Exploring what’s on the other side!
Trips outside Ohio
but with Ohio perspective
by Rocco Satullo, your tour guide to fun!
New stop added monthly for…
and more stories added monthly to your
Tour Guide To Fun
Trips outside Ohio
but with Ohio perspective
by Rocco Satullo, your tour guide to fun!
New stop added monthly for…
and more stories added monthly to your
Tour Guide To Fun
It seems as if summer vacation season gets shorter and shorter. Schools remain in session until well into June and teachers and students are back in the classroom by mid-August. This leaves about eight weeks for the traditional family vacation. Popular vacation destinations are often crowded and prices are at their peak. Thank goodness for September!
For anyone not tied to a school schedule, and there are millions of us, the world is our oyster. Summer weather continues, all the attractions are open and the pace is far more relaxed. September in the Hocking Hills is the perfect destination for a Second Summer vacation. No need to travel far to feel like you’re a million miles from home.
Begin your Second Summer by selecting the accommodations best suited to you. Looking for a getaway with a special someone or maybe just a solo trip? Hocking Hills has a wide variety of cabins, cottages and Inns providing as little or as much seclusion as you desire. Need to immerse yourself in Mother Nature once more before the cold wind blows? Award winning campgrounds, tipis, Gypsy Wagons and camping cottages set the stage for nature’s late summer serenade.
Get the gang together for a football weekend at one of Hocking Hills’ luxury lodges. It’s your own private resort complete with gourmet kitchen for all those game-time goodies, great room with plenty of seating and a big TV for the big game. After the game relax on the deck or around a fire as you soak in the last sunlight of the day.
Once you know where you will lay your head it’s time to plan a few adventures. With more than 50 ziplines the Hocking Hills is the Canopy Tour Capital of the Midwest. If you prefer to stay a little closer to the ground take an all-terrain Segway tour or canoe trip to Ohio’s largest natural bridge, Rockbridge State Nature Preserve.
Trade your in-box for a tackle box and drop a line in Lake Logan. The catch of the day may be Northern Pike, Bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Catfish or Saugeye. While you’re waiting for a nibble be sure to watch for eagles and hawks overhead and Blue Heron, swans and ducks on the lake.
Test your endurance at the Annual Hocking Hills Indian Run. This trail run winds through vast wooded areas of the Hocking Hills State Park and Hocking State Forest, crossing streams, deep gorges, shimmering waterfalls and lush forests, leading uphill and down. The Indian Run is the ultimate challenge to a runner’s power of concentration.
When you’re ready to relax tour the region’s four wineries. Enjoy a scenic drive through the Hills as you taste the creations of these local vintners. Stroll through a vineyard, picnic on a patio and enjoy a little live, local music (weekends).
Before long it will be time to park your baby for a winter’s rest so get out and cruise Car and Driver Magazine’s “Midwestern driving roads of choice”. Begin your country cruise at the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center where you will find the Hocking Hills Road Tour map featuring multiple routes for maximum scenery while taking into consideration the importance of road quality to you and your baby.
September is for savoring. Savor your Sweet September Summer in the Hocking Hills.
Home of Historic Roscoe Village, the Horse-Drawn Canal Boat Ride, Apple Butter Stirrin’, the Air Show, and More!
Are you ready for pumpkin carving, the sweet smell of apple butter, and fun family memories that will last a lifetime? Then come to Coshocton and enjoy the small town atmosphere while still having plenty to do. September 30, 2016 marks the beginning of the week-long Coshocton County Fair filled with rides, games, exhibits, and a delicious variety of food.
September 10th is the 2nd Annual Appalachian Bacon Nation Festival, and—you guessed it—there is plenty of bacon to go around. There will be a 5K “Bacon and Legs” run, live music, a piglet race, bacon eating and cooking contests, a free family pancake and bacon breakfast, and a play area for children. If you are a high school senior, you can enter the king and queen contest for a chance to win a scholarship for college! It’s not just about bacon but also giving back to the community.
The Wings Over Coshocton Air Show also takes place this September on the 17th and 18th which is a Saturday and Sunday. The air show will feature entertaining events such as the Misty Blues All Woman Skydiving Team, Dave Dacy and Tony Kazian Super Stearman Wingwalking Team, the Aerostars Aerobatic Team, helicopter rides, a kid’s fun zone, military vehicles on display, and so much more to enjoy with your family and friends! There will be several planes to see up close and in the air, so plane fans, you will be thrilled to see and learn all about these amazing aircrafts.
Leaves will turn from green to pretty reds and brown as the Fall Foliage Tour comes around the corner on October 22nd. This tour will feature the beautiful natural landscapes, featuring agricultural sites that reflect historic living in Coshocton. Along the way there will be stops for information, lunch, historical tidbits, and overall a wonderful view of the approaching autumn weather.
What will really put you in the mood of autumn is the Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival which takes place October 21, 22, and 23. In addition to the canal boat rides and living history tours, there will be crafters and artisans stationed throughout the village. The smell of apple butter will entice you while the bluegrass music will take you back to a simpler but peaceful time. There is nothing like visiting the past and making memories with your loved ones. This is an event you do not want to miss!
Finding yourself with nothing to do is almost impossible when you are here. Come to the Historic Roscoe Village and enjoy learning the history of the restored 1800s canal town on the Living History Tour. Grab a bite to eat at one of the quaint restaurants that also feature beautiful outdoor patios, a bar area, and a wide variety of foods and drinks. After that, you will find items such as Vera Bradley, leather goods, home decorative items, clothes, furniture and so much more. If you are looking for a peaceful boat ride, look no further. The horse-drawn canal boat will take you back to the 1800s as the captain of the boat tells you the history of this once-bustling canal town. There is something to do in every corner of Coshocton!
