October Archives

Walk The Great Stone Viaduct

New Walking Trail Atop The Great Stone Viaduct
Set to Open this Fall in Bellaire, Ohio

Few structures in Belmont County are as iconic as the Great Stone Viaduct!

For over 150 years, the towering stone arches have greeted visitors to Bellaire. They are a lasting reminder of the area’s importance in transportation, industry, and innovation.  On June 21, 1871, the first train traveled over the 43-stone arch bridge connecting Bellaire, Ohio, and Benwood, West Virginia. It was part of the country’s longest railroad system. Parts of it are still in use today.

Reminiscent of a Roman aqueduct, each arch consists of 37 ring stones, representing the 37 states of the union at the time of the viaduct’s construction in 1870. Around 1900, the steel portion, made famous in the Denzel Washington movie, Unstoppable, was added to carry southbound traffic. These bridges intersect at 31st Street in Bellaire.

In 1996, owner CSX Railroad abandoned a 20-arch portion of the stone viaduct structure but retained the balance, which is still in use today.  Twenty-two of the arches and the surrounding six acres in Bellaire are owned by The Great Stone Viaduct Historical Education Society, which acquired the site from CSX Transportation. Clean-up of the property and restoration of the stone began in 2016.

Soon, that portion will be opened to the public as a new plaza, walking trail, and overlook.  In cooperation with the Belmont County Port Authority, the Society was awarded $2 million in Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funding to construct the walking trail/bicycle path from 26th Street to an observation platform and turnaround on the Viaduct at Guernsey Street. The trail will provide access over the old Baltimore and Ohio Railroad line along a quarter-mile approach to the Viaduct at Hamilton Street, where the trail will continue atop the historic stone arch bridge. The stonework was done by a local company, Angelina Stone and Marble. Additional plans include the development of a four-acre park on the northern end of the society’s property from the viaduct to 26th street.

Plan your day trip or overnight stay in Bellaire and friendly, beautiful Belmont County.

Autumn on the Farm

Get Roped Into Fall
at Niederman Family Farm

Southwest Ohio’s autumn fun spot is Niederman Family Farm. It’s got all the traditional fall fixin’s but this season, it unveiled a mega ropes course.

Kids get tangled in fun racing around the new Low Ropes Course to challenge themselves mentally and physically, but most of all, to have a good time! Navigate carefully along small floppy blue disc platforms suspended on hanging ropes. Dive into the side-by-side rope tunnels and try to crawl without falling through. A rope bridge with mesh sides will text balancing skills. Now try walking a tight rope with no sides to help keep balance. Rings on the ropes above will test that jungle gym strength. Clutch a climbing wall to get from one side to another. Maneuver a rope net wall. These are just some obstacles to navigate along the way through laughter and competition.

Every year dating back decades, the Niederman family adds something special to its fall lineup of entertainment. Book your fun in the sun or under the stars well in advance at NiedermanFamilyFarm.com.

Of course, the corn maze, pumpkin patch, and horse and wagon rides are featured day and night. Plenty of other activities are across the farm, too. Old-fashioned water pumps send racing rubber ducks back and forth. Families square off for tug-o-war contests. Kids enjoy the farm animal viewing areas featuring goats, turkeys, chickens, rabbits, and other livestock. This farm has it all: human foosball, climbing web, lil’ sprout route, climbing hill, ball zones, tetherball, pipe swings, kids’ tractor play area, and tiny houses. You can even race someone on adult-sized tricycles or bouncy balls.

A day on the farm means time to eat. And the Niedermans have all the fav fall fixins’. Sip hot cider and enjoy fresh kettle corn, funnel cakes, caramel apples, apple butter, pumpkin butter, hot roasted nuts, and other fall treats. These and Niederman’s signature cinnamon sugar donuts, jams, jellies, honey, and a variety of coffees are available in the marketplace barn. They also work with a nearby orchard to bring pumpkins, apples, apple cider, and salsa. On weekends, many of these foods are also available at food tents and stands scattered across the farm.

Grab some shade in the pavilion for a picnic lunch before exploring the other attractions across the farm. These include a giant jumping pillow, ball zones, play cabins, and other activities to fill an afternoon.

Don’t forget to peek at the farm animals.

The privately reserved bonfire pits are set ablaze as the day goes to night. Groups can gather to roast hot dogs or make S’mores. People can cozy up under the moonlight for a good ghost story, take a starlit wagon ride, or navigate the corn maze with flashlights. There’s nothing like a crisp night on a farm.

So, fill your fall days and nights with good times on Niederman Family Farm. Reservations are available at NiedermanFamilyFarm.com.

Niederman Family Farm is conveniently nestled between Cincinnati and Dayton, just a few miles from I-75 at 5110 LeSourdsville-West Chester Road in Liberty Township, Ohio.

Hey, if it is going to be outside, there’s no place like NiedermanFamilyFarm.com to explore a harvest of options.

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

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Ohio Scenic Drive for Fall Foliage

Fall is always a great time to visit the Hocking Hills.  As summer days transition into the colorful warm days and cool nights of fall, mother nature puts on her best show of the year. The Hills vibrate with all the jewel tones of autumn.  Ohio’s Hocking Hills just made CNN Travel’s “7 scenic drives across the United States for your fall foliage fix”.

This fall is even more exciting with the new Hocking Hills State Park Lodge and Conference Center opening.  This new resort is in the heart of Ohio’s most visited state park.  The scenery is spectacular, but the experience goes far beyond the colorful trees.

In December of 2016, a devastating fire destroyed the Hocking Hills State Park Dining Lodge, a favorite restaurant of locals and visitors.  It was a great loss to the community as the facility had also been the site of many weddings, family reunions, and meetings.

Now, rising from the ashes comes the brand new Hocking Hills State Park Lodge and Conference Center.  Governor DeWine and Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Mary Mertz will cut the ribbon on the new lodge on Saturday, October 8, at 1:30 pm.  Everyone is invited to the grand opening festivities.

The new Hocking Hills State Park Lodge and Conference Center features eighty-one guest rooms, many with balconies overlooking the dense forest and hills behind the lodge.  Guests will enjoy the fitness center and pools, both indoor and outdoor.  There are even all-season hot tubs.

Fans of the former dining lodge restaurant will be happy to know Chef Matt Rapposelli is back.  Chef Matt will be serving up his delicious creations at the Rock House Restaurant and Pub.  The restaurant and pub are located in the opposite wing of the property from the guest rooms.  The conference facilities, gift shop, and Grab-and-go Café are also located in this wing.

Just as the Hocking Hills are the natural crown jewels of Ohio, the new Hocking Hills State Park Lodge and Conference Center is sure to be the crown jewel of park lodges.  For more information and reservations, visit hockinghillsparklodge.com or call 800-282-7275.

October is one of the busiest months of the year in the Hocking Hills, and for good reason.  In addition to the delightful display of fall foliage, it’s also the last chance of the year to play outside in great weather.  The Hills are best known for hiking, but there is so much more to do while enjoying autumn’s awesome weather.

Get a bird’s eye view and a thrill as you fly through the tree canopy on ziplines.  Take a colorful float down the Hocking River or drop a line in Lake Logan.  Travel to a haunted tunnel on horseback.  Get up close and personal with baby critters.  Meet the park naturalist’s wild-winged friends.  The days may be getting shorter, but there’s nothing short about the list of extraordinary experiences in the Hocking Hills.

Begin your adventure at ExploreHockingHills.com.

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A Fav Place for Ohio Daytrips

Highland County, Ohio, is a favorite destination for day trips, weekend getaways, and extended vacations in the foothills of Appalachia. Located within 65 miles of Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus, visitors can enjoy an unforgettable weekend away after just a short drive on any of the five major state roadways that connect in the center of the county.

Active visitors will truly enjoy all the opportunities that await in Highland County. With two state parks, nature preserves, and a lot of walking trails, there is something for everyone who enjoys outdoor adventure. Highland County offers options for boating, fishing, or kayaking in one of the creeks or lakes. Bike paths, disc golf, recreational parks, and golf courses are popular spots among residents and visitors.

Fall brings a variety of fun, family-friendly activities within the borders of Highland County. Karnes Orchards is a family-owned fruit orchard and on-site market specializing in apples and cider. B Williams Farms LLC near Leesburg offers a variety of family-friendly activities at their farm. They have pumpkins, gourds, mums for purchase, and various kids’ activities.

Highland county trails offer a variety of skill levels, and fall is a perfect time to experience the beautiful changing leaves while hiking through breathtaking views. Fallsville Wildlife Area allows hikers to experience a spectacular waterfall display. Both state parks, Rocky Fork State Park and Paint Creek State Park, invite outdoor enthusiasts to meander the trails through mature woodlands and open meadows. Fort Hill, in southern Highland County, boasts 11 miles of trails among the home of several impressive prehistoric Indian earthworks. Highlands Nature Sanctuary is home to various trails for all skill levels on the 2,800-acre preserve. Hikers can study stunning rock formations, ancient trees, and a variety of species of gorgeous wildflowers.

Overnight accommodations in Highland County range from adventurous camping to luxurious bed and breakfast cottages or cabins in remote wooded areas. Stay a night, stay a week but be prepared to relax and refresh as Highland County truly is a gateway to a getaway in Southern Ohio. Lodging options are available for as few as one guest up to opportunities for multi families. There are also fall camping events at Rocky Fork State Park, Paint Creek State Park, and the Highland County Fair offering fun for guests of all ages.

With an emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, area restaurants offer a wide range of dishes at reasonable prices for every budget. You can also sample the fresh produce at the local farmer’s markets, take a trip to one of the many Amish or Mennonite stores, or bring the kids (young or old) for small-town sweet treats. A local favorite is Terry’s Ice Cream Dairy Bar in Lynchburg, home to the famous Terry’s Crazy Shakes.

