Take a break from the day-to-day and get back to nature in Sidney, just 36 miles north of Dayton, Ohio. Here, you’ll find over 400 acres of parkland to explore, along with unique shopping and dining destinations that evoke all the charm of small-town Ohio.
Outdoor enthusiasts, rejoice! There’s plenty to discover in the 220 acres of woodlands, waterways, and lakes in Tawawa Civic Park. This natural oasis offers something for adventurers of all ages. The wooded park is a popular outdoor sanctuary for family get-togethers, picnics, and cookouts, offering more than 20 shelters and play areas, along with plentiful opportunities for solo activities like fishing and hiking where visitors can unplug and unwind.
Trekking along the park’s seven miles of trails, you’ll encounter Big Rock, a 12-foot-tall glacial boulder left from the Ice Age. The one-mile-long Benjamin Trail follows a millrace the length of the park, which used to supply water to Sidney’s first water and electric plant located on Brooklyn Avenue. Next, you’ll want to seek out the Ross Covered Bridge in the middle of the park for postcard-worthy photo ops. For those who like to venture off the beaten path, longer paved and natural surface trails can be explored toward the rear of the park.
In addition to its parks, Sidney is home to a variety of golf clubs, perfect for an afternoon on the links. Shelby Oaks Golf Club provides a fun and challenging experience on its 27 holes for players of all skill levels. Rob Fridley, director of operations at Shelby Oaks for forty years, notes that the course is home to one of Dayton’s Top 50 Golf Holes, Number 9 South.
Situated on the grounds of the Sidney Moose Lodge, the Moose Golf Course is also open to the public. Originally the Shelby County Country Club, this 9-hole, 35-par course features tight fairways and smaller greens, much in the tradition of early golf course design.
Established in 1965, Arrowhead Golf Club is just 15 minutes from Sidney and offers an eighteen-hole course layout, practice facility, and full pro shop. In addition, Arrowhead boasts an on-site restaurant, The Bunker, a favorite among visitors and locals alike for great food and cold drinks.
Hop over to Sidney’s Canal Feeder Bike-Hike Trail for even more outdoor fun. This 3.4-mile paved trail follows the former Sidney Feeder Canal and later runs parallel to the scenic Great Miami River, a popular spot for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. Did you know that the Great Miami is #1 in Ohio for smallmouth bass? The U.S. Department of the Interior has designated the river itself as a National Water Trail — a distinction given to only 32 other locations in the United States.
The Veteran’s Memorial Walkway is a multi-use ADA-accessible path that provides 4.5 miles of paved trails for walking and cycling. Memorial trees line the walkway commemorating organizations, friends, and family.
After your reacquaintance with nature, how about a stroll around downtown Sidney for a taste of small-town charm? The Ivy Garland is a locally owned shop specializing in gifts and décor for all occasions. Moonflower Effect offers essential oils, custom blends, diffusers, ethically sourced clothing, and more. While there, why not book a one-hour dry salt therapy session in their salt room for the ultimate in relaxation? Greenhaus Coffee offers a unique Coffee Shop | Plant Shop concept in the heart of downtown Sidney. The retail side offers indoor plants, home décor, and locally crafted gifts. In addition, guests enjoy their café offering a wonderful selection of Purebred Coffees, made-to-order seltzers, natural fruit sodas, teas, toasts, pastries, salads, and more.
If you’re up for a detour, check out Gallery 2:TEN and Re:Vive Home Décor & More, just minutes from downtown. Shop original pottery, jewelry, metal sculpture, and hot-blown glass creations, along with a wide array of vintage, reclaimed, and artfully repurposed furniture.
Feeling hungry? Downtown Sidney offers compelling reasons to stick around for a bite to eat. Partake in a refreshing chilled beverage on one of many outdoor dining patios overlooking the idyllic town square with the majestic Shelby County Courthouse positioned at its center. During its construction in 1883, limestone, sandstone, and marble were brought in by canal boat, and the courthouse’s looming 170-foot center tower features four clocks. The town square is often the site of many local events, including cruise-ins, concerts, and a Saturday morning farmers market from June through early October.
Sidney’s iconic diner, The Spot, was first established in 1907 as a lunch wagon operated by Spot Miller. Today, it’s an art deco-style diner loved by locals for its fresh-ground hamburgers, crispy onion rings, thick malts & homemade pies. It’s a great place to stop for a dessert, meal, or snack. Dine in or carry out to picnic like a pro in the shade of old-growth oak trees on the Shelby County Courthouse lawn.
Family-owned Italian pizza shop Amelio’s Pizzeria serves up years of family heritage and Italian culture. Toni Thorne named the restaurant after her great-grandfather, Giuseppe Amelio Cecere, who came to America from Italy in 1920 and opened a pizza shop in his garage.
Other tasty options include The Bridge Restaurant, serving upscale eats like steak and seafood prepared fresh in-house daily, and Tavolo, offering modern Italian fare. Before calling it a night, check out what’s on tap at Murphy’s Craftbar + Kitchen. This trendy bistro boasts 48 taps featuring a wide selection of Ohio brews and craft cocktails.