May 2005 Issue
102 Days and Nights of Summer
So, you say you can't recall attending the Radish Festival in McClure? Blue Rock Station in Philo doesn't ring a bell? Tsk, tsk. And you call yourself an Ohioan.
27 Moon madness
Chillicothe's Feast of the Flowering Moon celebrates our celestial orb and all things Native American with music, dancing and an arts and crafts extravaganza. The daytime line-up includes homegrown entertainment, food, fun and games, arts and crafts and an "Anything Floats But a Boat" contest. At night, a laser light show illuminates the sky. Yoctangee Park, downtown Chillicothe, 740/702-7677; www.feastofthefloweringmoon.com; May 27-29: Fri. noon- 10 p.m., Sat.-Sun 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
28 Garden party
What better way to celebrate the great outdoors than with a gigantic garden party out in the country? The Adams County Country Garden Festival at GoodSeed Farm lets you flex your green thumb with a variety of gardening-related workshops. There's room for the horticulturally challenged, too, with Appalachian arts and crafts displays, music, food and a quilt exhibit. 5228 Old St. Rte. 32, Peebles, 937/587-7021; www.goodseedfarm.com.; May 28-29: Sat. 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
29 Royal treatment
King Arthur doesn't know what he's missing. Billed as "one of the best executed examples of Gothic Revival style architecture in Ohio," The Castle in Marietta whisks you back to merry old England, with its octagonal tower, trefoil attic window and stone-capped spires. Once home to Ohio Sen. Theodore Davis, the house-turned-museum is hosting a Royal Glass Company exhibit through October 24, showcasing the town's glass factory, which turned out exquisite pieces from 1899 to 1903. 418 Fourth St., Marietta, 740/373-4180; www.marietta castle.org. Spring hours through May 31: Mon., Thur., Fri. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 1-4 p.m. Summer hours June 1-Aug. 31: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 1-4 p.m.
30 Stopping traffic
It seems as though everybody who's anybody is a part of the Ashville Museum. The museum, best known for housing the nation's oldest working traffic light, describes itself as being filled with "neato stuff" representing Americana. In the late 1950s, for instance, Ashville's Wall sisters met Elvis Presley on a plane trip; the teddy bears and records he gave them are here. So is a life-sized cutout of cowboy Roy Rogers who, legend has it, was downsized from the town canning plant for singing and playing his guitar on company time. 34 Long St., Ashville, 740/983-9864; www.ohiosmalltownmuseum.org; Mon.-Fri 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-noon.
31 In the groove
And you thought this past winter was brutal. Travel back 25,000 or so years ago when Cro-Magnons populated the Earth and the Ice Age was wrapping up. Back then, granite boulders got stuck in the ice and left behind a trough roughly 15 feet deep and 35 feet wide in what is today Kelleys Island in Lake Erie. These Glacial Grooves are thought to be the largest glacial striation in the world. Want to experience more of Kelleys Island's groovy landscape? Spend the rest of the day birding, boating or beach-combing. Kelleys Island Chamber of Commerce, 130 Division St., Kelleys Island, 419/746-2360; www.kelleysislandchamber.com
1 Piece of cake
Although it sounds more like a bakery, the Coffee Cake Winery in Hopedale actually serves 11 French-American hybrid varieties of vino grown on the premises. The winery's name is a folksy complement to owners Frank and Janet's last name: Kuchan, a variation of the sweet treats we all love so much. The winery also hosts regular wine and cheese pairing nights and steak frys. 48018 Giacobbi Rd., Hopedale, 740/937-2572; summer hours: Mon.-Thur. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
