Yellow Springs, Ohio


2013 Best Small Towns in America

Contest ends:  September 3, 2013

5 Votes - "Most Fun"


Yellow Springs is a community so small and unified, everyone’s a neighbor. The town embraces the arts with music, galleries, murals, and yarn bombing. The shops and restaurants are by definition unique as chain businesses are forbidden.

Other than art, festivals are the name of the game in Yellow Springs. The Yellow Springs Street Fair is a popular attraction, which features over 200 booths selling fine arts and crafts, jewelry, fair trade items, an international selection of cuisines and more. Street performers and musicians keep visitors entertained all day. Locals gather for fun at the weekly Friday Fling with live music, food, dancing, and face painting.

The town is family-friendly when it comes to outdoorsy activities. There are lots of places to go hiking, biking, or canoeing. The Glen Helen Nature Preserve attracts many visitors with its waterfalls, limestone cliffs, woodlands and the Yellow Spring. It also boasts 25 miles of hiking trails which are open all year. For the more adventurous, you can rock climb at the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve.

TravelingJules and TravelingJoan determined, “Yellow Springs is a place to be who you are. Their focus is on the arts, but what they’re really about is the art of living.”

I didn't grow up in Ohio, but I fell in love with peaceful Yellow Springs the first time I visited. Now I'm proud to live here. There are non-stop cultural activities, from organic farm tours to academic lectures to our annual blues festival. It's an open-minded, diverse, welcoming village with historic connections to the civil rights movement. I am blessed to be in a community where you can borrow a cup of sugar from your neighbors, express yourself fully, and make a difference. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else -- what a delight to be able to walk to work, carry home the groceries, see friendly faces, and escape to over 1,000 acres of forest and trails.
Reviewed by ES
on September 17, 2012
I attended Antioch College in YSO back in the '70s. Antioch and the village of Yellow Springs feel like One Big Community--intellectually stimulating, open to new ideas, eco-friendly, diverse, beautiful, friendly....UNIQUE. I would move there permanently if I could!
Reviewed by josephhill
on September 17, 2012
A good day is any day in Yellow Springs. There's nothing else like it, whether you live here or visit. No matter who you are, you'll fit in and be comfortable, and there will be more fun things to do than you can get to in a day.
Reviewed by ysscogg
on September 17, 2012
I grew up in Yellow Springs and I had a wonderful childhood there. I moved away six years ago, but we always go home in the summer to visit. I often take friends from Florida home with me so that they can see the rare gem of Yellow Springs. YS is what so many narrow-minded people say can't happen...people of many races, cultures, faiths, genders, lifestyle choices living together, respecting and loving each other. Besides the physical beauty of the land, the great shops, amazing restaurants and family friendly atmosphere, this town allows each person to be true to who they are and that is the best part of my little Ohio hometown.
Reviewed by atomas
on September 17, 2012
Glen Helen, a 1000 acre nature preserve in Yellow Springs abuts John Byron State Park and Clifton Gorge, with limestone and travertine cliffs, waterfalls, and miles of hiking trails for bird watchers or nature lovers. The Little Miami River, designated a Scenic River, flows by for canoeing or tubing. The Little Miami Bike Trail runs through Yellow Springs as well, part of one of the longest bike trail systems in the country, so bicyclists, walkers and runners will love doing their thing surrounded by nature . The downtown business district is unusually vibrant for a small midwestern town. Unique independent shops throughout the district have drawn people regularly from as far as Cincinnati to Columbus ever since the 1970's. Handcrafted jewelry, pottery, stained glass, sustainable living goods, boutique clothing, and galleries offer distinctive and unique goods for yourself, your home or for gifting. Downtown is lively with great music venues and restaurants, some using locally grown organic food, many with patio seating. Good coffee shops, good prepared food to go, gourmet goods and wine stores abound. This small town supports two farmer's markets, an organic food store, local farms producing organic chicken and vegetables and even the local grocery carries an abundance of locally grown and organic food. Yellow Springs is the home to many artists, musicians, writers, dancers and educators. Antioch College and Antioch University provides public programs and people are passionate about their schools. In addition, many people in the healing arts practice there - from acupuncture to massage and yoga. A strong sense of community service and action also prevails. Lodging choices include a 50's style motel, a former victorian jailhouse, a mill from the 1800's and an Italian style Villa. Nearby attractions include Young's Dairy and the Clifton Mill. For a town less than a mile wide, the variety of fun things to do is truly astounding.
Reviewed by Villager
on September 17, 2012
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