Shopping options include everything from handmade crafts to specialty boutique clothing and cosmetics. Many of Highland County’s shops also have items from local artisans and bakers.

Explore what Highland County offers by booking your next hike, day trip, or weekend getaway! Additional ideas, sample trip itineraries, a calendar of events, and more can be found by visiting https://www.visithighlandcounty.com/.

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The Me Decade

A Look Back at the 1970s

The Me Decade, a retrospective exhibition of the 1970s, is on display at the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum.

It features clothing from the era, presented under a disco ball on a dancefloor in the center of the gallery, including bell-bottom jeans, halter tops, hot pants, and more.  The exhibition also features artifacts from the decade from the museum’s permanent collection, such as Fisher-Price toys, a Coronamatic typewriter, a CB radio, a Westinghouse Electric tabletop radio, kitchen appliances made by The Hoover Company, a Panasonic microwave, box purses, platform shoes, and commemorative items from the nation’s bicentennial celebration in 1976.  The exhibition also includes a recreation of a 1970s dining room with an orange shag rug and retro floral wallpaper.

“Every ten years, we create an exhibition on a decade from the 20th century,” said Kim Kenney, Executive Director of the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum.  “We featured the 1960s back in 2011, but COVID interfered with our plans to showcase the 1970s.  We have postponed the exhibition twice because we wanted to be sure we could have a Disco Party as our fall fundraiser to celebrate the opening of the exhibition.   After planning the exhibition and event for two years, we’re glad to finally be able to have both in 2022.”

It is important to study and collect from time periods that are not readily considered “history” before those items are discarded or otherwise lost.  “It’s hard for people to admit that the 1970s are history, but realistically 1970 was more than 50 years ago,” said Kenney.  “We started highlighting decades from the 20th century in our exhibitions 20 years ago as a way to remind people that the objects they made and used in their lifetimes are worth preserving.  We are also the Stark County Historical Society, so our mission includes collecting and studying local history.  Most of our collection is actually not related to President McKinley.”

The McKinley Presidential Library & Museum is located at 800 McKinley Monument Dr. NW in Canton.  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, Ramsayer Research Library, and the Hoover-Price Planetarium.  The Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The Museum is closed Sunday and Monday.

A Mix of Fall Fun at Bear’s Mill

Click to Play Bear’s Mill Video

Looking for a mix of history, nature, and art? The nationally acclaimed Historic Bear’s Mill is happy to power the way. This historic water-driven, stone-grinding flour mill and its age-old American Black Walnut walls come framed by fall colors cast by the mature black walnut trees, highlighted by reflections along Greenville Creek.

The four-story mill was built in 1849. Its faded and rugged facade against the vibrant bark and leaves is an inspiration for many artists and photographers. Walking trails provide escapes and clever angles of the long-standing building along the millrace and amongst the woods. Sit still and listen to the chorus of rustling leaves. It’s nature’s symphony. Then, watch the leaves that just couldn’t hang on any longer and their hypnotic descent as the orange and red droppings float left and right, back and forth, slowly, until it hits the blanket of earthen hues below. Bear’s Mill has a relaxing patio deck and other vantage points to sip coffee and eat snacks as the seasonal show plays outside.

The beauty of the place is experienced inside as well as out. Within the weathered wood walls, emitting a character all its own is an art gallery with exhibits that rotate on a regular basis. From late March through December, the Artists Series provides opportunities to meet artists from the region and purchase their pieces. A mainstay of the gallery is handmade pottery such as stoneware and raku pottery by the Bear’s Mill potters.

Take a free self-guided tour to explore the artistry of history that is unveiled on each floor of this active mill. It’s one of the few historic water-operated mills operating in Ohio. Cornmeal, whole wheat flour, and rye flour are still ground with the French Buhr stones powered by water from Greenville Creek. Natural lighting casts perfect highlights and shadows through the rustic windows and onto the manufacturing relics of the 19th Century. If reclaimed barn wood is all the rage today, the moody hand-hewed timber throughout the interior floors of Bear’s Mill is like a museum dedicated to it. Some of the beams measure 50 feet long without a splice. And when folks scale the age-old staircases, they may ponder the test of time. Bring a camera. The photos ops abound.

Eventually, visitors return to the first floor and The Mill Store. There’s a great selection of flour and meal that was stone ground at the mill. The store offers an eclectic array of products. There’s a variety of treats. Ask about the homemade buckeyes in the cooler. Handmade creations include gift boxes and custom baskets. And, of course, there are gourmet sundries and kitchen products. It’s where those personal gifts for any occasion may be bought without worrying about someone else giving the same thing.

Bear’s Mill is a treat every season. Community-oriented events, including educational tours, demonstrations, and nature walks, are offered throughout the year.

Plan a mix of fall fun at Bear’s Mill near Greenville, Ohio, at BearsMill.org.

Steam Engine Rides

Ride the oldest restored steam engine in Ohio
at Hocking Valley Scenic Railway
on November 5 & 6, 2022.
The beloved Engine #3
is 102 years old and running.

Play Video

A nostalgic steam engine returns to the tracks on November 5 and 6, 2022, at Hocking Valley Scenic Railway in Nelsonville, Ohio.

Its curdling smoke through its stack to the delight of train enthusiasts.

Several years ago, a team of volunteers – “The Steam Boys” – led by Rob Baughman finished a grand restoration project that had many setbacks. But together, they ultimately succeeded in bringing back to life the 1920 Baldwin-built (former Ohio Power Company) 0-6-0 steam locomotive No. 3 for the first time in 60 years.

It has been used periodically for special runs posted at   www.hvsry.org and on Facebook. On those occasions, coal is shoveled into the boiler for folks to see railway nostalgia in action as the steamer chugs through the scenic Hocking Hills countryside to ride the rails of Yesteryear!

No. 3, as it is often referred to by the “Steam Boys,” was donated to the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway in 1982, although serious restoration didn’t begin until 2004. It has since been a long-standing dream of many railroad men and women to restore it to its operational glory. Their dream is now a reality after years of volunteer hours in the making and at a cost of over $150,000.

The steamer isn’t the only unique offering at this old-time whistle stop.

Tucked back in the rolling hills of Southeast Ohio Appalachia, there’s more than just nature’s beauty in the midst of this leisurely scenic railway. Nearby the Nelsonville depot, there’s an eatery where train enthusiasts like to grab a bite before boarding time. Sometimes the air is filled with lively railroading stories. Go ahead, interrupt and ask your questions; they don’t mind. It’s all part of that Hocking Valley charm.

Before crossing the tracks to the nostalgic depot to purchase your boarding pass, be sure to take advantage of the photo ops that abound. Stroll among railroad history and see lines of coaches, cabooses, and engines depicting the eras of railroads past. But before time slips away or the train sells out, be sure to get your ticket. Sellouts are commonplace due to the demand.

Inside the old depot is a mini museum displaying railroad artifacts. In addition to specialty trains offered throughout the year, two excursions are offered regularly from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day Weekend. Roundtrip to Haydenville spans 1 ½ hour, departing at Noon. Roundtrip to Logan spans two hours, departing at 2:30 pm. There are also pre-season and post-season weekend train ride opportunities aboard enclosed coaches with heat and open-air cars for unobstructed views.

The narrator will tell you when to look left or right for the points of interest while sharing the history of the railroad and the area. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the leisure ride through the woods, rolling hills, and lakes. You even get to go over rivers and streams on a couple of train bridges. Near the halfway point, the train will stop; it isn’t being robbed by bandits, but that treat is saved for the specialty robbery trains. Instead, it is to treat everyone to a sight not often seen. The train is about to reverse direction, but instead of traveling backward, the engine is detached, slowly riding alongside everyone on the adjacent track before it is reconnected at the other end.

Now about those specialty trains. Hocking Valley Scenic Railway has rare opportunities for themed train rides throughout the year. These are all family-oriented and include Ohio’s Friendliest Train Robbery, All Caboose Train, Easter Bunny Train, Santa Train, New Year’s Eve Train & Fireworks, and Memorial and Labor Day excursions.

While you’re in town, you may want to also make time to see the Historic Dew Hotel, where President Roosevelt, President Taft, President McKinley, and President Harding all made campaign stops. Guess how they got there? There’s also Stuart’s Opera House, built in 1879, and the restored, picturesque Nelsonville Public Square. Next to the depot is The Rocky® Outdoor Gear Store. And, of course, there’s plenty of lodging throughout the Hocking Hills Area State Parks – the hot-tub capital of the Midwest!

If you plan to ride the rails, CLICK HERE for the latest fares, specials, operating times, how to charter a private train, and other details, along with directions. Make your next whistle-stop, Nelsonville, Ohio, to board the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway!

By Frank Rocco Satullo, your Tour Guide to Fun! 

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Ready. Aim. Coshocton.

Hunters across the United States recognize Coshocton County, Ohio, as the place for game. It’s often ranked as the top county in Ohio for deer kills and is consistently ranked in the top three. But it’s really open season year-round for a variety of prey.

Hunting animals is what put man atop the food chain. It was essential to his evolution. Meat-eating supercharged human brain activity by giving it the calories needed to advance. Man’s brain uses far more energy than any other muscle in the body. Once this incredible energy source was introduced to his diet, man surged ahead of all living creatures on Earth. Today, man still has an incentive to hunt that dates back over two million years – food.

“In my family, we don’t kill it unless we are going to eat it,” said Scott Hosier, an avid hunter, and fisherman.  …Click Here Read More…

Click here to read the rest of the story

Fall Pilgrimage for Holiday Shopping

Fall Pilgrimage for Holiday Shopping
at Yoder’s Bakery and Furniture

Welcome to Yoder’s Bakery and Furniture, where scenic autumn day trips lead to early holiday shopping.

