Remember the sleepovers you had with your girlfriends as a child? Well, here’s your chance to duplicate that experience. Richmond, Ind., 35 miles northwest of Dayton, has seven preplanned getaway packages for just the girls.
Each guest will receive a total of $75 in freebies and gift certificates: $25 Warm Glow Candle Outlet; $10 Secret Ingredient; glass of wine at J&J Winery; free ice cream at Parker’s General Store; complimentary dessert after meal at Stone Hearth Cafe; $5 off $25 purchase at Country Classics; and several discounts at Richmond shops.
“So it’s a wonderful deal. When you add up all the discounts, you get about $85 worth of free gifts,” said Nancy Sartain, a longtime Richmond resident and director of Richmond/Wayne County leisure sales and marketing.
Bring your PJs and head to either the Martha E. Perry or Phillip W. Smith B&B’s on East Main Street. Package includes rooms (maximum two guests per) with private baths, one large pizza, all-you-can-eat popcorn with movie rental; and a full gourmet breakfast. Cost is $155 per room. Other packages include Girls Night Inn for scrapbooking/craft enthusiasts, Perfectly Pampered with spa treatments, both at the Historic Lantz House Inn (in Centerville). Other deals include shorter day trips.
Need more space? Potter’s Wheel Bed & Breakfast is set on four secluded/wooded acres with a rose garden. Includes fireplace and full country breakfast. Located at 4495 Park Elwood Road, Richmond. (765) 966-1651.
Things to do
There are two Antique Trails that go though Richmond. Trail One has 35 antique shops, including stores in Centerville, Pershing, Cambridge, Dublin, Lewisville, etc. Trail Two includes Winchester, Union City, Farmland, and several shops in Ohio. You could start in Ohio and work your way over. Each trail has five Richmond antique stores: Country Classics, Earth Works Antiques, Foster’s E Street Gallery, Larry’s Antiques, and the Old Book Shop.
Warm Glow Candles in nearby Centerville features the World’s Largest Candle. The signature product is known for its lumpy exterior and long-lasting aromas. There are 73 different candle scents, gourmet foods, bath and body items, and custom florals.
Other Wayne County shopping venues include Shafer’s Stoneware, Magaw’s of Boston sculptures, Veach’s Toy Station, and Richmond’s Historic Depot District featuring 50 unique shops.
“Richmond has a revitalization going on right now due to young entrepreneurs staying, or moving here,” said Sartain.
Attractions and museums
Levi Coffin House
Called the “Grand Central Station” of the Underground Railroad, this is where more than 2,000 fugitive slaves were protected in their quest for freedom. Helping to hide them were an upstairs garret, interior well and a false-bottom wagon. The History Channel selected the Levi Coffin House as one of the top 25 most historic sites in the U.S.
Other sites include the Wayne County Historical Museum, Historic National Road Interpretation Center, the Model T Ford Museum, The Joseph Moore Museum of Natural History, and The Gennett Records Walk of Fame.
A Stained Glass Trail is made up of four sites within a four-block area that offer an impressive collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass windows:
Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1004 N. A Street; First Presbyterian Church, 100 N. 10th St.; St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 800 N. A St.; and Morrisson-Reeves Library, 80 N. Sixth St.
A Murals Trail throughout Richmond shows off more than 50 large-scale works along city streets and inside local businesses. The images tell unique stories of the Underground Railroad, Richmond history, or the beginnings of blues and jazz. Each year, a public art competition adds to Richmond’s mystique as Indiana’s “City of Murals.”
The Gennett Records Walk of Fame commemorates its first recording artists in several musical genres: jazz, blues, country, gospel, and pop. Each inductee is represented by a giant bronze medallion embedded in the sidewalk fronting the Gennett Studio. Eighty medallions are planned for the site. It’s located at Whitewater Gorge Park on S. First St.
Visit the 4th Floor Blues Club, the Civic Hall Performing Arts Center, the Earlham Artist & Lecture Series, and the Richmond Civic Theatre.
Middlefork Reservoir: Rent a boat at this 405-acre facility that includes a stream and a spring-fed lake. Fishing, picnic areas, hiking trails, and a new dog park are located at the end of Sylvan Nook Drive off of U.S. 27 North. (765) 983-7293.
Richmond Rose Garden in Glen Miller Park is one of only two official rose gardens in Indiana. The All-American Rose Garden features 110 varieties, a Friendship Garden, and an E.G. Hill Memorial Garden. (765) 962-1638
The Firehouse BBQ & Blues, 400 N. Eighth St. is a restored 1860s fire station was transformed into a diner with hickory-smoked barbecue on the menu. Two local firemen, Tom Broyles and Rick Bolen, spent two years on the property, which had become an empty warehouse. Several firehouse-inspired murals cover the walls inside and out. In the bar area, sit on a fire hydrant chair.
“It’s a different taste, this Southern type of barbecue,” said manager Steve Brown. “And we bring in a lot of blues musicians that really haven’t had a chance to play anywhere else. We do an open jam on Tuesdays.”
For more information, call (765) 488-0312.
Other dining ideas: Ritter’s Frozen Custard does so well they have an east side and a west side location: 3005 E. Main St. and 2101 W. National Road. Other possibilities include the Tin Lizzie Cafe, Maria Mitrione’s Italian Market, and Joe’s Pizza.
Ghyslain Chocolatier & Bistro, 416 N. 10th St. (765) 966-3344: Located in the historic Depot District, this restaurant serves specialty sandwiches, soups and salads. And that’s just for starters. In the evening, choose salmon, steaks, or mushroom risotto cakes. Finish with pastries, homemade gelato or gourmet chocolates.
The Year-Round, Self-Guided Chocolate Tour: Stop in at the Old National Road Welcome Center to obtain your Free Chocolate Trail Passport. Then, giddier than Charlie in Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, use your Golden Ticket to get free chocolate samples and extra ‘chocolate bucks’ at these venues: Ghyslains, Abbott’s Candy Factory, J & J Winery, Olympian Candy, Parker’s General Store, Pour House Antiques & Sweets, and Warm Glow Candle Outlet.
Historic Gennett Mansion, 1829 E. Main St., (765) 935-0055: A Chocolate Dining Experience with Jen Ferrell - Gourmet five-course dinners showcasing chocolate as an ingredient in every course is served monthly at the mansion once owned by Henry and Alice Gennett. Bring your own wine; cost is $38 plus tax.
“Locals like to go to Little Sheba’s to eat. It’s in an old grocery store, and I remember going in there with my dad. They’re known for their killer brownies,” Sartain said.