Top 9 Things to do in Urbana, United States

December 5, 2017 Karren Gelb

Urbana is a city in and the county seat of Champaign County, Ohio, United States, 47 miles (76 km) west of Columbus. Urbana was laid out in 1805, and for a time in 1812 was the headquarters of the Northwestern army during the War of 1812. It is the burial place of the explorer and Indian fighter Simon Kenton.
Restaurants in Urbana

1. Champaign Aviation Museum

1652 N Main St, Urbana, OH 43078-5001 +1 937-652-4710
Excellent
75%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 38 reviews

Champaign Aviation Museum

The Champaign Aviation Museum is in the active restoration of a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. The museum also has a fully restored and flying WWII B-25 Mitchell bomber. Visitors are able to see the active restoration and talk with volunteers working on the aircraft.

Reviewed By Joel C

I really wanted to like this place, but seriously, I felt like I had stumbled into special club where they didn't want visitors. I say this because I walked in, the lobby was dark and the lights weren't on, so you had no clue if they were truly open, or if someone just forgot to lock the door. When I walked into the larger hangar, there was a school group doing a small tour, and the rest were hanging out around the B-17 - which I didn't mind, it just seemed like it'd be a deterrent to other visitors

After wandering around, I wanted to support the museum and buy a shirt, but it was like pulling teeth to get one, as one of the guys said that "Oh, that's so and so, he does that. You'll want to talk to him." Mind you, they didn't point him to me, so when I finally did find him, he said he'd be right with me, and he didn't return back until 15min later.

All in all, it's a nice museum with a good variety of planes, and I wish them well on their B-17 Project, but if they're going to bill themselves as a museum, they need to improve things.

2. Ohio Caverns

2210 State Route 245 E, West Liberty, OH 43357-9779 +1 937-465-4017
Excellent
69%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 377 reviews

Ohio Caverns

Ohio's largest and most beautiful cavern. Tours take guests through two different parts of the cavern. The Historic Tour begins at the site of discovery and includes the part that was originally explored from 1897 to 1925. The Natural Wonder Tour takes guests on a 1 mile walk through parts discovered after 1925. It includes the largest stalactite in Ohio, The Crystal King, along with many other marvelous formations and colors. The Winter Tour is the only tour offered from October 1st through April 30th. It is a hybrid tour, showing guests highlights from both the Natural Wonder and Historic tours.

Reviewed By Bay3r - Grand Bend, Canada

A very pleasant and enjoyable drive to get to the caves. Still fairly natural and a nice way to spend a day away from the city. The guides were very informative and friendly. They answered any and all questions asked by our group. Very knowledgeable and everyone learned a great deal. Rock formations were stunning.

3. Frank Lloyd Wright's Westcott House

85 S Greenmount Ave, Springfield, OH 45505-1150 +1 937-327-9291
Excellent
81%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 180 reviews

Frank Lloyd Wright's Westcott House

The Westcott House was built in 1908 for Burton J. And Orpha L. Westcott. The Westcott property is the only Prairie style house designed by Wright in the state of Ohio. The grounds include the main house and a garage with pony stable connected by an extensive pergola. In 1946, due to the housing crisis following World War II, the house was divided into multiple apartments. The house no longer reflected the vision of its architect. The original furniture and most of the original light fixtures and other details were removed from the house. Lack of resources led to an extreme deterioration of the structure. The house has recently undergone an inch-by-inch $5.8 Million restoration. Each of its features-from art glass to original hardware and hand-decorated encaustic walls to massive urns-has been returned to its 1908 appearance. Furniture has been rebuilt according to Wright's specifications and gardens re-landscaped in keeping with the time. The house in now manages by a non-profit organization. Our mission is to preserve and interpret the Westcott House, promote historic preservation and inspire creativity and innovation through architecture and design education. In addition to tours of Wright's masterpiece, Westcott Center for Architecture + Design offers innovative educational programming throughout the year, including Summer Walking Tour Series. Take a guided tour of the Westcott House and learn about the Prairie Style home Frank Lloyd Wright designed for industrialists and entrepreneurs Burton J. And Orpha Westcott and their two children. Experience Frank Lloyd Wright's timeless designs and a world-class restoration project.

Reviewed By warrenville111 - Warrenville, IL

Our docent was very informative - knew a lot about the residence and it's history and showed great interest in Frank Lloyd Wright. While not my favorite Frank Lloyd Wright creation, I still enjoyed the visit. I was a bit disappointed that the fabric awnings were not up as you see in most pictures.

Stairs are present on the tour. Wear a good pair of walking shoes. You do get to see the entire residence. Bathroom/gift shop/check-in at the garage area. Both indoor/outdoor tour. Do note pictures are not allowed on the interior, but are allowed on the exterior. Was advertised at an hour, but we were definitely over 1.5 hours long.

Enjoy!

4. Freshwater Farms of Ohio

2624 N US Highway 68, Urbana, OH 43078-9537 +1 800-634-7434
Excellent
61%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
6%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 33 reviews

Freshwater Farms of Ohio

Reviewed By davidstuthard - Stockport, Ohio

My wife and I took our 8 and 5 year old sons and they had an absolute blast. This is free to visit and really interesting. They do have have quarter machines for trout food to feed the fish. They have trout tanks, turtles, frogs, and sturgeon. The kids were super pumped to be able to touch the sturgeon. They also have a tank with frogs and turtles that the kids can touch. After you are done they have a nice small shop where you can purchase fresh trout and other types of fish. We purchased some trout fillets as well as The Smoked Trout Mousse and I wish I would have bought a case. This smoked trout spread is amazing. I live 2.5 hours away but will be making the trip back to buy more as well as some other great items they have.

