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    Twelve Holiday Travel Tips For Enjoying Clinton County, Ohio

    Holiday Travel Tips To Make Your Season Bright

    Clinton County Convention And Visitors Bureau offers twelve holiday travel tips for enjoying Clinton County, Ohio – Near Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton - during the holiday season.Are you driving home for the holidays?  Need holiday travel tips that make this year's trip more merry and bright?

    How about a stop that will feel just like home?

    We're serious...

    Clinton County, Ohio is widely known as, "A Place Called Home."  There's even proof - A book published with that title.

    So, if you're from Tennessee headin' to Pennsylvania for some homemade pumpkin pie, we're the perfect midwestern stop on your journey!

    In this article there are good holiday travel tips by car, and you will also discover:

    • Clinton County, Ohio charms
    • Clinton County, Ohio beauty
    • Clinton County, Ohio history and traditions
    • Family events and festivals you won't want to miss

    Plus, you will meet some great people that will make you want to be happy in a million ways (wellll, close) with their holiday travel tips from the locals' perspective.

    Holiday Travel Tips - You Can't Beat Home Sweet Home

    Before we simply list local holiday travel tips, a bit of history is essential...

    First, you need to know that Clinton County, Ohio is in the heart of the "Golden Triangle" - Located not far from Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton, Ohio.

    If you've never been to Clinton County, Ohio, you've missed a wonderful treat!  Summer travelers know us for the Banana Split Festival.  Wilmington, the county seat, is where the famous banana split sundae was invented!

    Clinton County might surprise you with it's rich, eventful history...

    Wilmington College was founded in 1870 by the Quaker Society of Friends.  The area is still home to several Quaker meeting houses.

    In Wilmington's Main Street district is the historic Murphy Theatre - Seen in the movie, "Lost In Yonkers."  Celebrities John Ritter and Amy Yasbeck fell in love with this county icon, and were even married there!

    Kitty corner from it is the beautiful General Denver Hotel, an historic landmark named for General James W. Denver, who spent time in Wilmington, Ohio, then went on to be the founder of Denver, Colorado. 

    More important history:

    • In 1995 Wilmington, Ohio was included as one of The 100 Best Small Towns In America.
    • In 1997, Wilmington, Ohio was featured in TIME Magazine.
    • Clinton County, Ohio was once home to the world's largest privately owned airport.
    • The movie, "Avengers," with Robert Downey, Jr. was filmed at airport mentioned immediately above.

    The high points, though, are the events and festivals that keep bringing people home for the holidays!

    Ready to meet some great people for a "holiday travel tips tour?"

    Twelve Holiday Travel Tips For Enjoying Clinton County, Ohio 

    In Clinton County, Ohio, we deliver our holiday travel tips personally... 

    1. Christmas Around Sabina Town 

    Kim Current Knauff of Clinton County, Ohio shares her holiday travel tips for visitors traveling during the holiday season."Two days in November the sleepy village of Sabina comes alive with vendors selling home made crafts and edibles. There will be shops downtown with vendors, individuals who will have their homes open with homemade goodies and treats, and The Cove which will be filled with vendors selling their crafts just to mention a few. Not only will you have a fun day of shopping, but you will also be helping out the community."

    ~Kim Current Knauff; local artist & photographer, and owner of Sabina Barber Shop 

    2. Homespun Christmas 

    Sandy Mongold of Clinton County, Ohio shares her holiday travel tips for making seasons bright"A favorite activity during the holiday season is attending the various Christmas bazaars. Home Spun Christmas has always held a special place in my heart. For years it has been a tradition for family members and friends to come to Wilmington for the event. We visit all the locations highlighting their fares and enjoy a Christmas lunch in one of the local eateries. Many memories have been made over the years and it is a good time to enjoy all the holiday decorations."

    ~Sandy Mongold; Former elected official and Clinton County Leadership Institute board member, as well as valued member on other Clinton County, Ohio community organization boards.

