15 Best Things to Do in Granville, OH

Granville, OH
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Granville is a quaint New England community in Licking County, east central Ohio.

It is a village located in a stretch of rolling hills, 35 miles east of the state capital Columbus and seven miles west of Newark.

The village features several houses with distinctive architecture and companionable neighbors.

It has a charming downtown that radiates warmth and friendly hospitality, a perfect place to drop by in the summer.

Granville is home to Denison University and has a host of historic structures, including Greek Revival buildings like St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Avery Downer House, and others.

Other distinctive landmarks include the Buxton and Granville Inns, Bryn du Mansion, and Bancroft House.

You can find Granville in a region of central Ohio with many outdoor trails for hikers and bikers, plus local inns and museums for history buffs.

You can try kayaking and canoeing; visit history, science, and art museums; and enjoy world-class shopping.

Likewise, check out conservatories, award-winning zoos, theaters, restaurants, and nightlife.

Are you eager to try the best things to do in Granville?

Check out this list to learn more!

Check Out Colorful Wares at Green Velvet

Storefront of Green Velvet
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Green Velvet offers a wide range of gifts and fun objects for your home.

It’s a charming boutique filled with fantastic and quirky items from around the world.

Whether you need a small gift for your partner, a classy new jewelry item, or a fragrant soap for your skin, Green Velvet is here for you.

You can also find whimsical items such as graphic T-shirts, colorful candles, and ingredients to make unique dishes.

When owner Liz Stutzman and her mother opened Green Velvet, they advertised it as a little flash of Paris in downtown Granville.

Stutzman first got her entrepreneurial spirit at a little shop called Mom and Me that had two locations.

They decided to open a third location specializing in handcrafted items and one-of-a-kind gifts, which became Green Velvet.

Enjoy a Sweet Treat at Seek-No-Further Cidery

Owner Trent Beers found much amusement at the idea of a man with his name opening a cidery.

His cidery began with a local legend of an orchard in Granville, Massachusetts, where a grove of apple trees thrived in the lush farmland.

In the 1790s, these colorful treats sweetened the days of New Englanders.

Now in Granville, Ohio, Seek-no-Further Cidery is here for customers from all walks of life, offering delicious hard cider from the country’s finest apples.

Trent has scoured historic orchards in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine to incorporate delicious heirloom apples into his blends.

Aside from heirloom apples from the Northeast, his cider also uses fresh fruits and honey from Central Ohio’s farms.

Seek-no-Further Cidery has everything from seltzers, ice ciders, dry/semi ice, and limited-release blends that will satisfy your tastebuds and leave you wanting more.

Admire the Elegance of the Robbins Hunter Museum

The Robbins Hunter Museum and Avery-Downer House is a house museum with 19th and 18th-century furnishings and decorative arts.

The owners and collectors have gathered these items over its entire history.

Built in 1842, the house is one of the country's best examples of the Greek Revival style.

Its Jill Griese Historic Garden is among the 28 daffodil display gardens nationwide under the American Daffodil Society.

The house was private in 1903.

Back then, the Spelman, Avery, and Downer families owned the property.

From 1903 up until 1930, the house hosted Denison University’s Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.

Spanning 1930 to 1956, it hosted the Kappa Sigma fraternity.

Robbins Hunter  Jr. created a home at the house from 1956 to 1979.

He had dreamed of turning the Avery-Downer House into a museum.

Throughout his years there, he collected a display-worthy antique collection.

The Robbins Hunter Museum has passed through rigorous rehabilitation and now reveals the stateliness of a significant Grecian landmark.

Exterior of Kussmaul Gallery
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Kussmaul Gallery is a unique store within a two-story brick building in Granville.

Built in 1928, the gallery started as the Ohio and Erie canal’s resident meat and wool warehouse.

Later, it became the Granville Times Printing Company.

Ohio landscape painter James Young founded the Kussmaul Gallery in 1987.

It started as a small consignment gallery and frame shop and soon became a venue for fantastic one-of-a-kind gifts and objects.

James and his future wife Jenifer later expanded the shop when ground floor space became available for rent.

Today, the gallery is among Ohio’s most famous shops for home décor, unique gifts, hand-crafted jewelry, and hand-blown glass.

The former upstairs gallery currently hosts the James Young Fine Art Painting studio.

Here you can see unique Granville-themed creations with names like Bryn Du Tile, Back for a Visit, Granville Tradition, and Up The Hill.

Taste Fresh New Flavors at Whit’s Frozen Custard

As one of Granville’s coldest winters drew to a close in 2003, a new store started its journey.

The weather was cold, and the locals had no idea what frozen custard even was.

However, Whit’s Frozen Custard was headed for success.

The store combines Chuck Whitman’s experience working in food service and his wife Lisa’s knowledge of ice cream from working in the business.

