Miami County Sweets & Spirits Trail

Start Your Journey on the
Miami County Sweets & Spirits Trail

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Welcome to the sweetest and most spirited journey through Miami County! Get ready to indulge in the region’s finest treats and libations as you explore the Miami County Sweets & Spirits Trail. Whether you’re a local foodie or a curious traveler, prepare to satisfy your cravings and discover the irresistible flavors of Miami County!

Troy

A.M. Scott Distillery: Step into the world of A.M. Scott Distillery, which opened in downtown Troy, Ohio, in 2022. Explore a wide array of meticulously crafted spirits featuring vodka, whiskey, and gin – each bottle telling a story of tradition and quality. Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or just starting your journey into the world of craft spirits, there’s something here for everyone.

Tip: A.M. Scott offers 20% off your purchase on the trail (excludes alcohol).

Bakehouse Bread & Cookie Co.: This bakery passionately crafts a variety of delicious hand-shaped breads, cookies, and pastries daily, including batards, baguettes, boules, challahs, ciabattas, focaccias, and more. With a belief that food should nourish and inspire, they meticulously create each product with this ethos in mind, using only the finest locally sourced ingredients.

Tip: Bakehouse is a check-in-only location.

Ducky’s Snowballs & Ice Cream is a full-service ice cream shop with a New Orleans twist. It features Louisiana-style snowballs. For an extra twist, try their Quackwich, a hot Jim’s donut stuffed with Hershey ice cream.

Tip: Ducky’s is a check-in-only location.

Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop is filled wall to wall with every kind of candy you could possibly imagine, and then some. Grab one of the 250 kinds of candy bars or delicious ice cream cones, pick from bulk candy, or find a treat from a foreign country right here in Miami County. It is more than a candy store; it is an experience.

Tip: Grandpa Joe’s is a check-in-only location.

Hayner Distilling: Established by Lewis Hayner 155 years ago, Hayner Distilling in Troy, Ohio, flourished into one of the state’s largest distilleries and America’s premier mail-order whiskey provider. Today, they honor Lewis Hayner’s legacy by reintroducing Hayner Distilling to a new generation of whiskey lovers, echoing its beginnings along the Miami River in Troy, Ohio.

Tip: Hayner is a check-in-only location.

Moeller Brew Barn: Moeller Brew Barn Troy, the second location of this well-loved establishment, opened in 2019. It is located within the historic First Lutheran Church of downtown Troy and has been refurbished. It is a great place to have a pint.

Tip: Moeller is offering a buy-one pizza, get-one 50% off on the trail.

Provisions Co & The Mayflower by A.M. Scott Distillery: While at The Mayflower, you will experience the perfect blend of vintage elegance and modern indulgence as you sip on cocktails, indulge in dinner offerings, and feel the magnetic energy of live entertainment (the Mayflower will be opening soon). Located in The Mayflower building, Provisions Co. offers visitors a curated collection of great products, including handcrafted spirits by A.M. Scott Distillery.

Tip: At this location, you can receive 20% off your purchase on the trail (excludes alcohol).

Sweet Dreams Cake Shoppe: Your imagination can run wild at Sweets Dreams Cake Shoppe while discovering all of the sweet treats available at this location. From cakes to cookies and muffins to cupcakes, the sugar and sprinkles will be plentiful at this stop on the Sweets & Spirits Trail.

Tip: Sweets Dreams is a check-in-only location.

Winans Chocolates + Coffees has two locations in Troy: Indulge in the ultimate taste tease, where the richness of chocolate meets the flirtatious zing of sea salt, caramels, and sweet treats that would tempt any chocolate lover.

Tip: Winans are check-in-only locations.

Long Shots Restaurant and Driving Range: Swing a driver and enjoy America’s favorite dessert, ice cream, on the sweets and spirits trail in Miami County! It’s the perfect stop for pairing fun along the way.

Tip: Long Shots is a check-in-only location on the trail.

Piqua

Bits and Pieces: This stop on the trail brings you to the home of rolled ice cream, edible cookie dough, and Italian ice and sandwiches. Create your own flavor or order off their creative menu of delightful creations.

Tip: Bits and Pieces offers 25% off your total purchase on the trail.

Crooked Handle Brewing Co.: The Crooked Handle Brewing Company founders were introduced to brewing craft beer in 2008.  They spent their weekends in a small garage on a horse farm crafting beers using nothing more than a couple of igloo coolers, a small kettle, and a propane turkey fryer. Today, you have the Crooked Handle Brewing Co., where you can have brews and bites!

Tip: Crooked Handle Brewing Co. is a check-in-only location.

Dobo’s Delights Bake Shoppe: This authentic Hungarian bakery is in the heart of Miami Country. Cindy Dobo has been creating delicious bites, phenomenal cakes, and plenty of baked goods for your drive around the Sweets and Spirits Trail.

Tip: Enjoy 10% off your entire purchase on the trail.

Susie’s Big Dipper: Step into their unique space, where the aroma of freshly made waffle cones will tempt you to order not one but two cones in this spot. Susie meticulously crafts all the ice cream in-house, adding their personal touch to each flavor.

Tip: Susie’s is a check-in-only location.

This & That’s Candy on Main: Step in and take a trip down memory lane with their collection of retro candy, toys, and flavored soda. Browse through a wide selection of sweets and toys from years past and relive the memories of your childhood. From classic candies like Pop Rocks and Nerds to vintage toys like Tamagotchis and Super Soakers, they have it all.

Tip: This & That’s is offering trail users 25% off your total purchase.

Winans Chocolates + Coffees has two locations in Piqua: Stop at Winans in Piqua, the town where Winans has been making hand-crafted chocolate since 1961. Winans has a chocolate heart, bringing joy to people’s lives every day.

Tip: Winans are check-in-only locations.

New Carlisle

Indian Creek Distillery: Grab the Spirit of America in a bottle in Miami County! This century farm has been distilling since they settled sans prohibition. Thanks to history, you can still see the original stills and get you some Staley spirit!

Tip: If you buy one Sweet Shot from The Stillhouse, you can get one for 50% at this stop on the trail.

West Milton

HomeTowne Bakes LLC: One of Miami County’s newest stops on the trail, when visitors step into HomeTowne Bakes, they will be delighted by the options that await. Muffins, cupcakes, brownies, cookies, cinnamon rolls, and more are what’s in store. And make sure to try a sweet or savory koache (Czech pastries); the sweets ones are similar to a Danish with filling and the savory ones are similar to a pig in a blanket.

Tip: HomeTowne Bakes offers 10% off your entire purchase on the trail.

Old Mason Winery & Vineyard Inc.: Discover the passion of handcrafted wines at Old Mason Winery & Vineyard, a family-owned and operated winery since April 2013. From humble beginnings as a hobby to crafting award-winning wines, they take pride in the dedication and care they put into each bottle.

Tip: When stopping at Old Mason on the trail you can receive 10% off an appetizer.

Tate’s Tasty Treats: A dairy bar located in West Milton is the hometown spot that is perfect for anyone looking to satisfy their sweet tooth cravings or grab a quick bite to eat. From lunch to dinner, this spot has all your favorite sweets and eats; swing by and indulge in a treat that will delight your taste buds!

Tip: Tate’s is a check-in-only location on the trail.

Tipp City

Rad Candy Company: Introducing Rad Candy Company – the perfect sweet treat for all your snacking needs on the trail! Our high-quality candies are made with the finest ingredients, ensuring a delicious and satisfying taste with every bite. Whether you’re looking for a mid-day pick-me-up or a sweet indulgence, add this to your list.

Tip: Rad Candy Company is a check-in-only location.

Bodega Market: All ice cream at Bodega Market is made in-house, in small batches. There are typically 12 different flavors with at least one dairy-free option. Key lime is a crowd favorite, along with pumpkin in the fall. Bodega is also famous for its cinnamon rolls baked daily. Be sure to satisfy that sweet tooth while on the trail with a visit to Bodega Market.

Tip: Bodega Market is a check-in-only location.

Bradford

Twenty-One Barrels Hard Cider & Wine: Discover the charm of Twenty-One Barrels, where Danielle and Shaun Pierce have crafted a haven for beverage enthusiasts since 2020 in Bradford, Ohio. From meticulously crafted hard ciders to effervescent canned wines, their diverse offerings promise a taste adventure like no other. Hard Cider enthusiasts will enjoy the rustic yet welcoming taproom on the 20-acre farm, where tradition meets innovation.

Tip: Twenty-One Barrels is a check-in-only location.

Start your journey on the 2024 Miami County Sweets & Spirits Trail today and earn points toward great prizes!

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PORCH LIFE

The Porch Life:
Being Present for Eternity
One Morning at a Time

By Frank Rocco Satullo

 

I stepped foot onto the porch after the long hiatus.

And jumped back inside.

Too soon.

But the inviting yet deceitful morning sun whispered otherwise.

“Hi squirrel, where’s your nut?”

 

Weeks later, the temperature still said to stay inside,

but the rising sun was too inviting not to try.

The wind was sleeping, so in its stillness,

I lowered into my rocking chair, surprisingly comfortable
with a heavy flannel and coffee to warm me.

I watched the dewy split rail posts exhale,

As if breathing when their moisture met the sun’s rays.

It was Fool’s Spring,

The awakening was still weeks away.

 

Sinking back into the long-awaited chair on the porch,

my mind and body revived.

Spring tantalized every atom of my existence,

and all existence

absorbed into what must have been singularity.

 

The sun favored one cloud.

The cloud shone pink.

The others around it remained grayish-white.

I questioned how only one could catch the warmth.

Then, I stopped questioning and enjoyed it
for as long as it would last.

 

The dull grass brightened.

Baby squirrels played tag in the apple trees.

Boy, they could fly.
And Robins were frolicking on the ground.
Spring was in the air.

 

Green mist rose from the grass level to the bushes.

The painter always seemed to pause at this moment.

Then boom!

The color spread across the trees

remembering where every leaf goes.

Little leaves, flowers, birds, raccoons, and deer

experience the world for the first time.

As do I.

 

The leaves whisper, giving voice to the breeze.

A thousand hidden birds form a chorus in different languages celebrate first light.

Morning Hawk circles his menu indecisively.

 

Morning Dove slowly and deeply calls, “Hu hoooo—hoo hoo hoo.”

Another faintly answers from a far-off place.

They volley back and forth unhurriedly for as long as one wants to listen.

 

The sounds outside my head match the clattering inside it.

A woodpecker rata-tat-tats away.

A dog yelps up a storm.

An airplane engine showers over it all.

And a rooster (in suburbia!) cock-a-doodle-doos like there’s no tomorrow.

 

The sky turns moody—deep textures of dark and light drift.

The wind chimes ring out.

Is it approval or a warning?

 

Fog mystifies a tree line.

Swallowed.

And so goes the next layer of woods.

The cooling breeze wraps me in the mist.

Time stood still. The fog did not.

A gray-hued tree line was freed.

After that, a distant line of trees awoke.

Until all was clear, leaving just the foggy memory.

 

Squirrels hop with uncertainty, blinded by their teething apples.

A fox slinks quickly for cover in the distance.

The deer looks tense.

A hummingbird darts in and out of a flower.

The raccoon slumbers by a woodpile without a care.

 

Bambi is going it alone.

The wonder of the world in one eye.

Hesitancy in the other.

Somewhere, a snap.

Like a ballerina, Bambi sprang with grace to safety.

 

Mr. Hawk dive-bombs without warning.

Violence smacks the ground.

Wings flap to the sky.

A horrid squealing.

Then, nothing.

 

A father-time tree rustles its leaves rhythmically east, then west,

bending against the blue sky as if it were a school of fish in the ocean

darting to and fro on a dime with one mind.

 

Three airbrushed angels appeared out of the lightly sprayed clouds

in an otherwise sunny sky.

Slowly, they floated sideways and transformed into three birds.

The birds morphed into a phoenix.

Its wings filled the sky with powder white.

Then, twisted tight upward until it was lost in the sun.

 

A peculiarly large mass flapped overhead clumsily.

A pelican! Here?
The porch is always full of surprises.

 

Bumble Bee makes his rounds.

He switches shifts with the hummingbird.

The lavender smiles.

 

Out of a puff cloud grew a speckling of little black dots.

Some bobbed. Others rocked.

The size and numbers increased.

Until the blue sky was blocked by migration.

And just like that, it was empty again.

 

The cross breeze against the skin is rejuvenating.

The chimes enjoy it, too.

An orphaned band of clouds, like a lone mountain ridge appears
out yonder past the familiar three-tiered tree line.

It moved so leisurely; it didn’t seem to move at all.

 

But time and size said differently.

It was my sole focus for who knows how long.

The morning coffee tasted even better in the mountain air.

Zero interruption. A moment everlasting.

Until there was nothing to look at.

And everything returned to sight.

 

Glitter scattered across the sky.

Or so it seemed when a flock of birds’ white undersides

flickered in the sun with the flapping of their black wings.

 

My ears fill with static.

All the trees rustle at once as if alive and talking.

They chatter nonstop.

Then, in a deep breath, silence!
It was like one said, “Hush, what’s that?”

A moment later, the conversation continues.

 

That one tree is always in a hurry.

The others wait, green with envy.

The show-off bursts into bright yellow.

It’s quite a spectacle.

Two trees behind it eventually grow red, perhaps in envy.

Even in their fiery glory, they are one-upped,

Because they only provide highlights for the yellow one standing before them.

The three remain this way before fall spreads to the forest of green around them.

When it does, their early flair fades. And disappears.

And everyone else shines bright.

 

The lonely streetlamp is strangled by fog.

Tall tree shadows loom over it.

It feels like a mystery is about to unfold.

Or a crime.

I wait to see what comes out of the darkness.

Somewhere in the brightening gray rises the sun.

The mystery turns to promise, dreamy, and serene.

The still of it all hasn’t changed.
Just the light of night to the light of day.

 

Nature’s aviary loaded every tree with as many birds as leaves.

Their chatter was so loud that you couldn’t hear the passing cars.

Then, the air show took off! An airshow without air traffic control!

Clusters flew low, high, crisscrossed, opposite angles, near and far.

It was bizarre.

And just when it felt it would never end.

It did.

Leaving silence and emptiness in the aviary.

 

Hello there, Peek-A-Boo Fox.

He slinked around the corner of the split rail fence.
Our eyes met in stillness as he looked up at the porch.

Although she wore a beautiful coat,

I only saw a cartoonish villain with a trickster grin.

“Heeeey…”
She darted off.

Later, she moved in the shadows of the apple trees.
I shifted. She froze.
When she darted off again, I laughed.

 

When Ms. Possum was startled when I opened the door to the porch,

She stood, froze, and fell as if rigor mortis took instant hold.

I sipped my coffee while watching the dead ringer for roadkill in my grass.

The possum played possum so well that I thought it was dead.

I ducked inside to call for my wife to see our new lawn ornament.

But in that instant, Ms. Possum was nowhere to be found.

 

Oh, Shadow Tree. Everyone around you is so bright and easy to see.

But then I noticed you, the shadow tree.

Who is blocking your light? I cannot see.

Why can’t you shine like the other trees?

Watching you saddens me.

It makes no sense to see a shadow tree

amidst a tree line of look-at-me’s.

 

A raccoon waddles along the hillside.

The neighbor’s dog had been perched, waiting patiently

for his chum to appear.

He shouts his approving good mornings.

The raccoon is disinterested, as always.

The dog tells the whole neighborhood he wants this friend.

The raccoon is simply indifferent or deaf.

 

Out of nowhere, a well-racked buck ran to a stop in the middle of the yard,

sniffing to see what made the creaking sound.

It was me shifting in my rickety wooden rocking chair

to crane my neck for a better view of this mammoth wonder.

He sensed my presence but couldn’t place it.

Alertly, he slow-walked again.

Then, like blowing out a candle, he vanished.

 

Fall’s grand finale bursts like fireworks.

Vibrant color popped all around.

Yellow, orange, red, green, and brown.

The crispness crackled in the breeze.

 

Silently, a hot air balloon appeared from behind the corner of the house.

It floated lazily just over some low treetops.

It was so close I could have called a greeting to the balloonist but didn’t.

It breathed its hot air through the cool, lifting away.

Like a ship sailing off in the ocean, it eventually grew so tiny it faded away.

 

Ah, the delight of hoodie weather.

Just me and my coffee breathing into the crisp sunny morning air of fading fall.

 

Now, the windowpane separates me from my porch.

I open a book.

Snow falls.

The snap of the nearby fireplace lures me to winter hibernation.

 

By Frank Rocco Satullo

Pause often. Don’t chase. Flow. Let the path unfold. There are no wrong turns. Only the way. Be curious. Play like there’s no audience. Laugh. Forgive. Applaud others. Give when nobody is looking. Let it be. There is only simplicity. Surrender to it.

Pause often. Don’t chase. Flow.
Let the path unfold.
There are no wrong turns.
Only the way. Be curious.
Play like there’s no audience.
Laugh. Forgive. Applaud others.
Give when nobody is looking.
Let it be. There is only simplicity.
Surrender to it.

Skate The Ribbon in Toledo

Roller Skate or Ice Skate The Ribbon in Toledo.

  • Open: Usually open daily from dawn to dusk, but seasons and holidays may vary
  • Location: (Map It) 1505 Front St in Toledo, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-407-9717
  • Web: click here

The Ribbon at Toledo’s Glass City Metropark features seasonal roller skating or ice skating along a loop trail. It has some rolling hills and soft curves. Ice skate rentals are available. During warm weather it’s normally free to rollerblade, kick scoot, and balance bike The Ribon.

Waggoner’s Run Mountain Bike Trail

Admission to Waggoner’s Run Mountain Bike Trail is free.

  • Open: Year-round from dawn to dusk
  • Location: (Map It) (White Star Park Barn) 5013 County Road 65 in Gibsonburg, Ohio (Parking lot next to the railroad tracks on County Road 65)
  • Phone: 419-334-4495
  • Web: click here

Waggoner’s Run Mountain Bike Trail offers a unique location that is fun for riders of all skill levels.  Let’s start with a little about Gibsonburg and the area around Waggoner’s Run. Gibsonburg is a small rural northern Ohio farm town located in Sandusky County but very well known by outdoor enthusiasts for “White Star Park,” which offers hiking trails, an inland quarry lake for SCUBA diving, and now mountain bike trails.  Gibsonburg is around two hours from Columbus, Cleveland, and Detroit, so getting there is not part of the challenge! Gibsonburg is also known for “Ideal Bakery,” home to its amazing donuts, pastries, and cinnamon rolls. A visit to Gibsonburg for any reason must also include a stop here. So now that you know the area, let’s skip to the good part…  Waggoner’s Run Mountain Bike Trail was a collaborative project between the Flatlanders Bicycle Club and the Sandusky County Park District in 2019 and is located within SCPD’s “White Star Park”.  The Flatlanders completed the trail, dedicated it in October of 2020, and appropriately named it “Waggoner’s Run” after local cycling enthusiast and bicycle shop owner Dan Waggoner.  The trail features 6 miles of twists and turns and exciting natural and man-made features, including the newest feature, a challenging teeter-totter placed right before one of the biggest drops on the trail. The trail is open for mountain bikes and hiking; it is recommended that hikers hike the trail in reverse and stay alert for oncoming bike traffic.  The trail is a one-way mountain bike trail, beginning at the parking lot next to the railroad tracks on County Road 65.  No horseback riding, pets, or motorized vehicles are permitted.  For more information on trail conditions and closures, visit Waggoner Run Mountain Bike Trail’s, Facebook Page. For more information about the area, nearby attractions, and events, visit SanduskyCounty.org.

Ghoul Runnings Kayak Adventures

  • Open: Late May to Mid-September (weather permitting)
  • Location: (Map It) 1773 S. River Rd. in Fremont, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-455-4364
  • Web: click here

Ghoul Runnings Kayak Adventures is a kayak livery that offers guided and self-guided tours down the scenic Sandusky River and the beautiful Fremont Reservoir. The owners, Beth Turner and her husband Bob, have been running a Haunted Attraction each fall for the past 33 years known as the “Haunted Hydro.” The new kayak business is named Ghoul Runnings, inspired by Turner’s other business as co-owner of the Haunted Hydro. Their love for Halloween and the outdoors has created this bizarre marriage of kayaking and ghouls.  Opening in May of each year, Ghoul Runnings, LLC offers guided and self-guided tours, including safety and training classes. They offer a variety of 2- and 4-hour trips, and specialty adventures include a history tour, singles kayaking group, bird and nature, sunset, moonlight, and more. Ghoul Runnings may offer competitive events, including fishing derbies, speed & maneuverability contests, krazy-kraft kayak events, and more.  Online event tickets and onsite sales are available through www.GhoulRunnings.com and at their business location, the “Yak-Shack,” located at the Fremont Reservoir across the road from their “A-Frame” rental location at 1773 S. River Rd. in Fremont.

Ultimate Zipline Adventures

Admission to Ultimate Zipline Adventures starts at $55/person.

  • When: Open daily from 10am – 6pm
  • Location: (Map It) 15103 State Route 664 South in Logan, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-218-1029
  • Web: www.ziplineohio.com

Ultimate Zipline Adventures is an Ariel adventure park located directly in Hocking Hills, OH just down the road from Old mans Cave. Choose from a selection of zipline and high ropes courses. The park has over 50 activities and is great for small or large groups, families, and team-building events. Check out Ultimate Zipline Adventures when you’re in Hocking Hills.

Road to Freedom Reborn

Ohio Stretch is in its New Glory Days
By Frank Rocco Satullo, your tour guide to fun!

The Ohio Lincoln Highway BuyWay Sale is in mid-August every year! Enjoy roadside bargains along the Ohio stretch of America’s first road to connect the east and west coasts. Click here for more information.

Click here to read the story
behind “America’s first road trip.”

Point that hood ornament toward America’s first road trip. Take a joyride on the original coast-to-coast byway – the Lincoln Highway!

This “Main Street Across America” as it was known ushered in the freedom of the road era that helped spawn other legendary treks across the United States. But this seminal road was the very first transcontinental automobile route. It connected Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco along with 3,389 miles of drive-over country. Wanderlust carried Ford’s Model T, the Maxwell, Franklin, Hupmobile and Studebaker to distances never before dared.

Until recently, this historic road was forgotten in a flurry of inventions that ignited progress, everyone looking forward. Nobody bothered to look in the rearview mirror. And when they did, much of the original road had been buried or rerouted. But across Wayne County, Ohio, it pretty much is as it was. So as the fascinating story of the Lincoln Highway resurfaced in recent years, this sweet spot has steadily gained momentum and leisure traffic once again. The experiential traveler can see, hear, touch, smell, and taste the lure of this nostalgic stretch of pavement that leads to the crossroads of Pastime and modern times. …Read More

Click here to read the rest of the story

A Lake Erie Island Story

CLICK TO PLAY

Let the OhioTraveler tell you a Lake Erie island story.
You may want to travel right now but can’t.
So sit back and listen to your Tour Guide to Fun.
And we’ll have an adventure, together.

