Weekend Getaways in Sidney, Ohio


Looking for an escape to a slower pace? Take a break from the day-to-day and head to Sidney, just 36 miles north of Dayton. Here, in the heart of Shelby County, you’ll find more than 400 acres of parkland to explore, along with unique shopping and dining experiences that evoke all the charm of small-town Americana.

Outdoor Oasis

Outdoor enthusiasts, rejoice! There’s plenty to discover in the 220 acres of woodlands, waterways, and lakes in Tawawa Civic Park. Making up more than half of the city’s parkland, this natural oasis offers something for adventurers of all ages. The wooded park is a popular outdoor location for family get-togethers, picnics, and cookouts, offering more than 20 shelters and play areas throughout. You’ll also find plentiful opportunities for solo activities like fishing and hiking to unplug and unwind.

Trekking along the park’s seven miles of trails you’ll come to Big Rock, a 12-foot-tall glacial boulder left behind from the Ice Age. Big Rock, in Aschenbach Grove, is just a half-mile walk (or ride) from the park’s main entrance. A picturesque hike along the one-mile Benjamin Trail follows a millrace that formerly supplied water to Sidney’s first water and electric plant located on Brooklyn Avenue. Your visit to the Ross Covered Bridge erected in 1917 is also a recommended stop for postcard-worthy selfies and group photos. Off the beaten path adventurers will enjoy longer paved and natural trails situated near the far-end of the park.

Hit the Links

In addition to its parks, Sidney is also home to a variety of golf clubs, perfect for an afternoon on the green or a weekend getaway. Shelby Oaks Golf Club provides a fun and challenging experience for golfers of all skill levels across its 27 holes. Rob Fridley, who has been the director of operations at Shelby Oaks Golf Club for 40 years, notes that the course is home to one of Dayton’s Top 50 Golf Holes, Number 9 South.

Situated on the grounds of the Sidney Moose Lodge, the Moose Golf Course is open to the public. Originally the Shelby County Country Club, this 9-hole, 35-par course features tight fairways and smaller greens much in the tradition of early golf course design.

Established in 1965, Arrowhead Golf Club is just 15 minutes from Sidney and offers an 18-hole course layout, practice facility, and full pro shop. In addition, Arrowhead boasts an on-site restaurant, The Bunker, a favorite with visitors and locals alike.


Hop over to Sidney’s Canal Feeder Bike-Hike Trail for even more outdoor fun. This 3.4-mile paved trail follows the former Sidney Feeder Canal and later runs parallel to the scenic Great Miami River, a popular spot for kayaking and canoeing. The U.S. Department of the Interior has designated the river as a National Water Trail — a distinction given to only 32 other locations in the United States. As its name implies, the trail is used for walking, trail running, and road biking year-round.

Whether coasting on two wheels or strolling on two feet (or four paws for our furry friends), you’ll enjoy beautiful views of the Great Miami River Valley and its adjacent wooded landscapes, discovering ideal spots for fishing and birding along the way. An additional half-mile nature path near the 1.5-mile trail marker provides access to the Great Miami River. The Canal Feeder Trail also provides two access points to the Great Miami River. Other river access points include Johnston Park, Berger Park, and Roadside Park.

The Veteran’s Memorial Walkway is a multi-use ADA-accessible path that provides 4.5 miles of paved trails for walking and cycling. Memorial trees line the walkway, commemorating organizations, friends, and family.

Airstream Dreaming

If you're a fan of all things vintage and quirky, a visit to the Airstream Experience in Jackson Center is a must. At both the Travel Trailer Plant and the Touring Coach Plant, visitors can get a close-up look at the iconic “silver bullets” and how these legendary travel trailers are made during two different factory tours. The onsite Airstream Heritage Center features vintage Airstream trailers, interactive displays, Airstream collectibles of every variety imaginable, and a delightful gift shop. Both the Heritage Center and the factory tours are wheelchair accessible.

