Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Yellow Springs, OH

  • Published 2023/05/23

Located in Greene County in Ohio, Yellow Springs is a town full of nature and hidden natural sites you can’t find elsewhere.

As a resident, I can’t help but feel lucky to live in such a beautiful place!

Yellow Springs has an excellent reputation as Ohio’s “hippie town.”

You might think it’s an unlikely place to find many fun activities but believe me; it surprised me too!

Despite being a small town with around 3,702 residents as of the 2021 census, it’s packed with attractions.

I’ve discovered everything from scenic trails and breathtaking nature preserves to impressive art galleries.

Whether you’re a fellow local or an out-of-towner, so many things to do in Yellow Springs will make your visit unforgettable.

Interested to know more about this stunning place?

Stay tuned for the 20 best things to do in Yellow Springs, Ohio!

Indulge in Nature’s Wonders at Glen Helen Nature Preserve

Gorgeous waterfall of Glen Helen Nature Preserve

arthurgphotography /

My quick trip to Glen Helen Nature Preserve is always the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and venture into the beautiful local scenery.

It provides the most breathtaking view in all of Southwest Ohio; it’s no secret why so many people, including myself, flock to this unique, stunning area every season.

The 1,125-acre nature preserve comes with a 15-mile network of footpaths, and it’s under the care of Glen Helen, a nonprofit organization.

I often enjoy light hiking around this nature preserve, which offers spectacular views of 400-year-old trees, wildflowers, overhangs, waterfalls, and limestone cliffs.

Unsurprisingly, one of its most stunning features is the bright yellow spring.

I remember the first time I saw it, I was amazed by its vibrant color and the serene atmosphere surrounding it.

Scenic view of Glen Helen Nature Preserve

Wild Compass Rose /

Inside the preserve, there are also regular classes and events, as well as educational opportunities where you can learn about the area’s flora and fauna.

I’ve attended a few of these events and always come away with a greater appreciation for the natural beauty of Glen Helen.

The preserve also features a raptor center, where injured birds of prey are cared for and eventually set free back into their natural environment.

Nature at Glen Helen Nature Preserve

Doug Lemke /

Whenever I need a break from the daily grind or just want to immerse myself in nature, Glen Helen Nature Preserve is my go-to destination.

The beauty and tranquility of the preserve never fail to leave me feeling refreshed and reconnected with the natural world.

Trail at Glen Helen Nature Preserve

Doug Lemke /

Shop for Unique Gifts and Collectibles at Village Artisans Co-Op

Founded in 1983, Village Artisans Co-Op is a perfect gift shop in Yellow Spring, Ohio.

I found it in the Corry Street Shops with unique, reasonably priced handmade art.

While walking through the doors, I saw different pieces from artists worldwide and in all industries, including painting, printmaking, mixed media, jewellery making, pottery, textile art printing on custom fabrics, and so much more!

Village Artisans’ warm and friendly staff members are here to help you with anything you need while offering impeccable service.

If you can’t find something for someone or aren’t sure what they like, then don’t forget that they also offer a wide selection of cards that one would appreciate.

Plus, they’re always showcasing new work in their lobby gallery exhibit.

Enjoy Delicious Coffee Treats at Dino’s Cappuccinos

Dino’s Cappuccinos is a cute coffee shop in Yellow Springs that I frequent.

It’s nestled right on the main street, but something about it makes it stand out from the rest.

The place isn’t huge inside, but don’t let that fool you.

There’s a cozy back seating area specially designed for those warm, sunny days.

Dino’s has warmed its way into my heart over the years with its top-notch service, friendly staff, and welcoming atmosphere.

When I pop by, I make sure to try their salted caramel mocha or the ‘chocolate buddha’ – both are divine.

I remember visiting Dino’s on a chilly day when I needed a coffee to warm me up.

The inside was decorated with a lot of Dean Martin pictures and was playing 80’s music.

Sip a Pint of Beer at Yellow Springs Brewery

Yellow Springs Brewery crafts some of the finest beers I’ve ever tasted, and they do it every single day.

