Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chillicothe Travel Guide

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

OHventures takes you to every corner of the state - and that includes the often overlooked yet charming Southern Ohio city of Chillicothe. If you're from Northern Ohio, you're bound to find locals here with thick Southern Ohio accents living the good ol' country life. From Columbus, Chillicothe is an hour directly south on US Route 23 (if you reach Jacksonville, Florida, you've gone too far). US Route 50 runs East to West along the south end of the city. It lies within the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and the Scioto River runs North to South through Chillicothe.

Because I am definitely a city boy who grew up in the suburbs, I had to consult the wisdom of my friend Erin Honnold, born and bred in Southern Ohio. She used to walk to floodwall along the Scioto River with her mom when she was a kid. She takes great pride in being raised in the Chillicothe area, as it was Ohio's first AND third state capital (1803-1810 and 1812-1816). She said it was moved to Zanesville for a bit, "before they realized Chillicothe was much cooler," and finally to Columbus when they realized Chillicothe was too far from Northern Ohio.

Below, Erin and I give you the Top 9 Things to Do When Visiting Chillicothe.

1. Grinder's Coffee & Cafe (85 North Paint Street): Starting your morning in Chillicothe HAS to include this Americana-themed coffee shop and cafe where Erin says the homefries are to die for. Most importantly, however, the family-owned business is known for its friendly and warm staff that exemplify the Southern Ohio hospitality.

2. Hirch's Fruit Farm (41 Seney Road): Just what it sounds like, Hirsch's Fruit Farm is the perfect spot to shop for fresh grown apples as well as oranges, pancake mixes, maple syrups and more. It's open year-round and, as their slogan states, is always in taste and never out of style.

3. Yoctangee Park (19 Enderlin Circle): This park is a great place to go and relax or feed the ducks. Because Chillicothe is ever rich in Native American history (it was settled by the Shawnees), every May the Yoctangee Park hosts the Feast of the Flowering Moon Festival. Also in the Yoctangee Park is the Pump House Center for the Arts, where little Erin took her first art classes. There are also tennis courts, basketball courts, vollyeball courts, and baseball fields.

4. Sumburger Drive-In Restaurant (1487 North Bridge Street): Another amazing place to eat in Chillicothe is this 1950s themed restaurant where you order your meal from a phone at your table. It has the basic all-American meals like burgers, fries, and milkshakes, and will surely be a place to remember for any age. As they say on their site, Sumburger is not just fast food; it's not just a drive-in; it's Sumburger.

5. Dock at Water (80 East Water Street): Erin says this is her favorite bar to go to because the beer is cold and the food is good. She says that on the weekends, the crowd's diversity is enough to entertain you!

6. Majestic Performing Arts Theatre (45 East Water Street): From rock and roll to The Sound of Music to Chilifest, The Majestic Performing Arts Theatre always has something fun going on. The two story historic brick building was first erected in 1853; so even if you don't get around to watch a show here, simply visiting the landmark is a treat in and of itself.

7. Ross County Fairgrounds (344 Fairgrounds Road): As a youngster, Erin spent a considerable amount of time at the Ross County Fair. Admittingly a bit biased, she claims that it's the best county fair in the state. Above, you can see for yourself an old  nostalgic picture of Erin enjoying the fair!

8. Adena Mansion & Gardens (847 Adena Road): Because Chillicothe was the first capital of the state of Ohio (mentioned above), you can find the beautiful Adena Mansion and Gardens here. It's a 2000-acre estate where the sixth governor of the state, Thomas Worthington, lived. The Visitor's Center offers tours and a gift shop, among other fun activities.

9. Crosskeys Tavern (19 East Main Street): If not heading to the Dock at Water, Erin goes to Crosskeys Tavern to end a night in Chillicothe. It's a fun hole-in-the-wall to go to any night of the week!

About the Contributor: Erin Honnold currently works as Deputy Director of Communication in the Office of the State Treasurer. She thoroughly enjoys trying new things; everything from restaurants, events and other fun activities in Central and Southern Ohio. An art major, Erin particularly loves visiting art museums, galleries and concerts as well as sporting events and parks. She is one of the people who helped get the ball rolling on OHventures by inspiring the blog to begin! We are forever grateful for those words of encouragement!

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