Delaware County is a very “family oriented and family friendly” place to visit according to Deborah Shatzer, Delaware County Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director.
“I think part of the things that attract people is the quality of life,” she said. “The quality of life happens to be part of what to see and do here. So a lot of our attractions are attractive to families.”
Shatzer said this year’s theme is “Get away, have fun and more.”
“Fortunately for us we have a lot of big attractions,” Shatzer said. “We have the primary tourist attractions which are the Zoo and Zoombezi Bay, the Olentangy Indian Caverns and our two state parks. We have our charming downtowns that people like to visit with destination shopping.”
Shatzer said Delaware, Sunbury, Powell and Shawnee Hills are some great places for destination shopping. She said Shawnee Hills has several garden shops that shoppers can walk between.
Shatzer said for the outdoor lover there is a lot of great water recreation. She said summer is great time for water recreation and that the big trend seems to be kayaking.
“I have a kayak,” she said. “We went kayaking on Alum Creek on Mother’s Day.”
Shatzer said Sunbury is home to several sites for history buffs, including the Fallen Heroes Memorial, the Civil War statue of Gen. William Stark Rosecrans in the town square and the old town hall, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Delaware County has what Shatzer called an agri-tourism market. She said that just about every town in the county has a farmer’s market each Saturday through the summer months with Delaware holding a Wednesday afternoon market.
Shatzer said there are lots of festivals and events to attend year round. She said there is the Classic Car Show, the Central Ohio Symphony Concert and Fireworks, Gardening and Arts Festival, the Ironman 70.3, the Street Market in Powell, The Little Brown Jug and the Delaware County Fair to mention just a few of the many events that go on each year.
“When people come here from New York, I think they get a real true midwestern experience,” Shatzer said.”They all love downtown Delaware.”
Shatzer said the county has 14 public and semi-public golf courses. She said the number didn’t include the private club due to they are not open to the public.
Shatzer noted that Hidden Valley Golf Course was great place for someone to learn the game. She said it was where her children first learned and is still a nice place for beginners.
There are also several wineries and breweries in the county that offer tours, Shatzer said, as well as tours at Stratford Farm where kids can collect eggs in the hen house.
Several of the farms have pumpkin patches and hayrides — mainly in the fall — and one even has a zipline.
Shatzer said there are also rainy day attractions like Sky Zone and Magic Mountain for the kids.
Shatzer said according to a 2015 study by Longwoods International and Tourism Economics, tourism generated $1.3 billion in sales and sustained 11,349 jobs, creating $276.2 million in wages and $33.76 million in taxes collected for Delaware County.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.