Such a trip to Southwest Ohio’s edge of Appalachia leads to colorful hillsides along the winding backroads of the Wheat Ridge Amish Community. Yoder’s is the perfect spot for fresh air, scenery, and relaxed shopping.

Grab lunch at the deli and eat outside at the many picnic tables. Repeat for some fresh tasty baked goods. Then, fill a cooler to take home a tasty variety of meats and cheeses. And leave room for that perfect piece of furniture you won’t find anywhere else.

Visitors browse the outdoor and indoor furniture and comb the store’s aisles for original items not found at the big box stores. It’s barely Halloween and folks are planning their Thanksgiving and Christmas menus with special ingredients in the bulk food section. Yoder’s fruitcakes are so popular that it’s encouraged to get orders in before Thanksgiving. They’ll ship anywhere in the country.

Every morning, Amish bakers are seen rolling dough and preparing treats. As soon as the goodies hit the store shelves, they’re grabbed up by customers. Throughout the store, there are more unique finds like the Amish-made baskets, nostalgic wood toys, and old-fashioned tin cookie cutters in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There’s a great selection of old-time candies and sugar-free foods. It’s also a great time of year to get a deal on children’s playsets and patio furniture.

Yoder’s is an Amish outpost right on the Appalachian Highway in Southern Ohio. Folks make pilgrimages to this quaint destination to fill their shopping needs for the holiday season from Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Portsmouth, Northern Kentucky, and West Virginia. This is a destination for the leisure shopper at a place rich in history and good old-fashioned customer service.

Yoder’s Bakery and Furniture is located at 2621 Burnt Cabin Road off SR 32 in Seaman, Ohio. They are open Monday – Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Closed on Sunday). Call 937-386-9995 or visit https://www.yodersbakeryandfurniture.com/.

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Peculiar Exhibits at This Ohio Museum

This isn’t your ordinary county museum. It has rare birds riding a Ferris wheel, a full-body iron lung, a display showcasing the things locals choked on over the years, and the infamous gangster Dillinger behind bars. All that and more are at the Allen County Museum.

In the taxidermy gone wild exhibit, there are several mechanical dioramas that play out scenes starring preserved dead animals. They are fascinating pieces with an entertainment quality that has stood the test of time. The myriad of moving gears and other mechanical pieces bring imagination to life if nothing else. In one, a bunch of birds rides a Ferris Wheel. In another, the animals ride Noah’s Ark. The Ark is over a hundred years old. A local shoe store owner used to turn it on to amaze kids after they purchased a pair of new shoes. It’s fun to watch when it’s running, but it’s not turned on that often anymore.

One of the more bizarre collections may take your breath away. It displays objects removed from the esophagus, bronchial tree (lungs), and larynx of patients of doctors Estey C. Yingling and Walter E. Yingling. Yes, they collected these from their practice during the 1930s to the 1960s. Each item is marked with the date, the age of the patient, and the patient’s name. Looking at many of the items may make it difficult to swallow.

The “Iron Lung” or “Drinker Respirator” was invented in 1929 by Phillip Drinker.  The display says this was the first widely used mechanical device capable of artificial respiration. It was used to treat victims of respiratory paralysis, often caused by Polio. The patient’s body, excluding the head, was placed in the tank. A rubber collar was fitted tightly around the neck to avoid pressure on the windpipe and larynx and to prevent air leakage. As the pressure in the tank decreased the patient’s chest expanded, moving air into the lungs. When tank pressure returned to normal, the lungs released the air.

Lima had the distinction of holding captive the outlaw John Dillinger in 1933. He was jailed for robbing a bank in Bluffton, Ohio. But before he could be tried for his crime, Dillinger’s gang members busted him out of the Allen County Jail. In the process, they shot and killed Sheriff Jess Sarber. They even locked the sheriff’s wife and deputy in the jail cell. The scene is replicated in the museum with Sarber sitting at his desk and Dillinger peering through the cell block bars at him.

Oddities aside, The Allen County Museum in Lima, Ohio is serious about history. The museum itself has a 100+ year history.

While turning the street corner upon approach to the museum, a stunning two-story glass wall showcases an 1893 Shay Geared Locomotive engine. Inside, visitors may explore the exhibit up-close.

The main museum features 42,000 square feet of fascinating exhibits. It took an entire room to display the model built by a local couple depicting George Washington’s plantation – Mount Vernon.  The exhibition galleries feature the area’s history of geology, Native Americans, canals, Civil War, locomotives, and Lima’s oil fields, once the largest known in the world.

Many of the exhibits have that “cool factor” that prompts the inevitable, “Wow! Check this out.”

The museum is kid-friendly and features plenty of hands-on experiences in the Children’s Discovery Center and a Children’s Garden. Little visitors can sit around the fire (not a real fire) in the Indian mud huts. They may stare in wonder over the huge model train display illustrating and demonstrating railroad town culture. Stop in the one-room school for a quick lesson. If anyone “acts up,” there’s a tall, pointed Dunce Cap on a stool in the corner.

The Allen County Museum grounds have much more to explore than the many treasures inside the main complex. The MacDonell House is a Victorian mansion open for tours depicting the high life on what used to be known as Lima’s “Golden Block.” The nearby Log House interprets pioneer living in 1848.

Although this museum is in a historic small Ohio town, it is widely recognized to offer more than many of its “big-city” counterparts. Its diverse and extensive collection has more than 250,000 archival and material items putting it in the league of some of the finest museums around.

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

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Welcome to Hotel Versailles

A destination for guests seeking a truly unique experience, whether passing through the area, visiting a local business or celebrating one of life’s memorable moments.

Hotel Versailles is rich in tradition and history while generously making room for innovation, inspiration and invention. This hotel was designed and developed to ensure all visitors to Versailles feel its hospitality. With Silas, the hotel’s spirited restaurant and lounge, and its event space, the 1819 Room, Hotel Versailles creates a modern, world-class experience perfect for any occasion.

The boutique hotel offers 30 rooms, including six suites, enhanced amenities, a fitness room as well as a courtyard and patio. Throughout the space, you will find locally sourced products, showcasing the wonderful artisans and purveyors the region has to offer. This even includes the pillows, sheets and towels in the guest rooms. Not only are they some of the finest quality, but they also come from Cincinnati-based Standard Textile Company, Inc.

“There are additional surprises from our region in our private bar program, extra amenities and retail offerings. Providing basic amenities and a comfortable night’s sleep is guest service but creating a true sense of place and a memorable experience—that’s true hospitality. Our guests will notice items they had no idea were from right here in our region, even if they’ve spent their entire lives here.” – Jack Olshan, Managing Director of Hotel Versailles.

Throughout your visit, make sure to gather in the hotel’s restaurant and lounge, named Silas Creative Kitchen + Cocktails, aptly named for the eclectic mix of cuisines, wines and cocktails inspired from across the world using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The Silas culinary team prides themselves on delivering the freshest dishes in unexpected ways—continuously updating the menu to reflect the latest local harvest. Featuring an array of indoor, outdoor, lounge and private dining, as well as a consistent rotation of live entertainment, each visit will be different than the last.

“Silas utilizes and sources the highest quality, sustainable produce and proteins from the surrounding area. By partnering with our local vendors, like Winner’s Quality Meats, King’s Poultry Farm, Weaver Eggs, local Ohio farms and our own farm at Sycamore Bridge, Silas creates a unique and memorable culinary experience unlike anything in Ohio.” – Aaron Allen, Executive Chef

Are you looking for an event space for a corporate meeting, family gathering or wedding? The 1819 Room at Hotel Versailles is served by Silas and is designed to host group sizes up to 200 with its own courtyard overlooking the historic town square. The space is equipped with its own bar, audio-visual technologies, private bathrooms, a coat room and an infant care room, making it ideal for any occasion.

During your stay at Hotel Versailles, experience the variety of shops and attractions Versailles and the surrounding communities have to offer. Book a round of golf at Stillwater Valley Golf Club, taste the local wine selection at the Winery at Versailles, order a craft brew at Endless Pint Brewing or peruse the countless boutique shops. There is something for everyone.

At Hotel Versailles, you will enjoy an experience that is both sophisticated and surprising. Friendly and fancy. Modern and memorable. You’ll find nooks and crannies for community and conversation. Warm and inviting like the people who live and work and love there.

To learn more about the hospitality and culinary experience, follow Hotel Versailles and Silas on Facebook and Instagram @hotelversaillesohio and @silascreativekitchen. Visit hotelversaillesohio.com to reserve your next experience.

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Northeast Ohio Fall Fests & Family Fun

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

Medina County shines in the fall with colors, apples, and great fall festivals. Come visit and explore the possibilities.

Start the day off with the family at Mapleside Farms where they have all the staples of fall entertainment. Enjoy family-friendly weekend events such as Superhero, Great Pumpkin, Rocktoberfest, Wild Wild West, and Spooky Days. They also host Pumpkin Village which includes multiple corn mazes, Twin jump pillows, and a 311-foot slide down a hillside. In addition, there’s a petting zoo, hayrides, a pumpkin patch, corn maze and so much more. The giant barn pumpkin wall is a spectacle to see and an ideal backdrop for a fall family photo. Oh, and of course, they have an apple orchard to boot.

Spring Mist Farms just south of Mapleside Farms on State Route 42 is a great petting farm. Pumpkin & Ponies events are offered on Friday evenings from 6pm-8pm, and Saturday evenings from 4pm- 8pm. They offer horse rides, pony cart rides, and hayrides for a small fee. Enjoy all of the farm animals on view.

If the day calls for indoor fun, Scene 75 has plenty to offer. Enjoy mini-golf, go-karting, and arcade games just to name a few pastimes. And when it’s time for a bite, try to decide which indoor food truck is calling you in Food Truck Ally.

