Nearby city offers outdoor fun, dining and shopping

Bullwinkle’s, Hamburger Wagon among many food attractions in Miamisburg.

What if you could shop, dine and bike along the Great Miami River all within a few city blocks? That’s the lure of Miamisburg, a quaint, historic river town that celebrates the great outdoors.

Periodically, we will take you to one of the region’s most charming communities — walkable, interesting towns we think you’ll love to explore with friends and family.

Today, we’re going to Miamisburg with its nostalgic downtown, beautiful Victorian homes and incredible outdoor recreation opportunities.

Next month, the city will officially celebrate the completion of a multi-million-dollar renovation to Riverfront Park, a recreation and event showcase along the Great Miami River.

“We are thrilled to announce the upcoming completion of our new Riverfront Park, a testament to our vision of creating a vibrant and diverse space in the heart of downtown,” says Aaron Stonecash, city of Miamisburg parks supervisor. “From the outset, our goal was to design a park that would not just be a physical space but a canvas for the community to paint its memories upon — a place where families, friends and neighbors could come together and create lasting experiences.”

A day out in Miamisburg starts with the great outdoors, but don’t overlook the locally owned restaurants and shops for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Enjoy the outdoors

The Great Miami River Trail runs through the heart of downtown Miamisburg, just yards from the historic shopping and dining area. The trail itself stretches for more than 75 miles, from Middletown to Piqua. But you don’t have to walk it all. You can stroll leisurely along the river, enjoying the parks and businesses along the way.

The new Riverfront Park features cozy nooks and open-air swings where you can enjoy the panoramic river view. Stonecash says one of the park’s highlights is the Great Lawn, a central gathering space for events and performances. “In addition to its natural charm, the park is seamlessly integrated into the city’s infrastructure,” Stonecash says, with easy access to the bike path and a new nature-themed playground. Workers are adding final touches, including sodding and signage. In addition to Riverfront Park, downtown Miamisburg includes Community Park and Veterans Park.

Biking along the Great Miami is a bicyclist’s dream. Many downtown Miamisburg businesses are designated “bike-friendly” and provide free water, bicycle parking, restrooms and trail maps. You can also rent a bike for the day from Whitman’s Bike Way Bike Shop, 21 S. Main St.

Where to eat and drink

Downtown Miamisburg is full of locally owned restaurants and bars. Here are a few to try:

  • Bullwinkle’s Top Hat Bistro: Bullwinkle’s has been serving the Miami Valley for almost 40 years. Known for its award-winning ribs and barbecue, its exposed brick décor gives it a homey feel. 19 N. Main St.

  • Hamburger Wagon: People line up for these amazing little sliders, cooked and served fresh from the wagon. Since 1913, people have tried to crack the recipe (half sausage/half beef?). The burgers are served with pickles, onion, salt and pepper. 12 E. Central Ave.

  • Tacos Barra Jalisco: This small restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch and serves rave-worthy Mexican food. 105 S. Second St.
  • Ron’s Pizza House and Tavern: Ron’s thin-crust pizza is a Miamisburg fave, but the menu goes well beyond pizza, including sandwiches, pasta, seafood, soup and salad. 1 S. Main St.
  • Bennett’s Publical Family Sports Grill: Walls lined with TVs and a from-scratch menu give this restaurant and bar a lively vibe. 67 S. Main St.
  • TJ Chumps: Part of the local TJ Chumps chain, this sports bar features wings, burgers, steak and pizza. 12 E. Linden Ave.
  • Curious Styles Coffee Shop: Grab a fabulous cup of coffee and browse the unique shop featuring local handmade items. 16 S. Main St.
  • Amy Cakes: A contender in Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, Amy Cakes serves cupcakes, cookies and other treats. 79 S Main St.
  • 3 Dips: You won’t be able to limit yourself to just three dips at this old-school ice cream shop. 33 S. Main St.
  • Backwater Voodoo: A fun and unique tiki bar. 103 S. Second St.
  • Good Time Charlie’s: A longtime dive bar with a cult following. 61 S. Main St.
  • Jayne’s on Main Corks and Cocktails: Get a great bottle of wine or a delicious cocktail. 90 S. Main St.

Where to shop

Downtown Miamisburg has an eclectic mix of shops, from bicycles to clothing to antiques. Here are some highlights:

  • Blush: A cute boutique selling clothing and accessories. 13 N Main St.
  • M & Co: Gifts and home décor, plus Miamisburg-themed merch. 48 S. Main St.

  • Willow Rust: Home décor, personalized gifts and customized furniture design. 8 N. Main St.
  • Miamisburg Art Gallery: This nonprofit shop features original local art as well as classes. 16 N. Main St.
  • The Cozy Corner: Gift shop featuring antiques and vintage items. Don’t forget to say hello to Sammy, the adorable shop dog. 36 S. Main St.
  • Estates to Go: You never know what you’ll find in this two-story vintage and antique store. Its eclectic offerings change frequently. 43 S. Main St.
  • New 2 U Vinyl & Vintage: Vinyl records and vintage goods. Buy, sell and trade. 611 S. Main St.
  • Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop: A store dedicated to nostalgic candy brands and bottled sodas. 42 S. Main St.
  • Whitman’s Bike Way Bike Shop: In addition to bike rentals, Whitman’s offers new bikes, electric bikes, bike repair, bike accessories and apparel. 21 S. Main St.

Movies and more

The Historic Plaza Theatre opened its doors on Christmas Day 1919. After sitting vacant for a decade, it was renovated and reopened in 2015. In addition to first-run movies, the Plaza hosts special movie events, including a May 1 showing of the 1961 movie “West Side Story” and a May 4 showing of “Return of the Jedi.” 33 S. Main St.

Experience history

Five miles from downtown are two amazing historic sites. They’re worth the drive/bike/hike.

  • The Miamisburg Mound is one of the two largest conical burial mounds in eastern North America. The mound was built by the Adena culture thousands of years ago. It’s 65 feet tall, 800 feet around and stands on a 100-foot-high ridge above the Great Miami River, making it visible from miles away. You can climb to the top of the mound and picnic in the park. 900 Mound Ave.
  • The Mound Cold War Discovery Center recognizes the secret scientific work of Mound Laboratory, a government facility that revolutionized the Cold War, the nuclear age and the Space Race. 1075 Mound Road.

Upcoming events:

  • May 4: Free guided walking tour of historic Main Street. Starting point is the parking lot across from Market Square. Sign up at
  • May 10: Grand opening of the new Riverfront Park, at Riverfront Park.
  • May 17: Spring Fest in the Burg, Riverfront Park.
  • May 25: Free guided walking tour of Millionaires’ Row. Meet at the Miamisburg Library, at South Sixth Street and Lindon Avenue. Sign up at
  • May 29: Twilight Guided Tour of Historic Main Street. Starting point is the parking lot across from Market Square. Sign up and pay at

Jana Collier is a longtime area journalist. Her blog,, features nostalgic recipes, small-town travel and offbeat DIY projects.

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