    3. Clinton County Court House 

    Bev Mayo of Clinton County, Ohio shares her holiday travel tips for a happy holiday season in Southwest Ohio."One of the things we look forward to in the upcoming holiday season is having the manger scene displayed at the Court House.  With so much emphasis anymore on doing the "politically correct" thing, it seems that means leaving Christ out of Christmas. It's a delight to see that Clinton County still holds strong to its core values of family and faith; what this country was founded upon."

    Grandparents ready?  Bev shares more - clever holiday travel tips for seniors to tap: 

    "Another thing we look forward to is the beautiful setting in the NB&T bank where Santa and Mrs. Claus are to greet children during Hometown HoliDazzle.  Last year, they even brought their little elves along to help out.  The kids really liked seeing them."

    ~Bev Mayo; Former HR & Finance Administrator, State of Ohio Department of Natural Resources & Community Volunteer 

                Clinton County Ohio residents’ travel tips include seeing the Court House Tree at night and Mr. & Mrs. Clause at NB&T Bank during Hometown HoliDazzle

    4. Hometown HoliDazzle Illuminated Festival & Parade  

    Rob Jaehnig of Wilmington, Ohio and County, Ohio resident shares his holiday travel tips "My favorite event occurs the Saturday after Thanksgiving, when the City of Wilmington explodes with a lighted parade and festival celebrating the beginning of the Christmas Season.  10,000 plus locals and visitors come out to see an incredible night time lighted holiday parade.  Every entry and person participating in the parade are covered in lights, with multiple venues offering all types of entertainment prior to the parade.   The evening ends with the arrival of Santa riding into town on the last float. Hometown HoliDazzle - An absolute must for the entire family!"

    ~Rob Jaehnig; Wilmington City Councilman 

                Hometown HoliDazzle Illuminated Festival & Parade is a favorite event in Clinton County, Ohio and tops most locals’ holiday travel tips lists.

    5. The Murphy Theatre 

    History + holiday travel tips:

    Clinton County Commissioner, Pat Haley, shares his holiday travel tips for Southwest Ohio "Like most towns across America, the movie house was the main landmark on the main street in downtown. Movie theatres are interesting places. But unlike most small town theatres, the Murphy Theatre remains a showplace, rivaling the best theatres in New York and Chicago in their heyday.

    According to my parents, the Murphy Theatre brought the Clinton County community together during the war years, and reminded them each week that they were part of a larger world. For those of us of a certain age, the Murphy Theatre didn’t just keep us informed of national events, it connected our families together.

    Every November there [are special events] that takes place in Wilmington, and centered, at least for me, on the Murphy Theatre...

    ...the small downtown is bustling, alive with people, as it was years ago when people came ‘to town’ on Friday and Saturday nights. The HoliDazzle brings the Merry Tuba Christmas, Barbershop singing, and Christmas carols back to the Murphy, along with a brief visit back to a more peaceful time in our lives."

    ~Patrick Haley; Author of, "The Danes Murders: Lost Innocence In Lees Creek," and Clinton County Commissioner 

                     Holiday travel tips for Clinton County, Ohio will always include The Murphy Theatre - an historic icon and center of holiday season entertainment

    6. The Murphy Christmas Show 

    (At The Murphy Theatre)

    Beverage Director at the General Denver Hotel, Matt Purkey, gives us his holiday travel tips for Clinton County, Ohio"A tradition that I love here is the annual Murphy Christmas Show. So much so that I am actually participating in it this year. It is a warm and fuzzy celebration of all the things that make Christmas special - from the delight in a child's eye upon seeing Santa to the warmth in your heart upon arriving home to your family. Featuring close to 200 performers from our community, the Murphy Christmas Show is a great beginning to our holiday season...

    ...the variety style Christmas show...That is precisely what makes the Murphy Christmas show so special - its familiarity. It's a tradition. Just like a new ornament each year, Bing & Danny, and presents at Mom's house on Christmas Eve."

