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Yellow Springs, Ohio is a fun place to visit for day trips and weekend adventures. The hippie town boasts an array of entertaining activities that appeal to a range of visitors. Top Yellow Springs attractions are hiking, biking, shopping, dining and imbibing. We have compiled a list of the best things to do in Yellow Springs, Ohio so that you can easily plan your visit.
Yellow Springs, Ohio FAQs
Before we jump into our list of Yellow Springs things to do, let’s chat about some frequently asked questions and interesting facts.
Where is Yellow Springs, OH?
Yellow Springs is located in southwestern Ohio in Greene County. The town is east of Dayton and north of Cincinnati – and is fairly easy to reach from major Ohio cities. We talk more about how to get there (and where to stay!) at the end of the post.
Why is it Called Yellow Springs?
The town is named for a natural spring. The water source has high iron content, which has turned the rocks yellow (or rusty orange) and thus the name. Visitors can see the namesake Ohio Yellow Springs on a short hike – which we discuss in detail in our Yellow Springs to-do list!
What is the Yellow Springs, Ohio History?
The history of Yellow Springs, OH is quite interesting. The town was established in 1825 by a group of families who wanted to create a utopian communal society. Although the community failed, many say it laid the foundation for the hippie roots that still exist in the town today.
In the mid-1800s, the Little Miami Railroad was completed, connecting Yellow Springs to Cincinnati and Columbus (and, thus, boosted the town’s popularity). Antioch College, a politically liberal institution, was founded in the village in 1850.
For more information about the history of the town, check out the Yellow Springs Historical Society webpage.
What is the Yellow Springs, Ohio Population?
According to the 2010 census, there are about 3,500 residents living in Yellow Springs, Ohio. So, while many people refer to it as ‘The Village of Yellow Springs, Ohio,’ it is actually big enough to be called a town.
Are There Famous People from Yellow Springs, OH?
Yes, there are a couple famous Yellow Springs residents. Famed comedian Dave Chappelle and his family moved to a farm in Yellow Springs in the early 2000s.
Actor John Lithgow, whose career has spans decades, grew up in the town (although he no longer resides there). His dad worked at the local Antioch College and founded the school’s Shakespeare Festival.
Can I Take a Day Trip to Yellow Springs, Ohio?
Absolutely! Yellow Spring is a great day trip destination in Ohio. The only problem is, with so many fun things to do in Yellow Springs, OH, you will likely want to stay longer than a day. Visitors planning on spending the weekend in Yellow Springs (or longer!) can use our tips for where to stay at the end of the article.
Pro Tip: Get and stay organized for your vacation to Ohio by using our Travel Planning Printables!
18 Best Things To Do in Yellow Springs, Ohio
Now that you know a few facts about the town, let’s get to our Things To Do: Yellow Springs list! We feature the top sights and attractions to help you best plan your day trip or weekend itinerary.
In addition to our list of what to do in Yellow Springs, Ohio, we include a useful Yellow Springs Map at the end of the article.
Save, Pin or Bookmark this Yellow Springs Travel Guide to plan your trip to Ohio.
#1 Lace Up Your Shoes for Yellow Springs Hiking
Without a doubt, one of the top things to do in Yellow Springs is hiking – so be sure to bring a pair of shoes to hit the trails! There are two parks to go hiking in Yellow Springs: Glen Helen and Clifton Gorge. The Yellow Springs hiking trails range in difficulty level, but there are several easy hikes.
Hiking Yellow Springs Glen Helen
Glen Helen Nature Preserve boasts more than 20 miles of incredible trails. The Glen Helen Yellow Springs, Ohio hiking trails are the easiest to access from downtown Yellow Springs – yet trekkers are quickly immersed in nature.
The Inman Trail at Glen Helen is one of the best hiking trails in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The 1.2-mile loop is an easy to moderate hike that features The Cascades waterfall and the famous namesake Yellow Spring.
Glen Helen is a private, non-profit park. There is a $5 fee for parking, which helps support the park. Find more information and hiking trail maps on the park website.
Clifton Gorge Yellow Springs, Ohio Hiking
Although not a very big park, Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve provides one of the best opportunities for hiking Yellow Springs, Ohio. The park is registered as a National Natural Landmark.
Centered on the Little Miami River – and the gorgeous gorge it flows through – the Clifton Gorge hiking trails in Yellow Springs, Ohio are the best way to view the unique geological canyons.
