Ohio Summer Festivals & Events
And other things to do
& places to go in Ohio…
And other things to do
& places to go in Ohio…
This story is from a past edition of OhioTraveler
In the mid-1970s, an Amish wagon train of sorts left the Northeast Ohio Amish heartland and arrived in rural Adams County, Ohio about an hour east of Cincinnati. The fledgling community built its homes and dug into the land to farm at the edge of Appalachia. In the early 1980s, hard times fell on Roy Keim, so he took his wife Mattie’s homemade pies to sell along State Route 32. He earned $68 from truckers with a sweet tooth. And it is with that humble beginning, that Keim grew into a popular bakery, furniture, and bulk food store adored by people near and far for more than 30 years.
Roy continued the business until he retired about 10 years ago. Since then, it’s operated as the same store with the same name but changed ownership a couple of times until Wayne Yoder purchased it about a year ago. Wayne and his young Amish family are seen daily helping customers throughout the store. It remains the same store with the same cherished recipes and personable customer service that keeps customers coming back.
The only thing different is the name. Keim’s family business lasted generations. The Yoders hope to claim the same decades down the road. This Amish store by any name is a constant for many who live nearby or visit it from long distances. A trip to Yoder’s is also a trip to see the pretty landscape known as the edge of Appalachia.
Folks gather at the picnic tables or along the benches and chairs sprinkled down Yoder’s two porches which seem to stretch forever. The lunch crowd is eager to taste Yoder’s fresh deli sandwiches and warm-from-the-oven baked goods. And to wash it all down is an old-fashioned cream soda. Afterward, the kids test the playsets and trampolines. Parents and grandparents watch while they talk under the majestic shade trees or browse the indoor and outdoor furniture or walk the aisles of bulk foods, seeking the ingredients not found in big box stores. It’s a place where shopping is relaxing, and the stay is extended.
This cherished destination-shopping experience is an authentic, one-of-a-kind, Amish variety store, and a staple of the Wheat Ridge Amish community. A visit to Yoder’s is a throwback to a more simple and peaceful time, and it combines a unique experience with hard-to-find offerings.
Inside, visitors are treated to everything from fresh-made donuts to handmade dining tables. Feel the warmth and enjoy the aroma coming from the bakers’ ovens. Every morning, bakers are seen in plain sight rolling dough and preparing scrumptious baked goods. As soon as the goodies hit the store shelves, they’re grabbed up by customers to bring home …if they make it that far. The bakery is known for its donuts, fruit pies, cookies, loaves of bread, and cinnamon rolls just to name several specialties. A little closer to Christmas, Yoder’s fruitcakes are ordered from around the country. It’s no joke. They are that good!
For those who arrive midday, there’s a full-service deli with a tasty variety of meats and cheeses to cater to any appetite. In addition, steaks are now offered as well. Look for the weekly special. It’s not uncommon to see license plates in the parking lot from counties in Ohio and Kentucky, near and far. And coolers being packed with meats and cheeses for the long ride home.
The chef in the family will enjoy a trip to Yoder’s to tackle that list of special ingredients needed for those cherished recipes. There are aisles of hard-to-find goods with the Yoder label. In addition, traditional tin cookie cutters come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Yoder’s jams and jellies, flour, and so much more fill the shelves along with old-time candies, and a great selection of sugar-free foods. A camping favorite is popcorn you can pop over the fire pit.
The rustic warm store also has a wonderful selection of odds and ends from nostalgic wood toys to gorgeous wicker baskets to Amish-made quilts to scented candles. They also carry the ever-popular choices of Christian wall hangings by P. Graham Dunn.
The indoor furniture selection fills the final third of the main store. If a child needs a new computer desk, look no further. If dad needs an easy chair, you’ll find it here. And if mom wants a dining set that is like no other, this is the place. Yoder’s also has stools, benches, hutches, gliders, bedroom sets, and more. Whatever is bought here is not likely to be bought anywhere else. And if a new gazebo, shed, or patio set is needed, Yoder’s can deliver it.
A trip to Yoder’s, nestled in rural Adams County, is also a trip to where the quilt barn trail movement started. Creative quilt patterns were painted in a square representative of the work by traditional Appalachian quilters and hung on picturesque barns throughout the county. Now, the quilt barn phenomenon has spread across the country. If someone wants to add to the clothesline of quilts, Yoder’s has a selection of painted wood quilt squares. It looks great on a storage barn.
This Amish outpost at the edge of Appalachia has it all. Folks make pilgrimages to this quaint destination to fill shopping needs year-round from places like Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Portsmouth, Northern Kentucky, and West Virginia. It’s right on the Appalachian Highway in Southwestern Ohio located at 2621 Burnt Cabin Road off SR 32 in Seaman, Ohio. They are open Monday – Saturday (Closed on Sunday). Call 937-386-9995 or visit their Facebook page or website at https://www.yodersbakeryandfurniture.com/ to plan your pilgrimage to the lesser-traveled Amish country.
3-Day Swiss-Amish-Appalachia Adventure
Quench your thirst for adventure with this itinerary for fun in Tuscarawas County, located in the heart of Appalachia and Ohio’s Amish Country!
The weekend is calling and asking for a new adventure to start the summer that includes sunrise over the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in beautiful Tuscarawas County, Ohio. Afterward, plan to enjoy a hike on one of many trails and then the serenity of a drive-through Swiss and Amish cultural areas before delving into all the area offers. It sounds relaxing, doesn’t it? This three-day itinerary highlights a wide range of experiences from historic landmarks, dining, theatre, and hiking. It’s time to pack your suitcase and dive into the weekend!
Day 1: Trains, a BIG clock, scenic sights, and wine and brew tastings!
Start your day at the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum to experience the world’s largest privately-owned collection of steam engines housed in the first working roundhouse constructed in many generations. Located in Amish country, enjoy the sights and watch out for buggies!
Downtown Sugarcreek is home to the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock and the first to be included in the Guinness Book of World Records! Be certain to time (ha-ha) your visit to be there for the top or bottom of the hour to watch the Hilltoppers performance just for you! Enjoy visiting some of the local shops while you are here and see the Brick Wall Sculpture!
Visit the Ernest Warther Museum and Gardens next to experience the phenomenal talents of carver Mooney Warther whose passion for steam engines drove him to create exact replicas of these mighty trains.
Just a short drive southeast is the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, a National Historic Landmark. Located in an original train depot, it has a storied history as volunteers fed 1.3 million troops on trains during WWII while its engine was refilled with water.
Slow down at one of the county’s nine wineries or three breweries; each offers a distinctive flavor and flair.
With many lodging options to choose from, you will be certain to find the perfect clean, comfortable pillow in one of the numerous hotels!
Day 2: Ohio history, a millionaire, dinner, and an outdoor theatre production!
Begin with a tour of Schoenbrunn Village where you will step inside the reconstructed first church and school buildings on the 1770’s Ohio frontier and learn about life in the village at that time.
Historic Zoar Village is a National Landmark District and your next stop. Founded in 1817 by German Separatists seeking religious freedom, you will appreciate learning about their successful communal society spanning 80 years which gave suffrage to women first- decades before the rest of the nation as you walk upon brick sidewalks, tour original buildings, and stroll through the large mediation garden.
J E Reeves is known as the first Tuscarawas County millionaire earning his fortune in metal manufacturing. His home, the J. E. Reeves Victorian Home and Carriage House Museum, showcases original furnishing and local history.
Ready for dinner? Local restaurants tempt the palate with offerings from smoked meats, authentic Thai, Italian, Chinese, Amish style, and farm-to-table American cuisine, you will love eating at one of these favorite restaurant tables!
Cap off the day with a performance of “Trumpet in the Land” Ohio’s first and finest outdoor theatre production which brings to life the tragic yet inspiring story of David Zeisberger and his Christian Indian followers as they struggled to preserve their peaceful settlement despite the growing violence of the Revolutionary War. The production is set in the very hills once traveled by those portrayed in the show. Watch the warm summer nights come alive with beautiful horses, brilliant fire dances, authentic-looking costumes, fiery battle pyrotechnics, and a lush natural setting.
Day 3: Coffee, canals, and lunch
Start your day like a local and visit one of the many local coffee shops or cafes for your favorite jolt of caffeine. Choose from local donuts, classic dinners, Amish-style or traditional – you will enjoy your time spent savoring your relaxing morning!
Enjoy the great outdoors with a hike on the Ohio and Erie Canalway Towpath. Begin your hike at the Fort Laurens trailhead in Bolivar where you will find plenty of parking and restrooms. Hike south to explore the remains of several hand-constructed locks- remnants from the days 200 years ago when boats traversed the canal.
Enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the area restaurants Sublime Smoke, Canal Street Diner, or Donnie’s Tavern- each featuring local food and quality service for you!
Your drive home after lunch will be filled with the chatter of your favorite sights and discoveries here in Tuscarawas County and filled with happy memories!
For more information, please contact the Tuscarawas County Welcome Center at 800-527-3387 or www.traveltusc.com.
Looking for the perfect location for your next getaway weekend or a simple one-day road trip? Marion, Ohio offers a variety of activities that make it the perfect destination for a day trip or a multi-day stay. Situated in a convenient location in the heart of Ohio, Marion sits along State Route 23 just a short drive north of Columbus and offers multiple options for overnight accommodations.
Looking for a quiet getaway? The Red Barn Loft (Bed and Breakfast) is nestled among farm country and a nearby local vineyard. It bids you to come enjoy a glass of wine, listen to music, and take in the view of a beautiful, country sunset.
Maybe it’s a family weekend for you. Marion offers both putt-putt and disc golf courses. Cooper’s Bowl and Bluefusion Entertainment are the perfect hangouts to bowl a few games and enjoy some arcade fun. Let the little ones burn off some extra energy at the Lincoln Park Aquatic Center, Marion Tallgrass Trails, and the newly constructed Marion Rotary Club Centennial Playground. You’re bound to work up an appetite, so grab an old-fashioned root beer float or visit one of Marion’s many ice cream specialty shops for treats.
Rich in history, Marion is the perfect destination for the history buff. This community offers the opportunity to stand in the spot a president made famous when you visit Harding’s renovated home and newly opened Presidential Museum. Grab a map of the Cultural Corridor to visit historic locations like Heritage Hall, home to the Marion Historical Society and Wyandot Popcorn Museum; Union Station, a unique experience for train enthusiasts; and the 1928 Eberson-built Marion Palace Theatre where you can enjoy live entertainment in a unique atmospheric theatre.
Marion’s reimagined Downtown is the perfect spot for a road trip. Its local dining options are a welcoming setting for sharing laughs with friends while enjoying local favorites. Enjoy a taste of Marion all along the Eaterarian Trail; hop between breweries and specialty bars to enjoy an adult beverage; shop in unique retail stores like Charleston Place, Hope Crossing, and Paisley Peacock; or enjoy a hands-on art activity at Sweada Mae Art Café or Stitch and Skein.
While in downtown Marion, stroll the streets to experience Marion’s newly installed public art display, The Cardinal Project. Celebrate Ohio as the seventeenth state to join the Union at the 17 statues throughout the downtown area. Each features a State Bird uniquely designed and hand-painted with a story to tell.