Southeast Ohio Festivals & Events

Festival & Events Calendar
for Southeast Ohio

Winter Hike at Hocking Hills (January)
Contemporary Gunmakers Show (Feb)
Ohio Valley Frontier Days (April)
International Street Fair (May)
Oak Hill Festival of Flags (May)
Wild Turkey Festival (May)
Lorena Sternwheeler (June)
Railroad Festival (June)
Rhythm on the River (June)
County Fairs (July)
Gallipolis River Fest (July)
LilyFest (July)
Y Bridge Arts Festival (July)
County Fairs (Aug)
Hocking Hills Bigfoot Festival (Aug)
Parade of the Hills (Aug)
River Trails & Ales Fest (Aug)
Barnesville Pumpkin Festival (Sept)
County Fairs (Sept)
Glass Pumpkin Festival (Sept)
Ohio Pawpaw Festival (Sept)
Ohio River Sternwheel Festival (Sept)
Bob Evans Farm Festival (Oct)
Fall Festival of Leaves (Oct)
Fall Foliage Trains (Oct)  
Paul Bunyan Show (Oct)
Portsmouth Oktoberfest (Oct)
Christmas Trains (Dec)
Dickens Victorian Village (Dec)
Zanesville Storybook Christmas (Dec)

Click here for statewide festivals and events

Southwest Ohio Festivals & Events

Festival & Events Calendar
for Southwest Ohio

IceFest Ice Festival (January)
Loveland Valentine Re-Mailing (Jan-Feb)
Cabin Fever Arts Festival (February)
Old Town Trade Fair (Mar)
Scottish Terrier Show (Mar)
Easter Egg Hunt at Young’s (Easter)
Bellbrook Sugar Maple Fest (April)
Alumapalooza (May)
Bear’s Mill Spring Open House (May)
Feast of the Flowering Moon (May)
Food Truck Rally (May)
Nowhere Else Festival (May)
Velvet Ice Cream Festival (May)
Covered Bridges (May-June)
Frontier Days (May-June)
Butterfly Show (May – June)
Fairborn Heritage Days (June)
Fayette County’s Toast to Summer (June)
Historic Home & Garden Tour (June)
Oxford Wine Festival (June)
Railroad Festival & Train Meet (June)
Strawberry Festival (June)
Annie Oakley Festival (July)
Americana Festival (July)
Country Concert (July)
County Fairs (July)
Greenville Farm Power of Past (July)
Sunflower Festival (July)
The Ohio Challenge (July)
Cardboard Boat Regatta (Aug)
Clifton Gorge Music & Arts (Aug)
County Fairs (Aug)
Fairborn Sweet Corn Fest (Aug)
Jeep Jam (Aug)
Lebanon Blues Festival (Aug)
Portsmouth RiverDays (Sept)
Clinton County Corn Festival (Sept)
County Fairs (Sept)
Germantown Pretzel Festival (Sept)
Ohio Fish & Shrimp Festival (Sept)
Ohio Gourd Show (Sept)
Ohio Renaissance Festival (Sept)
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati (Sept)
Popcorn Festival (Sept)
Preble County Pork Festival (Sept)
Pyramid Hill Art Fair (Sept)
WACO Fly-In (Sept)
Niederman Farm Fest (Sep/Oct)
Brimstone Haunt (Oct)
Brumbaugh Frit n Fun Farm (Oct)
Fort Rowdy Gathering (Oct)
HallZooween at Cincinnati Zoo (Oct)
Ohio Renaissance Festival (Oct)
Olde Thyme Herb Fair (Oct) 
Sauerkraut Festival (Oct)
Holidazzle Illuminated Parade/Fest (Nov)
Hometown Holiday Horse Parade (Nov)
PNC Festival of Lights (Nov/Dec)
A Winter’s Gathering (Dec)
Christmas in the Village (Dec)
Christmas Village Home Tour (Dec)
Christmas Ranch (Dec)
Christmas Train Displays (Dec) 
Christmas Trains (Dec)
Dayton Holiday Festival (Dec)
Lebanon Horse-Drawn Carriage Parade (Dec)
Light Up Middletown (Dec)
Lights at Clifton Mill (Dec)
Pyramid Hill Lights (Dec)
Woodland Lights (Dec)

Click here for statewide festivals and events

Central Ohio Festivals & Events

Festival & Events Calendar
for Central Ohio

Arnold Sports Festival (March)
Dublin, OH St. Patrick’s Day (March)
Arbor Day Festival (April)
Asian Festival (May)
COSI Science Festival (May)
Moonshine Festival (May)
Ohio Camera Show (May)
Old-fashioned Ice Cream Fest (May)
Strawberry Festival (May/June)
Bexley House/Garden Tour (June)
Columbus Arts Festival (June)
Festival Latino (June)
Grove City Wine & Art Fest (June)
Hot Air Balloon Festival (June)
Lancaster Old Car Show (June)
London Strawberry Fest (June)
Toast to Summer & Balloon Glow (June)
Ashville 4th of July Celebration (July)
County Fairs (July)
Jazz & Rib Festival (July)
Lancaster Festival (July)
Performance Classic Car Show (July)
Canal Winchester Blues & Ribfest (Aug)
County Fairs (Aug)
Dublin Irish Festival (Aug)
Festival Latino (Aug)
Lincoln Highway Yard Sale (Aug)
Mount Vernon Music Arts Fest (Aug)
Pioneer Days (Aug)
Sunbury Sizzle and Sounds (August)
Y Bridge Arts Festival (Aug)
Zucchini Festival (Aug)
All Horse Parade (Sept)
Arts in the Alley (Sept)
Columbus Oktoberfest (Sept)
County Fairs (Sept)
Fredericktown Tomato Show (Sept)
Lawrence Orchards Applefest (Sep)
Lithopolis Honeyfest (Sept)
Short North Tour of Homes (Sept)
Pumpkin Fest (Sept/Oct)
The Little Brown Jug (Sept)
Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival (Oct)
Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (Oct)
Chillicothe Halloween Festival (Oct)
Fall Fun Days at Circle S Farm (Oct)
Ohio Gourd Show (Oct)
Ohio Wizard of Oz Festival (Oct)
Pumpkin Show in Circleville (Oct)
Christmas Candlelighting (Dec)
Christmas Train (Dec)
Fantasy of Lights (Dec)
Jefferson Depot Village (Dec)
Ohio Statehouse Hol Celeb (Dec)

Click here for statewide festivals and events

Northwest Ohio Festivals & Events

Festival & Events Calendar
for Northwest Ohio

Super-Souper Wine Trail (Jan/Feb)
Merry-Go-Memories (February)
Oak Harbor Easter Egg Hunt (March)
Biggest Week in Amer Birding (May)
Port Clinton Walleye Festival (May)
Historic Home & Garden Tour (June)
Maria Stein Country Fest (June)
Pork Rind Festival (June)
Put-In-Bay Pyrate Festival (June)
Celina Lake Festival (July)
Chalk It Up (July)
County Fairs (July)
Ironman 70.3 (July)
Toledo Lighthouse Festival (July)
Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival (Aug)
County Fairs (Aug)
Lincoln Highway Yard Sale (Aug)
Pemberville Free Fair (Aug)
Pulltown Tractor Pull (Aug)
Toledo Jeep Fest (Aug)
Melon Festival (Aug/Sept)
Alumapalooza (Sept)
County Fairs (Sept)
Popcorn Festival (Sept)
Rebel Run Lima (Sept)
Tiffin-Seneca Heritage Festival (Sept)
Lake Eerie FearFest (Oct)
Leaders Family Farm Fall Events (Oct)
Oak Harbor Apple Fest (Oct)
Woollybear Festival (Oct) 
Holiday Lights Grand Illumination (Nov)
Christmas of Yesteryear (Dec)
Christmas Trains (Dec)
Maria Stein Shrine (Dec) 
Winter Wonderland Parade (Dec)
New Year’s Eve Walleye Drop (Dec)

Click here for statewide festivals and events

Northeast Ohio Festivals & Events

Festival & Events Calendar
for Northeast Ohio

A Bi-Cycling Dandy… (Jan)
Great Sled Dog Race Classic (Jan)
Cleveland Boat & Fishing Show (Jan)
Mohican Winterfest (Jan)
Ma & Pa’s Sleigh Rides (Jan & Feb)
Medina Ice Festival (Feb)
Vermilion Ice A Fair (Feb)
Buzzard Day (Mar)
Maple Madness Driving Tour (Mar)
Geauga Maple Festival (April)
Mohican Wildlife Weekend (April)
Steubenville Eggsibition (April)
Dennison Railroad Festival (May)
Ashtabula Beach Glass Fest (June)
Cy Young Days (June)
Fabulous 50s Fling & Car Show (June)
Festival of Fish (June)
Garrettsville Summerfest (June)
International Festival (June)
Int. Wine at the Mill Festival (June) 
Kids Play Day on the Square (June)
Simply Slavic (June)
Wooster 2nd Saturdays (June)
Antique Festival (June/July)
All American Soap Box Derby (July)
Early America Live (July)
Car Show & Swap Meet (July)
Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic (July)
County Fairs (July)
Festival of the Arts (July)
Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale (July)
Cleveland Garlic Fest (Aug)
Corn Festival (Aug)
County Fairs (Aug)
D-Day Reenactment (Aug)
Feast of the Assumption (Aug)
Frog Jumping Festival (August)
Harvest Festival (Aug)
Jammin’ Food Truck Fest (Aug)
Lincoln Highway Yard Sale (Aug)
Summit County Italian American (Aug)
Twins Day Festival (Aug)
Vintage Ohio Wine Festival (Aug) 
Cleveland Ingenuity Fest (Sept)
County Fairs (Sept)
Firefish Festival (Sept)
Grape Jamboree (Sept)
Great Mohican Indian Pow-Wow (Sep)
Johnny Appleseed Festival (Sept)
Ohio Swiss Festival (Sept)
Oktoberfest at the Mill (Sept)
Algonquin Mill Fall Festival (Oct)
Ashtabula Covered Bridge Fest (Oct)
Chagrin Documentary Film Fest (Oct)
Fall Hayrides at Mill Stream Run (Oct)
Holmes County Antique Fest (Oct)
Ingenuity Festival of Arts & Tech (Oct)
Lantern Tours of Ghosts (Oct)
Old West Pumpkin Fest (Oct)
Spooky Ranch at Rockin R Ranch (Oct)
Medina Candlelight Walk (Nov)
Warther’s Christmas Tree Fest (Nov)
Window Wonderland (Nov)
House from a Christmas Story (Nov-Dec)
Kringle’s Inventionasium Exp. (Nov-Dec)
Memories of Christmas Past (Nov-Dec)
Steubenville Nutcracker Village (Nov-Dec)
A Christmas Story House (Year-round)
Christmas Train (Dec)
Christmas in Zoar (Dec)
Historic Kirtland Nativity (Dec)
Horse-drawn Sleigh Rides (Dec)
Sugar Plum Tour (Dec)
Williamsburg Christmas (Dec)

Click here for statewide festivals and events

IMPORTANT: Call Ahead

Due to the volume of temporary cancellations, permanent cancellations, special hours, and daily changes in openings and closing as we move forward, please note that the vast majority of the postings on this site are reflective of normal times. Since these are not normal times and extreme fluctuations in openings and closings will persist through much of this year, always call ahead to any place you plan to visit to know the latest operating information.

See How Far One Tank Can Take You!

Steubenville and Jefferson County are ready to welcome you to explore history as you take a break from staying safe at home and begin your summer adventures. For those who don’t want to stray too far, a visit to Steubenville, one of the oldest cities in Ohio, offers the opportunity to step back in time and experience life in early America.

Begin at Historic Fort Steuben, a completely reconstructed 18th-century military fort on its original site overlooking the Ohio River. The eight wooden buildings, guardhouse, and palisade – laid out according to maps and letters preserved at the Clemens Library at the University of Michigan – present a glimpse of the skills, creativity, and hardships of the 150 men who inhabited the Fort in 1786-1787. Self-guided tours allow visitors to explore at their own pace, or visitors can arrange in advance to have a knowledgeable tour guide present the stories of the soldiers and surveyors for whom the Fort was a temporary home. An active archaeological dig is a reminder that the area had been occupied by Native American people over 500 years ago and still unearths artifacts from the past two centuries. The Fort Steuben Visitor Center houses an Exhibit Hall with seasonal displays and programs as well as a Museum Shop with books, toys, maps, and souvenirs. Visitors can find travel and tourism information there as well. As with other historic and tourism sites, the Fort and Visitor Center follow strict sanitary protocols to guarantee a safe and pleasant visit.

Adjacent to the Fort is the original log structure, the First Federal Land Office of the Northwest Territory, established in 1800. This historic building has a tale of its own to tell as it was hidden and then uncovered and then moved at least five times! It is now open and displayed as a 19th century home office where the registrar sold and documented deeds to the new land in Ohio open to settlement.

Located on the beautiful Ohio River, the city of Steubenville quickly grew around the site of the original fort and became an industrial giant in the 20th century. The history of the city and its citizens are portrayed in larger-than-life murals displayed on buildings throughout the downtown and central shopping districts. From the earliest days of horse-pulled fire engines to the celebration of modern heroes such as the Tuskegee Airmen, the City of Murals allows viewers to enjoy art while easily social-distancing. Brochures and information on the murals can be obtained at the Fort Steuben Visitor Center.

Historic North Fourth Street showcases the stately homes of those early industrialists as well as unique shops and eateries that can be found on a stroll along the avenue. The downtown area is home to more than a dozen historic churches that boast rich stained-glass windows and stunning architecture.

More history can be found driving through Jefferson County and visiting Historic Mount Pleasant, a major hub for the Underground Railroad and home of important abolitionists of the 19th century. The Historical Society of Mount Pleasant owns six historic buildings, each one a museum in itself. Additionally, the Ohio Yearly Meeting House – an amazing Quaker structure –  is included in their tours. At this time, tours and buildings are open by appointment only, however, there is a complimentary walking tour available on Trover.com.

After taking a walk through history, try a walk on one of the trails in Jefferson County. Check out the Birding Trail at Friendship Park or the Beatty Park Trail in Steubenville.

As Ohio recovers from Covid19, there will be many other sites and events where travelers can be educated, refreshed, and entertained all within a few hours’ drive. Check the website www.visitsteubenville.com or the Facebook page to find up-to-date information. In the meantime, the folks here in Jefferson County wish you to stay safe and enjoy the summer!

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Mother Nature at Her Finest

Sidney’s Tawawa Park 

Located on I-75 just 30 miles north of Dayton, Ohio you will find a wonderful variety of outdoor recreation sure to satisfy every travel preference. Among the best is Sidney’s Tawawa Park. The park itself consists of 220 wooded acres, two picturesque lakes, and a meandering creek. Tawawa Park was deeded to the City of Sidney in 1956, but its origins trace back much, much further.

After the “Big Four” Railroad was relocated in the early 1920s the abandoned railroad bed became a popular hiking trail, especially to the lake to fish and to visit Big Rock. Walking along the canal towpath was a favorite pastime in the spring and fall of the year. Today, Tawawa Park continues as a tranquil respite and features amenities found only in the country’s premier civic parklands.

Bicycling and hiking enthusiasts are sure to enjoy the miles of trails stretching through densely wooden areas, along streams, and scenic overlooks. Old-growth trees and wildflowers adorn the landscape. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch and don’t forget your camera. You’re sure to find an abundance of photo ops while on your Tawawa adventure.

For those who enjoy fishing, Tawawa Park features two lakes and a stream.  The lakes are freshly stocked annually and host a variety of species that are always fun to catch. Fishing licenses are required and all fishing in the lakes and streams is from the bank.

Have you heard of Big Rock? Arguably Tawawa’s most iconic natural feature, Big Rock is twelve feet high at its tallest point and weighs 103 tons. According to geologists, the granite boulder came to what would become Sidney about 15,000 years ago. It was carried by glacial ice from its native land estimated to be 700 miles to the northeast. Big Rock is a must-see and a great place to rest for a bit before your exploration continues.

The Ross Bridge is yet another not-to-be-missed photo stop at Tawawa Park. The bridge closely resembles several covered bridges constructed in Central Ohio by pioneer bridge designer and builder, Rueben L. Partridge (1823 to 1900).

For the kids, you will find ample playground equipment, soccer and baseball fields, and shallow creeks to wade when the water levels are safe to do so. Constructed just last year, the all-inclusive play area is an ideal spot to spend some time while the kids take turns on the toys there.

A number of attractive shelter houses with tables are also on the property for picnics, family reunions, and friendly get-togethers. For those wanting to plan ahead, these ideal gathering sites can be reserved in advance at no charge.

Throughout the year special events are organized at the park that includes a popular Cruise-In car show in June and Civil War Reenactment in September.  Those interested in learning more about these and the other organized events at Tawawa Park are encouraged to view the Sidney Visitors Bureau events calendar for specific dates and times.

Downtown Sidney is an easy bike ride or a short walk from the park and offers a nice variety of restaurants, bistros, and charming shops. Craft beer aplenty paired with everything from juicy burgers to delicious entrees, the eateries in downtown Sidney are sure to satisfy and will have you excitedly planning your next visit while enjoying your meal.

Tawawa Park is good for the soul.  Travelers from near and far rate Tawawa Park at nearly five stars on Trip Advisor. Says one guest, “Tawawa is, hands down, one of the most amazing city parks I’ve been to. A true hidden gem is little old Sidney, Ohio. Love to run, bike, and hike here. There’s even a small (but obscure) mountain bike trail! Lots of playgrounds for kids, the hiking trails transport you to what feels like another state, lots of places to picnic or have a kid’s birthday party or family reunion. If you come, be sure to explore! You’ll be amazed!”

Stretch your legs. Get back to nature. Take in the fresh air. Tawawa Park’s natural beauty and tranquility will rejuvenate your spirit.

For every recreation interest, the possibilities are many in Sidney. Visitors can select from 8 carefully prepared travel itineraries or build their own from a long list of things to see and do. Additional information about the many fine attractions in west-central Ohio can be found on the website of the Sidney Visitors Bureau at www.VisitSidneyShelby.com.

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Find Your Place at Your Pace

Come visit Marion, Ohio

An old-fashioned root beer stand with carhops, a multi-generation apple orchard, the home of a president, a cozy café in an historic downtown. These are the things that make memories.

Come visit us in Marion and find out why we say you will “Find Your Place at Your Pace.” Enjoy some nightlife at one of our local gastro pubs or live entertainment on the historic stage at the Palace Theatre. Tour the newly restored home of our 29th President. Then take in the sights and smells of the past at the country’s largest popcorn museum.

Still hungry? Pick up a copy of our Eaterarian Trail guide to discover our famous and not-so-famous unique eateries. Or perhaps you would like to hit the links for a round of golf with friends, or maybe do some shopping downtown to pick up a unique gift crafted by our local artisans.

The outdoors more your style? The Marion Tallgrass Trail is waiting with 12 miles of paved enjoyment through prairie, woods, and fields, or you can get your nature on at Big Island Wildlife Area to watch some birds, as well as its other residents.

Throw in some great events like the Blues & BBQ Festival, Marion Popcorn Festival, and the Wings & Wheels vintage plane/auto show and you just might have to come back for a second weekend.

Whatever your idea of a perfect weekend getaway, you’ll find it in Marion where the people are friendly, the traffic is nonexistent, and the pace is comfortable and relaxing.

Find your place, at your pace, in Marion! VisitMarionOhio.com.

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Mohican Loudonville Travel Guide

Mohican – Loudonville Travel Guide

“Whether it is spring, summer, fall, or winter, Mohican-Loudonville is the destination that offers adventure, events, history, and arts. Let the hills of Mohican provide the backdrop for the ultimate year-round outdoor adventure. Whether it is hiking, canoeing, camping, mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing, or more, discover why Mohican Rocks!”

Visitors Guide to Mohican-Loudonville Travel and Tourism Destinations, Attractions, Festivals, Events, Museums, Restaurants, Lodging, Other Things to Do, and Places to Go.

Oxford Ohio Travel Guide

Oxford, Ohio Travel Guide

“Oxford, Ohio, is a bustling college town nine months out of the year before slowing to a leisurely pace for the remaining three. Therefore, we are lucky to enjoy busy semesters and lazy, hazy summer days. Our charming uptown features an entertainment district of locally owned bars, restaurants, and shops all nestled into colorful, historic buildings and surrounded by red-brick streets.”

Visitors Guide to Oxford Ohio Travel and Tourism Destinations, Attractions, Festivals, Events, Museums, Restaurants, Lodging, Other Things to Do, and Places to Go.

Sidney Ohio Travel Guide

Sidney, Ohio Travel Guide

“At first glance, Sidney, Ohio, appears to be an ordinary, small mid-western town waiting to be discovered. On the contrary, however, Sidney enjoys a rich and storied past coupled with a wonderful array of today’s experiences that will entice every travel preference.

Browse Sidney’s prepackaged travel itineraries OR build your own from a list of nearly 100 area attractions. While here you can explore the natural beauty of Sidney’s parks and outdoor recreation sites. You can take a factory tour at one of the top 10 in America—historic points of interest, architectural heritage, museums, and more. Shop, dine, relax… there’s lots to do.  Come visit Sidney, Ohio… We’re Waiting for You.”

Visitors Guide to Sidney Travel and Tourism Destinations, Attractions, Festivals, Events, Museums, Restaurants, Lodging, Other Things to Do, and Places to Go.

Coshocton Crow Geotrail

Try Geocaching along the Scarr Loop Trail, a moderate, 2-mile hiking trail. But please practice your social distancing to be courteous to others on the trail.  

Geocaching is defined as “a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location,” according to the official website (www.geocaching.com).

To take part in this treasure hunt, users just need a GPS-enabled device (like any SmartPhone)! There is a specific app to download called, you guessed it, Geocaching® (Anything you need to know about Geocaching is at www.geocaching.com). From there, users create a free account and start caching. There are millions of geocaches all over the world! Geocachers simply enter in their zip code to begin finding caches near them. Anyone can make one and publish it to the app for others to find! Each location is associated with longitude and latitude coordinates to enter into the app and follow along. At each cache site, there will be a container with some small treasure, placed there by the creator in a (preferably) waterproof container. Other geocachers may take it and replace it with something of their own! Sometimes there is a bad apple that will take the cache without leaving something. Don’t be that guy.

With that said, the Geocaching community is one to be a part of! When a new trail launches, geocachers are notified and a reception is held near the trail site. Geocachers come from all over the world to find new caches. Once a trail is complete, collectible geocoins can be earned! This is beneficial for the cachers, the communities, and tourism in general! Generally, Geocachers don’t congregate; it is very much an individual/small group activity – ideal for this time of social distancing.

The Coshocton Crow Geotrail caches are updated and managed frequently. Explore Coshocton County when you escape to the outdoors. Geotrails are a fun activity and good exercise.

Click here to download/print the Coshocton Crow Geotrail Passport (it lists all of the coordinates users will need!).

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Ohio’s Oldest Public Market

Photo courtesy of Findlay Market

Welcome to Findlay Market, Ohio’s oldest public market and Cincinnati’s only surviving municipal market house.

It’s home to over 50 full-time merchants and over 50 seasonal farmers, artisans, produce vendors and more! Nestled in the heart of Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, this historic structure has been (and remains) home to a plethora of small, multi-generational businesses and is a place where a diverse array of local food entrepreneurs gather to provide the freshest and highest quality food and artisan products.

The Market has remained an integral part of the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood (once home to over 40,000 German-American, African-American and Appalachian residents). Findlay Market was the one-stop-shop for folks to get their weekly essentials—farm-fresh produce, high-quality meats, freshly-baked bread, hand-cut flowers, etc. Today, Findlay Market prides itself on staying true to its roots by supporting small business and providing Over-the-Rhine residents and Cincinnati locals with eclectic food and food-related products they will not find anywhere else in the city.

In addition to providing the best food in town, Findlay Market is a communal space, conducting over a dozen events throughout the year. Findlay Market is also home to the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, in which businesses, organizations and school groups gather at the Market and parade through the city to celebrate and cheer on the Cincinnati Reds!

In the warmer months, Findlay Market hosts local artisans, farmers, and prepared food vendors in its Outdoor Market. During this season, shoppers can enjoy a local craft beer (or two) in the Findlay Market Biergarten (pictured) with their family and friends!

Click here to plan your visit to Findlay Market.

Photo courtesy of Findlay Market

Richland Carrousel Park

Admission to Richland Carrousel Park is only $1/ride.

Richland Carrousel Park in Mansfield features old-fashioned fun in a modern setting. When it opened in 1991, it was the first new, hand-carved carrousel to be built and operated in the United States since the 1930s.  Each of the 52 figures was carved by Carousel Works in Mansfield in the style of G.A. Dentzel, a famous carver of the 20th Century. It features daily operations, cotton candy, popcorn, slushes, and more. Visit the website above for upcoming special events and activities.

Sure Shot

This  “Mystery History” is a Sure Shot!
 
Who Am I? Chief Sitting Bull nicknamed me “Watanya Cicilla” and Buffalo Bill made me famous around the world.
 
