A small town surrounded with cornfields, Friday Night Lights traditions, six generations of my family and the home of the Wildcats.
Welcome to Harrison, Ohio, a small suburban town located on the westside of Cincinnati. Harrison is uniquely situated on the Indiana and Ohio State Line. Until I began my college experience in Athens, Ohio, this is the only place I have called home.
Living in a small town isn’t always easy. Sometimes it is difficult to find things to do on a casual summer day, but I always seem to stay busy.
My favorite way to spend mornings is catching up with friends or crossing off items on my to-do list at The Coffee Peddlar. As soon as you walk in the doors, the old wood floors creak and you are greeted with friendly smiles. My go-to drink is a Frozen Coffee Peddlar [I LOVE the rich caramel flavor!]. On warmer days, the secluded courtyard is the perfect place to soak up the golden sun. If the breeze bites a bit more harshly that day, I opt for a Snickers Mocha and cozy up inside the cafe’s homey atmosphere instead.
I love being in downtown Harrison and diving into the local shops. Right next to The Coffee Peddlar is Parlour on the Avenue, a modern spa placed in an antique setting. This is a perfect place to go to indulge on yourself after a long week at work. The Parlour has a rustic, victorian theme, but offers the same, if not more, services at a trendy spa you would find in the city.
Just down the street is a locally owned store, Two Friends Boutique. This is one of my favorite shops because they always have a unique and fashionable variety of merchandise. Today, I purchased a “locally grown and raised” tee! I thought this was very fitting as I reminisce on all of the things I love about this small town I call home.
My favorite spot for dinner is Market Street Grill. One evening when I was about 10 years old the restaurant wasn’t a very busy place. The chef came out to visit me, my Mom and Gramma. Somehow the conversation led to how the sub-basement had been used as a part of the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. I couldn’t hide my curiosity. At that age, I was very interested in the Civil War and inspirational figures from that era. The chef saw my eyes light up and immediately asked if I would like to see. We went through the kitchen till we got to cold cement stairs and made our way down to the sub-basement. I will never forget tracing my innocent fingers along the tallies engraved into the brick wall that are believed to be placed by former slaves.
After dinner, there’s nothing I love more than being able to catch the last few rays of sunlight. The best place to do this is at Lincoln Lee Sports Complex. The sports complex has always had a special place in my heart as it is named after my late cousin and is owned and operated by my family. In fact, my Dad, Uncle and Grandad have all coached baseball there since before I was born. But, even if the fields don’t have sentimental attachment to you, there’s no better way to spend summer nights in Harrison — surrounded by the contagious energy of a baseball game and watching the sun slowly disappear into the night.
Although I always knew I wanted to experience life outside of Harrison after graduating high school, I couldn’t have anticipated missing the little things that really make this place home. What are your favorite hidden treasures in your small town? Share with us on Instagram!