Just a short drive east on State Route 303 is Hillside Orchard. Here, four generations of a family tradition started in 1948. Visit for farm-fresh produce, baked goods, and pick your own apples. Head west on State Route 303 for a stop at Beriswill Farms. They host a corn maze, slides, hayrides, pumpkins, and naturally raised beef. Further along 303 is Hill Haven Greenhouse. If you want to learn about water gardening make time to stop and talk to them about your needs or how to begin. They also have fall plants for sale. Skyview Lodge has a roadside market and seasonal events and hayrides.

Over at Medina’s Square family shopping abounds, plus there’s great food in locally-owned restaurants.

Just down the block is Christmas celebrations year-round at Castle Noel. It now takes reservations for weekend visits. Root Candles is nearby and has the perfect fall scents to choose from. Also in Medina is High Voltage Indoor Karting. It is a high-performance electric go-kart with European-style indoor racing. It is attached to Foundry Social, a destination for families and friends to play competitive table games and enjoy delicious food and drinks. South of Medina is Boyert’s Greenhouse offering all kinds of fall outdoor plants & trees. In their greenhouse, they have everything from bird feeders to indoor plants and anything else for your gardening needs. Inside they also have a great gift shop filled with holiday decorations.

Outside of Medina is The Alpaca Boutique. Watch the cute alpacas and other farm animals. They can be entertaining. Shop the small boutique selling items made from alpaca wool.

Continuing south on State Route 3 just north of Seville is Geig’s Orchard. It’s a family-owned and operated orchard and farm market. They have fresh apple cider, apples, pumpkins, jams, honey, and gourds. Not far from Seville on Route 42 is Richardson Farms which is also an apple orchard and farm market. They offer jams, jellies, and pick-your-own pumpkins, plus fresh fruits and vegetables along with fall plants. Call for the availability of hayrides. Further south on Route 42 is Earth Song Farm. They offer organic herbs and vegetables, many in heirloom varieties. They promote spiritual growth and healing with Tia Chi, yoga, Oi classes, and more. Discovery Park offers 3 ½ acres of fun for kids on the farm. Here the kids get a chance to grow and stimulate their senses in areas such as Tad Pole Hole, Jamming Tree, a pedal train test track, and other areas. Also on the Farm is a general store with natural liniments, produce, and more.

Head west to Pine Crest Farms. It’s a working farm that offers hayrides, pick your own pumpkins, a corn maze, hay maze, corn box, farm train a great location for family fun. They also have many fall plants for sale.

Travel these state routes and Medina County’s other backroads for brilliant fall foliage between the inviting small towns filled with great shops and restaurants. A must while visiting the area is the enchanting city and county parks. The Medina County Parks have numerous events as well. All of which are posted at www.medinacountyparks.com. And for a taste of fall brews, consider Medina County’s breweries and wineries.

Buckin Ohio will hold its last rodeo of the season at their Creekbend Farm in October. Spend an afternoon and evening watching professional bull riding, horseback riding, and lots of activities and events for the kids such as the kid’s ice cream eating contest. Oh, and there’s plenty of food, too.

Enjoy a Fall Foliage Tour. It’s a drive-it-yourself tour of historical societies, farms, and farm markets. Call 1-800-860-2943 to have a map sent or visit www.medinacountyparks.com  to pull up the map there.

Medina County’s close proximity to Cleveland and Akron and easy highway access (from I-71, I-76/224, Rt. 18, Rt.162, Rt.303, Rt.83, Rt.94, and Rt.301) make it a great location for Fall Family Fun for everyone in Northeast Ohio or beyond! Explore the possibilities in Medina County at https://www.visitmedinacounty.com/.

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Dayton’s Trailside Camping

Dayton-area visitors now have a new option for spending a night beneath the stars: trailside camping.

These sites join MetroParks’ 23 existing camping options, which include front-country campsites, accessible by motor vehicles, and backcountry campsites, accessible on foot. The trailside campsites support travelers without a motor vehicle who are passing through the region and need a place to stop before continuing their journey.

“Trailside camping fills a niche to support hikers, cyclists, and paddlers who are traveling through Montgomery County on the paved trail network, water trails, and long-distance hiking and bicycle touring routes,” said Brent Anslinger, MetroParks’ outdoor recreation program manager. “These travelers may be out for a few days or on a multi-month adventure that covers thousands of miles. Trailside camping is one more critical amenity that welcomes adventure seekers to the area.”

The new trailside campsites are located along seven long-distance touring routes that run through Montgomery County:

The sites also support Dayton’s designation as a Trail Town of two long-distance trails, the Buckeye Trail and North Country National Scenic Trail, and build the region’s growing reputation as The Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest. Trailside camping also supports MetroParks’ 10-year comprehensive master plan and park master plans.

“Dayton is The Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest in part because of all the regional and national trails and routes that pass through the area, including Ohio’s only National Scenic Trail and only National Water Trail, among others,” Anslinger said. “It’s exciting to invite people traveling these routes — as well as anyone seeking multi-day experiences on Miami Valley Trails, the nation’s largest paved trail network with more than 350 miles to explore — to experience Montgomery County and the Great Miami Riverway in a new way.”

Trailside campsites are open year-round. Each can accommodate two small tents and up to six people, with a two-night maximum at the same site. Camping is by permit only but can be booked in advance or on the spot by visiting metroparks.org/reservations.

These primitive trailside camping sites are located in shaded areas with a restroom nearby in three MetroParks:

  • Island MetroPark, 101 E. Helena St. — located near the Great Miami River Trail and along the Great Miami River Water Trail on the northern edge of the park near a new prairie.
  • Eastwood MetroPark, 1385 Harshman Rd. — located between the Mad River Trail and Buckeye Trail
  • Taylorsville MetroPark, 2000 U.S. 40 — located on the south side of the dam along the Great Miami River Trail

To develop its trailside camping options, Five Rivers MetroParks worked with local, regional, and national partners that share the strategic goal of enhancing outdoor recreation opportunities that allow people to connect with nature. Partners include Bike Miami Valley, the Great Miami RiverwayBuckeye Trail AssociationNorth Country Trail AssociationNational Park ServiceRails-to-Trails Conservancy, and Adventure Cycling Association. Sources from these organizations can be provided upon request.

Celebrating nearly 60 years of preserving green space and natural areas, Five Rivers MetroParks is a nationally renowned park system accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies. Five Rivers MetroParks protects the region’s natural heritage and provides outdoor experiences that inspire a personal connection with nature. Educational programs and recreational opportunities are offered year-round for all ages. To learn more about Five Rivers MetroParks, log onto www.metroparks.org or call 937-275-PARK (7275).

German Village in Columbus

A Culture Preserved in Brick 

Don’t all urban brick roads echo the clippety-clop of horse and cart merchants? When we come across one today, it’s like glimpsing a rip in time. In Columbus, Ohio’s German Village, an old world collides with the new. It’s where the Letgo or Nextdoor App meets the rag-and-bone man who called out, “rag n’ bone!” And people would run outside to throw second-hand goods into his cart.

There’s something poetic about a stroll in German Village of Columbus. From one block to the next, the environment can go from bustling to a standstill, chitter-chatter to silence, car tires to bicycle pedals. In the shadows of downtown Columbus’ skyscrapers, buildings in the village are roofed at three stories, tops. The brick roads blend as easily with the brick walls as the storefronts do with the residential porches. And the old-world density of it forces parallel parking to get out and do what modern man has primarily forgotten to do – walk. Do it for a few blocks and try not to smile along the breezy sidewalks comingling with oak roots. And for those who are up for a type of scavenger hunt, follow The Brickline. It’s a trail from plaque to plaque throughout the village, each with its own story to tell.

German Village offers various staples for any interest, from coffee houses to neighborhood pubs, bakeries to restaurants, and mom-and-pop shops that have operated under the same family shingle for generations. But there’s an old stable, independent bookstore, sausage haus, and ice cream stand that need to be a part of any itinerary.

There’s a term, discovery shopping experience. The place for it is The Red Stable. Here, over one hundred artists’ creations are waiting to be a one-of-a-kind purchase.

Before it was a gift shop, this little red building (made of wood, not brick) was a horse livery. Then it became a wagon repair shop (not the Radio Flyer type). It even spent time as an ice house. Then came the dark ages when a combination of anti-German sentiment after the world wars and the highway system all but killed the pulse of the village. Fortunately, the German Village Society was formed to help revitalize the historic neighborhood. During this phase, The Red Stable seeded what is flourishing today. Local artist Phil Keintz opened an art studio and gift shop there and featured Ohio artists.

Today, The Red Stable, German Village Souvenirs & Gifts, features Cuckoo Clocks, candles, cards, stationery, bath and body products, plants, jewelry, clothing, gifts, and of course, pieces of art.

A brick skips away in a former brick livery stable is five generations of German hospitality served up at Schmidt’s Sausage Haus und Restaurant.

The Schmidt family name is well-known in the food industry. Their label is in the aisles of many grocery stores. Although their meatpacking house had been open for decades, their first nibble into the concession and restaurant business began with a stand at the 1914 Ohio State Fair. And it is now the second-oldest food booth at the state fair. It wasn’t until 1967 that Schmidt’s Sausage Haus opened its restaurant doors in the heart of German Village. It has been the talk of the Central Ohio food scene ever since. Be sure to try their Jumbo Cream Puffs, Alpine Chicken Spatzel, or Weiner Schnitzel und Gravy. The atmosphere, hospitality, and menu hit the trifecta in German authenticity.

To walk off a hearty meal, head over to one of the nation’s largest independent bookstores, The Book Loft.

