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.”

My husband and I moved to Yellow Springs last summer, from California, sight unseen, because we heard what a great, fun town Yellow Springs was! We were planning to relocate to SW Ohio to be nearer our grandchildren, and three people in a week told us to check out Yellow Springs. One of them said, "It's like a little bit of Northern California in Ohio" - and that was good enough for us. We were on our way! We love it here and so do our grandkids and their parents, who moved here too! It's a great town for intergenerational living with lots of fun things to do for all ages. For example, this weekend, the Yellow Springs Experience offers a variety of art, music, dance, and other activities, most of them free, for grown-ups and kids, for visitors and residents. We also really like how just a routine trip downtown on a routine day is never boring because of the interesting people one meets on the street, in one of the many coffee houses, or even in the produce section of Tom's Grocery. We've found the best of what we loved about California right here - but a lot less expensive! :-)
Reviewed by ShantiRasa
on September 17, 2012
Like other immigrants from Europe I love Yellow Springs because it has a similar vibe. Everything is within walking distance, farmers markets, art market, grocery store, beautiful Glen Helen, movie theatre, fab bike trails, great places to eat, drink, hang out, dance, play. Where else can an residents/visitors old and young join in sticking knitting on trees and felt flowers up in the street and get cheered for it or have an art gallery in a local restroom. Fresh bread at the Emporium, Australian licorice at tom's market and free ice cream for dogs at Corner Cone. For a town of 3,500 we have an incredibly vibrant caring community, in all walks of life and professions, and rich in cultural activities.
Reviewed by jafagirls
on September 17, 2012
I just discovered that Yellow Springs is in the running for Most Fun Town in the US. How perfect! It's a great place. My husband and I visit there twice a year as we drive cross country from Arizona to New York. We love the public art, the galleries, the excellent restaurants (The Winds and The Sunrise Cafe are worth a detour from anywhere.) YSO has a hip vibe that is welcoming to visitors of all ages. I can only imagine how much fun it would be to live there. We also love the Yellow Springs Chalet -- a terrific B&B and the Jail House B&B, a terrific apartment with great style. Sometime we hope to arrive in time to participate in the Artists' Studio Tour in the fall. It looks fabulous. Good choice Rand McNally! YSO is the one!
Reviewed by cconover
on September 17, 2012
I was stationed in Los Angeles when first told of Yellow Springs. I was amazed how many westcoast cityfolk raved about the village. Naturally I decided to live here when I got stationed at Wright Patt AFB. The pleasures of Yellow Springs include its bike path, the lovely Glen Helen, terrific food & wine, a vibrant art scene, classical & folk music events, and a social downtown. Yellow Springs is fun for the very young and very old and everyone in between. I never miss the luxuries of the big city though I have lived in LA and DC, in short, because the Springs provides. Its 3000+ population boasts a broad base of enthusiasts and talent. I've worked on a full length feature with Emmy-winning filmmakers, sung gorgeous operas, started a band, fell in love, and met tons of inspiring, truly grounded people. My hangouts are Dino's Cappuccinos and the bar at the WInds Cafe. The Winds and the Sunrise Cafe fire the imagination of the fine cooks in town. I'm involved with the local food scene: I founded one of the farmers markets, own a food share at Smaller Footprint Farm, and join in an engaging Learn and Work series with area farmers. My man and I got married here in 2003. We were stationed in DC at that time but could think of no better destination for our families to converge for the wedding. Wavelengths Spa transformed me into a golden goddess, Glen Gardens provided faery bouquets and we all shook our groove thing at the annual blues fest at Antioch College. After 20 years in the Air Force, we've settled down in a beautiful home on the southside. We love to walk the garden filled neighborhood and often take the mile stroll into town for ice cream at the Corner Cone. We've so enjoyed working with local artists Paul De La Vergne and Lisa Wolters as well as Bonadies Glass Studio and In a Frame to add original art to our home. We love the YS Methodist Church and its active congregation. Here we found a generous, wholesome hometown for us and our kids. It is the MOST FUN!
Reviewed by cleverclue
on September 17, 2012
Keep on trucking! Overrated, snobbish hippie town. The shops operate on banker's hours. The locals are snobbish types. I had heard raves about this town. Street Fair was a total waste of cheap merchandise and drunken crowds. My family was shocked at the bad vibe that was pervasive. If you are into seeing pothead skateboarder types all over the street you will not be disappointed. PS The Winds is the only decent place to dine. Maybe Yellow Springs was a wonderful place in the 60's and 70's. I would suggest a bunch of other cool towns- Walla Walla and Mt Airy are fantastic.
Reviewed by seektruth
on June 1, 2012
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