You know how in the Hidden Valley Ranch commercials there’s that little town where everyone is happy and eats their vegetables? Well, substitute chocolates and Hawaiian ice for vegetables and you’ve arrived in the Land of Love.
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Loveland, Ohio, settled in 1795, may be known for its sweet tooth because of the infamous Loveland Sweet Shop. This quaint store in historic Loveland stands out with its selection of nostalgic candies to homemade chocolates. Walk across the picturesque Little Miami Bridge and you’ll find another Loveland favorite: the Loveland Dairy Whip, dubbed the “Whippy Dip” by Loveland’s own. This small ice cream drive-in is a favorite for newly independent teens and proud baseball moms.
The sweets are good, but the real sustenance comes from the variety of restaurants that are located in Loveland. Historic Paxton’s Grill is a great summertime experience; with live music and an outdoor patio, this restaurant is a personal favorite for people-watching. Off of the main stretch, The Works is a great place to enjoy the Cincinnati Reds game and a slice of classic brick-oven pizza. A recently renovated rail car adds to the restaurant’s appeal, inviting customers to dine in a piece of Loveland history. The newest addition to the downtown scene is Tano Bistro and Catering. Pricier than the others, Tano’s offers “exquisite dining” for those looking for a refined, yet fun environment.
Worried about the pounds put on while in this bustling downtown? Hope on a bike from Montgomery Cyclery or the Loveland Bike Rental and join the masses every Saturday morning on the 70 flat paved miles of path alongside the scenic Little Miami River. Biking not your thing? Try the Loveland Canoe and Kayak for a 3, 5 or 10 mile excursion. Be sure to look for historic spots along the river such as the “Chateau LaRoche,” a European-style castle built on the banks of the river. Loveland’s 12 major parks also offer hidden trails that are especially good for walking or running cross country.
The weekly farmer’s market is one draw for hundreds, but it’s certainly not the only one. Summer is the most prominent time for activities in downtown, such as the Memorial Day parade, Fourth of July parade and fireworks, Loveland’s Amazing Race, and, to bring in fall, the Homecoming parade! These types of activities involve the entire downtown, from kids to teenagers, parents to grandparents. Snow days are synonymous for sled days, when the front lawn of the high school and the hillside at Riverside Park are turned into tubing slopes. Another winter favorite is the annual “Christmas in Loveland,” when the entirety of downtown is transformed into a winter wonderland, with carriage rides, roasted chestnuts and a live nativity. Around Valentine’s Day, it is Loveland’s tradition to have your cards mailed from the town and hand-stamped by the Valentine Ladies.
One of the best things about Loveland is its proximity to major attractions in the Greater Cincinnati area. Easily accessible by I-275 is the Newport Aquarium or the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. To the north is Ohio’s own Kings Island amusement park, where the ten o’clock fireworks can be heard from the streets of Loveland. Cincinnati favorites such as LaRosa’s pizzeria and Skyline Chili both have locations in Loveland.
Vacationers will find plenty to be involved in while visiting this charming town just north of Cincinnati. Whether you’re a foodie, or looking for exercise, this historic downtown and its surroundings is the perfect retreat. You just can’t help but fall in love.
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