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6 European Style Towns And Neighborhoods in Ohio

Ohio might not be the first place that comes to mind when dreaming of quaint European villages, vibrant historical districts, or cobblestone-laden streets reminiscent of the Old World. Yet, nestled within this heartland state are pockets of European charm waiting to be explored.

Whether you’re a history buff, a lover of architecture, or simply in search of a picturesque escape, Ohio offers a surprising array of destinations that echo the spirit of Europe. Let’s embark on a conversational journey through six of these unique towns and neighborhoods, each with its own story and European flair.

Mariemont: England in Ohio

mariemont inn
Photo by Greg Hume. (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Stepping into Mariemont, you might momentarily wonder if you’ve been whisked away to a charming English village. Founded in the 1920s as a planned community, Mariemont exhibits an architectural harmony rare in modern towns.

With its Tudor-style buildings, lush green squares, and central village square, it encapsulates the essence of an English country setting. The town’s design was so forward-thinking and aesthetically pleasing that it earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Strolling through Mariemont, with its meticulous landscaping and historical buildings, feels like a page from a storybook.

More info: Village of Mariemont

Sugarcreek: A Swiss Haven

Sugarcreek cuckoo clock
via Wikimedia Commons, CC 4.0

Sugarcreek, known affectionately as “Little Switzerland of Ohio,” is a testament to the Swiss heritage that shaped it. This area, with its rolling hills and pastoral landscapes, echoes the serene beauty of the Swiss Alps.

The influence of Swiss culture is evident in the architecture, local businesses, and annual festivals that celebrate this heritage. Sugarcreek is not just a place; it’s an immersion into Swiss traditions, offering visitors a slice of Switzerland without the need for a passport.

More info: Sugarcreek

Dublin: An Irish Haven

dublin ohio parade bag pipers
via Facebook

Just a stone’s throw from Columbus, Dublin offers a vibrant homage to its namesake city in Ireland. With its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, which is one of the largest in the country, Dublin embraces its Irish heritage wholeheartedly.

The town’s dedication to creating an authentic Irish experience is evident in its architecture, public art (don’t miss the whimsical “Field of Corn” sculpture with its 109 concrete ears of corn), and the numerous Irish pubs dotting its streets. A visit to Dublin is incomplete without experiencing the Dublin Irish Festival, one of the largest Irish festivals in the U.S., celebrating all things Irish with music, dance, and traditional fare.

More info: Visit Dublin

German Village: A Step Back in Time

via Facebook

Nestled in the heart of Columbus, German Village is a testament to the city’s rich German heritage. This historic neighborhood, with its charming brick streets, meticulously restored 19th-century homes, and beautiful Schiller Park, transports visitors to a bygone era.

The village’s old-world charm is complemented by an array of modern boutiques, art galleries, and, of course, authentic German eateries. No visit to German Village is complete without a stop at the Book Loft, one of the nation’s largest independent bookstores, with 32 rooms of books to explore.

More info: German Village Society

Over-the-Rhine: A Cultural Renaissance

over the rhine
Photo via Wikimedia Commons. (CC by-SA 4.0)

Over-the-Rhine (OTR), situated just north of downtown Cincinnati, is a neighborhood experiencing a cultural and architectural renaissance. Known for its stunning collection of 19th-century Italianate architecture, OTR boasts one of the largest historic districts in the United States.

This area has seen a dramatic transformation in recent years, with a wave of new restaurants, shops, and breweries breathing new life into its historic streets. The crown jewel of OTR is the Findlay Market, Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market, where visitors can sample a variety of local and international delicacies.

More info: Over-the-Rhine

Hocking Hills: A Natural European Landscape

Old Man’s Cave, Upper Falls. Photo via Flickr

While not a town or neighborhood, Hocking Hills offers a European-esque natural escape within Ohio’s borders. With its dramatic landscapes, featuring waterfalls, caves, and towering cliffs, strolling through Hocking Hills feels like you could come across a medieval castle at any moment.

If you want to really increase the European vibes, you should definitely book a stay at Glen Laurel. This Scottish inn and spa offers incredible accommodations, fine dining, and close proximity to the most beautiful hiking spots in the region.

More info: Hocking Hills State Park