National Museum Cambridge Glass, Cambridge. 136 S 9th Street 43725. 740-432-4245. www.cambridgeglassmuseum.org. Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 9am-4pm, Sunday Noon-4pm (April-October). Closed Easter & July 4th. Admission: $5.00 general (age 12+), $4.00 senior. View a short vintage film that explains the handmade glassmaking process used by the Cambridge Glass Company (1902-1958). Dress up holding tools used many years ago and then see over 8,000 pieces of colorful Cambridge Glass. In the Education Center feel the quality of the crystal, play with glass marbles, and do a pencil rubbing from an authentic etching plate.
THEO’S RESTAURANT, Cambridge. 632 Wheeling Avenue. 740-432-3878. theosrestaurant.us. Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm. Tons of good sandwiches and specials of the day. Famous for their Coney Dogs & Mile High Pie (tall lemon meringue)…and their good service!
GUERNSEY COUNTY HISTORY MUSEUM, Cambridge. 218 N Eighth Street 43725. 740-439-5884. www.facebook.com/GuersneyHistory. Hours: Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday Noon-3pm (May-October). Extended hours November & December. Admission: $5.00 adult, $3.00 child. This 188 year old, restored 16 room home, contains antique furnishings, products and personal items from Guersney County. Included for kids: a display of an authentic one-room school house and a life like replica of a coal mine from the 1890’s.
NOTHING BUT CHOCOLATE, Cambridge. 731 Wheeling Ave, downtown. 740-439-5754. nothingbutchocolate.com. Handcrafted chocolates and specialty items made in small batches. She has “roll&dip parties” (dip treats in chocolate) and her Buckeye candies are winning state competitions. They are that good!
Notable: Mosser Glass still does it old school and you can still tour! The John & Annie Glenn Museum was recently named a National Historic Site. It enlightens visitors about life in 1937 during the Great Depression, in 1944 during WWII, an in 1962 when John Glenn orbited Earth. Kid-friendly areas include: “talk” to Astronaut Glenn in space (wasn’t his capsule small?); look for his triclycle & train set; and his radio he bought and shared with Annie when they were young. Great way to inspire kids if they work hard and stay out of trouble, they could be famous some day. Living Word Outdoor Drama refurbishes their set each year and even rethinks scenes to make them more engaging! The staff & actors are so devoted & gifted. The audience is drawn into the dramatic story through lighting, special effects, sound, and authentic costumes. Live animals are also used in the play, including a white donkey and an authentic horse-drawn Roman chariot. Even though most know the story, this presentation is moving…
CUMBERLAND, Ohio — I’ve never been on an African safari. Or even to Africa, for that matter. The closest I ever got to what I imagine such an experience must be like came about in mid-July.
That’s when I visited The Wilds, a nearly 10,000-acre enclave that’s a two-hour drive north from Charleston up Interstate-77.
At The Wilds, home to 26 endangered species of wildlife from around the world, the thrills are up close and personal. The animals are free to roam around open range habitats while the visitors ride through the hills and savanna in an open-air vehicle that resembles a bus with the upper half cut off. To shade the riders from the summer sun and possible rain, the vehicle is topped by a sturdy canvas awning.
The Wilds is located on 14 square miles of reclaimed surface-mined land whose coal was extracted in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s by a subsidiary of the American Electric Power Company. The land was reclaimed starting in the 1970s but, by the look of it now, you’d never believe that it once was pockmarked by craters and lifeless ravines, looking much like the surface of the moon.
Today, more than 200 endangered animals plus hundreds of indigenous species roam freely through the large open ranges, fenced off to keep out unwanted animal intruders. On my safari, the guide told us that the entire habitat is enclosed by a whopping 20 miles of fencing.
Visitors begin their wildlife adventures at the Johnson Visitor Center, perched on the crest of a hill overlooking the conservation park. Before or after the safari, visitors can stroll through the Wilds Butterfly Habitat or stock up on salads, sandwiches and desserts in the Overlook Café.
I actually began my visit with a Zipline Safari Tour that took me along 10 zip-line observation platforms and over the grasslands, grazing animals, lakes and ponds. The 21/2-hour-long zip-line experience is led by experienced guides who point out animals like Pere David’s deer — some of which I saw swimming in the lake — Eld’s deer, red-crowned cranes and herds of Sichuan takins grazing in the grasses.
The zip-line experience finishes with a rappel down from atop a high observation platform to the ground below. Shorter zip-line tours over 5 observation stations and Sunset Zip-line Safari options are also available.
As exciting as the zip-line tours can be, the fun really began for me once I boarded the open-air tram for a 2 1/2-hour-long drive around the grounds. From the safety of my seat, I managed up close looks at animals I’d never before heard of, like Przewalski’s horses — which are native to Mongolia but extinct in the wild — Persian onagers and scimitar-horned oryx.
