I have to admit — I’m really loving this “Explore Ohio” series! Not only does it give me a chance to give ya’ll a virtual tour of my favorite places, but it’s a way of reminding myself exactly why I love living here. There is always somewhere new to explore — like these kid-friendly things to do in Amish country!

Well on my recent trip to Wayne County I spent a whole 24-hours in Wooster, Ohio. Wooster, pronounced Wuh-stir, is just 35-miles southwest of Akron — but, until recently, I had never been!

These were my honest thoughts of Wooster, prior to my visit: “It’s a place where people go to camp, right??” I’m not certain why I thought that, but I did.

Boy was I surprised!

Besides surprised, I was also very nervous because this trip to Wooster was an overnight — and would mean my very first overnight without Miss Bea. But upon check-in at the St. Paul Hotel, I completely ‘checked out’ from my children. No joke.

First of all, the St. Paul Hotel?? Gorgeous! Absolutely stunning. With 17, newly renovated rooms, this unique boutique hotel has culture written all over it!

Our room featured a luxurious king-sized bed amidst a rustic, rust-belt-chic setting. And the bathroom? Heated… freaking… floors! And a TV in the mirror, ya’ll!

And don’t even get me started on this shower! My only disappointment was that I couldn’t spend more time snuggled up in this bed. No joke. I mean, for us, we could have spent an entire week inside this hotel room! That’s how bad we needed a getaway!

Here are my other must-see spots in Wooster, Ohio!

Broken Rocks CafeFresh baked bread, exposed brick, delicious seasonal eats — what more could you want!? I had the chicken salad sandwich (which comes on amazing focaccia!) and a side of jojos. Jojos are basically seasoned + deep fried potato wedges. It’s a regional thing to call them jojos. I never understood it until I moved to Akron.

Chad had the Kung Pao Woodfired Pizza. It was amazing! The sauce was beautifully balanced with the crispy veggies and crust!

The Ohio Light Opera. This professional opera company is located on the Wooster College campus and features operettas and musical theater from June through August. They perform several shows a day, and several different shows at a time!

We happened to catch them during a rehearsal for Say Anything, and, even though we only caught about 30 minutes, I seriously could have stayed and watched them perform all day!

Our group was lucky enough to also go on a little backstage tour, where we saw so many people hard at work! Costume design, set design, and all of the props!

It was an amazing experience, and I have so much more respect for those who work in the theater industry! It’s clear they do it out of passion!

Faithful Little Cupcake. A bakery that specializes in all kinds of specialty cakes, but also sells cupcakes in their storefront, has a passion for ‘paying it forward.’ For every wedding cake sold, the bakers donate a birthday cake to a child that, otherwise, wouldn’t have one.

PS. Their cupcakes are the bomb. THE bomb.

Blue Spruce  Boutique. This boutique is life, y’all. I mean, imagine a smaller, more inexpensive version of Anthropologie + Magnolia combined into one! I could have spent hours and all of my bank account in this store! In fact, the next time I’m in the market for something fancy shmancy, I’m heading here!

Spoon Market. The small-town market of my dreams… We stopped here real quick for a drink at their bar before dinner. They have a full bar with craft beer on tap, craft beer in bottles, and make cocktails to order. The bar only seats about 10-14 people, but the market itself has tables lined up throughout.

The vibe is chill. Very, very, chill. A few of us decided to play a game of Cards Against Humanity (I mean, how can you not when the cards are just sitting there on the bar!?) and it was a blast.

The next day I came back to shop even more. They offer Jeni’s ice cream, a full deli, and eclectic wine selection. Basically, the perfect place to swing by and pick up a bottle of wine and some cheese before your next dinner party.

Tulipan Hungarian Pastry and Coffee Shop. Think of the most divine little coffee shop and pastry shop. This. This is it. The pastries and intricate, hand-painted cookies were not only beautiful to look at, but were some of the best flaky baked goods I’ve ever eaten.

We were tempted to come back the next morning for their chicken paprikash crepes, but we opted to sleep in instead!

Basil Asian Bistro. I’m a bit tough on Asian restaurants, but this one meets the cut 100%! They offer all kinds of sushi, traditional asian dishes, as well as thai dishes!

We may have tried a little bit of everything and this is what I can tell you:

1  You must try the dry ice martinis.

2  The calamari is the best I’ve ever had. Perfect amount of spices/salt/pepper and crunch!

3  My pad thai was on par with what I hold to very very snobbishly high pad thai standards. I can’t help it. I just really love pad thai! 😛

We were excited to hear that the owner of this restaurant also owns two more closer to us in Akron, so we’ll definitely be back to see him very very soon!

Sure House Coffee. On a whim I swung into this coffee shop near our hotel. I walked in and I totally knew it was my kind of coffee shop. With air plants on the wall and a limited menu (think pour overs, brewed coffee, and simple espresso combinations), I could tell the coffee would be fabulous. So I ordered a coconut milk latté to-go, but I so wish I could have stayed!

