Summer Destinations in Ohio




The Great Race Stops in Ohio!

The Great Race, the world’s premiere old car rally, will stop at two Ohio towns as it crosses more than a dozen states. It will feature 120 of the world’s finest antique automobiles.

Lancaster, Ohio, will host a lunch stop on Sunday, June 23, with the first car rolling onto South Broad Street starting around 12:30 pm. Marietta, Ohio, will host an overnight stay that night, with cars arriving around 4pm. The event will begin in Owensboro, Kentucky, on June 22 and finish in Gardiner, Maine, on June 30.

The 9-day, 2,300-mile adventure will travel to 19 cities in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine.

Teams and cars from Japan, England, Australia, Germany, Canada, and every corner of the United States will converge at the start, with vintage automobiles dating back as far as 1912. “There are more than 500 people just in our entourage from all around the world,” race director Jeff Stumb said.

The Great Race began 41 years ago and is not a speed race but a time/speed/distance rally. The vehicles, each with a driver and navigator, are given precise instructions each day that detail every move down to the second. They are scored at secret checkpoints along the way and are penalized one second for each second, either early or late. As in golf, the lowest score wins.

If all goes according to plan, cars will start—and hopefully finish—one minute apart. Organizers say the most significant part of the challenge, other than staying on time and following instructions, is getting an old car to the finish line each day. Each stop on the Great Race is free to the public, and spectators can visit with the participants and look at the cars for several hours.

Cars built in 1974 and earlier are eligible, with most entries having been manufactured before World War II. A 1916 Hudson Hillclimber won last year’s Great Race from St. Augustine, Florida, to Colorado Springs, Colorado. The 2024 winners will again receive $50,000 of the $160,000 total purse.

The oldest cars scheduled to compete in the 2024 Great Race are a 1912 Haynes, a 1913 Chevrolet, and a 1916 Hudson.

Over the decades, the Great Race has stopped in hundreds of cities, big and small, from tiny Austin, Nevada, to New York City.

“When the Great Race pulls into a city, it becomes an instant festival,” Stumb said. “Last year, we had several overnight stops with more than 10,000 spectators on our way to having 250,000 people see the Great Race during the event.”

The event was started in 1983 by Tom McRae. It takes its name from the 1965 movie The Great Race, which starred Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood, and Peter Falk. The movie is a comedy based on the real-life 1908 automobile race from New York to Paris. In 2004, Tony Curtis was the guest of The Great Race and rode in his car from the movie Leslie Special.

The Great Race gained a considerable following from late-night showings on ESPN when the network was just starting out in the early 1980s. The first entrant, Curtis Graf of Irving, Texas, is still a participant today.

The event’s main sponsors are Hemmings Motor News, Coker Tire, McCollister’s Auto Transport, Rogo Fasteners, Southern Star Distillery, Sam Smith Old Brewery, and Hagerty Driver’s Club.

Learn more about The Great Race at https://www.greatrace.com/.

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Four Corners of Ohio Family Fun

We’re cornering Ohio family fun. Enjoy these four street corner destinations for your day trip entertainment.

At the corner of Jackson Street and W. Washington Street in Sandusky, Ohio, is the Merry-Go-Round Museum. Grab your popcorn, cotton candy, and wooden token — and take a ride through carousel history.

At the corner of Main and Broadway in Sugarcreek, Ohio, is the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock in the center of what is known as the “Little Switzerland of Ohio.”

At the corner of Memphis Avenue and Tiedeman Road in Brooklyn, Ohio, is Memphis Kiddie Park. The iconic children’s amusement park has been putting smiles on faces since 1952!

At the corner of Fourth Street and Main Street in Mansfield, Ohio, is the Richland Carrousel Park. It offers a giant Merry-Go-Round for old-fashioned fun in a modern setting.

For more “Cornering Ohio,” visit https://www.ohiotraveler.com/cornering-ohio/.

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Video of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens

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Take a minute to see
Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron, Ohio

Enjoy the fabulous gardenscapes and incredible architecture and decor at Akron, Ohio’s Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, which is open for tours and hosts a variety of special events. It’s a walk through the history of the Rubber City’s rich and famous Yesteryear.