2 Go fishing ...
...without the rod. Freshwater Farms of Ohio, the state's largest indoor fish hatchery, not only sells such gourmet delicacies as caviar, smoked trout and seasonings, but staffers also show would-be anglers how to stock their own ponds with rainbow trout, largemouth bass, yellow perch and bluegill. 2624 N. U.S. Rte. 68, Urbana, 937/652-3701; www.fwfarms.com; Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
3 The bird is the word
Ready to go cuckoo? It's time to visit Grandma's Alpine Homestead in Wilmot, home to the world's most colossal cuckoo clock. Perched on a terrace of the Swiss-themed restaurant and gift shop, the 23-foot-tall timepiece features a 13-inch bird, hand-carved Tyrolean cloggers and a four-piece band announcing the hour. Visit the restaurant's Clock Shop and take home the warbler that's right for you. 1504 St. Rte. 62, Wilmot, 330/359-5454; www.grandmashomestead.com; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
4 Field of note
When it comes to music, you won't go too far afield by visiting Wapakoneta during Bluegrass in the Cornfields. The fest, held this month at the Famous Old Time Music Co. - which is smack-dab in a field of corn or soybeans, depending on the season - spotlights bluegrass and gospel groups from here and yonder. 20322 U.S. Rte. 33, Wapakoneta, 419/568-1220, 513/607-1874; www.fotmc.com; 3-10 p.m.
5 Hit the road
The Wild West may not be anywhere near here, but that doesn't mean we can't lay claim to a piece of it. Zanesville native Zane Grey penned more than 80 tomes, including such classic as Riders of the Purple Sage and The Desert of Wheat. The National Road/Zane Grey Museum in Norwich pays homage to the "father of the adult western" with a display of his manuscripts and a re-creation of his study. The museum also details Ohio's part of the famous National Road, which linked Cumberland, Maryland, to Vandalia, Illinois. 8850 East Pike, Norwich, 740/872-3143; www.ohiohistory.org/places/natlroad; summer hours: Wed.-Sat. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 12-5 p.m.
6 Pretty corny
So, you thought the only way to spice up a tub of popcorn was by adding a dash of salt or a dab of cheese? Not so, and the folks at Al's Delicious Popcorn gladly take visitors on a tour to show how they make the more than 70 varieties available, from the yummy (pizza-flavored, white cheddar and garlic) to the unusual (coconut, anyone?). With a staff committed to coming up with new spicy, sweet, specialty and sugar-free flavors, who knows what kind of kernels will pop up next? 1500 Bethel Rd., Columbus, 614/451-7677; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
7 Go underground
It was 133 years ago this month that pals Peter Rutan and Henry Homer of Flat Rock, Ohio, were hunting rabbits and stumbled - literally - into Seneca Caverns. Today, this subterranean wonder is a naturally delightful maze located 110 feet underground and featuring seven rooms, views of the crystal-clear Ole' Mist'ry River and unique varieties of fossilized fish, shells and coral. Take home an exotic souvenir from the gift shop, which carries Costa Rican mud beads and amethyst from Brazil. 15248 East Thompson, Bellevue, 419/483-6711; www.senecacavernsohio.com; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily
8 No stone unturned
Although they're usually quiet spots made for reflection and remembrance, cemeteries and their accompanying gravestones often speak loud and clear about those residing beneath. Captain Isaac Newton Cook of Stockport, for example, pulled no punches when it came to acknowledging his wife's feelings about his eventual demise, which took place in 1906. Legend has it that this not-so-nice guy designed his own monument at Old Brick Cemetery - one so steep, his wife wouldn't be able to dance atop his grave after his death. Old Brick Cemetery, St. Rte. 376, Stockport, 740/962-5861.