Where am I? Brock Cemetery in Darke County, Garst Museum in Greenville, and standing at the end of Broadway in downtown Greenville.
 
What’s Nearby? Historic Bear’s Mill, KitchenAid™ Experience, Inn at Versailles, and Winery at Versailles.
 

Warm-up to Snowy Adventures

in Grove City, Ohio

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

There’s an enchanting little town ripe with winter adventure central to all Ohioans – Grove City!

It promises endeavors featuring cool winter discoveries and some rare experiences mixed in the snow and ice.  Oh, and there are plenty of toasty retreats to warm-up in between.

“Winter in the parks is one of the best times to enjoy the outdoors,” said Grove City Director of Parks and Recreation Kim Conrad. “Do something good for your body and soul, get out in the fresh air and enjoy nature.”

Best of all, Grove City’s 21 parks are free! So for the recommended 30 minutes of daily activity, walk through the woods or sled down a hill.

For an extraordinary adventure… Click here to read more.

CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF THE STORY

SATURdate in Tipp City

This SATURdate was in Old Tippecanoe City …
But Mostly Lost in an Antique Store and Art Gallery

Old Tippecanoe City is an old canal town that is now named Tipp City. The remains of the old Miami and Erie Canal Lock 15 are sandwiched between the historic Tipp Roller Mill and the Great Miami River Recreation Trail. If you’re on a bike ride and need anything, in town is the Tipp Cyclery.

Tipp City is a great walking town with original, locally-owned shops, and dining options that offer a wide array of experiences. A great Mom and Pop to grab a bite is Sam & Ethel’s Restaurant. Pull up to the lunch counter or a table and enjoy comfort food in a comfortable place that has warmed the hearts of generations. I had the pork tenderloin sandwich because the atmosphere in town on this day was festive like being at a fair. And my serving of “fair-food” was far from fair, it was so tasty I’m raving about it here.

After that, somewhere along the streetscapes, we ducked into The Hotel Gallery, and later, Midwest Memories Antiques. Both places seemed to be Pandora’s box of delights, one room and/or floor leading to another, and another, until I felt like I was as lost as a child separated from a parent. Fortunately, today, we have cell phones so I called my wife to locate her. But when she described her surroundings as between somewhere between vintage clothing and outdated cameras, I looked around and knew to try to find her inside was futile. So I dove back into a world of repurposed imagination.

Twice I ventured into a room where people were gathered. I thought I’d interrupted a private gathering only to find out that these strangers were new-found friends. They invited me to take a seat and chat with the growing group. Then, a guy with a cane stood up and asked his companion, “Well, do you think we’ll be able to explore our way out of this maze sometime today or do I need to send up an S.O.S?”

Usually, when I stand co-pilot to a day of shopping, there comes an abrupt about-face in which I turn to my wife and say, “That’s it! I’m done.” It usually comes with no warning.

But in Tipp City, I never reached that tipping point.

Each place in town is its own architectural staple, outside, and expresses its own personality, inside.  From the artists’ nooks to the florist, coffee shops, and tea room to the bakery, and the toy store out of Yesteryear, it makes for an enjoyable day.

On this brisk day, we particularly enjoyed a cup of coffee on a bench in the heart of town where others agreed, it’s a great place to people watch, too. Lots of smiles, hugs, and laughter filled the autumn air. Heck, there was even a kid holding mom with one hand and a red balloon in the other. You’re not going to get any more Rockwellian than that.

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

For more SATURdate ideas to spend with friends, family, or solo, visit https://www.ohiotraveler.com/saturdate/.

Click to enlarge photos

 

 

 

SATURdate in Hamilton Ohio

This SATURdate was in the “City of Sculptures” …
But Mostly in a “Real” Coffee Shop

Hamilton, Ohio features a “real” coffee shop called True West Coffee. There are two; we went to the one on the west side of the river in a quaint boutique shopping district across the street from The Village Ice Cream Parlor, which is great, too.

This coffee shop is a bit of a drive for us but we love it so much, we’ve been there on several different Saturdays to catch up on some work or reading. It’s an old house. The driveway is now a drive-through but because of the well-crafted sandwiches, don’t expect this drive through to be an expedient way of getting served.

Instead, park in the adjacent lot by the gazebo. Be sure to stop for a photo opp by the statue of the guy holding up an umbrella with fountain rain dripping from it. After all, you are in the City of Sculptures. Now, walk up the porch. It has a couple of tables to sit. Inside is a lovely-rickety room where tables are pushed and pulled to accommodate different groups or the introverts who staked out each corner. The upstairs is a great hideaway if you can stake a space. A hole in the ceiling shares the air between the two retreats.

This coffee shop doesn’t pull in one demographic over another. It’s a well-balanced cross-section of backgrounds as well as ages. The counter dividing the active kitchen from the former living room with a fireplace is where you order. A colorfully chalked up blackboard details the offerings. We’ve tried several artisan sandwiches but keep coming back to the George Bailey! It’s no coincidence that it’s named after a character in the timeless movie, It’s A Wonderful Life.

When the weather is warm or even a bit brisk, the patio that stretches up the back hill has tables to lounge, too. It’s where we usually go because there’s a tranquility to it. Tranquility with a vibe to it.

Then, a leisurely after-lunch stroll along the urban section of the Great Miami River Rec Trail lured us deeper and deeper to where we had no idea. We followed temptation further up around the bend, on repeat, until we walked out of the city and into the countryside. It’s a strange feeling to be on the border of urban and rural. It reminded me of a book in which Founding Father Ben Franklin described a walk to clear his head. It took him through Philadelphia’s streets until he was on a country trail looking back at where progress ended along with his problems.

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

For more SATURdate ideas to spend with friends, family, or solo, visit https://www.ohiotraveler.com/saturdate/.

Click to enlarge photos

Money for Nothing

Just a fun holiday story

Ohio Mall Scene circa 1975-ish

Our moms were shopping together at the mall. It was the mid-1970’s, and a time when most kids roamed free. Today, we call them free-range kids. Back then, they were just called kids.

Eddie and I were tired and didn’t want to go to another store. Our moms said we could wait by the fountain. Bored out of our minds, we sat and just stared at the water.

“Look at alllll that money,” I said, dreamily.

“People just give it away so I think, if we wanted, we could just take it,” Eddie reasoned with his early grade-school mind.

“I don’t know. Something doesn’t sound right about that,” I whispered.

Looking for a reason we couldn’t, I came up empty.

“It’s just going to sit there …forever… so why not use it?” Eddie wondered out loud.

We looked around, rolled up our sleeves, and stretched as far as our little bodies could go without getting wet. That is, except for our rolled-up sleeves which were wedged as high up on our biceps as we could push them.  We raked in some coins. Cupped in our little hands, we compared booty to see who had the bigger score. We smiled, looked around, shrugged, and went fishing again.

Before long, it just made sense to kick off our shoes, roll up our plaid pants, and wade into the fountain pool to reach that which we couldn’t before. Nobody said or did a thing. Granted, it was not very crowded. Once we filled every pocket we had, we put our shoes back on and stood to look at each other.

That’s when we realized that what we did probably wasn’t right.

Instinct kicked in. It was time to flee the scene and fetch our moms. We casually squeaked away.

Standing in the doorway of the last store we knew they had entered, we got on tippy toes and looked around. But they were nowhere to be found. When we turned to exit, a security guard stood in our way, arms crossed, frowning upon us.

“Boys, boys, boys, what are we going to do here?” the guard said with what was a straight face. Although something seemed off like he wanted to smile but couldn’t.

“Do about what, sir?” I asked, innocently.

“We didn’t do anything …except take some of that free money out of the fountain,” Eddie said, already singing like a canary.

“Oh, is that all?” security said back.

His eyes were drawn to our pants. It sounded like he snorted something back.

Water dripped from our saturated and bulging pants’ pockets. The wet money weighed them down a bit lower than where we were accustomed to wearing them.

“That’s considered stealing. The mall owns that. You’ll have to put it back,” the guard sounded off sternly.

So, we left a puddle where we had been standing. A trail of water became evident where we backtracked across the mall floor to the fountain. Moments later, maintenance, mops, and caution signs appeared in our wake.

To the security guard’s chagrin, we didn’t just dump the money back into the fountain. Instead, we pulled one coin out at a time, said a little wish, and then tossed it into the fountain.  Eventually, the security guard wandered away. I caught a glimpse of him in the distance, laughing with someone else.

Not long after this, our moms approached us, cautiously. They looked at us, looked around, and back at us.

One slowly mouthed, “Whyyyy are youuuu soooo wet?”

The other quickly interjected with a sense of alarm, “Where did you get all of those coins?”

They looked from us to the fountain and back. Then, as if ice-cold water splashed their faces,  they gasped and their eyes popped wide open!

Excerpt from the memoir book, Here I Thought I Was Normal,
by Frank Rocco Satullo

Songs of the Past at New Museum

Nestled in the scenic hills of Southeast Ohio is an unexpected and rare music history museum. Music Makers Museum holds a collection of early music recording and playing technology. The kind most people only see from a distance in the movies.

Charlotte and Rodney Pack collected the technology and early artists’ recordings over a span of twenty years. Then it took them another five years to figure out how to create the family-friendly, interactive exhibition “How’d We Get Here?” The exhibition explores how Americans have collected, enjoyed, and recorded music from the mid-1800s to 2000.

The exhibition opened June 2019, in the Rocky Fork Lake Region of Highland County, Ohio. Hours vary by season and special events, details are listed at musicmakersmuseum.com and Facebook.

“There are only a handful of museums worldwide that feature phonographs as their main collection. This is the only one of its kind worldwide to combine the early recording technology, artists, music genres and general history all in one place,” said Rodney Pack, who is nicknamed the Phonograph Man for his meticulous phonograph restoration work.

Visitors can see and hear close up the early music technology, hearing voices recorded on wax cylinders from over 100 years ago. Thirty working phonographs tell the story of Thomas Edison’s phonograph invention, improvements and competition. Edison’s invention took music from being a live performance to captured sound and earned him the nicknamed “The Wizard”.

“Can you imagine what it would feel like to listeners of the late 1870s to hear the mysterious sounds coming from the strange mechanical box?  Edison claimed it was ‘The Phonograph with a Soul, said Charlotte Pack, Music Makers Museum curator and history author.

Music Makers Museum evolves past the phonographs into radio, wire recorders, magnetic tapes, a 1946 jukebox and electronic record players, even an MP3 Player. Visitors can also explore America’s changing musical landscape from Vaudeville to Marching Bands, Ragtime to Jazz, Early Country to Bluegrass,
Rock ‘n’ Roll to Disco and the artists who made it popular.

A timeline of presidents, wars, key inventions and fun facts put the music changes into context. “People really like the timeline because it helps them see the evolution of music in America. It helps them understand how music, culture and history all relate,” said Rodney Pack,

Depending on how much you read and talk, the museum can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. “The most we had someone stay is three hours, so far. We are a small museum, with a big mission: to preserve the voices of the past to inspire future generations. Each musician’s or inventor’s story was chosen and written with an inspirational message,” said Charlotte Pack.

“For example Ada Jones had epilepsy. During recording sessions, she was bullied by co-workers and it was very physically demanding work as each record cylinder had to be individually recorded. There were no master copies and reproduction in the 1880s. Sometimes Jones had a seizure but would get up off the floor and go back to recording. She was the first popular female recording artist. Children and young adults need to know, despite their challenges they can be successful in life,” said Charlotte Pack.

As the sound of Aunt Nancy and Uncle Josh’s Vaudeville laughter drift through the air from the first popular home phonograph, a family is interacting.  Two grandparents and three grandchildren are listening and laughing together. Near the 1946 Seeburg jukebox, an elderly couple reminiscence about their days of dancing to Rock ‘n’ Roll music.  Music Makers Museum has created a space to remember, to make new memories and to talk about music as the “backdrop of our lives.”

Music Makers Museum is situated in rural Appalachia, music from an outside candy apple red searchlight horn greets you and the landscaped grounds and ample sitting areas provide an opportunity to enjoy nature. Nature lovers can also discover many trails at the nearby parks: Rocky Fork Lake State Park, Paint Creek State Park, Pike State Park, Fort Hill State Park, Highland Nature Sanctuary and Serpent Mound.

Hillsboro, the county seat, draws a large crowd each year with the annual Festival of Bells July 4th weekend. The festival sponsors national upcoming Christian and country artists who perform nightly. Or in nearby Bainbridge, visitors can also take in a show at the Paxton Theater, home to the longest running county music show the “Paint Valley Jamboree”.

The afternoon drive can be topped off with fresh Amish pastries or “possibly the world’s greatest cheesecake” at the Cheesecake Factory. Highland County is centrally located about an hour from the larger cities of Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio.

For Music Makers Museum latest news, open hours and changing exhibit schedule, please visit musicmakersmuseum.com.

Contributed by Visit Highland County

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

SATURdate East Of Cincinnati

This SATURdate spent east of Cincinnati in Clermont County.

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.

The Cardboard Boat Museum is an unusual place along the bank of the Ohio River. It’s not a big place, but it’s interesting. Call ahead to make sure they are open because volunteers run everything so hours may vary. Housed in an old service garage, it acts the part.

Big bay doors are often opened wide to create a breezy feel as air travels through from the door leading to the back deck. From the looks of the bar inside, the bar out on the deck, and the garden around the corner, you get the feeling this is clubhouse. And in a sense, it is. A lot happens here.  After all, this is where some of the best sea-worthy vessels made mostly of cardboard, duct tape, and paint are made for competition racing.

Look around at the designs and you’re likely to ooh and ahh. If you start asking questions, pull up a stool because the folks running this joint are enthusiastic and pleased to share everything you ever wanted to know about racing these crazy watercrafts, and more. We had such a wonderful time that we began dreaming about the boat we’d build and race at their next annual regatta. Like I said earlier, the museum is true to its service garage roots. The folks there are eager to provide the material and coaching to float your boat.

Since it was time for lunch and we were already in New Richmond, Ohio, we decided to just cruise the main drag along the river and through downtown to see if any place stood out. Front Street Café did just that. With its pink brick, green awning and purple umbrella sidewalk tables, we knew this was what we were hoping to stumble upon.

There was nothing but a break wall and hill on the other side of the street which allowed a panoramic view of the river. The colorful and spacious interior of the café lent itself nicely to the wall hanging art which was for sale. Each of the dozen or so paintings cost a thousand or more dollars, which was unexpected considering the laid back feel in the place.

After a lunch that hit the spot, we took a walk. A corner shop by the name of Mr. Grim’s Nostalgic Nook lured us inside with some oddities that caught our attention as we passed by the front window. The door was already open to a little world of Yesteryear so we took a walk down memory lane. Across the street, we explored a community park that seemed more like an otherworldly scene in one of those thousand dollar paintings back at the café.

I scratched my head. Maybe it was. A couple sat on a park bench shifting down to their “park gear” without any hint of wanting to move from their perch for quite some time. The painted white gazebo, lush green landscaping, and cool to the glance river view made us consider scrapping our afternoon plans to do the same. But then an Underground Railroad marker caught our attention. And just beyond it, we skipped down the wall of stone steps to skip stones into the Ohio River. The small town’s down home charm and riverscape made it hard to leave, but we still had a winery to see.

Harmony Hill Vineyards is a rural retreat nestled on 72 acres on a nationally certified wildlife refuge farm. The winding and slow drive across the property unveiled a scenic view of wooded and rolling countryside.

As soon as we walked into the winery, Bill and Patti Skvarla engaged us in conversation. Somewhere along the line, Bill and I were laughing and talked about our Italian, no, Sicilian heritage. He was Sicilian on his mother’s side of the family and Slovakian on his dad’s side. I smiled because I was Sicilian on my dad’s side and Slovakian on my mom’s. So, yeah, we hit it off. Later Bill pulled up a chair and talked to us at our table on the covered patio overlooking the vineyard. When he mentioned his love for dogs, his boxer, Tyson, (get it?) appeared on queue.

Bill encouraged us to stroll the grounds along the walking trails so we did. We followed the woodland paths all around the vineyard listening to nothing but the country air and the birds drifting thought it. When we returned, we took a peek at the underground wine cave, which is one of only eight such structures in the country. Back at our seats, where a light breeze and live music picked up, we opened our picnic cooler like so many others to pair our bread, cheese, and other foods with our wine of choice.

We could have stayed at the winery until the stars filled the sky but it was already late. On the road back, we came across Jungle Jim’s International Market.

Although their flagship original store is in Fairfield, Ohio, this major undertaking wasn’t playing second fiddle. It was every bit as impressive. And although it’s themed very much the same, at the same time, it has an identity of its own. There’s six acres of food under one roof! This foody-haven offers thousands of imported and national brand groceries. There’s a full acre of produce (including organic and international), 12,000 wines, 1,200 beers, 1,600 cheeses, and 1,000 kinds of hot sauce.

If it’s edible, you’ll find it here!  So we did some unexpected grocery shopping – good thing we had the cooler because we still had a bit of a drive to get home.

Of course, these are just four stops that we found east of Cincinnati in Clermont County. There are plenty more options for attractions, recreation, shopping, and dining at https://www.visitclermontohio.com/.

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

For more SATURdate ideas to spend with friends, family, or solo, visit https://www.ohiotraveler.com/saturdate/.

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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Running Shoes and Lederhosen

Are Needed for “Grand” Events this Month

Lace up those running shoes, and get ready for the annual Grand Lake Marathon . This fast, flat, Boston Marathon qualifying course begins and ends at Lake Shore Park in Celina, Ohio along the shores of beautiful Grand Lake St Marys.

Rookie or experienced runners, escape the concrete jungle and head to the countryside to enjoy a quick loop around the Grand. It’s almost as if Grand Lake was designed to have a Marathon around it…the course is that smooth & flat! While in the country, enjoy friendly, entertaining groups cheering the runners on. For short distance runners, there will also be a Half Marathon, the Grand Lake Marathon 5K, or runners can even choose to do a relay option with their running buddies. There is also a Senior Marathon and a kids’ run. The Grand Lake Marathon truly has a race for everyone and every caliber of runner.

Enjoy music along the journey. When runners get to Lakeshore Park they will be greeted by family, friends, and fellow runners. There’s a terrific after-party filled with music, drinks, great local food, and brews at the annual Taste of the Marathon! The entire community is encouraged and invited down to Lakeshore Park from 10am-2pm on race day not only to watch and support the participants as they cross the finish…but to also enjoy in the celebration with some great live music while sampling local delicious eats and ice-cold brews from different restaurants around the Greater Grand Lake Region. And it’s all at one convenient location. Also, enjoy bounce houses for the kids… and check out the new Splash Pad & Playground while in the Bryson Park District! Complete details for the Grand Lake Marathon are at GrandLakeMarathon.com.

The following weekend is the time to put on lederhosen and do the “Chicken Dance” at the region’s largest German heritage festival, the Minster Oktoberfest in Minster, Ohio.  This annual celebration attracts more than 60,000 people each year and is rated as one of the best Oktoberfest celebrations in the nation.  From singing and dancing to the taste of hearty German foods, the annual edition of this event will provide a fun-filled time for all. Topping the list of free entertainment this year includes popular bands such as The Klaberheads, Autobahn, Zinzinnati Beir Band, Reflektion, Karmas Pond, & Steve Rosenbeck!

Mark your calendar, come to Oktoberfest, and watch the spectacular gala parade, featuring colorful floats and marching bands.  Take part in the beer tray relay, the 10K run, the Jug Hoist and a number of other games and competitions. Enjoy the car show, the arts and crafts booths and the Miss Oktoberfest Pageant.  German heritage or not, everyone usually does the Chicken Dance before the evening is over.  For more information, check out MinsterOktoberfest.com for a complete schedule of events.

Flock to Delaware County This Fall

Visitors flock to Delaware County, Ohio in autumn for many reasons: cooler temps, great events, fall colors and flowers. And visitors can still enjoy being outdoors!

The big headliner to start Delaware County’s fall is of course the Delaware County Fair and the Little Brown Jug. Fair week begins with the well-known All-Horse Parade. It features horses, ponies, wagons, carriages, even cowgirls and marching bands, but not motorized vehicles! It’s a three-mile circuit, starting and ending at the fairgrounds. It’s quite the crowd-pleaser.

The Delaware County Fair begins that weekend and leads into the Little Brown Jug on Thursday, which is the third and final race in the triple crown of harness racing. Said to take place on the fastest half-mile track in the world, The Jug attracts visitors, owners, horse enthusiasts, and the curious from across the country and beyond. Jug attendees can place friendly wagers on their favorites, or just enjoy the races and the crowd. Later in the evening, finding great dining throughout Delaware is a cinch. There are restaurants to satisfy every palate.

Also, county visitors like to take in other events such as the Powell Octoberfest or Powell Street Market; Farmers’ Markets in Sunbury, Delaware and Powell; and the Delaware State Park Fall Festival or the Harvest Fair at Stratford Ecological Center. The Powell Street Market has something for everyone in the family. Afterwards, visitors can go to one of Delaware County’s nearby Preservation Parks to explore habitats, farm life of the past, and just enjoy the change of the season.

Powell’s Oktoberfest is for those visitors over the age of 21. It features all the best fall faire: craft beverages, German food, and live music. This is a ticketed event. Travelers should plan accordingly.

Visitors coming at the end of October who want to explore the arts and have a bit of fun can check out The Arts Castle Haunted Castle Tour. Other activities include walking tours of Downtown Historic Delaware and the Ross Museum of Art exhibits on the Ohio Wesleyan University campus.

Of course, the attraction for outdoor enthusiasts really comes in the first three weeks of October: peak fall colors! They can take in the colors at the Alum Creek State Park Fall Fest, which also has a Haunted Trail and other activities. Another option is to enjoy the 57th Annual Ohio Gourd Show and learn about the different types of gourds with demonstrations, crafts and workshops.

If visitors come for a weekend of beautiful fall foliage, they can rent a kayak or canoe and really see the leaves from a different point of view. Several venues rent equipment on the weekends throughout October. Visitors may also enjoy camping in one of the state parks. It’s the chance to be close to the beautiful colors and on the water one more time before winter sets in.

Delaware County is a great place for an adventure this fall. Plan the right excursion and plenty more information regarding accommodations, activities, and attractions at www.visitdelohio.com.

Autumn is Coming

 

Sidney Ohio is the Place to Be

Only a short drive from almost everywhere in Ohio, Sidney and the surrounding area offers an incredible variety of fun things to do close to home. Outdoor concerts, festivals, and recreation of all varieties await you in west central Ohio.

A truly special place just outside of Sidney is the Lake Loramie State Park. With its 1,600 acre lake and 30 miles of shoreline, Lake Loramie is one of the original feeder lakes for the Miami-Erie Canal and offers visitors a quiet retreat in rural Ohio. Swim from a sandy beach, hike along the old canal towpath, wet a line from the lakeshore or a rented boat, and spend the night in a shaded campsite or cabin. However you like to unwind, Lake Loramie State Park is the perfect destination to recharge your battery in the great outdoors. Featured at the park during the weekend is the annual Fall Harvest Festival.  Your family is sure to enjoy the antique power show, kids games & activities, craft exhibitors, live entertainment, primitive encampment, and loads of family friendly fun.

The Historic Sidney Theatre presents Dueling Pianos International. You’ve probably heard about them; maybe even seen them before. Dueling Pianos is a fast, funny, and unforgettable evening entertainment. It takes only one song to have the party goers shouting out requests, singing along to their favorites, bantering with performers, and having the time of their lives. After the show, be sure to stop in for a bite to eat and maybe something cold to drink at one of downtown Sidney’s fun bars, restaurants, and bistros.

Here’s something unique. Have you ever met an alpaca? You can in Sidney. Spend the day with the Paulus family as they host Alpaca Farm Day at Count Your Blessings Alpaca Farm. While there you will learn about these inquisitive, unique animals and the luxurious fiber they produce. Offered will be a variety of activities including petting, feeding and leading alpacas, demonstrations, alpaca obstacle course, door prizes, & hayrides. Food and refreshments will be on hand along with live music by Timmy G. & Co. Alpaca products and other farm-related items will be on display and available for sale.

