Let your stress melt away as you enjoy a few days in picturesque Carroll County. Located at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in East Central Ohio, Carroll County offers you small-town charm and those windy, rural routes that draw motorcycle and sports car enthusiasts. A short drive from Akron, Cleveland, Columbus or Pittsburgh, this community offers you a chance to retreat, relax and rejuvenate from the hustle and bustle of this technology-heavy world while enjoying its rolling hills and scenic vistas.
The public square of Carrollton is surrounded by small shops, including four antique stores that invite you to explore the past Wednesday through Saturday. Bud’s Farm Toys has both antique and new agriculture-related toys to add to your collection. Dotty’s Craft Center features primitive decorations to fill your home. The Carroll County Arts Center showcases local artists with displays, classes and a reception for the artist of the month held the fourth Friday of each month. You can purchase your favorite novelty candy and discover something new you just have to have at Ashton’s 5 and 10 Cent Store. While the creaky wood floors herald to yesteryear, the store offers fabric, gift items, hardware and items for The Ohio State University, John Deere and Coca-Cola collectors. A second store recently opened next door and focuses on candy-making supplies, cookie cutters and more. Take time to visit both stores; you won’t leave empty handed.
If you remember when your phone had a cord, then a visit to Ashton House Museum should be on your list. Located a few blocks from Carrollton’s Public Square, the former home of John and Evelyn Ashton showcases local history, specifically about area merchants, as well as retail business as a whole. The Ashtons opened their 5 and 10 cent store during the Great Depression and were avid collectors to such an extent that their collections allow the curator to change the displays annually. If you have visited the Ashton House Museum before, plan to visit it again and discover something new. While there, take a few moments to enjoy the gardens. Bursting with color, the gardens are filled with flowers and plants that are a feast for the eyes. Sit at the gazebo or on the patio and check out the decorations that bring the gardens to life.
While you are downtown, make a point to stop at the area’s oldest bakery, Betty Kay Bakery, and pick up some delicious brownies. There are several restaurants in the downtown for you to enjoy a meal. Donna’s Deli is a farm-to-fork restaurant featuring specialty sandwiches. The Virginia Restaurant and Archer’s Restaurant are homestyle diners, while The Depot Bar & Grille features burgers and pizza.
If you like to sit outside and enjoy nature, then you might like JB Chops, located at Bluebird Farm Park. The restaurant has an outside patio where you can enjoy your meal or you can sit inside the 1860s farmhouse. The menu features burgers, sandwiches and entrees and some of the best appetizers you have ever had. While at Bluebird Farm Park, you can visit Susie’s Museum of Childhood, a private collection of nearly 3,000 toys, dolls and Steiff animals. The cases are filled with toys you may remember from your childhood. There are also hiking trails throughout the grounds and gardens. During the summer, you can enjoy a concert at the amphitheater on Saturday evenings.
Civil-War history buffs will enjoy exploring the McCook House Civil War Museum, located at the top of Carrollton’s square. Built in the early 1800s by Maj. Daniel McCook, the museum features both local and regional history while focusing on the “Fighting McCooks.” McCook, his two brothers, sons and nephews fought in the Civil War and were known as the “Fighting McCooks.” Take a drive east on state route 39 to see a marker commemorating the skirmish between Union forces and Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan’s Raiders before he was ultimately captured.
Golfers can hit the links at Carroll County’s two golf courses. Featuring 18 holes of premium fairways, Carroll Meadows Golf Course is located just outside of Carrollton. In nearby Minerva, Great Trail Golf Course features 27 holes with rolling hills and beautiful views. Both courses take advantage of the region’s hills and valleys to create challenging greens.
Carroll County has two wineries for you to discover. Twigg Winery showcases wines made from fruits grown in orchards which have been in the family for seven generations. With Carroll County’s rolling hills serving as a backdrop to Twigg’s vineyards, you may think you are enjoying a glass of wine in Tuscany while sitting on the patio. At Al-Bi Winery, you can relax with a glass of wine and a view of Atwood Lake. Sit at the gazebo outside and see if you can spot the osprey which nests on the lake.
If you are in Carroll County on the second Friday of the month, then stop by Minerva’s Discover Downtown. The Market Street Art Spot celebrates a new artist each month with a reception and display of the artist’s work. The gallery showcases the work of its resident artists who work in a variety of mediums. Experience the talents of local musicians performing at Minerva Music Center. There is also a wine and beer tasting at Kishman’s IGA. While in Minerva, you can enjoy dinner at the Normandy Inn, Que Pasa Mexican Restaurant, the Hart Mansion, Grinder’s Restaurant, Holland’s Restaurant and Classic ’57 Restaurant. The store at Minerva Dairy is open during the day, giving you a chance to take home some of its cheese. The Natural Approach Farm Store gives you a chance to see an alpaca up close as you peruse its alpaca-fiber items and naturopathic products.
Come join us for some fun just a short drive from home. For information and a schedule of things to see and do in Carroll County, consult the website carrollcountyohio.com.
Carroll County Ohio Things To Do