A quick weekend jaunt up to Columbus, Ohio is nothing new for Cincinnati dwellers. It’s close, fun, and, of course, a rite of passage for Buckeye fans. What most people don’t realize, however, is there’s a whole world you’re missing if you just went a little further north to the remarkably charming county of Delaware, Ohio.
Tucked just on the north side of Columbus, Delaware boasts some of the best restaurants, local shops, and breweries you’ll find in not only central Ohio, but the entire state.
The city of Delaware, Ohio, should be anyone’s first stop in the county, with its funky record store, Pat's Endangered Species—The Last Record Store on Earth, and multiple breweries such as Restoration Brew Worx.
And if you’re hungry, you won’t be for long. Downtown Delaware features plenty of mouth-watering spots, with one of my favorites being Mohio Pizza. Their wood-fired pizzas, wings, and other hand-crafted selections rival any pizza I’ve had in my entire life.
You can also wander the streets and browse big-city local stores where you’ll find antique shops and other specialty businesses, such as Greater Gouda with their fine cheese and wines, Olivina Taproom stocked with a variety of olive oils and gifts, and Woodland Cigar—a cigar store so good, people come from all over the country for their selection and friendly folks.
When the day is over, the Strand Theatre is a great place to catch the latest flick. One of the oldest movie houses in the country, the Strand exudes charm while still providing a modern viewing experience. (Oh, and it’s allegedly haunted!)
Delaware isn’t the only spot to hit up in Delaware County, though. Hop over to Powell, Ohio for more great food, shopping, and drinking. Here you'll find Kraft House No. 5, Liberty Tavern, and several other great spots for the appetite. With a full stomach, head to Ill Mannered Brewing for their outdoor patio and friendly demeanor, or Nocterra Brewing just around the corner.
Finally, take a few hours to tour the quaint town of Sunbury. Stroll through the town square and local history museum before stopping in for a bite at the Firehouse Tavern, a place beaming with love for first responders and the armed forces, as well as some of the best chicken wings you'll eat.
Your last stop should—without a doubt—be the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial on the edge of Sunbury. Here you’ll find a touching tribute to every Ohio hero who lost their life during the war on terror. The chapel features items left by loved ones, and each marker reminds you of the sacrifices other Ohioans have made.
It’s hard to believe all this is hiding in plain sight less than an hour up the road from the hustle and bustle of Columbus. So for your next weekend getaway, give Delaware County a serious look.
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Discover more about Delaware, Ohio by visiting the county’s website.