If you enjoy the outdoors, you’ll be delighted as you make your way along the many walking/biking trails and enjoy the sights and sounds as mother nature comes to life. Find enjoyment in a round of golf with beautiful views including the picturesque King’s Mill Covered Bridge.
Experience the celebration of the all-American apple at Lawrence Orchard’s Applefest and Harvest Weekends. Don’t miss the Blues & BBQ Festival in August. Be sure to bring your appetite and pack your lawn chair for a full day of fun. Visit in September to experience the Popcorn Festival, a street fair celebrating Marion’s history as the popcorn capital of the world.
It’s all waiting in Marion, Ohio, a great destination for your next memory-making moment! For details on these exciting opportunities and more, visit the Marion Area Convention and Visitors Bureau website at https://www.visitmarionohio.com/.
Beyond cliffs, caves and waterfalls Hocking Hills summer fun stars water, air and wildlife adventures
Known for its spectacular hiking trails and natural destinations, the Hocking Hills offers far more than its trademark caves, cliffs and waterfalls. This summer, travelers are encouraged to immerse themselves in this heavenly corner of the state by taking part in its many outdoor adventures. Summertime overflows with an even larger pool of experiences that can take travelers’ adventures to the next level. Travelers can book every element of their summer trip by visiting explorehockinghills.com.
Rappelling, rock challenges, rock climbing and tours like eco, nature therapy and others at High Rock Adventures. Nature’s crevasses and tight spaces in Hocking Hills’ beautiful sandstone cliffs invite travelers to crawl, squeeze, climb and descend, led by skilled guides. Hint: you will get dirty. Whether beginners to advanced climbers, High Rock Adventures customizes experiences for any group. Part geology, part history lesson, visitors learn all about the area’s fascinating natural history on Ecotours where they’re immersed in the magnificence of these hills. Three different rappelling options add to the challenge: flat wall, canyon or a large overhang. Travelers who prefer to keep their feet on the ground will love the rock squeeze and challenge tours.
A one-of-a-kind nature interaction awaits visitors who stop at Butterfly Ridge Conservation Center. From relaxed and calming butterfly tours to nighttime expeditions where moths take center stage at Saturday Moth Lightings after dark. Guests learn firsthand about lifecycles and how these all-important pollinators are doing in Ohio, including how to encourage breeding and health in their own backyard.
Experiencing the Hocking Hills on horseback can be unforgettable with guided trail rides, camping trips and cowboy suppers from Spotted Horse Ranch. Families can not only learn to ride but can hone their horseman skills with lessons on tack, grooming and more at Hocking Hills Horse Rides. Appointments are required at Blue Moon Acres stables, where the motto is, “We want you to ride, not be a passenger.”
Imagine soaring through the treetops, far above the caves and cliffs. Travelers can experience the closest thing to human-powered flight with Hocking Hills Canopy Tours. Suspended on a network of cables, zipliners get a bird’s eye view of the Hocking River, native wildlife, plants and rocks. Off-road Segway tours, Dragonfly Kids Zip and a variety of different canopy tours are a great way to see the Hills from an airborne perspective.
Back down to earth, families, couples and groups of friends can reconnect and have a great time on the water with a canoe, kayak and raft rentals from Fox’s Canoe Livery, which has been making it easy to embark on outdoor experiences on the Hocking River. Hocking Hills Canoe Livery also offers canoe, kayak and tubing trips in two locations between Logan and Nelsonville that bring the Hocking Hills and Wayne National Forest experience alive.
Visitors can also experience the power and magic of our planet with hiking, kayaking and overnight retreats and expeditions from Touch The Earth Adventures. Focused on helping travelers slow down and get in tune with the Earth, guide Mimi Morrison created tours where participants make new friends and memories on day and weekend trips that include everything from a full moon, birding and beaver-watching paddles, to sunrise hikes and kayak trips.
The water is also the major attraction at Lake Logan Marina, where summer travelers can rent pontoons, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and even pedal boats shaped like a duck. Lake Logan offers a small beach and plenty of fun in the water, all surrounded by the natural wonders of the Hocking Hills.
The region’s stunning dark skies let visitors extend their exploration of the Hills into space, with nightly and after-dark programs at John Glenn Astronomy Park when the weather is clear. High-powered telescopes show guests heavenly sights with close-up views of the stars, moon, planets and constellations that are simply magical. The park also brings the sun’s role to life at its solar plaza during daylight hours.
Back when Yahoo ruled the Internet and Google was basically an unknown start-up, the Dot Com Boom imploded.
Out of the pixel dust, Google would rise to conquer the world-wide-web. And OhioTraveler.com would become a staple in the world of Ohio tourism. That was 20 years ago. And what a long, strange trip it’s been.
Frank Rocco Satullo, the creator of OhioTraveler.com, sifted through discs of free AOL hours and discovered easy-to-use software to build a website. He gained media attention for a novel idea: a virtual pet cemetery. Another was a message board to share Ohio’s urban legends. He kept tinkering with ideas until he found what resonated most with Ohioans – free things to do.
Satullo compiled so many things to do for free across the state he decided to publish it all in book form.
Nobody wanted to publish it.
It was at that time, that his day job as the director of marketing for a Fortune-100 company in the investment industry moved across the country. With children under the age of four and strong family ties to Ohio, he decided the move was not in his best interest. So, in pursuit of new employment, Satullo moved his young family from the Cleveland-Akron area to the Cincinnati-Dayton area to run a marketing department for another Fortune-100 company. While this was happening, he self-published the book FREE Ohio Fun. Barnes N Noble and Borders bookstores agreed to carry it statewide. In May of 2002, he registered the URL OhioTraveler.com with plans to add attractions and destinations beyond the freebies.
Book sales were strong so Satullo decided to make the biggest sales pitch of his life. It wasn’t to an angel investor – it was to his wife (his personal angel investor so to speak) who just started back to work as a special education teacher. Over the next two years, Satullo pursued the American dream of self-employment. He built his website content to become an all-inclusive resource for Ohio travel and tourism. It shared “free things to do” as well as “places worth the price of admission.”
The start-up venture meant that a trip to the video store (Remember Blockbuster?), was no longer in the family budget. Pizza delivery was another casualty. The family even decided to forgo a summer of cable television.
But these sacrifices were met with optimism and energy. Google fell in love with OhioTraveler.com and put it at the top of many organic search results. And in year three, the full-time fledgling business (run out of the spare bedroom), achieved what is called “paydirt.” And for the next dozen years or so, OhioTraveler.com rode a wave to statewide recognition.
OhioTraveler’s video production began when HD cameras went from $12,000 to “affordable.” Still, Satullo couldn’t afford the new technology. His first video was panned in a “chat room” (before social media) as the worst on the Internet. He adapted, and kept filming believing his creativity would prevail. Several years later, his videos earned half a dozen statewide tourism video awards.
Satullo always looked for fun with his new ideas to set OhioTraveler apart from its competition. One of his fearless ideas seemed more like a foolish one. He tried it anyway. And the “Boneheaded Tourist” was set loose to explore Ohio. This program sent a mini mannequin Satullo’s mother-in-law made to attractions across Ohio. Each host site used the funny-looking mascot to share their experience in photos and video clips. Each visit showcased the destination while using humor to keep the “Boneheaded Tourist” from getting into mischief while he was there.
As all things Internet continued to change, sometimes rapidly, Satullo became an early adapter of the secure (SSL) Internet. It was a year later that he learned the non-secure sites of his advertisers (nearly all of them) no longer showed OhioTraveler as a top referrer of traffic to their websites. It was a techno glitch. Before long, the problem was resolved. So it goes. You never know where the next problem will arise in technology but be sure, it is coming.
Over the years, the tourism space on the Internet has grown to one of the most competitive classes online. Every visitors’ bureau, chamber of commerce, main street organization, newspaper, magazine, radio, television, attraction, store, restaurant, hotel, festival, and event website – just to name some –competes for the same pool of potential visitors. And that was before social media exploded with bloggers galore.
OhioTraveler.com’s 65,000 monthly subscribers/unique visitors for its digital Ohio travel magazine were no longer enough to stand out. Satullo had to integrate Facebook, and other social media platforms like everyone else to remain relevant. And just as Satullo’s OhioTraveler social media channels neared 65,000 followers, the rug beneath the tourism world (and the entire world) was completely yanked out without warning by a thing called COVID.
Satullo, like so many others, had to change course at the drop of a dime. OhioTraveler’s next monthly edition was scrapped and replaced with virtual tours. It was a time when everyone was grounded, and drive-by birthday parties became a thing. OhioTraveler ran a contest along the “six-foot” theme for social distancing. It showed the creativity of its fans and gave pause to laugh when things were anything but funny. Since travel guides were sitting at kiosks statewide largely untouched, Satullo offered every visitors’ bureau to post theirs on OhioTraveler.com for free. And as the infamous year 2020 progressed, outdoor destinations for hiking, paddling, and cabins soared. That was the lone bright spot in an otherwise bleak time for tourism.
In a year of open again—closed again whiplash, much of Ohio tourism folded up shop and said, “To hell with it! See you next year, hopefully.”
Now it’s “next year.” So OhioTraveler.com and other comeback stories, along with newcomers in Ohio travel and tourism are looking at what may be a promising year, OhioTraveler.com’s 20th!
Let the OhioTraveler tell you a Lake Erie island story.
You may want to travel right now but can’t.
So sit back and listen to your Tour Guide to Fun.
And we’ll have an adventure, together.
The weekend is calling and asking for a new adventure to start the summer that includes sunrise over the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in beautiful Tuscarawas County, Ohio. Afterward, plan to enjoy a hike on one of many trails and then the serenity of a drive throughout the Swiss and Amish culture areas. It sounds relaxing, doesn’t it?
Offering unique restaurants, wineries, and breweries, thriving quaint downtowns filled with boutiques, antiques, and bookstores, not to mention National Landmark historic attractions that share early history, and Ohio’s state play- Trumpet in the Land outdoor drama, there are plenty of adventures to delve into! Come hungry; there is local food around every corner!
Friday afternoon kicks off the weekend with a stroll through downtown New Philadelphia where the arts scene is vibrant with murals and galleries. Browse the stalls at Alley Cats Marketplace where over 40 vendors sell their arts, crafts, and distinctive products. sell the Afterwards sample oils and vinegar at OV Harvest located just down the street from the town square. As the sun sinks into the horizon, relax and dine like a local enjoying the fine, culinary experiences at Craft Bistro & Lounge, or the Italian influences of the county at Venue and Uncle Primo’s. Cap off your day with a glass of wine or mug of beer at the area’s wineries or breweries where you likely will enjoy live music, too! Explore nine wineries and three breweries during your stay. Each pleases the palate with a distinctive character and a unique environment. When it’s finally time to call it a day, enjoy the comforts of one of the many hotels in the area.
