Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Niles, OH

  • Published 2023/03/06

The city of Niles frequently draws visitors as the birthplace of the 25th US president, William McKinley.

However, there’s more to discover and enjoy in this city in south Trumbull County, Ohio, near this county’s border with Mahoning County.

Niles offers many exciting places to see and things to do within its 22 square miles.

All these attractions owe themselves to the city’s vibrant economy, mainly from the manufacture of titanium, which is vital for aircraft and aerospace.

The history of Niles, founded in 1865 and incorporated as a city in 1895,’ is forged in metal.

The development of Niles started in the late 1700s, with the discovery of iron ore, coal, and lime deposits in its area.

With these as drivers, the city’s economy eventually prospered, helping weave the various points of interest in Niles’ template.

Check out the best things to do in Niles, OH.

Explore the Life of President McKinley at His Home and Museum

Daytime view of National McKinley Birthplace Memorial Museum and Library

Upstateherd, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Niles has two facilities to celebrate the life of one of its most illustrious sons, President McKinley, who served the nation from 1897 till his assassination in 1901.

Both of these facilities—the McKinley Birthplace Home and the National McKinley Birthplace Memorial Museum and Library—are on Main Street in downtown Niles.

Statue in the middle of National McKinley Birthplace Memorial Museum and Library

Jason Sponseller /

A replica house, the McKinley Birthplace Home, is on South Main Street in the block south of the memorial museum and library.

The McKinley Birthplace Home maintains and displays a collection of memorabilia on McKinley’s childhood and his Niles family life and political career.

Besides exhibits and book collections, the National McKinley Birthplace Memorial Museum and Library on North Main Street hosts various community events.

Enjoy Malling at Youngstown Warren Road

The northwestern quadrant of Eastwood Mall Complex of Youngstown Warren Road (Route 422) and Niles Cortland Road (US 46) is the domain of the Eastwood Mall Complex.

Visit this large, well-established commercial hub for over 200 stores and restaurants.

Its general area features 3.2 million square feet of commercial space, with the Eastwood Mall Complex accounting for 1.2 million square feet or half of this popular Niles destination.

JCPenney, Boscov’s, Dillard’s Clearance Center, Macy’s, and Target are the anchor stores of Eastwood.

Business Insider readers have voted Eastwood Mall as Ohio’s best shopping mall, while USA Today has cited it as the No. 1 place to shop for Black Friday.

In 1969, the mall boasted a center court with a three-tank aquarium for sharks and saltwater fish.

The mall complex also hosts a Residence Inn by Marriott, offering shop-and-stay packages.

The stretch of Youngstown Warren Road and its periphery also offer the strip malls Howland’s Commons and Niles Park Plaza, plus several big-box stores.

Visit the Vintage Ward–Thomas Home

Listen to some vignettes of the history of the Niles area at the circa 1862 Ward–Thomas Home.

The Niles Historical Society converted this vintage Victorian mansion into a museum.

Its previous owners were the Ward and Thomas families, prominent industrialists in Niles.

Built on a five-acre site, the house consists of 14 rooms, many of them elaborately furnished in the late 1800s style.

The Thomas family owned some furniture items here and donated them to the museum.

Throughout the museum, you will see life-size mannequin replicas of costumed White House ladies garbed in gowns typical of those displayed at the Smithsonian.

The museum’s grounds also feature a restored barn, a 1925 greenhouse, and various gardens in an arboretum with 56 tree varieties.

Support Budding Artists at the Art Outreach Gallery

This gallery is a nonprofit on Youngstown Warren Road, offering seasonal art shows, exhibits, and workshops.

Opened in 2006, Art Outreach Gallery provides creative opportunities to young adults in the Mahoning Valley.

It has exhibited over 30,000 artworks from preschool to 12th-grade students in the region.

The Art Outreach Gallery is also the home of Mahoning Valley’s First LEGO League.

This is an international program for inspiration and recognition of science and technology for children ages 9–14.

Also, check the events calendar of this gallery to catch bands, singing and musical groups, solo guitarists and pianists, drama, ballet, poetry readings, and robotics competitions.

Explore Waddel Park

The Sharkey Drive corridor of about half a mile gives access to the 53-acre Waddel Park, established in the 1930s.

This park features several ball fields, including three lighted Little League baseball diamonds.

Besides baseball, the other sports fields in Waddel Park accommodate football, softball, and hardball.

Waddel Park also provides practice fields, a bocce court, a walking track, a lighted skating area, a playground, and three picnic pavilions.

It likewise boasts a wellness center with state-of-the-art features for family-friendly community activities promoting physical and mental growth.

Bike the Niles Greenway Path

Built in 2012, this trail runs for four miles and starts near the downtown area on Church Street.

It was constructed on a former rail right of way from Niles to the Weathersfield Township.

The Niles Greenway Path links with the Mill Creek Metro Parks Bikeway at the county line.

The Niles Greenway Bike Path features a trailhead with restroom facilities and a shelter pavilion.

The multi-use trail traverses woodlands, a few suburban backyards, and patches of light industrial areas.

