Away from the bustling cities and big-name amusement parks in Ohio are some of America’s best small towns—complete with cobblestone streets, prominent art scenes, high levels of bicycle transportation, rich history, quirky festivals and all the other unique features that make a small town down right charming. The following are what we consider to be the 14 most beautiful, charming small towns in Ohio.
1) Yellow Springs
Home to Antioch College and a colorful downtown, this artsy little town is a safe haven for those looking to indulge in creativity and the quirkiness of small town living. Knit graffiti is common here, and popular amenities include the twice-a-year Yellow Springs Street Fair, the Glen Helen Nature Reserve and the nearby John Bryan State Park.
2) German Village
Within Columbus you'll find the picturesque German Village, known for its quaint coffee shops, cobblestone streets, brick houses and shops, 32-room bookstore, beautiful Schiller Park and Schmidt's Sausage Haus (where you'll find the best authentic German cuisine Ohio has to offer.)
The tiny island village of Put-In-Bay is a popular vacation destination and home to Crystal Cave, the world's largest geode. Golf carts, bicycles and boats are common forms of transportation here. Recently, "Huffington Post Travel" ranked Put-In-Bay as no. 8 of "The 12 Cutest Small Towns in America."
Along the banks of the Maumee River is Perrysburg, home to Fort Meigs, the largest wooden wall fortification in North America. In addition to rich history and cultural entertainment, crime rates are very low, making it one of Ohio's safest places to live.
Home to the private liberal arts college, Oberlin College (the first American higher education institution to admit female and black students,) this progressive little town has a close-knit community, a rich history and a lively arts and cultural scene. In 2012, it was voted one of the state’s "Best Hometowns" by "Ohio Magazine."
Halfway between Akron and Cleveland you'll find the only town in the world named Twinsburg. In addition to quality education and a low crime rate, Twinsburg is home to the no. 1 public library in the United States and the town's annual Twins Day Festival is the world's largest yearly gathering of twins. (Come on, that's pretty cool.)
7) Avon Lake
West of Cleveland on the banks of Lake Erie you'll find the charming town of Avon Lake. Though it's considerably larger than most small towns, it undeniably has plenty of the small town ambience due to its strong community, beautiful bike trails and public beaches.
With a name like Loveland, how could it not be charming? Home to the historic Loveland Castle, this lovely little town covers just five square miles in the greater Cincinnati area. Loveland also straddles the Little Miami River, and biking and canoeing are popular activities for locals here.
The historic riverboat town of Marietta is known as the first permanent settlement of the Northwest Territory. The town borders West Virginia and is nestled along the banks of both the Muskingum and Ohio River. Its also known for its Victorian-style houses, European ambience, brick streets and sternwheelers.
10) Tipp City
Near downtown Dayton you'll find the quaint historic town of Tipp City, known for its beautiful parks, local restaurants and popular festivals such as the annual Tipp City Mum Fest and the Canal Music Fest.
Close to Toledo and nestled along the banks of the Maumee River is the beautiful historic town of Waterville. Popular attractions of this small town include the Roche de Boeuf Festival and the Interurban Bridge.
12) Broadview Heights
Ranked the safest city in Ohio by SafeWise Report, this town is the ideal place to raise a family in Ohio. This small town is also geographically placed well for those wanting to explore well known American cities such as Pittsburgh, Detroit and Buffalo. (Bonus: Residents here are minutes away from Lake Erie.)
At the tip of the scenic Marblehead Peninsula the charming town of Marblehead features the iconic Marblehead Lighthouse, beautiful views of Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay and boating culture. The lighthouse is the Great Lakes' oldest continuously operating lighthouse and is open for tours during the summer.
14) New Philadelphia
This small town has a very low crime rate, with zero murders reported in 2011. The town's Tuscora Park (complete with a carousel, ferris wheel and several other carnival-style features) is one of the primary amenities that bring the community together here.
Did your hometown make the list? What other small towns in Ohio are undeniably charming and beautiful?