9 Featured creatures
Copley businessman William Sanderson II is sharing his passion for all things dinosaur with the public. The brand-new Akron Fossils & Science Center is filled with bones, fossils, teeth and artifacts, including a mastodon skeleton discovered in Newark, Ohio, and a woolly mammoth's jaw bone. Theories of evolution are also explored. 2080 South Cleveland-Massillon Rd, Copley, 330/665-DINO, Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
10 Seeing stars
You don't have to head for Hollywood to watch the stars come out. The Perkins Observatory in Delaware is billed as "the place for space." Owned and operated by Ohio Wesleyan University, the observatory is an active research facility presenting programs ranging from such esoteric topics as "Space Crud" to the basic "Nickel Tour of the Universe." Since Perkins offers something for everyone, no one will be left in the dark. 3199 Columbus Pike, Delaware, 740/363-1257, www.perkins-observatory.org
11 Over the rind
Today's the day to really pig out, courtesy of the Pork Rind Heritage Festival in Harrod. From hot cracklin's to smoked barbecue, odds are you'll find your favorite kind of rind. Why pork rinds? Why here? Could be because the neighboring town of Westminster is home to Rudolph Foods, the largest supplier of pork rind products in the world. Main Street, downtown Harrod, 419/648-5091; June 10-11: Fri. 6 p.m.-11 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-11 p.m.
12 A river runs through it
The Mohican River, that is, and "it" is the River Run Family Campground in Loudonville. Load the kids into the car and spend a day with Mother Nature as the entire family canoes, kayaks or takes a raft trip down the river. Not much into the great outdoors? Stay on dry land and enjoy a game of sand volleyball, or just pack a picnic. 3070 Co. Rd. 3175, Loudonville, 419/994-5257; www.riverrunfamilycampground.com. Summer hours: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. daily
13 Flower power
Take time today to stop and smell the Columbus Park of Roses. More than 11,000 rose bushes, as well as specialized gardens of herbs, daffodils and other perennials, are spread over 13 acres. Life's bound to look rosy after a couple of whiffs here. 3901 N. High St., Columbus, 614/645-3350
14 Happy trails
Calling all city slickers: Have a hankering to drive a herd a la Billy Crystal in the 1991 film? Then mosey on down to The Dude Ranch in Morrow. The Old West lives on with a Texas longhorn roundup and horseback-riding adventures for all skill levels. Create your own "Gunsmoke" scene by playing paintball among the whiskey barrels in the saloon or through the bars of the town jail. Wind down with a hayride or a marshmallow roast around a blazing campfire, all guaranteed to make you feel at home on the range. 3205 Waynesville Rd., Morrow, 513/421-DUDE; www.theduderanch.com; open year-round, call for hours
15 Wayne's world
You won't see Aunt Bee or Opie, but Waynesville - named after Gen. Anthony Wayne - is replete with old-fashioned Mayberry charm. Stroll down quaint streets made for walking, past seasonal flowerboxes and old-fashioned sodium-vapor copper lamps, and browse through several or all of the 35 or so specialty shops sporting names such as Brass Lantern Antiques and the fab Strawberry Fields Antiques. Waynesville Chamber of Commerce, 10B North Main St., Waynesville, 513/897-8855; www.waynes-villeohio.com
16 We think that we shall never see ...
... A tree as perfect as the one near Stockdale in Pike County. To be sure, arbor enthusiasts across the state likely have a list of their favorite specimens that, they believe, are worthy of the title. But this lovely, 200-year-old hard maple has long been considered Ohio's most perfect tree by locals and visitors alike, earning it a tree-mendous reputation. Take a trip to Pike County and see what all the fuss is about. 3 1/2 miles south of the intersection of St. Rte. 335 and St. Rte. 32. Pike County Convention & Visitors Bureau: 740/947-9650; www.piketravel.com
17 Seeing red
The folks in McClure are true to their roots - radish roots, that is. Every year the town holds a Radish Festival, during which three tons of radishes are given away in three days. It's all courtesy of TC Marketing in nearby Napoleon, shipper of Tem-Cole and Top Class brand radishes and the reason McClure proudly claims the title of "Radish Capital of the World." The fun festival features radish-eating and radish recipe contests, as well as a chance to bob for and play miniature golf with the pint-sized veggies. Big Creek Park, downtown McClure, 419/592-1786; through June 19: Fri. 5 p.m.-midnight, Sat. 3 p.m.-midnight, Sun. 11 a.m.-midnight.