Looking forward to October, be sure to check out the Downtown Sidney Chocolate Walk, Downtown Sidney Ghost Tour, Downtown Sidney’s Fall Festival, and the Lake Loramie Halloween Campout. Details about each and more can be found on the events calendar of the Sidney Visitors Bureau website.

For every leisure and recreation interest, the possibilities are numerous in Sidney.  For more information about all of the incredible attractions in west-central Ohio, be sure to visit the web site of the Sidney Visitors Bureau at VisitSidneyShelby.com.  A quick visit here will tune you into all that there is to enjoy in the area along with a bundle of prepackaged tour itineraries sure to entice you with an eye-popping array of seasonal fun.  It’s all happening in Sidney Ohio – “We’re waiting for you”.

Fall Fun and Excitement

in Ross County

As summer begins to fade into autumn, the fun and excitement don’t stop in Ross County. Fall activities have grown significantly over the past several years for this southern Ohio destination nestled in the rolling foothills of the Appalachian Region. Visitors to Chillicothe and Ross County can expect to find festivals, Halloween thrills, and the natural beauty of the region as the trees begin to show their colors.

The fall festival season begins with the timeless art of spinning tales to entertain audiences during the annual Southern Ohio Storytelling Festival in September. Highly acclaimed national and regional tellers take the stage to weave their tales and showcase their creativity while leaving audiences wanting more. There’s also the Salt Creek Valley Festival that showcases the community of Richmond Dale and provides the fun atmosphere of a small-town event with sites, sounds and tastes of the area. Hirsch’s Fruit Farm offers their Apple Harvest Open House, a weekend of family fun on the farm. The event gives patrons tours of the orchard, opportunities to pick your own apples, and plenty of children’s activities to keep them busy and entertained.

Festivals continue into October with the newest festival, the Chillicothe Halloween Festival and the oldest festival in the county, Fall Festival of Leaves. The Chillicothe Halloween Festival features a variety of family friendly fun, entertainment, and exhibits, along with a haunted house. While the Fall Festival of Leaves celebrates the beauty of the Paint Valley region with crafts, parade, rides, and plenty of your favorite festival foods all in downtown Bainbridge.

The thrills of the Halloween season begin in September with the annual Ghost Walk in downtown Chillicothe. The Ghost Walk features specific locations that you tour to discover the history and the mystery surrounding each of the stops during the event. During your tour, you may capture something unexplainable in a photo or feel a ghostly touch. In October, Bainbridge hosts its Ghost Walk that features many stops along the way where you will hear stories and meet some historical figures along your journey.

For those wanting the Halloween scares, you can find numerous haunted attractions in Ross County. Begin your adventure by trying to survive the Headless Horseman during Chillicothe’s newest attraction, Sleepy Hollow at Haunted Mountain. This event features a live production of Sleepy Hollow that immerses the audience into the story as it unfolds on stage. Then face your fears along a haunted trail and try beating the clock to get out of an escape room – all controlled by the Headless Horseman. Wrap up your Halloween adventure and experience The Last Carnival. This haunted house and haunted trail encompass 4,000 square feet of indoor scares and over 10,000 square feet of outdoor terror.

Maybe you’re simply looking for a getaway destination before the hectic holiday season begins, Ross County has you covered with plenty of activities for a relaxing weekend. Explore the season by visiting the many historical sites and attractions such as Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, Adena Mansion & Gardens, and the Ross County Heritage Center as well as many others. For outdoor recreation and enjoyment, the five State Parks offer activities as well as nearly 200 miles of trails to take in the great outdoors. You may also want to take in a show at one of the historic theatres or enjoy an evening sipping wine at the local winery and vineyard.

When hunger strikes, you won’t have any problems finding a restaurant to satisfy your cravings. Although there are many chain restaurants nearby, you can find the local flavor in downtown Chillicothe and throughout the surrounding communities. Enjoy everything from homestyle comfort foods to gourmet dishes all with unique flair and atmosphere.

At the end of the day, you can rest knowing you will get the best in southern Ohio hospitality with your choice of hotel, cabin or bed & breakfast location. All located just minutes away from attractions, events, restaurants, and outdoor recreation.

Begin planning your trip by visiting the Ross-Chillicothe Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website at VisitChillicotheOhio.com or by calling (800) 413-4118. Don’t forget to request your official Ross County Visitors Guide.

Ohio Presidents

 

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

This exhibition features campaign posters, photographs, clothing and other historical items associated with the eight U.S. presidents with Ohio ties, telling the stories of the unique marks they left on the U.S. presidency and their roles in Ohio, U.S. and global history.

The Decorative Arts Center of Ohio in Lancaster displays historical items that tell the collective stories of eight U.S. Presidents with Ohio ties in an interactive exhibition for all ages.

The exhibition, The Ohio Presidents: Surprising Legacies, will go beyond the typical historical and political narratives of the lives and work of former U.S. Presidents William Henry Harrison, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft and Warren G. Harding to focus on the lesser-known aspects of their lives and contributions to U.S. and global history. The exhibition will foreground Ohio’s important role in the history of the U.S. presidency.

The Ohio Presidents: Surprising Legacies provides a rare opportunity for the state of Ohio to explore our shared history, and to discover the strength and history we bring to the nation as Ohioans,” said Elizabeth Brown, executive director of the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio.

Stephen George, senior advisor to the Chief Executive Officer of the Ohio History Connection, advised the early planning of The Ohio Presidents: Surprising Legacies, which showcases the period during which Ohio was at the fulcrum of U.S. political and cultural life.

“These Presidents range over the course of 80 years, from 1840, when Ohio kind of asserted itself as an important place on the political map of the United States, all the way to 1920, when we elected our last president, Warren Harding,” said George. “Ohio was really at the center of American culture and American politics for those 80 years. When you study each of these presidents, you get an idea as to where the country was at a given time.”

Within the broader context of U.S. political history, The Ohio Presidents: Surprising Legacies will emphasize some of the stories of Ohio’s U.S. Presidents that often don’t make it into the history books.

The exhibition will focus on not necessarily the typical stories you know about the presidents,” said exhibition curator Christine Fowler Shearer.

Some of these stories show the significant marks that Ohio’s presidents left on the U.S. Presidency and the nation. For instance, the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution came into law during the presidency of Ohioan Ulysses S. Grant. Coming nearly five years after the end of the Civil War, that amendment holds that U.S. citizens will not be denied the right to vote “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The amendment was ratified in February 1870, during Grant’s first term as president.

Other “surprising legacies” include the inauguration of lighter presidential traditions that continue today. Benjamin Harrison and Caroline Harrison were the first U.S. President and First Lady to have a Christmas Tree in the White House, and Rutherford B. Hayes and First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes started the tradition of the annual Easter Egg Roll on the White House Lawn.

The Ohio Presidents: Surprising Legacies will tell the stories of all eight U.S presidents with Ohio ties through campaign posters, photographs, clothing from the presidents and First Ladies and other historical artifacts on loan from seven major historical collections throughout Ohio and in Indiana. A timeline from Benjamin Harrison’s birth in 1833 to William Howard Taft’s death in 1930 also will highlight U.S. and world events, along with personal events of the presidents’ lives.

“In a history exhibition, there’s a little bit of everything, which is what’s fun about it,”  said Fowler Shearer.

“Florence Harding gave a forum especially to women in our country,” said Sherry Hall, director of the Harding Presidential Sites. “Her husband was the first president elected by both men and women. She invited women artists, scientists, athletes to the White House and gave them a forum. She had press conferences, which she called chats, with just women journalists. And she really tried to show that women could be a strong voice.”

According to the Ohio History Connection’s Stephen George, “So many of these First Ladies were pretty remarkable. Mrs. Hayes certainly was one of the very first, if not the first, (First Ladies) who exhibited a great deal of influence over the political tone of the administration of her husband. And we don’t think of President Taft as an extraordinarily vibrant personality, but Mrs. Taft smoked and she enjoyed a cocktail, she was against prohibition, and she really was the driver of her husband’s career.”

Interactive touchscreens Younger visitors to The Ohio Presidents: Surprising Legacies will enjoy the exhibit’s eight (8) interactive touchscreens, chronicling the lives of each of the Ohio presidents. The screens will feature animations and sound effects that bring to life the presidents’ stories. All of the touchscreens will also be collected in a mobile application that can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play. 

Classes The Decorative Arts Center of Ohio’s Wendel Center for Art Education will also present classes in conjunction with The Ohio Presidents: Surprising Legacies. Visit www.decartsohio.org for information and registration.

Uncorking the Spirit of the Wine Trail

Let the Good Times Flow in Coshocton, Ohio
By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide To Fun!

Over the rivers and hills to spirited places you shall go, all along the Three Rivers Wine Trail. But it’s not just wine on the menu; there is a brewery and a distillery too. So, whether you want a stem, stein or shot, follow the ribbons of country road connecting vineyards, woods and farms to villages and towns, all ripe with homespun tales and drinks in the making.

It isn’t only the desire to wet your whistle that makes a wine trail worthy of trekking, although this is an essential ingredient. Perhaps just as important are the strangers who become friends along the way.

There’s nothing like a familiar smile and a, “Hey, we just saw you back at…Come join us!”

This journey isn’t always about the destinations. You’ll sense sweet Mother Nature breathing open the essence of a blooming joy across this unique wine country. See a hawk soar overhead. Pause before century barns and all their charm. Pass an Amish horse and buggy. Get passed by a motorcycle. Oh, and then there are the mom-and-pop shops with storefront windows straight out of Yesteryear.

The best part of the Three Rivers Wine Trail is its diversity. …READ MORE…

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Beat The Dog Days of Summer

 

At Lake Erie Shores & Islands

The “dog days of summer” in the Midwest means temperatures soaring into the 80’s, 90’s, and have even been known to top 100 degrees.

When the heat needs beat, head to Lake Erie Shores & Islands to enjoy the following options to cool down.

Break away to the beach: With more than 27 Lake Erie beach destinations, wade in the shallow water and feel the cool coastal breezes while sinking toes into the sand.  There are rentals at several beaches so people don’t have to “sweat” lugging their beach stuff. Some beaches also allow pets.

Take a ferry ride to an island: Enjoy the wind combing hair while standing on the deck on the way to Kelleys Island, Middle Bass Island, or Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island. Sure, the Lake Erie islands are great destinations in themselves, but getting there is half the fun! Lake transportation may include indoor or outdoor seating, scenic views. Some offer narrated tours of the surrounding sites.

Watery thrills: Experience an adrenaline rush while cooling down! Zoom across the surface of Lake Erie with a Jet Ski or waverunner rental from Put-in-Bay Watercraft Rentals, Erie Shore Wave Runners in Vermilion, or North Coast Parasail & Water Sports in Sandusky – where you can also parasail high above the lake.

Two words – Ice Cream: Toft Dairy is famous for their mega-portion ice cream cones. Over 50 flavors are offered at their scooping parlors. The Lake Erie Cookie Island Monster is a favorite. It features a mix of blue cake batter ice cream blended with cookie dough chunks, drops of chocolate chips, and chocolate cookies and cream. Yum! Other great spots for a tasty ice cream treat include Granny Joe’s Ice Creamatorium, Milan Village Drive-Thru, DQ Grill & Chill, Dairy Isle, Bay Bell Snack Shack, Brown Dog Gelato Co., as well as others.

Splash the day away at a water park: Enjoy Ohio’s waterpark capital for the ultimate getaway at Kalahari Resorts for indoor and outdoor watery fun, complete with thrills from mild to wild. Add in a huge arcade, Safari Outdoor Adventure Park, Spa Kalahari and Salon, and so much more, Kalahari goes beyond your expectations. Other water park options include Great Wolf Lodge, Castaway Bay, and Cedar Point Shores.

Sip a frozen drink: There’s nothing like a refreshing drink to cool off on a hot summer day. Try the famous Brandy Alexander from the Village Pump on Kelleys Island – a local favorite. The Keys at Put-in-Bay features the famous “Fat Tuesday” frozen drinks; best enjoyed at a waterfront table. If you happen to be in Sandusky for sunset, don’t miss the “Freighter in the Bay” drink special at Dockside Café – a yummy rum punch concocted whenever someone spots a freighter coming into Sandusky Bay.

Paddle Lake Erie: Kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddle boarding have grown in popularity among local water recreation activities. Check out Portage River Paddling Co. in Port Clinton and Oak Harbor, Lakeside Chautauqua Watercraft Rentals, Kelleys Island Kayak Rentals, Put-in-Bay Watercraft Rentals, or West River Paddle Sports in Vermilion.

Sip a cold one at a brewery: Ahhh! A freshly-brewed craft beer can be especially refreshing. Grab a cold one at one of these local hot spots: Twin Oast Brewing, Bait House Brewery, Kelleys Island Brewery, and Put-in-Bay Brewery & Distillery. You can even enjoy a cold Lake Erie Love brew from Catawba Island Brewing Company!

A place like no other: Sometimes, the best way to cool off is by screaming at the top of your lungs while plummeting down a 300-foot-tall hill at speeds exceeding 90 mph. Cedar Point Amusement Park featuring some of the tallest and fastest rides and roller coasters in the world. In addition, it offers water rides, great live entertainment (in air-conditioned theatres!) and more. This place offers a wide variety of chills and thrills.

Cool Culture: Check out the museums. There’s the Liberty Aviation Museum and Thomas Edison Birthplace, among others. Or catch a performance at the Sandusky State Theatre.

Whenever the temps climb closer to three digits, be sure to take frequent breaks and relax in the shade or someplace cool, and remember to keep hydrated!

Ride out the heat wave(s) ahead and chill out at SHORESandISLANDS.com.

Food? Yes Please!

Every experienced traveler wants to know where the locals love to eat. Coshocton’s top-ten locally-loved restaurants will have you coming back for more.

Amici’s Pizza: No matter how you slice it, Amici’s is a local fan-favorite for pizza in Coshocton! The owners of this establishment are huge supporters of the local football team, The Ridgewood Generals, and you can see an old scoreboard gracing their front yard upon arrival.

Tip: Amici’s delivers to Wooly Pig Farm Brewery – because beer and pizza is the perfect combo.

Earl’s Dari Drive-In: Here’s the inside scoop into Coshocton’s favorite ice cream stop. With sandwiches, fried comfort foods, and ice cream, Earl’s is one-of-a-kind and will have you coming back for more. Travel back to a simpler time with an old-fashioned hand-dipped ice cream cone or sundae. They are a seasonal shop, so the whole town goes bananas during opening week each spring. *Be sure to bring your wallet, because they only accept cash or check*

Tip: Get two spoons with the Old-fashioned Banana Split — It’s big enough to share.

English Ivy:You cannot go wrong with the English Ivy, right in the heart of Coshocton. This casual, cozy restaurant will make you feel like you’re in the comfort of your home. They have something for everyone… meaning their pie selection is outstanding! Open for lunch Tuesday – Saturday from 10:30am – 2:30pm, and dinner on Fridays & Saturdays, 5 – 8pm.

Tip: Some fan-favorites include their blackened salmon salad, broccoli cheddar soup & Cuban sandwich.

Hannah Marie’s: Make your morning perfect with a hot latte and fresh baked treat from Hannah Marie’s! Whether you’re on the go or have time to lounge with friends, Hannah Marie’s is always a ‘brew-tiful’ way to start your day. This adorable bakery also specializes in custom cupcakes, cookies, and cakes for all types of celebrations.

Tip: The outdoor patio is dog friendly, so you can enjoy a cup of coffee with your best buddy.

Lava Rock Grill – Unusual Junction Diner: Located at The Unusual Junction in a restored 19th century railroad station, this 1950s inspired diner is unforgettable. They offer classic and innovative meals (see: The Cuban Reuban, below.) While you’re there, check out the original Bob Barker’s Price is Right sign that hangs inside.

Tip: Order the tater tots – that’s it. That’s the tip. Do it.

McKenna’s Market: This local deli is much more than you can imagine! Not only do they offer made-to-order subs and salads, they use all local produce, meat, & cheese. They are also your stop for all-Ohio wines and beers! They have #OhioPride!

Tip: Try the homemade frozen custard and caramel corn. Maybe at the same time.

Roberta’s Diner: Roberta’s is a classic in Coshocton County! Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a cozy atmosphere. The whole town waits for her white-board-written daily specials to be posted on her Facebook page, so you can see that Roberta’s is truly a fan-favorite.

Tip: Prime Rib nights are a must.

Sorrell’s on the Square: The newest restaurant in Coshocton has quickly turned into a local favorite! The farmhouse-esque interior is classic, comfortable, and clean. Their full bar is open and inviting! Have a drink with your buds before sitting down for a delicious American-style meal (Can you say wings & burgers?).

Tip: Order the cheesecake. Locals say it is the best!

Warehouse Steak n’ Stein: What used to be the Roscoe Village Post Office is now a favorite to the locals and visitors alike! The Warehouse hosts live music and offers seating on a spacious, shady, outdoor patio – great for parties and celebrations.

Tip: Try their famous onion rings.

Yucatan: If you wanna ‘taco’ bout a favorite, the Yucatan is it! For nearly 20 years, this bright and casual restaurant has been serving authentic and delicious Mexican food. Their delightful staff will make you feel like old friends; the full bar and top-notch margaritas will really give your night out an extra kick.

Tip: Enjoy their newly-added outside seating.

Get Social with these “Locals” and tag your photos #VisitCoshocton.

And for some after-dinner fun, try…

Legacy Lanes and Lounge: This is a locally-loved watering hole among 21 – 30 year olds. Their full bar and dedicated bartender, Marley, will really give your night the umph it needs! Play giant jenga, classic arcade games, rock out with the jukebox (or request a song from Marley), & bowl a game or two! They also serve delicious food, from full meals, to pizza, to light snacks.

Tip: Whatever menu item or new cocktail Marley suggests, get it. He has never steered anyone wrong.

You cannot miss out on Wooly Pig Farm Brewery. Open late on the weekends, this is such a fun experience. See actual wooly pigs on an actual farm. Peek into the brewery through their floor-to-ceiling windows.

Tip: Take some snacks, a deck of cards, a few friends, and enjoy relaxing outdoors.

There’s a lot more to share about these favorite local eateries in Coshocton. For complete information to plan your do-it-yourself food trail, click here.

Have You Lost Your Marbles?

EnterTRAINment Junction May Have Found Them
at One of the Largest Marble Exhibits in the World

You’ve got your bonkers, mashers, thumpers, plumpers, bumbos, hoggers and toe-breakers. Know what they are? They are all nicknames for… marbles!

If you knew that, you must be a marble afficianado, and if you are a marble fan you don’t want to miss one of most unique and complete marble collections in the world at EnterTRAINment Junction in West Chester, Ohio. The incredible marble exhibit “A Marbleous Life” has just been added as a permanent exhibit.

This collection was donated to EnterTRAINment Junction by Larry and Cathy Svacina of Kansas City, Missouri, two of the nation’s most esteemed collectors and experts in all things marbles. Cathy Svacina is known worldwide as “The Marble Lady” and she and her husband and their collection have been featured in People Magazine, USA Today, Women’s World Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, and U.S. News and World Report. Their marbles also have even been featured on the Discovery Channel and the Travel Channel and even in Hollywood films such as “Goonies,” “Hook,” and “Home Alone.”

The new permanent marble display at EnterTRAINment Junction will be both fun and educational for families. Visitors can see all the different styles and color of marbles, learn marble history and trivia, play marble games and see an amazing kinetic marble sculpture.

No one really knows where marbles originated. They’ve been found in the ashes of Pompeii and in the tombs of ancient Egyptians, and they were played with by Native American tribes. For centuries artisans made marbles by hand from clay, stone, or glass. Mass production became possible in 1884, when Sam Dyke of Akron, Ohio, used a manufacturing method to make marbles by machines.

The game of Marbles may be the oldest game on earth. Marbles can be used for a variety of games called marbles.

Marbles are even popular in today’s computer, internet and video games such as Marble Madness, Marble Blast Gold, Kororinpa and Marble Drop. Other games that use marbles include Marble Solitaire, Aggravation, Chinese Checkers, Hungry Hungry Hippos and Ker Plunk.

The “Marble Lady” Cathy Svacina is known around the globe. She has made marble presentations for groups of all ages both in the US and Canada, as well as in Europe, Japan and Mexico. She is often called upon to identify and/or appraise marbles for museums, archaeologists, and auctioneers. She is author of the book, “Knuckles Down! A Fun Guide to Marble Play,” and has also participated and been a referee at city, state, national and world marble championship tournaments.

The new marble exhibit at EnterTRAINment Junction is in the family entertainment center’s large Expo Center. The exhibit is free to the public.

EnterTRAINment Junction, winner of numerous tourist attraction awards, is home to the world’s largest indoor model train display, the Amaze-N-FunHouse, an incredible replica of old Coney Island, and much more. To plan your visit, go to www.entertrainmentjunction.com.

Finish Summer in Licking County

Central Ohio is an easy, one-tank trip from nearly anywhere in Ohio. Just 30 miles northeast of Columbus, Licking County has much to offer visitors looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and spend some unplugged quality time. Here, there are plenty of opportunities to immerse in art, history, culture, and the outdoors.

Here are seven things to see and do before summer wraps up!

Granville may be one of the most charming towns in Ohio! The New England-style town is filled with distinctive architecture, great local shops, restaurants and more. Visitors can stroll the Granville Farmer’s Market for local eats on Saturday mornings and wind down in the evening with a craft brew at Three Tigers Brewing Company.

A few unique lodging options include the Welsh Hills Inn, a consistently top-rated bed and breakfast in the nation and world. The Granville Inn and the Buxton Inn are also highly recognized, charming stays. And for those interested in a spookier stays, there are guest rooms that have had haunted experiences reported. Glamping accommodations are available at the Orchard House.

Licking County boasts more local breweries per capita than even Columbus and recently launched a beer trail where visitors can visit all 10 breweries, collect stamps, and claim a prize at the Licking County Visitors Bureau. Also, a new wine trail recently opened. From Three Oaks Vineyard in Granville to Sand Hollow Winery in Heath, wine lovers enjoy sipping their favorite vinos in beautiful surroundings.

Outdoor activities abound throughout the county. Enjoy fishing, kayaking, hiking, camping or glamping. Explore Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve, pitch a tent at Lazy River at Granville, or float the river at the Riverview Park and Canoe Launch.

Ohiolina Bluegrass Festival combines the sounds of Ohio, North Carolina, and places in between. Celebrate the region’s unique traditions including folk and bluegrass. Also enjoy the local culinary movements. The festival takes place in Granville every September.

The Newark Earthworks are the largest set of geometric earthen enclosures in the world. Already a National Historic Landmark, in 2006, the State of Ohio designated the Newark Earthworks as “the official prehistoric monument of the state.” Built by people of the ancient Hopewell Culture between 100 B.C. and 500 A.D., this architectural wonder of ancient America was part cathedral, part cemetery, and part astronomical observatory. 

Dawes Arboretum, founded in 1929 by Beman and Bertie Dawes, was inspired by the couple’s love of trees and nature. Today, they remain dedicated to the mission of providing exceptional educational programs and events as well as maintaining incredible horticulture collections on nearly 2,000 acres of beautiful grounds.

So close your summer in Licking County with nearby trips to experience art, history, culture, and the outdoors. Your family will thank you.

Hog Heaven At African Safari

Frequent visitors to African Safari Wildlife Park will notice some familiar faces that have returned to the Walk-Thru Safari.

“We are excited to announce that our Red River Hog and Warthog are back on exhibit in the Walk-Thru Safari,” said General Manager, Josh Adkins. “A lot of effort, planning, and thought has gone into these new exhibits and we’re happy to see the hogs are enjoying their new homes in the Walk-Thru.”

African Safari fans and previous guests will remember the hogs being exhibited in the middle of the Walk-Thru Safari near the Park’s playground. Their previous exhibit is now home to the park’s collection of tortoises. Many exhibits in the Walk-Thru Safari were transformed in early 2019 to allow for the new Zoo-It-All Experience. With the Zoo-It-All Pass, guests may feed and interact with African crested porcupines, tortoises, rabbits, parakeets, and red kangaroos, and wallaby.