As far as lodging goes, there are several hotels, motels, cabins, and even campsites in and around the Coshocton area. Are you bringing a lot of family and friends to make memories with here in Coshocton? You will be pleased to hear that there are several overnight packages including a Fall Foliage package, a Historic Roscoe Village package, a Girlfriends Getaway package, and many more.
Coshocton has always been a town where everyone knows your name and genuinely cares about your well-being. That is why this community works hard to make everyone in it (and those who come and visit us) happy by hosting these fun festivals and events! For more information about these events and more, check out www.VisitCoshocton.com. Everything you are looking for this fall can be found right here in Coshocton. Come join the fun; you will not regret it!
-By Kelly Florian
There’s an Amish oasis in Southwestern Ohio. In the midst of the Wheat Ridge Amish community dotting the edge of Appalachia is Miller’s Furniture, Bakery and Bulk Foods stores. This family came from humble beginnings, grew a very popular family business yet have stayed true to those humble beginnings.
Today, the furniture business is massive. They sell just about anything you can imagine from kitchens to bedrooms, grandfather clocks, desks, chairs, outdoor furniture, playsets, barns and more. Their most sought after offerings are dining tables and chairs in addition to nursery gliders, bed frames, TV stands, computer desks and lawn furniture.
Then there’s the bulk food store. This is the one place at Millers that local Amish families shop at almost as much as the tourists. That’s because it is a grocery where all kinds of natural ingredients are available for home cooking. The aisles are filled with fresh bulk baking supplies, jams, candies, and more. They also carry a wide variety of cheese and meats.
But people absolutely love to come in for the fresh made pretzel sandwiches stacked high with deli meat and veggies. The demand is so high that there’s even a café setting where lunch can be eaten at tables inside. Perhaps the best setting for lunch is to grab a picnic table in the nearby pavilion overlooking the rolling wooded hills across the horizon. For dessert, the bulk foods store offers anything from old-fashioned candies to fudge and buckeyes but the favorite choice by most is the cashew brittle.
Don’t forget to stop in the bakery before you leave. The folks there are up early most mornings doing what the family has done for decades – create fresh deliciousness right before your eyes. Customers know to get there early if they want to load up on fried pies, donuts and crème horns before they sell out. There’s nothing like seeing something come hot out of the oven right before your very eyes.
“Each of the stores also have seasonal favorites,” Daniel Miller explained. “We sell a lot of jewelry boxes, rockers and sliding mirrors around Christmas. The bakery can’t make enough cream pies, raisin coconut and peanut butter treats during the holiday season. The same goes for the bulk food store’s demand for gift boxes filled with candies and cheeses.”
Daniel made a point to say that they don’t want people to think that they think they do a better job making things just because they’re Amish. He wants their products to speak for themselves without having to be labeled Amish.
Every year, the Miller family likes to give back to their customers to show their appreciation. One way is to offer discounts on special days. Mark your calendar for these special dates this fall and holiday season:
For the complete back story of the Miller family and plenty of photographs and video clips, visit tourguidetofun.com/amish-made/ and read, “Amish-made: The Miller’s Family Story.”
Keep in mind, these Amish stores are always closed on Sunday. Millers Furniture, Bakery and Bulk Foods is located at 960 Wheat Ridge Road in West Union, Ohio. Their phone number is 937-544-8524. They can also be found online at www.WheatRidgeAmish.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Enjoy a Fall Getaway to Grove City, Ohio
Fall is the perfect time of year to visit Central Ohio, with the changing leaves, exciting festivals, and lots to see and do. Here are some ideas for the perfect fall getaway to Grove City.
Don’t miss exciting autumn events, like Grove City’s Annual Arts in the Alley. This arts-filled event featuring more than 100 juried exhibitors displaying fine art, photography, jewelry, crafts, fabric art, glasswork, pottery, and wooden creations. Other festivities include a parade, musical entertainment, food vendors, and a Kids Fun Street. For a quintessential fall experience, check out Oktoberfest, held in the historic Grove City Town Center. Celebrate Grove City’s rich German heritage while you enjoy Ohio craft beers, games, entertainment, and food. For more history, don’t miss Old-Time Harvest Day at Century Village to experience the life in mid-19th century Ohio. You’ll get to try hand-on activities like leather tooling, soap making, butter churning, and more.
Discover local shopping in the Grove City Town Center, where you’re sure to find unique treasures to take home. Don’t miss Zassy’s Treasures, which has a special monthly event of curated home decor. Or wander through four floors of antiques at Country Hearth Primitives. Find trendy clothing and accessories at Deja Vu Boutique and one-of-a-kind pieces for your home at Old World New Home. Other stores to visit include The Farm Table, The Unforgotten Piece, Sommer House Gallery, and Dreaming Tree Galleries.
Enjoy a tranquil nature hike at Scioto Grove Metro Park, where you can admire the autumn foliage. After your hike, take a ride on a kayak or canoe down the scenic Scioto River. If you’re an experienced paddler, you might try a moonlight trip down the Big Darby Creek River. Offered by Trapper John’s Canoe Livery, this is a guided nighttime tour down the river, perfect for cool fall evenings.
Looking for some adventure? Get in on the action at LVL UP Sports, a brand new paintball park, where you can play on a woodsball course or on uniquely themed fields. Be on the lookout for a zombie-themed field. Or head to Kickmaster Footgolf to try your hand (or foot) at footgolf, which is similar to golf, but played with a soccer ball.
To fuel your exploration, try Orchardfields & Arbor, a cozy cafe with a diverse menu of Cuban-inspired food and beverages and classic, comforting dishes. Stop by Cimi’s Bistro for an exquisite menu and views of the Pinnacle Golf Course, which can’t be beat. For autumn-inspired treats, head to Capital City Cakes, where you’ll find cakes, brownies, ice cream, and more to satisfy your sweet tooth. Cap off your day at Hop Yard 62, a craft beer taproom featuring twenty one rotating taps or sip on some locally made wine at Plum Run Winery. Both places have a wonderful laid-back atmosphere and often feature live music in the evenings.