18 That's amore
Every June, Rat Pack impersonators and Dean Martin devotees descend on Steubenville like swallows to San Juan Capistrano to honor their icon and the town's favorite native son at the Dean Martin Festival. The entertaining weekend includes an auction of Tinsel Town memorabilia, an appearance by Dean's daughter, Deana, and plenty of crooning. Festival events take place at various locations throughout Steubenville. 740/424-0572; www.deanmartinsteubenville.com; June 17-19: Fri. 6 p.m.-1:30 a.m., Sat. noon-1:30 a.m., call for Sun. hours
19 An earful
Dublin's field of dreams is a field of corn - 109 people-sized ears of concrete, to be exact. Completed by artist Malcolm Cochran 11 years ago, the kernels are kudos to researcher Sam Frantz, who developed hybrid corn seeds on the site from 1935 to 1963. Sam and Eulalia Frantz Park, 4995 Rings Rd., Dublin; www.dublinarts.org/onview/publicart.html
20 Down on the farm
Decisions, decisions: Should you spend the afternoon inside doing work or outside enjoying the warm summer air? Take the day off and bask in the pastoral setting and homemade fare at the Barn 'n' Bunk Farm Market. The barn hosts 75 vendors selling everything from framed artwork to hanging flower baskets; the old cattle feed bunk is full of homegrown produce and Amish baked goods. Don't forget to visit the Ice Cream & Candy Shoppe before you leave - and try resisting the urge to take another day off tomorrow. 3677 Wayne Madison Rd., Trenton, 513/988-9211; www.barnnbunk.com; Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 12-5 p.m.
21 On the road
Wallace Merle Byam's dream of building a travel trailer that moved "like a stream of air" eventually inspired a generation of families to explore the open road. Nearly 70 years after introducing its first model, the Airstream Trailer Company still has thousands of devotees hurtling down America's highways - many of them likely headed for the company's northwest Ohio headquarters and factory, where they can watch the distinctive aluminum tubes being constructed by hand. 419 W. Pike St., Jackson Center, 937/596-611; www.airstream.com; tours Mon.-Fri. at 2 p.m.
22 Home of a hero
U.S. Senator John Glenn once wrote: "A boy could not have had a more idyllic early childhood than I did." The impressive results of that upbringing - Glenn became a war hero, the first American to orbit the earth and a U.S. senator -- as well as highlights from his wife Annie's life are on display at Glenn's restored boyhood home, now the John and Annie Glenn Museum. A new exhibit includes three of his WWII military uniforms, and his bedroom still holds the model airplanes that set his sights skyward. 72 W. Main St., New Concord, 740/826-3305; www.johnglennhome.org; Wed.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 1-4 p.m.
23 Berry good
London, Ohio, may be the only place in the country where calling a boy "Mr. Shortcake" isn't considered a schoolyard taunt. The London Strawberry Festival bestows the title - as well as that of Miss Shortcake and the Strawberry Queen - each year at its annual town celebration, where guests can enjoy such events as a parade and softball tournament while downing glasses of ice-cold strawberry lemonade and sweet servings of strawberry shortcake with ice cream. Downtown London, 740/852-1582; www.londonstrawberryfestival.com; June 22-25: Wed. 4-10:30 p.m., Thur. noon-10:30 p.m., Fri. noon-11 p.m., Sat. 9-11 p.m.
24 A mooving experience
Maybe it's the cow-print carpeting. Or, it could be the wisecracking animatronic farm animals at every turn. No matter what tips you off, it shouldn't take too long to recognize the barnyard theme of the Chips 'n Giggles Comedy CalfÃ©. The restaurant and comedy club is so dedicated to its look that it even offers a special limousine adorned with cows and pigs for those who'd like to arrive in, um, style. Just make sure you don't give the comedians a hard time when you get there: Those udders hanging from the ceiling shoot water at hecklers. 3769 U.S. Rte. 127 S., Celina, 419/925-4496; www.chips-n-giggles.com; Fri.-Sun. 4:30-10 p.m.; comedy shows Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m.
