15 Best Things to Do in Defiance, OH

Defiance, OH
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The world doesn’t know how much of a lowkey tourist destination Defiance is!

It is a city and the seat of Defiance County, Ohio.

Nestled between Toledo and Fort Wayne, Defiance has a rich history, which is evident in its tourist attractions.

However, the intense sense of community appeals to the visitors!

So, if you’re planning to visit, here are the best things to do in Defiance, Ohio.

Plan a Camping Trip to Independence Dam State Park

A bridge at Independence Dam State Park
Lawrence Lee Derge / Shutterstock.com

Sweeping views of the Maumee River, a lively atmosphere, and a great place to camp are the simplest ways to describe Independence Dam State Park!

The park stands tall on the banks of the Maumee River and has a fascinating history.

It used to be the travel route for several Indian tribes, providing them with water, fish, and game.

Now, the park is a beloved recreational spot for locals and tourists. Why? Because it offers activities like hiking, fishing, boating, picnic shelters, and camping!

The campground is the most notable attraction of the park.

The Independence Dam State Park provides 40 non-electric campsites, perfect for trailers or tents.

You can access drinking water, tables, fire rings, and pit latrines. Moreover, pets are welcome!

A trip to this gorgeous park should be one of your priority destinations in Defiance.

Soak up the History of Old Fort Defiance Park

Old Fort Defiance Park stands at the confluence of the Auglaize and Maumee rivers.

It is heavenly, full of lush greenery and walkways around the calming waters.

The park has great historical significance.

It was the site of Fort Defiance, built by General Anthony Wayne in the late 1800s.

The fort was one of a line of defenses in the Battle of Fallen Timbers.

After almost three centuries, the fort location saw the establishment of this quaint city and the park.

The city’s public library, The Carnegie Library, is also part of the park.

Its red sandstone façade, picture windows, and majestic vibes make it a gorgeous sight.

The park and the library are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Old Fort Defiance Park is the best place to learn about the city’s history!

Relive the 1900s at Auglaize Village

Spanning over 80 acres of lush greenery, Auglaize Village is a treat to the eyes and the soul!

This village is the Defiance County Historical Society’s project of 1966.

The society established the village comprising the red barn and 40 acres offered by the Mansfield Family.

It was later expanded by adding 80 more acres and 31 buildings.

The village reflects the rural atmosphere of northwest Ohio in the early 1900s.

That vintage charm is still visible to this day.

Here, you can explore various buildings, including museums on natural history, model railroad, and military.

It also features Vaughn’s Lock Keeper’s House, Sherry School, and Minsel Barbershop, among others.

Likewise, all these features aim to preserve the local history!

The Auglaize Village also holds events all year round; don’t miss out on them if you can.

Enjoy Exquisite Brews at 4KD Crick Brewery

4KD Crick Brewery is a funky little space on Eagle Rock Golf Club grounds.

It’s the first craft brewery of Defiance!

It specializes in an artisan craft brewery, making only small batches at a time to maintain freshness and quality.

The selection of available beers is vast and varied.

There are more than ten house beers and a guest tap too.

You can pair these delicious beers with their limited but savory snacks.

These include fries, nachos, shrimp, crispy wings, and lobster.

This locally owned place also hosts a fun event called NOW Brew-B-Que.

The event brings Northwest Ohio’s breweries together, where visitors can enjoy good music and a tasty BBQ!

It is a once-a-year showcase.

So, if you want to attend, you must plan your Defiance trip accordingly.

4KD Crick Brewery is worth a visit.

Check Out the Intriguing Exhibits at Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum

Andrew L. Tuttle was a quirky resident of Defiance who loved collecting fine objects, such as stamps, sculptures, coins, and much more.

When he died in an accident, his will read that he wanted the city to have his vast collection.

In return, he wanted the city to name a museum after him.

The city of Defiance agreed.

You can now explore this collection in the Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum.

It is home to fascinating American artifacts, documents, and military memorabilia.

Fondly called the Tuttle, the museum also strives to preserve the city's history and the surrounding area.

As a result, the exciting exhibits are constantly changing.

There’s something new to experience every time at the Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum.

Play Friendly Golf Matches at Putt Putt Golf and Games

If you enjoy playing golf, you should add Putt Putt Golf and Games to your itinerary.

The place is on N State Route 66 and offers an exciting golf course with 18 holes.

You can have a little friendly competition or enjoy a laid-back game.

However, if you aren’t interested in golf, don’t worry.

Putt Putt Golf and Games does have games in its name.

You can play a classic mix of activities like go-karting, laser tag, batting cages, and indoor simulators.

Putt Putt Golf and Games offers visitors a safe and entertaining environment.

They provide thrilling games and special packages for friends and family.

If you love crafts of all kinds, you will love Linda’s Glass Gallery!

This gallery is on 2nd Street, where you can meet the founder, Linda Glozzer, and her gorgeous stained glass art.

She has created stained glass since 2007.

Now, the gallery is a cozy home to her ever-increasing collection.

It includes stained glass, mosaics, and stepping stones, among others.

Her crafts range from glass nameplates and frames to full-sized cartoon characters and landscapes!

Linda's Glass Gallery also conducts classes and workshops regularly.

You can set up a time for a workshop at your convenience!

You can purchase the available artwork at a reasonable price.

She also sells the necessary supplies if you want to try them yourself.

Enjoy Cold Draft Beer at Miami & Erie Restaurant and Lounge

Miami & Erie Restaurant and Lounge is one of the best ways to experience the Defiance nightlife.

