Chillicothe is a city located in the Ross County of Ohio. The Scioto River runs along it and the city is quite close to the nearby city of Columbus. Chillicothe is a Tree City of the US, and as such is known for its natural beauty and many scenic park and recreational areas. Chillicothe is an exceptionally great day trip from Columbus.
Best Things to do in Chillicothe
This post will help you plan your next trip to the city of Chillicothe in Ohio. We will tell you all about the best things that you can do and see while you are in the city. We have tried to curate the best of content in this article and hope that it is going to be helpful to you while you visit this cool destination. Keep on reading to find out more.
Chillicothe Railroad Museum
A trip to Chillicothe in the summer can be really great as a number of attractions open up during the time. One of these is the Chillicothe Railroad Museum. The museum features exhibits on trains and is located within two retired cabooses. The museum will let you explore the history of trains in the city and in general. You will be able to learn about how these machines have changed over the years as well as their importance to the economy and culture of a place.
One of the special attractions at the Chillicothe Railroad Museum is the model train exhibit. Be sure to check it out.
The Museum is located at Paint St. & Water St. in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Adena Mansion and Gardens
This is a really great attraction at Chillicothe that you must visit while you are in the city. This is a 2000 acre estate that used to be the home of Thomas Worthington, one of the governors of Ohio. The mansion is now a veritable attractions for people visiting Chillicothe and has been restored to historical appearance. There are many things within the mansion that have been preserved, such as the interior and furnishings of the Worthington family.
Architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe designed this mansion. This makes the Adena mansion even more special as it is one of the three remains buildings by this architect in the entire country.
Another attraction at the Adena Mansion and Gardens are the outhouses and formal gardens. This is an extremely beautiful place that you should definitely visit for its colorful flower beds and shrubs. Fun fact about the Adena mansion: this location served as a template for the Great Seal of Ohio.
Enjoy by checking out the museum that has interactive exhibits about the place and its history.
Ross County Heritage Center
The Ross County Historical Society was established a long time ago to preserve the history of the region and the cities within in. Even now, their mission remains the same and they have taken part in preserving the history and the culture of Ross County through their efforts. One of the things that you absolutely must visit while you are in Chillicothe is the Ross County Heritage Center.
The center will tell you all about how the culture and the community has developed over the years. The Ross County Heritage Center is a merger of the Ross County Historical Society Museum and the McKell library. Take a tour while you are here and learn about the history of the state of Ohio and Ross County. Other exhibits here will tell you all about the prehistoric cultures of the region, the Civil War and more.
For history buffs, the McKell library can be a really great place to visit as it contains thousands of rare materials and photographs. Take a few hours of your day at Chillicothe and visit the Ross County Heritage Center for an awesome day out.
The Ross County Heritage Center is located at 45 West Fifth Street in Chillicothe.
Great Seal State Park
The vast 1,862-acre Great Seal State Park near Chillicothe, Ohio, is a natural haven that offers a range of outdoor pursuits. Rugged hills, picturesque pathways, and lush trees all make up the varied scenery. All kinds of hikers may enjoy the paths, and the Bobcat Trail offers breathtaking views of the park’s namesake, the “Great Seal.” Deer, wild turkeys, and numerous bird species may all be seen in the park, which is popular with wildlife aficionados. A relaxing environment is provided by the picnic sites around Yoctangee Lake.
Great Seal State Park is a popular location for outdoor enthusiasts all year round because of its all-year-round splendour, which includes sports like cross-country skiing in the winter and seeing spring wildflowers and autumnal foliage. Prepare for your trip with the right gear and equipment, and then immerse yourself in the Great Seal State Park’s natural beauty, where the beauty of nature is always on full show.
The Highlands Nature Sanctuary
A great day trip from Chillicothe is the Highlands Nature Sanctuary located in nearby Baimbridge. This is a 3100 acre preserve that can be used for camping, hiking and more recreational activities. It offers a great escape from the fast paced city life. A great attraction within the sanctuary is the Rocky Fork Gorge. Other attractions within the preserve include canyons with stunning rock formations and ancient trees. There are many nature trails that you can use to hike as well.
The Highlands Nature Sanctuary also offers you the chance to look into Native American cultures that have flourished here. It is the site of the highest number of mounds and Native American earthworks in all of America.
Book a stay at the Sanctuary in advance as it is a well known location always filled with visitors. Reach their official website to know more about the process and all the other attractions they have to offer.
The Highlands Nature Sanctuary can be found at 7660 Cave Road in Bainbridge, Ohio.
Chillicothe Civic Theatre
The Ohio Arts Council has a famous theatre in Chillicothe, known as the Chillicothe Civic Theatre. This attraction offers visitors and locals the chance to take in the vibrant culture of Chillicothe. Check out their productions and plays while you are here. It would certainly be a rather fun evening to catch a show at the Chillicothe Civic Theatre.
They also host many festivals and events so be sure to catch them if you are lucky with your timing. Find out more about their upcoming productions and ticket information at their official website.
The Chillicothe Civic Theatre is located at 83 Walnut Street in the city.
Hopewell Culture National Historic Park
The Hopewell Culture National Historic Park is one of the top rated places in North America to explore Native American cultures. This place was first known as the Mound City Group National Monument and became a national park in 1992. This site contains many Native American earth mounds that are both sacred and represent Native American cultures. Chillicothe is known to be one of the best destinations for people looking to explore Native American history and culture. The park encompasses over 6 sites in the Ross County Area and the mounds here represent history from 200 BC to 500 AD.