25 Great Scot!
Whether you're searching for a way to celebrate your Scottish roots or you're just looking for a good excuse to wear a kilt, the Ohio Scottish Games allow visitors to surround themselves with Highland culture - not to mention a whole lot of folks who sound like Sean Connery. Attractions include sheep dog competitions, world-renowned Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser, and the must-see caber toss, where muscle-bound men fling a 19-ft. tall wooden pole through the air. Lorain County Fairgrounds, St. Rte. 18, Wellington, 440/808-1175; www.ohioscottishgames.com; 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
26 In stitches
Sure, the works displayed at Quilt National were never meant to be mere blankets. Still, after seeing these innovative creations, you'll never be able to look at your underachieving bedspread the same way again. The more than 80 quilts in this internationally renowned exhibit, set in the bucolic Athens landscape, elevate the tradition of quilt making to an art form, combining the old-fashioned activity with exotic materials, unconventional techniques and vivid designs. Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center, 8000 Dairy Lane, Athens, 740/592-4981; www.quiltnational.com; through Sept. 5: Tue.-Wed. & Fri.-Sat. 12-5 p.m., Thurs. 12-8 p.m., Sun. 1-5 p.m.
27 Life's a beach
It's a simple equation: hot day + bored kids = a trip to the water park. Plenty of Ohioans know how to do the math, which is why The Beach Waterpark is known for being a hot spot to cool off. The lush, 35-acre landscape features live palm trees, tons of white sand and 49 water attractions, including Aztec Adventure, the only water coaster in the Midwest. For those willing to take the plunge, The Beach offers the perfect way to beat the heat. 2590 Waterpark Dr., Mason, 513/398-7946; www.thebeachwaterpark.com; May 27-June 10, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; June 11-Aug. 21, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Aug. 22-Sept. 5, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
28 Go loco
In this age of video game systems and high-tech gadgets, it seems like eons since something as simple as a toy train could entertain a child. But the extraordinary display at Train-O-Rama manages to keep children of all ages in awe. Ohio's largest operating multi-gauge model railroad display open to the public, the facility features 35 trains chugging simultaneously through a meticulously detailed, 3,000-sq.-ft. setting that includes waterfalls, villages and a miniature amusement park. All aboard! 6732 E. Harbor Rd., Marblehead, 419/734-5856; www.trainorama.com; summer hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 1-5 p.m.
29 The razor's edge
Ed Jeffers is quite the cut-up. As owner of The Ed Jeffers Barber Museum, home to the nation's only Barbering Hall of Fame, and with nearly a half-century of barbering under his belt, no one can ever accuse Jeffers of lacking passion for his profession. Visitors leave the museum with an appreciation for the job too, thanks to an impressive collection that includes wooden barber chairs from the 1700s, seven re-created barbering areas of old, and tools from the days when barbers doubled as surgeons. Open by appointment only. 2 South High St., Canal Winchester, 614/833-9931; www.edjeffersbarbermuseum.com
30 Flights of fancy
Orville and Wilbur Wright may have achieved their first sustained flight in a heavier-than-air machine at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, but the Dayton-born brothers said that Huffman Prairie was the place where they "really learned how to fly." Archival footage of their test flights on this 84-acre swath of grassland - the largest remnant of prairie in Ohio and a National Historic Landmark - can be seen at the nearby Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center, and visitors can view a replica of their 1905 hangar while on a walking tour of the site. Huffman Prairie: Gate 16A, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; Interpretive Center: 2380 Memorial Rd., WPAFB, 937/425-0008; daily 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Prairie closed Wed.
1 Ready to rumble
Rival baseball teams, beware: With a tough name and a junkyard dog as a mascot, The Mahoning Valley Scrappers won't go down without a fight. The minor-league team's tenacious spirit has paid off: Last year, they won both the New York-Penn League Championship and a flock of diehard fans. The Scrappers love the loyalty, so, on this night, they treat attendees to a brawl with the Auburn Doubledays, as well as a spectacular fireworks display. Eastwood Field, 111 Eastwood Mall Blvd. (behind Eastwood Mall), Niles, 330/505-0000; www.mvscrappers.com; 7:05 p.m.