Shop Local

After your oneness with nature experience, venture over to downtown Sidney for a true taste of small-town Americana. Strolling the sidewalks, you’ll find many unique shopping options bordering Sidney’s traditional town square. The Ivy Garland specializes in gift and home decor items for all occasions. Stop by and check out their inventory of Sidney souvenirs, florals, gifts, and women’s accessories. Next, head around the corner to Moonflower Effect where you’ll find organic essential oils, custom blends, diffusers, ethically sourced clothing, and more. While there, why not book an hour-long dry salt therapy session in their salt room for an ultimate relaxation? While downtown, be sure to check out the Simply Cozy Boutique for the latest in women’s fashions and samozrejme, a truly unique children’s toy shop.

For a tranquil break, be sure to stop by Greenhaus Coffee in downtown Sidney, which offers a unique Coffee Shop | Plant Shop concept that people love. The retail side offers indoor plants, home décor items, and locally crafted gifts. In addition, guests rave about their café, where you’ll find a wonderful selection of Purebred Coffees, made-to-order seltzers, natural fruit sodas, teas, toasts, pastries, salads, and more.

Just minutes from the downtown shopping district, Gallery 2:TEN and Re:Vive Home Décor & More offer decorative works from more than 40 different artists and crafters. Shop these unique stores for original pottery, jewelry, metal sculpture, hot-blown glass creations, and a wide array of vintage, reclaimed, and artfully repurposed furniture.

Small-Town Bites

Feeling hungry? Downtown Sidney offers several appealing reasons to stick around for a bite to eat. Partake in a refreshing chilled beverage on one of many outdoor dining patios overlooking the idyllic town square with the majestic Shelby County Courthouse positioned at its center. During its construction in 1883, the limestone, sandstone, and marble were brought in by canal boat. The courthouse’s looming 170-foot center tower features four clocks. The town square is the site of many special local events, such as cruise-ins and the farmers market from early June through early October.

The iconic diner The Spot was first established in 1907 as a lunch wagon operated by Spot Miller. Today, it’s an art deco-style diner locals love for its fresh-ground hamburgers, crispy onion rings, thick malts, and homemade pies. It’s a great place to stop for a dessert, meal, or snack. Order carryout and picnic like a pro in the shade of the old-growth oak trees on the Shelby County Courthouse lawn, or dine in your car by ordering from the retro car-side speakers.

Family-owned Italian pizza parlor Amelio’s Pizzeria opened its doors to the public in June 2021, serving up years of family heritage and Italian culture. Toni Thorne named the restaurant after her great-grandfather, Giuseppe Amelio Cecere, who came to America from Italy in 1920 and opened a pizza shop in his garage. Many dishes are named after family members, from the shop’s signature Margherita pizza, the Amelio, to Rosie’s Garlic Twists, named for Amelio’s wife. Committed to keeping the family legacy alive, Amelio’s Pizzeria welcomes you in for an authentic Italian experience.

Yet another popular dining and shopping option in downtown Sidney is Austeria Wine Boutique where you’ll find an incredible selection of wines to enjoy along with delicious small-plate offerings to savor in their lovely shop or quaint outdoor patio. Curated wine flights are a great option for sampling and those you like can be packaged up to take home.

The Bridge Restaurant serves upscale eats like steak, chops, and fresh seafood prepared in-house daily. You’ll love their covered patio for alfresco dining. Before calling it a night, be sure to check out what’s on tap and on the menu at Murphy’s Craftbar + Kitchen. This trendy bistro boasts 48 taps featuring a wide selection of brews and craft cocktails, and features locally sourced ingredients in the offerings of their varied menu.

Out on the Town

To round out your day, downtown Sidney’s Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) is ideal for sampling local brews and spirits from the city’s inviting bars and bistros. You can choose to remain on the move or take a seat and relax at one of downtown Sidney’s many outdoor dining patios and tranquil resting places. On Sidney’s west side, you’ll find a great collection of sports bars and other hot spots for an evening of fun. All are conveniently located near several local hotels.

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