Chuck worked in restaurants throughout the Midwest throughout his career, but the soft-serve ice cream business caught his interest.

He worked at a dairy manufacturing plant and purchased endless ice cream ingredients.

Soon, his affinity and knowledge for frozen custard grew over the years as he sought to perfect a fantastic custard recipe.

Today at Whit’s Frozen Custard, you can try your favorite toppings like chocolate syrup, butterscotch, and hot caramel.

You can also try natural fruit on your custard like apple, banana, and blueberry.

Otherwise, try candies such as Gummi Worms, Butterfinger, and Cookies and Crème.

Discover the Past at the Granville Historical Museum

The Granville Historical Society is a vibrant and revolutionary organization devoted to this remarkable region’s past.

They publish books and periodicals, host lectures, help with historical and genealogical research, and run a museum.

The Granville Historical Museum comprises two buildings, the Harris Exhibit Hall and the Granville History Building.

In 1994, the historical society asked the county to lease the building that was once the 1860s jail to open a new museum.

It went through many closings and reopenings over the years, establishing a permanent spot in 2006.

Thousands of visitors have enjoyed Granville History Building’s rich history, told in artifacts, informative text, a movie, murals, and interactive exhibits.

In 1977, Mary Green Harris bought the ‘freezer locker plant’ in Oxford, transferring stewardship to Granville.

This transfer came with the knowledge that the building would become a museum.

This building let the historical society expand its museum in the jail, which included a spacious gallery, office space, conference room, expanded gift shop, and storage spaces.

After much renovation, Harris Exhibit Hall opened for business in 2000.

Live in Old-Fashioned Luxury at Granville Inn

Exterior of Granville Inn
Chamberednautilus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The history lover in you will enjoy Granville Inn, a place overflowing with old-world charm combined with modern luxury.

John Sutphin Jones commissioned the building of Granville Inn.

He commissioned it in the Jacobethan Revival style, on the same spot as Granville Female College, which had shut its doors in 1898.

Frank L. Packard, a prominent Columbus architect, designed the stone and half-timber structure.

Driveway of Granville Inn
Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

According to historical newspapers, as many as 5000 people attended the Inn’s opening.

Today, the inn in the heart of town offers a pub and full-service restaurant, 36 traditional guest rooms, and three suites.

You can also enjoy meeting, banquet, and catering services.

Its old-world charm, native sandstone, hand-cut oak paneling, and rural warmth make it an excellent place for an escape.

Embark on a Learning Adventure at Denison Museum

Denison Museum is a teaching museum that helps its residents incorporate objects of cultural, historical, and artistic significance into their academic curriculum.

The museum has something to offer faculty and students, whether through science, fine art, math, language, research, or creative writing.

Many faculty have partnered with the museum to teach classes across different academic disciplines.

You can use an object in lectures, research, reading, or writing assignments.

Students can also research objects in a collection, whether part of a class or an independent research project.

The Denison Museum serves as an art museum and so much more, with outstanding collections of cultural, historical, and aesthetic value.

The collection has over 9,000 objects from Asia, Europe, and Central and North America.

Have a Drink at Three Oaks Vineyard

Pete and Diana Hooverman dreamed of opening a vineyard back in 2006.

Their dreams bore fruit in the Three Oaks Vineyard.

In the first year, they started with nine vines, and now they have around 800 vines and ten varieties.

In 2009, they added an apple orchard.

By 2012, they’ve received approval as an Ohio Winery.

Pete and Diana believe that making wine is truly an art, that there is so much more to learn, and that people can only get more skilled at the craft.

Today, you are always welcome to share a glass of wine with friends at Three Oaks Vineyard.

Enjoy Tee Time at Denison Golf Club

In 1924, Scottish golf architect Donald Ross created the Denison Golf Club at Granville.

He designed the coursefor coal and railroad magnate John Sutphin Jones.

In 1922, Jones made a development pact with the village of Granville to construct the course.

The Denison Golf Club has long had a reputation as one of the Midwest’s most remarkable public courses.

The golf club is a genuine golf challenge, with its 63 gracefully placed sand bunkers and elevated, sprawling greens.

Today, the course’s mission is to continue Donald Ross’ legacy and provide its guests with the best guest experience, facilities, professional staff, and environment.

Granville’s wooded and hilly terrain also gave Ross an opportunity for his outstanding design concepts.

He believes you must never create a hazard when you can take advantage of nature’s elements.

Marvel at the Magnificent Alligator Mound

 Landscape of Alligator Mound
Niagara66, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can find Alligator Mound perched atop a bluff overseeing Raccoon Creek Valley.

It is one of two great animal effigy mounds that Ohio’s prehistoric people constructed.

It is a vast sculpture of a four-footed animal sporting a long, winding tail and a round head.

The mound is 200 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 5-6 feet high at its highest height.

Despite the name, the mound likely did not represent an alligator.

For one thing, alligators are not native to Ohio.

