When planning a visit to Chillicothe, Ohio, you’ll find that this charming city has a lot to offer. From its rich historical heritage to its vibrant arts and culture, and its abundance of outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the top things to do in Chillicothe, ensuring that your visit is memorable and fulfilling.
Chillicothe, often referred to as “Ohio’s First Capital,” is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Nestled in the scenic landscapes of Ross County, this city boasts a unique blend of history, nature, and culture. Whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, or art lover, Chillicothe has something that will pique your interest. Let’s embark on a journey to discover the myriad of activities that make Chillicothe a must-visit destination.
Things to Do in Chillicothe
Uncover History at Adena Mansion and Gardens
Visit the Adena Mansion and Gardens, once the home of Thomas Worthington, Ohio’s sixth governor. Explore the beautifully restored mansion, stroll through stunning gardens, and learn about the history of this significant figure in Ohio’s past.
Immerse Yourself in Native American Culture at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park
Discover the ancient history of Ohio’s indigenous people at the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park. The park features awe-inspiring earthworks and mounds that offer a glimpse into the lives of the Hopewell people who inhabited the region over 2,000 years ago.
Hike the Trails at Great Seal State Park
Outdoor enthusiasts will find paradise at the Great Seal State Park. With over 1,800 acres of woodlands and miles of hiking trails, it’s an ideal spot for nature lovers. Don’t forget to hike to the iconic fire tower for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Explore the Mystery of the Octagon Earthworks
The Octagon Earthworks, part of the Newark Earthworks, is an ancient architectural marvel. These geometric mounds, constructed by ancient Ohioans, continue to baffle researchers and provide a unique historical and cultural experience.
Discover Art and History at the Ross County Heritage Center
Learn about Chillicothe’s rich history at the Ross County Heritage Center. This museum showcases the city’s past, from its Native American roots to its role as Ohio’s first capital. It’s an educational and enlightening experience for all ages.
Attend a Show at the Majestic Theatre
For a dose of culture and entertainment, catch a show at the Majestic Theatre. This historic venue hosts a variety of performances, from live theater to concerts, ensuring a memorable night out.
Savor Local Flavors at Chillicothe’s Restaurants
Indulge in Chillicothe’s culinary scene by dining at its local restaurants. From cozy cafes to fine dining establishments, you’ll find a range of delectable dishes to satisfy your taste buds.
Get Lost in Nature at Scioto Trail State Park
Scioto Trail State Park offers a serene escape into nature. With picturesque hiking trails, a serene lake, and ample wildlife viewing opportunities, it’s a paradise for those seeking tranquility.
Experience the Thrills of Ross County Fair
If you’re visiting in August, don’t miss the Ross County Fair. This annual event features carnival rides, agricultural exhibits, and live entertainment, providing fun for the whole family.
Discover Local Art at the Pump House Center for the Arts
Explore the vibrant arts scene of Chillicothe at the Pump House Center for the Arts. This cultural hub showcases the work of local artists and hosts exhibitions, workshops, and events throughout the year.
Enjoy Boating and Fishing at Paint Creek Lake
Head to Paint Creek Lake for a day of boating, fishing, and picnicking. This 1,140-acre lake offers ample recreational opportunities in a picturesque setting.
Step Back in Time at the Lucy Hayes Heritage Center
Learn about the life of First Lady Lucy Hayes at her historic home. The Lucy Hayes Heritage Center provides insights into the Hayes family’s life and the role they played in American history.
Discover Hidden Treasures at Antique Shops
Chillicothe is home to numerous antique shops filled with unique finds. Spend a leisurely afternoon exploring these shops and uncovering hidden treasures.
Stroll Through Yoctangee Park
Yoctangee Park is a beautiful urban oasis in the heart of Chillicothe. Take a leisurely stroll, have a picnic, or enjoy the playground with your family.
Experience the Thrills at Portsmouth Raceway Park
For adrenaline junkies, a trip to Portsmouth Raceway Park is a must. Catch heart-pounding dirt track racing and experience the excitement of motorsports.
Explore the Vibrant Downtown District
Chillicothe’s downtown district is a vibrant hub of activity. Explore boutique shops, dine at local restaurants, and immerse yourself in the city’s lively atmosphere.
Unwind at Chillicothe Paints Baseball Games
Catch a game of baseball with the Chillicothe Paints, a summer tradition that brings the community together for an evening of fun and sportsmanship.
Attend Festivals and Events
Chillicothe hosts various festivals and events throughout the year. Check the local calendar to see if your visit coincides with any of these lively celebrations.
Witness Natural Beauty at Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre
Visit the Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre for breathtaking views of Sugarloaf Mountain and an opportunity to attend outdoor concerts and events.
Discover the Mysterious Serpent Mound
Venture a bit outside Chillicothe to visit the Serpent Mound, a prehistoric effigy mound shaped like a snake. Its purpose remains a mystery, adding to its intrigue.
Experience Horseback Riding at Happy Trails Horseback Riding
For an adventure on horseback, visit Happy Trails Horseback Riding. Guided horseback rides through picturesque trails offer a unique perspective of the Chillicothe countryside.
Explore the Nature Center at A.W. Marion State Park
A.W. Marion State Park’s Nature Center is an educational and interactive experience for all ages. Learn about local wildlife and natural habitats through exhibits and programs.
Visit the David Nickens Heritage Center
Discover African American history and culture at the David Nickens Heritage Center. The center is dedicated to preserving and sharing the contributions of African Americans in the region.
Explore the Chillicothe Murals
Chillicothe boasts a series of captivating murals that adorn its buildings. Take a self-guided tour to admire these impressive works of public art.
What are the best outdoor activities in Chillicothe?
- Chillicothe offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking at Great Seal State Park, boating at Paint Creek Lake, and horseback riding at Happy Trails Horseback Riding.
Is there a historic site to visit in Chillicothe?
- Yes, Adena Mansion and Gardens and Hopewell Culture National Historical Park are both excellent historic sites to explore.
What cultural experiences can I have in Chillicothe?
- You can immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the Ross County Heritage Center, Pump House Center for the Arts, and attending shows at the Majestic Theatre.
Are there any annual events in Chillicothe?
- Yes, the Ross County Fair in August is a popular annual event featuring carnival rides, agricultural exhibits, and live entertainment.
Where can I enjoy local cuisine in Chillicothe?
- Chillicothe boasts a variety of restaurants serving local cuisine. Explore the downtown district for a taste of the city’s culinary offerings.
What is the most iconic landmark in Chillicothe?
- The Octagon Earthworks, part of the Newark Earthworks, is considered one of the most iconic landmarks in Chillicothe due to its historical and cultural significance.
Chillicothe, Ohio, is a city that seamlessly blends history, nature, and culture. From exploring ancient earthworks to enjoying live performances and savoring local flavors, there’s no shortage of things to do in Chillicothe. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an outdoor adventurer, or an art lover, Chillicothe welcomes you with open arms. Plan your visit to this charming city and create memories that will last a lifetime.