Sometimes I feel like Ohio shuts down during the winter months. Many of the smaller museums and attractions offer seasonal hours, closing completely or with reduced winter hours that don’t mesh with my schedule. But my husband and I prefer to stay close to home in case of inclement weather, planning our out-of-state trips other times of the year. That leaves me in search of things to do in Ohio.
Last year, we discovered the small town charm of Wilmington in Clinton County. A short, two-hour drive from our home, this small southwestern community offers several attractions worth checking out no matter the season.
Things to do in Clinton County
During any month of the year, I’d suggest a stroll down Main Street in Wilmington. You’ll find murals, the historic Murphy Theater, and fun shops and restaurants.
The Main Street Mural depicts an indoor farmer’s market and hot air balloon launch that took place on the corner of Main and Walnut Streets. This 1,600 square foot mural was painted by artist, Jason Morgan of Yellow Springs. Morgan, who has painted a garden mural in town as well, also recently completed a commemorative mural celebrating the agricultural heritage and history of Clinton County for their 150th anniversary.
Bookworms will appreciate the Little Library in Wilmington, one in a growing trend throughout the US, where visitors are encouraged to swap books in these tiny little buildings found in parks and public areas.
The historic Murphy Theater has recently undergone extensive renovations to restore it to its original splendor in time for its 100th birthday celebration in 2018. The staff and dedicated volunteers at the theater offer tours on several topics, including one that highlights the history of the theater and its interesting connection to President Taft. Schedule a tour to learn why this property was once the finest theater in Ohio.
The Clinton County Courthouse is gorgeous inside and out. During business hours, you can pop in and take a look at the interior, or join a free guided tour that highlights the unique architectural elements of the building, as well as the intriguing history.
Off the main drag, you’ll find the three-story 1890’s era grist mill turned antique store which is the largest in the area. The Shoppes at the Old Mill offers a vast selection of wares from over twenty dealers. Also located within the mill is Home Again II, a gift shop featuring country home decor items and smells heavenly!
The Quaker Heritage Center located on the Wilmington College campus offers visitors a glimpse into the Quaker or “Friends” way of life. The center features displays planned by the students’, visiting exhibits, and a traditional Quaker meeting house.
If you don’t mind traversing some of the back roads, grab a carryout lunch from General Denver Pub and enjoy a drive through the countryside to view the Clinton County Barn Quilt Trail. This community project spanned the length of a year and resulted in 52 unique quilts displayed on area barns.
Clinton County also hosts events throughout the year. You can find more information at their EVENTS page.