Weekend Getaway Guide: Newark, Ohio

Beautiful Newark, Ohio and the surrounding small towns have a lot to offer for a variety of interests, which makes it a perfect destination for a weekend getaway! Whether you want to spend your days outside exploring and soaking up the lush landscape, wine and dine your way through the numerous bars and restaurants, or experience theaters and the local arts, you certainly won’t get bored. As my hometown, I’m so excited to share the parts of the city that make it great!

 

The Guide

 

Where to Stay:

 

Newark and the surrounding towns have a number of accommodations, for whatever traveling style. I’m always partial to AirBnB’s wherever I travel, and the area has some real hidden gems, most under $100/night! Welsh Hills Inn or Orchard House are great options for a real Bed & Breakfast experience, if that’s more your thing. Check out the Trout Club, Granville Inn or Buxton Inn for an upscale hotel stay, or try hotels like The Double Tree by Hilton, or Courtyard by Marriott for a more economical option. Since the area is nestled in lush, rolling hills, camping is always a fun choice for a weekend getaway, too!

 

How to Get Around:

 

Here’s the thing, if you’re used to having the luxury of public transportation or Uber to get around, throw those expectations out the window when visiting Newark. While Newark does have a small public bus route and Yellow Cab service, neither are very reliable or even available everyday. It’s best to stick with your own vehicle for this town, or a rented one.

The good news is that even with the town being a bit spread out, it doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to get from end to end, and traffic is incredibly light, so it makes for easy drives! Newark also offers a variety of well-maintained bike trails, allowing a more scenic route through the city, and there’s a lot within walking distance in the Downtown Newark and Downtown Granville areas.

 

What to Eat:

 

The best part of any weekend getaway? The food!

Downtown Newark offers a unique variety of locally-owned restaurants & bars, a few of my favorites being Moe’s Original Barbecue (you have to try their award-winning smoked wings), Elliot’s Wood Fired Kitchen & Tap (wood fired pizza…need I say more?), and The Bootlegger for a fun way to end the evening.

Some of my locally-owned Granville favorites are Broadway Pub, Snapshots Lounge, and Day Y Noche. And if breweries are more your thing, there are plenty of those to go around, too!

 

Where to Go:

 

From taking in the natural beauty of the landscapes or enjoying a night of arts and entertainment, it’s unlikely you’ll run out of things to do in Newark and surrounding areas during your stay.

For a fun outdoor adventure, I recommend checking out Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve (not pet friendly!), Dawes Arboretum, or Lake Hudson in Granville.

Rather enjoy the great outdoors on the golf course? There are lots to choose from!

 

Newark also has a growing nighttime entertainment scene, found in beautiful and historic venues like Thirty One West and The Midland Theatre.

If you happen to be visiting during the summer, do not miss out on the Canal Market District Farmers Market and the Granville Farmers Market!

 

If you’ve been to Newark recently, tell me your favorite spot in the comments below!

Things I Learned Growing Up On A Farm

 

When I was 10 my parents moved us from the suburbs of Columbus to Newark, Ohio, to a small stone house built upon itself over generations and nestled in a lush valley. In Columbus, we'd already kept a thriving garden, chickens, ducks, and even turkeys in our tiny fenced-in backyard, but all of a sudden we had 6 acres of wilderness to roam, play, and grow, and grow we did. 

I remember Dad telling us to not wear shoes in the tall grass so that our feet would toughen up, and I remember our first garden being plowed through the acres of unused land. I learned it was really important to make friends with the neighbors, especially the ones who had proper farm machinery, and I learned why you have to alternate corn and soybeans in fields. 

I remember us bringing home a little orange kitten that was for sale up at the corner store, and I remember when that kitten got eaten by a possum. There was a great deal of death on the farm, especially living on a busy, high-speed road, but there was even more life. There were chicks, calves, puppies, and kittens, nearly all of which we witnessed entering the world and leaving it. I learned how to properly kill, clean, and gut a chicken, and how to cook one.

I remember thinking the woods were magical, and I remember following the deer paths until I was thoroughly lost. I learned how to find my way home every time, and I learned who's property to not explore through. I learned that deer are territorial, fawns will hide in the underbrush, and vines are really fun to swing on. Dad built us a fort in the woods to hide in, and I learned boredom breeds imagination. 

I remember spending summers in the creek, and learning how to catch crawdads with my bare hands. My brother and I learned to build a shelter made of branches and leaves, and how to start a fire to cook said crawdads on (not good for eating). I learned that the creek bank changes with the seasons, as do some of the creatures who inhabit it. Snapping turtles are no joke (good for eating), and it was a good time to fish after a solid rain.

I remember Mom and Dad buying me a horse for Christmas when I was 14, and I remember wishing I could ride her bareback through the meadows like a country princess like I'd imagined I could be. I learned that dream was unrealistic, horses are expensive, and they take a lot more work and care than I was prepared for (despite the countless books I read). I also learned that if you offer a free horse on Craigslist, you'll make a lot of friends. 

I remember incredibly hot, humid, non-air-conditioned summers, and learned that before sunrise and after sunset were the best times to get work done. The creek was the only place to find relief, and I learned that rain, no matter the season, was a good thing. In winter, I learned that ice could knock out power but it was really fun to skate on.

I remember taking produce to the local Farmer's Market early every Saturday morning during the summer and fall, and how excited I was to get my cut from the daily earnings. I learned how to accurately count back money, talk to adults properly, and make a damn good salsa. 

I remember wanting to leave home really, really badly, and that the city lights seemed more enchanting than the lightning bugs on summer nights. I've taken for granted the things I learned and experienced growing up on that little farm, and how those lessons shaped the adult I am today. I've learned to equally love walking through the woods as much as I do the sidewalks of a city, but more importantly, I've learned to make my own way, brush the dirt off if I fall down, and always be home for Sunday dinner.