Start your Saturday in Dennison or Dreamsville as it was called in the 1940s by the WWII soldiers who were served at the Canteen operated by volunteers at the Dennison Depot. Enjoy breakfast at Over the Rail Diner inside the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum and their menu of “mom and pop food.” The diner’s 1940’s décor echoes the location heritage where 1.5million Troops were served free food, coffee, and smiles. Today the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum is a National Historic Landmark and carefully preserved as the most significant remaining example of a WWII canteen. Portions of the museum are housed in train cars including an actual medical car.
Travel to Sugarcreek for your next stop and spend time exploring the “Little Switzerland of Ohio” and home to the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock and the Ohio Star Theater. The area merchants include fashion for your home and yourself, antiques, and a delightful quilt shop. Plan for lunch at Dutch Valley Restaurant enjoying Amish-country style cuisine or savoring the “pie-losophy” of farm-fresh, locally sourced ingredients on your new favorite pie at Park Street Pizza. There’s no wrong choice and both will provide a delightful dining experience.
Your summer Saturday is capped off with a performance of “Trumpet in the Land” Ohio’s first and finest outdoor theatre production, brings to life the tragic but inspiring story of David Zeisberger and his Christian Indian followers as they struggled to preserve their peaceful settlement despite the growing violence of the Revolutionary War. The production is set in the very hills once traveled by those portrayed in the show. Watch the warm summer nights come alive with beautiful horses, brilliant fire dances, authentic-looking costumes, fiery battle pyrotechnics, and a beautiful natural setting.
What’s Sunday without fresh, homemade luscious donuts and the best coffee to pair with these delightful treats? Wake up with donuts and coffee at Dough Co. Doughnuts and Coffee located on the Boulevard in Dover, afterwards plan to spend your morning exploring Historic Zoar Village. Located at the northern end of the county, the entire village has been declared a National Historic Landmark District by the US Parks Department. First settled in the mid-1800s by German immigrants seeking religious freedoms, the village became one of the most successful communal societies. Take a leisurely walk through the village appreciating the architecture of the carefully preserved brick buildings, the lovingly tended gardens, and a guided tour through the museum. Stop at the bakery before you leave for some favorite village baked goods.
Fort Laurens, Ohio’s only Revolutionary War fort, is just a short drive from Zoar Village in the town of Bolivar. Explore the museum and then take a hike on the Ohio and Erie Canalway Towpath which has a trailhead adjacent to the museum grounds. Hike south on the trail and be treated to exploring the remains to two original Canalway locks!
Enjoy lunch in downtown historic Bolivar before you leave for home. Locals know that the best home-cooked meal will be found at Canal Street Diner. Offering diners freshly baked bread and features such as roast beef, pulled pork, and homemade soups and salads, you will want to save room for a slice of their homemade pie, too!
Located on I-77 and a short drive from major airports, Tuscarawas County is easy to find, fun to explore, and deliciously delightful to savor! For more information on these and other memorable destinations in the county, visit www.TravelTUSC.com or phone 800-527-3387.
Imagine sitting on one of America’s most famous front porches. Or enjoying a performance in a historic theatre. Or soaking in the atmosphere of a historic downtown. All that and more waits for you in Marion, Ohio.
Home to the nation’s 29th President, Warren G. Harding, Marion welcomes you to visit the newly restored home of Harding and his wife Florence to discover what life was like in the 1920s. Stand on the famous front porch where Warren spoke to thousands during his campaign. Behind the home, you can learn even more about this time in history at the newly opened Warren G. Harding Presidential Museum. Enjoy exhibits on politics and social issues of the time. Discover how the nation went forward in the aftermath of World War I. And learn more about the President and the First Lady.
Marion’s historic Palace Theatre has been reveling audiences since the 1920s and that tradition continues today. Each season is filled with concerts from national touring artists and grand local theatrical productions. A visit to the theatre itself is worth a trip – The lobby prepares guests for transport to another place and another time. Entrance into the auditorium reveals the makings of a Spanish courtyard complete with muted stucco walls, crawling vines, and a midnight blue sky with birds in flight, twinkling stars, and clouds float overhead. Statues adorn the Palace walls and crests outline the grand proscenium stage.
Still need more for your nostalgia fix? The Wyandot Popcorn Museum inside the Marion County Historical Society’s Heritage Hall contains the world’s largest and only museum with a collection of antique popcorn carts, wagons, trucks, and other machinery – all restored to their original beauty. Heritage Hall is also the home of the Marion County Historical Society and its exhibits on pioneer life, the industrial age, and more.
You can fill in your time between these great attractions strolling through Marion’s Cultural Corridor. This two-mile strip in the historic downtown boasts an abundance of local eateries, retail shops, microbreweries, and more. Satisfy your tastebuds with Southern creole, Memphis barbeque, wood-fired pizza, seafood, and comfort food served diner style. Shops include ladies boutiques, one of the state’s largest gaming stores, an art gallery, a Christian bookstore, and more.
Outdoor lovers will find peace in nature at the 12-mile Marion Tallgrass Trail where you can observe wildlife such as deer, eagles, and possibly beavers in the nearby lake. Or visit Lawrence Orchards, a one-hundred-year-old fruit farm featuring 28 varieties of apples and a market full of tasty treats. For the wine lover, Shamrock Winery hosts wine tastings summer days and by appointment or enjoy one of their twilight dinners by reservation.
For the foodies in your group, head out on Marion’s Eterarian Trail. What is an Eaterarian. Someone who likes to find those out-of-the-way eateries with great food, an unassuming atmosphere, and where having a laugh with friends isn’t considered inappropriate. Eaterarians usually find these places by accident. Stumble upon them while on the road and think, “That place looks interesting. Let’s stop there.” These are the places with those ‘best-ever’ breakfasts, works-of-art burgers, authentic throwbacks, and just plain, comfortable food.
Whether you are looking for nightlife, great performances, history adventures, memorable dining, or relaxing in a small-town atmosphere, Marion is the place to make memories this year. Plan your visit at https://www.visitmarionohio.com/.
The Wilds offer a variety of excursions that are certain to create lasting memories for the whole family. Whether it’s a first-time visitor or returning guest, there are lots to see and do at this safari park and conservation center.
Cutting-edge conservation science and education programs provide hands-on experiences. Established in 1984, The Wilds resides on nearly 10,000 acres of reclaimed surface mining land. Today, it is home to more than 30 rare and endangered species from around the globe. The animals are provided wide, open pastures to roam, coexist, and amaze the guests. Over the past several months, The Wilds has welcomed five Sichuan takin kids, three white rhinoceros calves, nine Père David’s deer fawns, and three scimitar-horned oryx calves. These offspring are as exciting for conservationists as they are adorable for all animal lovers.
Visitors can choose to ride in a pick-up truck to feed giraffes or meet a rhino on a Wildside Tour or feel the breeze on an Open-Air Safari tour while snapping breathtaking photos.
Some of The Wilds’ newest and exciting experiences include the Secrets of the Zoo Wildside Tour and WildNights at the Outpost experience. During the Secrets of the Zoo Wildside Tour, guests will enjoy a special variation of a Wildside Tour led by one of The Wilds’ Animal Management team members, who appear on the hit Nat Geo WILD TV series, Secrets of the Zoo. Guests who opt for a WildNights at the Outpost experience will spend the night in the middle of The Wilds’ pastures with rhinos and other rare and incredible species nearby. From lounging around the fire pit, relaxing on covered decks, and exploring vast, breathtaking views, this once-in-a-lifetime experience includes a pre-packaged cooler complete with camping groceries.
Adventure-seeking guests can also opt to soar over animal pastures on a Zipline Safari tour, enjoy a relaxing Fishing Safari tour on one of nearly 100 lakes at The Wilds, or saddle up on a Horseback Safari tour through the quiet prairies.
To round out a perfect day, from June until September, The Wilds will offer additional tours at sunset:
Guests are encouraged to sign-up for a membership to The Wilds to enjoy the wonderful perks that come with it. Membership includes free Open-Air Safari tours from May through October, discounts on premium safari experiences, free parking, member benefits for Nomad Ridge, The Lodge, and The Wilds’ Cabins at Straker Lake, a subscription to The Wilds’ digital member magazine, discounts at The Wilds’ Gift Market and Overlook Café and more. Members of The Wilds also receive a 50% discount on regular-priced Columbus Zoo and Aquarium tickets.
A trip to The Wilds can also be extended by booking a getaway and staying at one of the park’s overnight accommodations. Nomad Ridge is an adults-only getaway that includes a furnished private yurt overlooking animal pastures. For groups of up to 12 people, The Lodge is the perfect “home away from home,” as guests will stay in a private luxury cabin tucked away next to one of The Wilds’ most scenic lakes. Looking for a great place to stay for the whole family? The Wilds’ Cabins at Straker Lake offers accommodations for up to six guests with comfortable living areas and kitchens. These overnight accommodations are perfect for vacations, corporate retreats, and honeymoons, too.
From May–October, The Wilds is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (The last tour departs at 4 p.m.) Pricing varies depending on the tour and advanced reservations are required.
For more information or to schedule a tour, please visit TheWilds.org.
Are you ready to get outside? As the Mohican-Loudonville area businesses, shopping, restaurants, wineries, breweries, recreation, campgrounds and lodging owners are preparing and opening their facilities, they are doing so, following all guidelines to keep visitors and staff safe. So when you are ready to practice your social distancing in the great outdoors, Mohican-Loudonville is ready to welcome you back!
So what is there to do in the Camp & Canoe Capital of Ohio? Take a canoe or kayak down the Mohican State Scenic River, try the zip line or aerial adventure park. Go-karts, mini-golf, and more. Summertime is perfect for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and festivals.
And what would a vacation be without shopping? The Mohican-Loudonville area has a quaint downtown with independent shop owners that will introduce the visitor to an array of art, clothing, jewelry, electronics, antiques, crafts, gadgets that solve all sorts of issues, and more. Creative Outlet Indian Store has the largest selection of Authentic Native American jewelry and artwork in northern Ohio. Four Seasons has two full floors of gifts, boutique, collectibles, and flowers to explore.
Mohican is also the gateway to Amish Country, just a short drive to Millersburg or Berlin with shopping galore!
DiscoverMohican.com has plenty of options to keep the traveler(s) on budget without compromising any wants on the trip. From campgrounds to cabins, a castle to a state park lodge, inns to bed & breakfast there is something for everyone.
Some places have savings all year long. For example, if looking for a cabin along the Mohican State Scenic River, check out Blackfork Cabins. The longer the stay, the more there is to save. Put your child’s report card to work! Mohican State Park Lodge offers a “Stays for A’s” program that awards $10.00 off for every A on your child’s report card, up to a $50.00 savings. They also offer a special rate for the “Savvy Seniors”. Guests over the age of 65 can enjoy the lodge’s special discounted rates.
So much to do, so little time. Whether here for a week or the weekend, there is something for everyone. Isn’t it time to Discover Mohican?
Steubenville and Jefferson County are ready to welcome you to explore history as you take a break from staying safe at home and begin your summer adventures. For those who don’t want to stray too far, a visit to Steubenville, one of the oldest cities in Ohio, offers the opportunity to step back in time and experience life in early America.