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Once in a Lifetime Event

Enjoy the latest story from the blog,
“Wrong Turns Write Life”

My daughter called from Washington, D.C., to say she was going to fly in for the Total Solar Eclipse.

“The what?” I asked, unaware of the hype beginning to build for a celestial event nearly a year away.

I wasn’t in the dark any longer. I learned that we could drive just 90 minutes to Greenville, Ohio, or four hours to Avon Lake, Ohio, at the opposite end of the state to see TOTALITY—a word that was becoming all the buzz. These two towns were predicted to have the longest time in “totality.” The weird thing is Greenville, near Dayton, is where my wife’s parents live, and Avon Lake, near Cleveland, is where my family lives.

“So, which side of the family should we make plans with? I asked my daughter.

She said she was not committing until the day before to check cloud cover, etc.

This phenomenon would take place, after all, during spring in Ohio. I was convinced that we were not going to see anything spectacular except the daylight dim no matter where we ended up in Ohio. The once-in-a-lifetime event last happened here about a hundred years earlier, give or take, and wouldn’t happen again for another hundred years from now. So, we had to make an attempt to do it right.

As the magical day neared, the fear-mongers were out in force, saying the roads across the state would be at a standstill. What would normally be a one-hour drive might take eight! The governor even declared a statewide emergency well in advance.

Meanwhile, my sister in Avon Lake took on the role of unofficial promoter for her town. Come here, there are all kinds of activities and events happening that day so even if it’s cloudy, we’ll have fun. No matter the pitch, we were going where our kids decided, and that’s not happening until the day before. Our son lives in Columbus, and he’d pick up our daughter at the airport there, putting them a couple of hours or less from each possible destination, or if the fear-mongers were right, 16 hours.

Being in the world of Ohio tourism as a profession, every town, whether expected to have a partial or total eclipse experience, advertised the best of times if you came there. To each their own, some were seeking the festive atmosphere, crowd reactions, and a communal experience. Others, like me, wanted solitude to really be all-in, so to speak.

Meanwhile, my sister was openly willing good weather in our family text group 3—2—1 day out.

“It’s so nice here right now. Absolutely gorgeous for this time of year.”

Yeah, yeah, sis, but this is Ohio, and what is nice now may not be in 3—2—1 days.

The forecast was as predicted the day before E-Day, with about 50 percent cloud cover blanketing both ends of the state. Our daughter made the big decision—we were going to meet up in Greenville. It was simply closer. Our son had to work the next day and was worried that the roads would be in such gridlock that it might take well into the night to get back.

The more imminent problem was sleeping space at my in-law’s house. They were very active collectors/archaeologists/historians. They had long ago turned spare bedrooms (any spare space, really) into scenes that one would imagine a museum has going on in back rooms. There, mountains of this or that needed to be inventoried, cataloged, or stored.

However, the weather forecast had the overnight temperature a bit chilly, but it was ideal for pitching tents in their country yard. Besides, a night in the natural elements would ground us for the natural wonder to take place the next day. That was my thinking, anyway.

One tent was newish (compared to the other, at least), but although it said 4-person, we all knew four of us inside would literally leave zero wiggle room. That meant bringing the larger and older tent. The one that had the cord in the poles rotted and snapped. I had bought the supplies to repair it but never did. My wife restrung the poles, so we set it up next to the other one.

“Eww, it’s musty inside,” my wife said.

“Hey kids (they’re in their 20s), which tent would you like, the spacious one or the smaller one?”

My wife told them about the musty smell, so of course, they chose the non-musty-smelling one. Later, I was happy they did.

That night, it rained! My wife woke up and said she was getting wet. Sure enough, the tent was leaking, and a puddle formed inside. We picked a dry corner, huddled up, and assessed that if things didn’t get worse and we made it until morning status quo, we’d chalk it up as a win.

Midway through the night, I needed to go inside to use the bathroom. It was about 3AM, so my father-in-law and I startled each other when our paths crossed.

“I woke up with ideas about the project I’m working on over at the fort, and if I don’t write it down, I’ll forget,” he explained.

He’s been known to wake in his man cave at the computer chair to look at the clock, see it say 2:00, and wonder if it was day or night.

At first light, I asked my wife how she slept.

