Shop Waynesville for the Holidays!

Shoppers in Waynesville

This week’s issue of Cincy Chic is our annual Holiday Shopping guide where we highlight unique products and shops you should check out for those on your “nice” list this holiday season! But one thing we didn’t mention that I want to personally recommend is shopping in the quaint little town of Waynesville, just about 40 minutes from northern Cincinnati. I went there when I was a little girl to antique with my mom, and revisited last year for a Star64 shoot and fell in love with the place all over again.

They just have the cutest shops, carrying the most unique stuff, with the nicest people. So, I just had to tell you about it in case you wanted to make an experience out of your holiday shopping this year instead of the usual mad dash to the mall for whatever’s left on the shelf (not judging… been there many times, haha!)

When I interviewed the Waynesville shop owners last year, they took a lot of pride in the area, from their school system to their downtown and special events. It’s a great shopping destination particularly for antiques, as Waynesville has block after block of antiques, shabby chic, four art galleries, two fabric stores that ship worldwide – quilting and home decor such as re upholstery and curtains home decor, garden, primitives, artisans and so much more. The Waynesville Chamber actually offers a a free self guided walking tour of historic Waynesville. It provides fascinating information about many of the historic Waynesville buildings. Plus, it’s really easy to get to and from each building and store because they’re all very close together. In fact, Waynesville was named the most walkable town in the USA!

If you’re a history buff, this place is for you, too! Waynesville, founded in 1797, boasts many preservation efforts by the Waynesville Historical Society, the Mary L. Cook Public Library and the Museum at the Friends Home. For an intimate experience of history, the Museum, located at 115 South Fourth Street, occupies a 1905 structure built by the Quakers to accommodate elderly members of their community. The building now houses a unique collection of local history displayed in 22 rooms. Fascinating exhibits highlight frontier settlement, stagecoach travel via Accommodation Trail, Quaker migration from slavery, Underground Railroad and Civil War activities. A more traditional, academic look at history can be found at Mary L. Cook Public Library. A new building was dedicated in 1988 at 381 Old Stage Road. With a recent expansion, it provides space for the extensive Ohioana Room collection of genealogies, historical atlases, photographs and reference.

If you like a little scare, The Museum at the Friends Home offers ghost tours. Because, in case you didn’t know, Waynesville is known as “the most haunted town in Ohio”! The tour guides tell various stores of reported haunting’s in the buildings, several of which are now stores.

All this exploring will work up a hunger, and Waynesville has lots of choices for that, too. From The Cobblestone Village (where we ate when we were up for the shoot last year !) that includes a gift shop with home decor items and a cafe. They specialize in organic produce, while also serving gourmet salads, sandwiches and chef specialties… but my favorite were their yummy homemade desserts! (Figures I’d like the sweets in a place known for fresh produce! haha!)

Another choice for a nice meal is The Hammel House. It’s a former inn with roots dating back to 1799 and once hosted Charles Dickens. The bed-and-breakfast is known for its sandwiches and salads and chef specialties. The Village Family Restaurant serves home cooked specialties, homemade pies, beef hot shots for lunch and dinner. The Stone House Tavern offers a full bar, salads, appetizers, gourmet and specialty burgers, gourmet grilled cheese and to honor the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival, sauerkraut balls. Lilly’s Corner Cafe that offers chicken salad sandwiches, daily specials, where you can dine in within their antique store. Braden & Sons homemade fudge and taffy.

Waynesville is located off of Rt. 42 and Rt. 73, with the proximity to both I-75 and I-71. To learn more, visit

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