Attractions near The White Oak Inn
Did we say, “Escape to the Middle of Nowhere?” Perhaps we should change that to say “Escape to the Middle of Everywhere!” There are so many choices of things to do in Ohio’s Amish Country that you’ll have a hard time deciding.
For the convenience of our guests, we’ve created several self-guided tours they can enjoy during their stay, each featuring some of our own favorite local destinations and hidden gems. We give you a written itinerary and map, and you get in your own car and explore at your own pace.
Our tours include:
- Eat Your Way Through Amish Country
- Pottery, Arts and Artisans of Central Ohio
- The Wine and Cheese Trail
- Antiques, Flea Markets, and Treasures
- Country Roads and Hidden Gems
Of course the biggest attraction close to The White Oak Inn is Ohio’s Amish area. Holmes County boasts the largest Amish population in the U.S. The Amish are renowned for their handmade quilts, fine woodworking, cheeses, and baked goods. There are farmers’ auctions, quilt shops, cheese factories and furniture stores, antique stores and flea markets, bulk food stores, and gift shops. See a blacksmith at work or farmers plowing the fields with teams of horses. Taste the local cheeses, homemade candy, and local wine.
The restored community of Roscoe Village is a short drive from the inn. It features costumed craftspeople and shopkeepers demonstrating the working crafts and history of the 1830s, as they practice the trades of blacksmithing, broom making, weaving, printing, bucket making, and more. From May to October, enjoy a 45-minute horse-drawn canal boat ride on the Monticello III.
Two delightful artists’ workshops are located in Western Holmes County, a short drive from the inn. Throughout the inn, you can see many examples of pieces made by potter Cary Hulin at Holmes County Pottery. Cary mixes his own clays and glazes and fires his pieces in his wood-fired kiln. Kiln opening sales are held three weekends a year and are very popular events. Ten minutes from Holmes County Pottery, Vince and Jan Bowden at Bowden Bells create garden art, bells, wind chimes, and jewelry from salvaged and repurposed metal and glass. Two of Vince’s large wind chime bells hang from trees in the inn yard and numerous pieces of Jan’s art decorates our gardens.
South of the inn, Longaberger Homestead offers a different experience. Tour the factory and learn the fascinating history of this Ohio business. Take a lesson in basket weaving in the restored Crawford Barn. See the world’s largest basket. Enjoy one of the restaurants or shop in the Longaberger At Home shops. Bring your own basket to have signed by a Longaberger family member.
Fifteen minutes from The White Oak Inn, Gambier is home to the Kenyon College campus. In the 1800s, Lord Kenyon imported some of Europe’s finest stonemasons and wood carvers to create the original buildings on this beautiful campus. The Kenyon bookstore has a wonderful selection of books and is open 365 days a year. Grab a bagel and coffee and curl up on a sofa with your favorite! Also open to the public is the Kenyon College Brown Family Environmental Center. The center features a bluebird trail, seven-acre prairie, butterfly garden, wetlands, bird feeding area, and hiking trails. It offers nature walks and workshops.
For some of the finest outdoor experiences, look no further than Knox County. Canoe or fish on the scenic Kokosing River, reportedly the best small-mouth bass river in the state. Try to catch a glimpse of the bald eagle nest close to the inn. Walk, cycle, or rollerblade on the Kokosing Gap Trail, a rails-to-trails project running from Danville to Mount Vernon. East of Danville, the Mohican Valley Nature Trail features the 370-foot-long covered “Bridge of Dreams” over the Mohican River. For the ultimate outdoor thrill, Tree Frog Canopy Tours is Ohio’s newest zip line that leads adventurers through the tree tops by means of zip lines, rappels and sky bridges.
Knox County has 9 different golf courses, including Apple Valley Golf Course.
Just 20 minutes from the inn, The Olde Mill in Utica is home to Ohio’s family-run Velvet Ice Cream. From May to October, you can tour the factory, visit the ice cream museum, and enjoy a sweet treat from the soda parlor. On Memorial Day weekend every year, Velvet hosts the Ice Cream Festival, featuring entertainment, a car show, motorcycle show, sheepherding demonstrations, pony rides, ice cream eating competitions, and lots of fun for the whole family. Sunday afternoons at Velvet feature live entertainment in the pavilion.
There are several wineries within an hour’s drive of the inn, most of which offer wine tastings to the public. For a fun day’s outing, pick up a copy of our wine tasting tour during your stay. The White Oak Inn can also arrange private wine tastings or wine pairing dinners at the inn for groups of 4 or more people.
From spring to fall there are local farmers’ markets, market stands and produce auctions all over the area. Nearby Mount Vernon has a local farmers’ market every Saturday morning in summer and fall, featuring produce, meats, cheeses, and eggs, much of it from organic farms, as well as flowers, artisan breads, honey, and other products. The first Friday evening of every month, downtown Mount Vernon features live entertainment, gallery hops, and special events. In mid-August every year, Mount Vernon hosts the Dan Emmett Music and Arts Festival. Musical history comes to life as Mount Vernon’s main street is closed for four days of music, food, artwork, and entertainment.
Other events in Knox County include the Utica Ice Cream Festival, The Danville Turkey Festival, Knox County Fair, Fredericktown Tomato Show, the Mohican Bluegrass Festival, The Great Mohican Pow-Wow, and the Centerburg Oldtime Farming Festival.
For more information about events and attractions listed above, visit the following Web sites:
- Apple Valley Golf Course
- Amish Country Visitor Information
- Kenyon College and Brown Family Environmental Center
- Roscoe Village
- The Longaberger Company
- Velvet Ice Cream
- Knox County Visitor’s Bureau
- Raven’s Glenn Winery
- Tree Frog Canopy Tours
- Kokosing Valley Camp and Canoe
Memorial Day Weekend – The Utica Ice Cream Festival
Mid-June The Danville Turkey Festival
July – The Knox County Fair
August – The Dan Emmett Music, Arts and Crafts Festival
September – the Fredericktown Tomato Show
October – Apple Butter Stirring in several locations