When the Butler County Tourism Bureau reached out to me about planning a trip, I jumped at the chance to explore the area that sits about 18 miles north of my hometown (Cincinnati, for those of you who were wondering). Sure, I had heard of Butler County before, but as someone who grew up in Cincinnati, I was a little ashamed to admit I didn’t know much about it.
For starters, did you know Butler County is home to the nation’s only Donut Trail? That’s right. A donut trail. And that trail includes 12 delicious stops along the way. It also attracts more than 5,500 visitors from 40 states. People love their donuts.
But donuts aside, Butler County truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re a lover of antiques, global cuisines or family fun, you will find an activity you’ll love in Butler County.
And if you’re not sure where to start, here’s a quick overview of how to spend your first day:
Grab a bite to eat at Dai Trang Bistro
Fritz and I were starving after our drive from Columbus, so we made a pit stop at Dai Trang Bistro in West Chester. This place is like a hidden gem and I wish I would have known about it when I lived in Cincinnati. The menu is a variety of Filipino, Vietnamese, and Korean, and if you’re an Asian food lover like me, you’re bound to find something delicious.
Wander around the West Chester Antique Center
After filling up on delicious food, make your way to the West Chester Antique Center. This antique warehouse is one of the largest antique centers in Ohio. You could easily spend hours roaming the aisles. I picked up an antique dresser for our guest room and I love how it adds a bit of character to the space. Also, I couldn’t have beat the $50 price tag if I tried. This place is seriously amazing!
Sample products from around the globe at Jungle Jim’s International Market
I was so excited to see Jungle Jim’s on our itinerary. Jungle Jim’s was the place my parents took me to as a special treat growing up. It houses hundreds of thousands of products from over 70 countries, so you can literally find anything and everything, from every corner of the globe. As far as grocery stores go, Jungle Jims is a destination. And it’s one you will be happy you visited.
Roam the aisles at the Ohio Valley Antique Mall
Because one antique store is never enough. This 85,000 sq. ft. facility is home to more than 550 dealers. So as far as options go, there are plenty. They offer an array of one-of-a-kind antiques, collectibles, books, furniture, vintage clothing (including the most amazing 1960s coat I purchased. More on that soon!) and accessories. It was also voted one of the top 10 best places to shop in Cincinnati by USA Today. Not that I’m surprised.
Dine at Troy’s Cafe
Head to Troy’s Cafe for dinner. This quaint little cafe is the perfect spot for a casual, but intimate dinner date. It’s cozy, and the food did not disappoint.
Pick Up a Sweet Treat at The Cone
If donuts don’t strike your fancy, then chances are ice cream will. The Cone is the premier destination in the summer, so while you can expect long lines, it’s well worth the wait. I ordered the classic soft serve and Fritz opted for the strawberry milkshake which he quickly finished and claimed it was the best he’s ever have.
And that’s a wrap on day 1! Stay tuned for a jam-packed day 2.