Most awesome was a mother rhino and her baby sauntering along the road in front of us along with others of her species. But the animal that got the most attention was a curious ostrich that came right up to within touching distance to our vehicle. A word of caution here: Don’t even try to pet the animals. They are wild, and there’s no predicting what they might do.
The cute factor came from a herd of giraffes and a 3-week-old baby that already stood seven feet tall but was dwarfed by its 18-foot tall mother.
One of the stops about halfway through the safari let us out at Spillman Lake, named after the original farm family who once owned the property. We got out and fed pellets of grain we bought to some of the huge catfish that languorously plied through the water. Before reboarding the vehicle, we walked through a small enclosed aviary, home to 130 to 140 Australian budgerigars, green parakeets that like to land on the wrists of those who purchase $1 grain sticks just outside the entrance door.
A second stop at the Carnivore Center gave us a look at cheetahs, capable of running at speeds close to 70 miles per hour; a dhole, which is an Asian wild dog; and a sleeping pack of African painted dogs.
“Guess which is the most dangerous,” asked our guide. As we thought about the answer, he blurted out the truth: the painted dogs.
“They work as a team and are highly successful predators,” he said.
Visitors get to see the carnivores from the safety of raised wooden walkways that rise high over the animal habitat. Sadly, we also learned some of the ominous ecological facts about two of the carnivore species. According to our guide, there were about 100,000 cheetahs in some 44 countries worldwide in the 1900s. Today, only about 10,000 remain in the wild.
The African painted dog is having similar issues. Of the nearly 400,000 that lived in the 1900s, only about 3,000 to 5,000 remain today.
In addition to the regular daily tours, The Wilds also offers Sunset Safari Tours, horseback safaris and catch-and-release fishing safaris from the shore of one of the lakes or by boat.
Dave Zuchowski has been writing about travel for 26 years, and his articles have made the pages of many newspapers and magazines across the country, including AAA Pathfinders, West Virginia Magazine, Southsider, and Westsylvania. He writes for the Herald-Standard Newspaper, based in Fayette County, Pennsylvania.
Just 80 miles from Columbus, the small town of Cambridge, Ohio has an abundance of recreational activities and a calendar full of special events. Cambridge has a growing foodie scene with breweries, food trucks, vineyards and a variety of restaurants.
Ten miles outside of town is Salt Fork State Park with beaches, boating, camping, golf, horseback riding and hiking trails. If you want to stay overnight, Salt Fork State Park Lodge has guest rooms and two-bedroom cabins for rent.
Cambridge is also the birthplace of John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth. You can visit the John & Annie Glenn museum in nearby New Concord, just 15 minutes from Cambridge.
As the Christmas holidays approach, visitors flock to Cambridge to see the Dickens’ Victorian Village, when downtown Cambridge transforms into an 1850’s village. Starting in November, over 92 Victorian scenes are staged along Wheeling Avenue.
Anyone with a sweet tooth in southeast Ohio knows there’s only one place with a cure-all for your sugar cravings. Kennedy’s Bakery has been operating in the small town of Cambridge since 1925. The third generation family business is now run by siblings, Bobby and Patty Kennedy. On any given day, the world famous bakery is full of hustle and bustle and of course, incredible smells that loft down the street.
Kenny’s is known for their delicious devil dog pastries, traditional glazed donuts and white cake. Their most popular item are Chinese tea cookies. The cookies are so beloved that people all over the world place orders for them.
Everything is made from scratch including donuts, cookies, cakes, buns, and rolls.
CAMBRIDGE IS A small town in the foothills of Appalachian Ohio, and before my first visit, I didn’t know much about it. I was also skeptical — what could Cambridge possibly have to offer that I couldn’t find somewhere else? As a long-time Ohioan, I was pretty sure I knew the state like the back of my hand. And now, I’m pleased to say that I was wrong. I discovered a surprising amount of adventure packed into one little spot, and a few truths along the way.
1. Trends don’t necessarily start on the coasts.
Cambridge is home to the casual-yet-excellent Georgetown Vineyards, set on top of a ridge overlooking the city. You can sit out on the deck, eat a brick-oven pizza with your glass of choice, and look onto the vineyards or down to the beautiful, historic courthouse building. There’s live music many nights, and they’re kid and pet-friendly, too. Not a bad afternoon, any way you slice it.
It’d be easy to think that Cambridge just jumped on the winery bandwagon, but Georgetown has been around since 1999 (that’s a voting adult!). They’ve had nearly two decades to establish their vines and perfect their wines, and it’ll take at least an afternoon lounging in one of their Adirondack chairs to sample the list. Bonus: Their partnering with Southside Brewing Company means Georgetown is now a combo winery + microbrewery…how many of those have you been to?
2. Torpedo sauce is what your life has been missing.
I found more gourmet food at one store in Cambridge than I have in entire cities. McKenna’s Market sells Amish fry pies, sugar plum syrup, vintage pop, farm-fresh meats and cheeses, and about 30 different hot sauces. It’s like walking into Amish country in the city — and everyone knows the Amish do everything better. They do full-on meals, too. The McKenna’s Favorite sub is the best, but you have to try it with their secret torpedo sauce.
