12 Reasons to Visit Butler County, Ohio
Located in southwest Ohio, the charming Butler County is often over-shadowed by its large southern neighbor, Cincinnati (approximately 18 miles south of Butler County). With nine unique communities (Fairfield, Hamilton, Liberty Township, Middletown, Monroe, Okeana & Shandon, Oxford, Trenton and West Chester) Butler County welcomes visitors to stroll their charming downtowns, shop at locally owned small businesses, indulge in delicious locally crafted meals, sip on delightful Ohio wines, savor every sweet bite along their Donut Trail and enjoy the appeal of a laid-back Midwestern getaway!
Take advantage of Butler County Visitors Bureau’s “52 Weekends” to make the most of your visit! With 52 weekend getaway itineraries, you will find the perfectly planned Ohio escape, all you have to do is get yourself to the BC (Butler County)!
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Butler County, here are my top 12 reasons to visit this wonderful area of southwest Ohio:
1. Butler County Donut Trail:
Who doesn’t love donuts? As soon as my nose gets a scent of that sweet-smelling aroma and I can see their freshly-baked deliciousness displayed in the baked goods case or counter, instantly my mouth starts to water…mmm, donuts! The Butler County Donut Trail is the first and only donut trail in Ohio! Highlighting small, family owned and operated donut shops the donut trail takes visitors on a sweet and delicious scavenger hunt for your favorite donut throughout the county. Well- known donut flavors (glazed, cream-filled, fruity, etc.) to unique creations (S’mores, Fruity Pebbles, Reese’s, Maple Bacon and many more!) await to entice your taste buds! Grab a Butler County Donut Trail Passport at any of the 9 participating donut shops and start your journey for a baked goods sweet rush!
*I would recommend starting early (6-8 am), some bakeries will close early if they sell out prior to closing time! Most of the bakeries close at noon.
Yummy donuts along the Butler County Donut Trail
2. Smokehouse Mac-n-Cheese at J. Austin’s Riverbank Café:
Eating at local restaurants is one of the highlights of visiting somewhere new. After several Butler County locals recommended J. Austin’s, I just had to see what the buzz was all about. Situated along the riverbank of the Great Miami River in Hamilton, J. Austin’s will pleasantly surprise you! We ordered a few shareables and a cocktail, with just one bite of their Smokehouse Mac-n-Cheese I fell in love! Pasta shells blended with white cheddar and smoked Gouda cheeses along with Applewood bacon, my taste buds were dancing on my tongue! The Smokehouse Mac-n-Cheese is home-style comfort food at its best!
Delicious Smokehouse Mac-n-Cheese and Fried Green Tomatoes
3. Shopping Local:
Along with eating local, perusing the local shops is the next best way to get a feel for the city. In Butler County eclectic small businesses share unique treasures and a love for their community! From clothing boutiques to home décor shops, Butler County is a shopper’s paradise! A few of my new favorite shops in Butler County are Sara’s House, Secretly Shabby and Treasures on Main in Hamilton and The Apple Tree, Lane & Kate and Juniper in Oxford.
4. AC Hotel Cincinnati at Liberty Center:
With its convenient location just off Interstate 75 and situated in the heart of Liberty Center (shopping, dining and entertainment destination) the AC Hotel Cincinnati is the first and only hotel of its namesake in Ohio. With a modern and fresh European hotel design, AC Hotels by Marriott offers guests a boutique hotel experience in some of the world’s best cities. The AC Hotel Cincinnati at Liberty Center is no exception, with modern design, spacious guest rooms, fitness facilities and indoor swimming pool, bright lobby and inviting views of Liberty Center at the AC Lounge, guests will enjoy their comfortable stay at the AC Hotel Cincinnati.
Drinks at the AC Lounge
5. Liberty Center:
While I typically prefer to shop at locally owned small businesses, the new Liberty Center has become quite the destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment in Butler County. With an eclectic mix of nationally known retail stores and local boutique shops, restaurants, Cobb Luxury 15 movie theater, Funny Bone Comedy Club and the child-friendly indoor play area called The Discovery Center, Liberty Center is the perfect spot for a girl’s shopping day, family outing or date night for two.
6. Oxford & Miami University:
Located in the northwest corner of Butler County, is the charming town of Oxford. Home to Miami University and over 16,000 college students, Oxford is often referred to as a “college town.” With the pristine surroundings of the university and the inviting streets of downtown Oxford, I found this small town to be quite delightful. I perused the streets and enjoyed a bagel sandwich from the legendary Bagel & Deli Shop, shopped at quaint boutique stores and strolled through Miami University’s campus which looked even more beautiful with all the spring flowers in bloom!
