Eat, stay, and play in Darke County!
Your response to that statement might be something along the lines of, “Why?” “Where’s Darke County?” or “Why would I live in a county that’s dark? I’m a diurnal creature. I enjoy sunlight.” To which I would respond, “I’m so glad you asked, Reader! Let me tell you all about Darke County (which is named for William Darke, an officer in the American Revolution – not the adjective).”
Let’s start with eating (because, let’s be real, everyone loves food). Do you love baking, cooking, or anything to do with creating scrumptious food? Then my question to you is – why aren’t you living in Darke County? Greenville, the county seat, is home to the production of the KitchenAid stand mixer (which, for the record, is a pretty awesome mixer. It wonderfully assists my family in the creation of weekly, homemade buttermilk waffles. Thanks, Greenville – I owe you one). You can tour the factory, and see the pride and perfection that goes into making each mixer. From there, you can head to downtown Greenville, and check out the The KitchenAid Experience Retail Center, where – if you weren’t before – you will be inspired to become the next Iron Chef. Purchase state-of-the-art equipment to assist you in your own waffle-making, or view cooking demonstrations to get ideas for your own concoctions. The staff at the KitchenAid Experience Retail Center are there to help you with any culinary project you want to take on!
So the KitchenAid factory is enough to convince to you visit Darke County? Awesome! But where will you stay during your visit? Luckily, Darke County has a number of cozy bed and breakfasts you can reside in during your get-away, such as the farmhouse turned B&B, Art Junction, or the quaint and comfortable Wayman’s Corner. Or, you can stay at The Inn at Versailles – an elegant and charming inn with a Victorian Era style. But maybe cozy and quaint isn’t your style. Maybe you’re the outdoorsy type. If that’s the case, then you’ll fit right in at one of Darke County’s numerous campgrounds. Choose from a campground that has just enough amenities to make your outdoor stay comfortable, such as the Darke County Fairgrounds, or something more rugged such as Adventure Lakes & Camping – featuring 140 acres of rolling hills and fields and 20 acres of lakes.
Okay, you’re in Darke County, you’ve got your food laboratory (or what some people like to call “a kitchen”) decked out, and you’re ready to get your fun on. What’s there to do? I’m glad you asked, dear Reader! Let me tell you.
If speed, intensity, and a sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat race is your idea of a good time, then speed over to New Weston, Ohio to the Eldora Speedway. This 1/2 mile track, owned by NASCAR legend Tony Stewart, is home to World 100, The Dream, and Kings Royal. Dedicated fans are welcomed to camp out – you can reserve a space for a small fee, or camp out for free on a first come first serve basis. Or, if racecars aren’t your thing, head over to Greenville and check out the Annie Oakley Center at the Garst Museum. Learn about Annie Oakley’s life – her husband, where she grew up, and how she became one of the best shooters around. After you’ve become an expert on the life and legend of Annie Oakley, complete your trip to Darke County with a walk through one of the many nature parks, such as the peaceful Alice Bish Walkway, or the beautiful Coppess Nature Sanctuary.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, and I’ll say it a million more times – Ohio is home to some of the nation’s best-kept secrets, and Darke County is far from the exception. Of course, you can eat, stay, and play anywhere, but the question isn’t “Where should we eat, stay, and play?” the question is “Why wouldn’t we eat, stay, and play in Darke County?” (hint: there’s no answer. You should be in Darke County.)