2 A striking sight
Some artists work in oils; others prefer clay as their medium. Jack Dempsey Johnson chose something with a bit more, well, spark. The Matchstick Jack Memorial Museum houses more than 100 creations that the late construction worker built from matchsticks - as well as toothpicks and a whole lot of hobby glue - including an entire Christmas village, a carousel and a nearly 4-ft.-long train with moving parts. Call ahead for appointment. St. Rte. 800 (12 miles south of Woodsfield, or 4 1/2 miles north of Fly), Sardis, 740/865-3035.
3 Sail the open seas (or just Lake Erie)
Perhaps your lack of nautical prowess means you're more fit to swab the deck than hoist the mainsails. No problem: The sailing staff at Lakeside will play the skipper to your Gilligan, allowing you to spend this leisurely Sunday riding aboard a sailboat while they do all the work. The resort town on the Marblehead peninsula has its sailing staff nestled conveniently near the Pavilion beach area for guests eager to launch a private sailboat, learn the finer points of sailing from experts, or send the kids on a free sailing adventure. Lakeside, 419/798-4461; www.lakesideohio.com/escapes/sailing.aspx; Sunfish rentals 12-5 p.m.
4 The big bang
No wonder it's called the Cincinnati "Pops" Orchestra: On Independence Day, the Riverbend Music Center explodes with so many American music classics and booming fireworks that the city seems to burst with patriotic pride. The Red, White & Boom! Fourth of July concert features Broadway stars (and Cincinnati natives) Jan Horvath and Alton Fitzgerald White belting out tunes alongside the celebrated orchestra, with the spectacular fireworks display providing the perfect gift for America's birthday. Riverbend Music Center, 6295 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati, 513/232-6220; www.cincinnatipops.org; 8 p.m.
5 Landscape of a
painting of a landscape
Sculptor James Mason's wife wanted a simple topiary for the family's residence. Mason had a much grander vision - and it certainly wouldn't fit in their backyard. The Topiary Garden at the Old Deaf School Park offers guests the world's only topiary interpretation of a painting, as well as a great spot for a picnic. Georges Seurat's famous work, "A Sunday on The Island of La Grande Jatte," is rendered largely in trimmed and shaped yew trees - from the 54 topiary people to the eight boats near a real pond, meant to represent the River Seine. Corner of E. Town St. and Washington Ave., Columbus; www.topiary garden.org; Topiary Park Museum Shop: Tues.-Fri. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 12-4 p.m.
6 Frankly, my dear ...
The small town of Cadiz is accustomed to welcoming movie buffs clamoring to see the birthplace of Clark Gable. But locals love the area for playing host to the delightful Harrison County Fair, where the sight of cars careening into one another during the demolition derby mixes with the sounds of people singing along to country-western bands. Of course, in between the tractor pulls and the livestock shows, Gable groupies get their fill, too: That man in the giant chicken costume wearing a top hat and pencil-thin moustache is none other than "Cluck Gable." Harrison County Fairgrounds, Cadiz, 740/942-8330; www.harrisoncountyfair.com; July 5-10, call for times
7 Bean there, done that
Who among us hasn't, at one time or another, thought: "Gee, it'd be really something if there was a festival devoted to the greatness of beans. Furthermore, it'd be fantastic if, at said festival, bucket loads of cooked beans were dished out to the community for free." Well, we're in luck. The Montpelier Bean Days Festival honors a past bean-giveaway promotion in the town by dispensing free beans on Friday and Saturday during this fun festival that includes duck races, a pet parade and a bean recipe contest. Downtown Montpelier, 419/485-4416; July 7-10, call for times
8 All the world's a stage
You'd be forgiven for thinking that you'd wandered onto a movie set upon going to see the Blue Jacket Outdoor Drama: This action-packed play enlists everything from flaming arrows to a herd of horses to bring history to life. The fascinating tale of Marmaduke Van Sweringen, a young, white man who joined the Shawnee nation and eventually became the feared war chief Blue Jacket, offers audiences a chance to see, in realistic detail, how the Indians battled frontiersmen moving into the Ohio Valley. Caesar's Ford Amphitheater, 520 S. Stringtown Rd., Xenia, 877/465-BLUE; www.bluejacketdrama.com; June 10-Sept. 4: Tues.-Thur., 8 p.m.
