The scenic Ohio River along the town of Marietta, Ohio with green trees and rolling hills in the background.

The 7 Most Picturesque Small Towns In Ohio

Ohio is probably not one of the first states people think of when they picture small quaint towns and cities. Still, Ohio has plenty of picturesque small towns, historic communities, and charming villages worth visiting. The midwestern state has a plethora of history, natural beauty, and culture waiting for visitors and travelers willing to explore the region.

One of the top reasons to visit Ohio is the excellent sense of community travelers experience in the many small communities the area provides. Most townships have preserved many cultural downtown areas, highlighting their boutiques, small restaurants, and quaint shops throughout the cities. Additionally, Ohio features countless fairs, festivals, and community events that invite outsiders to immerse in towns' festivities and experience the local Ohio lifestyle.

Yellow Springs

The historic Little Art Theater in Yellow Springs with people on the street
The historic Little Art Theater in Yellow Springs. Image credit Madison Muskopf via Shutterstock

The village of Yellow Springs is in Greene County, roughly 20 miles east of Dayton. The quaint town has a small population of about 3,500 people. It is famous for its charming art community, stunning natural scenery, and fabulous boutiques, restaurants, and hipster shops. The city's highlight is the Yellow Spring, a natural spring popular for its healing properties. Visitors enjoy exploring the trails at Glen Helen Nature Preserve, which houses the famous spring.

Yellow Springs truly values and appreciates the arts community. The city offers various galleries, theaters, and performing venues, hosting a significant variety of events and art exhibits year-round. The town also hosts the Yellow Springs Theater Company, a great producer of musicals and plays for the region with shows throughout the year.


A bank, two churches, and a small historical museum, fill the south side of Broadway Avenue in this charming east-central Ohio village.
Granville, Ohio. Image credit Kenneth Sponsler via Shutterstock

The city of Granville is a quaint small town in Licking County, roughly 30 miles east of Columbus. The city features and highlights a charming, colorful downtown area with plenty of cultural and art places for visitors and locals. Architecture also plays a vital role in Granville, one of the most significant buildings in the city is the historic Granville Inn. The structure dates back to 1924 and is famous for its stylish and luxurious features. Travelers can drop by to enjoy a tasty meal at its popular restaurant, which offers various dishes featuring local ingredients.

A must-see spot in Granville is the Bryn Du Mansion. It is a historical estate dating back to the early 20th century and a host for various events, festivals, concerts, and shows, giving locals and travelers entertainment throughout the year. Visitors can also explore the estate's unique gardens and spacious grounds.


Aerial view of the downtown area and buildings in Marietta, Ohio
Downtown, Marietta, Ohio.

The small and picturesque town of Marietta is in southeastern Ohio, nearby the banks of the Ohio River. The city dates back to 1788. It is locally famous for its original and stunning architecture, incredible history, and beautiful waterfront setting. One of Marietta's highlights is the historic Harmar Village District, which houses many boutiques, restaurants, shops, and art galleries. The District holds carefully preserved structures and buildings from the early 19th century. Travelers can walk along the cobblestone streets and sidewalks, visit plenty of eateries and shops, or take a guided tour to immerse themselves in the town's intimate history.

History buffs also have a place in the town; Marietta is home to the Ohio River Museum. The regionally famous museum features the Ohio River's history and its importance in shaping the region's economy and culture. Travelers can visit multiple exhibits showcasing navigational equipment, boats, and devices from the river's early days. The city values the importance of history and makes it a point to show it to those who take the time to explore the place in-depth.

Chagrin Falls

 East Washington Street in the Village on a Cold Wet Spring Evening, Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Image credit Lynne Neuman via Shutterstock

The picturesque village of Chagrin Falls is in Cuyahoga County, about 25 miles southeast of Cleveland. The town dates back to 1844; the historic place is well-known locally for its beautiful and charming downtown, stunning natural setting, and strict sense of community. The main highlight of the region is the iconic waterfall Chagrin Falls, which gave the town its name. Visitors enjoy a scenic and memorable view of the waterfall by strolling along the city's Main Street.

One of the most iconic businesses in the town is the Chagrin Falls Popcorn Shop. The business has served the community since 1949 and is a famous and beloved fixture downtown. Visitors welcome the chance to stroll by the shop and enjoy the freshly popped popcorn or the smell of the tasty treats baked around this spot. There is no doubt Chagrin Falls has put together a variety of attractions and activities to entertain and marvel even the most demanding travelers visiting the area.


Sheyiah Market sign with Village Gift Barn in the background, Berlin, Ohio.
Sheyiah Market sign with Village Gift Barn in the background, Berlin, Ohio. Image credit Landon Troyer via Shutterstock

The unincorporated community of Berlin is right in the heart of Ohio's Amish country. Travelers love the view of the area's country setting and the strong sense of community locals experience. Berlin is regionally famous for offering a relaxing place to enjoy a peaceful stay when visiting. The town holds a special place for history and art enthusiasts, with a couple of options to showcase the historical importance of the region.

A popular attraction is the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center, providing a glance into the traditions and lives of the Mennonite and local Amish communities. The museum showcases exhibits including traditional clothing, local crafts, woodwork, and farming techniques. If visitors choose to, they can take guided tours to the close-by Behalt Cyclorama. This incredible 10-foot-tall stunning painting conveys the story of the Anabaptist movement and the Mennonite and Amish communities.


The picturesque town center of Mariemont, Ohio as seen from the town square park. The movie theater and other establishments line the street.
Mariemont, Ohio. Image credit Bentley Davis via Shutterstock

The picturesque town of Mariemont in Hamilton County is roughly 10 miles east of Cincinnati. The city dates back to 1923 and features a strong sense of community, showcasing English Garden Village architecture, and greenery. A striking feature throughout the town is its stunning architecture, which focuses on creating a peaceful and harmonious setting.

Mariemont prides itself on its strong sense of engagement with the community. The city offers year-round events and activities featuring the Fourth of July parade, glorious celebrations, concert series, and organic and diversified farmer's market. Travelers can experience the town's magnificent green parks and spaces featuring the unique Dogwood Park. The park offers activities like picnicking, biking, hiking, and running.


The scenic train stops to let passengers on and off at the station in Peninsula during its run on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad at Peninsula, Ohio.
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad at Peninsula, Ohio. Image credit Kenneth Sponsler via Shutterstock

The city is at the core of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Peninsula offers a small picturesque setting for a town that provides visitors with a mixture of history and natural beauty and a taste of culture. The area dates back to the mid-19th century and used to be a center of commerce and industry. Peninsula is now a popular regional destination for those seeking a relaxing, peaceful, relaxing getaway. 

Peninsula's top attraction is the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The railroad line runs through the core of Cuyahoga Valley Park, giving travelers a jaw-dropping view of the park's green forests, pristine rivers, and steep hills. The train also stops briefly at a few historic landmarks and towns, immersing visitors in the region's abundant cultural heritage.

Although Ohio might not be the most popular destination for tourists, the state has many picturesque small towns worth visiting. From the charming village of Mariemont to the stunning beautiful Peninsula, Ohio's many quaint towns provide visitors with a fantastic mixture of architecture, culture, history, and recreational activities. The state can offer something for every visitor, including a peaceful weekend getaway, a sample of local culture, or the opportunity to explore the state's beautiful nature. Ohio will create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

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