Onto our first full day in Springfield, Ohio! We packed this day to the brim from morning to night… so I have lots of fun recommendations if you’re planning a visit to the city. But it felt like a good, slow, relaxing day too. We kicked off the day with coffee and a small breakfast at Un Mundo Cafe! When we got downtown and parked, we realized the cafe was right next to their farmer’s market. They have over 35 vendors, with live music, food trucks and fun all in the North Market Alley adjacent to the Heritage Center. Un Mundo Cafe is right on that little corner, so we snuck in for a coffee (soy chai for me, of course) and a lemon poppyseed muffin before making our way over to the Heritage Center for a morning of exploring!
This trip was sponsored by Springfield CVB, but all opinions are my own!
We loved exploring the Heritage Center Museum. The City Building & Market built in 1890 now houses this museum. It extends an entire city block, and the museum recounts the history of America’s heartland, and the historic National Road. We loved going through each of the exhibits, watching the movies they had playing, and taking in the history of the area. Plus, the admission cost is free, so even if you just want to pop in for a little bit! Donations are always welcome though, of course. This would be a fun place to take kiddos too — lots of fun history, and things to see and learn about.
After we explored the museum for a bit, we took a walk over to another one of Springfield’s newest murals — the Rose City Mural. Springfield was known as the Rose City from the late 19th century through the Great Depression for growing around 20 million flowers a year. I had no idea! Mural artist, Mariah Kaminsky, and Project Jericho students worked together to finish the mural in 20 days. It’s so beautiful, and brings so much life to this area, which has been totally revamped since the last time we visited. I’d definitely recommend stopping by this mural during a visit to Springfield — such a cute photo opp too!
After stopping to the mural, and strolling downtown a little bit, we went in for lunch at Salato Deli. This place is also new since we last visited Springfield! We really liked our lunch here —like, a lot. Eric was saying it was maybe the best sandwich he’s ever had. Haha! We were able to talk with the owner for a little bit too — who gave us a little rundown of the deli. But it’s an Italian deli with American flair. They use high quality Italian imported meats and cheeses, with fresh veggies and unique spreads on top of freshly baked focaccia. (Eric was obsessed with that focaccia.) I went for the Roamin’ Italian sandwich — which was so good. Mild Coppa, Mortadella, Genoa Salami, Provolone, Salt, Pepper, Oregano, Oil & Vinegar, Tomato and Red Onion. So good! We’d definitely recommend that sandwich if you’re visiting!
After lunch, we popped into Champion City Guide & Supply again (which is right next door) to do a little shopping and to snap a few pictures in daylight! This store is amazing! It’s brand new, they just moved to this little corner, and everything is just so well done. It’s a partnership of their Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau. It’s a brick and mortar retail store, featuring heritage apparel, local artisan goods, and Springfield-centric merchandise. Their custom-designed apparel is inspired by Springfield and the town’s entrepreneurial spirit. Definitely a must-visit during a trip to Springfield! I was telling Eric that Grand Rapids needs a store like this!
After exploring downtown for a bit, we headed back to our treehouse at Simon Kenton Inn for a nap/refresh, and then headed out to Mad River Gorge + Nature Preserve! I had no idea this was even here the last time we visited Springfield… so like I said, so many new things to see and do! This area offers some of the finest natural climbing cliffs in the Midwest ascending to nearly 50 feet! The Gorge also has scenic hiking trails and access to the Mad River. I didn’t dress appropriately for any climbing 😉 so we just took a walk around some of the trails for a bit. This weekend’s weather was actually pretty hot — so changing into a skirt felt amazing! It was fun to get outside and see a bit of this nature preserve before we headed back downtown for dinner and drinks for the evening.
Our last night in Springfield… we had dinner at Stella Bleu Bistro! It’s located in the historic Bushnell building. It’s a freshly renovated space, and it was super swanky inside! We had a lot of fun during this meal. We were sat in the bar, so we ended up watching a creepy Stephen King movie they had up on TV. Hahaha. It was just fun vibes. Their menu is based on bleu cheese items (Eric and I loooove bleu cheese) but they definitely have tons of options if you’re not a bleu cheese lover. For an appetizer, we had the Stella Frites (which were the best thing we ate there). House cut fries, parmesan garlic mornay, applewood bacon, tomatoes, moody bleu crumbles, balsamic reduction, scallions. YUM. For dinner, I had the Bleu Ravs (mushroom ravioli, roasted poblano cream, moody bleu crumbles, sweet corn relish, grilled french bread) and Eric had the filet which was served with roasted shallot butter, pinot noir reduction, gouda mac and charred asparagus. Everything was delicious! After dinner, we headed over to Station 1 for drinks and live music. This place had an awesome outdoor patio, with three fully stocked bars. Perfect place to end the night! I’ll be back with one more post from our Sunday morning in Springfield — stay tuned! xo