Begin at Historic Fort Steuben, a completely reconstructed 18th-century military fort on its original site overlooking the Ohio River. The eight wooden buildings, guardhouse, and palisade – laid out according to maps and letters preserved at the Clemens Library at the University of Michigan – present a glimpse of the skills, creativity, and hardships of the 150 men who inhabited the Fort in 1786-1787. Self-guided tours allow visitors to explore at their own pace, or visitors can arrange in advance to have a knowledgeable tour guide present the stories of the soldiers and surveyors for whom the Fort was a temporary home. An active archaeological dig is a reminder that the area had been occupied by Native American people over 500 years ago and still unearths artifacts from the past two centuries. The Fort Steuben Visitor Center houses an Exhibit Hall with seasonal displays and programs as well as a Museum Shop with books, toys, maps, and souvenirs. Visitors can find travel and tourism information there as well. As with other historic and tourism sites, the Fort and Visitor Center follow strict sanitary protocols to guarantee a safe and pleasant visit.
Adjacent to the Fort is the original log structure, the First Federal Land Office of the Northwest Territory, established in 1800. This historic building has a tale of its own to tell as it was hidden and then uncovered and then moved at least five times! It is now open and displayed as a 19th century home office where the registrar sold and documented deeds to the new land in Ohio open to settlement.
Located on the beautiful Ohio River, the city of Steubenville quickly grew around the site of the original fort and became an industrial giant in the 20th century. The history of the city and its citizens are portrayed in larger-than-life murals displayed on buildings throughout the downtown and central shopping districts. From the earliest days of horse-pulled fire engines to the celebration of modern heroes such as the Tuskegee Airmen, the City of Murals allows viewers to enjoy art while easily social-distancing. Brochures and information on the murals can be obtained at the Fort Steuben Visitor Center.
Historic North Fourth Street showcases the stately homes of those early industrialists as well as unique shops and eateries that can be found on a stroll along the avenue. The downtown area is home to more than a dozen historic churches that boast rich stained-glass windows and stunning architecture.
More history can be found driving through Jefferson County and visiting Historic Mount Pleasant, a major hub for the Underground Railroad and home of important abolitionists of the 19th century. The Historical Society of Mount Pleasant owns six historic buildings, each one a museum in itself. Additionally, the Ohio Yearly Meeting House – an amazing Quaker structure – is included in their tours. At this time, tours and buildings are open by appointment only, however, there is a complimentary walking tour available on Trover.com.
After taking a walk through history, try a walk on one of the trails in Jefferson County. Check out the Birding Trail at Friendship Park or the Beatty Park Trail in Steubenville.
As Ohio recovers from Covid19, there will be many other sites and events where travelers can be educated, refreshed, and entertained all within a few hours’ drive. Check the website www.visitsteubenville.com or the Facebook page to find up-to-date information. In the meantime, the folks here in Jefferson County wish you to stay safe and enjoy the summer!
Sidney’s Tawawa Park
Located on I-75 just 30 miles north of Dayton, Ohio you will find a wonderful variety of outdoor recreation sure to satisfy every travel preference. Among the best is Sidney’s Tawawa Park. The park itself consists of 220 wooded acres, two picturesque lakes, and a meandering creek. Tawawa Park was deeded to the City of Sidney in 1956, but its origins trace back much, much further.
After the “Big Four” Railroad was relocated in the early 1920s the abandoned railroad bed became a popular hiking trail, especially to the lake to fish and to visit Big Rock. Walking along the canal towpath was a favorite pastime in the spring and fall of the year. Today, Tawawa Park continues as a tranquil respite and features amenities found only in the country’s premier civic parklands.
Bicycling and hiking enthusiasts are sure to enjoy the miles of trails stretching through densely wooden areas, along streams, and scenic overlooks. Old-growth trees and wildflowers adorn the landscape. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch and don’t forget your camera. You’re sure to find an abundance of photo ops while on your Tawawa adventure.
For those who enjoy fishing, Tawawa Park features two lakes and a stream. The lakes are freshly stocked annually and host a variety of species that are always fun to catch. Fishing licenses are required and all fishing in the lakes and streams is from the bank.
Have you heard of Big Rock? Arguably Tawawa’s most iconic natural feature, Big Rock is twelve feet high at its tallest point and weighs 103 tons. 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. Big Rock is a must-see and a great place to rest for a bit before your exploration continues.
The Ross Bridge is yet another not-to-be-missed photo stop at Tawawa Park. The bridge closely resembles several covered bridges constructed in Central Ohio by pioneer bridge designer and builder, Rueben L. Partridge (1823 to 1900).
For the kids, you will find ample playground equipment, soccer and baseball fields, and shallow creeks to wade when the water levels are safe to do so. Constructed just last year, the all-inclusive play area is an ideal spot to spend some time while the kids take turns on the toys there.
A number of attractive shelter houses with tables are also on the property for picnics, family reunions, and friendly get-togethers. For those wanting to plan ahead, these ideal gathering sites can be reserved in advance at no charge.
Throughout the year special events are organized at the park that includes a popular Cruise-In car show in June and Civil War Reenactment in September. Those interested in learning more about these and the other organized events at Tawawa Park are encouraged to view the Sidney Visitors Bureau events calendar for specific dates and times.
Downtown Sidney is an easy bike ride or a short walk from the park and offers a nice variety of restaurants, bistros, and charming shops. Craft beer aplenty paired with everything from juicy burgers to delicious entrees, the eateries in downtown Sidney are sure to satisfy and will have you excitedly planning your next visit while enjoying your meal.
Tawawa Park is good for the soul. Travelers from near and far rate Tawawa Park at nearly five stars on Trip Advisor. Says one guest, “Tawawa is, hands down, one of the most amazing city parks I’ve been to. A true hidden gem is little old Sidney, Ohio. Love to run, bike, and hike here. There’s even a small (but obscure) mountain bike trail! Lots of playgrounds for kids, the hiking trails transport you to what feels like another state, lots of places to picnic or have a kid’s birthday party or family reunion. If you come, be sure to explore! You’ll be amazed!”
Stretch your legs. Get back to nature. Take in the fresh air. Tawawa Park’s natural beauty and tranquility will rejuvenate your spirit.
For every recreation interest, the possibilities are many in Sidney. Visitors can select from 8 carefully prepared travel itineraries or build their own from a long list of things to see and do. Additional information about the many fine attractions in west-central Ohio can be found on the website of the Sidney Visitors Bureau at www.VisitSidneyShelby.com.
Come visit Marion, Ohio
An old-fashioned root beer stand with carhops, a multi-generation apple orchard, the home of a president, a cozy café in an historic downtown. These are the things that make memories.
Come visit us in Marion and find out why we say you will “Find Your Place at Your Pace.” Enjoy some nightlife at one of our local gastro pubs or live entertainment on the historic stage at the Palace Theatre. Tour the newly restored home of our 29th President. Then take in the sights and smells of the past at the country’s largest popcorn museum.
Still hungry? Pick up a copy of our Eaterarian Trail guide to discover our famous and not-so-famous unique eateries. Or perhaps you would like to hit the links for a round of golf with friends, or maybe do some shopping downtown to pick up a unique gift crafted by our local artisans.
The outdoors more your style? The Marion Tallgrass Trail is waiting with 12 miles of paved enjoyment through prairie, woods, and fields, or you can get your nature on at Big Island Wildlife Area to watch some birds, as well as its other residents.
Throw in some great events like the Blues & BBQ Festival, Marion Popcorn Festival, and the Wings & Wheels vintage plane/auto show and you just might have to come back for a second weekend.
Whatever your idea of a perfect weekend getaway, you’ll find it in Marion where the people are friendly, the traffic is nonexistent, and the pace is comfortable and relaxing.
Find your place, at your pace, in Marion! VisitMarionOhio.com.
Enjoy the fun-photos and shenanigans
of the Tour Guide to Fun’s past trips
by clicking these stops:
Greene County Ohio Historical Society
Ashtabula County Visitors Bureau
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
A new adventure is posted every month.
Dive in for a good time!
Get Social with your “Tour Guide to Fun!”
Follow your “Tour Guide to Fun” by clicking “subscribe” at the top of this page or following OhioTraveler.com at
Try Geocaching along the Scarr Loop Trail, a moderate, 2-mile hiking trail. But please practice your social distancing to be courteous to others on the trail.
Geocaching is defined as “a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location,” according to the official website (www.geocaching.com).
To take part in this treasure hunt, users just need a GPS-enabled device (like any SmartPhone)! There is a specific app to download called, you guessed it, Geocaching® (Anything you need to know about Geocaching is at www.geocaching.com). From there, users create a free account and start caching. There are millions of geocaches all over the world! Geocachers simply enter in their zip code to begin finding caches near them. Anyone can make one and publish it to the app for others to find! Each location is associated with longitude and latitude coordinates to enter into the app and follow along. At each cache site, there will be a container with some small treasure, placed there by the creator in a (preferably) waterproof container. Other geocachers may take it and replace it with something of their own! Sometimes there is a bad apple that will take the cache without leaving something. Don’t be that guy.
With that said, the Geocaching community is one to be a part of! When a new trail launches, geocachers are notified and a reception is held near the trail site. Geocachers come from all over the world to find new caches. Once a trail is complete, collectible geocoins can be earned! This is beneficial for the cachers, the communities, and tourism in general! Generally, Geocachers don’t congregate; it is very much an individual/small group activity – ideal for this time of social distancing.
The Coshocton Crow Geotrail caches are updated and managed frequently. Explore Coshocton County when you escape to the outdoors. Geotrails are a fun activity and good exercise.
Click here to download/print the Coshocton Crow Geotrail Passport (it lists all of the coordinates users will need!).
and may not be on our featured videos channel in the menu above.
The Waterfalls at Hocking Hills
A Quick View of the “Shawshank” Prison
Garden Railway for Model Trains
Well, it’s not a secret to the locals in the Hillsboro, Ohio area. Several miles north of town at 10211 Careytown Road in New Vienna, Ohio is a simple wood board that reads, “Waterfall.” Pull off the road into a small gravel parking lot. A winding path stretches about a mile or so into the Fallsville Wildlife Area. First, you’ll hear the waterfall. Then, you’ll see an access trail to the top of the falls. But the best vantage point is down a hillside (it’s somewhat steep but well-traveled), leading to the base of the falls where people stand and take in the beauty of its cascade.
In celebration of the variety of wineries and breweries that have sprung up throughout Delaware County in recent years, Destination Delaware County Ohio has unveiled their new Vine & Bine Trail. The trail, a collaboration of 10 local wine and ale makers, takes visitors on a trip across the county and allows them to sample some of the best locally-produced wine and beer in the region.
“Delaware County has some of the finest wines and craft beers in Ohio, and the Vine & Bine Trail is a terrific way to recognize and celebrate the county’s booming wineries and breweries,” said Joan Ayscue, communications assistant for Destination Delaware County Ohio. “Spanning from downtown Delaware to Powell, this trail is an easy way to sample these innovative wines and ales, while also exploring the region.”
The trail, cleverly named after the stems that grow a wine’s grapes and a beer’s hops, brings awareness to the robust wine and beer scene the county has developed. It also recognizes the local ingredients used to make several of the region’s award-winning beverages.