Plan your Grove City fall getaway today at visitgrovecityoh.com or call 800.539.0405 to receive your free Grove City Visitors Guide. And be sure to follow @visitgrovecity on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for even more trip ideas.
Mohican in the fall is on fire, with color of course. The leaves are transforming the hills of Mohican into a brand new landscape full of reds, yellows and oranges. Local farmers markets have pumpkins, mums and more out and ready to sell. Visitors are amazed at the view of the Clearfork Gorge Overlook as it changes to sea of color each day. It truly is a sight to behold.
As the Camp & Canoe Capital of Ohio, canoeing is not over. What a treat to float down the Mohican State Scenic River under an arbor of color. Some of the canoe liveries are open through October. It is a perfect time to grab a camera with family and friends and enjoy the serenity of the river.
Fall is full with activities that will keep everyone having fun while enjoying all there is to offer. Whether staying for a week or weekend, discover why Mohican rocks any time of year. Stay in a castle, resort, Inn, historic B&B, or a choice of one of many private cabins. Several of the private cabins or cottages have hot tubs, spectacular views; all the amenities of home and some are even pet friendly.
The 25th Mohican Bluegrass Festival returns to Mohican Wilderness Campground, September 15 – 17, 2016. This A family friendly event that takes place in the beautiful Mohican River. Performances include the International Bluegrass Music Association’s, nominee, Lonesome River Band and many more. Don’t miss this first class event.
September 24th is the annual Oktoberfest at Wolf Creek Grist Mill. Taste & enjoy 100 varieties of domestic and international beer, and wine to support fundraising efforts for Wolf Creek Grist Mill Historic Park & Museum. Live music, games, food, and more. Free busing to and from the event for patrons staying at any of the following sponsorship lodging locations: Red Window Townhouse, Mohican Adventures, Wally World Riverside Resort, Arrow Point Campgrounds Inc, Mohican Little Brown Inn, Blackfork Inn Bed & Breakfast and Gift Shop, & The Mohican State Park Campground.
There are plenty of events happening this fall. October 4 – 8, 2016 Loudonville Street Fair. Family fun and affordable, with five days of free admission, free entertainment, food, rides, and more.
October 7 – 23, 2016 is Mohican is the Fall Foliage Drive-It-Yourself Tour. Take a leisurely drive through the Mohican State Park and the Mohican-Memorial State Forest during the peak of the season. Hike or bike the trails and enjoy nature as the trees and wildlife get ready for winter. Then enjoy time at the restaurants and independent stores. Special offers are available for a limited time. Visit DiscoverMohican.com for a map and more information.
Fitness with a cause is a good excuse to get into shape for October 16th, to run or walk in the Mohican 5k. The 9th Annual Mohican 5K Run & Walk benefits the Loudonville-Mohican bike path with proceeds helping to maintain the area’s bike path.
October also brings in ghost enthusiasts at Landoll’s Mohican Castle. Throughout the year, they offer public Ghost Walks. These walks will take one through the history of the property and also allow the opportunity to communicate with the “other side” by using ‘tools of the trade.’ If wanting to go more in-depth ask about the possibility of a Ghost Hunt. This will take several hours and permits the visitor to conduct a paranormal investigation. On October 22nd, Landoll’s Mohican Castle will host its popular murder mystery dinner -“Transylvania Twist of the Knife.” Come in costume and solve a murder for Halloween.
During November and December, make sure to plan an individualized adventure in Mohican. Fishing, outdoor sports and more occur all year long. Live demonstrations and more are available for free and open to the public at the Mohican State Park and Mohican State Park Lodge & Conference Center. These programs will keep everyone entertained while learning about the nature of Mohican. Take a tour through the local museum. Be amazed at the wealth of history that changed the world.
All of this and more await – Discover why Mohican rocks!
Only a short drive from almost everywhere in Ohio, Sidney and the surrounding area offers an incredible variety of fun close to home. Outdoor concerts, festivals, and recreation of all varieties await you in west central Ohio.
The Shelby County Historical Society in cooperation with the City of Sidney, is hosting a Civil War Living History Weekend on Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18. Sidney’s 230 acre Tawawa Civic Park will serve as the focal point for this weekend where visitors will find military and civilian encampments and the battlegrounds where Union and Confederate forces will face off against each other.
Highlighting this living history weekend that has been two years in the making, include three major battles (including a night battle Saturday evening). It will also include a number of spontaneous skirmishes, a period-specific band concert, and period Sunday morning church services.
The one-hour long major battle scenes will occur at 3:00 and 9:00 p.m. on Saturday and 2:00 p.m. Sunday. As Union and Confederate soldiers actively patrol each day, skirmishes are sure to break out as they encounter each other in the wooded park. Cannon and rifle fire will add to the realism of these experiences. The night-time battle is expected to be incredibly dramatic.
On Saturday evening, the 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI) Regimental Band is scheduled to perform in concert. The 73rd OVI Regimental Band was established in 2011 and exists to enrich, edify, and entertain the modern public with historically authentic music and playing techniques contemporary of the time period of the War of the Rebellion. The band presents their music, when possible, through performance with instrumentation typical of military regimental brass bands of that era.
On Sunday morning, the public is invited to participate in period specific church services. A Catholic Mass will be celebrated in Latin beginning at 7:15 a.m., followed by a Baptist service at 8:15 a.m.