Their unique approach, inspired by a process they call “Crafting Truth To Power,” churns out a rotating selection of innovative beers.

You can find these brews all over Dayton and Columbus, but they’re best enjoyed at their homey taproom on Walnut Street.

Nothing beats sipping their locally-brewed beer with mouthwatering food truck delights.

And while you’re at it, take in the vibrant artwork by local artists that adorns the walls.

My personal favorites? The Raspberry Springer and the Ship Show NE Hazy IPA – they’re just so darn good!

The best part? The place has plenty of seating, both inside and out, and the staff is super friendly.

I recently came here on a solo day out to work on my holistic nutrition certification and enjoy some new brews.

I ended up with a flight and a charcuterie plate.

I loved that the brewery has outdoor seating that connects to the bike trail, making it a great pit stop if you’re out biking or hiking.

They even had outdoor heaters, so sitting out in the cold was more comfortable.

Revel in Delicious Grub, Live Music, and Live Sports at Peach’s Grill

Peach’s Grill is a must-visit if you visit Yellow Springs.

It’s a staple at 104 Xenia Avenue and has been a local favorite for over 20 years.

I remember when it started as a cozy, one-room cantina serving up BBQ and Tex-Mex.

But look at it now – a full-blown restaurant, bar, and music venue that attracts folks from all over Ohio and even beyond!

But let me tell you; it’s not just about the delicious food here.

The folks at Peach’s work hard to bring live entertainment that adds an extra spark to your dining experience.

I’ve been there on weekends when they have bands playing on the stage, and even once when they had standup comedy!

Now, if you’re a fan of veggie-friendly recipes with a kick, you’ve got to try their beer batter fries or beer-battered onion rings.

I’ve also had their hummus plate, which comes with a nice mix of 3 different Mediterranean dips.

And if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, their classic chicken wings and giant, irresistible burgers surely will.

I recently had the chicken bacon wrap with beer-battered French fries, and it was so good that I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture!

To wash it all down, you can pick from their selection of beers and cocktails.

They have a good list of draft beers, including some from the local Yellow Springs Brewery.

Or if you’re in the mood for something fruity, a soft drink will do just fine.

Enjoy Movies at the Little Art Theatre

Exterior of Little Art Theatre

Madison Muskopf /

Whenever I think about Yellow Springs, the first thing that pops into my head is the Little Art Theatre.

Honestly, it’s impossible to overlook!

I’ve been coming here for 20 years, and it’s my favorite movie theater.

I keep returning to Little Art Theatre, drawn by its fantastic commitment to an entertaining lineup of first-run foreign films, timeless classics, and intriguing independent flicks.

This gem has been amusing cinema lovers like me for over 80 years now.

In fact, its significance to the community was recognized when it became a non-profit organization in 2009.

There’s no better place in town to enjoy a movie than the Little Art Theatre.

It has this unique charm, an unbeatable, family-friendly vibe that cannot be matched by the imposing surround sound systems in those massive multiplexes.

The 2013 renovation vaulted Little Art into the 21st century with a brand new digital screen and sound system, new seats, a new lobby, new restrooms, and the works.

Every visit to the Little Art Theatre is a delightful experience, and these moments of joy keep me coming back for more!

Have a Delicious Experience at Tom’s Market

Located at 242 Xenia Ave. in Yellow Springs is Tom’s Market, a warm, cozy grocery store with extensive organic food and a gourmet cheese department.

As someone who lives here, I can tell you that it’s a super cozy grocery store that’s brimming with a wide range of organic foods and even boasts a gourmet cheese department that’s truly impressive.

But it’s not just about grocery shopping here.

They have a deli counter that caught my eye with an array of daily hot specials, unique salads, an ever-expanding selection of paninis, and even ready-to-go party trays for folks in a hurry!

I kind of love Tom’s Market. They have a smattering of just about everything, and the deli case is always beautiful.

You can find fun Ohio products, some organic, and other specialty items, along with some staples (pet supplies, bath, and cleaning).

I loved that they stocked all the rice, spices, and lentils I could ever need, making my culinary adventures a breeze.

Oh, and you can’t miss their lunch specials!

