Located in Northeast Ohio, the charmingly rural Wayne County welcomes visitors to the “Gateway to Amish Country.” Although the Amish communities are an area highlight, several unique communities (Orrville, Smithville, Dalton, Kidron, Apple Creek and a few others) along with the county seat of Wooster, welcomes visitors to stroll their charming streets, shop at locally owned small businesses, peruse local art museums, learn and preserve Ohio’s history, indulge in delicious locally crafted meals, sip on delightful Ohio wines and enjoy the appeal of a laid-back Midwestern getaway! While you could just stay in the charming town of Wooster for your weekend getaway, I would recommend exploring all of Wayne County! A visit to Wooster and Wayne County makes for a welcoming Ohio getaway, here is my weekend getaway guide showcasing where to stay, what to do, where to eat and drink, where to shop and where to explore the outdoors in Wooster and Wayne County, Ohio!
Getting to Wooster/Wayne County:
Weekend getaways are also the perfect short road trips! What better way to see all of Ohio’s natural beauty than to drive to your Ohio destination? Getting to Wooster/Wayne County from various Ohio cities is an easy drive from:
*Columbus ~ 96 Miles *Cleveland ~ 61 Miles
*Cincinnati~ 202 Miles *Toledo~ 118 Miles *Athens~ 167 Miles
Where to Stay:
From chain hotels to cabins, bed and breakfasts and a boutique hotel, Wooster has plenty of options for your weekend getaway! During my trip to Wooster, I stayed at the modern boutique hotel, St. Paul Hotel in the heart of Downtown Wooster.
The stylishly contemporary St. Paul Hotel welcomes visitors to relax and unwind in a restored historical building with sleek and modern updates. The lobby houses the original restored tin ceiling, a historical stained-glass window with the inscription “St. Paul O.P.N” and modern furnishings.
Guest rooms are warm and inviting with exposed brick walls, modern black walnut furnishings crafted locally at the Schantz Organ Company, refrigerator/coffee bar and luxurious bathrooms. Each bathroom has Italian tile and heated (85°F) floors and three water sources in the shower (a rainforest shower head, a wall mount and hand held wand). I’m not going to lie, I turned on all three water sources at once and enjoyed a luxuriously long shower!
Complimentary, personalized continental breakfast is hand delivered to your room each morning. I enjoyed breakfast in bed with a cup of tea and a delicious lemon crumb muffin (made locally at the Pine Tree Barn). After a good night’s rest, breakfast in bed was the perfect start to the morning!
A stay at the St. Paul hotel will make you think you are in a bustling city like Chicago or New York, when in fact you are in the heart of Wayne County! To book your stay at the St. Paul Hotel, please visit www.stpaulhotelwooster.com.
What to do:
Wooster and Wayne County will provide plenty of things to do during your weekend getaway. From strolling the streets of Main Street Wooster, exploring the surrounding country roads and small towns of Wayne County, shopping at local shops and boutiques or eating your way through the numerous restaurants of Wooster and Wayne County, you might find that you need more than one weekend to accomplish your “must-see & do list” in Wooster/Wayne County!
~Explore Wayne County’s Amish Communities. Known as the “Gateway to Amish Country,” Wayne County has several Amish communities and it’s not uncommon to see horse-drawn buggies parked outside local businesses or driving along on Wayne County’s country roads.
~Cruise the Lincoln Highway Historic Byway. Designated by red, white and blue signs, the route follows the original 241 mile Ohio 1928 alignment that stretched from New York City to San Francisco. The Lincoln Highway opened auto travel to the western portion of the country in the early 20th century.
~Visit P. Graham Dunn Factory Store. Located in Dalton, the 20,000-sq. ft. factory store has inspirational art, home décor and gifts. Visitors can also engrave a personalized gift or take a factory tour.
~Visit the J.M. Smucker Company Store and Café. Located in Orrville, the store showcases the company’s brands like Smucker’s, JiF, Pillsbury, Crisco, Folgers and many others. Shop for products and gifts, grab a snack at the café and walk through the museum.
~ Visit the Pine Tree Barn. Located a short drive from Main Street Wooster, the Pine Tree Barn is an historic 1868 landmark barn, now home to 25,000-sq. ft. of home décor and furnishings, gifts, clothing boutique and year-round Christmas shop. Grab a bite to eat at the Granary Restaurant (in warmer weather, enjoy your meal on the back porch, you will be treated to gorgeous sweeping views of the Killbuck Valley) and make sure to take home a few of their “famous” lemon-crumb muffins (they are divine!). Along with the restaurant and shop, Pine Tree Barn boasts as one of Ohio’s oldest and largest Christmas Tree Farms, with over 150 acres and more than 100, 000 trees, you will surely find the perfect Christmas tree! A visit to the Pine Tree Barn is a must when visiting Wayne County!
~Stroll the streets of Downtown (Main Street) Wooster. With tree-lined streets, lovely restored architecture and numerous local restaurants and boutique shops, a stroll along the charming streets of Main Street Wooster will have you falling in love with the charms of small-town Ohio!
Arts, Culture and History:
Arts & Culture: With the influence from community members and the College of Wooster, the importance of arts and culture in Wooster can be found throughout the town. Here are a few places you can enjoy arts and culture in Wayne County.
~ Wayne Center for the Arts. As the oldest and most comprehensive visual and performing arts organization in the area, the arts center has provided art and art education to locals for more than 40 years. Classes, workshops, exhibitions and performances are offered at the Wayne Center for the Arts.
~College of Wooster Art Museum. Located on The College of Wooster’s campus, the art museum houses nationally and internationally recognized contemporary artists, faculty and student exhibitions and traveling art collections.
~The Ohio Light Opera. The world-renowned lyric theater company resides at Freedlander Theatre at The College of Wooster. Visitors are treated to a Professional Company performing operetta and musical theater from June through August.
History: Present Wayne County was carved out of the larger Wayne County of the Northwest Territory and named for the Revolutionary War Brigadier General Anthony Wayne. Wooster, the county seat, was established and named after General David Wooster, another Revolutionary War hero. With over 200 years of history, the stories made from Wayne County and Wooster’s past are preserved throughout the county.
~Wayne County Historical Society. The historical society houses a collection of historical artifacts that helps preserve the cultural heritage of the county.
~Smithville Community Historical Society. This historical society houses a Pioneer Village with 10 buildings built in the 1800’s and the Mishler Weaving Mill where visitors can watch 100-year-old looms in action.
~ Located in the quaint community of Orrville is the Orrville Historical Society, Orrville Railroad Museum and the Toy & Hobby Museum.
~Numerous other independent operated historical societies and museums are located throughout Wayne County, click here for a full list.
Where to Eat:
With plenty of food options for every type of foodie, Wooster and Wayne County will surprise even the pickiest eater with delicious meals from local restaurants. From local flavors, farm-to-table dining, ethnic foods, coffee shops, bakeries and so much more, I spent most of my time eating my way through Wooster and Wayne County!
With lots of great food choices, I would suggest trying them all! The best way I have found to try everything is by sharing small plates at each restaurant. There are so many great locally owned restaurants in Wayne County, in fact, I think Wooster and Wayne County will be Ohio’s next best foodie haven! Let the list of awesome foodie options commence… 😉
~Bakeries and Coffee Shops (the best places to keep you caffeinated for exploring Wooster and Wayne County!): Quince Bakery & Café (located in Kidron), The Faithful Little Cupcake, Templeton’s Scottish Bakery & Coffee House, Tulipan Hungarian Pastry & Coffee Shop, The Gathering Grounds Coffee House and Sure House Coffee Roasting Co.
Quince Bakery & Cafe
~Restaurants: Dutch Kitchen Bakery, Olde Jaol Restaurant & Tavern, Bishop’s, Local Roots Market & Café, The Market Grill, The Henry Station Restaurant, TJ’s Trio, The Parlor Restaurant, Matsos Greek Family Restaurant, Shisler’s Cheese House (not a restaurant, but a great spot to grab local meats and cheeses), Omahoma Bob’s BBQ, Basil Asian Bistro, Spoon Market & Deli, Broken Rocks Café, Granary at the Pine Barn, Muddy Water’s Café and the City Square Steakhouse.
*The City Square Steakhouse has been listed on OpenTable Diner’s Choice as one of the Best Steakhouses in America! A well-deserved distinction for this unassuming quaint restaurant offering fine dining in the heart of downtown Wooster!
*Full disclosure, I didn’t eat at all the restaurants listed, but I sure as heck gave it my best shot! 🙂
Refreshing Libations and Nightlife:
With local bars, a brewery and several wineries, refreshing libations await those who like to end their day with a craft cocktail, local beer or glass of Ohio wine! There’s nothing better to wash down local foods than locally crafted beer and wines. Drink your favorite cocktail or beer and sample Ohio-made micro brews and wines, just remember to always drink responsibly and never drink and drive!
~Brewery: JAFB Brewing Company
Where to Shop:
Whether you are looking for accessories, antique and vintage finds, a unique gift, home décor or a new outfit, Main Street Wooster and Wayne County have a wide selection of local shops to choose from:
~Accessories/Gifts/Specialty Shops: Lucky Records, Motts Oil & More, Shisler’s Cheese House, Everything Rubbermaid Retail Store, MacKenzie’s Silver & Gold, P. Graham Dunn Factory Store, Lehman’s, Smucker’s Store and Café and the Wooster Book Company
~Clothing Boutiques: Blue Spruce Boutique
Blue Spruce Boutique
Northeastern Ohio has gorgeous natural landscapes. Wayne County is no exception, with local parks, gardens and nature trails, outdoor enthusiasts are sure to feel the invigorating spirit of the great outdoors! Whether hiking, camping, cycling or fishing, getting back to nature and exploring Ohio’s natural beauty is easy to do in Wayne County!
~Nature Preserves and Wildlife Areas: Barnes Preserve, Brown’s Lake Bog, Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area, Johnson Woods State Nature Preserve, Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area, Shreve Lake Wildlife Area and The Wilderness Center
With lush landscapes, art centers and performances, rich Ohio history, great local food scene and the “Gateway to Amish Country,” Wooster and Wayne County will delight your senses, entice your taste buds and share its community spirit with you, luring you back to explore more of its Ohio charms!
Who doesn’t need a weekend getaway every once in a while? Go ahead, plan your Ohio weekend getaway to Wooster and Wayne County, you deserve it! An Ohio weekend getaway is the perfect escape to drink, eat and shop local!
Need more ideas for your weekend escape to Wooster? Visit www.mainstreetwooster.org.
Looking for more things to do in Wayne County? Visit www.wccvb.com.
A special thanks to Main Street Wooster, Wayne County Convention & Visitors Bureau, St. Paul Hotel and Green Door Mediaworks. I was an invited guest of Main Street Wooster, Wayne County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Green Door Mediaworks. As always on Ohio Girl Travels, all opinions are my own!
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