The Red River Hog and Warthog exhibits feature a barrier-free viewing experience, a concept that the park is embracing throughout the Walk-Thru Safari with its exhibits. A large “mud wallow” at the front of each exhibit can also be seen by guests. The wallows allow the hogs to demonstrate natural behaviors such as swimming and rooting.

Fun and interesting facts about the red river hog and warthog are incorporated into the park’s HogWILD Experience Program that runs daily in the Walk-Thru Safari. After each program, guests are encouraged to see the hogs in their new exhibits.

All animals at African Safari Wildlife Park can be seen daily from 9am to 7pm. The last automobile is admitted into the Park at 6pm.

Abolitionist History Walk

This story is from a past edition of OhioTraveler

As warm weather returns to northeast Ohio, so do the Oberlin Heritage Center’s popular outdoor history walks.  All ages can enjoy time outside and learn more about Oberlin’s unique history with the Freedom’s Friends:  Underground Railroad & Abolitionist History Walk.  This 90-minute guided walking tour will be offered every Saturday at 11am during the months of July and August.  Prior to the Civil War, as many as 3,000 African Americans passed through or lived in Oberlin after escaping from slavery.  Tour participants will hear powerful stories about Oberlin’s famous freedom seekers and those known to have helped them make their way to freedom on the Underground Railroad.

Tickets for individual history walks must be purchased in advance and are $6 for adults, and free for Heritage Center members, college students and children accompanied by adults.  (Even when tickets are free, reservations still must be made in advance.)  The Freedom’s Friends History Walk, as well as several other walking tours that focus on different themes in local history, also are available to groups of eight or more at other times by appointment.   Descriptions of all themed history walks may be found at www.oberlinheritagecenter.org.

Summer also is an ideal time to experience the Heritage Centers self-guided tablet tours that are convenient and adaptable to individual interests.   Simply borrow an iPad from the Oberlin Heritage Center between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, and learn about Oberlin in a “do-it-yourself” format.  The Freedom’s Friends tour allows participants to move at their own pace through town and campus to learn about local monuments and discover new stories connected to Oberlin’s abolitionist history.  The Picture the Past: Historic Downtown Oberlin tablet tour covers a one block radius extending from the corner of Main and College Streets and is filled with fun facts, historic photographs, and more!  The fee is $5/hour or $20/day per tablet, with a 20% discount for OHC members.

Younger folks and the young-at-heart can also take part in some old-fashioned outdoor playtime at the Little Red Schoolhouse all through the summer months.  The Heritage Center will have classic games such as ring toss, jump rope, hoops & sticks, spinning tops, and more available FREE during OHC’s open hours, Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Visitors just need to sign them out at the Monroe House (73½ South Professor Street) for use on the Heritage Center grounds.  It’s a great way to unplug, relax, and enjoy fresh air and fun with family or friends.

All year round, the Heritage Center also offers the “Upstairs/Downstairs Tour” which includes stories from Oberlin’s 1833 founding through the turn of the 20th century set within the beautifully preserved Monroe House (1866), the Jewett House (1884) and the hands-on Little Red Schoolhouse (1836).  These tours are offered every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and walk-ins are welcome.   The “Sneak Peek” Oberlin Origins Tour – a mini-version of the full tour for those who have less time yet still want to hit the highlights – is available Tuesday through Saturday on a walk-in basis between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.  These tours are free to OHC members, children and college students; otherwise $6/adult for the full tour or $3/adult for the mini-tour.

For reservations or to obtain more information about any of the Heritage Center’s tour experiences, please visit www.oberlinheritagecenter.org, e-mail tourinfo@oberlinheritage.org or call (440) 774-1700.

Vine – understood…But Bine?

Visitors are coming to Delaware County, Ohio, in search of long weekend getaways, history, art, outdoor sports and more. Now they are asking about a newly introduced adventure, the Delaware County Vine & Bine Trail. And they want to know: Vines? Sounds like a wine trail…but, what is “bine?”

The Vine does indeed refer to the type of stem on which grapes grow. The Bine in the title references the stem on which hops grow. Delaware County has developed quite a presence in the craft wine and craft beer industries. The owners of the wineries and breweries on this trail are blazing their own paths into unique and intriguing ales and vintages. They’re also finding people are more than willing to follow their visions and efforts…they are, after all, pioneers of this growing county industry and they excel at what they do.

The Vine & Bine Trail, which runs between the cities of Delaware and Powell, for now, is self-guided and can be started at any establishment (or Trail Host). Hosts provide visitors with background on and stories of their award-winning offerings. All of the wineries and breweries have interesting stories about their how and why they came into being, and what led to the names of various beverages. These people are dedicated to their crafts, and they love to tell you about their place, and their remarkable products!

Found on the Vine & Bine Trail are light and refreshing vintages, hoppy IPAs, full-bodied reds, sours, lagers, stouts, dessert wines, sangrias…something to please every palate. Some of the ear-catching names will entice visitors to try them. But the proof is in the glass, that these are worth coming back for again and again:  Mr. Prince (a semi-dry red blend); Ill Monk; Trail Break; The Great Stoutdoors; Sweet Blanco Sangria; Reserve Syrah; Jetta’s Flying Snot; I Can’t Feel My Pants; English Flannel; Double RB Hazy; Autumn Harvest; Nouveau; Pacer; The Baron; Call me a Cab; Big Spender. Visitors can add their own list of favorites on the back on the Trail brochure, where a place for notes has been reserved. No matter where visitors begin their Trail, they will find incredible local flavors, hosts that love what they do, and memories that will habitually bring them back to Delaware County.

Visitors will be glad to find they can make their Vine & Bine memories last in a very tangible way: they can go home with favorites from their time on the Trail. Some breweries can their beer, and growlers are available at each taproom. All of the wineries also bottle their diverse vintages for enjoying later. Restaurants in the county also have taps dedicated to Delaware’s breweries…so visitors can pair a brew with their meals.

While the Vine & Bine Trail can be traversed any time of year, summer is a great time to start it. Many hosts have live music, special events, and a variety of food offerings throughout these warm months. Sip on your favorite red, white, or brew while getting to know your neighbors, relive old times with friends and family, and make new memories. Visitors will find that many of the offerings change seasonally, so they leave time for a fall or winter excursion as well.

It’s a great time to visit Delaware County and take in local seasonal drink and fare. And with this Trail available all year ‘round, travelers can make plans – or a last-minute decision! – to drop by, relax, and spend some time checking out the fruits of the vine… and bine!

The Garden of Happiness Still Exists

 

And it can be found in Historic Zoar Village. A peaceful, three-acre garden in the center of the 18-century German village is considered by some to be Ohio’s Eden. The incredible beauty of the garden and the story behind the design give some credence to that idea.

The village of Zoar, Ohio was founded in 1817 by a group of about 300 people fleeing persecution by the state-sponsored church in Württemberg, Germany. After a couple of difficult years in a new land, the village residents decided to form a communal society so that everyone would be taken care of, regardless of age or physical ability. Their way of life lasted for around eighty years, making Zoar one of the nation’s longest lasting communal settlements.

For the Separatists, the Zoar Garden was a public manifestation of their faith. It was laid out geometrically in a very specific manner to represent the New Jerusalem as described in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 21. Visitors to the Garden today will see the same layout, carefully preserved for more than two centuries.

A large spruce tree in the center represents Christ, or everlasting life. It is also known as the “Tree of Life.” Surrounding the spruce are twelve smaller trees representing the Apostles of Christ. Radiating out from each small tree is a path representing one of the twelve tribes of the Children of Israel. An outer path that covers the perimeter of the Garden represents the world. Smaller paths crisscross the area between the outer path and the radiating paths. The story goes that these smaller paths represent the many paths people take during their lives, and the many ways they get sidetracked and lured away from a direct path to God. But no matter what paths a person chooses, there is always a way to get back to a path that leads to God and eternal life with him in Heaven.

Fruits, vegetables, and culinary and medicinal herbs were grown in the garden for the village residents. But it was primarily lush with flowers. It provided residents and visitors with a beautiful place to relax. This “lustgarden,” or “Garden of Happiness” was being touted by travelers who made their way to Zoar as early as 1829.

The Society of Separatists of Zoar disbanded in 1898, as outside influences brought to the village by way of the Ohio & Erie Canal and the advent of railroad travel.  When the Society dissolved the center tree in the garden died. In the early 1900s, the garden was plowed under and for many years there were no flowers. Fortunately, the Garden was brought back to life, returning the beauty and tranquility of the original Garden of Happiness for both residents and visitors to once again enjoy.

Over the years, the Zoar Garden has become a favorite place for many young couples to tie the knot. It’s also a peaceful place for the local library to hold story time during the summer months.

The Zoar Garden is part of the Historic Zoar Village tour. Visitors to the village will find that the best time to view the Garden is between June and September. Hours of operation in the village vary by season, and the best way to make plans is to hop on their web site at https://historiczoarvillage.com/. The $10 tour ($4 for kids 5-12, free for 4 and under) includes the Garden and the beautiful Garden House, along with as many as six to seven other museums on any given day. If you do decide to visit, just remember that deer like to visit the garden as well, so please close the garden gate behind you.

Inspiration from the Road

Traveling isn’t only about the destination, it’s also about the journey. Every week, I am fortunate to experience something new as “The OhioTraveler.” But the exploration is also one of thoughts. Whether behind the wheel, on a trail, or water, my mind may wander.

I took this photograph of a relatively unknown waterfall near Hillsboro, Ohio. Later, in a notebook where I log my mileage, I jotted down the words overlaying the photo above.

Over the past 15 years, I have filled a drawer with such thoughts, inspired by the places I’ve visited. Soon, this collection will be published in book form. If you are interested in more writings like this, please email scoops@ohiotraveler.com.

Axe Throwing Across Ohio

Axe throwing across Ohio is a fun time for everyone to enjoy as long as you’re 15-years-old or older. There are as many female participants as there are male. Depending on the venue, guests may bring or buy drinks and snacks for their 1 ½ – 2 hours in an axe-throwing lane. Each person creates their own axe related name tag and is placed on a team, together, which may include members of another participating group. Group names are decided, and then instructions and practice throwing follows. Once everyone has thrown, several competitions begin. These pit one team against another, and then ultimately, it’s every lumberjack for themself to see who is best. Axe throwing is fun for date nights, family time, friends’ gatherings, team building, or parties. Admission to these Ohio axe throwing places is approximately $35/person.

Reservations are encouraged and may be made by phone or online at the following sites:

Cincinnati Axe Throwing at Class Axe
www.cincinnatiaxe.com
513-268-2386
(Map It) 4814 Peter Place B in West Chester, Ohio

Cincinnati Urban Axes
https://urbanaxes.com/cincinnati/
513-970-2937
(Map It) 2010 Elm St. in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio

Cleveland Axe Throwing at Class Axe
www.clevelandaxethrowing.com
440-462-8559
(Map It) 9000 Bank St. in Valley View, Ohio

Columbus Axe Throwing
click here
614-681-1567
(Map It) 6124 Busch Blvd. in Columbus, Ohio

The Dueling Axes
www.theduelingaxes.com
614-221-1600
(Map It) 309 S. 4th St. in Columbus, Ohio

Rhine Haus Bier Hall
facebook.com/rhinehausohio/
440-339-5931
(Map It) 40 N Phelps St. in Downtown Youngstown

Southern Ohio Axe Throwing
www.southernohioaxe.com
740-298-4950
(Map It) 1 Nancy Wilson Way in Chillicothe, Ohio

TimberBeast Axe Throwing
click here
330-441-4991
(Map It) 2524 Medina Rd. in Medina, Ohio

Wild Axe Throwing
www.wildaxethrowing.com/
937-912-9741
(Map It) 3251 Seajay Dr. in Beavercreek, Ohio

 

Backyard Wonders

Some of Ohio’s most interesting hand-built creations can be found right in someone’s backyard. Two of these artistic anomalies are the Temple of Tolerance in Wapakoneta and the Hartman Rock Garden in Springfield. These creative exhibits are open for self-tours all year (guided tours may be scheduled) and are completely free of charge. Both were created for the enjoyment of others. They stand as testaments of human creativity, proving that the work of a single person is capable of becoming an inspiring exhibit of art.

The Temple of Tolerance was created and is maintained by Jim Bowsher. Jim made the temple as a sanctuary of acceptance to bring people together. Built-in the middle of his backyard, the Temple of Tolerance consists of thousands of rocks, each individually photographed to preserve their unique backstories. The temple has a gathering place populated with benches and a fire pit. It took Jim an astounding 18 years of designing and hauling rocks to construct this outdoor masterpiece. Jim’s work also includes the massive eight-foot-tall tube on his property containing one bullet shell for every fallen soldier from Ohio since 1812. These shells were collected from Wapakoneta, New Bremen, and the Moulton Gun Club, all working together to make this feat possible. Jim made these unbelievable works with the intention to bring people together, and since the word has spread of his backyard wonder, it seems he has done just that.

The Hartman Rock Garden (Play Video) is another example of incredibly complex stone structures built simply in someone’s backyard. Harry George “Ben” Hartman is the man responsible for this creative art exhibit. Ben started learning mold-making at the young age of 16, and after being laid off in the Great Depression, he needed to find a way to keep himself active. After constructing a fishing pond in his backyard, Ben spent the following 12 years making new additions to the rapidly growing display. After Ben and his wife Mary passed away, the Kohler Foundation purchased and restored the rock garden and passed ownership on to the Friends of the Hartman Rock Garden, who keep it open to this day.  The garden contains over 50 structures made of thousands of stones, including a replica of The White House and other themes of history, religion, and patriotism. The rock garden also has many flowers, plants, and figurines, all bringing the spectacle to life. Its long life of changing ownerships, and aided by generous visitor donations, the Hartman Rock Garden seems to defy time.

The Temple of Tolerance and Hartman Rock Garden are both tributes to the amazing things that can be achieved with nothing but passion for an idea. They both started off as nothing but an idea, but through years of development and labor became complete personal displays of ingenuity. Their completely original and innovative designs have been intriguing enough to bring people together from across the country. Sometimes the most interesting places to go are right in your neighbor’s backyard.

Plan your visit to these two Ohio backyard wonders. The Temple of Tolerance is located at 203 S. Wood St. in Wapakoneta, Ohio (Map It). For more information, call 419-738-4474. Hartman’s Rock Garden is located at 1905 Russell Avenue, Springfield, Ohio (Map It). For more information, email info@hartmanrockgarden.org or visit www.hartmanrockgarden.org.

By Dominic Satullo

iFly Cincinnati

Admission to iFly Cincinnati starts at $59.95/person

  • Open: Monday through Thursday 12pm – 8pm, Friday 12pm – 9pm, Saturday 10am – 9pm, and Sunday 10am – 7pm
  • Location: (Map It) 7689 Warehouse Row in Liberty Township, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-901-4359
  • Web: https://www.iflyworld.com/cincinnati/

iFly Cincinnati is an amazing way to safely experience the thrill of skydiving indoors. Anyone ages 3 and above can enter the expertly designed wind tunnels and take flight. Kids 4-16 can get personal coaching from instructors as well in “Flight School” to master flying. By combining flying with virtual reality, you can also visit incredible locations across the world while you soar through the air.

Secret Ohio Waterfall

Photo by Frank Rocco Satullo

Well, it’s not a secret to the locals in the Hillsboro, Ohio area. Several miles north of town at 10211 Careytown Road in New Vienna, Ohio is a simple wood board that reads, “Waterfall.” Pull off the road into a small gravel parking lot. A winding path stretches about a mile or so into the Fallsville Wildlife Area. First, you’ll hear the waterfall. Then, you’ll see an access trail to the top of the falls. But the best vantage point is down a hillside (it’s somewhat steep but well-traveled), leading to the base of the falls where people stand and take in the beauty of its cascade.

Photo by Frank Rocco Satullo

Photo by Frank Rocco Satullo

Photo by Frank Rocco Satullo

Vine & Bine Trail

In celebration of the variety of wineries and breweries that have sprung up throughout Delaware County in recent years, Destination Delaware County Ohio has unveiled their new Vine & Bine Trail. The trail, a collaboration of 10 local wine and ale makers, takes visitors on a trip across the county and allows them to sample some of the best locally-produced wine and beer in the region.

“Delaware County has some of the finest wines and craft beers in Ohio, and the Vine & Bine Trail is a terrific way to recognize and celebrate the county’s booming wineries and breweries,” said Joan Ayscue, communications assistant for Destination Delaware County Ohio. “Spanning from downtown Delaware to Powell, this trail is an easy way to sample these innovative wines and ales, while also exploring the region.”

The trail, cleverly named after the stems that grow a wine’s grapes and a beer’s hops, brings awareness to the robust wine and beer scene the county has developed. It also recognizes the local ingredients used to make several of the region’s award-winning beverages.

“Many of the wineries and breweries use local ingredients in their winemaking and brewing processes,” Ayscue added. “The impact of these businesses goes beyond the patrons who frequent these establishments. It truly is a county-wide collaborative effort between the vintners/brewers and the farmers.”

Delaware County has four wineries and six breweries in the region that boast award-winning wine and craft ales. Wines on the trail range from full-bodied reds, to fruity whites, to dessert wines and more. Some of the different beers featured on the trail include names like: Pandora’s Juice Box; Powell! Right in the Kisser; Whetstone Lager; Beta Flash New England IPA; Wildcat Sally (Saison Farmhouse Ale); and Smelly Pirate (Rum Raisin Belgian Quad).

“When people think of craft wine and beer, they may not initially think of Delaware County,” Ayscue said. “However, we have some of the best wineries and breweries in the Midwest here. This trail is a fantastic way to position Delaware County as a leader in the craft beverage scene, and attract wine and beer enthusiasts to the area.”

To learn more about the Vine & Bine Trail or view a detailed map of the trail, visit https://www.visitdelohio.com/. Visitors of the trail also are encouraged to share their experiences on social media and use the hashtags #visitdelohio and #vineandbinedelco.

Sculptures on the Square

Troy Main Street and its partners have championed a variety of extraordinary art exhibits to the downtown Troy area. It all started with a vision of curating an exhibit of life-size sculptures by Seward Johnson. From this, Sculptures on the Square was formed, and its mission continues as it introduces outdoor art to residents and visitors. Beginning June 14, 2019, you can witness the excitement for yourself.

As visitors begin their journey around Troy’s downtown area, they will come upon kids playing Frisbee or a couple drinking coffee. They will venture upon someone enjoying the outdoors while reading a book or they may see a lovely woman carrying a picnic basket. But they’re not real. Instead…they’re beautiful sculptures created by a master sculptor, Seward Johnson. These expressions of reality are easy to imagine, the sculptures are so lifelike.

The Sculptures on the Square committee, led by Troy Main Street, along with many enthusiastic committee members, welcomes Seward Johnson’s “Celebrating the Familiar”. Back by popular demand, these incredible works of art depict life-like people performing day-to-day activities. Two additional sculptures will be from Seward Johnson’s “Beyond the Frame” series. These finely detailed vignettes allow visitors to step into the painting and stroll amid the life scale bronze figures, becoming part of the scene. And finally, we will be introduced to a few of his “Icons Revisited”. In this series, Johnson explores what makes an image stick with us; become something more than its one moment in time. As they adorn the downtown streets as if frozen in dance, you may find the sculptures are both lyrical and fluid and can be perceived as engaged with those who visit.

A more local spin to this exhibit will include a series of additional public art displays and interactive workshops and activities for folks, young and old. Many of these works of art will be displayed in businesses throughout the summer. This exciting addition has been made possible by Premier Health/Upper Valley Medical Center.

The twenty-one selected sculptures will be available for public viewing on June 14th and will be unveiled at a public opening on Prouty Plaza. Live music will follow and will surely kick off this monumental three-month celebration of the arts in downtown Troy. The Sculptures on the Square event has been made possible by a generous grant from the Troy Foundation and the “Beyond the Frame” series is sponsored by Kettering Health Network.

Troy Main Street, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 organization. The Mission of the organization is to create a charming, prosperous, and interactive downtown Troy through strong economic development, planned historic preservation, continued enhancements, and exceptional programming. For more information, visit troymainstreet.org.

8 New Island & Shore Attractions

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

We know, nobody NEEDS a new reason to enjoy the amazing activities and summer fun at Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands! But whether you’re a regular visitor or a newbie just learning the ropes of all the fun there is to be had, everyone enjoys learning about the exciting, new things available.

Here are just a few of the new attractions offered this year:

Monster Jam® Thunder Alley roars into Cedar Point this summer, ONLY through June 30! Get up close, sit in, and even ride in some of your favorite Monster Jam trucks at this all-new, limitedime experience. Monster Jam Thunder Alley includes four adrenaline-charged experiences included with park admission. Forbidden Frontier on Adventure Island also makes its debut at the park. The new attraction is described as an interactive experience, where you are challenged both mentally and physically to solve the mystery surrounding the Forbidden Frontier. It is said every experience has a different ending, determined by the player and the secrets unlocked.

Skydive Put-in-Bay offers a unique new way to experience island thrills. Tandem jumps are available with island-based air service, Island Air Taxi, in conjunction with instructor JR Piosek, with over 20 years of experience and more than 19,000 jumps. Jumps include hand cam video to document your one-of-a-kind adventure.

The Lake Erie Shores & Islands Cheers Trail is a fun way to explore area wineries, breweries, and distilleries. With 18 locations to discover, this new trail offers a reward to those who visit five locations. Pick up a brochure at one of the Lake Erie Shores & Islands welcome centers, get stickers when you make a qualifying purchase at participating locations, and return your trail map with five stickers to receive a free gift. Complete the entire trail, and you can be entered to win a future getaway!

The Marketplace at the Cooke is a new indoor retail and restaurant space in downtown Sandusky, part of a $6 million renovation of the iconic Cooke Building at the corner of Columbus Ave. and Market St. Businesses within the marketplace include a Sandusky Children’s Museum, Noble Axes axe-throwing, Fancy Me Boutique, Bake Erie specialty sweets, Doughin’ Crazy edible cookie dough and ice cream, Derrick Jr’s barbecue and soul food, and Sandusky Bell and Deli. The marketplace will also host pop-up-shops from various local artisans.

Port Clinton offers a brand new, four-story Fairfield Inn and Suites, which recently opened at a beautiful waterfront location. The new 85-room hotel features lakeside views and large suites along with Marriott Hotel amenities such as fast Wi-Fi, continental breakfast, fitness center, and indoor pool.

New this year at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions are two escape room attractions for families. Families will love these new “Out of This World” escape rooms. The adventures are perfect for all experience levels. Check out this two-part mission and book the Desert of Time where you’ll be transported into space, then finish out your journey as you Escape from Planet Obscura on a quest back to planet Earth.

Lakeside Chautauqua dedicated to nurturing mind, body, and spirit. Lago Coastal Café The brand-new Pickleball Center opens this summer and the Lakeside Chautauqua organization recently introduced a new app which offers program and schedule information on mobile devices. The Lakeside Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of new music director and conductor Daniel Meyer, will add a Pops concert and two new matinee youth concerts to its schedule.

Erie Shore Wave Runners is now open at Captain’s Corner Marina in Vermilion. In addition to wave runner rentals, the business offers guided tours through the Vermilion Lagoons, Vermilion River, and the nearby coastline via personal watercraft.

These are just a few of the new and notable attractions coming online this summer. Discover more at https://www.shoresandislands.com/. What will you add to your summer Shores & Islands bucket list?

New Boutique Hotel “The Casa”

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

At Gervasi Vineyard

The Casa at Gervasi Vineyard (“casa” translates to the word “house” in Italian) is a single-story 18,000 sq. ft. hotel that houses 24 luxury individual suites. The new hotel is located behind the destination’s new distillery, The Still House, on the southwest quadrant of the 55-acre estate adjacent to the south vineyard.

The structure complements the Tuscan paradise with the same mission décor including off-white stucco with a dark roof, wood accents and wrought iron. Wall niches and Italian tile inlays adorn both the interior and exterior of the guest rooms. Italian tile floors include wood accents; rustic beams and wood ceiling details crown the Tuscan-inspired look. The hotel features a grand entrance lobby with spectacular details offering a shared social space for guests. In addition, beautifully decorated side-lobbies and niches are offered as a cozy hideaway.