“Many of the wineries and breweries use local ingredients in their winemaking and brewing processes,” Ayscue added. “The impact of these businesses goes beyond the patrons who frequent these establishments. It truly is a county-wide collaborative effort between the vintners/brewers and the farmers.”
Delaware County has four wineries and six breweries in the region that boast award-winning wine and craft ales. Wines on the trail range from full-bodied reds, to fruity whites, to dessert wines and more. Some of the different beers featured on the trail include names like: Pandora’s Juice Box; Powell! Right in the Kisser; Whetstone Lager; Beta Flash New England IPA; Wildcat Sally (Saison Farmhouse Ale); and Smelly Pirate (Rum Raisin Belgian Quad).
“When people think of craft wine and beer, they may not initially think of Delaware County,” Ayscue said. “However, we have some of the best wineries and breweries in the Midwest here. This trail is a fantastic way to position Delaware County as a leader in the craft beverage scene, and attract wine and beer enthusiasts to the area.”
To learn more about the Vine & Bine Trail or view a detailed map of the trail, visit https://www.visitdelohio.com/. Visitors of the trail also are encouraged to share their experiences on social media and use the hashtags #visitdelohio and #vineandbinedelco.
Troy Main Street and its partners have championed a variety of extraordinary art exhibits to the downtown Troy area. It all started with a vision of curating an exhibit of life-size sculptures by Seward Johnson. From this, Sculptures on the Square was formed, and its mission continues as it introduces outdoor art to residents and visitors. Beginning June 14, 2019, you can witness the excitement for yourself.
As visitors begin their journey around Troy’s downtown area, they will come upon kids playing Frisbee or a couple drinking coffee. They will venture upon someone enjoying the outdoors while reading a book or they may see a lovely woman carrying a picnic basket. But they’re not real. Instead…they’re beautiful sculptures created by a master sculptor, Seward Johnson. These expressions of reality are easy to imagine, the sculptures are so lifelike.
The Sculptures on the Square committee, led by Troy Main Street, along with many enthusiastic committee members, welcomes Seward Johnson’s “Celebrating the Familiar”. Back by popular demand, these incredible works of art depict life-like people performing day-to-day activities. Two additional sculptures will be from Seward Johnson’s “Beyond the Frame” series. These finely detailed vignettes allow visitors to step into the painting and stroll amid the life scale bronze figures, becoming part of the scene. And finally, we will be introduced to a few of his “Icons Revisited”. In this series, Johnson explores what makes an image stick with us; become something more than its one moment in time. As they adorn the downtown streets as if frozen in dance, you may find the sculptures are both lyrical and fluid and can be perceived as engaged with those who visit.
A more local spin to this exhibit will include a series of additional public art displays and interactive workshops and activities for folks, young and old. Many of these works of art will be displayed in businesses throughout the summer. This exciting addition has been made possible by Premier Health/Upper Valley Medical Center.
The twenty-one selected sculptures will be available for public viewing on June 14th and will be unveiled at a public opening on Prouty Plaza. Live music will follow and will surely kick off this monumental three-month celebration of the arts in downtown Troy. The Sculptures on the Square event has been made possible by a generous grant from the Troy Foundation and the “Beyond the Frame” series is sponsored by Kettering Health Network.
Troy Main Street, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 organization. The Mission of the organization is to create a charming, prosperous, and interactive downtown Troy through strong economic development, planned historic preservation, continued enhancements, and exceptional programming. For more information, visit troymainstreet.org.
Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler
We know, nobody NEEDS a new reason to enjoy the amazing activities and summer fun at Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands! But whether you’re a regular visitor or a newbie just learning the ropes of all the fun there is to be had, everyone enjoys learning about the exciting, new things available.
Here are just a few of the new attractions offered this year:
Monster Jam® Thunder Alley roars into Cedar Point this summer, ONLY through June 30! Get up close, sit in, and even ride in some of your favorite Monster Jam trucks at this all-new, limitedime experience. Monster Jam Thunder Alley includes four adrenaline-charged experiences included with park admission. Forbidden Frontier on Adventure Island also makes its debut at the park. The new attraction is described as an interactive experience, where you are challenged both mentally and physically to solve the mystery surrounding the Forbidden Frontier. It is said every experience has a different ending, determined by the player and the secrets unlocked.
Skydive Put-in-Bay offers a unique new way to experience island thrills. Tandem jumps are available with island-based air service, Island Air Taxi, in conjunction with instructor JR Piosek, with over 20 years of experience and more than 19,000 jumps. Jumps include hand cam video to document your one-of-a-kind adventure.
The Lake Erie Shores & Islands Cheers Trail is a fun way to explore area wineries, breweries, and distilleries. With 18 locations to discover, this new trail offers a reward to those who visit five locations. Pick up a brochure at one of the Lake Erie Shores & Islands welcome centers, get stickers when you make a qualifying purchase at participating locations, and return your trail map with five stickers to receive a free gift. Complete the entire trail, and you can be entered to win a future getaway!
The Marketplace at the Cooke is a new indoor retail and restaurant space in downtown Sandusky, part of a $6 million renovation of the iconic Cooke Building at the corner of Columbus Ave. and Market St. Businesses within the marketplace include a Sandusky Children’s Museum, Noble Axes axe-throwing, Fancy Me Boutique, Bake Erie specialty sweets, Doughin’ Crazy edible cookie dough and ice cream, Derrick Jr’s barbecue and soul food, and Sandusky Bell and Deli. The marketplace will also host pop-up-shops from various local artisans.
Port Clinton offers a brand new, four-story Fairfield Inn and Suites, which recently opened at a beautiful waterfront location. The new 85-room hotel features lakeside views and large suites along with Marriott Hotel amenities such as fast Wi-Fi, continental breakfast, fitness center, and indoor pool.
New this year at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions are two escape room attractions for families. Families will love these new “Out of This World” escape rooms. The adventures are perfect for all experience levels. Check out this two-part mission and book the Desert of Time where you’ll be transported into space, then finish out your journey as you Escape from Planet Obscura on a quest back to planet Earth.
Lakeside Chautauqua dedicated to nurturing mind, body, and spirit. Lago Coastal Café The brand-new Pickleball Center opens this summer and the Lakeside Chautauqua organization recently introduced a new app which offers program and schedule information on mobile devices. The Lakeside Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of new music director and conductor Daniel Meyer, will add a Pops concert and two new matinee youth concerts to its schedule.
Erie Shore Wave Runners is now open at Captain’s Corner Marina in Vermilion. In addition to wave runner rentals, the business offers guided tours through the Vermilion Lagoons, Vermilion River, and the nearby coastline via personal watercraft.
These are just a few of the new and notable attractions coming online this summer. Discover more at https://www.shoresandislands.com/. What will you add to your summer Shores & Islands bucket list?
Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler
The Casa at Gervasi Vineyard (“casa” translates to the word “house” in Italian) is a single-story 18,000 sq. ft. hotel that houses 24 luxury individual suites. The new hotel is located behind the destination’s new distillery, The Still House, on the southwest quadrant of the 55-acre estate adjacent to the south vineyard.
The structure complements the Tuscan paradise with the same mission décor including off-white stucco with a dark roof, wood accents and wrought iron. Wall niches and Italian tile inlays adorn both the interior and exterior of the guest rooms. Italian tile floors include wood accents; rustic beams and wood ceiling details crown the Tuscan-inspired look. The hotel features a grand entrance lobby with spectacular details offering a shared social space for guests. In addition, beautifully decorated side-lobbies and niches are offered as a cozy hideaway.
“We are proud to have grown the Gervasi brand and continue to build Gervasi Village from our Italian heritage”, said Ted Swaldo, Proprietor, GV Destinations. “The Tuscan-mission style structure of the new boutique hotel wraps around a beautiful European-landscaped courtyard to complement the Italian landscape design of Gervasi Vineyard, but is unique in its own way.”
Each guest suite features a beautiful covered veranda with a view and access to a private courtyard and pond featuring lush gardens. Inside, the lavish suites offer a tastefully styled 375 sq. ft. space featuring high-end amenities including a luxury king-sized bed, fireplace, two club chairs, a walk-up bar with glassware for both wine and spirits, heated tile floors, spacious bathroom with walk-in shower and heated towel bars, in-room refrigerator offering select beverages, Keurig brewing system with Gervasi Caffé K-cups, robe and slippers, as well as other deluxe amenities.
Overnight guests are offered a selection of five Italian-style gourmet continental breakfasts delivered to their rooms each morning. Deluxe in-room spa services are available for overnight guests including manicures, pedicures, facials, individual and couples massages, and in-room yoga with advance request. Gervasi wines, spirits, specialty foods, and flowers may also be ordered for delivery to guest suites.
“Our exciting nine year journey of the expansion culminates with the opening of our high end boutique hotel. This spectacular addition to Gervasi Vineyard really solidifies us a unique and upscale destination resort, and is the capstone to our 55-acre estate. We couldn’t be more proud and excited to share it with our community and the region,” said Scott Swaldo, General Manager, GV Destinations.
The hotel features an exercise room and laundry facilities for all guests that stay overnight on the property. The destination resort now offers a total of 48 luxury suites between The Casa and The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard. In addition, The Farmhouse (the original residence on the property, circa 1820) also offers accommodations for up to eight guests in four bedrooms, complete with a modern kitchen, large dining room and quaint wrap-around porch facing the spring-fed lake.
Gervasi Vineyard is a unique Tuscan-inspired, upscale destination winery resort featuring award-winning wines, distilled spirits, craft beer, and fabulous cuisine. The 55-acre estate offers breathtaking views of a spring-fed lake, vineyards and picturesque landscaping. Gervasi offers an exceptional wine portfolio featuring over 30 varietals with a focus on classical European varieties and includes three premier estate-grown North American hybrids.
Dine in three distinct restaurants, featuring exceptional house made cuisine made with only the freshest ingredients. The Italian Bistro, located in an historic barn, features rustic upscale dining. The Crush House Wine Bar & Eatery offers a casual setting featuring a contemporary flair. The seasonal outdoor venue, The Piazza patio, features traditional, yet casual menu for dining al fresco by the lake. The new distillery, The Still House features craft cocktails in a lounge-like setting, and serves as a coffeehouse by day.
Boutique shopping is offered in the Marketplace Gift Shop and features Gervasi Wines, Gervasi Spirits, imported Italian oils, specialty items, jewelry and collectibles. Luxury accommodations featuring 48 suites in The Villas and the new Casa boutique hotel offer high end amenities.
Special events include complimentary winery and distillery tours, wine and food pairings, seasonal vineyard tours, Cucina cooking classes, live music, educational classes, festivals and more.
Gervasi Vineyard is Gervasi Vineyard is rated by AAA as a Four-Diamond property for accommodations. It’s located at 1700 55th Street NE in Canton, Ohio. For more information about Gervasi Vineyard and GV Destinations, visit www.gervasivineyard.com.
The McKinley Presidential Library & Museum’s new Keller Gallery exhibition Stark County Food: From Early Farming to Modern Meals will open on June 13, 2019 at 6pm with a free opening reception featuring food from Canton restaurants. The exhibition is based on the themes in Kim Kenney and Barb Abbott’s new book of the same name, which explores what Stark County residents have eaten over the past 200 years. The exhibition is sponsored by the Stark County Farm Bureau.
