Dine, shop and play in downtown Lima – a fun, easy, inexpensive getaway any time of the year. Below we list one way to spend a day enjoying its cultural vibrancy and diversity.
Start out the morning with a white chocolate caramel mocha and a breakfast egg wrap at gourmet coffee house and cafe, The Meeting Place on Market. While you’re there, stroll through the restaurant and admire the artwork displayed on the walls. Each month a different local artist displays his/her original art, also available for purchase. Open M-F, 7:30 am, Saturday 9 am. Closed Sunday.
While you’re in the mood for art, stop at ArtSpace in its historic building on the Town Square. They have two art galleries that host professional art exhibits. Make sure to visit their Gallery Shop, with original, hand-crafted artist creations in glass, photography, paintings, jewelry, wood carvings, ceramics, clothing and silk design. Hours: T-F, 10 am – 5 pm, Sat, 10 am – 2 pm. Closed Sunday.
From ArtSpace, you can leave your car and walk to some beautiful shops on the Town Square. Just a block down the road at the corner of North and Main streets is Nitza’s, a women’s clothing shop housed in a gorgeous historical building. Or check out Hofeller, Hiatt & Clark, a fine men’s clothing store. Walk across the street to Alter Ego Comics, filled with comic books, action figures and collectibles. Even non-comic fans will be entertained by the variety of figures available. Continue down Main Street to Dome’s Nut Shop for a variety of candy and nuts. Cross the Main/ Market Street intersection to Natural Vibez, which has an eclectic mix of hand-made, vintage, and fair trade clothing, jewelry and gift items. Stop by Miriam’s Closet next door for some great thrift store finds.
With so many great local lunch places to choose from, deciding where to eat will be the toughest part of your day. Kewpee, a local icon with a rich history, serves arguably the best hamburgers and fries in the area. Sal’s Philly Steaks, across from the courthouse, brings the taste of Philly to downtown Lima. Or grab a sub at Joey’s on the Town Square and sit outside to people watch. For a complete list of downtown restaurants, visit downtownlimaohio.com.
After lunch, you might want to take a stroll to the Art Park next to Cullen Art Glass, on the corner of Main and Spring Streets. The art park was created by area students. Take a look at the antiques and stained glass artwork at Cullen Art Glass as well.
Next stop: Allen County Museum. The museum is a hidden gem, and includes the 1893 Victorian MacDonell House, log house, Shay Locomotive display, and a children’s museum. Museum docents will be more than happy to take you personally through the more exotic exhibits, such as the moving Noah’s Ark, or the John Dillinger exhibit (view some photos here). Even if you don’t have kids in tow, stroll through the Children’s museum for some interesting old-time school house displays. The museum is free, although a $5/adult donation is suggested. Hours: T-F, 1-5 pm, Sat-Sun, 1-4 pm. Closed Monday.
Spend some time strolling through the Children’s Garden, right next door to the museum. Not just for kids, the beautiful garden is maintained by volunteer master gardeners, and is a whimsical place that hosts over 30 mini-theme gardens and child-inspired works of art, with historical elements which relate to Allen County’s rich history. Open May through October, dawn to dusk. Free.
Entertainment… take your pick for the evening. Enjoy a musical or concert at the Civic Center, a community play at Encore Theatre, the celebrated music of the Lima Symphony, or a variety of live music at downtown restaurants and bars, such as The Meeting Place on Market or the “Q” , a new BBQ restaurant (see restaurant web sites for schedules).
And if you weren’t able to fit all the fun into one day, stop for a night at the WinGate Inn, a comfortable hotel in the heart of downtown Lima.