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Downtown Communities – Ohio River Scenic Byway
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Ohio River Scenic Byway / Downtown Communities

Unwind and Explore our Downtowns!

The communities that border the Ohio River Scenic Byway have their own  distinctive features. They are special places where exceptional shopping, dining and entertainment experiences are all to be had in historic districts on the riverfront.

East Region

East Liverpool’s pottery heritage is evident in its downtown, which houses the Museum of Ceramics as well as the Hall China Company. One of the first Carnegie Libraries in the nation was built in downtown East Liverpool.

The Wellsville River Museum helps to define the tiny burg of Wellsville – as does the town’s floodwall murals, Pottery Kiln and other points of interest.

Downtown Steubenville boasts dozens of buildings originating in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. History, archaeology and genealogy are all part of the city’s proud past.  You’ll marvel at the stained glass windows and architecture and Steubenville’s historic downtown churches, including the Franciscan University of Steubenville with its Portiuncula Chapel – a reproduction of the site is Assisi, Italy.

Martin’s Ferry is the site of Walnut Grove Cemetery, the resting place of the Zane and Martin families. The Betty Zane statue is a reminder of the heroine of the last battle of Fort Henry.

Southeast Region

Beautiful Marietta has two historic districts that wrap around the town’s rivers. In downtown Marietta, you’ll find historic parks, charming shops and boutiques, museums, trolley tours and seven miles of paved brick streets.  Just across a railroad bridge turned walking path that spans the Muskingum River, Harmar Village offers another historic downtown district with exceptional food, shopping, and views.

At the bend of the river, the city of Belpre presents some unique opportunities for farm lovers and wine makers.  The Farmer’s Castle Museum tells of the small town’s history – and prehistory.  The Unicorn Wine Guild offers grape aficionados a chance to make their own libations on site.

Pomeroy has the distinction of having the world’s most narrow downtown.  Only one block lies between the Ohio River and the beautiful rolling hills of Meigs County.  The Court Street Grill – with its Blues and Jazz Society – is a favorite local haunt. The Hartwell House presents a unique shopping experience.

Downtown Gallipolis is a tree-lined public square framed by stately brick homes, storefronts and the river. Specialty shops and boutiques, museums, galleries and restaurants are all within a few blocks’ walking distance.

Central Region

In Lawrence County, Ironton’s downtown historic district is full of buildings constructed between 1870 and 1950, including the Marting Hotel, the Ironton Norfolk and Western Depot and the Marlow Theatre. Spectacular historic commercial properties such as Unger’s Shoes and the Ro’Na Theater compliment a bustling district with their artistry.

Portsmouth’s historic district is delightfully named the Boneyfiddle District.  Founded by German immigrants, it is one of Portsmouth’s oldest neighborhoods.  Antique shops and retail outlets, restaurants and a brewery are all waiting to be discovered where the Scioto River meets the Ohio.

West Region

Downtown Ripley is a 55-acre historic district. Ripley hosts museums, wineries, and water recreation.

Aberdeen, Higginsport, and New Richmond also feature fabulous downtown districts.

With more than 400 places to eat, shop and play, downtown Cincinnati provides a vibrant finale for our Ohio River Scenic Byway escapade. Travelers will enjoy dozens of sports, gaming and entertainment venues. Museums and parks are woven throughout the fabric of the Queen City’s riverfront historic district. Restaurants and cafes of every variety offer culinary adventures to tempt every explorer. Can’t miss attractions include: Arnold’s Bar & Grill, the Art Museum, Washington Park, and Fountain Square.