Also planned for the weekend is a series of educational programs that will feature some first-person accounts as well as a number of educational presentations about the war. Included in the presentations will be first-person accounts of Captain Edmund Edgar Nutt – a Union officer from Shelby County; Harriet Beecher Stowe – a notable author best known for her book Uncle Tom’s Cabin; and, Johnny Clem – sometimes called the Drummer Boy of Shiloh who was the youngest person ever to vote for President and the last Civil War veteran to retire from the Army. There will also be presentations on the life of a typical Civil War soldier; Schultz’s Battery; Clement Valandingham; and, a presentation offering a nurse’s perspective on the medical practices of the Civil War.
Sidney’s Tawawa Park is the perfect setting for this Civil War reenactment according to J.R. Sharp, a Confederate reenactor whose Company B of the 1st Tennessee Infantry encamped on the site last year. Captain Sharp has been reenacting for two decades and is on the committee organizing this event. “The park’s 230 acres are ideal for such an event,” Sharp stated.
“There is no question that the park’s unique terrain features, including Tawawa Creek, Amos Lake, the valley and the overlooking bluffs will provide both the reenactors and spectators with a unique experience,” agreed Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst. Barhorst, a former history teacher and avid history buff. Barhorst is chairing the organizing committee.
The Civil War Living History Weekend will also feature activities on other sites away from Tawawa Park. Downtown Sidney’s Monumental Building (133 South Main Avenue), originally constructed as a memorial to honor Shelby County’s Civil War dead, will welcome guests to its Tablet Room where the “boys” from Shelby County who died during the war have their names inscribed on marble tablets. The Monumental Building’s Tablet Room will be open Saturday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
For additional information about Sidney’s Civil War Living History Weekend including maps, schedules, and more, visit their web site at www.sidneycivilwar.org.
For every leisure and recreation interest, the possibilities are many in Sidney. Additional information about the Civil War Living History Weekend and all of the incredible attractions in west central Ohio can be found on the newly redesigned web site of the Sidney Visitors Bureau at VisitSidneyShelby.com. A quick review of the web calendar there is sure to entice you with an eye-popping array of seasonal fun. It’s all happening in Sidney Ohio – where “We’re waiting for you” to stop by for a visit.
Looking for something to do to kick-off the fall season? Look no further than Lost Creek Reserve located at 2385 E. St. Rt. 41 in Troy, Ohio. This beautiful 456 acre park is the setting for Miami County Park District’s eighth annual Fall Farm Fest. On October 8 and 9 the historic Knoop Homestead at the Reserve will be transformed into a hub of activity for the thousands of people who attend.
“It’s a celebration of the agricultural heritage of Miami County,” says J. Scott Myers, executive director of the Miami County Park District. The festival offers a six acre corn maze, corn cannon, music, food, wagon rides, a scarecrow contest, children’s games, demonstrations, vendors, display booths, farm animals, Kiddie Tractor Pull, a pumpkin patch, face painting and more.
A highlight of the festival each year is the wagon ride down a charming farm lane lined with scarecrows that are part of an annual contest. Visitors select the winners in three out of four categories – so don’t forget to cast your vote!
Make sure to stop by the corn maze where you are able to experience the adventure of finding your way through its twists and turns. In addition to being open during Fall Farm Fest the maze is available to rent for private gatherings.
Traditional children’s activities will also be available. “We have old fashioned games and pumpkin painting. Kids especially love the farm animals, pony rides and rope making,” says Jessie Chernetski, outreach coordinator for the Miami County Park District. Another big hit each year is a Kiddie Tractor Pull, sponsored by Koenig Equipment, where children can compete for trophies.
A must see at the festival is the farm animal petting zoo located in the bottom of 1832 historic bank barn. On Sunday, a small flock of sheep will take up residence as they await the working sheep dog demonstration.
As you explore the Reserve, watch one of the many demonstrations. See firsthand how teams of oxen were used in daily farm life. Head out to the “Back Forty” and watch the Miami County Equine Initiative Task Force’s cowboy demonstrations. Guests can also learn about the organic farming methods currently in practice at Lost Creek Reserve.
Adding to the festival’s ambiance are the musical performers appearing on two stages. The music portion of the festival will include everything from singer-songwriters and bluegrass to folk and soft rock. “Each year we have been able to schedule talented local and regional musicians,” said Myers. “It really adds something special to the atmosphere.”
Also at the festival are a handful of vendors selling everything from food to artwork. Make sure to stick around immediately following the Fall Farm Fest for a “moovie” under the stars brought to you by the Miami County Farm Bureau.
“Fall Farm Fest is one of those hometown events that adds to the high quality of life in Miami County,” says Myers. Thanks to the support of generous sponsors like the Miami County Farm Bureau, this family friendly event is offered to the public free of charge. More information and the event schedule can be found at miamicountyparks.com.
The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard was voted #1 in the category as “Best Wine Country Hotel”, and The Bistro at Gervasi Vineyard was ranked #7 as “Best Winery Restaurant” in the nation, according to the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards.
The 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards focused on categories related to wineries, revealing each category’s top 20 nominees across the country. Nominees for all categories were selected by a panel of relevant experts, which included a combination of editors from USA TODAY and editors from 10Best.com. The top ten winners were elected by popular vote over a four-week period.
“As a destination winery, we are truly honored and excited for Gervasi Vineyard to be voted in two categories within the top ten USA Todays’ 10Best in the country,” said Scott Swaldo, General Manager. “With our Villas ranking number one the nation and our historic Bistro restaurant ranked within the top ten, we celebrate this significant achievement with our staff who have worked so hard to make Gervasi Vineyard a world class destination. In an unconventional location like Canton, Ohio, we competed against destination wineries in Napa Valley and other major cities in the U.S. We are tremendously proud!”