    ~Matt Purkey; Beverage Director at The General Denver Hotel 

                     Violinists perform at the Murphy Christmas Show at the historic Murphy Theatre in Clinton County, Ohio – Attending as a family is one of the most popular holiday travel tips

    7. LA and The Lynchburg Covered Bridge 

    Bacon Farmer, Neil Rhonemus, of Rhonemus Family Farms offers his holiday travel tips for Clinton County, Ohio and the surrounding area"Down home to me is living in LA, or Lynchburg Area of Clinton County. The Lynchburg Covered Bridge is a favorite of mine.

    Throughout my 53 years of living I have seen the bridge used for traffic then closed. Watched it deteriorate. Then watch a community get behind it and rebuild it. Home to a community park the East Fork is the border between Highland and Clinton Counties the Village of Lynchburg sets to the East. Ruth Crampton Memorial Park is home to the area surrounding  the bridge. The only bridge in Ohio that is between two counties."

    Neil’s holiday travel tips, Christmas in LA:

    "You might see it light up at Christmas. A short stroll uptown you might see another park decorated as well when Lynchburg celebrates  A Village Christmas December 12th &13. Down the road you might find one of Clinton County's Parks, East Fork Riparian Reserve a neat place to explore, near the former town of Webertown. Hope you enjoy your trip to LA."

    ~Neil Rhonemus; Bacon Farmer at Rhonemus Family Farms

                                  Lynchburg Bridge connects Clinton County, Ohio and Highland County, Ohio – The only bridge in the state connecting two counties near Crampton Memorial Park – On the Holiday travel tips list for Clinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau

    8. Clinton County Bicentennial Barn Quilt Trail

    Holiday travel tips that embrace the heritage of Clinton County, Ohio:

    Carol Earhart and Diane Murphy – Founders of the Clinton County, Ohio Bicentennial Barn Quilt Trail share their holiday travel tips for Clinton County, Ohio"While traveling Clinton County enjoying the variations in topography, you also have the opportunity to travel the Barn Quilt Trail. The Clinton County Barn Quilt Trail originated in 2009 in Clinton County, and is a link to the many other trails in the region. There are 54 barn quilt blocks in the 13 townships with designs from family quilts, favorite historic quilts and contemporary quilts.  Maps to locate the Barn Quilt Trail are available at the Clinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Hampton Inn." 

    Also a GeoTrail - Geocache it!

    ~Diane Murphy - Co-Founder of the Clinton County Bicentennial Barn Quilt Trail and Board President at Clinton County Leadership Institute; Carol Earhart - Co-Founder of the Clinton County Bicentennial Barn Quilt Trail and Owner of Cotton Junky Quilt Shop

                                Any Clinton County, Ohio holiday travel tips list would include the Clinton County Bicentennial Barn Quilt Trail – 54 barn quilts scattered across the entire county.  Number 24, Star of Bethlehem is a high point.  Also a GeoTrail – Families can have fun & geocache it!

    9. General Denver Hotel 

    Mark Rembert, Executive Director of the Wilmington Clinton County Chamber of Commerce, offers his holiday travel tips for Clinton County, Ohio"When the days become short and the thought of leaving the comforts of home fills you with dread, there is nothing that sparks the spirit better than than the warmth of fellowship and a beer in your belly. On these cold, snowy evenings, I venture to the General Denver Hotel where the warm light of friendship and laughter spill out of the windows. With snow and ice dripping from my boots, I enjoy a pint of my seasonal favorite Great Lakes Christmas Ale and warm my soul at the hearth of my community."

    ~Mark Rembert; Executive Director of Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce

    10. Sporting Events 

    Mayor of the City of Wilmington, Ohio – Randy Riley – shares his holiday travel tips for families traveling to Clinton County, Ohio "County High School [sports] have thousands of devoted fans as do our Wilmington College [teams]"

    ~Randy Riley; Mayor, City of Wilmington, Ohio

    11. Holiday Lights & Sledding 

    "November & December are the wonderful time of the year for family & friends to get together and make memories. Clinton County is a beautiful county and so many options to take pictures of the wonderful snow & the wonderful lights with family or just if you have the love for photography.

    There are several subdivisions that you can drive through & see the Christmas lights which has been a tradition for our family since we moved here in 2009. We love trying to visit as many [neighborhoods] as we can as it gives the children a wide range of lights to see. The downtown trees are lit up every year which is beautiful with the snow and lights from the other businesses.

