lakes for fishing, a wandering creek for wading, an inclusive playground, picnic shelters galore, the Ross Covered Bridge, and the not to be missed trailside attraction – Big Rock. Standing twelve feet high at its tallest point and weighing an estimated 103 tons, Big Rock is a popular must-see for those visiting the park. According to geologists, the granite boulder came to what would become Sidney about 15,000 years ago. It was carried by glacial ice from its native land, estimated to be 700 miles to the northeast.

Bicyclists and walkers too will enjoy the proximity of Tawawa Park to Downtown Sidney where guests can enjoy a variety of restaurants, many of which offer outdoor dining. Numerous bistros and bars await thirsty adventurers seeking a cold beer or soft drink. Some local favorites include Murphy’s Craftbar & Kitchen, The Bridge Restaurant, Amelio’s Pizzeria, Tavolo Modern Italian, and the world-famous Spot restaurant.

Quaint gift shops and boutiques dot the landscape of downtown Sidney where one can find a unique gift, the relaxation of a soothing massage, or some much-needed tranquil time in a dry salt therapy room. Great places to browse include Moonflower Effect, the Ivy Garland, and the newly opened Austeria Wine Boutique.

Coffee enthusiasts will love downtown Sidney where they can enjoy their favorite cup of hot or cold brew, tea, and other delicious options. A stop at Greenhaus Coffee and Waiting Room Coffee House is highly recommended for a mid-morning or midafternoon pick-me-up.

Visit Sidney during the May through October time frame, and you’re sure to enjoy a morning stroll through the Great Sidney Farmers Market held each Saturday from 8 a.m. until Noon. At the market, crafters offer a large variety of handmade items, and farmers bring their freshest produce to tantalize your taste buds. Fresh baked goods, along with homemade jams and jellies, are always crowd-pleasers. Seasonal plants and flowers are also abundant for those who shop early for the best selection.

And while you’re in the shopping mood, you must make time to visit Crossway Farms Farm Market. Jams, jellies, apple butter, pastries, fruits, veggies, cheese, maple syrup, snacks, live plants, gift baskets, and so much more are offered at this unique farm store. Their fresh homemade donuts are incredible, as are their apple cider explosion and strawberry explosion soft drinks.

Lovers of historic architecture will enjoy visits to the Farmers and Merchants State Bank, built in 1917 by famed architect Louis Sullivan, mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright. This exquisite architectural masterpiece, best known for its “jewel box” design, is not to be missed. From there, you can walk across the street for a peek into the Monumental Building, originally constructed in 1877 to honor Shelby County’s fallen Civil War soldiers. Where once Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley performed, the beautifully renovated Opera House on the upper level is now home to Sidney’s Municipal Court. Positioned in the center of downtown Sidney is the beautiful and historic Shelby County Courthouse, built in 1883, which too is an impressive structure.

Fifteen miles or so from Sidney is Lake Loramie State Park, a 1,600-acre lake with 30 miles of shoreline. Lake Loramie offers unsurpassed convenience for those seeking a combined boating and camping adventure. The lake has a designated swimming area for a chance to enjoy the water or simply relax in the sun. Bicycles, canoes, and kayaks can be rented at the park’s camp office giving visitors the opportunity to explore the far reaches of the park by land or water.

If you’re traveling with the kids or grandkids, be sure to visit Vandemark Farm for ziplining, their giant swing, oversized play area, mini golf, and driving range. Sidney’s waterpark is also a lot of fun as is Bel-Mar Bowling Lanes and the Auto-Vue Drive-In Theatre. Hammer & Stain is a great stop for those looking to craft their own Sidney souvenir. This Do-It-Yourself studio allows guests to transform unfinished wood into beautiful and personalized home décor and gift items.

Come see why Sidney is a spirit you won’t find anywhere else. For your next weekend away, rejuvenate your spirit in Sidney.

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Photo of the Month: Clifton Mill

Historic Clifton Mill by Frank Rocco Satullo

My Photo of the Month

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Mother Mohawk Sandwich

Taste the Legendary Mother Mohawk Sandwich at the
Old Mohawk Restaurant in German Village

Yah-yah, the true staple of the Old Mohawk Restaurant, is its famous Mohawk Turtle Soup, a tradition for more than 70 years, but it was the legendary Mother Mohawk Sandwich that I look forward to tasting again.

Heck, it was so good, I think it knew it because the sauce flashed me a smile! See the pic if you don’t believe me!

Anyway, this tasty bite is grilled roast beef and homemade chicken salad topped with Swiss cheese on marble rye bread served with a side of caraway horseradish sauce.

Old Mohawk’s historic building dates back to Prohibition when it, as legend has it, served as a Speakeasy. It’s even rumored that the original owner raised the turtles for the popular turtle soup in the basement of the building.

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun