Bear's Mill, 6450 Arcanum-Bear's Mill Road, Greenville, OH
Photo: Handout
Photo: Handout

7 amazing things you didn’t know were just a short drive from Dayton

Here are seven unique things to do in Darke County, which earned several nods in Ohio Magazine’s “Best of” awards for 2017.

1. The Garst Museum, 205 N. Broadway, Greenville

Voted by Ohio Magazine readers as the “Best History Museum,” the Garst Museum offers over 35,000 square feet of exhibit space within six building wings.

The National Annie Oakley Center is a feature collection about the life of the famed American sharpshooter, and other major exhibits include the Treaty of Green Ville, Tecumseh and Native Americans, an extensive military collection.

2. Bear’s Mill, 6450 Arcanum-Bear’s Mill Road, Greenville

Built in 1849, this water-powered flour mill is an authentic example of a stone grinding mill of its time. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and voted “Best Historical Site,” it is still in use today to grind a variety of local grains.

Stop in The Mill Store and Gallery during your visit and find original art, local handmade pottery, unique accessories and jewelry.

3. Eldora Speedway, 13929 State Route 118, New Weston

Owned and operated by NASCAR legend Tony Stewart, this half-mile dirt oval is home to the World 100, The Dream, Kings Royal and NASCAR Truck Series. The nation’s most widely recognized race cars and sanctioning groups race at Eldora, and the season is just around the corner beginning in April and ending in September.

4. Bradford Ohio Railroad Museum, 200 North Miami Avenue, Bradford

The railroad was a significant part of Bradford’s economy, and this museum allows visitors to explore nearly 130 years of its history. The BF Tower – an interlocking tower used to control the switches and signals that made up Bradford junction – is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

5. Whiskey, Wine & Ale Trail, multiple locations

Each locale on this tour offers its own distinctive experience and authentic character with locally grown and produces spirits to sip and savor. The tour begins at Tailspin Brewing Company in Coldwater, then takes you to Moeller Brew Barn in Maria Stein and to The Winery at Versailles, which was voted Ohio’s “Best Winery,” as well as to A.R. Whinery in Arcanum, to Kennedy Vineyard/Big Rack Brewery in New Madison, to Olde Schoolhouse Winery in Eaton and finishes with Indian Creek Distillery in New Carlisle.

6. The Inn at Versailles, 21 West Main Street, Versailles

If you’re looking for a local getaway, a weekend at The Inn at Versailles will give you a taste of the Old World. Each of the inn’s 22 rooms boast unique décor and ambiance with all the amenities that a fine European hotel has to offer, and Michael Anthony’s at the Inn – voted “Best Fine Dining” – is an experience to set the mood for a evening

The downtown area offers quiet nights and a handful of unique shops and businesses specializing in handmade crafts, collectibles, jewelry, furniture and more. The restaurant and shopping offered here are well worth even just a day trip.

7. The Kitchen Aid Experience Retail and Heritage Center, 423 South Broadway, Greenville

Learn new cooking skills by attending the many classes offered at the KitchenAid Experience, or watch free live cooking shows weekly – no reservations required. Then, head downstairs to the heritage exhibits, where authentic KitchenAid artifacts are used to tell the history of an ever-evolving iconic American company.

For those interested in seeing firsthand how the entire manufacturing process works, be sure to go on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday at 12:30 p.m. to the nearby mixing factory. A free tour enables visitors ages 12 and up to see a stand mixer move to the final stage of assembly by peeking over the shoulder of an assembly line worker.

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