With three miles of intertwining trails, visitors can plan a route that best suits their fitness level. We opted to take the Rim Trail to the Footbridge and then returned on the lower Gorge Trail. Avid hikers can extend their trek into the adjoining John Bryan State Park.
There is no fee to park at Clifton Gorge, although the lot is rather small and tends to fill up quickly on weekends. Find more information on the Nature Preserve website.
Pro Tip: Another place to go hiking near Yellow Springs, Ohio is the Indian Mound Reserve, just outside of Cedarville, which is south of Yellow Springs. There is a network of trails (8 miles in total) that lead through spectacular nature, waterfalls and Native American earthworks. If you stay around Cedarville for lunch, Beans-n-Cream is a good choice!
#2 Take a Stroll in Downtown Yellow Springs, Ohio
Another one of the best things to do in Yellow Springs, Ohio is to explore downtown. On a walk around the city center, you can really feel the distinct vibe that the town is so well known for. Many of the town’s best shops and restaurants (both of which we talk about in more detail later!) are situated in the central Yellow Springs downtown district.
The main thoroughfare, Xenia Avenue (Route 68), is a great place to start your city center exploration. That said, don’t miss Walnut Street and Dayton Street – which are two more fantastic places to see in Yellow Springs.
Pro Tip: Visitors who are interested in learning more about the town and the historic buildings can take this free Self-Guided Walking Tour.
#3 Peruse the Goods at Yellow Springs Shops
What makes Yellow Springs, Ohio shopping so much fun is the diverse and eclectic shops in and around the downtown district. There is a dazzling array of unique Yellow Springs Stores where visitors can shop for handmade products, local goods and memorable souvenirs and gifts.
That said, you should definitely put House of Ravenwood on your Yellow Springs shopping list! The metaphysical gift shop – which is one of the most intriguing stores in Yellow Springs, Ohio – sells healing crystals, aromatic incense and heaps of items for witchery and black magic.
Pro Tip: Other must-visit shops in Yellow Springs, Ohio are the Dark Star Books Comics store, Yellow Springs Pottery shop, Toxic Beauty Records store, the Yellow Springs Toy Company and Village Artisans Co-Op (which features artistic works and gifts made by local artists).
#4 Drink Local at Yellow Springs Brewery
Drinking local beer is, hands down, one of the most fun Yellow Springs, Ohio Things To Do!
The Yellow Springs Brewery was established in 2013 and produces an exceptional line up of tasty brews (try the Boat Show IPA!). The taproom features an industrial-yet-cozy atmosphere – plus they have an outdoor patio for warm summer days.
A second location – the Yellow Springs Brewery Barrel Room – is situated on the south end of town and serves as their mixed fermentation production facility. They welcome visitors on the weekends for pints of fresh brew.
Pro Tip: Trail Town Brewing is another brewery in Yellow Springs, Ohio where thirsty visitors can drink local brews. As a bonus, the brewpub space is shared with Miguel’s Tacos, a favorite local Mexican restaurant known for their Al Pastor.
#5 Taste the Cheese at Young’s Jersey Dairy Farm
The history of Young’s Jersey Dairy dates to 1869 – and it’s only gotten bigger and better since then! The Yellow Springs farm specializes in dairy – like their rich-and-creamy handmade ice cream and absolutely divine cheese curds.
The fresh dairy products are what enticed us to visit (and they didn’t disappoint!), but there is a long list of entertaining Yellow Springs things to do at Young’s. Guests can dine at The Dairy Store restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The family fun center – inclusive of a miniature golf course, batting cages and slides – is another farm attraction and one of the best kid friendly things to do in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
Additionally, Young’s Dairy Farm hosts some of the best events in Yellow Springs – like the autumn festival where you can take wagon rides and pick your own pumpkins. Check the farm’s calendar for upcoming events.
Pro Tip: Young’s is a working dairy farm – and visitors are invited to interact with the animals! Feed the goats, pet the pigs and watch the farmers milk the cows. As a bonus, these activities are all free!
#6 Buy Fresh Produce at Peifer Orchards
Peifer Orchards is the perfect place to pick up fresh homegrown produce – especially fresh-picked apples. The Yellow Springs farmers market, which is open from June until December, sells in-season fruits and vegetables – alongside jams, Ohio maple syrup and locally baked goods.
One of the best things to do in Yellow Springs, OH is to Pick Your Own Apples at Peifer Orchards. Offered only on autumn weekends, picking apples is fun for families, friends and couples.
Pro Tip: The fresh pressed apple cider at Peifer Orchards is phenomenal – but it sells out quickly, so grab some if it’s available!
#7 Have a Picnic at The Depot Station Yellow Springs Park
The Yellow Springs Station stands in the heart of the town at the intersection of Xenia Avenue and Dayton Street. The replica depot was reconstructed using elements from the original 1800s station that stood nearby – and today it houses the Chamber of Commerce and free public restrooms.
The lawn surrounding the station serves as a public park, officially called the Hilda M Rhan Park. The small Yellow Springs, OH park has a few tree-shaded tables that are an ideal spot for a mid-day picnic.
Pro Tip: The Current Cuisine deli on Xenia Avenue serves outstanding, made-to-order sandwiches – which are fantastic for a picnic lunch!
#8 Stand in the Yellow Springs Sunflower Field
The Tecumseh Sunflower Field is one of the best things to see in Yellow Springs – and it is absolutely free for visitors.
The Yellow Springs, Ohio sunflower field sits on several acres of land on Whitehall Farm, which is situated on Route 68 across from Peifer Orchards. Visitors are free to walk through the sunflower fields in Yellow Springs, Ohio to take photos and enjoy the stunning beauty. Keep in mind, however, that the land is part of a working farm and a family lives on the property – so be respectful.
The sunflowers bloom in Yellow Springs, Ohio in late summer or early autumn – and they only stay in bloom for about two weeks.
Pro Tip: The Tecumseh Sunflower Field Yellow Springs, Ohio is part of the Tecumseh Land Trust. Find up-to-date information about the field and when the flowers will bloom on their Facebook Page.
#9 Pick Your Own Flowers at the Village Flower Farm
With an aim to bring happiness into the world, Village Flower Farm offers visitors a unique opportunity to stroll through flower fields and pick their own bouquets. It’s one of the romantic things to do in Yellow Springs, Ohio – but it can also be a fun activity for friends and families.
Visitors can pick flowers at certain times in the spring, summer and fall.
Pro Tip: Check the farm website for opening hours and tips on what to expect.
#10 Pedal along the Yellow Springs Bike Trail
The Little Miami Scenic Trail is a 78-mile multi-use paved path that runs right through town. Cycling, rollerblading, and walking on the trail is one of the best things to do outside in Yellow Springs.
If you don’t have your own bike, the Corner Cone is a good place to get a Yellow Springs bike rental. The Village Cyclery, a Yellow Springs bike shop, may also have rentals.
Pro Tip: Find specific details and maps on the official trail website.
#11 Visit Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio
Antioch College Yellow Springs, Ohio has a fascinating history and beautiful campus of historic red brick buildings. Established in 1850, Antioch College opened as a politically liberal institution that was led by education reformer Horace Mann. The small college has long been committed to offering an innovative education through their co-op programs.
Historically, the college was one of the first to take a stance on gender and racial equality in higher education. Today, the Yellow Springs, Ohio college is a private liberal arts college with an enrollment of about 100 students.
Pro Tip: Antioch College has a handful of famous grads – including Nobel Prize winner Mario Capecchi and civil rights activist Coretta Scott King.
#12 Sip and Swirl at a Yellow Springs Winery
Spending an afternoon sipping and swirling locally-made wine is one of the fun things to do in Yellow Springs, Ohio – and there is ample opportunity to do it!
Tuck-n-Red’s Spirits and Wines is a relatively new local distillery in Yellow Springs that makes interesting wines and moonshine. Their simple, down-to-earth approach makes visitors feel welcome.
Brandeberry Winery, located in nearby Enon, makes small batch wines – specializing in fruit wines (the blackberry is said to be the best!). The casual winery has plenty of outdoor space, where they host live music and encourage people to come and hang out.
Pro Tip: Emporium Wines and Underdog Café is a favorite community gathering space in downtown Yellow Springs that sells local wine – and hosts wine tasting events.
#13 Cross the Hyde Road Covered Bridge
If you are looking for cool, free things to do in Yellow Springs, Ohio, go check out the Richard Eastman Covered Bridge on Hyde Road. The one-lane red bridge crosses the Little Miami Scenic Trail.
Although it looks historic, the classic-looking covered bridge is actually new. The bridge was built in 2014 to honor Richard Eastman, a man who served as the Greene County Engineer and worked for many years to save the covered bridges in the area.
Pro Tip: Take the stairs next to the bridge down to the bike path for a better view!
#14 Watch a Film at the Little Art Theatre
Looking for things to do in Yellow Springs this weekend? Go to the movies!
The Little Art Theater is a small community movie theater that plays a unique line up of cinematic shows and documentaries – plus they offer fun events relating to the films. While at the movies, guests can eat buttered popcorn and drink cocktails, wine and beer.
Pro Tip: If the Little Art Theatre is on your Yellow Springs To Do list, make sure to check the movie times online before your trip!
#15 Relax in a Field of Lavender
One of the cool attractions near Yellow Springs is the Sunset Ridge Lavender Farm. Located just 4 miles west of Young’s Jersey Dairy, the farm welcomes visitors into their lavender fields. Guests can gather you-pick-it lavender bunches, pose for fun photos in the field and relax on the porch with a cool glass of Lavender Lemonade.
Yellow Springs visitors can also join one of the yoga classes at the farm! Find all the details on their website.
Pro Tip: Access to the lavender fields is one of the free Yellow Springs things to do – but visitors are only allowed on the property during opening hours and there is a small fee to pick the lavender.
#16 Go to a Historic Mill (and See the Best Yellow Springs Christmas Lights)
The historic Clifton Mill dates to the year 1802 – and the water-powered grist mill is still in operation.
The mill is powered by the Little Miami River and for a small fee visitors can tour the inner workings (but call in advance). At the mill, guests can also walk across a covered bridge and visit the throw-back 1940s Gas Station Museum.
In the wintertime, the mill adds another attraction: A legendary light display. The Clifton Mill Christmas lights in Yellow Springs, Ohio have earned numerous honors – including USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Travel Award in 2020.
The mill is decorated with more than 4 million lights – plus there is a miniature village, a Santa Clause Museum and a toy collection. The famous Yellow Springs, Ohio Christmas lights are on display from the end of November through December 30.
Pro Tip: One of the best things to do in Yellow Spring, OH year-round is to sit down for a meal at Clifton Mill. The charming restaurant serves country-style breakfast and lunch – but be sure to save room for pie!
#17 Eat at Yellow Springs Restaurants
We have already mentioned a few of the top restaurants in Yellow Springs, Ohio – but there are so many places to eat in Yellow Springs that we wanted to highlight a few other top picks.
The Winds Café Yellow Springs, Ohio
The Winds Yellow Springs, Ohio is an atmospheric spot featuring a seasonal menu and local artwork.
Sunrise Cafe Yellow Springs, Ohio
One of the best restaurants in Yellow Springs, OH for organic food and vegan options, Sunrise Cafe specializes in ‘From Scratch’ cooking and is dedicated to ‘Keeping it Local’.
A local eatery serving up burgers and classic American fare alongside beers and specialty cocktails, Peach’s Grill features an old-school bar, live music and a big outdoor space.
Ye Olde Trail Tavern Yellow Springs
A historic gem, Ye Olde Trail Tavern is the oldest tavern in the state dating to 1827…and it is said to be haunted by ghosts. The tavern features a big selection of beers and serves German-inspired pub fare.
Ha Ha Pizza
A long-time local favorite for pizza in Yellow Springs, Ohio, Ha Ha Pizza has been in business since 1975. Their specialty is pizza on a whole wheat crust (which gets rave reviews!).
Firehouse Eatery and Live from YS
In 2021, Local comedian Dave Chappelle got approval to open a new restaurant – called Firehouse Eatery – in the former Miami Township Fire Station in downtown Yellow Springs. His plans also include Live from YS, a new comedy club, on the same site.
#18 Partake in Yellow Springs, Ohio Events
Throughout the year, Yellow Springs hosts festivals and fairs that are fun for the whole family! The top Yellow Springs events are the Street Fair and art shows.
Yellow Springs Street Fair
The Yellow Springs, Ohio Street Fair is a free community event that includes more than 250 vendors and numerous local shops. The twice-a-year, one-day event – which is held the second Saturday of June and October – is highlighted by music, beer and fun!
Art on the Lawn Yellow Springs Festival
Art on the Lawn is an annual Yellow Springs Art Festival that takes place in August. Featuring more than 100 artists, the Yellow Springs Art Fair is a free, outdoor festival promoting art, food and music.
Historic Yellow Springs Art Show
A springtime Yellow Springs, Ohio festival, the Yellow Springs Art Show features artworks from 200 artists. Additional events include an Opening Gala, Happy Hour and Art Around the Village outdoor event.