Inside this place alone, the walk spans a city block after eight different expansions. Even for the non-reader—Willkommen! Enjoy the adventure of wandering a labyrinth of books through 32 connected rooms, each with its theme, spanning two stories. That’s after navigating the flowers, fountains, and park bench scene outside. The place is so big and windy; there are maps at the counters. Large as it is, its red awnings, red brick walls, and red brick sidewalks and patios create an ambiance of coziness. Curl up in the courtyard or a nook or cranny inside and open the pages to another world. The central courtyard displays “hurt” books at steep discounts for a bargain among the bargains.

Next door, fittingly, is Stauf’s Coffee Roasters. Take a seat and begin reading over a cup of Columbus Underground Roast.

Perhaps it’s the simple side of German Village that walks off the stress of the outside world. Walk long enough, and fantasies of moving to the neighborhood fill the mind. After all of the walking, a sweet tooth will lead to an ice cream stand along the sidewalk. It’s not just any ice cream; it’s Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.

This seasonal walk-up “Mini Jeni’s” is inside an old neighborhood barbershop near the historic Schiller Park. For those who have trouble deciding what to get, you may be pleased to find just four choices on the menu. Place an order at the window in the brick wall and have a seat at a patio table and chair lining the wall along the sidewalk under the giant shade trees, and people watch as pedestrians gather or walk by.

Look around at the brick and ironwork forged to stand the test of time. Its architecture is out of this world, and its culture is from a bygone era.

But you can visit it anytime.

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

Enjoy Fall in Youngstown

Plan a fall road trip to Youngstown & Mahoning County and enjoy the beautiful autumn foliage, top-quality golf courses, award-winning wineries, world-renowned art museum, and family fun events.

Fall Color in Mill Creek MetroParks
Enjoy the beautiful fall color in Mill Creek MetroParks. With forty-five miles of scenic trails to explore, boardwalks, paved walkways, and unpaved trails take visitors through the diverse lands and scenery of this breathtaking park. At Lanterman’s Mill & Covered Bridge, one of Mahoning County’s most historic landmarks, enjoy the scenic overlook of Lanterman’s Falls, the covered bridge, and hiking trails. Stroll through Fellows Riverside Gardens and enjoy seasonal displays and scenic vistas.

An Outdoor Recreation Guide gives more information about trails and other outdoor activities to help you plan your adventure in Youngstown.

Play a Round!
Fall is the perfect time for golf in Youngstown and Mahoning County. The Youngstown area has been ranked #4 in the country for top-quality, affordable public courses. Whether you want to tackle a Donald Ross-designed course or a links-style course, there are plenty of challenges awaiting you.

New golf simulators will be open this fall in the Waypoint 4180 Center, adjacent to Kennsington Golf Club in Canfield, and will allow you the virtual experience of playing courses from around the world.

Stay-and-Play Packages are available at area hotels, so grab your clubs and get ready to tee-off. The  Youngstown Golf Guide includes information on all 12 local courses.

Enjoy Award-Winning Wineries
The Youngstown area is home to five beautiful wineries, each with their own unique ambiance. Enjoy scenic outdoor patios, glistening lake views, stunning fall sunsets, and sprawling vineyards. Food options range from snacks and flatbreads to full-menu restaurants. Learn more about the local wineries in the Wineries & Breweries Guide.

Visit The Butler Institute of American Art
The world-renowned Butler Institute of American Art is a must-see on any visit to Youngstown. Known as “America’s Museum”, The Butler is the country’s first museum dedicated to works created solely by American artists. Its ever-expanding collection now exceeds 22,000 pieces in all media types, dating back to 1710.

On display until November 22 is America’s Everglades: Through the Lens of Clyde Butcher. This traveling exhibition showcases a body of work that represents a quarter of a century of Clyde Butcher’s photographic expeditions into the American Everglades. Through the breathtaking images, the viewer is beckoned into the image and becomes part of this mysterious and primeval place rarely seen by humans.

Admission is free, and the museum is open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-4pm and Sunday 12pm-4pm.

Fall Family Fun
White House Fruit Farm welcomes guests throughout the fall season to enjoy their orchard-fresh apples, seasonal produce, homemade donuts, and apple cider. The Budgie Bird Barn is open Friday-Sunday for an up-close experience of feeding multiple parakeet (budgie) birds right out of your hand. Their Fall Gift Barn & Pumpkin Pavilion are open through October 31. Find fall décor and mums, and a variety of pumpkins and gourds. Hours are Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 11am-5pm. Visit throughout the week and enjoy fall on the farm.

Get lost in over 21 acres of corn at Maze Craze in New Springfield. The best corn maze in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Maze Craze was featured as one of the top ten corn mazes in the country in 2018 in the USA Today poll. This year’s design is A Christmas Carol, and it has four separate mazes that will fascinate and entertain all ages. Open weekends through November 1.

Plan Your Fall Road Trip!
Download the Travel Guide and other information at youngstownlive.com.

Giant Mural in Ohio

Road Trip Worthy
Giant Roadside Mural in West Central Ohio

It’s meant to surprise, delight, and spark conversation, and the new Giant Roadside Mural: Tribute to Apollo 11, in west-central Ohio, certainly does all that and MORE!

Each year famous roadside muralist, artist John Cerney chooses a topic or theme and donates one of his works of art to a community or organization. Last year’s 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing got him thinking about that feat and the man who took those first steps onto the moon.  Cerney of Salinas, California, contacted the Wapakoneta Chamber of Commerce early in 2020 and offered to donate one of his murals if the right location could be found.  The local group, First on the Moon, took on the project and the rest, as they say, is history.

Cerney painted the various components in his studio in California and then traveled cross-country to deliver and construct it on site.  The mural is located about three miles east of Wapakoneta on US 33.  It is viewable from the westbound lane.  Creney’s giant works of art can be found in 28 states and Canada, this is Ohio’s first Cerney mural and it is a great excuse for a fun road trip.

After checking out the giant roadside mural, you will want to continue into Wapakoneta and visit the Armstrong Air & Space Museum.  Fall and winter hours are Wednesday through Sunday 10am to 4pm.  They abide by strict cleaning protocols and offer a safe museum experience.  While there, be sure to take a selfie with the two bronze statues of Neil Armstrong.   One depicts him as a youth dreaming of someday becoming a pilot and the other as an adult in flight gear, having accomplished that long-held dream.

Complete your road trip with a visit to historic downtown Wapakoneta.  It is filled with wonderful, unique shops and great places to grab a snack or a meal. If your sweet tooth needs a fix, stop by Winan’s Chocolate + Coffee for their decadent candies or Cloud 9 Café for their scrumptious homemade fudge.  There is a third bronze statue of Neil Armstrong, downtown. This one depicts him waving to the crowds as he did during a huge Homecoming Parade following his trip to the moon.

For more information on these and other fun things to see and do in west-central Ohio check out Seemore.org.

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Autumn Means Abundant Color in Sidney


With its wide-open spaces, Sidney and Shelby County is an ideal destination for outdoor recreation this fall. Whether on foot or from the saddle of your favorite bicycle, you will surely enjoy the view accompanied by the sounds and aromas of autumn in west-central Ohio.

Sidney’s Tawawa Park is a picturesque and tranquil destination. The park itself consists of 220 wooded acres, two beautiful lakes, and a meandering creek. 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 adorn the landscape and paint an incredible picture when the weather cools.

A new addition to this park this past summer is the recently refurbished Zenas King bowstring bridge. Where once there were many examples of immediately recognizable bridges like this, today only two remain in Ohio. Its placement across Amos Lake in Tawawa Park offers a spectacular view and an inviting place to linger.

When you’re ready for a snack and change of scenery, 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 hearty meals, the eateries in downtown Sidney are sure to satisfy.

Not far from Sidney is Lake Loramie State Park.  It too is a grand landscape with an abundance of hiking and biking trails, overnight camping, and its centerpiece, a 1600 acre lake with 30 miles of shoreline. Fall fishing enthusiasts will love Lake Loramie where crappie, bluegill, and smallmouth bass are plentiful. Sledding, snowmobiling, ice skating, and ice fishing are popular pastimes in the winter months. Close by watering holes and dining options include The Fort Loramie Brewing Company, Morrie’s Landing, and the Bunker Restaurant at Arrowhead Golf Club.

For every recreation preference, the possibilities are many in Sidney and Shelby County. With the Discover Shelby County History app downloaded to either Apple or Android devices, users can take a self-guided driving or bicycling tour of Shelby County to visit over 300 interesting and historic sites.  In addition, adventurers can select from seven carefully prepared travel itineraries or build their own from a long list of things to see and do on the website of the Sidney Visitors Bureau at www.VisitSidneyShelby.com.

Come play in Sidney Ohio… They’re waiting for you.

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Pinball Garage Hits All The Buttons

Eat, drink, and play pinball. The Pinball Garage has the vibe of a sports bar— offering food and a full bar— with the addition of 30 pinball machines that are among the 50 top-rated pinball games of all time… including Medieval Madness, the #1 rated machine. A successful journey that started on the popular show Shark Tank led the owner Brad Baker to Hamilton, Ohio to open his new business.

Before his Shark Tank tale, Brad and his company VPCabs helped pioneer the technology behind digital pinball machines. Virtual Pinball allows people to play any pinball game ever made, all on one machine.. Brad applied to be on Shark Tank twice and he was accepted the second time; he appeared on Episode 28 of Season Seven. He ended up making a deal with Daymond John.

As a native of the Hamilton and Fairfield area, Brad began manufacturing his virtual pinball machines in Fairfield four years ago and then realized his growing company was in need of a larger space. When he decided to move his warehouse to Hamilton, the building he bought had a large storefront to the warehouse. Brad’s friends and the City of Hamilton urged him to consider opening a pinball arcade, bar, or restaurant in the front of the building. Brad combined all three ideas to open Pinball Garage.

