8/7/2021 0 Comments
Girls Trip to Middletown, Ohio
Middletown is truly the definition of small town charm. They are located in southwestern Ohio between Dayton and Cincinnati. Their main street is bursting with hidden treasures and with 16 murals within a one mile loop, the arts and culture scene is also worth noting. My mom and I recently visited for a girl's weekend getaway and had such a fun time exploring, chatting with locals, and trying some activities for the first time.
Disclaimer: Our visit was sponsored by Middletown Visitor's Bureau. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Where to Stay
When visiting Middletown, you simply must stay at the modern luxury boutique hotel, Indigo Pass. Located in the heart of downtown, it makes a great home base and is super walkable to many of the activities we had planned. The decor is also so dreamy with lots of unique touches in each of the rooms. Within the same building as Indigo Pass, you'll find Gracie's and Vitori's Market (more on those below). The hotel functions very similar to an AirBnb in that you'll have a code to access the facility and your room which makes for an easy check in experience. If you do need assistance throughout your stay, you can call and the staff were very helpful and accommodating.
Day 1 - Vitori's Market, Haute Fusion Glass Studio, Bourbon's Kitchen and Bar, and West Central Wine
After arriving to Middletown and checking in to Indigo Pass, we stopped at Vitori's Market on the lower level of the building. This speciality store has snacks and small bites as well as local food items and speciality goods. If you're looking for a larger meal they also offer made to order sandwiches and subs. Eat in your room as you settle in or head outside to enjoy the beautiful courtyard.
After a quick lunch, we walked around downtown and popped in and out of a few shops before heading to our first activity of the trip to make our own sun catchers at Haute Fusion Glass Studio. John the owner was so welcoming and you could tell he was very passionate about the art form. He took the time to explain the glass fusing process and the tools we would be using. From there you can choose from a variety of glass pieces to create your own masterpiece. It was so fun to pick out the different sizes and shapes of glass and piece them together as you watch you vision come to life. Once you glue your pieces to the glass canvas, John fused them and we came back on Sunday before we left to pick them up. I absolutely love how mine turned out and had so much fun trying this activity for the first time.
Next, it was time for dinner at Bourbon's Kitchen and Bar. They are know for their gourmet street food and wide range of bourbons. Highly recommend the French onion soup which comes topped with their white cheddar Mac and cheese - yum! We also ordered one of their signature sandwiches with pulled chicken. It was all delicious and we had our favorite server of the trip here - she was so friendly and provided lots of suggestions on what to try.
To end our first night, we headed back to downtown Middletown for a wine tasting flight at charcuterie board at West Central Wine. They serve 20+ wines by the glass as well as beer and a selection of classic & signature cocktails. I have to say this is the place to be for locals on a Friday night as it was packed with people chatting and enjoying a drink together after a long week.
Day 2 - Triple Moon Coffee, Connections Day Spa, Swire Inn, Seven Mile Winery, Bandanas, and Rolling Mill Brewing Company
Our second day in Middletown was packed full of adventure so we started it the best way we know how - with coffee and donuts. Butler County, Ohio has a donut trail which features 13 mom-and-pop donut shops. You can get a stamp in your passport for each spot you visit and earn a sweet T-shirt reward. We tried the famous Central Pastry Shop - my favorite was the cinnamon square. I also walked down the street to Triple Moon Coffee Shop where I ordered the Love in a Cup which was an iced latte with cookies and cream and caramel and I'm not kidding when I say it was the best coffee I've every had.
Next we walked to Connections Day Spa where we indulged in their signature facial for two. The estheticians were so sweet and did a great job explaining the process to us as it was our first facial. The entire experience was so relaxing and included two treatment masks as well as a face, décolletage, and foot massage with hot stones. My face was glowing when I was done and I felt so refreshed and ready to conquer the rest of our day. In addition to facials, the full service spa offers services for hair, nails, lashes, and more.
Our lunch destination was right next door to the spa at The Swire Inn. The restaurant is located within an historic building featuring the original hardwood floors and exposed brick as well as a back patio which is perfect for summer days. They offer pub-style food and unique cocktails. I had the pineapple upside down sangria paired with the beer cheese pretzel and deviled eggs. They also had live music on the patio later on that evening if you're visiting for dinner.
After relaxing for a bit back at the hotel, we headed to Seven Mile Winery which is located a few miles outside of downtown in a gorgeous, rustic barn. The setting alone is worth the visit but the wines made it even better. They have a great selection of sweet, fruit-inspired wines and with a tasting you'll get to sample six different varieties. My favorite was the Irresistible which has an ultra-rich blueberry-blackberry flavor.
On tonight's dinner menu was authentic Italian at Bandana's. The decor here is a definite vibe with what they have coined a “Spaghetti Western” twist. Start your meal with the stuffed mushrooms (trust me!) They also have a great selection of pasta dishes. I had the chicken marsala and the pan fried chicken was cooked to perfection. If you order one of their signature lemonades or cocktails you'll get it served in a cowboy boot which just adds to the ambiance.
To cap off the night we had to try out the local craft beer scene at Rolling Mill Brewing Company which is Ohio's only 100% dedicated gluten free brewing company. Their tap room is located in the same space as the brewing equipment and tanks for an industrial vibe. Order a flight to sample a few different varieties of beers or try one of their signature beer cocktails.
Day 3 - Gracie's, Grandpa Joe's, Mural Bike Tour, The Jug
We were headed back to Michigan on Sunday, but not without squeezing in some more fun! Our morning started with brunch at Gracie's which is located downstairs from Indigo Pass. Their patio has a fun "buzz" theme and you have to try their signature drink which is a twist on vodka/OJ. We also ordered the challah bread French toast and create your own omelette (you must get it with pimento cheese) and we devoured both meals. So yummy and a quiet, peaceful morning on the patio!
From there, we walked across the street to grab a sweet treat from Grandpa Joe's. This iconic candy store is home to the world famous candy buffet which allows you to fill a box with as much candy as you can fit for just $5. They also have walls and walls packed full of different nostalgic candy and glass soda bottles. A unique experience and would also make a great souvenir to take home with you.
Murals are one of my favorite things to discover when traveling and Middletown is home to the Adventures through Art Mural Tour which has 16 different murals from international artists located in a one mile loop around town. You can walk the loop or hop on a bike from Spoken Bicycles and ride the loop like we did. Be sure to follow along on your smart phone for an interactive tour which also provides you the history of each piece of public art. If you're looking to ride a bit further, pedal down to the Great Miami River Trail for miles of paved trails with a view.
Before hitting the road we made one final stop for burgers and root beer floats from The Jug. This old-fashioned icon is known for it's drive-in service and is very popular - there were multiple cars waiting before they even opened! Established in 1932, The Jug is one of the oldest hamburger restaurants in the country and they do them right.
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