If you still have some breathing room after wolfing down one of those, perk up your afternoon with a cappuccino from Ladders Coffee Bar. For a fancy dinner, check out the Bear’s Den Steakhouse. Eventually, at least. Maybe not right after lunch.
3. More hiking is always better than less pie.
For a population of around 11,000, this little town has more than its share of green space. It’s home to miles of bike paths, hiking trails, lakes, and rivers. So spring for dessert. Go to Theo’s Restaurant, and go unabashedly for a slice of homemade mile-high lemon meringue pie. Heck, take pie to go. Take pie for the hike. It’s allowed.
But back to Cambridge — even the town park is no ordinary place. Cambridge City Park is a rambling expanse of playgrounds, trails, a baseball field, a pool, basketball courts, and even an ice cream stand. All this isn’t even addressing Salt Fork State Park, the state’s biggest. But let’s save that for later.
4. Time travel is possible…at least around Christmastime.
Every November and December, Wheeling Avenue transforms into a Dickens-themed Christmas village. Life-size displays, handmade by local Cambridge artists, depict nearly 100 different scenes that make for a great walking tour. You’ll see tableaus from A Christmas Carol and re-creations of other Victorian-era activities, including a firefighting bucket brigade.
Bonus: Be sure to stick around for the Courthouse Holiday Light Show — it happens 5:30-9pm every night from November 1 to January 1. The ornate building gets bathed in 55,000 lights, not to mention the animated displays and two-story Christmas trees. It’s basically a surefire way to get in the holiday spirit.
5. Security cats are a real thing.
Nope, not an acronym for some kind of Segway/ATV hybrid. Penny Court Antique Mall has an impressive security officer — a cat named Turtle who will sneak-attack you with cuddles and guard you by plunking herself down in your lap. If you have the heart to break your attention away from her, you’ll find that Penny Court is a labyrinth of unique old furniture, books, and Cambridge’s signature glassware. You may sometimes find a band playing in the back of the shop, too, welcoming you to sit down for a while.
Cat in lap, of course.
6. You may go on a safari in two places: southern Africa, and the middle of Ohio.
Cambridge is just next door to the Wilds, one of the largest wildlife conservation areas in all of North America. This safari park and conservation center is housed on nearly 10,000 acres of reclaimed coal mine land, where visitors can zipline, ride horses, and dart between butterflies in the butterfly habitat. This is not a zoo — this is something all its own, where every habitat is in the open air, but you’re more likely to see a cheetah than a goat.
If you’re over 21, you can spend the night in a yurt at Nomad Ridge, an exclusive, adults-only part of the Wilds. Each yurt has a big deck overlooking the adjacent meadows, so you can sit out there in the evening and watch rhinos wandering by. Can you do that in NYC? Didn’t think so.
7. Megafauna make cool pets.
Deerassic Park Education Center is home to the Megaloceros, an “Irish Elk” that went the way of the dodo over 10,000 years ago. You can check out a replica at the park after you’re done practicing your archery — or, rather, your archery tag skills. Think of it as dodgeball, but with bows and (foam-tipped) arrows.
Pro tip: Stop by on the last Wednesday of each month for Wild Wednesday and catch an expert talk on the glories of the great outdoors. I learned that shed hunting is not a hunter sleeping in a portable shed, as I imagined; it’s searching the woods for the antlers shed by deer every spring, which people use for chandeliers and other decorations. Who knew?
Some may argue that the Salt Fork State Park golf course, rated four stars by Golf Digest, is the crown jewel of the park. I’ve never been much of a golfer, but I had a great time wandering around the park’s trails and enjoying the peaceful silence. That’s the thing about even the best parks in Ohio — they’re rarely very crowded, giving you all the time you need to get that R&R with nature.
Salt Fork is only about a 15-minute drive from downtown Cambridge. It has a huge inland beach (there’s nearly 3,000 acres of water), 14 miles of hiking trails, a mini-golf course, 200+ campsites, and the Salt Fork Lodge, which itself has 53 cabins and 148 rooms (and yes, it’s overlooking the lake at just the right point). It’s way too easy to forget time here — at least for a weekend.
9. The big city is never far away.
Cambridge is located close to the middle of the Cleveland, Columbus, and Pittsburgh I-70 corridor, making it a perfect weekend getaway. If you live within striking distance, you can drive in after work on Friday, feast at the Bear’s Den, and then head to your yurt, drinking wine and toasting the passing rhinos.
You’ll have a whole weekend full of relaxing, fun stuff to do before heading back to the city on Sunday afternoon and work on Monday morning. When your coworkers ask what you did last weekend, just say, “Drank wine on the hills, chased cheetahs, traveled in time, and walked in the footsteps of giant elk. What about you?”