Have you ever visited a place and it just feels like home? That’s exactly how I feel whenever I visit Union County, Ohio. With welcoming communities, picturesque landscapes, historical architecture, beautiful covered bridges, agritourism experiences and outdoor adventures, you’ll find plenty of fun things to do in Union County, Ohio!
Union County Courthouse in Marysville, Ohio
Union County, Ohio Location
Union County is located in West Central Ohio, approximately 30 miles north of Downtown Columbus. If you’re looking for fun things to do near Columbus, Ohio, you can escape the hustle and bustle of the state capital in under 30 minutes to Union County’s peaceful landscapes.
Looking for more about Columbus, Ohio? Read our Weekend Getaway Guide: Downtown Columbus, Ohio.
Things to do in Union County, Ohio
There are many fun things to do in Union County, whether you want to spend time at one of the quaint historic towns, search for covered bridges, learn about agritourism or explore the beautiful countryside with a scenic drive along an Ohio Byway, you’ll find many options to fill your Ohio weekend getaway.
Union County is home to some of the prettiest covered bridges in Ohio. With five historic bridges (designed and built by Reuben L. Partridge, a resident of Marysville) and three modern bridges, the best way to see all of them is to download the official driving tour map of Union County’s covered bridges. Six of the seven bridges still allow vehicle traffic, so bring your camera for some action shots while driving through these beautiful bridges.
The annual Dine on a Covered Bridge Event takes place on the historic Pottersburg Bridge. The historic bridge was originally built in 1868, extensive repairs were made in 1949 and in 2006, the bridge was moved and now sits on the 1.9-mile North Lewisburg Multi-Purpose Trail. Allowing foot and bicycle traffic only, the historic bridge is the perfect venue for the annual dinner celebrating the county’s covered bridges.
A scene straight from a magazine cover, the historic bridge is transformed to an elegant dinner venue. A centerpiece chandelier, beautifully decorated table with seating for 100, sweeping views of the surrounding cornfields and lovely conversation with visitors and locals alike, made for one of the best dinner experiences I’ve had in Ohio. I would encourage everyone to add the annual Dine on a Covered Bridge event to your calendar.
Big Darby Plains Scenic Byway
With more than 40 scenic miles throughout Union County, the byway encourages visitors to explore historic homes, covered bridges, farmland and nature preserves. A self-guided road trip along the Big Darby Plains Scenic Byway is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon exploring some of Union County’s historical places and most picturesque landscapes.
Underground Railroad History
In the 1830’s, Union County and its neighboring counties, Logan and Champaign formed an important hub of West Central Ohio routes on the Underground Railroad. Underground Railroad historic sites located in Union County include: the Cyprian Lee home, Samuel Cherry Home Site, New School Presbyterian Church and the Kinney Barn Site. For more information and a map of all the Underground Railroad sites in West Central Ohio, download this map.
Union County Historical Sites
Established in 1820, Union County has nearly two hundred years of history waiting to be explored. From historic homes, covered bridges, churches and monuments, history buffs will have a fun weekend learning more about Union County’s historical places. Start at the Union County and Plain City Historical Societies and then peruse the county for the 20 Ohio Historical Markers.
Explore Uptown Marysville
Marysville Historic Uptown District is home to numerous commercial buildings, churches and homes built in the mid-1800’s. Take a self-guided walking tour and marvel at the unique architecture and vintage signage. The historic buildings have gotten a facelift and are now home to locally owned businesses. You’ll find plenty of fun things to do in Marysville, Ohio!
Shop till you drop at one of Uptown Marysville’s locally owned boutiques, shops and antique stores. Betsey’s Boutique, Kendall & Blue, Little Blue Boutique, Plumm Home and Uptown Antiques offers shoppers clothing, home décor, antiques and unique gifts. Be sure to stop in Union Station 1820, home to Union County’s Welcome Center, offering unique local and Ohio made products, it’s the perfect place to pick up a one-of-a-kind souvenir and gifts.
Union Station 1820
All of the walking and shopping in Uptown Marysville will make you thirsty, Soda Pharm Apothecary will quench your thirst with unique sodas, teas and coffees. Owner Dawn is a nationally recognized ethnobotanist specializing in natural health remedies. Soda Pharm Apothecary offers handmade herbal sodas, teas and coffees made from traditional herbal recipes and locally sourced ingredients. When ordering a drink, you’ll learn about the herbal healing properties and taste the freshness of the delicious flavors.
Soda Pharm details:
Address: 123 North Main Street, Marysville, Ohio 43040
On the way out of Marysville, stop by Kitschen Bakery for a sweet homemade treat. Kitschen bakery is a roadside farm market selling homemade baked goods, jams and jellies, produce and cut flowers. Owner Katy only uses fresh, seasonal local ingredients to create her yummy treats. We loved her Whole Wheat Bourbon Dark Chocolate Chunk cookies and Whole Wheat Snickerdoodle cookies.
Kitschen Bakery details:
Address: 22102 State Route 739 Raymond, OH 43067
Honda Heritage Center
Honda Manufacturing of North America, Inc., made its home in Union County in 1979. The Honda Heritage Center showcases Honda’s history and innovation and highlights the company’s success in Ohio and in North America. The Honda Heritage Center contains vintage Honda vehicles, state-of-the-art new vehicles, Honda racing technology and more exhibits presenting Honda’s innovation.
