A Trendy Entertainment District
One of the most charming downtown shopping and dining destinations, Historic Downtown Delaware attracts visitors from many states and countries beyond Ohio. Visitors signing the guest book in Destination Delaware County Ohio’s welcome center came from Ohio and 16 other states. The center also welcomed visitors from Argentina, Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Ecuador, England, Finland, France, India, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Uganda. “Love it here, friendly, full of charm, and so wonderful,” are words most used to describe their Delaware experience.
The numerous non-chain restaurants make Downtown Delaware a fun eating adventure. A popular and diverse dining destination, food options include American, Italian, Mexican, Asian, Cajun, BBQ, and Greek. Fine dining, giant juicy burgers, small plates, chicken and waffles, hand-dipped milkshakes, made-from-scratch pizza and craft brews and wines are just a sample of what visitors like most about eating downtown. Coffee shops, outdoor cafes, mouth-watering chocolates, frozen custard, delicious baked goods, fresh made gelato and ice cream, gourmet cheeses, and olive oils and vinegars on tap are also part of the downtown Delaware foodie experience.
Collectors enjoy browsing for antiques and collectibles along Sandusky Street. Vintage items are also abundant in the shops and bring back bygone days for many as they browse for antique and nostalgic toys and treasures. Other popular boutiques offer children’s books, chalk-painted furniture and home décor, vinyl records, pottery painting, consignment clothing, and unique gift items.
Although Downtown Delaware is a family-friendly environment, it is also a place to enjoy award-winning brews. Two Micro Breweries and other establishments offering a variety of craft brews on tap enhance the experience. And, a beautiful new winery featuring hand-crafted wines is also a draw.
Located just north of Columbus, Ohio’s capital city, those who visit Delaware do not have to fight big city traffic to be inspired by the arts. Delaware is home to the highly-esteemed Central Ohio Symphony. The Symphony offers season tickets and performs at least five outstanding concerts each year, including a free Independence Day concert on the lawn at Ohio Wesleyan University, which is followed by fireworks.
One of the premier liberal arts colleges in the country, Ohio Wesleyan offers live music, theater and dance performances. The University’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum, Delaware Cultural Arts Center (AKA the Arts Castle), and Gallery 22 are all unique places to enjoy visual art exhibits. And, the weekend following Mother’s Day, over 150 venders fill the downtown streets for the annual Delaware Arts Festival.
Fun events in Historic Downtown Delaware also include Main Street Delaware’s Frist Fridays. The first Friday of each month draws big crowds downtown to shop, dine, participate in themed activities, and go to the movies at the Historic 1916 Strand Theatre. Appreciating local farm-to-table opportunities, downtown farmers’ markets take place Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings, May through October.
The Internationally renowned Little Brown Jug Grand Circuit harness race takes place each September during the Delaware County Fair. A week prior to the Fair, the All-Horse Parade, one of the largest non-motorized parades east of the Mississippi, clip clops through Historic Downtown Delaware. And, it would be remiss not to mention the annual classic car show that completely fills four downtown blocks each summer.
Delaware also offers a variety of places to golf, hike, bike, explore, and play in the water. During travel season, many people coming to Delaware also come to play outdoors.
Check out the Destination Delaware County Ohio website when planning an adventure in Delaware.