15 Best Things to Do in Westerville, OH

Westerville, OH
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Westerville, Ohio, is a unique city, both as a tourist destination and a historic location.

For example, a significant occasion in American history started in this city, just 15 minutes away from downtown Columbus.

This event is Prohibition, when the US government forbade the sale and consumption of liquor in all states and when figures like Al Capone rose and fell.

Likewise, Westerville is home to one of the country’s highest-ranking liberal arts institutions.

It is a city of knowledge and learning, making it an unmissable place for curious travelers.

Of course, you can also grab some delicious food at Westerville’s fine restaurants and join several fun activities.

Do you want to know more about Westerville, OH?

Here’s a list of the best things to do in town:

Spend the Day at Sharon Woods

Sharon Woods sun shining through trees
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Another outdoor spot you can visit in Westerville is the Sharon Woods, where you can check out an 11-acre lake with a surrounding meadowland.

You can also find two enormous ravines there and beautiful hiking trails.

View of Sharon Woods in Westerville, Ohio
Sixflashphoto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For example, you can go down the Spring Creek Trail, stretching 1.8 miles to reveal the park's splendor.

You can also hike down the multi-purpose trail and the Edward S. Thomas Trail, easy trails you can knock out in an afternoon.

Visit the Sharon Woods at 6911 Cleveland Avenue, Westerville, OH 43081.

Canada Goose at Sharon Woods in Westerville, Ohio
Sixflashphoto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bring Your Family to the Millstone Creek Park

Treat your kids to a day at Westervilles Millstone Creek Park, which features an inclusive Boundless Playground and a kid-friendly nature play area.

After the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, the government transformed many facilities into more accessible places for people with disabilities.

They also built inclusive spaces, and the Boundless Playground is one of them.

The Boundless Playground allows kids with disabilities to play with other kids.

They can also ride on the swings or go on the slides.

Metal slides also allow kids with hearing problems to move around the park.

Kids with disabilities will also enjoy the nature play area.

They’ll find various amenities like cattail spinners, a plant tunnel, a wetland beach, and an exploration zone.

Visit the Millstone Creek Park at 745 N Spring Rd, Westerville, OH 43082.

Tie the Knot at the Everal Barn and Homestead

If you’re planning to tie the knot while keeping it simple, you might want to do it at the Everal Barn and Homestead in Westerville.

It’s a historic place in the city, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and a popular spot for important events like weddings and reunions.

Besides special occasions, the site also teaches visitors about local history.

You can read the various signs posted around the property showing how the early families who lived in the homestead spent their time.

If you want to visit, you can join a walking tour, which is free and open to the public.

Visit the Everal Barn and Homestead at 60 N Cleveland Avenue, Westerville, OH 43082.

Spend the Day at Alum Creek Park North

Kids of all ages will surely have a fun time at Westerville’s Alum Creek Park North, featuring various amenities.

The park also hosts free plays in the summer, so you might also want to time your visit.

Bring your kids to the park to ride the train and swings, fit for younger and older kids.

The kids can drive, slide, climb, and ride this train—all they need is a little imagination.

Moreover, your kids can also try the wobbly bridge, walk down the open stepping stone bridge, or climb up the twisted ladder.

Visit Alum Creek Park North at 221 W Main St., Westerville, OH 43081.

Study a Historical Figure at the Hanby House

Eric Glenn / Shutterstock.com

Another way to study Westerville's history is by learning about the life of its historical figures.

For example, you can visit the Hanby House and learn all about Benjamin Hanby, a man of many talents.

He held various titles during his life, including a minister, teacher, and abolitionist.

However, people mainly know him as a musician and composer, having written the numbers “Up on the Housetop,” “Who Is He in Yonder Stall,” and “Darling Nelly Gray.”

Eric Glenn / Shutterstock.com

The Hanbys lived in the historic house from 1853 to 1870.

The house still contains its original furniture and items belonging to the Hanby family, such as the walnut desk that Benjamin built himself.

You’ll even find the original plates where the first edition of “Darling Nelly Gray” appeared.

Likewise, you’ll see Benjamin’s enormous books and sheet music collection.

Visit the Hanby House at 160 W Main St., Westerville, OH 43081.

Hang Out at the Johnston-McVay Park

The city of Westerville designed this park to pay tribute to the McVay family, local philanthropists, and nature lovers who also owned the land first.

Like other Westerville parks, the Johnston-McVay park focuses on nature and blending greenery with play and recreation.

When you enter the park, you’ll find mature parks all around the property.

There are also a lot of fun educational activities in the park, such as a nature play area, honoring the legacy of the McVays.

You can also take a stroll along with the park’s trail network.

Visit the Johnston-McVay Park at 480 S Hempstead Rd, Westerville, OH 43081.

Learn Local History at the Westerville History Museum

If you’re curious about the history of Westerville, there’s no better place to go than the Westerville History Museum.

This museum features different historical collections and exhibits to teach you all you need to know about the Westerville community.

For example, the collections showcase how the community joined the Underground Railroad that freed hundreds of slaves.

You can also learn how the Prohibition era began through the anti-alcohol activities that started in the city.

The museum collects important historical artifacts, such as the Anti-Saloon League archives and historical photographs, newspaper items, and maps.

You can join a private tour or do your self-guided tour.

Visit the Westerville History Museum at 110 S State St., Westerville, OH 43081.

Practice Your Swing at the Westerville Golf Center

Since 1970, the Westerville Golf Center has given fun and enjoyment to families from Central Ohio and beyond.

They added several amenities over the years, including The Frontier Miniature Golf and Batting Cages.