The Pinball Garage features all mechanical pinball machines; some of which were newly made by VPCabs, while others date back to the 90s. Among the 30 different games offered, they are all rated in the Top 50 in the world. Each machine is different, offering popular titles from Batman, Iron Maiden, Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Simpsons, Star Wars, Stranger Things, and many more.

The Pinball Garage also features rarities like the Rick and Morty Pinball Machine, which is one of about 50 such machines in the world and only 3 are available for the public to play, as well as the Legends of Valhalla Pinball Machine, which only has six prototypes throughout the world and the other five are privately-owned.

Each machine requires anywhere from 2-4 tokens to play, so Pinball Garage offers a few different token packages for customers to purchase. They also sell a custom, retro fanny pack that comes with $60 worth of tokens for $50.

Of course, a great game of pinball wouldn’t be complete without perfectly themed drinks. Brad’s daughter-in-law, a former mixologist at The Roosevelt Room, helped to create a full menu of creative craft cocktails. Pinball Garage is also partnered up with the owners at All8Up Pizza & Hoagies to deliver food to customers while they play. Along with food and a full bar, they also offer 24 draft beers, one of which is a non-alcoholic draft root beer.

“It’s great for families and I say it’s for kids, but adults drink it like crazy,” Brad says. “It’s really similar to the old-school, handmade root beer from Jolly’s.”

There are big plans for the future as well, as Brad has Phase 2 of Pinball Garage in the works. This will include additional seating, expanding the bar, installing more big-screen TVs, and offering a larger variety of both new and old pinball machines.

“We want to attract the hardcore gamers, as well as just regular people who want to come in and have a great time,” Brad says.

Day Trip East of Cincinnati

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

East of Cincinnati is a cluster of eclectic attractions in Clermont County. We stopped at four: the world’s only cardboard boat racing museum, a dreamy river town, a vineyard ripe with atmosphere, and the world’s most interesting grocery store. Not a bad way to spend a day. …Read More…

Click Here for the Rest of The Story

The American Farm Reinvented

The Niederman family planted hybrid crops of
tradition and tourism to save their rural culture

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

Ever expanding suburbs have been squeezing farmland out for generations. Mostly gone are the amber waves of grain that used to grow in vast seas just outside of major population centers. Where seeds once soaked up the sun and rain are now streets named for what they paved over: Strawberry Fields Avenue, Hunting Meadows Road, Vineyard Circle, and so on. Since this transformation of America’s heartland, there’s now a generation of children who can’t think past their local grocer when it comes to where food originates.

Much like mom’s apple pie, the American farm is fast becoming more fable than reality. But the Niederman family is trying to change that! …READ MORE…

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Fall On The Farm In Delaware County

Come for a Pumpkin—Play the Whole Weekend 

Is a trip to the Pumpkin Patch on your to do list this fall?  If so, there are lots of good reasons to visit Delaware County.  Multiple farms feature pumpkin patches, foods, festivals, farm animals, and lots of fun activities and experiences.

Take a ride to the pumpkin patch, roam your way through a corn maze, ride a pony, make a scarecrow, hunt for arrowheads, or play barnyard golf. Other activities including giant Legos, barrel rides, farm bounce house, petting barn, mini zip line, straw barn, pumpkin jump, pedal cars, and slides are also part of the fun.

Be sure to come with an appetite, too. Kettle corn, hot dogs, chili, apples, baked goods, cider, and fresh dipped caramel apples are sure to please the taste buds.

Find which farms feature the activities that are most interesting to you, plus dates, hours, and any associated costs before your visit. Check out the websites listed below for all the details: Freeman’s Farm Fall Festival, Hidden Creek Farms Fall Festival, Leeds Farm, Lehner’s Pumpkin Farm, Miller’s Country Gardens.

More Fall Fun!

Alum Creek State Park has lots of fun activities planned for their Fall Fest, including a scavenger hunt, wagon rides, a disc golf tournament, and more!

Stratford Ecological Center will host a Fall Family Campfire (advanced registration is required).  Visit farm animals, explore prairie paths and enjoy storytelling, singing and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.

Historic farm equipment and demonstrations focused on horse and steam power will be featured at the Ottawa Bota Farm. The Ohio Hand Corn Huskers Association will present their annual Husking Competition. 

Pre-register the family for a scarecrow building contest, and trick or treat trail at Gallant Woods Preservation Park (registration required). Then enjoy Fall on the Farm (free for all ages).

Hike, bike, canoe, kayak, golf, fish, or take a country drive and just enjoy the fall colors in Delaware County!  Make it a weekend: visitdelohio.com.

One-of-a-kind Dinosaur

Torvosaurus joins group of extremely rare dinosaurs
in a new permanent exhibit at Cincinnati Museum Center

Cincinnati Museum Center’s Dinosaur Hall is at the Museum of Natural History & Science. It features a dinosaur that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world: a 30-foot-long Torvosaurus.

The Torvosaurus was a giant carnivorous dinosaur that stalked the Late Jurassic, 153 to 148 million years ago. It bears some resemblance to its much younger cousin Tyrannosaurus, though it predates it by over 80 million years. Both were bipedal predators but the Torvosaurus has more robust arms with three large claws and a longer, narrower skull. And though it’s smaller, the Torvosaurus boasted teeth nearly nine inches long. It was the apex predator of the Late Jurassic, sitting atop the food chain, stalking its massive herbivore neighbors.

CMC’s Torvosaurus is the only one of its kind in the world. Previous specimens were only known through isolated bones but CMC’s is what paleontologists call fully associated, meaning it was found largely intact. It’s 55% complete and contains bones never found before, many bones joined together in their natural position. That rarity makes it especially important to paleontologists and researches hoping to better understand the dinosaur’s anatomy and evolutionary history.

“This skeleton has the ability to tell us a lot about the anatomy of the dinosaur and to understand the evolution of this unique group of dinosaurs,” says Glenn Storrs, PhD, associate vice president of science and research and Withrow Farny Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at Cincinnati Museum Center. “To put a Torvosaurus in our museum is very exciting to me, to dinosaur enthusiasts and to scientists from around the world.”

For those amateur and professional paleontologists who share Dr. Storrs’s excitement, they’ll have to travel to Cincinnati to conduct their research.

“Fossils tell the story of our planet’s history, a history that is relevant to us all as part of our natural heritage,” says P. David Polly, PhD, president of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. “In the new exhibits, guests will be able to enjoy the same fossils that scientists study, from the huge Torvosaurusskeleton to small animals and plants that lived alongside it.”

That such a rare dinosaur is in Cincinnati is a case of luck and remembering one’s roots.

Jason Cooper, a fossil enthusiast who has spent years digging for fossils out west, discovered the Torvosaurus skeleton in 2013 in Dinosaur, Colorado. Cooper’s family owned the land where the dinosaur was discovered, haphazardly, while digging a road to another dig site. Being a native of Cincinnati, he had a desire to see it at a museum and an institution he grew up with.

“This has always been a dream of me and my family to get something like this back to Cincinnati,” says Cooper. “That’s where we came from and Cincinnati Museum Center has developed into this national dinosaur treasure museum.”

The Torvosaurus joined five other dinosaurs in the Dinosaur Hall: a 25-foot Allosaurus that was previously on display, the 60-foot-long Galeamopus that made its first public appearance at Rhinegeist Brewery and three additional dinosaurs.

Schoenbrunn Village’s Sleepy Hollow

Based on the Washington Irving’s beloved classic,
the performance comes alive by the glow of the bonfire

This is an excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler.com

Historic Schoenbrunn Village invites visitors to enjoy a lively retelling of the famous Washington Irving short story by the glow of a bonfire on the lower level of Historic Schoenbrunn Village.

Travel to that not so sleepy, Sleepy Hollow and meet Ichabod Crane, Baltus and Katrina Van Tassel, Brom Bones and the rest of the eccentric Townspeople. While Ichabod courts the lovely Katrina, tensions rise between Ichabod and Brom.  Ichabod suddenly disappears and the only thing that still remains is a smashed pumpkin and his hat. The local legend goes that his head was taken by the Headless Horseman one spooky night.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a family-friendly event. Guests begin the night at the Historic Schoenbrunn Village Museum and Gift Shop, and then guides lead the groups by lantern light to the performance area.

Tamara Benson, director, is excited for opening night.  “Three years ago Steve Long entrusted his production of Sleepy Hollow to me and it has been an immense pleasure bringing his vision to life,” she notes. “You’ll see some old and new friends around the fire this year as we tell stories and celebrate fall.”

Tickets are on sale at www.schoenbrunnvillage.eventbrite.com.

Just remember to watch where you are going and don’t lose your head!

Historic Schoenbrunn Village was founded in 1772 as a Moravian mission among the Delaware Indians. With founder and missionary David Zeisberger, Ohio’s first settlement reached one hundred cabins and three hundred inhabitants. Today, sixteen reconstructed cabins are available to tour. Historic Schoenbrunn Village’s last day of its 2018 regular tour season is October 28. Special events include Spring and Autumn Lantern Tours, Children’s Day, Frontier Skills, Simple Songs, Stories & Games, Colonial Trade Faire, the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and a traditional Moravian Sunrise Service for Easter and Lovefeast.

Barn Artist Time-lapse Video

Ohio Native Scott Hagan, known as “The Barn Artist,” recently completed another historical barn mural as part of a state-wide project coordinated by the Ohio History Connection. The barn on State Route 105 just west of Oak Harbor features a larger-than-life image of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry and his “Dont Give Up the Ship” motto along with a smaller image of the iconic Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial on Put-in-Bay. The barn offers a connection to the past through a graphic representation of an important piece of the area’s history. A time-lapse video showing how it all came together was created for Lake Erie Shores & Islands and the Ottawa County Historical Society by Sandusky’s New Departure Films.