Archaeologists believe that the mound likely represents an opossum or a panther.

It perhaps represents the Underwater Panther, a supernatural creature that Native Americans believe lives in lakes and other bodies of water.

For years, archaeologists believed the Hopewell culture built Alligator Mound.

Carbon dating has since revealed that the Fort Ancient culture likely built the mound.

Go Cruising along the TJ Evans Bike Trail

The TJ Evans Bike Trail is among the many recreational trails along central Ohio.

It begins on the west side of Newark, courses northwest through Granville and Alexandria, and ends in Johnstown.

It stretches 14 miles long and has two connecting spokes.

The first is a 2.2-mile spoke going to Goosepond Road in Ohio University, while the second is a 3.5-mile one going to the YMCA.

There is something on this trail for everyone, from peaceful farmlands to Raccoon Creek’s serene river sights.

You can see different habitats supporting diverse bird species, including a riparian buffer supporting a Bald Eagle’s nest.

Don’t have to worry about the heat, for the tree-shaded canopy keeps residents and tourists cool on summer days.

Take a break at the beautiful Wildwood Park, which features open fields and a wonderful castle-shaped play area.

Otherwise, bike around Granville's lovely restaurants and shops.

Work up a sweat at the TJ Evans Bike Trail.

Bask in the Sun at the Spring Valley Nature Preserve

Spring Valley Nature Preserve contains 135 acres of fields, marshes, forests, and streams.

It is a treasured outdoor location where folks hike, go picnicking, walk by the creek, pick wildflowers, and explore trails.

Folks can drop by the Spring Valley Nature Preserve to birdwatch, sketch and paint, snap photographs, read and write, relax, and learn.

Here you can find the Vera Meineke Nature Center, a passive-solar earth-sheltered visitor center and natural museum.

At the center, spot interactive exhibits on local plants and animals, a library, a children’s activity area, and a living turtle world display.

Next to this is a Backyards for Wildlife display, a Monarch Rearing and Education Station, and a Kid’s Vegetable Garden.

You can also find the Volkening Heritage Farm, where you will help with seasonal farm chores, participate in the 1880s games, and engage in family activities.

Enjoy the Luxuries at the Bryn Du Mansion

Entryway of Bryn Du Mansion
Chamberednautilus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As a 52-acre estate, Bryn Du Mansion has dominated the landscape since 1905.

Its rich past and the history of the families who lived there enhance its unique facilities and thriving environment.

It has only recently become available for public use.

The mansion and estate have also become famous for trade shows, banquets, weddings, meetings, and sporting events.

The property has a Great Lawn or polo field comprising 32.24 acres.

On Sunday afternoons during summer, the field hosts polo games.

Far view of Bryn Du Mansion
Chamberednautilus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

On the remaining acreage are a total of eight buildings.

These include the Federal-style 1905 Mansion, an Art Center in the former pool house/powerhouse, the 7200 square foot field house, and the 1920s Mission-style Carriage House.

These also include the Laundry House, home to the artist-in-residence, the Spring House green room with its outdoor area, the Gardener’s Cottage, and the historic horse barn.

Enjoy a luxurious afternoon at the Bryn Du Mansion.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Uncover Unique History at Newark Earthworks

Landscape of Newark Earthworks
Jeffrey M. Frank / Shutterstock.com

You can find the Newark Earthworks only ten minutes away from Granville.

This site is in Heath, Ohio.

They are the most extensive set of geometric earthen enclosures on the planet.

They are an architectural marvel of ancient America, serving as part cemetery, part cathedral, and part astronomical observatory.

Over the years, the growth of Newark City destroyed many of the earthworks, but interested local citizens saved three significant structures.

The Great Circle Earthworks span almost 1,200 feet in diameter, with eight-foot high walls surrounding a five-foot-deep moat.

It likely served as a colossal ceremonial center for its builders.

The Octagon Earthworks enclose 50 acres with eight walls, each reaching around 550 long, from five to six feet tall.

Daytime view of Newark Earthworks
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

They are also present at the Mound Builders Country Club golf course site and are open four times a year.

The Wright Earthworks comprise a frame of a geometrically near-flawless square enclosure and part of a wall that initially formed parallel embankments.

Nobody knows for sure why the Native Americans designed the earthworks.

One theory is that the Native Americans built a massive site for astronomical accuracy, providing sightlines that increase astronomical alignment.

The Newark Earthworks are a step closer to becoming the first World Heritage site in Ohio.

Today, they remain the state’s first official prehistoric monument.

Final Thoughts

Ohio is one of the country's most vibrant and enriching states.

Likewise, Granville shines with some of its best qualities.

Don’t miss the chance to see historical sights, trek ancient culture, and gain cultural knowledge.

Support bustling businesses, fine sample dining, and do eclectic shopping, too.

Book your trip today and discover the best things to do in Granville!