Stark County Food is part of Project EAT!, a countywide celebration of all things food. Partners across the community have joined together to bring Stark County residents a full schedule of food-related events and programs in 2019. From June 22 through July 21, three area museums will have food-themed exhibitions on view. The Canton Museum of Art’s exhibition Food for Thought, featuring food-themed artwork from their permanent collection, is on view now through July 21. A Heritage of Harvest: The Industry of Agriculture in Western Stark County opens at the Massillon Museum on June 22.
There’s also a Foodie Bus Tour on Friday June 28 from 8:15am – 3pm. The trip includes breakfast at the Museum catered by Deli Ohio, a visit to a working dairy farm, and an afternoon Canton Food Tour, featuring a series of small plates at several of Canton’s finest restaurants. There will be walking and standing involved so guests should dress accordingly. The cost is $80 for museum members, $85 for non-members. RESERVATION DEADLINE IS JUNE 7. Pre-paid reservations required, and space is limited. Tickets may be purchased at www.mckinleymuseum.org or call Chris at 330-455-7043.
Stark County Food begins with a look at farming in the region, which includes a large cash register that was used at Harry Ink’s Aplink Orchard in the early 20th century. Other sections include grocery stores, wholesale food companies, restaurants, cookbooks, rationing, ethnic influences, bakeries, dairies, legacy families, community organizations, and culinary tourism. A special section will feature the evolution of kitchen appliances over time, including an early refrigerator, an apartment-sized electric stove, and a microwave with so much chrome, it rivals a 1950s automobile.
“This exhibition has been so much fun to put together,” said Kim Kenney, executive director of the Museum and curator of this exhibition. “We searched our permanent collection for artifacts that demonstrate the ways in which we have eaten over time. We have everything from cast iron pans to refrigerators, and everything in between.”
The exhibition includes video clips from the Project EAT! Oral History Project, based on interviews that were conducted in 2017 and 2018 by Carmella Cadusale, an AmeriCorps volunteer. Intern Rose Stull reviewed many hours of interviews in order to find the best clips to share in the exhibition.
“There are five people featured in the video,” said Kenney. “They share their own memories of what their families cooked when they were little, and what restaurants and grocery stores they remember. Ernie Schott from Taggart’s explains how the famous Bittner was invented, too. The clips we have selected provide an interesting snapshot of our community’s foodways over time.”
The exhibition includes a section of carefully curated nutrition handouts sponsored by Canton Food Tours. Topics include Be a Healthy Role Model, How to Read the Nutrition Label, Kid Friendly Fruits and Veggies, and Make Better Food Choices.
There is also a panel that highlights the organizations who are fighting food insecurity in Stark County. “An estimated 15.3% of Stark County’s population and 23.8% of children are food insecure,” said Kenney. “We wanted the exhibition to include that information, to inspire our visitors to donate food, money, or their time to these organizations. The need continues to increase. The number of people seeking food assistance from the Stark County Hunger Task Force has swelled from 3000 people per month in 1981 to 30,000 people per month in 2017. We have invited leaders from these organizations to speak about their work before many of our Project EAT! programs. We are also running a series of drives for food, gardening tools, and pots and pans throughout the exhibition’s run to benefit food pantries and StarkFresh. Visitors will receive $1 off admission during each of the drives.”
Stark County Food also includes a binder featuring more than 75 reproduction menus from local restaurants and banquets. The ephemeral nature of menus means that the collection is by no means complete. “You aren’t supposed to take the menu home with you when you eat out,” said Kenney. “But the program from a special event, that happens to include the evening’s menu, was designed as a keepsake.” As a result, the Museum’s archival collection includes many more banquet menus than restaurant menus.
The Museum is approaching the collection of visitor responses a bit differently for this exhibition. “Instead of the traditional guest book, we have purchased a 1950s metal kitchen table and chairs,” said Kenney. “We invite our visitors to have a seat at our table to record their own food memories, which can be posted on a large bulletin board near the table. There are also coloring and activity sheets for kids.”
“One of my favorite parts of the exhibition is a handout I made that includes strange recipes from old Stark County cookbooks,” said Kenney. “Recipes include Hot Lettuce Sandwiches, Frozen Tomato Salad, Pork Cake, and Banana Soup. We want to encourage our visitors to try some of the recipes at home and tag us on social media for a chance to win a copy of my new book with co-author Barb Abbott Stark County Food: From Early Farming to Modern Meals.”
Stark County Food will be on view through January 5, 2020.
The McKinley Presidential Library & Museum is located at 800 McKinley Monument Dr. NW in Canton, Ohio. The Keller Gallery is the Museum’s temporary exhibition space and features a variety of topics each year. The Museum also includes the McKinley National Memorial, McKinley Gallery, Street of Shops, The Stark County Story, Discover World, and the Hoover-Price Planetarium. The Museum is open Monday – Saturday from 9am – 4pm and Sunday from 2-4pm.
Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler
The Threat Posed
Perpetually hungry, loves sleeping, and hates Monday.
I just described a popular cartoon cat named Garfield, but you surely aren’t alone if you related to that description a bit more than you wanted to. It’s this relatability that sprung Garfield into fame in 1978 and allows him to remain a household name over 40 years later.
One of his most universally relatable traits is the last one: His hatred of Monday. This is a commonly shared sentiment, as for most people it symbolizes our fleeting 48 hours of freedom halting to a grim end.
However, what may seem like a harmless, relatable joke in a cat comic actually points to an increasingly prevalent societal issue; something I like to call The Garfield Effect. This refers to the steady decline of the weekend as we know it, as it creeps closer and closer to oblivion.
That may sound dramatic, and that’s because it is. In theory, a two day break should rejuvenate us, making us feel more refreshed and ready than ever to work; yet most people feel just the opposite. This is due to The Garfield Effect. Rather than use the weekend as it was designed—for relaxation and leisure—people frequently use it to catch up on work, leaving them tired and ill-equipped to deal with the full work week ahead. This is why Garfield is far from alone when he says “I hate Monday.”
Fully understanding this epidemic first requires an understanding of its history, which actually begins long before the more recent conception of the weekend.
The Ancient Work Day
In ancient civilizations, including those of the Mayans and the Hopi, time was perceived as cyclical rather than linear, operating as a kind of wheel. This was a reflection of the world that the ancients observed around them, bound by cycles of predictable patterns. Accordingly, work also followed this natural ebb and flow of time. Tasks were correlated with the organic cycles that defined them: Farmers worked in accordance with the seasons, and fishermen in accordance with the tides.
This approach to work persisted for a long time. Contrary to popular belief, medieval peasants experienced a plethora of free time compared to the modern worker. For them, the day began at dawn, ended at dusk, and included plenty of breaks. It wasn’t until the 18th century, just over 200 years ago, that this changed.
The First Shift
A number of factors caused this shift, most of which revolved around the Industrial Revolution. Tasks were no longer correlated to natural events, but rather to the artificially contrived “work day.” Time was something to be exploited by corporate interests, and accordingly, this is when the phrase “time is money” accelerated in its usage (which can be seen using Google Ngram Viewer).
This new approach inevitably caused issues, and eventually spiraled into a working landscape that included grueling hours and harsh conditions. People worked between 14 and 16 hours per day for six days a week. Factories were full of dust and smoke. Deformities and diseases developed in workers, especially children. Accidents were frequent. It was far from ideal.
The Birth of the Weekend
This ghastly landscape created a dire need for protection of workers’ rights, which prompted the labor movement. In 1886, on what became known as May Day, hundreds of thousands of workers went on strike in demand of an eight hour work day. This was the first of many efforts to win this right. There was still a long fight ahead.
It wasn’t until 1926, when Henry Ford adopted a five-day work week, that this less aggressive approach was given much thought. Ford’s argument was that people with more free time would require more transportation, and hence, would buy more cars. Finally, in 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which cemented the 40-hour, 5-day work week. The weekend had been born.
The Second Shift
Not long after this pivotal policy was enacted, another shift began to occur. This one revolved around the advent of modern technology; most notably, the internet.
Artificial light had already made it easy to stay up past dark and wake up before light, but devices such as computers and smartphones caused an even greater disturbance in our general working hours. People are now constantly “on the clock,” expected to keep up with work demands at every hour of the day, every day of the week. Being perpetually plugged-in leaves workers feeling anxious and stressed, inhibiting their ability to properly wind down.
The Emergence of The Garfield Effect
Weekends were introduced partially as a way of protecting leisure, which is a necessary ingredient in the recipe for productivity. Without this, the risk for eventual job burnout increases drastically.
Despite the obvious benefits of leisure, people are opting for a more work-oriented weekend, with a state of constant “busy-ness” becoming a sort of status symbol. Perceived success is now—incorrectly—associated with how busy someone is.
This is getting in the way of people enjoying the weekend as it should be enjoyed, and according to the American Time Use Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, people now spend less than one hour socializing on the weekend. Furthermore, According to a global Harris Poll, the United States reported the longest hours second only to Mexico. These reports may not even include tasks such as checking email or going overtime to meet a deadline.
As a result, the “typical” 40 hour work week is better described as “atypical.” An outlier. The weekend as we know it is disappearing, and we’re letting it.
A Call to Action
The fight for the weekend took centuries to win, so reclaim our leisure and once again fill our parks with good company and conversation. Battle against The Garfield Effect, and plan a picnic!
By Cara Satullo
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.
History, Art, Music, Cuisine and More – Only Steps Away
Located just 35 miles southwest of Cleveland and 11 miles from Lake Erie, Oberlin is the perfect place for day-trippers and travelers who like to explore and enjoy interesting sights, tastes, and sounds. With a lively downtown, captivating history, and picturesque landscape it is no surprise that this small community of 8,000 was named a Distinctive Destination by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Whether you are seeking a refreshing weekend away, visiting friends and family, or checking out Oberlin College and Conservatory, Oberlin has something for you.
History lovers will enjoy learning about Oberlin’s nationally-significant history by touring three beautifully preserved buildings at the Oberlin Heritage Center or signing up for a themed history walk through downtown neighborhoods. Hear stories about the first women in the nation to attend college and the assumptions they had to prove false. Ponder whether you could follow the same rules as the earliest settlers. (No tea or coffee?!) Listen to powerful stories about Oberlin’s national impact on the anti-slavery movement and people who traveled through Oberlin on their journey to freedom. Guests can also explore at their own pace through a variety of self-guided tours and by visiting dozens of historic monuments and markers located throughout the city, honoring scientists, Tuskegee Airmen, freedom seekers, historic trail blazers, and more.
Stretch your legs and spend time wandering Oberlin’s downtown and the Oberlin College campus to see architectural gems by notable designers like Cass Gilbert, Minoru Yamasaki, and Wallace Harrison. Immerse yourself among ancient artifacts and world-class art by masters such as Monet, Matisse, Picasso, Oldenburg, and Calder in the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College’s free art museum. The art museum also maintains and offers tours of the Weltzheimer/Johnson House, a Usonian house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and located just over a mile from downtown.