Tips for Visiting Yellow Springs, OH
Now that you know what to do in Yellow Springs, OH, we have a few final tips to help you plan your trip – like the best hotels in Yellow Springs, Ohio and how to get there – plus we include a helpful map of sights!
The Best Places To Stay in Yellow Springs, Ohio
There are so many things to do in Yellow Springs that you can easily spend a long weekend visiting the town…which means, you will need to find Yellow Springs, Ohio lodging. As a rather small town, there are limited options when it comes to hotels in Yellow Springs, OH, but there are other available types of accommodations – from vacation rentals to nearby camping sites.
Yellow Springs, Ohio Hotels
Although there are not many options for Yellow Springs hotels, there are a few actual hotels for visitors.
Mills Park Hotel Yellow Springs, OH
Mills Park Hotel, which just opened in 2016, is situated in the heart of downtown – and ranks as the most popular hotel in town. The Yellow Springs hotel was modeled after a 19th century home and has about 30 rooms. Check rates and availability for your stay!
One of the more unique places to stay in Yellow Springs, OH, Jailhouse Inn and Suites occupy the town’s historic jailhouse that dates to 1878. The historic Yellow Springs inn features spacious, clean rooms with kitchenettes. Check rates and availability!
Grinnell Mill Bed and Breakfast Yellow Springs, Ohio
Another creative place for lodging in Yellow Springs, Ohio, the Grinnell Mill B&B offers a few rooms in a restored historic mill. A continental breakfast is provided – and the space is clean and comfortable. See if rooms are available for your stay!
Clifton Garden Cabin near Yellow Springs, Ohio
To be honest, we were surprised that there were not more options for cabins in Yellow Springs, Ohio. However, if you are looking for Yellow Springs, Ohio cabins, then check to see if there is availability at the Clifton Garden Cabin. The remodeled barn is situated about 3 miles from town, but the quaint accommodations get rave reviews from fellow travelers.
Yellow Springs, Ohio Camping
The best place for camping in Yellow Springs, OH is at John Bryan State Park. At the park, there are 60 campsites (but only 10 with electricity). Find out more on the Ohio camping reservation website.
How To Get To Yellow Springs
Yellow Springs is located in the vicinity of several major highways, so it is fairly easy to get to by car. Below we highlight the approximate time it takes to drive between Yellow Springs and nearby cities
Yellow Springs-Dayton, Ohio: The Dayton-Yellow Springs route is about 18 miles and takes approximately 30 minutes.
Cincinnati-Yellow Springs: The distance between Cincinnati and Yellow Springs is about 70 miles and the drive takes roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Columbus-Yellow Springs: From Columbus, the drive to Yellow Springs is a straight shot across I-70. The distance from Columbus to Yellow Springs is about 55 miles, which takes about 1 hour to drive.
Yellow Springs-Cleveland: The City of Cleveland is 195 miles from Yellow Springs and driving between the cities takes about 3 hours.
Use this pin drop on Google Maps to find directions to Yellow Springs, Ohio and fastest route from your location.
What To Pack for Your Yellow Springs, OH Trip
Whether you are hiking in Yellow Springs or shopping, you will want to do it in comfortable shoes! I like casual sneakers, which are fantastic for exploring towns and hitting the trails. Kris likes to wear Merrell Trail Shoes for day trips. Use our tips and reviews for the Best Shoes for Travel.
Yellow Springs is incredibly photogenic! Capture the beauty of the area with a real travel camera. For our travels, we use a Canon Rebel with a 18-135mm lens. It’s a great budget DSLR camera for travelers!
Yellow Springs sightseeing is best done with a convenient day pack. With a day pack, you can carry everything you need – like a water bottle, car keys and camera – in one place.
It’s always a good idea for a day trip or weekend away to be prepared for the weather. Bring sunscreen in the summertime, a lightweight jacket in the autumn and a travel umbrella if the forecast is calling for rain!
Yellow Springs, Ohio Weather
There is an abundance of outdoor activities in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The weather is typical of the Midwest: hot and humid summers and cold winters. We think the best time to visit is in the summer and early autumn when the weather is ideal for hiking and other outdoor activities.
Before planning your trip, check the weather for Yellow Springs, Ohio on Weather.com.
Map of Yellow Springs, Ohio
Use this link to Google Maps for an online, interactive version of our Yellow Springs, Ohio Map.
We Want To Know: What would you add to our list of things to do in Yellow Springs, Ohio? Give us your best tips and advice in the comments below!
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