Recently we FINALLY took one of those little family trips we’ve always talked about doing but never seemed to find the time for – we took a day trip up to Yellow Springs!
First of all, we absolutely love this town because it’s so eclectic and different than anywhere else around Dayton. My husband’s Aunt and Uncle also have lived there for many years, and it’s not far from Springfield where he grew up. My first experience in Yellow Springs was going there after I got my driver’s license the late 90’s to look for Phish and Dave Matthews Band bootlegs, and to find my newest pair of Dr. Marten boots or a great handmade cross-body bag. (Sigh. I am totally old.)
Fast forward to present day, and I was excited to visit Glen Helen to do some hiking with my hubs and three-year-old, drop into downtown YS find some funky shops with unique kids items, and maybe eat at one of the
local restaurants. Mission accomplished!
First, we parked near Glen Helen’s Nature Shop (restrooms!) and made our way down one of the well-worn trails. It didn’t take us long to find a “cave”!
(Just look at my awesome husband lugging around our Dylan’s bag of stuff. Thanks, babe!)
It was Dylan’s first time actually hiking in the woods, and he absolutely loved it. He said we were “going on a bear hunt” several times, likely thanks to this book. Some of the terrain through where we walked was a little tricky to navigate (lots of tree roots to watch out for, some very steep inclines/declines), but most of it was extremely easy to hike.
Of course, Dylan had to stop for some rocks…
… and take a mini muffin break…
… and then we were on to more hiking. (Did I mention how GORGEOUS it was in the woods?)
We also found a bird blind that was built for viewing birds in their natural habitat. We didn’t see many birds, but it was neat to look through!
On our way back to the parking lot, we found a little wooden walkway that Dylan loved skipping along.
Our hike only lasted about 20 minutes or so because our littlest hiker’s legs were starting to get tired, so we hopped back into the car to find somewhere to eat in Yellow Springs.
We ended up eating at this VERY COOL tavern, Ye Olde Trail Tavern. I had no idea it existed, but I was so glad we stopped in!
The tavern was built in 1847 (according the website) or maybe 1827 (according to this sign below that hung in the tavern) and has SO much history that’s still visible today.
Even when you first walk in, it smells (and looks) like an old log cabin! Even the doorways were short and narrow.
While the building is old, they’ve certainly done a great job of making it accommodating to modern guests. We sat on an extended patio from the building with a cool glass ceiling and a great view of the King’s Yard shopping area.
Dylan and Daddy practiced “cheers-ing” while we waited for our food…
I wish I’d taken a picture of our food because it was SO DELICIOUS! Seriously one of the yummiest meals I’d had in a long time. I got the Pesto Grilled Cheese sandwich, and Matt ordered the Sindwinder Brisket sandwich. UH. MA. ZING. Here’s a link to their MENU. (Not a ton of healthier choices on the menu, but it’s delicious.)
After lunch, we stepped into a few of the neighboring shops. There are SO many different ones but we only had time for a few. I MUST go back to do more shopping (especially sans kiddo).
Tibet Bazaar was one of my favorites. So many fun kids’ toys, and the prices were great.
These little finger puppets were SO CUTE!
Before heading out of town, we also stopped in Tom’s Market where they have little Melissa & Doug shopping carts for the kids to push. 🙂
And of course, there were some other random, fun sightings around this unique town!
I mean, where else has gorgeous, mosaic city trash cans..?
Or awesome rainbow vans…?
Or restaurants named Ha Ha Pizza that look like this on the side of the building…?
This town is truly one-of-a-kind, and I’m so fortunate it’s right here in Dayton!
Have you and your family been hiking in Glen Helen or exploring in “The Springs”? I’d love to hear about it! 🙂