Those ready for rest and a recharge can choose from a variety of coffee houses, bakeries, sandwich shops, ice cream parlors, cafés, and restaurants, several of which serve locally sourced foods. Stop in at unique shops to browse through antiques, beads, jewelry, art supplies, books, gifts, art, hardware, vintage clothing, and one-of-a-kind souvenirs. If it gets too hot outside, step into the cool air conditioning of the historic Apollo Theatre and watch a new release on the big screen (at little expense). Beyond the town center are reservoirs and parks to traverse, a rail-trail bike path, historic Westwood Cemetery, Splash Zone Metro Park, and canopy tours at Common Ground retreat and renewal center.
Those who crave a more festive atmosphere should watch community and college calendars for events like the annual Juneteenth Celebration (June 16), Chalk Walk (June 23; pictured above), Family Fun Fair and Car Show (August 4), outdoor summer concert series, Oberlin Summer Theater Festival, and more world-class musical and theatrical performances year-round. When it’s time to retire for the night, Oberlin offers a variety of accommodations, including the downtown Hotel at Oberlin and numerous Bed and Breakfast hosts.
The Oberlin Heritage Center is a great place to start your visit to Oberlin, learn more about the history of this spirited community, and pick up maps, information, and calendars. The parking lot of the Heritage Center is located at 20 West Vine Street and OHC is open year-round, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 to 3:00 with extended hours during special event weekends.
For more information, visit www.oberlinheritagecenter.org or call 440-774-1700
It’s not easy putting history in a bottle, but Joe and Missy Duer have resumed a very old family tradition that allows them to do just that with their Artisan Farm Distillery, Indian Creek Distillery, located in southern Miami County.
“Making whiskey the old-fashioned way, not the industrialized way, is an art and flows out of passion and intuition, which makes for a very artistic process,” Missy said.
Missy Duer comes from a long line of millwrights and distillers by trade. Her forefathers moved from Pennsylvania and settled in Ohio before it was recognized as a state. Missy’s great great great grandfather Elias and his two brothers built a grist mill along Indian Creek, which was completed in 1818. Elias purchased the farm in 1820 and built a brick distillery to utilize the excess grain from the large grist mill. The demand for whiskey was a great bonus for the ambitious Staley family. Staley Rye Whiskey became known for its quality and customers traveled for miles to have their jugs filled. The business flourished for 100 years involving three generations of Staleys, until Prohibition put a halt on whiskey production in 1920.
“From 1933 until about 15 years ago, you could not build a distillery in the state of Ohio, but recent law changes have allowed my husband Joe and I to bring my family’s distilling legacy back to life,” Missy said. “Most important was that my great-grandfather, George Washington Staley, saved the stills, mash tubs, fermenters and assorted distilling equipment from the revenuers during Prohibition. We also have the original Rye Whiskey recipe!”
The Duers have a modernized facility on their beautifully preserved family farm where the distilling takes place, but they operate with an “old school, old rules” mentality crafting whiskey like the Staley forefathers, including the use of the original copper pot stills. The stills are the oldest working stills in America today. They follow an old, open-top mashing and fermentation process where the weather plays an important role in the process.
“There are limitations with open-top fermentation and mashing. You run into weather considerations because changes in the weather give you different yields. The reason is that mashing — which is the conversion of starch to sugar with the mixture of grain and hot water that takes three or four hours — if there is a drop in the barometric pressure, sugar yield is reduced,” Joe said. “In fermentation, which is the conversion of sugar to alcohol, there can be situations where there is electricity in the air from thunderstorms that will stop the action of the yeast being used. Once the storm is passed, the yeast can be reactivated, but that can delay fermentation and the production of alcohol. All of these limitations and problems could be solved by not doing the open-top fermentation, but that’s not the way the old boys did it, so we aren’t doing it that way either.”
There were numerous challenges in figuring out how to make Pre-Prohibition whiskey; Joe did most of the distilling when they first re-opened in 2012, and he had a tremendous challenge learning what the Staleys used to know.
“It was a steep learning curve because we were recreating history, and all the old timers are gone; who I could ask,” Joe said. “We had to interpret old letters and recipes where the initial guidelines were to ‘heat your water and cool your water.’ That’s very interesting to me because I didn’t know what that meant until I found that heating the water consisted of being able to hold your hand in the water for one minute and cooling the water meant bringing it down to the temperature of fresh milk from a cow, which proposed an issue because I didn’t have a cow.”
Indian Creek Distillery’s whiskeys are available at the distillery and in over 150 state agencies in Ohio. The Duers also offers delicious locally sourced maple syrup (StillHouse Maple Syrup) that is aged in their used rye whiskey barrels.
“The distillery is open seven days a week and attracts three types of people: historians, whiskey lovers, and whiskey historians,” Joe said. “I have applied everything I have learned in my life to this career because being self-employed can bring surprises. We knew coming into this we needed two things to make this work. First, you need a good product, and secondly and most importantly, you need a story, and we have that here in spades.”
“Our national history is a very personal one, at least it is for me,” Missy said. “Staley Mill Farm & Indian Creek Distillery tells the story of our country and of my family, one generation at a time. This beautifully preserved pioneer complex is a remarkably intact view of a vanishing landscape. My husband Joe and I share the past, the present and the future of our true heritage, timeless history and the spirit of liberty. We are preservationists by choice, pioneers by birth, dreamers of things to come and we are proud to produce America’s spirit… a true sip of history.”
Click here to plan a visit to Indian Creek Distillery.
Gas prices may be rising, but you can save money and mileage by staying close to home in eastern Ohio where you will be surprised by the many attractions, events and activities in and near Steubenville!
One of the oldest cities in Ohio, Steubenville boasts historic churches, a frontier fort, 22 larger-than life murals depicting the area’s heritage and the Ohio River Scenic Byway Visitor Center.
Be sure to plan a visit in June – the month of community festivities. Beginning June 1st, First Fridays on Fourth is an evening street fair featuring food trucks, breweries, live music, artisans and local performers. Every First Friday through November, North Fourth Street is closed from 7-10pm to offer a celebration of culture and the arts.
Mark your calendar for Ohio Valley Frontier Days on June 2 & 3 when Historic Fort Steuben swarms with soldier, settler, surveyor and Native American reenactors who vividly bring the early American frontier to life. Music, games, dance, crafts and food add to the fun. Enjoy music by Ohio Artist of the Year Steve Free, try your hand at the Tomahawk Toss, visit the archaeology dig, sit inside a tipi or let your little ones take a pony ride. Located on its original site overlooking the Ohio River, Historic Fort Steuben is a reconstructed 18th century military fort with displays and artifacts in all its eight buildings. The adjacent First Federal Land Office is also open for tours as an example of a 19th century home office. The fort is open daily through October. Find more details about the Fort and its events at www.oldfortsteuben.com.
From June 12 to 15, the city celebrates all things Greek at the annual Holy Trinity Greek Food Festival on S. 4th Street. Don’t let the title fool you – there’s more than food at this festival. Music, dancing, tours of the church and an outdoor Taverna add to the delicious treats offered here. Take a stroll through downtown Steubenville to visit the unique shops: Adam’s Antiques, the Antique Warehouse, Drosselmeyer’s Nutcracker Shoppe, Steubenville Popcorn Company, Leonardo’s Coffee Shop and Bookmarx Bookstore.
Steubenville is the hometown of iconic crooner Dean Martin and his life and music is remembered every year at the Dean Martin Festival at the Spot Bar (June 14-16) culminating in the Dean Martin Hometown Celebration on North 4th Street (June 16). The Dino Dash 5K, live entertainment and impersonators, a swing dance and a Dean Martin Memorabilia Museum are just some of the activities to honor the city’s native son.
Often called “The City of Murals”, Steubenville has 22 artful presentations of important as well as everyday events and people of the city’s history that are painted on buildings throughout the downtown. A self-guided tour can be obtained at the Visitor Center. One of the most photographed is an enormous mural of Dean Martin along with some of his Rat Pack buddies. Another features Abraham Lincoln with his Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and telegrapher David Homer Bates (both from Steubenville).
Music fills the air on Thursday evenings through the summer in Steubenville. The Fort Steuben Summer Concert Series offers a variety of genres each week in the Berkman Amphitheater at 6:30pm. Bring a blanket and picnic basket to enjoy free concerts by the Ohio River.
A ride in the country is a pleasant addition to your itinerary. It’s only a few minutes down St. Rt. 7 along the Ohio River before you find rolling green hills and rural back roads. Of particular historic interest is the village of Mount Pleasant, heavily involved with the Underground Railroad and the anti-slavery activities in the 19th century. The village contains a National Historic District which includes the Friends (Quakers) Yearly Meeting House, built in 1814, and the Free Labor Store, which refused to sell products made by slave labor. An annual open house and garden tour is held there the first weekend in August.
After strolling the quaint streets of Mount Pleasant, you should be ready for a hearty meal at the nearby Farm Restaurant in Adena which features delicious food as well as charming décor. Or maybe you would like to stop by Black Sheep Vineyard to enjoy a glass of their hand-crafted wine in a cozy country setting.
Are you looking to camp out for a week or two? Check out Austin Lake RV Park & Cabins, just 20 minutes from downtown Steubenville. The 1300-acre park with an 80-acre lake offers camping, cabins, hiking trails, pontoon rentals, kayaking, fishing, hiking and picnicking as well as planned activities all summer.
For more information on these, other attractions, dining and lodging in Steubenville and Jefferson County, visit www.visitsteubenville.com or call 866-301-1787.
Mohican has long been considered the Camping & Canoeing Capital of Ohio.
This hot spot for Ohio travel and tourism is casual. Wearing shorts, tennis shoes, hiking boots, jeans and a tee shirt are pretty much all you need to wear even at area restaurants. Mohican has plenty of casual eateries that offer dining inside or out. The Mohican State Park Lodge’s, Bromfield’s Restaurant; Malabar Farm Restaurant; and the Copper Mug Bar & Grille at Landoll’s Mohican Castle all offer deck or patio options.
If you are looking for some great hiking options, many places on the bike trail are good. The stretch from the Discovery Forest to the covered bridge is probably the best part of that trail. Some places off of the horse trails lead to abandoned homesteads. If a horse or mountain biker is on the trail, please safely step off to the side and allow them to pass. For more information about hiking in Mohican, call the Mohican Visitors Bureau at 419-994-2519.
Most visitors make a weekend or week of their Mohican adventure. DiscoverMohican.com has a lot of options to consider. Some overnights offer year-round discounts. A number of the vacation rentals use VRBO.com or AirBnB.com. If the owner’s number is available, don’t hesitate to call with any questions about packages, etc. Some lodging facilities even offer movie discounts for shows playing locally at The Ohio Theatre.
Mohican isn’t just about the outdoors. Downtown Loudonville is small town America at its finest offering a variety of little shops as well as the Loudonville Public Library. It may be a small town, but the library has a lot of activities that are free and open to the public.