“We are proud to have grown the Gervasi brand and continue to build Gervasi Village from our Italian heritage”, said Ted Swaldo, Proprietor, GV Destinations. “The Tuscan-mission style structure of the new boutique hotel wraps around a beautiful European-landscaped courtyard to complement the Italian landscape design of Gervasi Vineyard, but is unique in its own way.”

Each guest suite features a beautiful covered veranda with a view and access to a private courtyard and pond featuring lush gardens. Inside, the lavish suites offer a tastefully styled 375 sq. ft. space featuring high-end amenities including a luxury king-sized bed, fireplace, two club chairs, a walk-up bar with glassware for both wine and spirits, heated tile floors, spacious bathroom with walk-in shower and heated towel bars, in-room refrigerator offering select beverages, Keurig brewing system with Gervasi Caffé K-cups, robe and slippers, as well as other deluxe amenities.

Overnight guests are offered a selection of five Italian-style gourmet continental breakfasts delivered to their rooms each morning. Deluxe in-room spa services are available for overnight guests including manicures, pedicures, facials, individual and couples massages, and in-room yoga with advance request. Gervasi wines, spirits, specialty foods, and flowers may also be ordered for delivery to guest suites.

“Our exciting nine year journey of the expansion culminates with the opening of our high end boutique hotel. This spectacular addition to Gervasi Vineyard really solidifies us a unique and upscale destination resort, and is the capstone to our 55-acre estate. We couldn’t be more proud and excited to share it with our community and the region,” said Scott Swaldo, General Manager, GV Destinations.

The hotel features an exercise room and laundry facilities for all guests that stay overnight on the property. The destination resort now offers a total of 48 luxury suites between The Casa and The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard. In addition, The Farmhouse (the original residence on the property, circa 1820) also offers accommodations for up to eight guests in four bedrooms, complete with a modern kitchen, large dining room and quaint wrap-around porch facing the spring-fed lake. 

Gervasi Vineyard is a unique Tuscan-inspired, upscale destination winery resort featuring award-winning wines, distilled spirits, craft beer, and fabulous cuisine. The 55-acre estate offers breathtaking views of a spring-fed lake, vineyards and picturesque landscaping. Gervasi offers an exceptional wine portfolio featuring over 30 varietals with a focus on classical European varieties and includes three premier estate-grown North American hybrids.

Dine in three distinct restaurants, featuring exceptional house made cuisine made with only the freshest ingredients. The Italian Bistro, located in an historic barn, features rustic upscale dining. The Crush House Wine Bar & Eatery offers a casual setting featuring a contemporary flair. The seasonal outdoor venue, The Piazza patio, features traditional, yet casual menu for dining al fresco by the lake. The new distillery, The Still House features craft cocktails in a lounge-like setting, and serves as a coffeehouse by day.

Boutique shopping is offered in the Marketplace Gift Shop and features Gervasi Wines, Gervasi Spirits, imported Italian oils, specialty items, jewelry and collectibles. Luxury accommodations featuring 48 suites in The Villas and the new Casa boutique hotel offer high end amenities.

Special events include complimentary winery and distillery tours, wine and food pairings, seasonal vineyard tours, Cucina cooking classes, live music, educational classes, festivals and more.

Gervasi Vineyard is Gervasi Vineyard is rated by AAA as a Four-Diamond property for accommodations. It’s located at 1700 55th Street NE in Canton, Ohio. For more information about Gervasi Vineyard and GV Destinations, visit www.gervasivineyard.com.

Presidential Foodie Fun

The McKinley Presidential Library & Museum’s new Keller Gallery exhibition Stark County Food: From Early Farming to Modern Meals will open on June 13, 2019 at 6pm with a free opening reception featuring food from Canton restaurants.  The exhibition is based on the themes in Kim Kenney and Barb Abbott’s new book of the same name, which explores what Stark County residents have eaten over the past 200 years.  The exhibition is sponsored by the Stark County Farm Bureau.

Stark County Food is part of Project EAT!, a countywide celebration of all things food.  Partners across the community have joined together to bring Stark County residents a full schedule of food-related events and programs in 2019.  From June 22 through July 21, three area museums will have food-themed exhibitions on view.  The Canton Museum of Art’s exhibition Food for Thought, featuring food-themed artwork from their permanent collection, is on view now through July 21.  A Heritage of Harvest:  The Industry of Agriculture in Western Stark County opens at the Massillon Museum on June 22.

There’s also a Foodie Bus Tour on Friday June 28 from 8:15am – 3pm.  The trip includes breakfast at the Museum catered by Deli Ohio, a visit to a working dairy farm, and an afternoon Canton Food Tour, featuring a series of small plates at several of Canton’s finest restaurants. There will be walking and standing involved so guests should dress accordingly. The cost is $80 for museum members, $85 for non-members.  RESERVATION DEADLINE IS JUNE 7. Pre-paid reservations required, and space is limited. Tickets may be purchased at www.mckinleymuseum.org or call Chris at 330-455-7043.

Stark County Food begins with a look at farming in the region, which includes a large cash register that was used at Harry Ink’s Aplink Orchard in the early 20th century.  Other sections include grocery stores, wholesale food companies, restaurants, cookbooks, rationing, ethnic influences, bakeries, dairies, legacy families, community organizations, and culinary tourism.  A special section will feature the evolution of kitchen appliances over time, including an early refrigerator, an apartment-sized electric stove, and a microwave with so much chrome, it rivals a 1950s automobile.

“This exhibition has been so much fun to put together,” said Kim Kenney, executive director of the Museum and curator of this exhibition.  “We searched our permanent collection for artifacts that demonstrate the ways in which we have eaten over time.  We have everything from cast iron pans to refrigerators, and everything in between.”

The exhibition includes video clips from the Project EAT! Oral History Project, based on interviews that were conducted in 2017 and 2018 by Carmella Cadusale, an AmeriCorps volunteer.  Intern Rose Stull reviewed many hours of interviews in order to find the best clips to share in the exhibition.

“There are five people featured in the video,” said Kenney.  “They share their own memories of what their families cooked when they were little, and what restaurants and grocery stores they remember.  Ernie Schott from Taggart’s explains how the famous Bittner was invented, too.  The clips we have selected provide an interesting snapshot of our community’s foodways over time.”

The exhibition includes a section of carefully curated nutrition handouts sponsored by Canton Food Tours.  Topics include Be a Healthy Role Model, How to Read the Nutrition Label, Kid Friendly Fruits and Veggies, and Make Better Food Choices.

There is also a panel that highlights the organizations who are fighting food insecurity in Stark County.  “An estimated 15.3% of Stark County’s population and 23.8% of children are food insecure,” said Kenney.  “We wanted the exhibition to include that information, to inspire our visitors to donate food, money, or their time to these organizations.  The need continues to increase.  The number of people seeking food assistance from the Stark County Hunger Task Force has swelled from 3000 people per month in 1981 to 30,000 people per month in 2017.  We have invited leaders from these organizations to speak about their work before many of our Project EAT! programs.  We are also running a series of drives for food, gardening tools, and pots and pans throughout the exhibition’s run to benefit food pantries and StarkFresh.  Visitors will receive $1 off admission during each of the drives.”

Stark County Food also includes a binder featuring more than 75 reproduction menus from local restaurants and banquets.  The ephemeral nature of menus means that the collection is by no means complete.  “You aren’t supposed to take the menu home with you when you eat out,” said Kenney.  “But the program from a special event, that happens to include the evening’s menu, was designed as a keepsake.” As a result, the Museum’s archival collection includes many more banquet menus than restaurant menus.

The Museum is approaching the collection of visitor responses a bit differently for this exhibition. “Instead of the traditional guest book, we have purchased a 1950s metal kitchen table and chairs,” said Kenney.  “We invite our visitors to have a seat at our table to record their own food memories, which can be posted on a large bulletin board near the table.  There are also coloring and activity sheets for kids.”

“One of my favorite parts of the exhibition is a handout I made that includes strange recipes from old Stark County cookbooks,” said Kenney.  “Recipes include Hot Lettuce Sandwiches, Frozen Tomato Salad, Pork Cake, and Banana Soup.  We want to encourage our visitors to try some of the recipes at home and tag us on social media for a chance to win a copy of my new book with co-author Barb Abbott Stark County Food:  From Early Farming to Modern Meals.”

Stark County Food will be on view through January 5, 2020.

The McKinley Presidential Library & Museum is located at 800 McKinley Monument Dr. NW in Canton, Ohio.  The Keller Gallery is the Museum’s temporary exhibition space and features a variety of topics each year.  The Museum also includes the McKinley National Memorial, McKinley Gallery, Street of Shops, The Stark County Story, Discover World, and the Hoover-Price Planetarium.  The Museum is open Monday – Saturday from 9am – 4pm and Sunday from 2-4pm.

Tour Air Force One

Climb aboard Air Force One at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The museum’s Presidential Gallery features 10 historical aircraft representing more than 70 years of dedicated presidential service. Visitors can walk through four of the aircraft, including those that carried U.S. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt through Bill Clinton.

Presidential aircraft featured at the museum include the VC-54C Sacred Cow, which was first used by President Roosevelt in 1945. The aircraft features a one-of-a-kind battery-powered elevator that was installed at the rear of the aircraft so that Roosevelt could board it easily while in his wheelchair. This aircraft was also the location where President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act on July 26, 1947, establishing the Air Force as an independent service. The pen used by Truman to sign the Act is displayed nearby.

Another popular presidential aircraft on display is the VC-118, which was the second aircraft built specifically to transport the President. A military version of the Douglas DC-6 commercial airliner, it was used by President Truman from 1947 to 1953. At the suggestion of the aircraft’s pilot, Truman named it The Independence in recognition of his hometown of Independence, MO.

Climbing a nearby flight of stairs leads visitors through the only Lockheed VC-121E ever built, which served as President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s personal airplane from 1954 until he left office in January 1961. A military version of the famous Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation commercial airliner, its fuselage “stretched” 18 feet longer than earlier versions, and with more powerful engines, greater fuel capacity and greater speed, these aircraft became popularly known as “Super Connies.” Eisenhower named this aircraft, his third Constellation, Columbine III, after the official state flower of Colorado in honor of his wife Mamie.

Finally, visitors can walk through one of the most important aircraft in aviation history – Air Force One (SAM 26000). Over its 36-year career, it served eight presidents – Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton. However, the aircraft is most widely known for flying President Kennedy to Dallas, Texas, where he was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963 – and it was on this airplane that Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the new president. SAM 26000 then carried Kennedy’s body and President Johnson back to Washington, D.C.

For more information about these and six other Presidential Gallery aircraft on display, click here.

Other resources related to the presidential aircraft collection are available online:

  • Fifteen high-definition panoramic interior photos of SAM 26000
  • An interview with former Presidential Flight Steward
  • Former Air Force One crewman speaks about his experiences
  • Interview with former White House pool reporter

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.

Sweet Tooth Tours

Ohio has a confections trifecta that will satisfy any sweet tooth! Unlike Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, you don’t need a golden ticket to see candy galore at Spangler Candy Company, b.a. Sweetie Candy Company and Anthony Thomas Chocolates.

Spangler Candy Company in Bryan, Ohio makes millions of sweets daily. Hop on a trolley tour to see the museum, factory and store. This is the place where all of your Dum Dum Lollipops come from as well as candy canes. Did you know that the stripe on a candy cane has to be done by hand? They also make marshmallow candies and a variety of bulk candy. Learn how a paperboy turned $450 into the purchase of a factory and launched his own candy empire. For tour information, click here.

b.a. Sweetie Candy in Cleveland is the largest candy store in the country. It features over 4,000 different kinds of candy totaling about 400,000 pounds of candy under one roof with nearly 2 million pounds in stick. They have everything from old-time favorites to the latest craze. There’s even an old-fashioned truck full of candy just inside to greet customers as their jaws drop upon entering this sweet store. For visitor information, click here.

Visitors to Anthony Thomas Chocolates in Columbus can walk along a glass-enclosed suspended catwalk to see candy made at this 152,000 square-foot state-of-the-art candy factory. In one shift, 25,000 pounds of chocolate are produced. Even Augustus Loof would be left satisfied (sorry, no chocolate river here). To plan your tour, click here.

Ohio, it’s sweeeet to be here!

My Long Walk Home

This fictional short story set in spring is a different kind of trip.

My hand reached for the withered door. If the wood had consciousness, it would have thought it saw its reflection.

Darkness was blown out by the breeze that flowed through my nostrils and lit up my eyes. I smiled while the world outside came into focus. It was time for my long walk home.

I paused at the curb and waited for a car to pass.

“What was that again, Fred?” were the words gargled from my rusty pipes.

I was relieved that the gentleman across the street could hear me above the engine still reverberating in the car’s wake.

“Sure was – brutal one at that,” I smiled, waved and shifted my weight to the cane assisting me on my way.

At the corner, my head was pulled to the side by curiosity. A teenage boy was hanging out of a side window, desperately clutching the long grass to pull his body free. My eyes squinted in an effort to wrap my mind around this peculiar maneuver. An instant later, my head was pulled in the opposite direction to see a man enter the front door.

Shaking my head as the lad hopped away and into his pants, I shifted my weight to the cane. It assisted me another way so as to pretend I didn’t see a thing. But a belly laugh blew my mouth open.

Joyce was tending to her tulips. Once my memory pieced her together, I tried to flee but it was too late. That added 20 minutes but it could have easily been 60. The whole time she kept turning up the same dirt.

I dusted off and continued on my walk home.

A young man, grinning ear-to-ear, hammed it up for a pretty lass to snap his picture. He pulled a real estate sign out of the ground and pointed to the word “sold.” As if it were my reason for being, they recruited me to take a snapshot of the two of them in front of their home. I held up my shaky hands and snapped away hoping one of the shots wasn’t too blurry.

I tried to make my break – in slow motion – before they analyzed my work. But a tender touch halted me. The woman planted a gentle and kind kiss on my cheek that made me feel like all of the spring bloomed in an instant.

Ten steps down the road I managed to swing my cane in my hand. It was a daring maneuver. One that I didn’t repeat. The smell of flowers, or maybe it was her perfume, danced in my head.

Another fella on the opposite side of the road was walking one of those “don’t mess with me” dogs. Just then, my eardrums were pierced by so much yapping I could have sworn it was my late wife scolding me. The thought of her yammering away made me feel warm all over.

Several miniature dogs ran up to the invisible boundary separating the big dog from their onslaught. The big dog cowered and whimpered, wrapping his body around the man’s legs, nearly tripping him. It was shameful.

Then, with a touch of bravado, the big dog extended his leash and stopped just before the imaginary line where the other dogs clamored. With leg raised, the big dog brought silence back to that curb.

I smiled and tipped my hat to the man. He looked rather relieved.

Ah, the dandelion house came into view. I loved the dandelion house because it sang out its unabashed brilliant color for the world to see …and judge. I would never keep a lawn like that but I was glad they did.

A small group of little girls called out – “Lemonade!”

It sounded perfect to me so I trekked over to their makeshift stand. I noticed that the plastic tabletop where they mixed their concoction was filled with Kool-Aid packets and lots of colored powder that had spilled. There was no lemonade in sight. They were silent, bursting with anticipation as I raised my Dixie cup and threw back the refreshment in one big gulp as if I were downing a shot with my war buddies. I went bug-eyed. I gasped and asked if they had water. Of course, they didn’t. But they sure had a whole bunch of sugar and who knows what else to make their “lemonade” as sweet as could be – much like their precious souls.

“I think you just rotted my teeth out,” I said, setting up my joke.

Then I pulled my false teeth out of my mouth giving a gummy laugh.

Those poor little girls ran every which way, shrieking for the whole neighborhood to hear. I moved with a fleet of foot that I hadn’t known for decades.

A house and a half separated from the mayhem I caused, I slowed to catch my breath.

As I stood still, drool fell from my mouth onto my shirt. I’ve learned to accept my undesired lack of bodily control at times. Then my stomach lustfully cried out, “Where’s the barbeque?”

A moment later, I quickly ducked and almost shouted, “Incoming!”

Someone had lit off fireworks and the series of explosions that ricocheted through the trees scared the crap out of me. Hell, it was broad daylight and at least two months before Independence Day.

I pressed onward with my journey home, my heart still racing, my mind flashing back to…

As I walked with my cane again, the hammering of roofers drew my attention upward. When I neared – it took a while – this small group of 20-somethings sat down in a row across the peak of the rooftop for a water break. I thought it was strange that they looked straight out, nobody talking at all. They looked like birds on a wire.

My eyes followed their line of sight to a house across the street. People were on an opposite low hanging roof over a front porch. I squinted and realized that that roof was shingled with bikinis so small it left little to the imagination.

CRACK.

Right in front of me, a teenage boy rode his bicycle straight into a mailbox. He caught the attention of roofers and bikini girls alike.

“Son, are you okay,” I asked with genuine concern.

I could tell he was hurting badly but he shook it off as if it were nothing and acted all cool as he pushed his bike away, flipping it back on its rear wheel, holding the crumpled front end by the handlebars.

The roofers hammered away again as I turned the corner, heading for home.

At the end of my street, I remembered that it was trash day. Old lady Thompson had left hers on the curb already. Every week, her trash amounted to nothing more than a stuffed little plastic grocery bag. It made me wonder how that could be.

Although I am old as well, I have always referred to her as “old lady” because she was old the day we moved in all those years ago. But she was young at heart. Everyone loved her energy. There she was weeding her flowerbeds. That spunky thing popped up when she saw me coming and asked if I could start her lawnmower. Chivalry washed over me so I even offered to mow her grass. Even though there wasn’t much grass to mow, I couldn’t do it and we both knew it.

“No-no, I really enjoy cutting the grass,” she insisted. “I just don’t have the strength to start this mower anymore.”

So I played hero one more time.

Halfway down the street, a group of young boys and girls lined up on a lawn to race from one driveway to another. I watched them do this back and forth several times as I walked by them. Then, one of the boys stumbled and skid his knees across the concrete driveway. He stood up, paused and looked down. When he saw blood, he cried until some lady threw open a door and ran to his rescue before I could get there. She held his little sobbing face against her as she kneeled low to comfort him.

His sob muffled.

When she stood to take the boy inside, she smiled at me and said, “It’s good to see you. It’s been so long.”

Finally, I arrived at my driveway.

I paused for a car to pass.

“What was that again, Fred?”

Fred repeated himself.

“Sure was – brutal one at that,” I smiled, waved and sauntered up the hill to my porch to sit in my chair.

With the sun on my face, I closed my eyes and leaned my head back.

When I heard car doors shut and a bunch of footsteps pitter patter up the drive, I rose to greet them.

As they poured up the hill, I rose even higher.

That’s when I saw me on that porch, head back and eyes closed.

I had a smile that radiated like the sun. Much as the smile I felt as I drifted through my porch roof, higher. Not just higher but all around and through and through. I seemed to be everywhere and touching everything. And everything was touching me.

That’s when I realized that this wasn’t about me. It never was.

The harmonious connectedness of everything, as one thing, was something that that old mind on that porch could never comprehend.

But now everything made perfect sense.

It was beauty words cannot describe and minds cannot comprehend.

I was home.

By Frank Rocco Satullo

Wading into Dayton’s History

Dayton History announced the iconic swimming pool light tower from Old River Park—a recreational area built in 1939 by National Cash Register (NCR)—has been successfully moved and restored at Carillon Historical Park.

Along with the tower, numerous Old River features made their way to Carillon Historical Park in an effort to bring together, preserve, and interpret this regional story. A collection of original picnic shelters, swings, game pieces, and a slide made the voyage with the pool tower across Patterson Boulevard.

“Old River has a special place in the hearts and minds of so many Daytonians,” says Dayton History President & CEO Brady Kress. “At the time, Old River’s swimming pool was one of the largest in the nation, and its unique central tower made it one of a kind.”

Designed by the Olmsted Brothers, the famed landscape architectural firm responsible for New York’s Central Park, Old River was the vision of Carillon Historical Park Founder Edward A. Deeds. As Chairman of the Board at NCR, Deeds created Old River Park as a recreational area for NCR employees and their families.

“We were delighted to assist Carillon Park in the careful removal of some of Old River’s most memorable assets for preservation at the museum,” says University of Dayton President Eric Spina. “As the original Old River Park is finding a new purpose in education and research, it’s appropriate that its legacy and importance to generations of Dayton families will be remembered.”

The University purchased Old River Park in 2009 as part of a larger acquisition that included the former NCR World Headquarters. The park area is now a living lab for research and education, where environmental biology students and faculty are studying ecological phenomena.

“For well over half a century, the Old River Pool Tower was a recognized landmark tied to NCR.,” says Kress. “Edward Deeds opened Old River Park and within a year started building the carillon; with areas of Old River now being repurposed by the university, and because Dayton History owns the NCR Archive, it seems fitting to have some of the original relics preserved at the same historical organization Deeds founded nearly 80 years ago.”

Carillon Historical Park is part of Dayton History, a private non-profit organization established to preserve, share, and celebrate our region’s history. The Park’s 65-acre campus is home to over 30 historic structures and cares for over three million artifacts. In addition to Carillon Historical Park, the following sites rest under Dayton History’s care: Carillon Brewing Co., Hawthorn Hill, the Paul Laurence Dunbar House Historic Site, Patterson Homestead, the Old Court House, Memorial Hall, and the Archive Center.

One-of-a-Kind Old-time Christmas Gifts

A Piece of the Past is an Excellent Christmas Present!

If you truly want to get someone a unique Christmas gift, make a trip to the Amish superstore known as Lehman’s Hardware in Kidron, Ohio. It’s in the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country. But don’t go on Sunday.

Founded by Jay Lehman in 1955 to serve the local hardware store for the Amish in northeast Ohio, Lehman’s stocks a huge selection of non-electric appliances, wood stoves, hand tools, old-fashioned kitchenware, toys and much more in its winding retail store, huge catalog and  e-commerce web site at www.Lehmans.com.

At Lehman’s, everything old is new again.

Lining the shelves are thousands of products, from tin toys to weather vanes to butter churns that you probably thought they quit making years ago. Where else are you going to find butter churns, cream separator and glass milk bottles? Or for that matter, copper kettles, cast iron cookware and a coal shovel?

If you like the attractive, practical appliances of yesteryear, then you’re going to love Lehman’s. This family-owned and operated business specializes in antique-styled appliances and retro home furnishings, non-electric kitchenware, old-time toys, hand tools, oil lamps, collectible cook books and much more.  If you think it isn’t made any more, call Lehman’s before you give up! After all, it’s where Hollywood comes to shop for just the right props for their sets.

Today, the expanded retail store features a buggy barn demonstration room, the Cast Iron Cafe serving soups, salads, sandwiches, drinks and desserts, and four reconstructed pre-Civil War era barns inside the retail space.

Ironically, what started out as a business to serve the local Amish has turned into an international operation, shipping products all over the world. Missionaries, survivalists, environmentalists, homesteaders, vacation home owners and the chronically nostalgic, as well as movie producers wanting to create an authentic scene, have made Lehman’s their low-tech superstore.

No one else is doing what Lehman’s does, on the scale that they do it.

The Kidron retail store is open every day except Sunday and is located four miles south of Rte. 30 between Wooster and Canton in northeast Ohio.

Christian Shopping Experience

A Leader in Christian Gift, Art and Home Décor 

It has been just over 10 years since P. Graham Dunn – a leader in Christian gift, art and home décor – moved off of their 100-acre farm in Dalton, Ohio. The farm has been in the Dunn family for seven generations.

Since then, droves of Christians and non-Christians alike have flocked to the 104,000 square-foot structure at 630 Henry Street in Dalton, Ohio next to the historic Lincoln Highway.  This building hosts the company headquarters, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution functions, and the spacious and beautiful retail showroom. Visitors get a bird’s eye view of the entire manufacturing process from their perch inside of the 18,000 square foot retail store.

