Who says a getaway has to be complicated? Sometimes all you need in a vacation is an escape to the simple, quaint life in a storybook-esque small town. Assimilating into each village’s traditions and everyday life is an experience in itself to get lost in. Here, we’ve compiled five of the most charming villages and towns in Ohio for a long weekend.
Known as the Little Switzerland of Ohio, Sugarcreek is the gateway to Amish country. Downtown holds notes of Swiss architecture, including the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock that sits in the square and comes to life every hour. We won’t tell you what happens when the clock strikes—you’ll just have to see for yourself.
Notable stops for dining are Dutch Valley Restaurant, Dough Co: Doughnuts & Coffee and Park Street Pizza. But that’s only if you don’t fill up on delicacies at the Broad Run Cheesehouse, attached to the Swiss Heritage Winery.
The Alpine Hills Museum features three floors of Sugarcreek’s Swiss, German, and Amish heritage. And just down the road is the Ohio Star Theater at Dutch Valley, an adorable theater that puts on comedic performances and shows.
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Milan is not only a cute town to stay for a long weekend, it’s also the birthplace of inventor Thomas Edison. Edison’s childhood home is a big pull for history buffs, as you can tour the house that doubles as a museum. Only around 1,400 people live in the village, so tranquility reigns supreme here. One of Milan’s biggest events of the year is the Summer Antiques Fest in July, when the square is abuzz with antique booths, local shops, and out-of-town vendors.
If you choose to take a staycation in Milan, try the Invention Restaurant for the best American comfort food and The Milan Wine Post set on the historic town square.
Located on Lake Erie’s coastline, Ashtabula is one of the most romantic getaways in Ohio because of its picturesque fall views, adorable apple orchard dates, and covered bridges. Take a long walk along Walnut Beach and enjoy the scenery of Lake Erie before grabbing dinner at Bascule Bridge Grille or cozying up for a coffee at Harbor Perk.
If you want an immersive experience, stay at the Orchard View Villas.
The charming town of Marblehead is a quaint escape for those who want the scenery of nature and the comforts of a nice bed. East Harbor State Park Beach is ideal for trail walking, picnics, bike rides, and more. You can’t miss visiting the Marblehead Lighthouse (the most photographed lighthouse in Ohio) for a breathtaking view of Sandusky Bay and relishing the boating culture of the area.
The Hidden Beach Bar is a casual, beachy dining experience open for lunch and dinner, while The Landing is one of the top seafood restaurants in the area. Experience a charming beach town without traveling across the country.
It’s in the name—you can’t not love this town. Loveland is a little town on the outskirts of Cincinnati filled with miles and miles of scenic bike trails, charming shops, and a family-oriented atmosphere. Rent or bring your bike, because you’ll want wheels to cover all the paths and trails in town. Plus, because of the proximity to the Little Miami River, water activities are abundant. After biking, canoeing, kayaking, or fishing, there are plenty of adorable stops for a bite to eat, from pizza at Paxton’s to Loveland Dairy Whip.
The Historic Loveland Castle is a must during your trip to Loveland. Walk the gardens, tour the castle, or picnic by the river. It’s a truly royal experience in Loveland.
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