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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