“Well, let me see, one foot kept touching water if I stretched it out, and you were snoring right in my face so loudly my hair was blowing whenever I turned toward you.”

My in-laws were headed to the local park for the eclipse because of the local historical tie to Ohio’s last total solar eclipse. Tensions were mounting in the years before the War of 1812. The legendary Shawnee Chief Tecumseh and his brother nicknamed The Prophet, were challenged in 1806 by William Henry Harrison. Harrison wanted to discredit them before their followers. He asked The Prophet to cause the sun to stand still, the moon to alter its course, rivers to stop flowing, and the dead to rise from the earth. And if he succeeds, then he will have proven he was sent from God. Legend has it that The Prophet leaned into the demand and proclaimed that in just 50 days, when the sun was high overhead, the Great Spirit would hide it, and day would turn to night. Indeed, the prophecy was fulfilled, and Ohio experienced a total solar eclipse.

Being well-steeped in this local history, Grandma and Grandpa chose the Tecumseh experience. The rest of us contemplated the traffic compounded afterward by adding an hour or more to get from the park back here and from here to home and work. We chose simplicity, solitude, and serenity over crowds. At the last minute, my wife’s empty nest cousin drove solo from Cincinnati to join us.

The property next to my in-laws was vast vacant farmland. We walked about 500 feet and laid out chairs, blankets, and snacks. My daughter turned on her eclipse playlist, and we talked, laughed, and waited. The sky looked promising.

We made a pact: There would be no cameras, music, or talking during totality—all four minutes of it.

The event proved to be a bizarre experience none of us expected. I mean, photos of other eclipses online gave us an idea, but the reality was something that will be remembered as a once-in-a-lifetime event (unless you choose to become an eclipse-chaser). The next one is in Iceland. But imagine if, after making that trek, it was overcast!

The horses across the creek sensed the peculiarity and reared, kicked, and whinnied in objection.

Birds were silenced, but some called out. Those were the morning birds, confused, explained the birders in my family.

The stillness and silence made each of us one with the grand celestial event. The black disc slowly engulfed the fireball high in the sky.

Then, there was nothing to see at all.

A warm day was suddenly so cold!

That’s when my wife reminded us it was now safe to remove our eclipse glasses.

When we did…

WOW!

A farm family over the next hill cut through the silence, gasping at the sight.

My son, who never seems moved by much, gasped, “Oh, Wow!” Completely unprepared by the actual human sight of TOTALITY.

It’s how we all felt. No photo out there represented what we saw. Either the pics were just lousy or overly edited or enhanced to show something our naked eyes didn’t see.

It was a moment.

And four minutes of totality was a long moment at that.

I looked away from the spectacle in the sky and was taken aback by the strange, unworldly hue of the treeline nearby and the uncut tall grass field. There isn’t a camera filter made that resembles this hazy Martian-esque look. It was surreal.

We were purely living in the moment. Everything connected in that solemn field.

No other people, cars, planes, or the hum of electricity—you know, the hum you didn’t know was so loud until it stopped.

Someone reminded me, “No camera; use your eyes instead.”

We soaked it in. The scene was genuinely absorbed by our senses.

It was an unobstructed, uninhibited moment of purity in nature (or near so) on an overpopulated planet and culture where peace and quiet are almost extinct—even on nature trails.

When totality ended, we put our protective eyewear back on and chattered non-stop about how much more it was than even our imaginations prepared us for. And speaking of imaginations, the roads were nothing near the Armageddon the news folk warned us about.

But I’ll remember more than just the eclipse. The series of events brought my immediate family together for an unforgettable experience—something rare now that everyone has grown and flown.

“Hey, anyone up for Iceland 2026?”

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun! 

Click here to read more
“Wrong Turns Write Life”

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Wild About Wine Spirits Trail

Wine and craft beer enthusiasts have a new reason to discover Southeast Ohio’s Appalachian hills. Three neighboring counties – Guernsey, Coshocton, and Muskingum – recently launched a new spirits trail called “Wild About Wine” that highlights the region’s most prestigious wineries and breweries.

