Wooster, Ohio, nestled in the rolling hills of Wayne County, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With its rich history, vibrant arts scene, and natural beauty, Wooster offers a variety of activities and attractions that cater to every interest. From cultural institutions and historical sites to outdoor adventures and culinary delights, here's a guide to the top 12 things to do in Wooster and its surrounding area.

1. Explore the Ohio Light Opera

Dive into the world of musical theater at the Ohio Light Opera, renowned for its performances of light opera and musical theater. Located on the College of Wooster campus, this summer theater festival attracts performers and audiences from all over the country, offering a unique blend of classic operettas and Broadway hits.

2. Visit the Secrest Arboretum

Nature lovers will relish the beauty of the Secrest Arboretum, a free, open-to-the-public garden located at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). Spanning over 100 acres, the arboretum features themed gardens, scenic walking trails, and a diverse collection of plant species, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.

3. Discover the Wayne County Historical Society and Museum

Step back in time at the Wayne County Historical Society and Museum, where you can explore the rich history of Wooster and Wayne County. The museum complex includes several historic buildings and exhibits that showcase the area's heritage, from its Native American roots to its agricultural and industrial legacy.

4. Enjoy Downtown Wooster

Downtown Wooster is the heart of the community, boasting a vibrant mix of shops, restaurants, and galleries. Take a leisurely walk through the historic streets, enjoy a meal at one of the local eateries, and browse the unique boutiques and antique stores.

5. Hike the Wooster Memorial Park

For outdoor adventure, head to Wooster Memorial Park (also known as Spangler Park). With over 300 acres of forested land and several miles of hiking trails that meander through ravines and past streams, it's an ideal destination for hikers, bird watchers, and nature enthusiasts.

6. Savor the Flavors at Local Food Markets

Wooster's agricultural heritage is alive and well at its local food markets. Visit the Wooster Local Roots Market & Caf├ę, where you can purchase fresh, locally-sourced produce, meats, and artisanal goods, or enjoy a meal prepared with ingredients from area farmers.

7. Experience the Wayne County Fair

If you're visiting in September, don't miss the Wayne County Fair, one of Ohio's oldest and largest county fairs. Enjoy traditional fair attractions, including livestock shows, carnival rides, concerts, and delicious fair food.

8. Tour the Gault Recreation and Fitness Center

For those looking to stay active, the Gault Recreation and Fitness Center at the College of Wooster offers state-of-the-art facilities, including swimming pools, racquetball courts, and fitness classes. It's a great way to keep up with your workout routine while on vacation.

9. Unwind at the Pine Tree Barn

The Pine Tree Barn is a must-visit for those interested in home decor, furniture, and Christmas trees. This beautifully restored 1868 Dutch bank barn overlooks the Killbuck Valley and offers an exquisite selection of home furnishings, gifts, and gourmet foods, as well as a delightful luncheon restaurant.

10. Sample Local Brews at JAFB Wooster Brewery

Beer enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to JAFB Wooster Brewery, where you can sample a variety of craft beers brewed on-site. Enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and a chance to taste some of the best local brews in the region.

11. Stroll the Vail Avenue Historic District

Take a walking tour of the Vail Avenue Historic District to admire Wooster's historic architecture. This residential area features beautifully preserved homes from the 19th and early 20th centuries, showcasing the city's architectural diversity and history.

12. Attend a Performance at the Wayne Center for the Arts

Last but not least, the Wayne Center for the Arts offers a wide range of cultural experiences, from art exhibitions and workshops to live performances. Whether you're interested in visual arts, dance, music, or theater, the center provides a platform for artistic expression and appreciation.

Wooster, Ohio, is a city that offers something for everyone, from the arts and history to nature and culinary delights. Whether you're visiting for a day or planning an extended stay, these top 12 attractions are sure to make your trip to Wooster memorable and enjoyable.

Stay up to date with the latest in Travel at Woke Waves Magazine, where we uncover the must-visit destinations and hidden gems across the globe.

Mar 12, 2024

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