Address: 24025 Honda Parkway, Marysville, Ohio 43040
Village of Plain City
The quaint village of Plain City is home to cute boutiques and shops in historical buildings. Shop at Willow & Twine, Anchored Arrow, Carlisle Gifts, Main Street Treasures and Tique-Tock for home décor, antiques and unique gifts.
The only professionally approved bat maker in Ohio, Phoenix Bats makes their wooden bats on site using the most advanced bat-making machine in the world. Visitors can tour the factory to see first-hand how the bats are crafted from rock maple, yellow birch and northern white ash woods.
Address: 7801 Corporate Blvd, Suite E, Plain City, Ohio 43064
Wineries & Breweries
Union County is home to five wineries, each offering unique Ohio wines. Not a big fan of wine? Try a few, you may be surprised and find a blend that you like. But don’t worry, there’s more than wine to be had at these wineries in Union County. Dalton Union Winery offers craft beer and Bokes Creek Winery offers shwine (Brandy-fortified wine). During my visit to Union County, I visited these two wineries:
Dalton Union Winery & Brewery
After producing homemade wine, sharing it with friends and receiving positive accolades, Dale and Tonya opened Dalton Union Winery in 2015. Offering nearly twenty varieties of Ohio wines in addition to meads, ciders and craft beer, Dalton Union will surely have something to satisfy your palate! My favorites at Dalton Union Winery are Covered Bridge Red wine and 43040 craft beer.
Address: 21100 Shirk Road, Marysville, OH 43040
Bokes Creek Winery
After finding wild fruit growing on the property, owners Mike and Diane started making fruit wines. Bokes Creek Winery (named for a stream running adjacent to the property) opened in 2011 and serves award-winning Ohio wines and shwine (Brandy-fortified wine). My favorites at Bokes Creek Winery are Concord Chorus wine and Blackberry Shwine.
Address: 26211 State Route 31, Raymond, OH 43067
Union County has a thriving agriculture industry (more than 70 % of the county’s acreage is farmland) and it’s showcased throughout the county at unique agritourism venues. Pick your own fruits, sample fresh honey, take a hayride, pet farm animals and learn more about the county’s and Ohio’s agriculture.
Dutch Mill Greenhouse-Leo Berbee Bulb Company
The family owned and operated Leo Berbee Bulb Company has sold and shipped bulbs and perennials all over the world since 1972. Some of their bulbs can be seen at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, U.S. Botanic Garden, The Pentagon and the National Parks Service. Visitors can shop for seasonal plants, bulbs and perennials at their retail location, Dutch Mill Greenhouse. I picked up dozens of crocus, hyacinth and tulip bulbs to plant this fall for spring blooms.
Address: 18443 OH-4, Marysville, Ohio 43040
The MAiZE at Little Darby Creek
The 125-acre farm welcomes visitors to experience country life during the summer and fall. Summer offers u-pick berries and fall brings lots of family fun. From laser tag to dodgeball, shooting corn cannons and pumpkin blasters, hayride around the farm to petting baby farm animals, there’s a full day of fall farm fun to be had. The highlight of your visit will be finding your way around the 9-acre corn maze, this year the maze honors the 50th anniversary of the moon walk.
Address: 8657 Axe Handle Rd, Milford Center OH 43045
Other great places to experience agritourism in Union County:
Outdoor Adventures in Union County
For outdoor adventure travelers, there are plenty of things to do in Union County. With several golf courses and more than twenty parks and adventure trails, you’ll have a fun weekend exploring Union County’s natural landscapes.
Here are just a few outdoor activities to enjoy in Union County:
- North Lewisburg Multi-Purpose Trail- 1.9-mile trail perfect for walking, bicycling and bird watching.
- Glacier Ridge Metro Park– 1,037-acre park features nearly 12 miles of trails and a 25-foot observation tower overlooking the Honda Wetlands Area which is great for bird watching. Glacier Ridge is one of my favorite metro parks in Central Ohio!
- Milford Center Prairie State Nature Preserve– 9 acres with a 1.5-mile trail and excellent for summer prairie wildflower viewing.
Where to Eat & Drink in Union County, Ohio
Address: 326 E 5th St., Marysville, OH 43040
House of Spirits
Address: 318 E. Fifth St., Marysville, OH 43040
Craft Cocktails at House of Spirits
Address: 968 Columbus Ave., Marysville, OH 43040
Fifth Street Cafe
Address: 117 E 5th St., Marysville, OH 43040
Red Shed BBQ
Address: 1170 Columbus Ave., Marysville, OH 43040
Address:123 North Main Street, Marysville, Ohio 43040
Address: 22102 State Route 739 Raymond, OH 43067
Der Dutchman Restaurant
Address: 445 S Jefferson Ave., Plain City, OH 43064
Bluescreek Meats & Market
Address: 8120 US Rt. 42, Plain City, OH 43064
Lunch at Bluescreek Meats & Market
Magnetic Springs Café
Address: 54 S Main St., Magnetic Springs, OH 43036
A special thanks to the Union County Convention & Visitors Bureau and TourismOhio for a wonderful visit to Union County, Ohio! I was an invited guest of Union County Convention & Visitors Bureau and TourismOhio. As always on Ohio Girl Travels, opinions are my own.