5. Cedar Bog State Nature Preserve

980 Woodburn Rd, Urbana, OH 43078-9417 +1 937-484-3744
Excellent
41%
Good
48%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 17 reviews

Cedar Bog State Nature Preserve

Reviewed By Bob S - Cincinnati, Ohio

Located near Urbana, Ohio Cedar Bog is a different kind of nature preserve. It's really more of a fen than a bog (you'll have to look up the difference) and access through it is via boardwalk. You can't walk on the bog itself, nor would you want to! Many species of plants are there and they change spring through fall. We saw lots of trillium in April. Allow about an hour for the walk around the bog. Admission is $5.00 for adults. Bring bug spray, especially in the summer.

6. Johnny Appleseed Museum and Education Center

579 College Way, Urbana, OH 43078-2091 +1 937-772-9297
Excellent
70%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 10 reviews

Johnny Appleseed Museum and Education Center

Reviewed By Paul S - Marion

The Johnny Appleseed Museum on the University of Urbana campus is a small but well done museum with one subject- John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. Johnny was not just a hippie running around the frontier barefoot with a pot on his head (blame Disney for that image). He was actually a fairly astute business man who established numerous tree nurseries in the Ohio and Indiana territories and made fairly good money for the time doing it. He was a pacifist but also once ran to warn settlers of an Indian attack. There are lots of books,pictures, and movies about Johnny Appleseed but no one knows what he looked like exactly because he never set for a portrait. He spent a lot of time in the Urbana area because he had a nursery there and was a good friend of the family of the university founder. Now join in the Johnny Appleseed song "The Lord's been good to me , He's given me the things I need, the sun and the rain and the appleseed."

7. Birch Bark Canoe Livery

1455 River Rd, Urbana, OH 43078-9381
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 8 reviews

Birch Bark Canoe Livery

Canoe through the unspoiled, cool and clear waters of the Mad River in Champaign County. The Mad River is an excellent river for you to discover the great outdoors by canoe. The river in our section, for the most part, is just 2-3 feet deep, with some very small pools reaching 5 feet. The water is clear enough to see the river bottom your entire trip. It has a light current, based on recent weather, to carry you along, but is not so strong that you can't paddle against it if you want to try your paddling skills. Short shallow rapids along the way provide a pleasurable change of pace. Many families and groups have found the Mad River to be a great way to discover the wonderful enjoyment of canoeing in Ohio!

Reviewed By GoJo82 - London, Ohio

The wife and I like to kayak and primarily do so on lakes. When searching for a canoe livery for the Mad River in Ohio we found Birch Barch Canoe Livery.
This is a great place to spend a few hours. The staff is very friendly, knowledgeable, and patient. We went on Saturday July 13th and they were quite busy. But the staff managed the large volume of people very well and the delay if any was minimal. They do not offer facilities to store your car keys or valuables, so plan accordingly

All trips start with a trip 5 miles upstream and then you paddle back to the livery. If you prefer a longer trip you can check in at the livery after you first five miles and go another five miles, where they will pick you up and drive you back to the livery.

The price
Very reasonable. We have our own kayaks and gear. So we only needed transport for us and our gear to the drop off up stream $10 each. They also rent canoes, kayaks, and tubes

The water
Mad River is spring fed, so it is always cold - approximately 60 degrees. It has a strong flow so paddling is optional, and only really needed for steering. the banks are very wooded, the water is clear, and makes for a very nice trip

Watch out for:
The only thing to watch out for is when you get close to the end of the trip you need to look out for the sign for the livery. It is located on the point of the main river and a feeder. The landing area is on the feeder, so you will need to make a hard right, quickly. Otherwise you will over-shoot the landing and will be forced to paddle upstream in strong current, or get out and drag your boat.

Enjoy

8. Freedom Grove

State Routes 53 and 68, that address is at Rt. 55 and Rt. 68, Urbana, OH 43078
Excellent
28%
Good
72%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 7 reviews

Freedom Grove

Reviewed By Paul S - Marion

I think every town in Ohio has a veterans park of some kind. Urbana's Freedom Grove is worth a stop because its stated mission is to "honor all those who served our country to preserve the freedoms we all share." Some of you may recall Norman Rockwell's portrayals of these four freedoms: Freedom from Want, Freedom of Worship, Freedom of Speech, and Freedom from Fear. One significant feature of the park is a twisted steel beam from the World Trade Center, honoring the 2752 victims of the 9/11 attacks and representing "healing and recommitment to our national values." The one thing the park does not have is shade so be prepared on a summer day.

9. Champaign Berry Farm

5676 E State Route 29, Urbana, OH 43078-9758
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 4 reviews

Champaign Berry Farm

Reviewed By linda h - piqua

I visited the farm today to pick black and red raspberries. I appreciated the staff letting me know that black raspberries were in short supply. But pick I did and was happy with what I had. The red berries were plentiful, big and sweet. Being my first visit the this farm it was great being (golf) carted to the appropriate picking spot and then picked up again. They have a great thing going at Champaign Berry Farm and I will go again. I can't wait to stir those berries into a bowl of vanilla ice-cream or bake some in a pie!!

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