The ambiance reminds guests of a dive bar with brick walls, dim lights, and wooden fixtures.

Even so, this lowkey atmosphere is thrilling, adding to the place’s appeal.

Plenty of drinks are available, with more than ten taps serving cold draft beers!

You won't find beers like that anywhere else in the city.

They also serve other drinks occasionally.

You can pair those with pizza, chicken wings, subs, or whatever the restaurant introduces on its snack menu.

The staff is friendly and always willing to give recommendations around the city.

Miami & Erie Restaurant and Lounge also hosts amazing shows; make sure to catch one if you’re around.

Gorge on Cheesecakes at A Little Slice of Heaven

A Little Slice of Heaven serves a sweet slice of heaven!

This little bakery, founded in 2011, stands tall on Clinton Street.

It sells every pastry you can think of, including cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, and cheesecakes.

However, the cheesecakes are the star of the show here.

The owner, Mary Weisgerber, makes them in different sizes and flavors.

Locals and tourists love to flock to this bakery for cheesecake.

The bakery is also open for online orders, delivering scrumptiousness to your doorstep.

A Little Slice of Heaven is Defiance's precious hidden gem with a cozy ambiance, friendly staff, and a great menu.

Check Out the Just Be Original Fine Arts Academy

Enter a world of colors and creativity at Just Be Original Fine Arts Academy!

Located on Clinton Street, the academy is a happy little place filled with colors, liveliness, and joy.

This creative space hosts classes and workshops all year round.

Classes for canvas painting, crochet, felting, and wood carving, among others, are available!

The academy hosts these classes not only for kids and teens but also for adults.

Since no class is the same as the other, you can sign up for one that tickles your fancy.

Just be Original Fine Arts Academy also run a retail shop called JBOutique, where you can buy locally made unique gifts.

You can buy fascinating items, from paintings and décor items to jewelry and art supplies!

Go Bowling at Defiance Recreation

Defiance Recreation delivers exactly what its name suggests, a spot to have fun with friends or family.

Since 1972, it has become the number one hangout spot for families and friends.

The atmosphere is inviting, with the special-effects lights and music giving it a feel of a nightclub.

The place offers 16 AMF lanes suitable for leisure and league bowling.

An on-site shop provides you with everything you need for bowling: balls, shoes, and other accessories.

If you don't want to bowl, Defiance Recreation has a pool table and a selection of video games.

After enjoying the games, you can have food and drinks at the Snack Bar or Cocktail Lounge.

As Defiance Recreation takes care of fun and food, you can make a day out of your visit!

Enjoy the Splashy Rides of Defiance Splash Park

Would you like to dive into a refreshing water park?

If your answer is yes, make your way to Defiance Splash Park!

The citizens helped renovate the old Bronson Pool facility on Power Dam Road, resulting in the Defiance Splash Park.

This water park features a splash pad, a rope tower, and a fun playground.

There are also tons of amenities, great for kids and adults, which is why it is popular with people of all ages.

You can carry your food and drinks inside, and even lawn chairs, as long as you clean up after yourselves.

The only catch is that it is seasonal; it only opens from May to September each year.

You will only experience this splash of fun if you time your visit right.

Catch Fish at Oxbow Lake and Wildlife Area

Oxbow Lake and Wildlife Area spans over 416 acres and features a fascinating topography over which trees like sycamores, hickories, and oaks stand.

If you are an avid birdwatcher, you will love the area.

Migrating shorebirds, songbirds, and great blue herons are familiar visitors throughout the year.

However, the main attraction is Oxbow Lake.

Constructed in 1953, it spans a whopping 38 acres!

You can go boating in the lake and even go fishing.

Fishing is a popular activity here.

People around the county come here for bass and bluegill fishing.

You can try that too!

Other Things to Do Nearby

Catch the Ethereal Shows at Huber Opera House

Huber Opera House is an active hub to enjoy all kinds of events.

The establishment is in Hicksville, Ohio, 28 minutes from Defiance.

It was formerly a nightclub, which the citizens reformed in 1999, resulting in the Huber Opera House.

The building looks simple from the outside.

However, hiding under this simplicity is pure magic!

This opera house hosts everything from amateur theatre and dance reviews to animal shows, choral presentations, and weddings.

You can find out what’s playing on their website, even their dates and schedules.

The venue is so legendary that you can book a tour to learn about its intriguing history!

The Huber Opera House might be far away, but it’s still worth a visit.

Taste the Exquisite Wines at Stoney Ridge Winery

Make your way to one of the most friendly wineries in the county, the Stoney Ridge Winery.

The winery is a proud business in Bryan, Ohio, 30 minutes from Defiance.

It is close to the highway, meaning you can plan it for a weekend escapade or a long drive.

This family-owned business produces the most delicious of wines and ciders.

The vineyard also has a tasting room, where you can choose from red, white, fruit, rosé, and hard cider.

The Hideout Room is a recently renovated addition, perfect for hosting small celebrations!

Stoney Ridge Winery also offers cozy indoor and natural outdoor venues suitable for big parties.

With a calm atmosphere, great wines, and friendly staff, the winery deserves all its hype!

Final Thoughts

Defiance is teeming with several sights and activities, from parks and cultural venues to unique restaurants.

If you want to plan a peaceful vacation, enjoy the best things to do in Defiance, Ohio!

Start planning your trip today!

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