They’ve got this bourbon chicken dish that they whip up for lunch!

As a resident, I try supporting local businesses as much as possible.

Tom’s Market is the main grocery store for Yellow Springs.

It has all the common stuff you need, and the staff are friendly.

Get the Absolute Best Comics at Super-Fly Comics & Games

Exterior of Super-Fly Comics & Games

Niagara66, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

While exploring the charming streets of Yellow Springs, Ohio, I stumbled upon Super-Fly Comics & Games on Dayton Street.

This local neighborhood gem of a store was nothing short of a treasure trove!

They have a fantastic variety of items you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

From comics to figurines and games, they cater to all ages.

I even spotted the classic Magic: The Gathering game!

Their shelves are always brimming with the latest releases, including Supernatural and Star Wars comics and toys.

They also offer a great mix of products, covering superhero staples like the Avengers and Batma and popular series like JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and Dark Horse’s “The Umbrella Academy.”

A standout feature for me was their extensive collection of role-playing games equipment, Funko Pop! figures, and so much more.

Discover a Slice of Old World Charm and Americana at Young’s Jersey Dairy

Rides at Young’s Jersey Dairy

Scott Cornell /

My journey in Yellow Springs took me down memory lane, all the way back to 1869, to a charming red barn.

Hap Young bought this 60-acre farm just after World War 2, and it was here that he and his three sons lived for a decade, raising grain, hogs, and milking cows.

Then they had a brilliant idea: why not sell their fresh milk directly to the public?

And that’s how Young’s Jersey Dairy, a paradise for ice cream and cheese aficionados like me, was born!

Food stand at Young’s Jersey Dairy

Scott Cornell /

But let me tell you: it’s not just about milk, cheese, and ice cream here.

Their mission is to make life a tad sweeter and much more fun, one scoop at a time.

During the spring, I had a delightful group picnic at Barnabe’s Walnut Grove.

When the weather turned warm, I hopped on my bike for an exhilarating ride around the farm.

Have a Bite of Old School Pizza with a New School Touch at Ha Ha Pizza

Tucked away in the charming village of Yellow Springs, I discovered Ha Ha Pizza, a delightful slice of local life.

This cozy restaurant has become my go-to spot, serving up familiar pizzas and calzones that perfectly complement their salad bar.

Not to mention the vast assortment of toppings that add that extra zing to every meal!

Situated on Xenia Avenue, Ha Ha Pizza exudes a friendly neighborhood vibe that’s truly infectious.

It’s no wonder they’ve had loyal customers returning since 1975.

The name has stood the test of time, remaining unchanged for nearly four decades.

It’s become a trusted part of village life, keeping visitors like me content with unforgettable pizza selections.

One of my favorite things about Ha Ha Pizza is their unique crust.

It’s thin and crispy yet still soft and chewy on the inside.

I’ve tried many different pizzas here, but the Veggie Delight is always a winner.

It’s loaded with fresh vegetables and a perfect blend of cheeses.

The sauce is tangy and flavorful, making every bite a delight.

Another great thing about Ha Ha Pizza is their commitment to using locally sourced ingredients.

Get Your Hands on Wonderful Pieces of Pottery and Ceramics at Yellow Springs Pottery

Yellow Springs Pottery is a gift shop located at Xenia Avenue in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

It started as a small retail store in 1973, as part of an art collective with just four members.

Walking into Yellow Springs Pottery, I was greeted by an array of stunning, handcrafted pottery, each piece a testament to the skill and talent of the artists.

What sets this place apart is the uniqueness of every item; you truly won’t find these anywhere else!

The pieces I picked up here are not only of high quality but also built to last.

They’ve retained their charm far longer than I expected, proving to be fantastic additions to my home.

An added bonus?

All the ceramics they offer are entirely food safe and can brave temperatures anywhere between 40 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit!

Visit the Richard P. Eastman Covered Bridge

During my trip to Yellow Springs, Ohio, one of the highlights was my visit to the Richard P. Eastman Covered Bridge.

Built in 2014, this 24-meter-long, red-structured bridge is a sight to behold!