Some other sites to trek are The Cleo Redd Fisher Museum and Wolf Creek Grist Mill, which is one of the oldest working mills in Ohio. Memorial Shrine features the names of Ohio Veterans, who made the ultimate sacrifice, handwritten in the books on display. Another interesting stop is the Discovery Forest Exhibit in the Mohican-Memorial State Forest. On a hot summer day you may want to take a swim at the Mohican State Park Lodge. Programs offered by the naturalist and the Live Birds of Prey programs are free and open to the public.
Here is a list of the top-5, free activities for the whole family to enjoy while staying in Mohican Country:
All of those free activities allows room to choose that perfect place to stay, eat and of course, spend a day floating down the ultimate lazy river. Whether at a castle, lodge, campground, inn, or private rental there is something for everyone.
Find your summer adventure in Mohican and Discover Why Mohican Rocks!
This excerpt is from a past edition of OhioTraveler
Zoombezi Bay became the first water park in America to feature an outdoor slide with built-in light shows and a personalized sound system when it revealed the SoundSurfer.
Dubbed “The King of Beats,” the SoundSurfer is a modified version of Zoombezi Bay’s longest slide, formerly known as the Tahitian Twister. Now, thrill-seekers can enjoy 512 feet of acceleration drops and vortex loops while soaked in a kaleidoscope of colors and while jamming out to Beyoncé, Skrillex, Florida Georgia Line, Ellie Goulding, Johnny Cash and other popular artists. Riders have an opportunity to select their preferred musical genres from a push button panel.
“Being the first slide in the country to deliver a personalized light show and jam session, the SoundSurfer takes the water park experience to a whole new level,” said John Gannon, senior vice president of guest services and business strategy. “People aren’t just going along for the ride anymore, they are truly becoming sound surfers.”
The slide accommodates two to five people per ride, and offers eight musical options of the riders’ choosing. The genres include:
Riders must be 48 inches tall to ride, or 42 inches tall if accompanied by an adult. The SoundSurfer is included in admittance into the water park. Gold Memberships and Season Passes are available for purchase online, and include free parking and entry for the 2016 season. All tickets to Zoombezi Bay include free entry into the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
Zoombezi Bay is a 22.7 acre water park that features a new multi-level play structure, 17 state of the art water slides, a wave pool, an action river, a lazy river, private cabanas, a kiddie play pool and more.
For more information about Zoombezi Bay, please visit www.zoombezibay.com.
Duck Tape Festival is perhaps the most genius idea for Fathers’ Day weekend that ever dawned on man. Avon, Ohio showcases Duck® brand duct tape in all forms including art, sculptures, fashion and more. It is a celebration for all of the wacky and fun uses one could imagine for using duct tape. The festival honors the history and heritage of the city that is proclaimed the “Duct Tape Capital of the world”, home of Duck® brand duct tape. Rides, games and food are a part of this free annual event which kicks off with a duct tape parade! Complete information is available at http://www.ducktapefestival.com/.
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/.
This excerpt is from a past edition of OhioTraveler
Most of us are well aware that Wayne County, Ohio is part of the world’s largest Amish settlement. Home to Lehman’s Hardware, The J.M. Smucker Company Store and Café, P. Graham Dunn and Everything Rubbermaid. Historic Downtown Wooster has become an eclectic blend of unique shopping, great restaurants and nightlife. But were you aware that the Ohio Light Opera, summer resident opera company of the College of Wooster, is gearing up for their next festival season?
The season, which runs mid-June through early August, features seven shows.
“Ohio Light Opera productions are enjoyable, entertaining, and easy to follow,” says Executive Director Laura Neil. “Each show is performed in English. The sets are breathtaking, the costumes are beautiful, and the music is magnificent.”
Ohio Light Opera performers are chosen from auditions that are held each fall and winter in up to eight cities across the country, including New York and Boston. The artists that make up the residency ensemble are chosen for their ability to perform and participate at the highest level used in the repertoire-singing, acting, and dancing. Many former OLO performers have gone on to successful careers elsewhere, including the New York Metropolitan Opera.
Over 20,000 patrons from across the country and around the world come to Wooster for the Ohio Light Opera performances in the intimate confines of Freedlander Theater, which is located on the College of Wooster Campus. Call about tickets and special overnight and dining packages. Group discounts and subscription packages are also available. VISA, MasterCard, and Discover Card are accepted.
Additional information about the Ohio Light Opera is available by calling 330-263-2345 or online at www.OhioLightOpera.org. Further information about Wayne County can be found at wccvb.com or by contacting the Wayne County Convention & Visitors Bureau, the area’s tourism authority, at 800-362-6474.
When was the last time you got the whole gang together? Whether family or friends there’s a good chance everyone is spread across the map. This will be a great year for a road trip reunion.
Ever since John Belushi shouted those famous words “Road Trip!” in “Animal House” the very idea congers up images of escape, adventure and maybe a little mischief. Southeast Ohio’s Hocking Hills is the perfect destination for the quintessential reunion road trip.
Located within a day’s drive of more than sixty percent of the U.S. population, the Hocking Hills region is internationally recognized as the best “Under-the-Radar” destination in all of North America by Buzzfeed.com stating that, “Hocking Hills State Park is a must for nature lovers, filled with cliffs, gorges, and waterfalls.”
The region is best known for world-class hiking and cozy cabins. The Hocking Hills is also the Canopy Tour Capital of the Midwest with more than fifty ziplines. This is the place to bring your bucket list. Get a bird’s eye view from the tree canopy. Fly like Buck Rogers with Jet Pack Water Adventures. Anglers are in for a whole new experience with Ohio Belly Boat Fishing.
Whether your bucket list wish is to say so-long to your schedule, disconnect from all the electronic gadgets or an adrenaline filled, high-flying weekend with your alma mater pals, the Hocking Hills is just the ticket. Outdoor recreation, family friendly festivals, museums, performing arts, tours and much more will keep everyone entertained.
After an activity filled day it’s time to relax and what could be more relaxing than your own private resort. Luxurious lodges are designed to provide privacy, plenty of room for everyone and all the comforts of home. Go for a swim in your private pool. Chill out in a hot tub while gazing at the star-filled sky. Toast marshmallows over an open fire while stories of the day and laughter lingers in the evening air.
Plan your road rip reunion around one of the region’s signature festivals. The Washboard Music Festival brings bluegrass, zydeco, rock, country, folk and gospel music together for a celebration of the washboard’s melodic tones in historic downtown Logan (June). Lilyfest is the “un-festival”. There are no deep fried foods, Ferris wheels or fireworks, just flowers, art and music wafting on a breeze throughout the Bishop Educational Gardens (July).
The Laurelville Fireman’s Old Time Festival in July is just what you would expect. The nightly fish fry is legendary. The Midway delights kids of all ages. When was the last time you took a spin on a Tilt-a-Whirl? The highlight of the festival is Ohio’s most expensive cake auction.
Everyone loves a parade so, naturally, everyone loves Nelsonville’s Parade of the Hills featuring three parades beginning with the Main Street Welcome Home Parade on Wednesday followed by the Bicycle Parade on Thursday and the pièce de résistance, the Grande Parade on Saturday. Add Queen contests, the Ohio State Fiddling Contest, Pie Contest & Auction and a 5k Run For The Hills (just in case you eat too much pie)and you’ve got one great festival. Evening musical entertainment includes Hard Days Night (Beatles Tribute Band) on Wednesday, Ohio’s own McGuffey Lane on Thursday, Mr. Speed (KISS Tribute Band) on Friday and Stadium 11 in August.
So fire off those emails, tweets, posts, shares. This is the summer for a road trip reunion and your destination is the Hocking Hills.
Historic Roscoe Village is a Standout in Ohio Tourism
Historic Roscoe Village: This historic Ohio canal town is a standout in a variety of experiences. The canal boat ride, living history tours, unique shopping, dining and special events make this a favorite destination for tens of thousands year round. Get lost in the architecture and the tales from costumed guides and you’ll feel what it’s like to be living in the 1800s. The general store, blacksmith, schoolhouse, doctor’s office and so much more add to the authenticity of this time capsule. Throughout the year, amazing seasonal events add to the bustling village and its history, creating family memories for all. Discover all that Historic Roscoe Village has to offer at http://www.roscoevillage.com/.
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/.
Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler
Ross County and Chillicothe, Ohio offers visitors not only the opportunity to explore Ohio’s heritage but also provides a beautiful setting for outdoor recreation. Located in southern Ohio, Ross County is part of Ohio’s Appalachian Country that consists of many of the counties throughout eastern and southern Ohio.
Chillicothe was the first capital of Ohio and contains lots of historical sites that allow each visitor to learn more about the heritage of the area and life in different eras. Learn facts about Ross County from the prehistoric, Hopewell Culture to the view from Thomas Worthington’s estate that became the background to the Great Seal of Ohio.
Step back in time at Adena Mansion & Gardens with a tour of the home and grounds of Thomas Worthington, who was known as the “Father of Statehood.” The guided tours take you on a journey through the mansion to learn about life in that era. Relive the life of Shawnee leader, Tecumseh, at the Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre, home of “Tecumseh” Outdoor Drama. Visitors will witness the epic life story of Tecumseh as he struggles to defend his sacred homelands in the Ohio country during the late 1700s. Guided tours of the Ross County Heritage Center provides visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the history of Chillicothe and Ohio, knowledge about Native Americans in the area, the military training center known as Camp Sherman, and much more!
Travel even farther back in time to 200 BC at Ross County’s National Park. Discover the Hopewell Culture and learn about the ceremonial earthworks that these natives had created. At Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, you can get a ranger led tour through the earthworks to uncover more facts about this culture. This location is currently nominated as a World Heritage Inscription site for the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks.
Another treasure for Chillicothe is the 160 year old continuously operating, Majestic Theatre. This theater is not only a historical site but continues to offer entertainment to the area. It hosts over 100 events each year that feature a variety of musical performances, plays, and workshops.
If you enjoy being outdoors, Ross County is definitely where to be! Ross County is fortunate to be able to offer visitors five State Parks with beautiful scenery and many trails for walking or biking. Many of the State Parks also offer a variety of activities which include beach areas for swimming, boating, and fishing. If you enjoy biking, Ross County is part of the Tri-County Triangle Trail that contains over 32 miles of paved trails. If you prefer to be on the water, visitors can relax and enjoy nature by traveling down Paint Creek by canoe or kayak at one of the canoe liveries.
For visitors who enjoy festivals, Ross County hosts several annual festivals throughout the year. Each festival offers its own unique touch to complement the community and its heritage from the Native American heritage to the beautiful autumn colors of Southern Ohio. Some of the most notable festivals include the Feast of the Flowering Moon, International Sunflower Festival, Salt Creek Valley Festival, Southern Ohio Storytelling Festival and the Fall Festival of Leaves.
Don’t miss out on some of Chillicothe’s best local flavors! Visit restaurants in downtown Chillicothe for a variety of great food and fun atmosphere. You can also spend the afternoon browsing through the unique shops that make up the downtown area and then spend some time in Yoctangee Park.
Whether visitors are looking for a weekend getaway or a longer stay, Chillicothe and Ross County can provide them with something fun to do while learning about its heritage. With many more historical sites and special events, there is never a shortage of activities. You can find more information about the area by visiting the Ross-Chillicothe Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website at www.VisitChillicotheOhio.com.