Watch history come to life!

Take a Ride Down Memory Lane

bicycle museum of america

at the Bicycle Museum of America

There are few things in life that most of us have in common, regardless of our situation, our life style, and even our age.  Bicycles may just be one of those. It is a rite of passage for a child to graduate from a tricycle to a bicycle, and the day you left your training wheels behind was likely one of those celebrated, if not now forgotten, triumphs in your early life.

The Bicycle Museum of America houses a rich source of bicycle history with over 250 examples on display.  The size of the museum and location hide what is truly a national treasure.  Here you will find everything from the very earliest bicycles to the most modern.  Examples of the collection include a bicycle outfitted for the U.S. Army infantry in the 1890s and the famed bicycle from the film Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. You will also see a monocycle on display that was used in the closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Check out the Bowden fiberglass bicycles, a collection of wooden bicycles, many high wheel bikes and historic racing bicycles. Sting-rays from the 1960s and balloon-tired bicycles from the 1950s fill the historical interior with nostalgia.

For the most serious bicyclist it is a unique look into the history of a beloved hobby and mode of transportation.  It can afford the individual, regardless of their age, an opportunity to stroll down memory lane in a way that is not otherwise possible.  There are few other places where a grandparent, or even great-grandparent can gain as much from the experience as every other member of the family.  Bicycles and memories long forgotten may come back and serve as a springboard for countless new family stories and adventures which may have remained forgotten.

Additional collections of gemstones, inaugural medals and a Company C flag that accompanied a local contingent during the Civil War are also on display. The museum is always changing and evolving making each visitor experience unique.

Make plans to visit this incredible private museum located at 7 West Monroe Street, in historic Downtown New Bremen, Ohio.  Fall/winter hours are from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5pm and Saturday from 10am to 2pm. Summer Hours are from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 7pm and Saturday from 10am to 2pm (Closed Sundays).   Admission is $3/adult, $2/senior, $1/student.  Guided Group tours are by appointment. For more information, call 419-629-9249 or visit GreaterGrandLakeRegion.com.

Ohio’s Newest Historic Barn Paintings

ohio barn painting by Scott Hagan

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

The Sandusky County Convention & Visitors Bureau sponsored a historic barn mural painting project and the residents of Sandusky County were encouraged to submit their barns for consideration.  After months of review and artwork designing, the painting of the first barn murals were completed last month.

Scott Hagan, also known as “The Barn Artist,” is painting the murals and is best known for the Ohio Bicentennial Barns he painted in all 88 counties in 2003. Scott also completed the Rutherford B. Hayes barn that was a joint project between the Ohio History Connection and the Ohio Turnpike which is located on Fangboner Road, just outside of Fremont.

David Thornbury, a graphic designer and marketing specialist for the Sandusky County Convention & Visitors Bureau (SCCVB) wanted the barns to symbolize something historical that each town is known for. With that in mind he designed a 9/11 tribute as well as a commemoration for the Battle of Fort Stephenson and “Old Betsy.”

The 9/11 barn with elements of the Public Safety Service Memorial in Gibsonburg was dedicated on the 15th anniversary of the  terrorist attacks. One interesting spin on the Gibsonburg barn’s location is the strange connection it has with 9/11/2001.  When members of the SCCVB reviewed the submitted applications from all around Sandusky County they spotted a beautiful white Centennial Barn located at the corner of SR 600 and CR 32. It was not a barn that was submitted for review but they knew immediately this was the right location.

They walked up and knocked on the door and proposed the idea to Mary and Wayne Groweg, the owners of the barn and they were interested immediately.  When they told Mary about the proposed 9/11 theme she immediately said if you make the barn a 9/11 theme, you have to put a tribute to Teresa Martin-Miller, of Woodville on there. She was killed on 9/11 when the plane struck the Pentagon and it just so happened, her brother was delivering wood sheeting for a roofing project that was underway on our barn on 9/11 and he was sitting on a forklift when he got the news Teresa was missing.

The SCCVB was able to meet Mary’s request with a tribute to Teresa Martin-Miller and also found out that a second Woodville Native was on Flight 93 and was killed in the plane that crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania on 9/11 so both Sandusky County natives were incorporated into this historic barn mural that had now turned into a memorial barn.

Additional Barns are being planned. The second barn is located on Christy Road in Fremont. It also features a mural designed by David Thornbury at the SCCVB. It commemorates the Battle of Fort Stephenson and “Old Betsy”, the cannon that Major George Croghan used to fend off the British and the Indians in the War of 1812.

Additional Barns will begin again next spring with locations in Woodville, Clyde and Bellevue planned.

The SCCVB is seeking corporate sponsorships for the barn paintings. The Battle of Fort Stephenson Barn was sponsored by Fremont Federal Credit Union.

To learn more about the historic barn paintings, contact the Sandusky County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Clifton Mill is a Standout!

Clifton Mill  and its 200+ years of finely aged beauty stands the test of time and enchants its visitors on a number of levels. Tour all five floors of the historic mill. Relax to the gentle sounds of the old mill wheel and the soft rhythm of the water gently cascading over the falls. Gaze at the covered bridge. Hike the scenic Clifton Gorge. Inside, treat yourself to some great home-style cooking at The Millrace Restaurant. The atmosphere is unmatched and the view is simply hypnotizing. The menu and gift shop include fresh delights made fresh right there at the mill. You won’t want to leave without a keepsake from a bygone era. Complete information is available at http://www.cliftonmill.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/.

The Last Standing Bookstore


Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

The Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Becomes The New Home of Cincinnati’s
Last Free Standing African American Bookstore

The National Underground Railroad announced that they are the new home of Cincinnati’s last free standing, black-owned African American bookstore—Smith & Hannon, formerly located in Bond Hill. Museum admission is not required to visit the bookstore. This will enable the Smith & Hannon Bookstore to continue to connect the public to African American authors & literature.

Located on the first floor of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Smith & Hannon is Cincinnati’s destination for African American literature—ranging in a large selection of non-fiction and fiction titles in a wide range of genres including: biographies, autobiographies, history, children and young adult, poetry, religion and spirituality and much more. In addition to new titles, Smith & Hannon also features a selection of first edition titles available for purchase.

“We are elated to be the new home of Smith & Hannon Bookstore,” says Dr. Clarence G. Newsome, president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “It is important that we continue the tradition that Mrs. Smith began in 2001, by providing the community with access to such an invaluable resource. People of all walks of life will be exposed to the great works of many African American authors, as well as connect with up and coming authors.”

Smith & Hannon Bookstore was founded in 2001 in Bond Hill by former Cincinnati educator, Joyce Smith. After teaching and administrating for 30 years in both public and parochial schools, Smith understood the importance of literacy and education in the African American community and, upon retirement, sought out to create a community space where readers of every age could meet to read, connect and gain exposure and access to African American literature and authors.

“Smith & Hannon Bookstore will continue to be an accessible resource to the local community at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center,” says Joyce Smith, Smith & Hannon founder. “Now its reach will extend to readers of every age and background, extending the joy of reading and learning to a new generation of readers and future authors.”

Smith & Hannon Bookstore is now open at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Bookstore hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 11: 00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.Admission to the museum is not required to visit the bookstore. For more information visit freedomcenter.org.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is located on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Since its opening, more than 1.3 million people have visited its permanent and changing exhibits and public programs, inspiring everyone to take courageous steps for freedom. Two million people have utilized educational resources online at freedomcenter.org, working to connect the lessons of the Underground Railroad to inform and inspire today’s global and local fight for freedom. Partnerships include Historians Against Slavery, Polaris Project, Free the Slaves, US Department of State and International Justice Mission. Recently, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center launched a new online resource in the fight against modern slavery, endslaverynow.org.

Labyrinth Provides Quiet Reflection


Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

Labyrinth Provides A Path For Quiet Reflection

The paths to success at Ohio Wesleyan University now include 86 majors, 57 minors, and one stone labyrinth.

Thanks to generous donors, the university completed the installation of a 47-foot-diameter labyrinth inspired by one of the world’s oldest walkable labyrinths – an 800-year-old path at Chartres Cathedral near Paris, France. Both labyrinths feature rosette-style centers, resembling the intricate rose windows found in the gothic cathedrals of Northern France.

Ohio Wesleyan’s labyrinth includes 17,600 stone pavers, with about 30 percent of the stones being cut by hand. The labyrinth, located in a grove of trees between the newly renovated Merrick Hall and the Delaware Run, is open to the public seven days a week during daylight hours.

OWU’s labyrinth was designed by well-known labyrinth architect Robert Ferré and installed by Debi and Marty Kermeen of Illinois-based Labyrinths in Stone. The labyrinth is slightly larger than its inspiration and is unique in that its pavers rest on a concrete base rather than being set directly into the ground.

The goal of her California-based nonprofit organization is to “pepper the planet with labyrinths,” including a new initiative to create a series of interconnected “Veriditas Legacy Labyrinths.” Ohio Wesleyan’s labyrinth will be only the third such legacy labyrinth in world. The others are located in La Falda, Argentina, and Jacksonville Beach, Florida – and each contains a piece from the other two in support of an interconnected global community and peace.

The labyrinth is a gift to the university from the family of OWU Life Trustee Kathleen “Kathe” Law Rhinesmith, Class of 1964.

“I’d like to believe it’s a place where each person who comes here will find something,” Rhinesmith said, “whether that be a casual and peaceful walk or a deeper moment of self-discovery and self-reflection. … My wish is everyone who comes here will come away with some quiet new perspective on their life or the world around them.”

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. It is located in Delaware, Ohio. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

Steubenbille is a City of Murals


Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

The City of Murals has a new mural…and one with national and local significance.

