Destination: Yellow Springs 5

Something for Everyone in Charming Ohio Village

Summertime calls for a classic road trip—sunglasses on, windows rolled down and radio volume cranked up. Enjoy a one-hour ride through suburban landscapes that give way to rolling, rural back roads to make a stop in the village of Yellow Springs, Ohio.

The summer sidewalks of Yellow Springs are busy, but not over-crowded. If you visit on the right day, you are likely to encounter talented street musicians. Stroll from shop to shop along the beautiful tree-lined streets. Green space, flowering window boxes and beautiful gardens are abundant here. Artful benches and outdoor seating invite frequent rest stops.

People here look you in the eye and greet visitors with a smile. Residents are known for being creative, well-educated and open-minded. Yellow Springs has a strong community of diverse people. Locals are proud of their hometown and eager to engage in conversation and share their opinions. The walkable village center is lined with eclectic shops, art galleries and eateries.

Shop the Springs

A walk down Xenia Avenue is a feast for the eyes: brightly-colored, Victorian-style shop windows are filled with imported and locally produced goods. Doors of every color of the rainbow open to jewelry, toys, pottery, antiques and books. Find vintage, custom and international apparel in one of many specialty boutiques. There’s even a mom-and-pop hardware store in the center of town, Downing’s Do it Best Hardware. Yellow Springs is a shoppers’ paradise to mine the perfect wedding, birthday or just-because gifts.

Enjoy the Arts

Walking the streets of Yellow Springs is a gallery-like experience, with murals, mosaics, sculptures and other street art at every turn. Art in a variety of mediums is on display in multiple galleries. Fall in love with a work of art made from fabric, wood or glass. Stop by Yellow Springs Pottery, a retail cooperative, to see pieces by several ceramic artists all in one location. If film is more your style, you can count on a quality independent or foreign film on the screen at Little Art Theatre, a non-profit movie house. Live music is a staple at Peach’s Grill on weekends. Follow the sounds of music to open mic nights there on Tuesdays.

Get Some Fresh Air

Yellow Springs is surrounded by an outdoor recreation playground. Dip your toes in the town’s namesake Yellow Spring in Glen Helen Nature Preserve, a plot of protected land for hiking, birding and outdoor education. For only a $2 parking fee, you can wind through miles of trails in the Glen past natural springs, waterfalls, cliffs and rock formations. Get your heart pumping on the Little Miami Scenic Trail, a 78-mile path that runs through Yellow Springs. Sport enthusiasts that bike, hike and rollerblade on the paved route relish the peaceful views and wide, shaded paths. When you finish exploring, kick back with a cold microbrew at the popular Yellow Springs Brewery, conveniently located just off the trail.

Dine Out

Follow your nose to a Yellow Springs restaurant experience of your choice. Pull up a seat for breakfast, brunch or lunch on the vast porch at Ellie’s Restaurant & Bakery. Ellie’s is located in the new Mills Park Hotel and features comfort foods and homemade baked goods. For a romantic, fine dining experience that’s still casual, blow into the intimate Winds Café. Its cozy dining room calls for reservations. Current Cuisine offers a menu of gourmet delights from its deli and international grocery. Fresh salads, soups and sandwiches may be enjoyed onsite or on-the-go.

Save Room for Dessert

For an adventure for the whole family, don’t miss Young’s Jersey Dairy, just five minutes north on US-68. Young’s is a fully functioning dairy farm that has expanded into a complex of food and entertainment. Fresh, homemade ice cream is served here in oversized scoops in every flavor imaginable. Try a waffle cone of Cow Patty—double dark chocolate with cookie and toffee pieces and chocolate chips. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the farm animal petting zoo, miniature golf and seasonal farm activities on their full “Cowlendar of Events.”

If you decide to stay overnight, book one of the nearby historic bed-and-breakfasts, cabins or inns—most within walking distance of all of the action.

Yellow Springs is a colorful oasis in southern Ohio, well worth the short drive. Visit for a day or stick around for a long weekend; no matter how long you stay, Yellow Springs leaves you wanting to come back for more.