Voted as the top spot for wine hotels in the country, The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard, features an upscale, Tuscan-inspired boutique Inn, with high-end amenities and a beautiful view of the vineyard, spring-fed lake and picturesque landscape. Each extravagant guest suite displays distinct Tuscan décor with a cozy stone fireplace, complimentary homemade Italian-style breakfast, complimentary beverages and refrigerator, a spacious bathroom with walk-in stone shower, heated floors and towel bars, luxury toiletries, and optional in-room spa services.
The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard are rated by AAA as a Four Diamond property and are a member of Select Registry. Six on-site Villas host a total of 24 suites offering four suites per Villa, including a Double Queen Luxury Suite, two King Luxury Suites and one Two-Level King Luxury Suite. Each Villa features four suites, with a spacious lobby featuring warm Tuscan-style décor, as a portal to each of the four private suites, as well as an outdoor patio facing the 5-acre lake. Guests have the option to reserve an individual suite, or the entire Villa for their stay.
The Bistro at Gervasi Vineyard, rated #7 in the nation, is most known for its upscale cuisine, high-end service and breathtaking views of the spring-fed lake and vineyard on the 55-acre estate. The Bistro offers an extensive, authentic Italian menu in small and large plate portions for sharing. The menu features fresh seasonal ingredients, including antipasti, salads, brick-fire pizzas, entrees and desserts, plus offers a full bar, award-winning Gervasi Wines, GV craft beer and domestic beer.
The rustic, restored barn is the original restaurant on the property and is reminiscent of a Tuscan farmhouse. When the winery at Gervasi Vineyard first opened in 2010, The Bistro originally housed the winery in the lower level. As the property has grown, the winery was relocated to a new expanded location, and The Bistro was able to extend the its dining space, offering multiple dining options, including private dining space in the charming “Cantino” cellar room, and quaint, intimate seating in the “Balconatta” lounge.
10Best.com provides users with original, unbiased, and experiential travel content of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world. The core of the site’s uniqueness is its team of local travel experts: a well-traveled and well-educated group who are not only experts in their fields – and their cities – but discriminating in their tastes. These local experts live in the city they write about so the content is constantly updated. In 2012, 10Best.com averaged more than 700,000 monthly unique visitors generating approximately 28 million page views. It was acquired by USA TODAY in January of 2013.
All voting is digital and the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest is accessible on the 10Best.com website. After 4 weeks of online voting, winners are revealed. Rules allow the public the right to vote online for one nominee per category, per day. While the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest lives on 10Best.com – a standalone travel media site – it is promoted across USA TODAY Travel Media Group’s digital and mobile products, as well as via social media. Nominees are also announced and/or promoted across relevant USA TODAY departments, and through Gannett media outlets. The nomination panel for each award category is displayed on its associated contest page.
Located in the heart of Canton, Ohio, Gervasi Vineyard is a unique Tuscan-themed, upscale winery featuring award-winning wines, craft beers, and fabulous cuisine. The vineyard offers breathtaking views of a spring-fed lake, homegrown vineyards and nostalgic landscaping across the picturesque 55-acre estate. Gervasi offers an exceptional wine portfolio featuring 27 varietals with a focus on classical European varieties and includes three premier estate-grown North American hybrids.
Enjoy three on-site restaurants, featuring exceptional cuisine made with only the freshest ingredients. The Italian Bistro, in the historic barn, features rustic upscale dining, or guests may dine in a casual setting at The Crush House Bar & Eatery, featuring a contemporary flair. The seasonal Piazza features traditional, yet casual menu for dining al fresco adjacent to the lake. Enjoy boutique shopping in The Marketplace Gift Shop featuring Gervasi wines, specialty items and collectibles.
Overnight accommodations are available in The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard, extravagant guest suites featuring the warm feel of Tuscany with luxuries at every turn. The Villas are rated a AAA Four-Diamond property. Special events are offered throughout the year including wine tours, wine education classes, wine and food pairings, seasonal vineyard tours, Cucina classes, live music, art classes and more.
Gervasi Vineyard is located at 1700 55th Street NE, Canton, Ohio. For more information about Gervasi Vineyard and GV Destinations, visit www.gervasivineyard.com @gervasivineyard on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube or call 330-497-1000.
Cowboys, Gunslingers, Trick Roping and More
Bring Wild West to Life
Grab your cowboy boots and mosey on over to the annual Old West Festival. The western-themed festival rolls back in town for another season of boot stompin’ family fun on Saturdays and Sundays – September 10 – 16, 2016. Located at its permanent site, just 15 minutes from I-275, east of Cincinnati, the Old West Festival transports visitors back in time to a historic American era, the Wild West.
Drawing more than 20,000 visitors each fall, the permanent old west town is home to everything you would expect to see in Dodge City circa 1878. Attendees will enjoy gunfights, jailbreaks, delicious Old West food, drinks, and more. Period re-enactors will also be found walking the streets and performing the roles of cowboys, cowgirls, storeowners, residents, sheriffs, and of course, outlaws.
Other performers will be ‘round town as well. Magician Jason Jacobs will amaze, bewilder and astonish with magic and illusions during his daily shows at Long Branch Saloon, and world champion roper Rider Keisner will perform his signature gun slingin’, trick ropin’, whip crackin’ tricks. New in 2016, The Carnivale Gang will have visitors hootin’ and hollerin’ at their outrageous humor and outbursts of physical comedy as they tell fantastic tales of the west. Plus, folks can kick up some dust dancing to the musical stylings of two local bands, Gunpowder Creek and Raison D’Être.
And what would the old west be without a good ole’ fashioned gunfight? Back by popular demand, four times daily starting at high noon, the Big Irons Rangers return with their gunfight re-enactments and trick shooting. In between shows they, and other period interpreters, will be walking the grounds to meet visitors and pose for photos.