The trail allows visitors to be “trailblazers” – much like the early pioneers were. Fourteen wineries and breweries may be visited in any order. Participating locations within the three counties are Baltic Mill Winery, Georgetown Vineyard, Guernsey Brewhouse, Headley Inn Winery and Vineyard, Killing Tree Winery, Rainbow Hills Winery, Brewery & Pizzeria, Raven’s Glenn Winery, Stone Crest Vineyard, Weasel Boy Brewing Company, White Eyes Creek Winery, Wooly Pig Farm Brewery, Y-Bridge Brewing Company, Yellow Butterfly Winery and YOLO Winery.

“We’re just a quick trip from Columbus, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh, yet an entire world away from the big cities,” Cambridge/Guernsey County Visitors & Convention Bureau Executive Director Debbie Robinson said.

While the region is wild about its wines and craft brews, travelers are encouraged to get off the trail and experience all there is to see and do. One attraction in particular – The Wilds – spans over 10,000 acres in southeast Ohio and is one of the largest conservation centers in the world. Threatened and endangered species roam open pastures with endless vistas and provide an ideal setting to study ecological recovery and restoration. Visitors may discover The Wilds through a variety of unforgettable tours, including open-air safaris, zipline tours, horseback tours, and many more. Amenities include a frontline Café, indoor and outdoor seating, a gift shop, handicap accessible, as well as organic and environmentally focused tour packages.

Robinson noted that each county has numerous unique must-see, do, and eat experiences. A full list of Guernsey County locations may be found at VisitGuernseyCounty.com.

“We invite folks to relax on our porches and sip our spirits. When traveling through our area, you’ll get swept away by our unique opportunities and experiences that will drift into a day, an overnight, or a weekend and will leave you wanting to visit us over and over again,” said Robinson.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway for two or a fun-filled weekend with your friends, be sure to check out the hotel/lodging packages offered (available to overnight guests only). Each package includes the official Wild About Wine Brochure, a $10 discount on an Open-Air Safari tour (valid until 10/31/24), a Wild About Wine stemless wine glass, and a Wild About Wine Bracelet. Participants will present their bracelets as they visit all the participating wineries and breweries to receive special discounts and gifts. Click here for details on how to plan a “Wild About Wine” trail trip.

For more information on area attractions, events, and overnight packages, contact the Cambridge/Guernsey County Visitors & Convention Bureau office at 627 Wheeling Avenue, Suite 200 in downtown Cambridge, call 740-432-2022, email destination@VisitGuernseyCounty.com, or log onto VisitGuernseyCounty.com.

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Helping People Live “The Simple Life”

Lehman’s is the iconic old-time general store in Kidron, about an hour south of Cleveland. It helps customers around the world take the next step on their journey to a simpler life. For five years in a row, Lehman’s has been voted the Best Destination in Ohio’s Amish Country and has been honored with a Traveler’s Choice Award by Trip Advisor.

Founded in 1955 by Jay Lehman to serve the local Amish with practical, non-electric tools and appliances, Lehman’s ships products all over the country via the website Lehmans.com and print catalog. The retail store, which draws an estimated 300,000 people per year, is located in the world’s largest Amish population.

With over 35,000 square feet of shopping and a museum-quality display of antiques, most lovingly restored by company founder Jay Lehman, it’s worth the drive to Kidron. Lehman’s is like ten stores in one with everything from locally produced food and toys to home décor to baking and cooking essentials – check out the newly remodeled houseware section! Lehman’s even has whole sections devoted to hand tools from past generations. If you think it isn’t made anymore, check with Lehman’s before you give up the search.

You can get a history lesson – there are four pre-Civil War era buildings inside the store – and learn from the experts on old-time skills like food preservation, heating, and cooking with wood and non-electric lighting. When touring the store, please go through it twice, once looking up at the antiques, and the second time looking at the products. Take time to visit the Buggy Barn and marvel at the intricate three-dimensional carvings by Amish artist Paul Wever. Step outside to tour the Tiny House on a Tiny Homestead – it won’t take long!  Check out Lehmans.com/events for family-friendly festivals, classes, and workshops.

Lehman’s has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The LA Times, Martha Stewart Living Real Simple magazines, and many other national media outlets. Why? Because there is nowhere else like Lehman’s!

Lehman’s products have also been featured in major Hollywood productions like Cold Mountain, Interview with a Vampire, and Pirates of the Caribbean. They have brand-new but historically accurate products that directors seek for authentic sets, and the folks at Lehman’s can show how to use them.

