When we found ourselves child-free Mother’s Day weekend I immediately knew a road trip for some exploration was in order, Happy Mother’s Day to me! Why I didn’t think of it right away, I’m not sure because it has been on my list of ‘things to do,’ for over a year. But Facebook friends quickly reminded me of my desire’s to explore Yellow Springs, Ohio. I quickly deemed it, “The Search for Dave Chapelle,” mostly so Manfriend thought there was a chance this trip could be cool. Sadly, no Dave sightings to report, and Manfriend still thoroughly enjoyed his day.
It was a gorgeous Saturday, the sun was shinning, it was hot and the city of Yellow Springs was bustling with activity. I was actually surprised how fast we reached Yellow Springs from Columbus. I wouldn’t even say a full hour of Ohio farm country passed before we arrived in town. I wanted to get a good feel for the quaint downtown, get some hiking in and of course graze our way through all of the local food and drink.
I had a full list of things to do and see, because I’m not an early riser when I’m child-free and have never been early anywhere in my life, we didn’t pull into Yellow Springs until about one in the afternoon. It’s easy to spend an entire day getting lost in Yellow Springs, I didn’t look into it but I bet there are adorable places to spend the night and extend your stay.
An authentic downtown with an eclectic assortment of shops, galleries and restaurants. Watch buskers perform, enjoy a gallery opening or have a leisurely lunch at a sidewalk cafe. Colorful people, colorful buildings and exciting events make visiting Yellow Springs a must do in Ohio.
I’m going to take you through our day in pictures and at the end I will link everything and include full lists of where to shop, what to eat and where to explore when visiting Yellow Springs, Ohio.
When we pulled into town, I had a hungry Manfriend who needed to be fed pronto.
I was planning on eating at Sunrise Cafe, a spot I had heard good things about but we found a parking spot right in town and not knowing where Sunrise was actually located, I made an executive decision and we walked into Aleta’s Cafe looking to fill our bellies.
A restaurant in the heart of downtown Yellow Springs, Aleta’s reminded me of a hobbit house surrounded by a garden oasis.
I of course asked if I could see the alcoholic beverage menu and was quickly informed that they didn’t serve alcohol, but it was BYOB and if I wanted to run next door and grab something, I could! I had the sneaking suspicion anyone who walks through the door is treated like family and this food would be local and fresh.
The garden seating was so serene.
We ordered the humus to start. I had seen on the menu where they made all of their naan in-house and I knew I had to try some. The humus confirmed my suspicions about the food being local and fresh. The humus was stocked with flavor from seasonal vegetables.
And as I also suspected the naan was literally to die for.
The caprese was also delicious, the mozzarella was melt in your mouth.
We split the Italian Panini and it was divine! Complete sandwich perfection. With a side of huge, fresh asparagus, I no longer had a hungry Manfriend on my hand.
The sandwich and naan were my favorite parts and I would go back to get a naan made pizza. I highly recommend Aleta’s, just remember to BYOB.
After lunch we perused downtown. Every corner was alive with street vendors, locals, visitors, people playing music and one colorfully dressed man who popped in and out of stores and everybody knew by name.
I didn’t catch his name but he seemed to be more popular than Dave Chapelle in Yellow Springs.
Built in 1847 this spot was on the top of my list of places to grab a pint at, unfortunately it was closed for construction updates. Dubbed Ohio’s oldest tavern, I’ve read that it was a part of the underground railroad and is known to be haunted.
Our watering hole for the day was Peaches Bar & Grill.
Mostly because they had Foosball in the back for the boys to play, the wait was no shorter than an hour every time we walked by, so it seemed to be a favorite of the locals as well. We did order a few appetizers that were superb bar food.
I love doing life’s adventures with this guy!
After some food & drink we headed to do some hiking. Nothing too strenuous because I was pretty focused on the brewery and winery by that point.
The legacy of alumnus Hugh Taylor Birch, who, in 1929, donated the wooded glen to Antioch College in memory of his daughter, Helen. Now encompassing 1000 acres, all accessible from a 25-mile network of footpaths providing views of spectacular wildflowers, 400 year-old trees, limestone cliffs with waterfalls and overhangs, and the beautiful yellow spring for which the town is named.
We found this marker in the middle of the woods, wayyy off the beaten path. We kind of thought it was odd that it wasn’t at the entrance to the park or on the path but it just shows the growth and change the park has probably seen through the years.
As I mentioned the hiking didn’t get strenuous. After a couple small waterfalls we called it quits and headed for the booze portion of the day. The S & G Distillery is right next to Yellow Springs Brewery unfortunately it was also closed while we were there but it looked pretty cool!
My very favorite part of the day, no surprise was the Yellow Springs Brewery, set right along the Little Miami Scenic Trail.
When we were sitting on the patio and people were frequently riding by and riding up from the trail, it became apparent to me that Yellow Springs could use two or three breweries along the Little Miami Scenic Trail. The place was packed.
The Flying Pepper, a local, Mexican food truck.
There really is nothing better than having a friend you can do awesome stuff with but who also gets the reason you need to photograph your food, that sign and everything else in between.
A homebrewer and a potter decided to start a small town microbrewery back in 2013. The husband-wife duo of Nate Cornett and Lisa Wolters knew what they liked — good beer, interesting art and their funky hometown of Yellow Springs — and thought others might too. Yellow Springs Brewery became a synergy of all three — a true community brewery for villagers and visitors alike, an intimate art gallery displaying eclectic work and, most importantly, a haven for seasoned beer lovers as well as the craft beer curious.
People responded immediately. Since then, Yellow Springs Brewery hasn’t been able to brew fast enough. Customers praise the brewery’s well-balanced beers, ever-changing taps and bold takes on familiar styles. Patrons love the art-filled taproom just a few blocks from downtown Yellow Springs along the Little Miami Bike Trail and sited in a historic 19th-century industrial building that once housed a cannery and seed company.
305 N. Walnut St.
Yellow Springs, OH 45387
There’s really nothing I love more than beer, chips and dip and just plain potato chips. So we were pretty much slaying it at Yellow Springs Brewery.
It was great beer! Again, I would love to see a time when that brewery is not slammed wall-to-wall.
Our #1 Guys
Had the best day twirling around Yellow Springs.
There is so much to see, do, eat and explore in Yellow Springs, I cannot wait to go back! Two things I will definitely do upon returning are the Clifton Gorge hike as well as checking out the Clifton Mill, I heard great things about both from some locals, and I love a good recommendation. Another trend I noticed when researching the town, is that there are several covered bridges in the Yellow Springs area and I have never seen one, gasp! So it is also on the top of my list to take a little day trip to photograph some of Ohio’s treasured covered bridges this summer. It’s always nice when a brewery and a covered bridge coincide, just saying priorities and stuff.
I’ve included ideas and links below on eating, drink and exploring all things Yellow Springs, Ohio.
Eating & Drinking
Dona Margarota’s Mexican Grill
S & G Artisan Distillery
Emporium Wines & Underdog Cafe
Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve