No matter where your vacation plans may take you, visiting and exploring smaller towns is a great way to capture the true essence of any destination. Glowing with charm and rich with history, Lebanon, Ohio fits that bill to a T, offering Warren County visitors–and shoppers in particular–a small town escape they won’t soon forget.
Where does a tour of Historic Downtown Lebanon begin? Ice cream’s always a nice place to start.
Located on Broadway, The Village Ice Cream Parlor was a site for two movies. Imagine yourself in an old fashioned parlor where the cheeseburgers, truly old fashioned ice cream sodas, and homemade pies are fantastic. Grandma and Grandpa probably had dates in parlors such as this one. Down the block, William and Mary showcases the pottery of local well known artists such as Greg Neal Stoneware and Shooner American Redware. It houses the best greeting card display and fine jewelry. Sticks and Stones, housed in a bank building, has a vault you walk into to peruse the bargains. Baby items, toys, garden ornaments, jewelry and scarves are just a few of the treasures hidden inside.
Want a personal shopping experience? Kay’s Shoppe has been in business for over 50 years. Brands from the USA and Canada artfully hang from the racks. Shoes made of real leather are shipped in from Portugal, Italy and the USA. Check out their jewelry line, especially the “Tagua Jewelry” made from a tree nut only found in the South American Rainforest. 100% organic. 100% sustainable.
Many establishments have gift shops, such as The Golden Lamb, Ohio’s oldest operating inn and restaurant. Located on the lower level, the shop is filled with Vera Bradley, Christmas trinkets, and other unique gifts. The Warren County Historical Society & Museum not only has history, but also a gift shop with American Girl books and dolls, historical books, Shaker Rose Water, cookbooks, and fascinating souvenirs.
Just a block east of Broadway, The Jam & Jelly Lady has a charming, unique shop. And yes, you can enjoy a sample of homemade jam. Schedule a private canning class for your family, group or a special date night. Many of the food gift items are locally made.
Head south one block and just around the corner to where a local family has renovated two stores on Main Street — Green Country Market and Rose and Remington. Main Street has been revitalized and rustic/elegant clothing and gifts await your perusal.
Grandpa might enjoy showing the grandchildren Brant’s Hardware, family-owned and operated since 1929 (take the video tour on www.brantshardware.com). Many of the products are made in Ohio or the USA, and the clerks are very knowledgeable and ready to help. This is a great place to find those scavenger hunt items that make family reunions extra special. Brants is around the corner from LM&M Railroad, a train ride the entire family can enjoy.
All shopping trips for me include dining, and Royce Café & Coffeehouse–open for breakfast and lunch–puts the icing on the cake. I can still savor Rhonda’s Southern Chicken Salad with pecans, honey, and dried cranberries served on a fantastic multigrain croissant with a side of cornbread salad.
Lebanon is a charming town with big-hearted people and unique shops. I would love to hear what you found in your exploration of my hometown, Lebanon, Ohio.
Learn more about shopping in Warren County on our Shop a Lot page!