This summer, NPR's Destination Art series went off the beaten path to visit small to mid-sized North American cities that have cultivated lively arts scenes. We asked you, our NPR audience, to tell us about your favorite art towns. Several visitors and residents wrote in to recommend Yellow Springs, Ohio.
Nancy Mellon sews another knitted section to the "Knit Knot Tree" on Xenia Avenue in Yellow Springs, Ohio, in February 2008.
What's it like in Yellow Springs?
"There is so much to see and do — things you wouldn't expect in a town of this size. Art is everywhere — it even hangs from the trees! Murals decorate the sides of buildings, galleries and unique shops line the streets, special events abound. Musicians play on the streets of Main Street, people stroll around, talking, browsing ... The first time I pulled into town, my mouth dropped open and I thought, 'I don't believe it!' I'd never seen a town like this in Ohio (and I was raised here!) I fell in love with it." — Cindy Adkins, freelance writer, editor and blogger, Tiffin, Ohio
"Yellow Springs is a small college town, home of the resurrected Antioch College and a branch of Antioch University, with a unique, quirky business district that is kept alive with special events and beautifully decorated by the very active community of artists. ... Yellow Springs does not have a large community of professional artists (although a few notable artists do live here), but art is woven into the life of the village, with many residents participating in various ways, and with the arts integrated into the curriculum in the public schools." — Les Groby, Yellow Springs, Ohio
"Yellow Springs is unlike any other place I have seen. Art is seeping from the sidewalks. It is the core of this city. ... The people and atmosphere make Yellow Springs ripe for art and creativity." — Emory Shorter, Hillsboro, Ohio
"We have yarn bombers and street musicians, as well as craftsmen and galleries. We have plays and concerts and live music in the restaurants and bars. There are workshops, too. ALWAYS something to do!" — Yvonne Wingard, Yellow Springs, Ohio
A perfect day in Yellow Springs?
"Saturday is the perfect day: Start early with a 'go cup' of coffee from the Emporium or Dino's [Cappuccinos] and walk over to the Farmers Market (two of them) to shop for local produce, catch up on local news, and visit with the vendors and market visitors. Breakfast at Norah's or Sunrise [Cafe].
"... Next could be a hike in the Glen [Helen Nature Preserve] or a bike ride. Lots of options for a light lunch, and then a stroll through the shops and galleries. Might even slip out to Young's [Jersey] Dairy for a Cowshake — but only if you biked 20 miles first. Afternoon nap time to get ready for the evening.
"... First check to see what's playing at the Little Art Theatre — might need to make early dinner reservations at the Winds Cafe in order to make the 7:00 p.m. movie. Saturday night always offers some live music venues and wine tasting — the early version would be at the Emporium, and later in the evening it would be Peach's [Grill]. And if that's not enough, you can always stop by the [Sunrise] Speakeasy Lounge on the walk back to your B&B location." — Roger Reynolds, volunteer, Little Art Theatre, Yellow Springs, Ohio