9 It's a jungle out there
There's something special about the African Safari Wildlife Park that makes it so beloved by visitors - call it the park's animal magnetism. More than 50 different species of rare and exotic animals - from alpacas and buffalo to warthogs and zebras - roam freely on this 100-acre preserve, called the only drive-through safari park in the Midwest. Guests are given a bucket of food from which they can feed the animals. With more than 200 animal births expected this year, those buckets may have to get a bit bigger. 267 Lightner Rd., Port Clinton, 800/521-2660; www.africansafariwildlifepark.com; daily 9 a.m.-7 p.m. (last car at 6 p.m.)
10 Lily lovers
Bagpipe music, slices of cheesecake, and artistically designed gardens: It may not be the most natural combination, but it sure does work well in Rockbridge. Bobbi and Bruce Bishop began the Lilyfest determined to foster education in landscaping, horticulture and the arts. That dream has blossomed into a reality: With three acres of amazingly maintained flora and fauna, garden sculptures and ponds, this festival is horticulture heaven. Master gardeners roam the grounds answering questions and conducting workshops, while great food, live music and 60 area artists help set the scenery. 13200 Little Cola Rd., Rockbridge, 740/969-2873, www.lilyfest.com; July 8-10: Fri. noon-8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
11 You can't miss the Swiss
Talk about a lot of pressure. A place just can't go around calling itself "The Little Switzerland of Ohio" and not expect to have to prove it. Fortunately, a visit to Sugarcreek shows that this Tuscarawas County town is more than deserving of the nickname. Many of Sugarcreek's citizens are of Swiss heritage, and their ancestors established numerous cheese factories when they came to the area. While, visitors can see a complete replica of an 1890 cheese house inside the Alpine Hills Museum, they can also taste a bit of the town's pride at the Ohio Swiss Festival in late September -- the only spot in the state where you'll see yodeling contests, Swiss-style wrestling and alpine horn players. Tuscarawas County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 330/339-5453; www.sugarcreekohio.org
12 Drawing on the walls
A 2,000-ft.-long stretch of wall protects the city of Portsmouth from being flooded by the Ohio River. But whoever said something that's practical can't also be appealing? Muralist Robert Dafford used brilliant colors and vivid images to create the Portsmouth Floodwall Murals: An expanse of 20-ft.-tall scenes detailing the past 2,000 years of history. From an early Shawnee village to the action of a Civil War battle to a stunning image of Portsmouth at twilight, the 52 murals provide the perfect backdrop for the town's historic Boneyfiddle district. Front Street, Portsmouth; www.portsmouthmurals.com
13 Stir it up
When David Cooper's grandmother taught him how to make jelly as a child, she likely didn't imagine those delicious homemade concoctions would one day inspire Cooper's Mill Apple Butter and Jelly Factory, where countless dedicated customers enjoy homemade jams, apple butter and 54 different jellies made from her original recipes. That sweet smell in the air is ripe fruit stewing before being poured into canning jars, and rich apple butter bubbling in 50-gallon copper kettles over a wood fire. Watch the process and then stop by the country store. 1414 N. Sandusky Ave., Bucyrus, 419/562-4215; www.coopersmill.net; Mon.-Sat. 8:30 a.m.- 6 p.m.; tours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
14 A hilltop hoedown