Photo by OHventures
668 US Highway 250 EAshland, OH 44805-9700
Anyone who has driven on Interstate 71 through north-central Ohio has undoubtedly witnessed the intriguing and peculiar billboards advertising "GRANDPA'S CHEESEBARN" off of Exit 186 in Ashland. I have made this drive literally hundreds of times and it only took a few times before my curiosity took the best of me and I decided to take a quick detour to see what all of these billboards were all about.
Anything named "Grandpa's Cheesebarn" has got to be good. If anything, it's good for a few laughs, right? First of all, who on earth has even heard of a "cheese barn" of any kind, let alone one owned by a grandpa?! I have a feeling that the people who started Grandpa's Cheesebarn are in on the joke and they know just how ridiculous the name of their business is. But that's half the charm of the place! The name alone is what got me to stop in and take a gander, and I am sure I am not the only one!
Because of these iconic billboards that are sprinkled alongside Interstate 71, Grandpa's Cheesebarn has become somewhat of an infamous landmark in Ohio. Like moths attracted to a light, motorists are attracted to Grandpa's Cheesebarn. It is located right off of the highway and, even better, right down the street from what I have called The Best Rest Stop in Ohio (Goasis).
Aside from its name, Grandpa's Cheesebarn truly is a traveler's treasure. If you have a pulse, then I am sure you like cheese. And if you haven't already figured it out, Grandpa's Cheesebarn is full of the salty, creamy, tasty goodness: cheese dips, cheese in bulk, smoked cheese, sweet cheese, spicy cheese, imported cheese, locally made cheese, chunky cheese, smooth cheese, cheese spreads, and more! There are tons of samples throughout the cheesebarn that you can try before you buy, and that's half the fun. You can discover some uniquely awesome cheeses like horseradish bacon cheddar, sweet & spicy peppadew, blazin' mango cheddar, cranberry cheese, and toffee cheddar. It is literally cheese heaven.
And if you aren't as excited as I am when it comes to all of these cheeses, there are hundreds of other mouthwatering products, including locally made jams, jellies, salsa, spices, popcorn, jerky, coffee, barbecue sauce, salad dressings, honey, relish, chocolates, mustard, and pickles (to name a few). Some of my personal favorites are the sweet potato butter, vidalia onion steak sauce, and FROG jam (fig, raspberry, orange and ginger).
There is also a gift shop chock full of souvinirs (I have a teddy bear that has a t-shirt that says "I Love Grandpa's Cheesebarn" from my friend Kelly), a bulk candy store, an ice cream parlor, and even a bed & breakfast (which is perfect, since the place is so big, you can definitely stay for more than one day).
Be prepared to be amazed and spend lots of time and well-spent money at Grandpa's Cheesebarn!