History, Art, Music, Cuisine and More – Only Steps Away
Located just 35 miles southwest of Cleveland and 11 miles from Lake Erie, Oberlin is the perfect place for day-trippers and travelers who like to explore and enjoy interesting sights, tastes, and sounds. With a lively downtown, captivating history, and picturesque landscape it is no surprise that this small community of 8,000 was named a Distinctive Destination by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Whether you are seeking a refreshing weekend away, visiting friends and family, or checking out Oberlin College and Conservatory, Oberlin has something for you.
History lovers will enjoy learning about Oberlin’s nationally-significant history by touring three beautifully preserved buildings at the Oberlin Heritage Center or signing up for a themed history walk through downtown neighborhoods. Hear stories about the first women in the nation to attend college and the assumptions they had to prove false. Ponder whether you could follow the same rules as the earliest settlers. (No tea or coffee?!) Listen to powerful stories about Oberlin’s national impact on the anti-slavery movement and people who traveled through Oberlin on their journey to freedom. Guests can also explore at their own pace through a variety of self-guided tours and by visiting dozens of historic monuments and markers located throughout the city, honoring scientists, Tuskegee Airmen, freedom seekers, historic trail blazers, and more.
Stretch your legs and spend time wandering Oberlin’s downtown and the Oberlin College campus to see architectural gems by notable designers like Cass Gilbert, Minoru Yamasaki, and Wallace Harrison. Immerse yourself among ancient artifacts and world-class art by masters such as Monet, Matisse, Picasso, Oldenburg, and Calder in the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College’s free art museum. The art museum also maintains and offers tours of the Weltzheimer/Johnson House, a Usonian house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and located just over a mile from downtown.
Those ready for rest and a recharge can choose from a variety of coffee houses, bakeries, sandwich shops, ice cream parlors, cafés, and restaurants, several of which serve locally sourced foods. Stop in at unique shops to browse through antiques, beads, jewelry, art supplies, books, gifts, art, hardware, vintage clothing, and one-of-a-kind souvenirs. If it gets too hot outside, step into the cool air conditioning of the historic Apollo Theatre and watch a new release on the big screen (at little expense). Beyond the town center are reservoirs and parks to traverse, a rail-trail bike path, historic Westwood Cemetery, Splash Zone Metro Park, and canopy tours at Common Ground retreat and renewal center.
Those who crave a more festive atmosphere should watch community and college calendars for events like the annual Juneteenth Celebration (June 16), Chalk Walk (June 23; pictured above), Family Fun Fair and Car Show (August 4), outdoor summer concert series, Oberlin Summer Theater Festival, and more world-class musical and theatrical performances year-round. When it’s time to retire for the night, Oberlin offers a variety of accommodations, including the downtown Hotel at Oberlin and numerous Bed and Breakfast hosts.
The Oberlin Heritage Center is a great place to start your visit to Oberlin, learn more about the history of this spirited community, and pick up maps, information, and calendars. The parking lot of the Heritage Center is located at 20 West Vine Street and OHC is open year-round, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 to 3:00 with extended hours during special event weekends.
For more information, visit www.oberlinheritagecenter.org or call 440-774-1700