It features a unique cupola and a charming bicycle weather vane and uses the popular Howe Truss design reminiscent of the mid-to-late-1800s.

What makes this bridge truly special, though, is its location.

It’s not just a bridge– it’s the perfect starting point for exploring the nearby attractions.

Whether you’re driving across or under it during the day, the bridge adds an undeniable charm to the river’s scenery.

If you’re a fan of covered bridges like me, you’ll want to put the Richard P. Eastman Covered Bridge at the top of your must-see list.

Just a little tip for fellow motorcyclists: while it’s a great stop along the historic trail, make sure not to park near the bridge for safety reasons.

Experience the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve

Scenic view of Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve

arthurgphotography /

Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve has been beloved by locals and visitors to the Cincy region for nearly half a century.

This place has been a local favorite for nearly half a century, and I can see why.

Named a National Natural Landmark in 1968, this stunning 2-mile stretch of the Little Miami River lies just east of John Bryan State Park and is nothing short of a natural wonder.

As I explored the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, I was treated to breathtaking views and a medley of natural sites.

From deep valleys, towering rocky cliffs, and lush green hillsides to 268 acres of spectacular limestone and dolomite gorges, the beauty of this place is truly awe-inspiring.

The north-facing shaded slopes provided cool, moist spots that are home to many unusual species, including the rare snow trillium.

A River in Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve

arthurgphotography /

And there’s no shortage of activities here.

If you’re a nature enthusiast like me, you can go for a hike or bike ride.

And don’t miss the Nature Center nestled within the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve.

I had the most glorious day here at Clifton Gorge.

If you appreciate nature and all its splendor, then this is the perfect place for you!

I’d advise visiting in April or May, just when nature shows off its glory and charm.

I was thrown into a state of great awe, taking in all the sounds and scenic views all around me; ever so enjoyable!

Cliffside trail at Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve

arthurgphotography /

I never knew such a place existed until my boyfriend took me there.

This is a must-go and explore for yourself; you won’t be disappointed in the least.

Clifton Gorge is a must-see for nature lovers visiting the Yellow Springs area.

In late spring, the trees are thick with foliage, providing plenty of shade while enjoying the views of the gorge.

Periodic overlooks have been built so hikers may enjoy the views without blocking the path.

Different sections of the river run at different rates, creating variations in the views.

There is even a trickling waterfall.

The speed of a trickle makes it a serene and peaceful experience.

Enjoy a Taco and a Beer at Miguel’s Tacos

Just when I thought I knew all there was to know about Mexican food, I stumbled upon Miguel’s Tacos on Corry Street in Yellow Springs, and boy, it blew my mind!

This fantastic restaurant goes way beyond the typical, blending American and Mexican cuisine to create a truly one-of-a-kind flavor fusion.

Although famous for its wide variety of tacos, Miguel’s Tacos isn’t a one-trick pony.

They also offer other mouthwatering menu items, including burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and chorizo.

Speaking of beer, the microbrewery attached to the restaurant is an experience in itself.

They have a different special every day of the week, so there’s always something new to try.

Coupled with exceptional service and professional chefs, Miguel’s Tacos offers a dining experience that’s both authentic and delicious.

Admire the Setting at The Village Flower Farm

My visit to The Village Flower Farm was an absolute delight, a true feast for the senses!

If you want to feel joyous and rejuvenated, this place is for you.

They open their doors to the public on specific days and hours, although these change monthly, so you’ll want to check ahead.

The best part? For a set price, you can pick as many flowers as will fit in a vase.

Not only did it make arranging the flowers easier once I got home, but it also helped the plants produce even more blooms on the long stems.

Grab Toys to Keep at Yellow Springs Toy Company

Yellow Springs Toy Company is a charming local toy business that quickly became my go-to for the most captivating toys for kids and adults.

Every inch of the store is packed with fascinating items waiting to be discovered.

What I found truly impressive about this small gem is its meticulous selection process.

They’ve handpicked each product from over 270 domestic and international manufacturers, ensuring only the best items grace their shelves.

As a result, the store is bursting with delightful finds that spark joy and bring out the child in everyone.