Beautiful blooms at Miami University in Oxford
7. Hueston Woods State Park:
Located just a few miles from Oxford is Hueston Woods State Park. With nearly 3,000 acres (shared between Butler and Preble Counties) for visitors to explore, Hueston Woods State Park is the perfect spot in Butler County to enjoy Ohio’s beautiful landscapes. The park offers accommodations (campsites, cabins and a resort lodge) and an array of outdoor activities (hiking, fishing, boating and swimming at Lake Acton and a golf course). Hueston Woods State Park is also the perfect place to take your beloved pup! With a three-acre fenced dog park for your four-legged best friend to explore and play off leash and beach/lake access just for dogs, even your dog will love Hueston Woods State Park! Read about my visit for Tourism Ohio to Hueston Woods State Park last summer with my dog Izzy, here!
Izzy and I wading in Lake Acton at Hueston Woods State Park
8. Revitalization of Hamilton:
There is nothing better than visiting a historic town and seeing the revitalization of the old buildings and historical spots. That is exactly what is happening in downtown Hamilton. From local businesses opening in revitalized historic buildings to the revitalization of German Village, locals and visitors alike can feel the exciting renewal in progress. With many great locally owned restaurants and shops and Ohio history displayed along the Great Miami River, a visit to Hamilton during your trip to Butler County is a must!
Hamilton along the banks of the Great Miami River
9. Hanover Winery:
Located just outside of Hamilton and approximately ten-minutes from Oxford is Hanover Winery. As Butler County’s first and only winery, Hanover Winery invites visitors and locals alike to enjoy delicious Ohio wines with a pristine county setting. Sample over 25 wines in their tasting room to find your favorite, then grab a glass or bottle to enjoy outdoors while overlooking the pond or vineyards. Hanover Winery is the perfect afternoon or evening date, pack a picnic and enjoy Ohio wines with your loved one!
*Read about my visit to Hanover Winery!*
10. The Cone:
Known at THE place in Butler County to enjoy delicious soft serve ice cream, The Cone has been serving ice cream lovers since 1995. On a sunny afternoon, The Cone will be buzzing with ice cream loving patrons, grab your spot in line in front of the giant ice cream cone and choose your favorite flavor(s). I enjoyed a traditional chocolate and vanilla twist soft serve cone, it was the perfect way to delight in a sunny afternoon!
The Cone in West Chester
11. Jungle Jim’s International Market:
With more than 200,000 square feet of shopping space and over 150,000 products, Jungle Jim’s just might have everything you need in life. 😉 From a selection of over 12,000 international and local wines, more than 4,000 specialty, craft and imported beers, and over 50,000 food items from over 70 countries, Jungle Jim’s truly is a food and beverage oasis! Along with thousands of food and drink items, Jungle Jim’s also provides store tours, food demonstrations, has a cooking school, and several restaurants and shops.
12. Barn-n-Bunk Farm Market:
The Barn-n-Bunk is a family owned farm market established in 1992. Located in Trenton, the farm has been in the Theobald family since the 1930’s. The farm market provides home grown produce, Amish baked goods and a wide selection of jams, jellies, honey, cheeses and pickled items. Along with fresh food items, visitors can shop for handmade specialty items and unique gifts from local craft vendors. Grab a scoop of Velvet Premium Ice, enjoy a banana split, homemade chocolate and bulk candies or a handmade deli sandwich from the Ice Cream and Candy Shop. The Barn-n-Bunk Farm Market is the perfect place to spend an afternoon with the entire family! Don’t forget to check out the gigantic farm scene mural painted on the silos!
With charming towns, beautiful Ohio landscapes, delicious dining, the only donut trail in the state, local shops and markets, an Ohio winery and welcoming locals, Butler County is a delightful weekend getaway in southwest Ohio! To plan your Butler County getaway, please visit www.gettothebc.com.
*Read my Weekend Getaway Guide: Butler County, Ohio*
Have you visited Butler County, Ohio before? I would love to know your favorite places, comment below! Love this post? Please share it!
A special thanks to Butler County Visitors Bureau and the AC Hotel Cincinnati at Liberty Center. I was an invited guest of Butler County Visitors Bureau and AC Hotel Cincinnati at Liberty Center. As always on Ohio Girl Travels, all opinions are my own!
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