Mark your calendar for these upcoming 2024 Lehman’s events:

Mid-Ohio Corvette Club Show on June 1 from 10am – 1pm: The event will be open to all, so bring your corvettes and register at the door. $20 registration per car. The winners will be announced, and trophies will be given out at 1pm. Don’t forget to shop the store. It will be fun for the whole family as the event is free to spectators.

Christmas in July is on July 13: Deck your summer with Holly and Jolly at Lehman’s! Join the fun holiday traditions with a summer twist. Meet Mrs. Claus from 11am to 3pm as she makes her yearly summer trip to Lehman’s to stock up on supplies for her garden at the North Pole.  Flower the Clown twists up some fun with his amazing balloon art.  Brush on over to our wonderfully talented face painter for free face painting. This and much more family fun may be expected at the annual Christmas in July!

Meet the Wood Carver on the fourth Saturday of every month: Have you been to Lehman’s to see the unbelievable carvings done by Paul Weaver? They are truly worth the trip itself. Every fourth Saturday of the month, from 9:30am to 2pm, Paul will be at the store to answer questions and give some background on these amazing works of art. Pictures just do not do them justice, you need to see them in person!

Classic Car Show on August 24: Awesome cars, swingin’ music, and lots of prizes are just some highlights from 9am to 1pm. For just a $10 registration fee (at the door) and free to spectators, enter your car(s), win door prizes and awards.  There will be a free dash plaque for the first 100. A 50/50 raffle will be donated to the Kidron Volunteer Fire Department.

Fall Festival on October 12: Kick off fall with the best of family fun at Lehman’s from 10am to 3pm. Enjoy digging in a corn box, pumpkin decorating, and outdoor games. Don’t miss Flower the Clown twisting up some fun with his amazing balloon art. Take a break for lunch with a fall favorite special in the cafe.

Black Friday in the Country on November 29: Lehman’s has the recipe for relaxing Black Friday shopping. Forget the rush of the big box stores and join a festive day, finding the perfect gifts for everyone on your list.

Old-Fashioned Christmas on December 7 from 10am to 3pm: Get in the holly, jolly spirit at Lehman’s during the annual Old-Fashioned Christmas. Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus in their old-fashioned Sleigh and get your picture taken! Enjoy family-fun activities like holiday crafts, face painting, and calligraphy on personalized ornaments. Don’t miss Flower the Clown twisting up some fun with his amazing balloon art.

Visit with Santa on November 9, 16, 23, and 29 from 11am to 2pm: Bring the little ones to meet Santa at Lehman’s. Take photos with Santa that will last a lifetime. While visiting the store, take the kids through the toy barn so they can make their Christmas list full of unplugged fun.

Click here to see what Lehman’s customers have to say about the store. For more information about Lehman’s, visit Lehmans.com.

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The Artistic Side of Ohio

in Portsmouth & Scioto County 

Discover a world of creativity and expression throughout Scioto County, where arts and cultural organizations flourish. From contemporary art galleries to historical museums, this county’s rich tapestry of artistic endeavors offers an immersive experience that captivates the senses and enriches the soul. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply curious about different cultures, Scioto County is a haven for exploration and inspiration.

Whether you are a first-time visitor or a repeat visitor, the Portsmouth Floodwall Murals is one of the top artistic attractions in Portsmouth. Painted by famed artist Robert Dafford, the Floodwall Murals tell the complex story of Portsmouth-Scioto County through a series of painted scenes on the historic floodwall. Folks can experience the massive piece of artwork via a walk or drive down the wall. If you want to take a deeper look into the artwork while also learning about Portsmouth’s past, visitors can download the free Portsmouth Murals, Inc. app that includes a narrator and additional pictures. But the murals are just the tip of the iceberg of artistic expression in the community.

A local arts organization called the Trillium Project is working to create spaces where local artists, storytellers, musicians, poets, historians, and culture bearers are involved and employed in projects that enliven and inspire the community. Projects like the Second Chance and the Portsmouth Street Art Project work to create spaces for these local artists to work. From creating sidewalk and asphalt art to transforming empty window spaces into artistic displays to painted murals throughout the city of Portsmouth and Scioto County. The Portsmouth Street Art Project works to provide a legal public space for graffiti and street art. The best part about this project? It’s open to the public, residents, and visitors alike to express themselves!

