When it comes to cool and interesting towns, there are a few places in Ohio that come to mind.
None however are as unique and unassuming as Yellow Springs. Named as one of the coolest small towns in America by the Matador Network, Yellow Springs is filled with art galleries, music shops, historic mills, and even a state park making it a terrific destination for your next day trip. Keep reading to learn more.
Nestled within Greene County in southwest Ohio, Yellow Springs lies just outside of Dayton and is a short drive away from Columbus and Cincinnati. The village is home to about 3,700 residents.
The history behind this small town is rather interesting. As described by Matador, "In an otherwise deeply conservative area, it remains a strange, countercultural, hippie-friendly town." That is due in part to the fact that Yellow Springs was originally founded by a group of idealist families as a utopian community back in the 1800s. Over the years, the village has become the center of activity for the Civil Rights Movement and various anti-war movements. Today, the village boasts the highest concentration of LGBTQ residents in Ohio.
There is a vibrant community to explore when you visit Yellow Springs. Their downtown area is filled with bakeries, cafes, breweries, and pizzerias. One of the town's most popular restaurants is Peach's Grill, an upbeat bar featuring an outdoor patio, live entertainment, burgers, and stylish cocktails. If you're looking for something a bit more low-key, try Sunrise Cafe. This colorful space is covered in hand-painted murals and offers plenty of outdoor seating.
There are also tons of outdoor attractions to explore within Yellow Springs. Be sure to check out the Glen Helen Nature Preserve on the south side of town. This historic park is filled with hiking trails, waterfalls, streams, and unique geological rock formations. A popular destination is the Yellow Spring landmark located within the park. You'll find this along the Little Miami Scenic Trail.
Just outside of town, there are a ton of scenic destinations including the historic Clifton Mill and expansive John Bryan State Park. You could easily spend an entire weekend and never run out of things to see or do.
For more information on Yellow Springs and all the amazing community events like their annual street fair, be sure to check out their official website here.