With gas prices rising again, it’s time to take a mini-vacation in Steubenville, an easy 1 or 2-hour drive from many major cities. This city situated in the Ohio River Valley has remnants of its industrial past, the natural beauty of the Appalachian hills, and a historic downtown with quirky shops, stunning churches, and a reconstructed 18th century frontier fort. Start a visit at the Steubenville Visitor Center where you can obtain maps, event listings, and dining/lodging recommendations.
- City of Murals: Twenty-four larger than life works of art adorn many buildings in the city, depicting moments of local and national history including the first professional African American baseball player, Abraham Lincoln in the Civil War telegraph office, the main character of Ohio’s rock song (“Hold on Sloopy”), and scenes of old Steubenville. Pick up a map and scavenger hunt at the Visitor Center to make it a fun experience for the whole family.
- Beatty Park: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this nature preserve abounds with 19th century stonework, walking and hiking trails, wildflowers and towering trees. Throughout the year educational and recreational walks and hikes are scheduled as well as other events for children and adults.
- Downtown Fourth Street: With many of its buildings and shops currently undergoing revitalization, this block is filled with unique businesses that encourage browsing and shopping. Stock up on holiday décor and gifts in Drosselmeyer’s Nutcracker Shoppe; browse the art and books in BookMarx Bookstore; pick out a special necklace or garment at the Prodigal Daughter; sip a latte in the DaVinci themed atmosphere of Leonardo’s Coffeehouse; enjoy a taste of Greece in Yorgo’s – each locally owned and operated.
- Antique Warehouse: Three floors of antiques, memorabilia, bargains, and mementoes of yesteryear welcome visitors to browse, reminisce, and find a treasure. It’s easy to spend an hour or two admiring beautiful crystal and well-crafted furniture, remembering old toys, and discovering records or books, easily accessible with an elevator for those who aren’t able to navigate the grand staircase.
- Historic Fort Steuben: Billed as the Gateway to the West, this reconstructed military fort depicts life on the Ohio frontier in 1786-87. Within its picket walls, ten buildings tell the stories of the Americans who opened up the west to settlement: the soldiers, the surveyors and the settlers. The adjacent 1st Federal Land Office is a log structure that served as a site for new landowners to register their deeds, from 1800-1835 and is furnished as a 19th century home office. Tours and events are available throughout the year.
Many lodging options are available, but for a family or small group experience the Bayberry House Bed & Breakfasts offer an elegant and private retreat in the downtown, with modern conveniences and lovely gardens.