Ohio is a special place. Although it is a Midwestern state, it also has influences from the East Coast that permeate its historically rural culture. When you visit small towns in Ohio, you can expect to see the laid-back lifestyle of the Midwest, along with the remnants of early American history and a culture that is still closely linked to the land. If you decide to tour Ohio’s small towns, be sure to make sure a few of the following make it on your itinerary!
This lovely small Ohio town was settled because of the town’s namesake, a spring of water that is believed to have curative powers. Today, two hundred years later, the town is a busting community full of interesting things to see and do! People visit Yellow Springs to cycle the Little Miami Scenic Trail, hike in the state park, or shop at the boutiques and galleries.
Marietta is built on the banks of the Ohio River, in the same place as a long-gone Native settlement. In fact, it is the remnants of this forgotten culture that make Marietta such an interesting place to visit! The Hopwell culture disappeared around 500 AD, leaving behind a mysterious earthworks complex that you can still visit today. Of course, you can also enjoy more modern activities, such as visiting the museums in the town.
The motto of Granville is rather unassuming, but has a certain note of pride: “One of Ohio’s Best Hometowns.” When you visit this beautiful small town, you’re sure to agree! The historic downtown is charming, with rows of brightly-painted brick buildings and attractive storefronts. The town was first settled by pioneers, and there are still many historic markers and buildings that remind visitors of those who went before.
Oberlin is a university town near Cleveland. The town has always been based in education, and that tradition has continued throughout its history. In fact, Oberlin was founded in 1833 by two Presbyterian ministers for the express purpose of training Christian missionaries in a moral and Biblical environment. The town itself is named for a minister who spent his life as a teacher for people with limited access to education. In no time, the small town became significant; before the 19th century had come to a close, it offered free higher education to those who could not afford it, and it fought hard against slavery and segregation.
Put-In-Bay was put on the map during the War of 1812, when it became the location of a U.S. naval squadron. Today’s visitors can still take a look at the huge monument that commemorates the town’s part in the war. If you visit, take the time to stroll along the waterfront and along the rows of picturesque shops that line the streets.
The entire town of Loveland is beautiful, but in order to fully appreciate its charm, you have to take a look at Loveland Castle! Loveland Castle, or Chateau Laroche, as it is also known, is a European-style castle that was built by one man. Today, it is a museum and can be rented out for events. Don’t miss it! Once you’re done enjoying the castle, you can head to one of the many parks for some fun and relaxation. Loveland is beautiful at any time of year!
This beautiful Ohio small town walks the fence between town life and country life. It features everything you love about the rustic Midwest: covered bridges, family farms, and nature walking trails. It’s the perfect place to go for a weekend getaway! To ride in style, take a trip on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. This will give you some old-fashioned fun and a better look at the town’s surroundings! While you’re in town, you’ll also want to take a trip to Szalay’s Sweet Corn Farm and The Spicy Lamb Farm.
Not too far from Dayton, you’ll find beautiful Tipp City. This town has a little bit of everything: history, parks, shopping, activities, and especially dining. Make a vacation out of this city—you won’t get bored! Some of the best things to do in Tipp City include canoeing down the river, The Tippecanoe Historical Museum, the Aquatic Center, and the historic mill. Be prepared to find plenty of places to eat, too! There are wonderful restaurants in the area, ranging from indie coffee shops to home-style diners.
This tiny town has around a thousand residents who perpetually enjoy the beauty that this town has to offer. The town is located on Marblehead Peninsula, which separates Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay. Although there are few permanent residents here, there is a constant flow of visitors who want to enjoy the surroundings of the town and the lake! There is plenty to see here, including Marblehead Lighthouse, the oldest operating lighthouse in the Great Lakes, and Dempsey Wildlife Area. The wilderness around the town provides the chance for visitors and locals to go fishing, boating, hiking, and just about any other outside activity you can imagine!
Perrysburg is one of those delightful old fashioned towns that characterizes the upper Midwest. Here, you’ll find historic landmarks, parks, and nature areas that will keep you busy for days. The first thing you should see if you visit this small Ohio town is Fort Meigs, a battlefield from the War of 1812. Also check out Riverside Park, where you’ll find real canons (though without their cannonballs, much to the disappointment of young explorers) and the Perrysburg Area Historic Museum. In addition to these activities, the town also has a number of nature preserves to enjoy and appreciate.