The Old West Festival is a grand time for the young’ins, too. New this year, children’s activities are INCLUDED in the Sidekick price of admission. Now, kids can enjoy UNLIMITED train rides, panning for gold, Santa Fe Slingshot, Beginner Bow and Arrow, and Lucky Levi’s Lasso.
They can also enjoy pony rides, an old-fashioned melodrama, educational and fun first-person narratives, and a horseback cowboy contest that takes place in the arena three times per day, where the folks of Dodge City settle their differences on horseback rather than with gunplay. The youngsters can also participate in historic games, and even cross the frontier in a covered wagon.
Themed weekends add to the experience of the Old West Festival and include REACH Family Weekend (New this year) Sept. 10-11; Freedom Weekend (New this year – all firefighters, police, EMS and military members will enjoy free Sidekick admission with their public service ID) Sept. 17-18; America’s Pastime Weekend Sept. 24-25; Romance Weekend Oct. 1-2; Faith Weekend (New this year, featuring a special evening concert with My Brother’s Keeper) Oct. 8-9; and Halloween Weekend Oct. 15-16.
To celebrate the opening of another season, the Old West Festival presents REACH Family Weekend, sponsored by Reach Cincinnati Magazine. The weekend will be filled with giveaways and fun prizes. Plus, all paid admissions will be able to sign up for free admission for an upcoming festival weekend, too, valid during the 2016 season.
Tickets to the Old West Festival can be purchased online or at the door. Sidekick Admission is $12.99 for adults, $9.99 for kids, and includes shows, rides, and live entertainment. Deputy Admission is $14.99 for adults, $12.99 for kids, and includes shows, rides, live entertainment, and unlimited soft drinks. Sheriff Admissions are $24.99 for adults, $19.99 for kids, and include shows, rides, live entertainment, unlimited soft drinks, souvenir boot mug, and $1 off draft beers for adults. Kids 2 and under are FREE; Parking is FREE; horse rides are not included. The festival is held rain or shine.
The Old West Festival is a one-of-a-kind event in Ohio. It transports visitors to an authentic Dodge City Wild West town dating back to 1878. Guests can pan for gold, explore the authentic old west town, belly up to the Saloon and much more. The Old West Festival is located at 1449 Greenbush Cobb Rd between Mt. Orab and Williamsburg, Ohio just off St. Rt. 32. Parking is FREE. The Festival runs Saturdays and Sundays, September 10 to October 16 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.oldwestfestival.com.
Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati is FREE! And it hits the mark when it says it impacts communities by providing changing arts experiences that challenge, entertain and educate. There is regular changing over of exhibitions throughout this architectural gem called the best new building since the Cold War by the New York Times. Yes, it’s a piece of art in its own right both inside and out and on every floor. A variety of mediums are sure to electrify the senses and forge great conversation. It is a place of genius, innovation and inspiration. And regularly, a whole new world rotates in calling you back for a revisit. Learn more at contemporaryartscenter.org/.
This award recognizes Ohio’s standouts in tourism. More details about the award and all award recipients are at ohiotraveler.com/standouts-in-ohio-tourism/.
World War I drama coming to the
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
Commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I as one of the nation’s premier historical aviation events brings the excitement and adrenaline of early air power to Ohio, October 1 – 2, 2016 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
The World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous will feature vintage reproduction full-scale and 7/8-scale aircraft, such as the Nieuport, SE-5 and Fokker Dr. I triplane. Pilots will perform precision flying in the skies above the museum and participate in a mock shoot down of an enemy aircraft, with aircraft launching from and landing on the field behind the museum.
The event will also include period re-enactors in a war encampment setting; era automobiles on display and participating in a parade, flying exhibitions by WWI radio-controlled aircraft; guest speakers and a collector’s show for WWI items.
Additional popular hands-on activities include Buckeye Gamers in Flight’s WWI giant board game, “Wings of Glory,” which provides participants with a better understanding of the war in Europe and the number of countries involved, and Aces Over Wright Field’s aircraft computer simulators for those who want the experience of flying a WWI aircraft. Food and merchandise will also be available for sale.
According to WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous public address announcer and the author of “THE STAND: The Final Flight of Lt. Frank Luke, Jr.,” Stephen Skinner, the event will provide the best chance in your lifetime to experience the sights, sounds and smells of WWI aviation.
“You can still see a bit of WWI aviation history by visiting the old battlefields and airfields in France, or at the National Museum of the United States Air Force with a few rare events like the Dawn Patrol Rendezvous, but experiencing the sounds and smells are much more difficult because so few original WWI engines and firearms are still in use, and only a lucky few can catch the scent of burning castor oil in an original WWI airplane motor,” said Skinner. “However, this event is one of the few in the world where you can still experience all three.”
Gates will be open each day from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Visitors may reach the event site by coming through the “Spinning Road Gate,” located at the intersection of Airway and Spinning Roads (Joe Greene Way), or through the main museum gate on Springfield Street and following the signs that lead to the event area.
The 2016 WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous will be the tenth event offered by the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and the Great War Aeroplanes Association. The last WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous took place in the fall of 2014.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.
When thinking of the fall colors, it’s easy for one’s mind to travel to the spectacular, quintessential views of New England and the cool, crisp air of New Hampshire and Vermont. The country roads gently traversing the storied colonial hills of America’s first heartland have been host to many a visitor to the region.
But what if those similar views and similar adventures can be had in a historic area that is hidden right out in the open and just a close day’s drive away? What if Ohio’s own scenic wonderland of Southeast Ohio and the Hocking Hills could take you away to those spectacular fall views?