If you are interested in performing arts, Portsmouth offers plenty of options! Whether you want to attend a nationally or internationally touring act or are looking to experience the local performance arts community, Portsmouth has it all. Catch one of the many national and international shows that come through town at Shawnee State University’s Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. Shows like The Cher Show, Uptown, and Madagascar: The Musical are just a few of the acts that have graced the stage at the Vern Riffe Center. Portsmouth also has a few local theatre companies that provide fun and interactive performances throughout the year. The Portsmouth Little Theatre performs all kinds of drama works and is showcased in a historic theatre in downtown Portsmouth. Cirque d’ Art Theatre is a local circus theatre that teaches and engages children of all ages in circus theatrics. Various themed performances occur at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts all year round, including the holiday favorite, the Nutcracker every holiday season.

Are you interested in having an interactive artistic experience? Craft your own piece of pottery, plate, or statue at The Happy Pot. The Happy Pot allows you to paint unique creations you can take and display at your home! Places like the Southern Ohio Museum allow you to explore the world of art through various rotating temporary and permanent exhibitions. Explore and connect yourself to modern art through rotating exhibitions displayed throughout the year. Look back through past cultures as you study over 10,000 Native American artifacts through the Art of the Ancients: Wertz Collection, most of which are part of the Hopewell culture that was once called Scioto County home over 2,000 years ago. Get really interactive with a trip to the VaultOhio, an Esports facility complete with PCs and gaming consoles, and Virtual Reality units to get into the competitive spirit. No matter the type of interactive experience, Portsmouth has it all!

As you can see, the arts and cultural innovations bleed around every corner of Portsmouth-Scioto County. Experience the full display of the arts for yourself when you take a visit to Portsmouth. Visit the Portsmouth-Scioto County Visitors Bureau for more information about visiting Scioto County.

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Marion Is A Haven for Summer Fun

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 ideal 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, offering multiple overnight accommodations options.

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. 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, an excellent destination for your next memory-making moment! For more information on these exciting opportunities, visit the Marion Area Convention and Visitors Bureau website at https://www.visitmarionohio.com/.

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So, You Like Live Music?

As the days and evenings heat up, so does the live music scene in Sidney and Shelby County. Located on I75, just 30 miles north of Dayton, this area is known for presenting some of the best in live musical entertainment. This upcoming outdoor concert season is no exception.

Country music fans will note two big dates on this year’s June and July concert calendar. On Saturday, June 15th, Tyler Hubbard rolls into Sidney as the headliner for the Boots in the Street show. Boots in the Street launched only last year and was a huge success. This year’s lineup features Hubbard at 10pm. preceded by The Cadillac Three at 7:45pm and opening act Dylan Marlowe at 6:30pm. Most know Tyler Hubbard from his days with Florida Georgia Line. His first, self-titled debut solo album features popular singles 5 Foot 9 and Dancin’ In The Country featuring Keith Urban. Subsequent chart-topping singles include Back Then Right Now, A Lot With A Little, and Strong.

In July, one of the top three-day music festivals in the US kicks off in Fort Loramie, Ohio. Now in its 43rd year, Country Concert is a perennial fan favorite for those who love country music. Taking their place on the main stage this year are Hardy, Lainey Wilson, Cody Johnson, Riley Green, Dustin Lynch, Bailey Zimmerman, Warren Zeiders, Big & Rich, Trace Adkins, and many more. On-site camping is available, and guests can bring their coolers to the show. Choose from single-day and multi-day ticket options. Day one of this year’s three-day bonanza is July 11th.

Looking ahead, another highlight of this year’s local events calendar is September 21st and 22nd, when the Shelby County Historical Society presents a Civil War Living History Weekend and Reenactment. Here, guests will immerse themselves in Union and Confederate battle reenactments, spontaneous skirmishes, military and civilian encampments, and more. Cannon and rifle fire add to the realism of these experiences, accompanied by a series of living history educational programs that will provide first-person accounts of life in the Civil War era. Tawawa Park in Sidney offers the perfect location for this unique outdoor drama.