It also features two 18-hole mini-golf courses, and its batting cages have six pitching machines.

Today, the center has become the number 1 family-friendly destination in Westerville.

If you don’t know where to bring your family to Westerville, you won’t go wrong taking them to the Westerville Golf Center.

You can practice your golf swing while your kids test their batting skills.

Visit the Westerville Golf Center at 450 W Schrock Rd, Westerville, OH 43081.

Enjoy the Day at the Hoover Reservoir Park

Hoover Reservoir Park
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This water source for the city of Columbus, Ohio, is also a 4,700-acre park filled with gorgeous landscapes designed to help you relax.

Besides hiking and picnicking, you can also go boating on the nearby lake, where you can also catch fish.

If you’re a birdwatcher, you can see various bird types in any given season, from common birds to rare ones.

Lucky watchers can even catch sight of the American Bald Eagle throughout the year.

Visit the Hoover Reservoir Park at 7701 Sunbury Rd, Westerville, OH 43081.

Check Out Masterpieces at the Frank Museum of Art

Travelers interested in art should visit the Frank Museum of Art on their to-do list for Westerville.

If you’re one of these tourists, you’ll enjoy spending an afternoon inside this art museum.

You’ll find art collections gathered from New Guinea, Africa, and Japan.

The museum itself is inside a historic Westerville building.

Why?

The Otterbein University transformed Lillian Frank’s “church house” into a museum after her death in 1999.

For 29 years, Lillian Frank taught art, philosophy, and theology at Otterbein University.

Making her old home into a museum is the university’s way of honoring her memory.

If you want to learn more about non-Western arts and culture, you’ll want to drop by this 1,800-square-foot museum.

Visit the Frank Museum of Art at 39 S Vine St., Westerville, OH 43081.

Be One with Nature at the Boyer Nature Preserve

Students learned about biology and nature by studying the resident wildlife living at Boyer Park for several years.

After all, various animals lived there, such as turtles, frogs, and even a family of muskrats, roaming among yellow pond lilies and tall cattails.

Above them, birds scanned the ground for food.

Park nationalists also classified the park’s plant species as irreplaceable due to their uniqueness.

If you want to experience unspoiled nature at Westerville, you need to visit the Boyer Nature Preserve.

Reconnect with nature and learn about the world beyond the concrete jungle.

Visit the Boyer Nature Preserve at 452 E Park St., Westerville, OH 43081.

See More Masterpieces at the Miller & Fisher Galleries

If you can’t get enough art in Westerville, you can also go to the Miller & Fisher Galleries.

Like the Frank Museum of Art, this gallery also features Asian and African artworks, many of which are three-dimensional objects.

Missionaries and African natives who studied at Otterbein University donated most of the pieces displayed in the galleries.

You’ll find more than 1,000 pieces, mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa and made in the 20thcentury during your visit.

To reach the Miller & Fisher Galleries, you need to enter the Otterbein University campus, located at 33 Collegeview Road, Westerville, OH 43081.

Explore the Wild at the Inniswood Metro Gardens

Inniswood Metro Gardens
Richard345 / shutterstock.com

Besides history and culture, Westerville also features beautiful natural attractions, such as the Inniswood Metro Gardens.

This 123-acre garden should inspire travelers of every stripe, drawing out the type of creative energy that makes you paint landscapes or write poetry.

What will you see in this garden?

You’ll find wildflowers filling a woodland habitat, home to various wildlife species.

Streams also cross the area, adding more color to the lush greenery.

Amateur botanists will also thrill because the garden hosts over 2,000 plant species located at specialty collections and theme gardens.

Visit the Inniswood Metro Gardens at 940 S Hampstead Rd, Westerville, OH 43081.

Study Prohibition History at the Anti-Saloon League Museum

The Prohibition era is one of the most interesting periods in American history.

It might be unimaginable today, but the United States did ban alcohol nationwide for several years, leading to the rise of speakeasies and notorious gangsters.

Today, you can revisit this history at the Anti-Saloon League Museum.

You just need to enter the Westerville Public Library to reach this museum.

Again, you might be unfamiliar with the name “Anti-Saloon League,” but it’s one of the most influential political organizations in American history.

Their efforts led directly to Prohibition through the passage of the Volstead Act, paving the way for the Eighteenth Amendment.

This amendment effectively banned alcohol in the entire country.

You’ll find many artifacts of the League’s efforts to keep America “dry.”

The museum contains ads, newspaper cartoons, yearbooks, songs, pamphlets, and ads intended to sway the public against alcohol.

Thanks to these artifacts, this museum has become Ohio’s hidden gem.

Visit the Anti-Saloon League Museum at 110 S State St., Westerville, OH 43081.

Reflect on the Universe at the Astronaut Grove

As everybody knows, the United States has a rich history of space exploration.

After all, it’s the first nation to put a man on the moon.

Westerville hopes to honor the legacy of the astronauts who gave their lives to help humanity reach greater heights when it built the Astronaut Grove.

Visit this place to reflect on your place in the wider universe.

When you enter the park, you’ll find three areas intended to honor fallen astronauts and ponder the future of space exploration.

You’ll also see a magnificent structure called “Reaching for the Stars,” which should fill your camera roll.

This grove is also free to the public.

Visit the Astronaut Grove at 290 West Main St., Westerville, OH 43081.

Final Thoughts

If you want to know about the history and the universe beyond the planet, you need to visit Westerville, Ohio.

It’s a simple place that will remind you of all that’s beautiful in the world and teach you to appreciate the years past.

Book your trip to Westerville today!

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