Traveling to Logan and the Hocking Hills, it’s easy to get lost in the vast areas and myriad of activities available starting September and right on through October. Nearby Nelsonville—and further down U.S. 33, Ohio University’s hometown of Athens—provides very similar results for a traveling couple on a romantic weekend getaway or the growing family taking in the world one mile’s breathtaking view at a time.
It is in a traveler’s great interest to first make a stop at the Hocking Hills Visitor’s Center (Website: www.explorehockinghills.com; Phone: 1-800-HOCKING) off Ohio Route 664, less than a mile away from U.S. 33 on the north end of Logan. There, friendly volunteers will assist with the area events of the weekend (or weekday—the fun doesn’t end on the weekends!), attractions, parks, shopping and much more. The Athens area also has many events and attractions, and the friendly visitor center operated by the Athens County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (Website: www.athensohio.com; Phone: 1-800-878-9767) is just as valuable of a resource too.
Some of the more notable events of the region include the 17th Annual Paw Paw Festival, Appalachian Color in the Hills Festival, Ohio Smoked Meat & Barbecue Festival, Annual Hocking Hills Indian Run, The Plains Indian Mound Festival, Starbrick Clay National Cup Show —plus many more!
A drive along Ohio’s “Windy 9,” a curvy, care-free escape through the hill country is, of course, a given—not to mention the views that can be had along the backroads off the state highways. Those county road drives are among the best without question!
But in addition to the obligatory leaf drives, what else is one to do? The area boasts of many activities, including the world-famous Hocking Hills State Parks, providing some of the more amazing natural scenes Ohio has to offer—Cedar Falls, Old Man’s Cave, Rock House, Cantwell Cliffs, Ash Cave. Then there are the man-made (or human-assisted) but still great activities like canoeing the tranquil Hocking River (with two top-notch canoe liveries at your service), cruising the zip lines of Hocking Hills Canopy Tours, biking/walking the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway or Moonville Tunnel Trail, taking in a relaxing guided horseback trail ride, culturally-stimulating art walks, plays and musicals at Stuart’s Opera House—and that’s just scratching the surface.
Another must-do activity while in the region is a train ride aboard one of Ohio’s top tourist trains. The all-volunteer-operated-and-managed Hocking Valley Scenic Railway operates trains every Saturday and Sunday through October before taking most of November off in preparation for an equally-busy season. Following the November hiatus, the trains travel the rails once more before the close of the operating season for the annual—and very popular—Santa Trains and, later, the New Year’s Eve Train—with an impressive fireworks display. In October, the schedule expands out into the weekdays, offering more options to see the leaves via train. The quaint depot is located in the historic town of Nelsonville, once an industrial center of Ohio. Once aboard, the diesel-powered train—a history lesson itself—takes passengers along an approximately two-hour round-trip ride along the Hocking River Valley through Haydenville, another brick and clay tile center. Historic sites, events, anecdotes and the area’s current active industries are pointed out along the way via the on-board live narration. Fares vary on fall trips and special event trains (such as the All-Caboose Train, Labor Day Train, and Robbery Train). The Robbery Train, offered three times throughout the year, is one of the most popular events of the schedule and always sells out. Kids under the age of 3 years old do ride for free on every train (unless otherwise specified). Food and drinks aren’t provided but are permitted on the train. Pets, however, are not permitted except for certified service animals. Group rates are available as well for non-special event trains. A vintage steam locomotive is scheduled to be put back into service soon, so you’ll want to keep tabs on that as well. But for now, it’s safe to assume that one of the equally-historic diesels will be pulling the train during a visit. Many cabooses and other railroad cars, including an impressive snow plow, are also available to see around the depot while you wait for the train. Information on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway can be found at www.hockingvalleytrain.org or by calling 740-249-1452. The non-profit group is also very active on social media, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/hvsry), Twitter (@hvscenicrailway), and Instagram (@hvscenicrailway). It’s a lasting experience not to be missed!
Food options are as varied as the area, from fast food to true local establishments, one won’t go hungry for sure. Just a small sampling of local eateries include The Boot Grille, Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery, Kiser’s Barbeque, Avalanche Pizza, Caleb’s Coffee, Casa Nueva, Millstone Southern Smoked BBQ, The Olde Dutch Restaurant, and Tammy’s Country Kitchen. By no means is the list comprehensive but its easy to get a picture of what’s available.
Lodging? Even more plentiful and varied, it’s much easier to just log on to the Hocking Hills Tourism Association’s website (www.explorehockinghills.com) and the website of the Athens County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (www.athensohio.com).
So, that trip to New England this fall? The close-to-home enticement of Southeast Ohio is arguably much more compelling and provides a charming escape with Southern-style hospitality, great cultural events, amazing natural beauty, and a rich history that rivals any region in America. Without a doubt, it is an experience that will have you making this regional visit a late-year vacation tradition for many years to come!
in Wayne County, Ohio
It’s no secret that Central Ohio is known as one of the best places to view the changing colors of autumn. Pair this with the scenic back roads of Amish Country and you’ve found yourself a picturesque match made in heaven.
Wayne County likes to celebrate fall in a grand style with festivals, tractor pulls, farm tours and car shows.
Here is a sample of some of October harvest season celebrations.
Secrest Arboretum, part of The Ohio State University’s Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, is the perfect place to view the changing colors. Open daily from dawn to dusk, you are invited to hike or bike the many trails or take a leisurely stroll through one of its gardens.
Organize a family outing to Ramseyer Farms Maze Adventures and Pumpkin Patch this fall. You can make friends with the farm animals, get lost in one of their many mazes, shoot a potato in the spud slinger, take a hayride into the fields to pick the perfect pumpkin or just sit back and enjoy the scenery while munching on a bag of freshly made potato chips. Visit them online at ramseyerfarms.com.
