Monday, September 2, 2013

Hometown Highlight: Piqua

Photo by Courtney Denning, OHventures Guest Blogger

City: Piqua (pronounced "Pik-wa")
County: Miami
Population: 20,522

Piqua, Ohio is a city located near Troy located within Miami County. Courtney Denning is a native of Piqua and wanted to share all of the fun things to do on a short day trip to those traveling to the city! Courtney is an OHventures Guest Blogger and the creator of the project CBus52: Columbus In A Year, which chronicles her one year quest to experience all things Columbus. A little slice of Piqua can be found in Columbus at the quaint German Village shop, Winans Fine Chocolates and Coffee. Winan's originated in Piqua, which leads us into Courtney's post of 5 Ways To Enjoy Piqua!

The following is written for OHventures by Courtney Denning of CBus52!

5 Ways To Enjoy Piqua

1. Enjoy a cup of coffee and some chocolate from Winans Fine Chocolates and Coffee.  I recommend a Karamel Kiss latte and a dark chocolate salted caramel chocolate, or a dark chocolate peanut butter delight!  There are two Winans locations in Piqua, one in the Fort Piqua Plaza Hotel and a very recent addition on Looney Road which features a drive-thru!

2. Visit George's Dairy Bar.  George's is the best!  I have not eaten at George's in many years, but I can still remember how amazing a coney dog with cheese and a Coke with vanilla tasted.  Don't forget to order a side of tater tots with your coney dog, and of course, some ice cream or a milkshake! 

3. Grab dinner from El Sombrero.  El Sombrero is a wonderful Mexican restaurant.  The chips and salsa are addictive and if you're not careful, you'll be full of chips before your dinner arrives!  I recommend the arroz con pollo (chicken with rice) and saving room for desert.  The deep fried ice cream and sopapillas are delicious!

4. Be entertained!  Piqua has a renovated Cinemark movie theater with extra comfy seats!  You can also visit another recent renovation, the Piqua Public Library which is located in the newly renovated Fort Piqua Plaza building.  The renovation to the Fort Piqua Plaza building (also known as the 'old hotel') is beautiful!  The library offers children and adult programming including movie nights, the Portals to Piqua's Past lecture series, kids crafts and story time and guided tours of the library.  Above the library portion of the plaza, there is a ballroom and banquet halls which can be rented for wedding receptions, class reunions and other events.  Smaller rooms (all named for US Presidents), can be rented for luncheons, board meetings or other events. 

Stillwater Prairie Reserve

5. Go outside!  Piqua has some really great parks and is close to several of my favorite Miami County Parks.  In town there is Linear Park, also known as the Piqua Bike Path.  Linear Park is 11 miles long and is great for walking, running, biking and roller blading.  My favorite section runs through Fountain Park (another great city park!), the Forest Hill Cemetery and along an old section of the Miami-Erie Canal.  My favorite Miami County Parks near Piqua include Garbry's Big Woods Reserve and Sanctuary (I spent a lot of time in these two parks as a kid!) and the Stillwater Prairie Reserve (pictured above).  My final outdoor recommendation is the Johnston Farm & Indian Agency.  The 200 acre park is the site of the annual Piqua Heritage Festival on Labor Day weekend, which is my favorite event in Piqua!  The park includes John Johnston's farmhouse and farm buildings, a Native American museum and a replica canal boat that still gives mule-drawn rides to visitors.

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