If you want to escape to simpler times, Coshocton, Ohio is quintessential small town America. Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, the town is a three-hour drive from Cincinnati. It also happens to be where my family hails from—my grandfather was born and raised there, as was his father, his father’s father, and all the way back to my great-great-great-great-great grandfather who built his first home in Coshocton, which still stands today. But even without the family ties, I’ve always found this place to be a charming escape from the likes of rush hour interstate traffic.
There are three types of travelers in the world: the hotel-only vacationers, the happy campers, and those who fall somewhere in between. Coshocton has something for all three. Coshocton Village Inn and Suites offers the standard complimentary breakfast (waffle-maker included), indoor pool, on-site fitness center, and free Wi-Fi. For a simpler, homey lodging experience, Apple Butter Inn Bed and Breakfast, which overlooks Roscoe Village, has four guest rooms and a private carriage house. There’s also Coshocton Lake Park Recreational Complex, a full-service campground that includes an aquatic center, hiking trails, and bike rentals. And, for the travelers who fall somewhere in between, Coshocton offers a variety of cabin rentals surrounded by woods but with all the amenities a hotel provides.
Where To Eat
Craving Panera or Chipotle? You won’t find them in Coshocton, but now’s your chance to support family-owned and locally sourced restaurants. For a sweet, quick breakfast, try Hannah Marie’s Specialty Bakery and Coffee Shop, which is known for its crumb cake. And trust us, Hannah knows what she’s doing. Before opening her own store, Hannah Marie worked for a bakery that was featured on Cupcake Wars.
The town boasts a variety of places where you can get a burger, but Earl’s Dari Drive-In specializes in shredded-chicken sandwiches, which pairs deliciously with a scoop of their hand-dipped ice cream. But, if you’re really craving a burger, take the 15-minute drive outside of town to Unusual Junction. The complex is home to a general store with Amish cheeses, deli meats, and mustards; a bridal and prom superstore with thousands of gown selections; and Lava Rock Grill, where you can get a juicy burger that’s char-grilled over lava rocks. To top it off, the restaurant is home to the original Bob Parker Price Is Right sign.
For a more traditional dining spot, English Ivy, a house-turned-restaurant in the heart of town, offers soups, salads, and sandwiches at lunch and seafood and steak at dinner. The restaurant also has a tearoom for an afternoon high tea.
Coshocton has a variety of fairs and festivals year round. In the fall, main events include the County Fair from Sept. 28–Oct. 4 and the Annual Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival from Oct. 19–21. The county fair is your typical small-town fair (don’t sleep on the deep-fried candy bars), while the apple butter festival, which takes place in Roscoe Village, includes haunted walking tours, canal boat rides, and, of course, kettles of fresh apple butter. During the festival’s offseason, Roscoe Village is a must-see old-fashion shopping center. The village is a restored 1830s canal town that now houses a variety of boutiques, restaurants, a leather store, a general store, and a candy store for the kids. Around the corner, Clary Gardens offers a half-mile looped hike through the woods for a quick nature fix. Since you are in small-town America, check out Annin Flagmakers—the largest American flag manufacturer in the country. While they don’t offer tours due to safety reasons, Roscoe Village has an Annin Flagmakers Showroom, where you can admire and purchase Annin flags. After an action-packed day, unwind at one of Coshocton’s nine area wineries and breweries. To really unwind, check out the Three Rivers Wine Trail, which includes six wineries, two breweries, and a distillery, all within driving distance of each other.
Side Trip: Longaberger Basket Building
This one’s for all you wannabe architects, picnic enthusiasts, or, really, anyone who is curious to see what a basket-shaped building is like.
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Built in 1997, as the headquarters for the Longaberger Company is a seven-story replica of a Longaberger basket. The building was recently sold to Coon Restoration, a company specializing in restoring and renovating old buildings for new uses. While its new use is still to be determined, you can see the basket-shaped building from State Route 16 as you drive toward Coshocton. Make sure you have your camera ready!