Long known as a steel and coal city, Steubenville, Ohio began transitioning into a community that encouraged art and history in 1986. Over the years since, 25 larger-than-life depictions of significant people and places in the community were painted on buildings throughout the downtown. The last two murals – one of Steubenville native son, Dean Martin with his Rat Pack buddies and another of a frontier pioneer – were painted in 1997 at a nearby shopping complex.

“The murals drew many visitors,” explained Judy Bratten, Director of the Historic Fort Steuben Visitor Center. “But due to budgetary constraints, the murals and some of the buildings they were on were not maintained. We have lost three, and another will soon be gone as its host building is being demolished. That’s why we have worked to renew the project with this Civil War mural.”

The newest mural as of 2015, located on the west side of N. 3rd Street in downtown Steubenville, is a 35-foot tall by the 70-foot wide portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in the telegraph office of the War Department in Washington, DC. With him are two men who had called Steubenville home: Edwin McMasters Stanton, Secretary of War, and David Homer Bates, telegrapher. The painting captures the strain of office as the men communicated with troops at various battles, directing their movements and sending supplies. Artist Ruston Baker of Millersburg, Ohio became engrossed with the project, reading and studying, and seeking information to make it as accurate as possible while making it accessible to the general public. Even as he was painting, people who worked in the area came by to talk, make suggestions and ask questions.

“Local residents will probably get used to this mural over time. But visitors to Steubenville will see it and take in the history of this small town,” noted Baker.

Bratten noted that several current murals are being “refreshed” and there are plans to have more new ones as soon as other accessible sites are chosen.

“The murals are just one of the projects in the city that enhance the quality of life and draw tourists to the area. The other endeavor that began almost 30 years ago was the reconstruction of Historic Fort Steuben on its original site overlooking the Ohio River,” Bratten explained. “The Fort is now fully rebuilt with exhibits and artifacts in every building. In addition, there is now a beautiful Visitor Center, Fort Steuben Park, and the Berkman Amphitheater offering live music throughout the summer.”

A free map of the murals is available in the Visitor Center, but additional booklets are for sale and give detailed information about the murals. A step-on guide provides entertaining stories of the murals and the city for group bus tours. For more information contact the Visitor Center at 740-283-1787 or www.oldfortsteuben.com.

German Heritage Celebrated

die_musik_kneesGerman Heritage Celebrated at Oktoberfest in Minster, Ohio

We can thank them for introducing us to beer, sausage, sauerkraut and the Christmas tree. German immigrants have made great contributions to this country. Have you ever wondered why so many Germans came to America? Crop failures, inheritance laws, high rents, high prices, and the effects of the industrial revolution led to widespread poverty and suffering in Germany. Relatives and friends who had already immigrated to America wrote back, encouraging others to follow. These circumstances led to “chain migrations” and group settlements, like those in west Ohio’s Auglaize County. The immigrants included well-to-do farmers who saw a bleak future, poor ones with no future and paupers whom the authorities often paid to leave the country.

German immigrants began arriving in west central Ohio in 1832 and found an untamed wilderness. Within a generation, they had turned it into successful farming communities. In 1848 the completion of the Miami & Erie Canal between Cincinnati and Toledo connected the region with the world.    Since the arrival of the first German immigrants in the 1830s, Auglaize County has grown and prospered. The legacy of those German pioneers- strong faith, hard work, and a dedication to excellence- continues today.

The Auglaize County Village of Minster celebrates this heritage by hosting an annual Oktoberfest. As the region’s largest German heritage festival, the Oktoberfest attracts more than 60,000 people each year for an enjoyable weekend of wonderful German food, music, and dancing. It is rated as one of the best Oktoberfest celebrations in the nation. However, for the people of Minster, the festival is just not an event; it’s a feeling, a spirit, a happy mood that conveys the warmth and friendliness of the community.

The annual Minster Oktoberfest takes place in early October. From singing and dancing to the taste of hearty German foods, this event provides a fun filled time for all. Topping the list of free entertainment this year includes popular bands such as Sorgenbrecher, The Klaberheads, Autobahn and Cincinnati Schnapps.

Mark your calendar, come out to the festival and watch the spectacular gala parade featuring colorful floats and marching bands. Take part in the beer tray relay, the 10K run, and a number of other games and contests. Whether or not you share the German heritage, we’re sure you’ll find yourself doing the Chicken Dance before the evening is over. For more information, check out the Minster Oktoberfest website for a complete schedule of events.   We’re sure you’ll agree: When it comes to having a great time the Minster Oktoberfest ist wunderbar!

Top-10 Ohio Eateries

top eateries in ohio ohiotraveler.com
(We picked 5 / Fans picked 5)

  1. Maid Rite Sandwich Shoppe in Greenville, Ohio
  2. Lava Rock Grille at Unusual Junction in Coshocton, Ohio
  3. Ye Olde Mill at Velvet Ice Cream in Utica, Ohio
  4. Big Ed’s Main Street Soda Grill in Vermilion, Ohio
  5. Covered Bridge Pizza Parlor in Ashtabula, Ohio
  6. Trusty Woods Restaurant in Ft. Recovery (fan selected)
  7. Door 142 in Fredericktown (fan selected)
  8. Tony Packo’s in Toledo (fan selected)
  9. Nutcracker Family Restaurant in Pataskala (fan selected)
  10. Tie with too many to name – click here to see others
  11. If you want more unique eateries across Ohio, click here

(We pick 5 / you pick 5)
Simply look for an active Top-10 list
click here
post yours as a comment, then
f it gets enough “likes” it’ll be
added to OhioTraveler.com (get it free)

Top-10s are in no particular order.
If you disagree with our list, no worries,
you’ll get your say when we re-vote.
Look for the prompt here

And remember, OhioTraveler.com is your
tour guide to fun!

Rainbow Hills Vineyards a Standout


Rainbow Hills Vineyards: So many things standout at this winery. It is everything a winery should be. It takes you on a journey into a woodland paradise and down a winding non-paved road into a rolling meadow on one side and grape vines on the other. The winery dog gives a friendly hello. The setting is tranquil, with panoramic views a plenty. Inside, it is rustic with private nooks, warm wood and lovely rough-stone walls and fireplace. Subtle touches make you feel like you aren’t going anywhere for a while. Back outside is a soothing fountain in a pool-like pond with plenty of sheltered seating cascading down the hillside. From star gazing to sun splashed days, it is a true getaway surrounded by wildlife and complete with meals and inn. Oh, and the wines have won international awards. Their name says it all. Click here for more information.

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/.

Backroads Of Wayne County

wayne-cvb-fallExcerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

The Wayne County Convention and Visitors Bureau, in the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country, invites you to grab your picnic basket and cooler before setting out to enjoy the gorgeous autumn weather on a Backroads of Wayne County, Fill Your Picnic Hamper Tour.

Your first stop should be at their office at 428 W. Liberty Street in Downtown Wooster. They will be happy to furnish you with maps and information on the area. The office is open Monday through Friday 9:00am to 4:30pm. If you’d rather, visit them online atwww.wccvb.com.

While in Downtown Wooster, stop by Local Roots Market and Café, a year-round indoor local food co-op featuring baked goods, meats, eggs, produce, arts and crafts and seasonal ready-to-go salads and soups.

New to Downtown Wooster is the JAFB Brewery, featuring freshly made hand-crafted beer.  JABF invites you to enjoy your picnic lunch in their tap room as they make just one thing…beer, and they do it right.

Another great place to enjoy the outdoors is the beautiful Secrest Arboretum & Gardens on The Ohio State University’s Agricultural College campus in Wooster. Open daily from dusk to dawn offering scenic walking and biking paths and the oppurtunity to explore the diverse landscape theme gardens.

Wayne County boasts two award-winning wineries, Troutman Vineyards and Winery in Wooster and Silver Run Vineyard and Winery in Doylestown.  Both establishments offer tasting rooms with scenic views of the rural countryside.

Take a short drive north on scenic route 94 to the village of Marshallville and the Marshallville Packing Company.  This is where you’ll be glad you packed the cooler…as they offer a complete line of old-world sausages, smoked meats and cheeses.

The self driving tour, in the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country, highlights some of the less traveled backroads of Wayne county.  Enjoy the gorgeous autumn weather as this tour features stops at local farmers markets, bakeries, meat markets, wineries and breweries.

Bring your picnic hamper to the following locations and pack it with delicious, fresh from the farm, homemade and homegrown treats…the very best of backroads county cusine!

Local Roots Market and Café
140 S. Walnut St.
Wooster, OH 44691



A year-round, indoor, local food co-op featuring baked goods, meats, eggs, produce, arts and crafts.  All from Ohio producers. Fresh seasonal dishes.

JAFB Wooster Brewery
120 Beall Ave.
Wooster, OH 44691


Fresh American handcrafted beer made in historic Downtown Wooster. They invite you to bring your picnic to their tap room as they only do beer. Growlers available to go.

Secrest Arboretum & Gardens
2122 William Rd.
Wooster, OH 44691

click here

The perfect spot to enjoy a picnic. Open daily dawn to dusk. Enjoy the beautiful gardens and arboretum. Part of The Ohio State University’s Agricultural College.

Troutman Vineyards and Winery
4243 Columbus Ave.
Wooster, OH 44691


Bring a picnic lunch and sample home-grown wine in the shade of their backyard.  Feed the goats and take a stroll through the vineyard.  Learn about the wine making process.

Silver Run Vineyard and Winery
376 Eastern Rd.
Doylestown, OH 44230


Boutique winery featuring hand-crafted wines in a country setting.  Relax by the coxy fireplace or on the covered back porch.

Marshallville Packing Co.
50 E. Market St.
Marshallville, OH 44645


A complete line of old-world sausages, smoked meats, and cheeses.