My family + I recently went on a day trip to Urbana, Ohio. We’d never been before and found this small Midwestern town to be very welcoming, filled with notable gems along the way.
Today, I thought I’d share some of those gems with you! For future reference, Urbana is located in western Ohio, about 45 minutes from Columbus, 90 minutes from Cincinnati, and a little over 2 hours from Cleveland.
Before we get started, I want to share something with you. The older I get, the more I love small towns so much. It’s always the charm that reels me in. The history, the way that everyone says hello. I’ve always been interested in the notion that people are so friendly in the south. While from previous experience, I have found that to be true but I’ve also found the same to be true in nearly every small town I’ve visited. The people treat you as if they will see you again. It’s endearing, welcoming, and dare I say, old-fashioned, all rolled into one. This small town friendliness is what we experienced during our trip to Urbana.
Without further ado, let’s get to it! Here are our recommendations of what to do while in Urbana:
1.) Visit Cedar Bog Nature Preserve.
Marvel at nature at this National Natural Landmark located just outside of Urbana. Cedar Bog was the first nature preserve in Ohio purchased with state money and is considered by many to be Ohio’s premiere natural area. This 450 acre nature preserve ranks the highest of any site among all others in the state on the Ohio Floristic Diversity Index for its great diversity of plants. More than forty endangered, threatened, and rare plants and animals can be found at Cedar Bog. See the Cedar Trees that were carried from Canada via glacier thousands of years ago.
2.) Eat + watch the planes land at the Airport Cafe.
Enjoy very reasonably priced diner food at Airport Cafe while watching the planes land at Grimes Field. Save room for one of their made from scratch pies, too! After lunch, pop over to the Champaign Aviation Museum (free admission, donations appreciated) to take in a bit of history.
3.) Treat yourself at Carmazzi’s Candy Store.
The littles will love this candy store that has been in business since 1893! Carmazzi’s is located on the square in the middle of Urbana’s downtown and offers all kinds of candy, fresh peanuts, and deli sandwiches. A trip here is like stepping back in time.
4.) Pick berries at Champaign Berry Farm.
In the summertime, visit this gorgeous berry farm to pick red and black raspberries. Check their Facebook page for updates on the picking season before you go. Champaign Berry Farm is located just outside of Urbana.
5.) Eat really good food!
For a nice lunch or dinner with friends, family, or a date, nosh on Italian fare at Cafe Paradiso. Try some of Mumford’s Chips and Deli famous kettle-cooked potato chips. Since 1932, Mumford’s has been a local favorite. Grab a burger from Crabill’s, which has been open since 1927. For a newer farmhouse vibe, go to Farmer’s Daughter. Don’t leave without having tried their rolled ice cream, bubble tea, or both! Looking for live music and a pub atmosphere? Try Bracken’s or Lincoln & Main.
6.) Grab a coffee from The Depot Coffeehouse or the Spotted Cow Coffeehouse.
7.) Eat a cupcake from Let’s Eat Cake.
Stop in this sweet shop for an Animal Cookie cupcake. In the Fall, you can get Smore, Toasted Marshmallow, or Pumpkin cupcakes, just to name a few fun flavors!
8.) Go antique shopping downtown.
9.) Visit Dragonfly Vineyard for a drink.
Open Thursday-Saturday, this cozy vineyard will make you feel right at home. Grab a seat outside next to the grapes during the warmer months or inside by the fireplace for the full experience!
10.) Turn in for the night at the Scioto Inn.
Located in an ideal location on Scioto Street, this beautiful Inn is within walking distance to many aforementioned shops and restaurants.
There you have it! That’s our list – but I’m sure we left out a few things!
What did we miss? What do you love to do while in Urbana?
PIN these images for future reference: