6 Best Small Cities To Pay a visit to Alongside The Ohio River

All through this past calendar year, I was compelled out of my typical travel routines and discovered myself in my car highway-tripping during the Midwest. One particular day, I uncovered myself driving the gorgeous Ohio River Scenic Byway, and I was taken by shock by the extraordinary stops along my way. My blinker seemed to be on every couple minutes as I pulled off the road to acquire in the small-town charm that appeared to meet me at just about every mile marker.

1. Steubenville

When I arrived into Steubenville, I was astonished by all the plentiful record and charm this very little city experienced. Settlers moved into this area, regarded as the Seven Ranges, in 1786, soon after a fort was constructed alongside the banking institutions of the Ohio River, and it is a single of the oldest towns in the state. 

You will want to spend the day examining out Historic Fort Stueben, which is open from Might to October. Why was a fort crafted in Steubenville? The shorter respond to is that the Continental Congress sent the Initially American Regiment below to fortify their defenses along the Ohio River, which triggered this to develop into the gateway to the West. You will discover by yourself pulled into the interesting specifics about the fort, the magnificence of the garden, and the ongoing archeology of the fort grounds. 

Steubenville has 21 painted murals, every single one is precise to this region, and they convey to the heritage of the city in art type. Get a generate all-around city to find them and snap some images!

Professional Suggestion: Take a look at at Christmas when the town is dressed up for the Steubenville Nutcracker Village. In this article you will obtain nutcrackers shown throughout Fort Steuben Park and the Historic Organization District. I like that each 6-foot nutcracker is 100 p.c produced in Steubenville by Nelson’s, developed to stand tall and welcome in the festive getaway spirit.

2. Sardis

Coming into Sardis seemed uneventful, but I observed this small indication that explained Take in at Marv’s, and I considered, What the heck? Let’s do it! I am so glad I did. A team of siblings owns Marv’s Location, and they renovated this creating that was built in 1894. If this making could communicate, it would convey to you all about the adventures it has had, from becoming a office shop to a shirt manufacturing facility, then an assembly issue for Design A Fords, a casket factory, an condominium creating, a pool room…and now, Marv’s Place. Marv’s is truly an acronym for Marvin’s Getting old Relative Enterprise, and that really should convey to you about the exciting and laughter I shared with the proprietor as she expressed her like of this location with me! Just after your wander again in time at Marv’s, make certain to visit the Outdated Sardis City Pump positioned in the middle of the road in a pavilion. You can nevertheless fill your drinking water bottle up with the chilly refreshing water as the locals do. Prior to I remaining Sardis, they had instructed me to drive up to the cemetery to check out out the views of the Ohio River. I was not unhappy and sat there a very long time looking at the boats and the setting sunlight. 

Professional Suggestion: Locals get in touch with the watch from the cemetery The Prolonged Arrive at of the Ohio River.

Wendy van Overstreet / Shutterstock.com

3. Marietta

Proven in 1788, Marietta is the oldest metropolis in the state of Ohio and the 1st formal American settlement territory north and west of the Ohio River. This Riverboat town is the concealed gem of Ohio, and it can take a number of days to see it all. When I occur to Marietta, I take pleasure in remaining at the Historic Lafayette Resort for the reason that the views from this spot are unbeatable. I appreciate sensation the deep background that emanates from each individual corner of the constructing. Consider a stroll down the street to enjoy the wonderful dining and searching opportunities proper exterior the hotel’s entrance doorway. Of all the smaller towns together the river, Marietta is the foodie’s aspiration! You can not appear listed here with out owning evening meal at Austyn’s or a beer from the Marietta Brewing Organization.

In the course of your stay in Marietta, knowledge a trip on the Valley Gem Sternwheeler, tour the Campus Martius Museum, and wander again into historical past on Blennerhassett Island Point out Historical Park

Pro Suggestion: Stop by Marietta in September all through the Ohio River Sternwheeler Competition to see the Ohio River alive with sternwheelers and barge exercise.

downtown storefronts in Main Street in Gallipolis, Ohio
Wendy van Overstreet / Shutterstock.com

4. Gallipolis

Locating Gallipolis on my street journey together the Ohio River was just one of its highlights. Driving experienced my eyes weary, so when I saw the swings situated alongside the river surrounded by gorgeous flowers, I had to pull into the closest parking place to get out and enjoy the sights of the river. I encourage you to make time to do the same. I can not set into phrases the tranquility that this wonderful minute on the river brought to me.

Following relaxing for a bit, make time to take a look at the centre of city and check out Gallipolis City Park. In just the park, you will obtain a few historical markers, the Spirit of the American Dough Boy, an previous-model bandstand, and the Kerr Memorial Fountain. Just before leaving town, check out Our Dwelling Tavern, the place historical past will come alive as the interpreters share about this historic tavern and inn. Open Memorial Day by way of Labor Day by appointment only. 

5. Portsmouth

This small town packs a whole lot of punch when it arrives to avenue artwork. In 1992, artist Robert Dafford assisted switch a 2,000-foot concrete floodwall together the Ohio River into an outdoor artwork gallery depicting the historical past of Portsmouth. This is a person of the world’s solitary most significant murals! With background abounding, you can invest the complete afternoon searching in the antique outlets, checking out the historic properties, or making the most of a stroll alongside the river.

Soon after you tour the murals, choose a slight turn off the river to Shawnee State Park and Lodge. In this article in the tranquility of the so-identified as Tiny Smokies, you can get absent from it all and soak in character. You can appreciate the hike on some trails and keep at the lodge right before leaving this minor slice of heaven.

Professional Idea: Handle your self to the Tecumseh Outdoor Drama VIP experience! It’s the fantastic evening activity although staying in the place.

overhead view of small town Ripley, Ohio next to Ohio River
Corey B Stevens / Shutterstock.com

6. Ripley

I’ll admit, I have saved the ideal for last. Ripley has every thing you seem for in small-town attraction and a lot of history way too! As with any tiny city you generate into, you imagine you have found it all as you whizz by on the main avenue having said that, it is only when you convert off on to the facet streets that you discover the hidden treasures. I stopped at the Olde Piano Antique Mall, wherever I received a heat southern Ohio welcome. The ladies operating the counter shared all the town heritage they could ahead of I set off to discover.

You’ll want to push N. Front Avenue. It is lined with historic households, manicured lawns, and sites to stroll together the river’s edge. It was like a little something out of a Norman Rockwell portray. Like several tiny cities together the Ohio River, this city is comprehensive of small museums highlighting matters that built significant impacts on American history. I advocate you make time to see The Rankin Home and the John Parker Dwelling. John Parker, a freed slave, aided hundreds to freedom throughout the Ohio River. It causes one to pause and consider of the passages of freedom seekers that arrived by way of its doorways.

Professional Idea: Just after you tour the Rankin and Parker properties, make sure to prevent in Cincinnati to stop by the Underground Railroad Liberty Centre to proceed studying about Ohio’s historical past.

The Ohio River operates together the southern border of Ohio, and the way is dotted with modest unnamed patches of adventure. With so many options, you could locate by yourself camping at Leith Operate Leisure Location, fishing off the river’s shores, or acquiring a minimal pull-off so you can appreciate a mountaineering path in Wayne Nationwide Forest. 

It is not just the smaller towns and issues to do right here it is the individuals of this Appalachian location that hold me coming back again. They are generally all set to give you their favourite concealed places to take a look at, share their go-to dining places, and present a encouraging hand need to you need to have it. After you arrive to southern Ohio for a pay a visit to, you will continue to keep coming back again for a lot more of the Ohio River.