While visiting the area, downtown Sidney’s locally owned restaurants and bistros are perfect for a bite to eat and a cold drink. Options include the famous Spot Restaurant, where guests have enjoyed mouthwatering meals for more than 117 years. The fresh, homemade pies are out of this world. Other downtown dining choices include Murphy’s Craftbar + Kitchen and Amelio’s Italian Pizza Shop. Murphy’s features locally sourced ingredients on their varied menu of tasty dishes along with 48 taps of your favorite beers. Amelio’s is best known for their signature brick-oven pizza, fresh salads, and pasta.

Another local favorite is The Bridge Restaurant. The Bridge offers steaks, chops, and fresh seafood selections in a lovely setting. Guests can dine in or “Al Fresco” on their beautiful outdoor covered patio. For lighter fares and a unique menu of healthy choices, Greenhaus Coffee is the place to go. Not only is their coffee out of this world, but their offering of fresh, tasty breakfast and lunch items will have you planning your next visit before you leave the table.

Just a short drive beyond the downtown shopping and dining district opens up a variety of additional options. Gallery 2:10, Re:Vive Home Décor & More, and Sidney Flower Shop are ideal stops to pick up something special for yourself or a friend. Fun, locally-owned dining options include Los Toros Cocina & Cantina, Fuji Sushi & Steakhouse, High Grounds Café, and Cazadores.

To learn more about the area’s attractions, local events, outdoor adventures, and urban delights, log onto VisitSidneyShelby.com. Sidney, Ohio—a spirit shared.

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ABSOLUTE Grand Festival FUN

Two Amazing small-town Historic festivals are happening this June in West Central Ohio. Don’t miss offering Family FUN for the entire family with Great FREE Live music and fun and unusual entertainment. Both are located in beautiful and charming small-town settings.

First up, the Annual Fort Recovery Harvest Jubilee will be held from June 12 to 16, 2024, at Ambassador Park in Fort Recovery, adjacent to the historic Fort Site Park.

Bring the entire family; admission, parking, and entertainment are all FREE! The fun begins Wednesday evening, uptown at 5:30pm with the Taste of Fort Recovery. This is your chance to sample a variety of interesting and delicious foods from various local Fort Recovery restaurants, all while listening to some Caribbean steel drum sounds from the party band the Sunburners!

Throughout the rest of the weekend, enjoy even more terrific FREE Live music, rides & amusement, Fort Recovery Food Stands, and an antique tractor display. Thursday night at 6:00 kicks off the jubilee with kid games, circus rides, a diaper derby, and Lil’ Miss & Mister Jubilee contests. Join us Friday at 5:00 for the kiddie stands, Red Cross go-kart races, big wheel races, bingo, adult haystack hunt, and music by Toby Leach and Green Sands.

Saturday, starting at 10am with the volleyball tourney and softball tourney. Bring the kids later in the day for a Jungle Island petting zoo and backyard games. Later in the night will be the antique garden tractor pull, quarter auction, 50/50, and live music from Natalie & Hannah and 127 North. Finish your weekend on Sunday with the Jubilee Parade, Romer’s BBQ Chicken pickup, and Challenger Baseball.

Other featured events include a BIG Wheel Race, Kiddie Tractor Pull, a talent show, the famous Fort Recovery Racing Ducks, and the Jubilee Quarter Auction! The Fireman’s Parade begins at 2pm on Sunday afternoon and is followed by a Chicken BBQ dinner.  The weekend includes rides, games, and tons of tasty festival foods!

So, make your way to the banks of the Wabash and enjoy the Fort Recovery Harvest Jubilee! While at the Fort, be sure to check out the historic Memorial Park, the fabulous murals, the Fort Recovery State Museum & log cabins. For your complete Fort Recovery Harvest Jubilee schedule, visit www.facebook.com/FortRecoveryJubilee/.

Next up is the Maria Stein County Fest, which takes place on the beautiful and peaceful grounds of the Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics on June 21-23rd!

FREE parking, admission & entertainment beginning with the featured performances of Bruno Blaszak’s Royal Bengal Tigers! Also, back by popular demand is the nationally known Country Fest Tractor Square Dancers! Additional special features at this AMAZING festival include a Craft Show, Lift-A-Thon, Bingo, Raffles, Games, a Petting Zoo, Rides & much more family fun!