And I’m SO excited to hear that they are opening up a second location in the Northside District in Akron! Hooray! My dreams have come true!


Even though our kids were not with us on this trip to Wooster, there was not one single place on this trip that I wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing them along. And I just love finding new family-friendly day-trip destinations! I can’t wait to come back and explore more.


And now, a giveaway! That’s right – I’m hosting a giveaway for a $25 gift card to one of my favorite places to shop here in Ohio (and they do have a lot of locations elsewhere, too!) — Giant Eagle! Use the rafflecopter widget below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

 

Thank you to HER Realtors for sponsoring todays post and giveaway. As always, all opinions herein are my own!

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Corey | The Nostalgia Diaries July 14, 2017 at 10:57 am

I almost went to college in Wooster simply because I fell in love with that sweet town. Isn’t it just the best? And oh my goodness, that hotel is GORGEOUS! Glad you had a great time 🙂

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Julie July 14, 2017 at 3:33 pm

Born and raised here in Wooster. The town has come a long way. So proud.

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Rachel Ritlop July 14, 2017 at 7:43 pm

Wow it looks like you had a great time!

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Felicia @ The Starving Chef July 14, 2017 at 7:57 pm

We live in Medina and I sometimes work in Wooster – this gives me some ideas of places to go!

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Tabitha July 14, 2017 at 9:23 pm

Such a cool place that you stayed! I think exploring new cities is so much fun… and I’ve been doing the same around where we live too! 🙂 Great post girl!

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Jenn July 15, 2017 at 8:37 am

I used to go to Wooster with my grandpa! He was a painter and he only bought Wooster brushes. I haven’t been there in probably 20 years!

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Louise July 15, 2017 at 2:41 pm

Looks great! And love the commentary 🙂 x

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Stefanie July 16, 2017 at 1:35 pm

That hotel looks amazing! What a fun trip!

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Jessica Peresta July 16, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Ohio is one of the states I haven’t been to yet but definitely want to. What a cool trip!

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Jeffrey July 16, 2017 at 6:50 pm

My favorite family activity is hiking. Both my boys love to explore new places.

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Deanna July 17, 2017 at 1:04 pm

My favorite summer activity is going for ice cream!

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Amber Battishil July 17, 2017 at 2:09 pm

That hotel room!?! Amazing! And that food…yummy! This series is inspiring me to think about maybe road tripping south to explore Ohio more! Where in Ohio do you live?

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Kate @ GreatestEscapist.com July 17, 2017 at 4:58 pm

“Family friendly” has a different meaning for me since I don’t have kids – basically anything I’d do with my mom. 😉 Is that weird, at age 33?! Ha. Lately, she & I have been doing all kinds of fun stuff together. My favorite is to catch shows with her, from the orchestra to Billy Joel!

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Kate @ GreatestEscapist.com July 17, 2017 at 5:06 pm

PS: I think your Rafflecopter links to the wrong Giant Eagle!

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Rachel July 17, 2017 at 8:07 pm

OMG thank you!! Just fixed it – how embarrassing!

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Kate @ GreatestEscapist July 17, 2017 at 8:34 pm

The funniest part is that apparently I have some friends in common with that guy!

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Le @ Mom* July 17, 2017 at 6:17 pm

What a fun place to explore. I’ll have to add this to my list.

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Amy Bodnar July 18, 2017 at 8:24 pm

I have lived here my whole life and never once thought Wooster had so many neat things to do!! I want to plan a trip now! Thanks!!

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Stephanie Ball July 18, 2017 at 10:24 pm

Wooster has so much more than I knew. We are there tons in the winter for gymnastic meets. I can’t wait to look for a few of these places. Thank you!!
Favorite Family event – grilling out dinner and going for ice cream.

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Chrissanna R Krisch July 19, 2017 at 7:10 am

We love hiking!!!

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Brooke July 19, 2017 at 7:51 am

Tom grew up just outside of Wooster, yet we’ve never been to any of these places. Definitely great ideas for when we visit. We have done quite a bit further south in Holmes county, though.

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Katie Baer July 19, 2017 at 8:04 am

I’ve been really enjoying your Explore Ohio series. So many cool little places so close to home 🙂

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Tara Peterson July 20, 2017 at 6:14 pm

Super fun!!! That hotel look amazing!! ARen’t heated floors the coolest ever?! One of our friends has his master bathroom floors heated and it’s SO neat! Those restaurants look pretty delish also, looks like you guys had so much fun! I would say our favorite family friendly activities at the moment are either going to the swimming pool since it’s like 100 degrees right now, or our favorite indoor play place Kids Up. My boys LOVE to run around and play there and it wears them out so we all sleep good! LOl!

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Living in Color July 20, 2017 at 8:35 pm

Would love to visit Ohio someday ! Great guide!

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Rachel July 23, 2017 at 12:58 pm

I visited Wooster last year and am planning another trip this summer! There is so much to do and see!

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