It offers convenient access to Niles’ downtown and a car-less route from Niles to towns in the south, like Canfield and Austintown and the Meander Creek Reservoir.

Watch Baseball at Eastwood Field

A baseball game at Eastwood Field

DMC511, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This baseball arena is home to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

This team has won back-to-back Pinckney Division New York-Penn League titles in 2017 and 2018.

The Scrappers are among the six teams competing in the MLB Draft League.

Other sports extravaganzas also occur at the Eastwood Field, which has a 10,000 maximum capacity.

These sports events include pro wrestling.

Opened in 1999, the Eastwood Field also regularly hosts concerts and corporate events.

Play Tennis at Stevens Park

Opened in 1936, this park is on North Crandon Avenue and boasts four tennis courts.

The other facilities in this park include two soccer fields, one picnic pavilion, a rental cabin, a playground with equipment, a walking trail, and a restroom facility.

The family of Harry M. Stevens, from whom the park drew its name, donated the 35 acres comprising the park.

Harry’s name is also etched as the creator and designer of the baseball scorecard still used today.

Stevens also pioneered baseball stadium food concessions, claiming to be the hot dog’s inventor.

The city of Niles thus celebrates the annual Harry Stevens Hot Dog Day to coincide with the 4th of July festivities.

Dine Italian at Vernon’s Café

This restaurant on Youngstown Warren Road is one of the vivid reminders of the many early Italian immigrants who settled in Niles.

Vernon’s Café flaunts an upscale-casual ambiance in its dining area, lounge, and full bar.

Operating for more than 20 years, this restaurant offers Italian specialty dishes, including chicken parmigiana tender.

It’s a tempting serving of breaded chicken breast with toppings of classic tomato sauce and cheese served with spaghetti.

You can start your meal with delectable appetizers like tender chargrilled Spanish octopus or grilled calamari.

Pick a Spot at High Pointe Restaurant & Tavern

This double threat of a restaurant and a tavern on Youngstown Warren Road offers a casual and relaxed ambiance.

Its restaurant offers American basics and pizzas and burgers, always keeping patrons happy with weekly specials like Wings & Burger Night on Mondays.

The tavern side of High Pointe is alive with specials as well, with its 3:00-7:00 p.m. Happy Hour that has the same menu as the restaurant.

There are ten big-screen TVs at the High Pointe Tavern and DJ, live music, and keno.

Bounce High at the Extreme Air Trampoline Park

This family fun center is on Youngstown Warren Road and takes pride as Mahoning Valley’s excellent indoor trampoline facility.

Extreme Air Trampoline Park is the only amusement center of its kind in Trumbull County.

It boasts more than 10,000 square feet of custom-made trampolines adjoining floors and walls.

The park’s facilities are all set in a family-friendly atmosphere and consist of two basketball lanes, two dodgeball courts, a kids’ corner, the central court, and a foam pit.

Shoot Targets with the Western Reserve Fish and Game Association

A sports club, the Western Reserve Fish and Game Association operates archery and gun ranges on West 3rd Street along the east banks of the Mahoning River.

Founded in 1919, this sports club also offers several instructional and safety courses, including an award-winning civilian marksmanship program.

Sign up for the association’s classes, where instructors cover subjects like hunter education.

The Western Reserve Fish and Game Association also has a junior rifle team advocating firearm safety and marksmanship training for the youth.

Learn About the City’s History at Niles Union Cemetery

Apart from being a place where dead people are laid to rest, a cemetery is also a place where you can learn about the local history of a place.

Niles Union Cemetery is a historic cemetery that holds the keys to the city’s past.

Established in 1856, this historic cemetery contains the graves of many prominent figures and citizens of Niles and the surrounding areas.

Some of these gravestones even date back to the early 1900s.

The place has seen plenty of restorations throughout the years to retain its original beauty and charm.

The cemetery features beautiful landscaping, which includes old yet well-maintained trees and well-trimmed lawns.

Visitors at Niles Union Cemetery can pay their respects to the dearly departed, learn about the history of Niles, and enjoy a peaceful and serene atmosphere.

If you don’t get spooked easily, Nile Union Cemetery is also a peaceful place to spend with family or get some alone time.

The cemetery is open to the public every day, so make sure to visit this historic landmark.

Play with Friends or Compete with Locals at McKinley Lanes Bowling Center

There’s nothing like spending a Friday night bowling with the people you love.

At Niles, the best place to do just that is McKinley Lanes Bowling Center—a popular destination for fun and entertainment in Niles, Ohio.

Great games, good food, and a lively atmosphere—there are many reasons you should drop by and have a good time.

The center features 20 state-of-the-art lanes with automated scoring systems and a variety of bowling balls.

There’s also a full-service counter and bar if you want to take a break and refuel.

There’s also a rentable banquet where you can host parties, special events, and other gatherings.

If you’re a competitive bowler, you can join in on local tournaments and compete with locals and other tourists to win prizes.

And if you want to buy souvenirs or rent some gear to play, McKinley Lanes Bowling Center also has a pro shop ready to provide your needs.