Nothing tastes as good as an apple fresh from the tree and Wayne County’s pick-your-own orchards won’t disappoint offering special dwarf size apple trees so everyone in your family can experience the delight of picking an apple right from the tree. Our Farms & Farmers’ Market section of our brochure lists hours and weekend festival dates for these farm attractions.
For a complete list of Wayne County festivals and activities see the Visitors Guide and Calendar of Events on line at http://wccvb.com/ or call 800-362-6474 to receive a free copy.
So grab a sweater, pack up the family car and come see why “Fall is Best of All” in Wayne County, Ohio!
This article is from a past edition of OhioTraveler
Ready to beat your PR (personal record) on your next half or full marathon? Well… here’s your opportunity! Don’t miss what has been dubbed the “Fastest Course in Ohio!” … and it’s also a qualifier for the Boston Marathon!
Bring those speedy feet to the Annual Grand Lake Marathon held in September where you will experience an amazing course running along the shores of beautiful Grand Lake St Marys. Following up on the success of the inaugural event last year, the race will once again offer a 5k, half, full marathon, relay, and a kids marathon. You are invited to escape the concrete jungle and come run in the country! A scenic loop that begins in Celina, Ohio, on the shores of Grand Lake awaits Marathoners with a route that offers beautiful views of the lake, family farms and very rural America. Half Marathon participants will enjoy a run along the northern shores of Grand Lake and a welcoming finish in the historic canal town of St. Marys, Ohio.
The Grand Lake Marathon organizers want to make your race day special by providing incredible race amenities such as great Live music approximately every two miles around the entire 26.2 loop, custom shirt with custom Grand Lake Marathon artwork, custom bib numbers with your name, custom age group awards, a wonderful Race event expo, free download of your favorite race photo, a Free beer from Big Bamboos Dockside Grill located only a few steps away from the Marathon finish in Celina, free 13.1 or 26.2 stickers to all participants, and finally, one awesome lake themed finisher medal! As pictured Seymour the Seagull is also expected to join in the fun.
The Grand Lake Marathon course is flat, fast and USATF certified for Boston qualification. USATF Certificate: OH14003MW. Findmymarathon.com lists Grand Lake as the fastest course in Ohio! So if you are a weekend warrior looking for a 5k in a beautiful setting or a dedicated runner wanting to tackle the full 26.2 mile challenge, sign up today for the Grand Lake Marathon. For more information or to register check out www.Grandlakemarathon.com.
is a Labor Day Weekend Must
Come join a peaceful setting of yesteryear when visiting the Ft. Rowdy Gathering in Covington, Ohio. A depiction of a bustling, small trading village set in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s is what you will experience when you enter the Covington Community Park during Labor Day weekend.
Falling leaves and the smell of open fires lure you to the “Gathering” along with the homemade foods and arts and crafts that will have you wanting to linger throughout the weekend.
If you love good food and a great time, just amble on down to the Fort Rowdy Gathering for the taste sensation of a lifetime. Your nose will enjoy the aroma and your mouth will water in anticipation of the wonderful choice of foods you can enjoy at the Gathering.
You could be one who enjoys lemon shake-ups or strawberry shake-ups served by the Piqua Aikido Club. Or maybe you will be lured to the tent of the Covington Church of the Brethren and the Covington Outreach Association to get a taste of their delicious homemade chicken and noodles along with the great fall favorite, apple dumplings. (Hurry-they sell out quickly!) They also have coffee and hot chocolate and a large variety of cookies and donuts.
If you are looking for a snack, you might want to visit the Covington United Church of Christ booth for a sugar waffle with your beef barbeque sandwich, IBC Root Beer or Cider. French fries, shredded chicken sandwiches, brats burger, mini corn dogs, pumpkin rolls and funnel cakes can be purchased from the Covington Eagles Aux.
St. John’s Church is cooking up cabbage rolls along with mashed potatoes. Take along their fresh fruit cups for dessert. Boy Scout Troop 76 will have brats, metts, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, nachos and cheese and loaded nachos.
Young Life of Miami Co is serving pork fritters, blooming onions, breaded chicken sandwiches, cheese sticks and poppers. Check out their breakfast of gravy and biscuits or the mountain man breakfast. If you like pulled pork sandwiches and chips stopover to A.B. Cole Post 80 American Legion.
Cannons Fast Pitch will be cooking up steak and pizza burgers. If you are looking for something to put on top of your pie or apple dumplings stop by Fort Rowdy’s ice cream booth. They will feature Susie’s Big Dipper ice cream.
As you can see, they try to please everyone’s appetite and avoid duplications so you can have a big choice when it comes to the taste buds. Now there have to be several items mentioned that could lure you down to the Gathering-and they know you wouldn’t want to miss out on any of it.
The Fort Rowdy Gathering is not only a gathering of people but a gathering of crafts also. They strive to bring you a wide variety of talent and interests at this event. There are ceramics of all kinds, country crafts, painted wooden items, angel food cakes, decorative afghans and throws, flower arrangements, blacksmithing, painted pumpkins and gourds, do it yourself sand art, and period trade goods just to name a few.
Free live entertainment will be provided on the festival side, as well as, food vendors from local non-profit organizations and craft vendors. Encampment activities include: Hawk & knife, spear throw, bow shoot, lizard pull, flint & steel, cooking contest, and rolling pin & skillet toss along with many games and contests for the children. Prizes will be awarded at camp meetings. A Sunday morning worship service will be held at the encampment stage.
Authentic demonstrations, contests, games and entertainment add up to fun and enjoyment for the whole family. And the 208’ long portable footbridge will carry you across the scenic Stillwater River to the Mountainman Encampment and a true feeling of the life of a by-gone era.
Covington Community Park is located on St. Rt. 36, just west of St. Rt. 48 north of Covington. The “Gathering” runs all day and offers free admission and parking. For more information please go to fortrowdy.org.