Living by their credo – “Lift Him Up” – P. Graham Dunn has gone from a mere idea in Peter Dunn’s mind to household name in just 30 years. But before Peter and his wife, LeAnna, ventured into a business creating wall decor, home furnishings and gifts that please the eye and inspire the heart, they accepted a mission from their church to open a home for runaway girls in New York City. In order to keep the girls occupied, they initiated a small woodworking business. The girls carved plaques and gifts that quickly became popular items at outdoor markets in Greenwich Village. When the mission in New York was complete, the couple bought the woodworking equipment and installed it on their farm in Dalton, Ohio. The rest of the story, as they say, is history.

A trip to Wayne County, Ohio doesn’t end with P. Graham Dunn. The Wayne County Visitors Guide highlights everything the county offers spanning a wide-variety of interest, including its renowned Amish community and rural charm.

Although the Wayne County Amish are well known  for traveling by horse-and-buggy, simple living, peacefulness and merchants offering hand-stitched quilts, delicious home-cooking, and unsurpassed craftsmanship in woodworking, what really sets the county apart from other destinations is its cultural activities and events, and the diverse attractions featuring household names like Simply Smucker’s, and Lehman’s.

For those looking to stay the night, consider The St. Paul Hotel and have a bite at City Square Steakhouse. Then, catch a performance at Wayne Center for the Arts and listen to the Wooster Symphony Orchestra or perhaps The Ohio Light Opera. End the night with a glass of wine at one of the local wineries.

Consider a visit to Pine Tree Barn. It is a historical landmark built in 1868. Its 25,000 square feet inside has been restored into gift shops, a home furnishing and design studio, and a gourmet luncheon restaurant. The 150-acre Christmas tree farm overlooks two lakes, and a nature and wildlife preserve. For the heritage enthusiast, there’s the Wayne County Historical Society featuring a schoolhouse built in 1873, a log cabin, mercantile shop and more. In addition, for railroad enthusiasts, make a whistle stop at The Orville Railroad Museum.

Ohio’s Newest Wild Show Cave

 

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

Come and explore your wild side at Ohio’s newest thrill-seeking adventure!

Cave Adventures is home to an extraordinarily breathtaking cave, developed millions of years ago by glaciers.  Many have heard whisperings of urban legends about this cave for years. Now, this extraordinary natural phenomenon is open to those willing to get dirty to see it.

Each guest is fitted with their own helmet, gloves, and a headlamp to light the way to a rare experience—33 feet underground where it is always a comfortable 54 degrees!  It is primitive exploration at its best. And it requires crawling, climbing, and walking. There will be water and mud encountered. It’s part of this immersive experience so wear water-resistant clothing. Also wear hiking boots or mud boots with non-slip soles. Shorts and short-sleeves are a no-no. It is recommended to bring clean clothes to change into after the adventure, and a bag to transport the dirty clothes back home. A changing area is provided. Each tour group will have 2-6 people plus an experienced guide.

Along the journey underground, otherworldly sites feature stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, columns, flow stones, curtains and more! The ancient cavern boasts a “red room” that promises to astound visitors.

The tours are available daily all year long. Guests must be 15-years-old or older. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The cost per person is $90 for three-hours that won’t be forgotten.

Cave Adventures is located at 3781 Slate Stone Road in Cable, Ohio. Plan your expedition by calling 937-772-1260 or by visiting www.caveadventuresllc.com.

Mohican’s Year Round Adventure

Open all year, Mohican-Loudonville is conveniently located near two state parks and a state forest that provides the perfect outdoor adventure any time of year. There are several miles of hiking trails, 25 miles of mountain biking trails and 88 miles of bridle trails. By participating in the outdoors, in all seasons, the traveler can experience a new adventure several times per year.

Discover the story and history of Mohican. Once inhabited by many Native American tribes, the Mohican River became a pivotal part of life for the Native Americans and the pioneers. As time and technology became more advanced, so did the town and its story. Discover the stories of Charles F. Kettering and of Hugo Young’s Flexible Sidecar Company, and other famous chapters in the area’s history.

The Mohican-Loudonville area has a quaint downtown with independent shop owners that will introduce the visitor to an array of art, clothing, jewelry, gadgets that solve all sorts of issues, electronics, antiques and more. Creative Outlet has the largest selection of Authentic Native American jewelry and artwork in northern Ohio. Four Seasons has two full floors of gifts, boutique, collectibles and flowers to explore.

Let the culinary senses take the taste buds away from casual to fine dining. Enjoy a unique diner experience, down home comfort cooking, and other tastes sure to be delightful. The Copper Mug Bar & Grille, at Landoll’s Mohican Castle, is known for its fine dining, yet casual atmosphere. If pizza or burgers are the desire, then make sure to visit Bromfield’s Dining Room or Boxer’s Lounge, at the Mohican State Park Lodge. The view from the dining room is amazing and the burgers are delicious!

Camping is available year round as are the hotels, cabins and castle. The Blackfork Marken Inn Bed & Breakfast was built in 1856 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Private cabins will keep the lights of the city out and allows visitors to revel in the pristine hillsides of Mohican-Loudonville. Mohican Country Cabins offer seclusion and hot tubs. These cabins are perfect for any get-a-way!

Landoll’s Mohican Castle hosts its annual Christmas murder mystery dinner performed by the nations #1 ranked murder mystery troupe, The Murder Mystery Company. Tickets are on sale now. Contact Landoll’s Mohican Castle for reservations.

Stay. Play. And discover why Mohican rocks all year round at DiscoverMohican.com/.

Wright Brothers Makeovers

Museums in Ohio and North Carolina are sharing the story of the Wright brothers with major makeovers less than eight weeks apart.

The National Park Service recently reopened the Wright Brothers National Memorial’s restored and enhanced visitor center at Kitty Hawk in North Carolina.

The nonprofit Dayton History in Ohio recently reopened its aviation center in Carillon Historical Park as the federally designated John W. Berry, Sr. Wright Brothers National Museum.

“This is an amazing year for the story and legacy of the Wrights,” said Alex Heckman, Dayton History’s vice president for museum operations. “Such nearly simultaneous openings of different museums dedicated to the same subject are uncommon, but the Wright story is anything but common.

Wilbur and Orville Wright lived in Dayton and built their first airplanes in their bicycle shop. They chose to make their first test flights at Kitty Hawk, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, because it offered extra lift from steady winds and softer landings on sandy ground. Local residents welcomed them and often gave a hand as they tested a series of gliders between 1900 and 1903, leading up to the world’s first successful flights of a powered machine. On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright made four brief flights at Kitty Hawk with their first powered aircraft.

The two museums share another connection: the National Park Service. Dayton History’s museum is a privately owned and operated unit of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, a collection of several Dayton-area sites related to the Wright brothers. The park service owns and operates the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk.

In fact, Dayton’s national park supported the development of new exhibits for the visitor center at Kitty Hawk. Edward Roach, the national park’s historian, and Ranger Ryan Qualls worked extensively with the national memorial’s staff and contractors to review the new exhibits as they were developed.

Qualls said the new exhibits replace ones made in the 1960s and tell a story that includes both Dayton and Kitty Hawk.

“The larger story is about individuals overcoming what seemed like insurmountable obstacles and are designed to help visitors relate the Wright brothers’ experiences to their own lives,” said Ranger Ryan Qualls.

Likewise, the Wright Brothers National Museum exhibits in Dayton include artifacts important to the Kitty Hawk story, including the camera that snapped the famous picture of Orville’s first powered flight. Its centerpiece, the original 1905 Wright Flyer III, flew in both places.

A Wright descendant, Amanda Wright Lane, serves on aviation history boards in both Ohio and North Carolina said local groups are working to cross-promote the story of the Wright brothers.

“They really understand it’s a bigger story” than either location alone, said Amanda Wright Lane of Columbus, Ohio.

Lane, a great-grandniece of the Wrights, is a voluntary trustee for the First Flight Foundation in North Carolina, which supports the national memorial, and several aviation heritage organizations in Ohio, including the National Aviation Heritage Alliance, whose partners include Dayton History and the national park.

“It’s a worldwide story,” Lane said. “Dayton and Kitty Hawk have both upgraded their facilities, and that’s fantastic.”

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus

Admission to LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Columbus, Ohio starts at $25/ticket. Options are posted here.

  • Open: Daily from 10am – 8pm (last entry at 6pm)
  • Location: (Map It) 157 or 165 Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-407-7721
  • Web: Click here

LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Columbus, Ohio is the ultimate Lego® indoor playground. Families can build, learn and create together. The mega facility features all things LEGOS® plus interactive rides, a 4D cinema, and Miniland, Ohio showcasing Ohio’s favorite landmarks

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.

Zephyr Railcars in the Cuyahoga Valley

 

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) marked a major accomplishment in its first-ever capital campaign with the acquisition of four historic Zephyr railcars. This addition to the fleet enables CVSR to provide new programming and experiences within Cuyahoga Valley National Park, including 360-degree views in two of the Vista Dome cars, and offer a new heritage rail experience that exemplifies cross-country travel during the 1940s-1960s.

“The acquisition of the Zephyr railcars was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said President and CEO Joe Mazur. “We not only are preserving history, but giving hundreds of thousands of people the opportunity to have one more way to travel through and experience Cuyahoga Valley National Park.”

Dubbed “the most talked about train in America,” the California Zephyr made its inaugural eastbound run on March 20, 1949 with service between San Francisco and Chicago that covered 2,525 miles and took an average of 2.5 days to complete. The train offered an unparalleled leisure travel experience that is perhaps best demonstrated in a 1950s promotional film. The California Zephyr offered sophisticated dining experiences with linens and china; sleeping compartments that ranged from the elegant staterooms complete with bathrooms, showers, drawing rooms, and bedrooms, to the cozier “roomettes”; and Vista Dome cars with windows on every side—including the ceiling—to provide breathtaking panoramic views of the passing mountains, rivers, and countryside. The California Zephyr operated as a passenger train for 20 years, and its 77 cars were later sold to different companies and private owners. Over the years, the majority of these stainless-steel cars have all but disappeared from America’s railways, having been sold off (often to foreign countries), scrapped, or simply left in storage and fallen into complete disrepair.

The four-car Zephyr trainset consists of two Vista Dome cars, a sleeper car and a baggage car. CVSR already owns the Silver Bronco, another Vista Dome observation car that was part of the original California Zephyr trainset. With this acquisition, CVSR becomes one of the nation’s few railroads in possession of four cars from the original California Zephyr fleet.

The Silver Lariat was built in 1948 by the Budd Company for the Burlington Railroad as a dome coach for service on the California Zephyr. A large dining and lounge area seats 42 passengers (36 at tables) and is equipped with a full bar with a freezer capable of storing 200 pounds of ice. From this room, passengers can access the Vista Dome above, which provides panoramic views and seating for an additional 24 passengers at tables. A unique feature of this train car is The Pony Express, a restored original mural by Mary Louise Lawser that was commissioned by the Burlington Railroad when the car was built. Silver Lariat also features restrooms; a full commercial kitchen with two ranges and two half-size convection ovens; registered monogrammed china service; original white damask California Zephyr table linens; and a full sound system with CD, iPod, and PA.

The Silver Solarium was built in 1948 by the Budd Company for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. It was one of the six dome/sleeper/observation cars specifically built for the California Zephyr. Ownership of the car was transferred to Amtrak in 1970 after more than 20 years of service between Chicago and San Francisco, and Amtrak retired the car in 1980. Silver Solarium was placed in storage for decades and fell into disrepair until Amtrak sold it to a private owner. Today, Silver Solarium has been fully renovated and has been operating as a private car, delighting passengers with stunning views from its Vista Dome and observation lounge. The car also features three double bedrooms with enclosed toilets, sinks, and showers that sleep up to 11 guests, a drawing room, and a stateroom. The observation lounge seats 11 in classic railroad lounge chairs upholstered in frieze fabric, and the Vista Dome car seats 24 in booth seating at tables. The Silver Solarium also features a full commercial kitchen with a range that includes a half-size convection oven, an original bar with a carved linoleum façade, and a sound system with CD and iPod. 

The Silver Peak was built in 1940 by the Budd Company for Burlington Railroad and assigned to the Denver‐Ft. Worth “Texas Zephyr.” Originally built as a coach/dormitory/baggage car, the coach area was used as the Jim Crow section of the train. When the Jim Crow laws were found to be unconstitutional, it was converted to a full baggage car. The car is equipped with a great deal of storage space; a workshop section that features an 8‐foot work bench with a drill press, bench grinder, band‐type cutoff saw, table saw, and a variety of power and hand tools; and a commercial refrigerator and chest freezer.

The Silver Rapids was built in 1948 by the Budd Company and served as a transcontinental sleeper car that provided coast to coast transportation for almost 20 years. The car was removed from theCalifornia Zephyr service in the 1960s when most transcontinental sleepers were discontinued, and changed ownership from the Pennsylvania Railroad to Amtrak, which retired it in the early 1980s and sold the car to a private owner. After extensive restoration work that included interior and mechanical upgrades, Silver Rapids is now one of the most versatile sleeper cars in service. The car features eight one‐person roomettes, each with a small sofa, folding wash basin, a vanity and large mirror, and a bed that folds out of the wall. Further down the hall are six double bedrooms, each of which sleeps two (one in an upper berth and one in a lower berth), has its own enclosed restroom with folding sink and outlet, and is equipped with either a long sofa or a short sofa and folding chair for relaxing throughout the day. The six double bedrooms can also open up to form three suites that sleep up to four guests each. Other features include a general public toilet and large shower in the main area and a small galley style kitchen.

The Zephyr railcars will be used for CVSR’s excursions and special events.

“We are committed to preserving and improving our fleet so that visitors from Northeast Ohio and around the world continue to have the opportunity to create shared family memories while experiencing history aboard vintage train cars as they travel through Cuyahoga Valley National Park,” Mazur concluded.

Love When It All Falls Into Place

Where can you have it all this fall? Clinton County!

Fests – check.  Farms – check. Frights – check. Outdoor delights – check! And the list goes on.

Conveniently located between Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton – Clinton County is inviting. In fact, their motto is, “An open invitation.” You’re invited to check out the festivities, agritourism, spooky and outdoor destinations.

October festivities are as bountiful as the harvest. First up is the Fall Harvest Bash & the Great Pumpkin Bash featuring more than 30 acres of a pumpkin patch, hayrides, corn mazes, live music, and other family-oriented activities. Don’t miss the pumpkin catapult!

Speaking of which, another crowd favorite is the Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival. It may be obvious that it features giant slingshots chuckin’ pumpkins into the air. It also has delicious hot foods, desserts and plenty of hayride and corn maze fun.

In-between festivals, you can always stop by Ray Storer’s place otherwise known as Grandpa’s Pottery. The old barns are a pleasant setting where you can see a potter at his craft. He’ll hand throw a new creation while you wait. Storer’s pottery pieces have been featured and sold at the Cincinnati Art Museum and have been showcased at the Wilmington Pottery and Art Festival.

If you love horses, Clinton County is home to the Buckeye Draft Horse Show, Mid Ohio Dressage Horse Show, Central States Horse Show and the Country Heir Hunter Jumper Horse Show. If you love animals in general, put Horsefeathers Farm on your checklist of fall destinations (Open by appointment only). This is a rare experience. Under the sponsorship of the Cincinnati Zoo, Horsefeathers Farm specializes in the propagation of the endangered Parma Wallaby. You can get up close and even pet the animals. Other Australian animals that guests may interact with include the Emu and Island Bearded Dragon. This is the perfect country setting for a picnic by a pond with swans and a whole lot more. Please note that you must call 513-313-2470 in advance to schedule a visit.

October is also a time for crisp nighttime haunts! The Lantern Light Wagon Ride and Corn Maze are offered on Saturday nights along the old stone roads of a historical farm. Only lanterns light your way. Peer through ruins of what once were the tribal hunting grounds and the tracks of the “Old Sheepskin” line. You’re bound to cross paths with trappers, Indians, frontiersman and pioneer settlers eager to share some tales. This lantern ride is a family-friendly, historically based ghost tour.

If you’re looking to raise the hair on your neck, catch the Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride. There are three attractions at one location featuring Slaughter Hotel, Nightmare Asylum and fire breathing semis chasing unsuspecting victims through the fields. Perhaps you like to slow things down and enjoy the autumn season for its natural wonders. Cowan Lake State Park has hiking trails through the spectrum of color as trees shed their leaves. The lake offers boating, sailing, and fishing. The water may be cold but the beaches are still great for a fall stroll. Campfires and cottages bring family and friends closer to S’mores and stories. The Cowan Lake Fall Campout offers a kids costume contest, movie and popcorn at the shelter house and a campsite contest. Categories for the campsite contest are scariest, best use of lights, best theme or special effects. All weekend long there are contests, games, activities, music, wagon rides and even a pet costume contest. Kids can trick or treat too.

If the evenings become too crisp, take in a hot show at the historic Murphy Theatre in downtown Wilmington. Its old-fashioned, grand marquee still casts its light after 100 years. Legends played in the ornate theatre, rich in architecture and pageantry. In the fall, guests can look forward to a variety of modern acts and movies.

Dayton Fountain of Lights

Admission to the Fountain of Lights at Riverscape Metropark in Dayton, Ohio is free.

  • When: Weekdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day
  • Location: (Map It) Riverscape Metropark at 237 E. Monument Avenue in Dayton, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-274-0126
  • Web: Click Here

Fountain of Lights at Riverscape Metropark in Dayton, Ohio is one of the largest fountains in the world. The fountains operate for 8-minute intervals straddling the top of every hour from 6:56am – 9:54pm weekdays from Memorial Day until Labor Day. The series of five fountains standing about 60 feet each shoot water over 200 feet high and over 400 feet across – an amazing spectacle seen miles away. The fountain spires shine with intelligent colorful lights at night. More than 2,500 gallons of water per minute create this stunning site.

Safari Golf Environmental Excellence

Safari Golf Club at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has achieved designation as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses. Ted Hunker, Golf Course Superintendent, led the effort over the last three years to obtain sanctuary designation on the property and is being recognized for Environmental Stewardship by Audubon International. Less than 2 percent of the 910 golf courses in Ohio and only 2.7 percent of the 33,000 golf courses worldwide have achieved the distinction of holding the title of Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

“Safari Golf Club at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property,” said Christine Kane, executive director at Audubon International.

“To reach certification, a course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas,” explained Kane. These categories include: Environmental Planning, Wildlife and Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management.

“We are absolutely pleased and honored to receive this designation from Audubon International,” said Columbus Zoo President and CEO Tom Stalf. “Our team at Safari Golf Club has worked tirelessly to ensure the course has a positive impact on both the environment and our guests. Thanks to their dedication to this cause and the resulting designation from Audubon International, Safari Golf Club is situated as a leader both in the sport and in sustainability.”

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, endorsed by the United States Golf Association, provides information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat and protect natural resources. Golf courses from the United States, Africa, Australia, Canada, Central America, Europe, New Zealand and Southeast Asia have achieved certification in the program.

Safari Golf Club is an 18-hole, 140-acre, mature golf course located adjacent to the Columbus Zoo. The par 72 course provides a challenge for players of all skill levels and boasts a modern layout, including five world-class holes designed by course architect, Dr. Michael Hurdzan. Safari Golf Club is also a premier event destination for golf outings, business meetings, graduation parties and more. New this year, The Events Center at Safari Golf Club offers a full-service, climate controlled meeting and event space that can accommodate 30-200 guests.

Since 2013, up to six acres have been made “native areas” by removing invasive non-native vegetation and managing for or planting native species. There are expanded areas that are managed without chemicals or pesticides. All golf carts are electric, minimizing the carbon footprint.  Additionally, Safari Golf Club has a butterfly garden that is used by monarchs during their annual migration. In 2017, 81 bluebirds and 147 purple martins fledged from nest boxes and rigs (artificial nest cavities) constructed just outside the fairway. Safari Golf Club has fledged 563 purple martins and 452 bluebirds since the program began in 2008. Managers at Safari Golf Club continue to work closely with partners, including Preservation Parks of Delaware County and Nest Watch Ambassador, Darlene Sillick, who has monitored birds on the course for more than 25 years.

In addition to the sustainability programs that resulted in the Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary designation from Audubon International, Safari Golf Club supports the Columbus Zoo and The Wilds’ conservation initiatives. When patrons choose Safari Golf Club, they are making a positive impact on wildlife both locally and globally. Each of the 18 holes are also named after a species that benefits from some of the 70 conservation projects in 30 countries that the Columbus Zoo and The Wilds support annually. For more information about the conservation initiatives at Safari Golf Club, visit safarigolf.columbuszoo.org/.

About the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Home to more than 10,000 animals representing over 600 species from around the globe, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium leads and inspires by connecting people and wildlife. The Zoo complex is a recreational and education destination that includes the 22-acre Zoombezi Bay water park and 18-hole Safari Golf Course. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium also operates The Wilds, a 10,000-acre conservation center and safari park located in southeastern Ohio. The Zoo is a regional attraction with global impact; annually contributing more than $4 million of privately raised funds to support conservation projects worldwide. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Columbus Zoo has earned Charity Navigator’s prestigious 4-star rating.

About Audubon International

Audubon International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Troy, NY. In addition to golf courses, Audubon International also provides programs for businesses, schools, communities, and new developments with the purpose of delivering high-quality environmental education and facilitating the sustainable management of natural resources. For more information, call Audubon International at 1-844-767-9051 or visit www.auduboninternational.org.

Restoring Historic Coast Guard Station

 

Great Lakes Burning River Festival Returns
to the Coast Guard Station in August

Cleveland Metroparks joined Great Lakes Brewing Company and the Foundry to announce the completion of phase one in the restoration of Cleveland’s historic former United States Coast Guard Station. The restoration by Cleveland Metroparks, which began in Spring 2016, reached a new milestone with the recent completed interior restoration of the Main Building that formerly housed U.S. Coast Guard sleeping quarters, captain’s quarters, kitchen and more. The main building also features the 75 foot tower that offers a unique perspective of the Cleveland skyline and Lake Erie.

This most recent work was funded with proceeds from Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Burning River Fest, which will once again be held at the Station on August 17th and 18th. This year marks the tenth time that the event will build public awareness and support for the historic site. Funds raised benefit clean water initiatives such as this restoration through the Burning River Foundation.

Cleveland Metroparks is restoring the property with several partners including the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Foundation, The Gund Foundation, Burning River Foundation, Sherwin Williams, PNC Bank, Oswald Companies, ArcelorMittal, Kent H. Smith Charitable Trust and O’Neill Brothers Foundation.

The Foundry, Cleveland’s community rowing and sailing center, has also been a significant partner and installed new boat docks at the historic former Coast Guard Station in September 2017. Since then, the Foundry has hosted high school and collegiate sailing team practices as well as regattas out of the Station.

This month, Cleveland Metroparks offers a sailing program out of the historic former Coast Guard Station, “Try-Its”, under the guidance of a certified sailing instructor. The Station is being incorporated into additional outdoor recreational opportunities including Wendy Park Wednesdays that feature kayaking and stand up paddleboarding.

Restorations complete to date include exterior concrete restoration, restoration of the historic flag pole, new roofs on the Boat House and Main Building by City of Cleveland, new roof to Garage building, as well as painting, new and restored windows and garage doors, and new boat docks installed by the Foundry.  Additional restorations are ongoing and will take place in a phased approach.

Belterra Park Cincinnati Horse Racing

Welcome to Belterra Park Cincinnati and thoroughbred horse racing.

Belterra Park Cincinnati, formerly River Downs Racetrack, opened in 1925 as the Coney Island Racetrack. See some of the best live thoroughbred racing with a great stakes calendar covering over 90 race days. The setting is beautiful down along the Ohio River. All ages are permitted as spectators but to place bets, you must be 18 years old or older. The racing season is from late April through September on Thursdays through Sundays. Post time is 1:20pm. The River Downs Club features more than 40 big-screen TVs.

The Garfield Effect: A Modern Epidemic

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

The Threat Posed

Perpetually hungry, loves sleeping, and hates Monday.