The McKinley Lane Bowling Center is a fantastic place to spend an afternoon or evening with family and friends.

It’s a great place to play bowling, whether you’re a seasoned player or a novice looking to have fun.

Create a Masterpiece at Busy Bees Pottery & Arts Studio

You can always get creative—even when you’re on vacation.

At Niles, the Busy Bees Pottery & Arts Studio is one of the best places to exercise creativity.

This creative hub in downtown Niles, Ohio, is the premier art center that offers opportunities to view or create different works of art.

Visitors can come and create their unique pieces of pottery or canvas art.

You can enroll in classes or workshops and get lessons from local artists and professional art instructors.

The studio provides all the materials and supplies needed to get started.

You will also get helpful guidance from experienced instructors.

If you’re bored and looking for something unique to do, Busy Bees Pottery & Arts Studio has a lot of activities that will help kill time while offering you a way to relax while tapping into your creative side.

In addition to art lessons and tours, Busy Bees Pottery & Arts Studio also hosts private events and parties, including birthdays, bachelorette parties, and corporate events.

Work Your Mind at Escape History Escape Rooms

If you haven’t been to an escape room, you’re missing out on a lot of mind-numbing fun.

Fortunately, Niles offers the Escape History Escape Rooms—an interactive adventure game sure to quench every thrill-seeker’s thirst for a challenging and fun experience.

This escape room lets visitors choose from a variety of themed rooms where they try to solve the challenge that lies in each one.

These puzzles are not impossible to solve, but they’re challenging enough for you and the entire group to work hard and use your brains to solve them and escape.

The rooms are designed to test players’ problem-solving skills and ability to work with a team.

These dynamics make Escape History Escape Rooms an excellent place for families, friends, and workmates.

Escape History Escape Rooms is a great place to try if you’re looking for an adventure that requires more than physicality.

Smoke a Cigar at Havana House

If you love to smoke, you know the experience of smoking a good cigar.

At Niles, you’ll get that experience at the Havana House—the best place in the city where you can enjoy exquisite smoke and hang out with friends.

Havana House is a cigar and tobacco shop in downtown Niles, offering a wide selection of premium cigars, tobacco pipes, vape, and accessories.

One thing lacking in every cigar shop is a staff that knows a thing or two about their product.

Well, at the Havana House, the staff is knowledgeable—they can help customers find the perfect cigar or pipe to suit their tastes.

They can also recommend some of the best cigar brands and offer helpful advice.

The shop also has a comfortable and relaxing lounge area where customers can unwind and enjoy the company of other cigar smokers.

Havana House is a must-visit destination for cigar aficionados and anyone interested in tobacco.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Boat on the Mahoning River

The calm waters of Mahoning River

Structured Vision /

Kayaking and canoeing have become increasingly popular activities on the Mahoning River.

Many people flock to facilities like the boat ramp on Front Street in the city of Girard, some six miles southeast of Niles.

Kayakers and canoers paddling the river will pass cornfields, woodlands, and some industrial infrastructure.

The Girard Dock and Boat Launch opened in 2018, made possible through the efforts of the nonprofit Friends of the Mahoning River.

Rock Out at the Warren Amphitheatre

Daytime view of the empty Warren Amphitheatre

Jack Pearce from Boardman, OH, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This event venue in Warren is on Mahoning Avenue, some six miles northwest of Niles.

The Warren Amphitheatre is home to the River Rock at the Amp, an outdoor summer rock concert series that starts as early as the end of May.

This multi-purpose outdoor events venue can seat an audience of more than 3,000.

It also features the Riverwalk Stagehouse, which hosts other events, including outdoor movie screenings.

The events at Warren Amphitheatre also feature local food concessions and other vendors.

Explore the Mosquito Creek State Park

This state park is on Wilson Sharpsville Road in Cortland, about ten miles north of Niles.

The Mosquito Creek State Park spreads over nearly 2,500 acres with trails for hiking and pursuing other outdoor recreational activities.

This state park offers opportunities for camping and hunting, plus boating and fishing in its immense lake.

Hunting is allowed in the 1,500-acre tract of the Mosquito Cree Wildlife Area on the park’s northeast side.

You can hunt various wildlife in this area, except the waterfowl inhabiting the 7,850-acre Mosquito Creek Lake.

Fishing is popular year-round in this lake with over 40 miles of shoreline.

The lake has five launch areas, and anglers can cast a line for bass, crappies, walleye, northern pike, and catfish.

During winter, ice skaters can glide along the lake’s smooth surface.

Mosquito Creek Lake, Ohio’s second-largest inland lake, offers unlimited horsepower for boats on its waters but has speed limits in certain zones.

Navigational signs and markers indicate the lake’s limited speed zones and no-wake zones.

Final Thoughts

Remember the city of Niles when touring Trumbull County in Ohio, as its homegrown charm extends beyond being the birthplace of a famous US president.

Niles offers a rich mix of points of interest and things to do which are at par or even better than those in the adjoining Mahoning Valley region.

Book your trip to Niles today.

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