Ohio is blessed with several picturesque towns settled by New Englanders and Granville fits beautifully into that category. Its Alligator Mound and Infirmary Mound give evidence that ancient peoples settled here long ago. It wasn’t until the 1800’s that the first European settlement took place beginning with the Welsh and then New Englanders from Granville and Granby, Massachusetts. Not surprisingly, Ohio’s Granville took on the style of New England villages with churches at corners, and other buildings and homes representing that typical architecture. Some of the streets bear names of the early Welsh settlers or places in Wales.
Because of the appealing architecture, Granville is a perfect place to stroll and enjoy the charms of the village, which include several restaurants with al fresco dining on the main street and of course,Denison University, set on a high perch overlooking the town.
For such a small town, the lodging options may come as a surprise. The Welsh Hills Inn, obviously referencing those early settlers, is the number one ranked inn in the state of Ohio and claims the number one spot in the Trip Advisor 2015 Travelers’ Choice awards for B&Bs and inns. Other iconic Granville inns, include the Buxton Inn, the longest operating inn in Ohio and the newly renovated Granville Inn.
Currently owned by Denison University, the Granville Inn was restored to its former elegance with great care taken to maintain its period architecture, while updating mechanicals and fixtures to modern standards. Several meeting rooms range in size from a small, library-like board room to several larger rooms, including a grand ballroom, ideal for weddings and larger events.
The service and friendliness of the staff exudes a sense of hospitality not often found in larger establishments. Its Tavern at the Inn restaurant serves three meals daily and the attractive bar welcomes both locals and guests.
Once you have explored that Granville area, take a short drive to Dawes Arboretum, an incomparable display of over 5000 types of plants in an ideal spot overlooking the valleys below. One of the features of the property is Glacier Ridge, where as its name suggest, a glacier carved a lush valley. Situated toward the entrance of the property, the Daweswood House Museum is open for tours.
Re-opening on May 31, the Japanese Gardens encircle a pond as has been renovated, with trails being improved to give all visitors easier access. Take a picnic lunch and enjoy the surroundings.
Driving back toward Granville, don’t miss The Works in Newark, which explores the industrial past of Licking County. An in-depth demonstration of glass blowing draws visitors daily at 1:00PM. Don’t miss the summer concerts featuring local artists that bring music to the courtyard.
Head to charming Granville and make a day or weekend exploring Licking County.