Not only are these toys fun, but they also have the power to foster creativity, help heal emotional wounds, and contribute to overall well-being.

From top-rated, joy-inducing toys and games to novelty items and desktop amusements, there’s something to keep everyone feeling young at heart.

Taste Old Family Recipes at Tuck-n-red’s Spirits & Wine

Longtime pals Tuck and Red hung together and experimented with classic American drinks for years until Tuck-n-Spirits red’s & Wine distillery finally debuted in 2021.

What caught my attention during my visit here was the unique twist they’ve put on Red’s 100-year-old family recipes, creating a unique dining experience.

They’ve successfully transformed their hobby into a renowned distillery, where they continue to do what they love with a professional touch.

And let’s not forget their hippy friend Mickee, who has helped them become bona fide moonshining experts!

Plus, they offer their vibrant and lively space for rent, making it the perfect venue for your upcoming events.

If you find yourself in town, visit Tuck-n-Spirits Red & Wine.

They’re open from 1 pm to 9 pm, Monday to Saturday, and from 1 pm to 8 pm on Sundays.

Avail Dinner Specials by Sunshine Cafe

I had the delight of dining at Sunshine Café, a gem of a place that takes the phrase “home-made” to a whole new level.

I was genuinely impressed!

Everything — from their bread, veggie burgers, and spicy sauce to the jams and soups — is crafted right in their kitchen.

What got me was their commitment to supporting local businesses.

They source their products from over 20 nearby farms, which shows in their dishes’ freshness.

The ambiance is amazing, with handcrafted patio furniture built from recycled wood pallets.

Being a seafood lover, I appreciated their dedication to using seafood caught through environmentally friendly fishing techniques.

And if you’re vegan or vegetarian, worry not!

They’ve got many options for you, including reimagined versions of traditional meat dishes.

Have an Adventurous Afternoon with the Kids at Udders & Putters

Udders & Putters is a fun-filled paradise for the whole family.

I’ve been going to Young’s when it was just 5 tables in a tiny barn, and I’ve grown up with it.

It’s always a great time for my family and me.

They’ve got not one but two mini golf courses, both sporting a charming farm theme that immediately puts a smile on your face.

My journey at Udders & Putters began with their original 18-hole mini golf course, which they established in 1993.

The fun didn’t stop there!

In 1995, they added a driving range, perfect for golfers like me who enjoy practicing swing.

But the surprises kept coming. In 1996, they installed a state-of-the-art 9-position batting cage with softball and hardball throwing equipment.

And let’s not forget the kiddos!

They can have a whale of a time at Cowvin’s Kiddie Corral.

It’s got a slide, a massive Connect 4 game, “Cow Hoops,” and Tyke’s Tractors.

Plus, there are tubes to crawl over, and it’s conveniently close to the batting cages at Udders & Putters.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Look into the Historic Clifton Mill for a Look Back in Time

Daytime view of Historic Clifton Mill

arthurgphotography /

My visit to the Historic Clifton Mill in Clifton, Ohio, was such an incredible experience!

Can you believe this place was built way back in 1802?

It’s one of the largest water-powered grist mills still standing in America today!

The first mill at this site was built by a soldier and frontiersman named Owen Davis.

He was a smart man and saw the perfect opportunity to harness the power of the natural stream that flowed through the gorge.

With a bit of help from his son-in-law, General Benjamin Whiteman (who had just moved to the area with his family), they managed to build a mill and a distillery.

General store at the Historic Clifton Mill

arthurgphotography /

Before long, other buildings started popping up around these two establishments, and that’s how the village of Davis Mills came to be.

Thanks to the Little Miami River, five other mills were constructed nearby, including a sawmill, woolen mill, barrel mill, paper mill, and another grist mill. But guess what?

Final Thoughts

If you’re hunting for a charming, off-the-beaten-path place, let me tell you about my visit to Yellow Springs.

This tight-knit community has it all, and I can’t recommend it highly enough!

I discovered an absolute treasure trove of activities here.

From fascinating historical sites to quirky little shops, there’s always something to explore.

© All rights reserved.