Friendly competitions at Country Fest include a Diaper Derby, Punt-Pass-Kick, Mini-Indy Race, and a 5K Run/Walk: volleyball, Dodgeball, Corn Hole, and 3-on-3 Basketball. Also, enjoy GREAT Live music for ALL ages throughout the entire weekend, and definitely come hungry because Country Fest has plenty of delightful food to satisfy everyone’s palate! For your complete guide to the Maria Stein Country Fest please visit www.mscountryfest.com.

For FANTASTIC festivals, events & TONS of summer FUN, visit SeeMore.org!

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Road Trips in Amish Country

In beautiful Holmes County, Ohio, a road trip has many meanings. It could be a family trip, a gal pals’ getaway, a weekend for the boys, a romantic escape, or a touch with nature. There is a theme, a trail, or an adventure for every interest!

Family adventures include something for children of all ages. A day on the farm can include riding a hay wagon and hand-feeding domestic animals, cuddling farm babies, or encountering giraffes and other exotic creatures. Animal lovers can get their fill of furry encounters! A narrated back-roads tour with a local guide, including stops at Amish homes to shop, visit, or have a pre-planned meal, is always popular.  A visit to BEHALT—the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center opens the world of the Amish to visitors who want to learn about their faith, culture, daily lives, education, and history. Wrap that all up with a round of mini golf or family-friendly theater at the Amish Country Theater or Ohio Star Theater. Finish the day with a good night’s rest in a wide variety of lodging options, from traditional hotels to tree houses and everything in between.

For the ladies, shopping in the many area boutiques such as Sheiyah Market, Carlisle Gifts, b.fearless, or any number of other clothing and accessory stores makes for a solid multi-day bachelorette adventure, shopping tour or a reunion with friends. Add the breathtaking views from multiple wineries, including the area’s newest -Winetagous, located at the Walnut Creek Marketplace, or riding horseback through lush, rolling hills, and you have a recipe for a trip to remember!

The area is becoming quite the destination for gents who are ready for an adventure! A round of clay-shooting at Airport Ridge Shooting Clays, a tour of the Age of Steam Railroad Museum to see a working steam-engine shop and the world’s largest private collection of historic steam engines, a trip down memory lane at the Coleman Lantern Museum topped off with a visit to the award-winning Millersburg Brewing Company or The Cider Press, featuring seasonal meals with hard cider flights, is just what the doctor ordered!

No matter the size of the group or the reason for the visit, Ohio Amish Country offers the attractions, lodging, shopping, and experiences to make any trip memorable! Exploring the area by vehicle, E-bike, or tour bus are all options, and food is always a major part of the itinerary. Holmes County is just under two hours from Cleveland and Columbus, and the beautiful Ohio Amish Country Scenic Byway connects the many communities that comprise the region. A true backroads adventure includes stops at Amish homes and farms that place signs at the end of drives describing the goods available onsite. It is very important to have cash on hand to make purchases.

Several trails have been developed to help travelers plan their visit around their specific interests. Currently, an Antique and Thrifting trail features vintage treasures available at affordable prices for collectors of many interests. Home goods and fashion are featured on another trail for those who wish to design their personal style, upgrade their home’s décor, or redefine their lifestyle. For the Do-It-Yourselfers, a trail featuring unique hardware, home goods, wood crafting, and hobby stores was designed to create a new adventure. For those with a green thumb, the gardens and greenhouses trail are a must for planning a buying trip for bulbs, fresh-cut flowers, produce and more! New trails are coming this summer, including quilting and fabrics, retail furniture, wine & beer, and outdoor adventures.

Holmes County is home to one of the most varied inventories of lodging options in the state. The list of types of lodging rentals includes modern hotels, old-fashioned family-owned motels, boutique-style inns, tree houses, guest rooms onsite at local attractions, retreats, and top-of-the-line camping!

Evening entertainment includes theater, mini golf, live entertainment at local wineries and attractions, unique meals, and, on the weekends, signature Amish country events.

Visit www.visitamishcountry.com or call 330-674-3975 for more information, or download the current Ohio Amish Country Visitors Guide HERE.

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