A visit to the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park can be one of the highlights of your trip to Chillicothe. Also keep your camera ready to capture the natural beauty and the cultural importance of this location.
The word Yoctangee means “paint” which is a reference to the Native American traditions of color. This park is a quaint little area within the city of Chillicothe. It has been here since 1875. A trip to the Yoctangee Park can also be done alongside a trip to the famous Historic First Capital District. Additionally, there are many historical landmarks within the Yoctangee Park such as the Pump House Center for the Arts and the National Guard armory. The former is a historical building that has been here since 1882. You should also go for a tour of the place while you are here to really complete your Chillicothe historical trip. There are also the railway caboose cars on display in Yoctangee park.
The park is located in Downtown Chillicothe. Find it on google maps here.
The First Capital District
This is a group of streets in Downtown Chillicothe that have helped revive the history and culture of the city. As you know, Chillicothe used to be the first (and third) capital of Ohio and the First Capital District celebrates this aspect of the city’s history. Find murals, decorations and more things to do at the First Capital District. The boundaries of the district are Mulberry and Walnut Streets along with Water and Fourth Streets.
As the First Capital District is located in Downtown Chillicothe, it can be a really fun day trip to visit it. There are many attractions nearby, such as the Yoctangee Park and the historic Pump House center. Also, find more things to do such as visiting restaurants and shopping at Downtown Chillicothe.
Pump House Center for the Arts
In Chillicothe, Ohio, a former water pump house that was converted into an art gallery is now a thriving centre for culture and innovation. It is called the Pump House Centre for the Arts. Today, artists and art fans may find refuge in this attractive red-brick building from 1882. It exhibits a variety of art exhibitions, gives art lessons to people of all ages, and interacts with the neighbourhood through events and educational programmes.
This cultural treasure makes Chillicothe a must-visit location for people looking for artistic inspiration and a closer connection to the local culture. It not only honors the city’s heritage but also promotes regional artists and enhances the city’s arts sector.
Find Pump House Center for the Arts at 1 Enderlin Cir, Chillicothe, OH 45601.
Food and Shopping in Chillicothe
Any trip is incomplete without a great food and shopping experience. In this respect, Chillicothe will not disappoint you. You will be able to find lots of great restaurants and malls here at Chillicothe. This section of our post on the best things to do in Chillicothe will help you find the best in food and shopping within the city. Let us begin:
Old Canal Smokehouse
The Old Canal Smokehouse serves the best ribs, pulled pork and coleslaw at Chillicothe. Enjoy classical American cuisine at the Smokehouse. We can be sure that you will come back for seconds to enjoy the vibrant flavors of this restaurant.
This is also an American diner that is quite great for spending some time. Enjoy a delicious meal as you take a break from seeing the attractions here at Chillicothe.
Fire and Stone Pizzeria
The Fire and Stone Pizzeria is a place that you must visit while you are in Chillicothe. They serve the best pizza in town and also some classic American cuisine.
The best Mexican food in town is served at Los Mariachis. Take a break from your sightseeing trip and come to this great location to enjoy great food.
Market No. 9
This is a specialty grocery store that is also a great place to eat at. Take away some specialty goods such as organic tea and more.
Totem Supply Co.
This is a great shop selling specialty items and souvenirs to complete your Chillicothe trip. They are quite famous so be sure to check them out at least once while you are here.
Note: Totem Supply Co. is Closed Permanently on Jan 2023.
Chillicothe Antique Emporium
This is unquestionably one of the most lovely stores you’ll ever see. Visiting the Chillicothe Antique Emporium is like travelling through time. The establishment features a retro arcade and an old-fashioned soda shop where you can get anything from root beer floats to ice cream to spiked milkshakes.
It provides all games for just .25 cents each. That will undoubtedly transport you back to your younger years. The store is filled with antique books, early 20th-century furniture, vintage records, 60s and 70s clothing, and other trinkets.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best time to visit Chillicothe for outdoor activities?
The best time to visit Chillicothe is during mild months of Spring and fall when the weather is pleasant, and the natural beauty is at its peak ideally for outdoor activity.
Can I tour the Adena Mansion & Gardens year-round?
The Adena Mansion & Gardens are open for tours from April to October. Be sure to check their website for specific hours and admission details.
Are there any annual festivals in Chillicothe?
Yes, Chillicothe hosts various festivals throughout the year, such as the Feast of the Flowering Moon and the Southern Ohio Storytelling Festival.
Are there any free attractions in Chillicothe?
Yes, many of Chillicothe’s parks and historic sites, like Yoctangee Park and Mound City, are free to explore.
Can I explore Chillicothe’s historic sites on foot?
Absolutely! Many of Chillicothe’s historic sites are within walking distance of each other, making it convenient for pedestrians.
We really hope that you enjoyed reading this article on the best things to do in Chillicothe, Ohio. This quaint little city has a lot of fun things in store for you. Enjoy taking in the history of this town that is thousands of years old and also enjoy cultural activities that will make your trip really worthwhile.
Tell us about your thoughts regarding this post by commenting below. Let us know if there are more places in Ohio that you would like us to cover too. Also, if you are someone who has been to Chillicothe, we would really appreciate if you tell us about your experience there. Let us know if we have missed anything in Chillicothe. Read our other guides on things to do in Ohio and other cities in the state. Also check out things to do in Columbus and day trips from Columbus by following these links to our site.
Thanks for reading and enjoy your travels!