    Sarah Newton, photographer and owner of Forever Memory Lane Photography, shares her holiday travel tips for families wishing to visit Clinton County, Ohio during the holiday season.Clinton County is a beautiful county all around. The spirit of the folks in town are just wonderful and makes you feel welcomed.

    There's a special place in Wilmington that always attracts the family with little kids some times even just adults. It's located in the back yard of a small home located on Woodland Drive. The lady always has cut-outs of Disney characters and other things. It's always the talk of the year if she will be putting them out on display.  Sure enough when you drive pass her house there's traffic lined and people are lined in her driveway coming and going from viewing her wonderful cut outs."

    Holiday travel tips driving to - you guessed it: Sledding:

    "Lets not forget sledding - who doesn't like sledding? I know I do as a mother of 3 I have always loved sledding with my kids and husband. We don't have a hill to sled on, however there's a famous hill on North South Street located by the Wilmington Public Library. It's known to attract family & friends most days there is snow on the ground. You drive by the hill, there's always someone there. It's great for some speed if you want that speed. No children left behind group has held family fun sledding day there for a few years now. It's a great place to make new friends and enjoy old friends and family. Its wonderful for kids to make memories of racing with family or who [made it] farther then the other. Some times you crash and burn but there's always someone there to help you back up and go right back to doing what you were doing.

    Clinton County is an awesome place to visit during the winter."

                  Sledding hill next to the Wilmington Public Library and a father and daughter enjoying their day

    ~Sarah Newton; Owner & Photographer at Forever Memory Lane Photography

    More Holiday Travel Tips - Oh There's No Place Like Home For The Holidays 

    One Clinton County, Ohio community leader reaches right to the heart of the true spirit of the holiday season, especially for families with children of varied ages.  She offers her holiday travel tips, and enjoys:

    Tanya Snarr, Junior Achievement of OKI Partners, Inc. Education Manager & Community Volunteer, offers her holiday travel tips for Clinton County, Ohio - Perfect for large families"Peaceful traveling around town looking at lights with family.  Reaching all points of the county you'll see such a remarkable display of the peaceful tranquility and extreme excitement that encompasses all that Christmas can be.  Also, the High School Basketball Holiday Classic."

    Tanya Snarr, Junior Achievement of OKI Partners, Inc. Education Manager, and Community Volunteer  

    Regarding holiday travel tips for Clinton County, Ohio, locals agree:

    "Oh there's no place like home for the holidays,
    'Cause no matter how far away you roam..."

    In Clinton County, Ohio - Nestled in Southwest Ohio - There is something for everyone all year round, and especially during the holidays.

    Fondly mentioned by others, their holiday travel tips for Clinton County include heading to:

    • Christmas In The Country Craft Show
    • Santa Claus Is Coming To Town in New Vienna, Ohio
    • Inside the Court House
    • Holiday Movie Fest at Murphy Theatre
    • Holiday music concerts at area high schools and Wilmington College

    And there are still other options that change each year based on local group preferences and how they choose to celebrate.

    Holiday Travel Tips And You

    Your turn!

    You've met some of our friendliest local leaders, and you have their recommended holiday travel tips for Clinton County in Southwest Ohio.


    Which holiday travel tips were most helpful for you?

    Is there a holiday event or attraction you want to know more about?

    Where are you headin' for?

    Please share your thoughts and curiosities about our holiday travel tips for enjoying Clinton County, Ohio in the comments box below!  :)

    {Woven in above: Some lyrics from Perry Como's, "Home For The Holidays"}



    Keri Jaehnig of Idea Girl Media shares history about Clinton County, Ohio and lists holiday travel tips for those traveling to Southwest Ohio for the Convention and Visitors Bureau, located in Southwest OhioThis is a guest post by Keri Jaehnig of Idea Girl Media, a social media and content marketing agency based in Wilmington, Ohio.  A 2013 Small Business Influencer, you may have also seen her online at SteamFeed, Search Engine People, TabSite, Business Insider, and Forbes.