I just described a popular cartoon cat named Garfield, but you surely aren’t alone if you related to that description a bit more than you wanted to. It’s this relatability that sprung Garfield into fame in 1978 and allows him to remain a household name over 40 years later.

One of his most universally relatable traits is the last one: His hatred of Monday. This is a commonly shared sentiment, as for most people it symbolizes our fleeting 48 hours of freedom halting to a grim end.

However, what may seem like a harmless, relatable joke in a cat comic actually points to an increasingly prevalent societal issue; something I like to call The Garfield Effect. This refers to the steady decline of the weekend as we know it, as it creeps closer and closer to oblivion.

That may sound dramatic, and that’s because it is. In theory, a two day break should rejuvenate us, making us feel more refreshed and ready than ever to work; yet most people feel just the opposite. This is due to The Garfield Effect. Rather than use the weekend as it was designed—for relaxation and leisure—people frequently use it to catch up on work, leaving them tired and ill-equipped to deal with the full work week ahead. This is why Garfield is far from alone when he says “I hate Monday.”

Fully understanding this epidemic first requires an understanding of its history, which actually begins long before the more recent conception of the weekend.

The Ancient Work Day

In ancient civilizations, including those of the Mayans and the Hopi, time was perceived as cyclical rather than linear, operating as a kind of wheel. This was a reflection of the world that the ancients observed around them, bound by cycles of predictable patterns. Accordingly, work also followed this natural ebb and flow of time. Tasks were correlated with the organic cycles that defined them: Farmers worked in accordance with the seasons, and fishermen in accordance with the tides.

This approach to work persisted for a long time. Contrary to popular belief, medieval peasants experienced a plethora of free time compared to the modern worker. For them, the day began at dawn, ended at dusk, and included plenty of breaks. It wasn’t until the 18th century, just over 200 years ago, that this changed.

The First Shift

A number of factors caused this shift, most of which revolved around the Industrial Revolution. Tasks were no longer correlated to natural events, but rather to the artificially contrived “work day.” Time was something to be exploited by corporate interests, and accordingly, this is when the phrase “time is money” accelerated in its usage (which can be seen using Google Ngram Viewer).

This new approach inevitably caused issues, and eventually spiraled into a working landscape that included grueling hours and harsh conditions. People worked between 14 and 16 hours per day for six days a week. Factories were full of dust and smoke. Deformities and diseases developed in workers, especially children. Accidents were frequent. It was far from ideal.

The Birth of the Weekend

This ghastly landscape created a dire need for protection of workers’ rights, which prompted the labor movement. In 1886, on what became known as May Day, hundreds of thousands of workers went on strike in demand of an eight hour work day. This was the first of many efforts to win this right. There was still a long fight ahead.

It wasn’t until 1926, when Henry Ford adopted a five-day work week, that this less aggressive approach was given much thought. Ford’s argument was that people with more free time would require more transportation, and hence, would buy more cars. Finally, in 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which cemented the 40-hour, 5-day work week. The weekend had been born.

The Second Shift

Not long after this pivotal policy was enacted, another shift began to occur. This one revolved around the advent of modern technology; most notably, the internet.

Artificial light had already made it easy to stay up past dark and wake up before light, but devices such as computers and smartphones caused an even greater disturbance in our general working hours. People are now constantly “on the clock,” expected to keep up with work demands at every hour of the day, every day of the week. Being perpetually plugged-in leaves workers feeling anxious and stressed, inhibiting their ability to properly wind down.

The Emergence of The Garfield Effect

Weekends were introduced partially as a way of protecting leisure, which is a necessary ingredient in the recipe for productivity. Without this, the risk for eventual job burnout increases drastically.

Despite the obvious benefits of leisure, people are opting for a more work-oriented weekend, with a state of constant “busy-ness” becoming a sort of status symbol. Perceived success is now—incorrectly—associated with how busy someone is.

This is getting in the way of people enjoying the weekend as it should be enjoyed, and according to the American Time Use Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, people now spend less than one hour socializing on the weekend. Furthermore, According to a global Harris Poll, the United States reported the longest hours second only to Mexico. These reports may not even include tasks such as checking email or going overtime to meet a deadline.

As a result, the “typical” 40 hour work week is better described as “atypical.” An outlier. The weekend as we know it is disappearing, and we’re letting it.

A Call to Action

The fight for the weekend took centuries to win, so reclaim our leisure and once again fill our parks with good company and conversation. Battle against The Garfield Effect, and plan a picnic!

By Cara Satullo

Historic Downtown Delaware


A Trendy Entertainment District 

One of the most charming downtown shopping and dining destinations, Historic Downtown Delaware attracts visitors from many states and countries beyond Ohio. Visitors signing the guest book in Destination Delaware County Ohio’s welcome center came from Ohio and 16 other states. The center also welcomed visitors from Argentina, Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Ecuador, England, Finland, France, India, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Uganda. “Love it here, friendly, full of charm, and so wonderful,” are words most used to describe their Delaware experience.

The numerous non-chain restaurants make Downtown Delaware a fun eating adventure. A popular and diverse dining destination, food options include American, Italian, Mexican, Asian, Cajun, BBQ, and Greek. Fine dining, giant juicy burgers, small plates, chicken and waffles, hand-dipped milkshakes, made-from-scratch pizza and craft brews and wines are just a sample of what visitors like most about eating downtown. Coffee shops, outdoor cafes, mouth-watering chocolates, frozen custard, delicious baked goods, fresh made gelato and ice cream, gourmet cheeses, and olive oils and vinegars on tap are also part of the downtown Delaware foodie experience.

Collectors enjoy browsing for antiques and collectibles along Sandusky Street. Vintage items are also abundant in the shops and bring back bygone days for many as they browse for antique and nostalgic toys and treasures. Other popular boutiques offer children’s books, chalk-painted furniture and home décor, vinyl records, pottery painting, consignment clothing, and unique gift items.

Although Downtown Delaware is a family-friendly environment, it is also a place to enjoy award-winning brews. Two Micro Breweries and other establishments offering a variety of craft brews on tap enhance the experience. And, a beautiful new winery featuring hand-crafted wines is also a draw.

Located just north of Columbus, Ohio’s capital city, those who visit Delaware do not have to fight big city traffic to be inspired by the arts. Delaware is home to the highly-esteemed Central Ohio Symphony. The Symphony offers season tickets and performs at least five outstanding concerts each year, including a free Independence Day concert on the lawn at Ohio Wesleyan University, which is followed by fireworks.

One of the premier liberal arts colleges in the country, Ohio Wesleyan offers live music, theater and dance performances. The University’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum, Delaware Cultural Arts Center (AKA the Arts Castle), and Gallery 22 are all unique places to enjoy visual art exhibits. And, the weekend following Mother’s Day, over 150 venders fill the downtown streets for the annual Delaware Arts Festival.

Fun events in Historic Downtown Delaware also include Main Street Delaware’s Frist Fridays. The first Friday of each month draws big crowds downtown to shop, dine, participate in themed activities, and go to the movies at the Historic 1916 Strand Theatre. Appreciating local farm-to-table opportunities, downtown farmers’ markets take place Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings, May through October.

The Internationally renowned Little Brown Jug Grand Circuit harness race takes place each September during the Delaware County Fair. A week prior to the Fair, the All-Horse Parade, one of the largest non-motorized parades east of the Mississippi, clip clops through Historic Downtown Delaware. And, it would be remiss not to mention the annual classic car show that completely fills four downtown blocks each summer.

Delaware also offers a variety of places to golf, hike, bike, explore, and play in the water. During travel season, many people coming to Delaware also come to play outdoors.

Check out the Destination Delaware County Ohio website when planning an adventure in Delaware.

Take an Oberlin Odyssey

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

Summer Camping and Canoeing

Mohican has long been considered the Camping & Canoeing Capital of Ohio.

This hot spot for Ohio travel and tourism is casual. Wearing shorts, tennis shoes, hiking boots, jeans and a tee shirt are pretty much all you need to wear even at area restaurants. Mohican has plenty of casual eateries that offer dining inside or out. The Mohican State Park Lodge’s, Bromfield’s Restaurant; Malabar Farm Restaurant; and the Copper Mug Bar & Grille at Landoll’s Mohican Castle all offer deck or patio options.

If you are looking for some great hiking options, many places on the bike trail are good. The stretch from the Discovery Forest to the covered bridge is probably the best part of that trail. Some places off of the horse trails lead to abandoned homesteads. If a horse or mountain biker is on the trail, please safely step off to the side and allow them to pass. For more information about hiking in Mohican, call the Mohican Visitors Bureau at 419-994-2519.

Most visitors make a weekend or week of their Mohican adventure. DiscoverMohican.com has a lot of options to consider. Some overnights offer year-round discounts. A number of the vacation rentals use VRBO.com or AirBnB.com. If the owner’s number is available, don’t hesitate to call with any questions about packages, etc. Some lodging facilities even offer movie discounts for shows playing locally at The Ohio Theatre.

Mohican isn’t just about the outdoors. Downtown Loudonville is small town America at its finest offering a variety of little shops as well as the Loudonville Public Library. It may be a small town, but the library has a lot of activities that are free and open to the public.

Some other sites to trek are The Cleo Redd Fisher Museum and Wolf Creek Grist Mill, which is one of the oldest working mills in Ohio. Memorial Shrine features the names of Ohio Veterans, who made the ultimate sacrifice, handwritten in the books on display. Another interesting stop is the Discovery Forest Exhibit in the Mohican-Memorial State Forest. On a hot summer day you may want to take a swim at the Mohican State Park Lodge. Programs offered by the naturalist and the Live Birds of Prey programs are free and open to the public.

Here is a list of the top-5, free activities for the whole family to enjoy while staying in Mohican Country:

  1. Parks and trails:  Mohican State Park and Mohican-Memorial State Forest have free entry. This enables the family to enjoy the hiking trails, mountain bike trails and horse trails. There are over 100 miles of trails available to everyone in Mohican.
  2. Nature programs: The Mohican State Park naturalist provides weekly programs and hikes. They are free and open to the public. Learn about the diversity of life that is native to Mohican, while having fun at the same time.
  3. Take a trip down memory lane at the The Cleo Redd Fisher Museum. It offers free admission to explore Mohican area’s unique history and individuals who helped put Mohican on the map.
  4. Year-round events & festivals: Yes, the majority of the Mohican events are free. This includes the award winning Loudonville Car Show and fireworks for the 4th of July weekend.  Pleasant Hill Lake Park throughout the summer will offer free canoe and kayaking on Pleasant Hill Lake. In fall, return for the Free Loudonville Street Fair, Fall Foliage Drive-It-Yourself Tour and more. Visit DiscoverMohican.com for a full calendar of events.
  5. Mohican State Park Lodge:  It doesn’t matter if you are paying to stay the night or not, the Mohican State Park Lodge is open to the public all year. Several programs are offered at the Mohican Lodge that are free and open to everyone. See the Live Birds of Prey program every Saturday, now through October. See the birds up close and personal while learning about their diets and more.

All of those free activities allows room to choose that perfect place to stay, eat and of course, spend a day floating down the ultimate lazy river. Whether at a castle, lodge, campground, inn, or private rental there is something for everyone.

Find your summer adventure in Mohican and Discover Why Mohican Rocks!

Reconnect and Make Memories…


Photo by Joe Murray

A story by Gene Betts and the
Ross-Chillicothe Convention & Visitors Bureau

During winter, my wife Amanda and I began discussing ideas for long weekend getaways for the family. Because of our jobs, we knew it would be difficult in the coming summer to plan a full week vacation, so we had decided on smaller getaways throughout the summer for us and the boys.

In January, at a family dinner one Sunday with my parents, Amanda, began telling them of our plans for the summer. She explained to them that we were trying to pick some destinations for a few long weekend getaways. As she tossed out some of our ideas, my father Jim spoke up and shared that one of his favorite trips was the summer he took us to see the “Tecumseh” Outdoor Drama in Chillicothe.

As the youngest of three siblings, I barely remembered that trip, so I asked him why it was so memorable. He spoke of the adventures he had taken us on during that trip, from paddle boating to the moment when we sat in the amphitheater and the “Indians” came on stage. His laugh was infectious when he remembered how we jumped when the first gun went off during the production.

An idea came to me while he shared his memories about the trip from so many years ago. What would it be like to recreate this family getaway with my kids and include my parents? Of course, I’d have to get Amanda’s approval before I mentioned anything about it to my parents or kids. However, the idea of making a lasting memory for my dad, kids and myself seemed like the perfect option. That evening, after the boys were tucked in to bed and Amanda and I was watching some television, I brought up the idea and without any hesitation she agreed.

Come June, we made our journey to Chillicothe with tickets to see the “Tecumseh!” Outdoor Drama on Saturday evening. Friday afternoon we pulled in to the hotel’s parking lot and the fun was about to begin. After spending a few hours in the van, we got checked-in at the hotel and needed to get some exercise.

It was a beautiful summer day, so we made the short drive from the hotel to Hopewell Culture National Historical Park. This was the first stop from my father’s memory of our visit twenty-five years ago. Although I saw images of the park online, seeing these expansive earthworks was more than we could have imaged. The park ranger who gave us a guided tour was wonderful, not only did he give us information that we were looking for about the site, but he also interacted with the kids and provided details on their level.

After walking around the park for a few hours, we were off and heading into the historic First Capital District in downtown Chillicothe. It was getting close to dinnertime and we found a wood-fired pizza shop that we figured the boys would enjoy. We sat outside on the patio that gave us a great view of the shops and buildings in downtown. Amanda and my mother had already began planning to visit the shops Saturday morning while me, my boys and father went on an adventure of our own.

Saturday morning dawned, as the ladies planned their shopping and spa day, us guys packed up the van and headed to Bainbridge in western Ross County. During the original visit, Dad had shared that he had taken the family out in a canoe but couldn’t remember where it was, so I did a little research and decided we would make a new memory with the boys and visit Pike Lake State Park where we could rent pedal boats. My youngest son, Matthew went in a pedal boat with me while my dad took Caden with him. My dad and I both did most of the pedaling, but the boys were having so much fun that neither of us could complain. After a little while, we returned the boats and moved on to our next stop, some miniature golf at Paint Creek State Park. It felt really good to “hang out” with my dad and sons, I couldn’t remember the last time we spent such quality time together.

We had decided to meet back up with Mom and Amanda that afternoon for lunch. As we got back into Chillicothe, Amanda text that they had decided on a place for lunch, and we met up with them at the Old Canal Smokehouse. We all enjoyed the smoky flavored BBQ, as the boys raved about their mac and cheese and shared our morning adventures with Grandma and Mom.

We had two more stops planned before returning to the hotel to get ready for the evening’s performance of “Tecumseh”. After lunch we took the boys down the street to see the two cabooses that were parked along the street. The volunteer who was working that day gave us a wonderful tour, and really connected with the boys. They couldn’t stop asking questions and were fascinated by the model train.

My mother had specifically wanted to visit the 19th century mansion known as Adena Mansion & Gardens. We all loaded back in our vehicles, followed our GPSs across town and up a hill to this gorgeous estate. After taking care of the admission, we began exploring the interactive museum they offered. This helped keep the boys engaged during the visit, I was afraid it would have been a “look but don’t touch” experience, and I would spend most of the time trying to keep the boys from touching. After the museum, we met up with our tour guide for a tour of the mansion, which I knew the boys wouldn’t be able to touch anything. She greeted us at the steps of the mansion dressed in period clothing and the warmest smile. She was endearing and interacted with the boys along the entire tour, while providing the adults with the information we were there to discover.

The time had arrived for us to take the boys to see “Tecumseh!” and I think I was just as excited about this part of the trip as they were. This was the part that my father most remembered about the trip twenty-five years earlier. We arrived early so we could enjoy dinner at their terrace buffet. After dinner we made our way to the amphitheater for the show. The boys settled in their seats between Amanda and me, and my parents took the aisle seats on my left. The show began and just like Dad remembered, we all jumped when the first gun fired in the production.

Not only was I watching the boys’ reaction to the production, but I kept an eye on my father who was also watching our reactions. During the final rays of daylight my father and I made eye contact and the smile that grew across his face told me that this trip and experience would be something that would remember for the rest of our lives. I can only hope that I get to share a similar experience with my sons and grandchildren.

Click here to plan your trip to the Chillicothe, Ohio area.

By Gene Betts

Marion’s Scenic Golf Courses

Sometimes, you just want to play a relaxing round of golf with friends.

Whether it’s a day out or a weekend getaway, discovering a new golf course makes any trip more enjoyable. Golf can be an intimidating game for many, but not in Marion County, Ohio. Local golf course owners cater to the casual golfer, families, and folks just looking to get outside and enjoy themselves. While the courses are well maintained, Marion’s links are a perfect fit for golfers of all ages and skill levels.

A popular family course is Green Acres just south of the city of Marion. Owned and operated by brothers John and Steve Grimes, the par 60 course plays quick, no more than two hours per round. You’ll find many a golfer on the course weekday evenings as it’s the perfect place for an after-work round. Weekday and weekend specials make Green Acres affordable.

Kings Mill Golf Club near Waldo has a long history in Marion County. The course was designed by famed architect Jack Kidwell and has become “our favorite course” for many golfers. Nestled along the Olentangy River, Kings Mill is a mixture of hills, flat terrain and rolling grounds to provide a very scenic and enjoyable round of golf. Owners Linda and Richard Krom took over the 52-year-old course in 2017, ensuring that all of Marion’s golf courses remain locally owned. The rolling terrain of the course makes for a great golf experience and the many vistas from the tees and greens add to a golfer’s enjoyment. The signature #3 hole is a par 3 elevated tee that overlooks a new covered bridge built in 2016.

Opened in 1971, Whetstone Golf Course just east of the city of Marion epitomizes golf in Marion County. Described as a challenging and fair test for golfers, the course ranges from flat to rolling with mature trees, and water on six holes. Whetstone is a rare course that manages to be friendly to newcomers while simultaneously pushing experienced players to improve their skills. There are multiple tee lengths at Whetstone to cater to players of all ages and skill levels.

For more information on Marion County golf course, click here.

Antique & Unique Shopping Trail

Nestled in the foothills of Coshocton County are some of most unique shopping experiences in Ohio. Make plans to visit Coshocton for the newest Vera Bradley purse, vintage glassware, quilting materials, extraordinary home decor, antique furniture, Ohio-made products, and locally made fine art. From Historic Roscoe Village, “over town” to Coshocton, and out into the country, shoppers will find many treasures to take home. Along the way there are cozy places for refreshments during a day in Coshocton County on the new Antique & Unique Shopping Trail.

Being greeted with a smile by the shop owner is one reason shoppers love this trail.

“Upon arrival at the Kozy Kottage Antiques & Gifts, I was  kindly greeted by sisters Debbie Ungurean and Patti Ridenbaugh, ” said Coshocton Visitors Bureau manager, Kelly Florian. “I especially enjoyed the greeting from Patsy Cline, the shop’s dog, who wore a pink bandana and a cute puppy smile.”

The Kozy Kottage has no shortage of treasures your parents and grandparents may have grown up with. Take a step onto their outdoor patio to find unusual terrariums and vintage items of all shapes and sizes. Owners Debbie and Patti recall thrifting when they were younger and found it to be so much fun that they decided to open their very own shop in Coshocton.

“Reclaim. Unique. Salvage.” is Rust Decor’s motto, which captures the essence of the new trail perfectly. Owner Jenny Coffman, along with her family, are breaking barriers with their new shop. Jenny finds discarded and salvage furniture and decorative items and brings them back to life through creative painting and repurposing. Daughter Elle is a young fashion ambassador that has her own ladies clothing line which is also available at Rust Decor.

Roscoe General Store has been making their famous fudge for many years. The shop, located in Historic Roscoe Village, is filled with home decor, toys, cookbooks, & gourmet treats, including homemade apple butter. Set in a beautifully restored 1830s canal town, it is one of many shops on the trail located in Historic Roscoe Village.  Others include The Village Crafter’s Shop, The Cottage Gate, Ohio State of Mind, Canal Cargo, and Abigail Birch & Company.

The Antique and Unique Shopping Trail goes into town and off the beaten path to The Grainery, The Rusty Olde Crow, Treasure Hunt Antiques, Coshocton Antique Mall, Cherokee Trading Post, Mercantile on Main, C&M Collectibles and Unusual Junction.

No day of shopping is complete without at least one stop for good coffee. Coshocton Coffee Connection and Hannah Marie’s Specialty Bakery and Coffee Shop are both darling places to relax and recharge.  For shoppers who want a more formal place to sit down, English Ivy is located in an 1800’s era Victorian house and features a shady outdoor patio.

If 17 shops seems too many to experience in one day, you are invited to stay in one of our many cabins, bed and breakfasts or local hotels. Coshocton Village Inn and Suites features a “Girlfriend’s Getaway” package! For more information, visit www.visitcoshocton.com/.

Summer Under Glass This Winter

Tired of winter? Want to smell flowers? Touch a butterfly? Maybe even perspire a bit? Then you need to head to Ohio’s tropical attractions in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati.

Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse is an 18,000 square foot, crystalline conservatory – the only one of its kind.  Open year-round, the Glasshouse is home to two of the world’s most exotic, fragile and unique environments:  the spiny desert of Madagascar and the lush, butterfly-filled cloud forest of Costa Rica.

Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus offers beautiful and diverse climates including an arid Desert, a tropical Rainforest, a cool Himalayan Mountain, and a lush Pacific Island Water Garden. The Conservatory owns a signature collection of Dale Chihuly glass artwork.

Krohn Conservatory is one of Cincinnati’s treasures. It features Bonsai, Conservatory, Orchid, Tropical and Perennial gardens and nature collections. The total collection represents more than 1,000 different species of plants from rainforests to deserts.

The Best of Northern Ohio

WHY NORTHERN OHIO IS
AN INTERNATIONAL HOT SPOT!

Greatest Amusement Park on the Planet

Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio was rated the top park in the world for 16 years but has recently been ranked the 2nd best by readers of Amusement Today. Cedar Point is also dubbed the roller-coaster capital of the world.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. The city where the phrase “rock & roll” was coined beat out New York, San Francisco, Memphis and Chicago to enshrine the greatest rock stars in history. Its unique architecture has been recognized the world over.

World’s Largest “Amish Country”

Amish Country in Ohio’s Holmes and Wayne Counties is the largest concentration of Amish communities anywhere on the globe. The rolling country roads are dotted with horses and buggies. Many Amish shops offer homemade food and handcrafted furniture.

Top-10 Food Scene in the Country

Travel+Leisure readers ranked Cleveland as the seventh top-ranked food city in America within the past few years rating it ahead of staples like New York, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Portland, Los Angeles and Chicago. Foodies now flock to “The Land”.

Largest Performing Arts Center Outside NYC

Playhouse Square in Cleveland, Ohio is a historic theatre district with incredible architecture inside and out which hosts over 1,000 events annually. It even has the world’s first and largest outdoor chandelier giving it a one-of-a-kind feel.

National Christmas Lure Year-Round

Ohio’s North Pole is where Hollywood meets Christmas year-round. Castle Noel is the world’s largest privately held collection of Christmas movie props and costumes. House from a Christmas Story has just about everything from the classic movie, A Christmas Story.

Top-10 Orchestra in the World

The Cleveland Orchestra is consistently ranked as one of the top-10 orchestras in the world and has remained as such for decades. It is renown as one of the Big Five American orchestras. Performing across continents, its home is the revered Severance Hall in Cleveland, Ohio.

Pro Football Hall of Fame

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is in Canton, Ohio, where the National Football League was born. Every year, it renews itself as the football capital with the induction ceremony to enshrine a new class of the game’s legends. The interactive museum tells the history of America’s #1 professional sport.

Island Life (no sharks)

The Lake Erie Islands in Ohio are lively with summer fun. Regular ferries take people from the mainland to bicycle havens like Kelley’s Island where it’s a little more kicked back. But the summer-long party is at Put-In-Bay located at South Bass Island. Sailing and fishing charters abound.

A National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is one of only 58 national parks. Between Akron and Cleveland, it offers an array of outdoor activities for every season. Three of its unique gems are the cascading Brandywine Falls, The Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail and The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.