Undergoing revitalization for more than a decade, downtown Mount Vernon offers an ideal blend of historic charm and modern convenience. From the perfect cup of coffee to the perfect book at an award-winning independent retailer to the perfect beer from a local brewer, you’ll find a dynamic and diverse array of business and eateries. Our colleges have also embraced the downtown; all three have educational and residential facilities in the area. Visit Main Street Mount Vernon for a list of shops and restaurants.
ARTS & CULTURE
Knox County is known for its vibrant arts and crafts community, as well as a variety of cultural events and activities all year long. Two historic theaters, a music and arts festival in August, and First Fridays bring entertainment to folks of all ages and backgrounds. Shops like The Makery, Kudos, and Down Home Leather showcase the work of local artisans at their finest. Stop by the Schnormeier Gallery downtown or the Gund Gallery just down the road in Gambier for regular exhibits from local and national artists.
Head to SPI downtown, where kids can engage their imaginations, explore science exhibits, climb the walls (literally!), and have a blast. In the summer, the Hiawatha Pool & Water Park provides an awesome place to dive in and cool off. Brown Family Environmental Center in Gambier offers a 500-acre nature preserve with more than 9 miles of trails. Free fishing days at Ariel-Foundation Park are another fun way to explore the outdoors. The newly opened Harmony Playground at Memorial Park allows children of all abilities to play freely.
You’re in the right place! The Kokosing Gap Trail and the Heart of Ohio Trail are part of the larger Ohio to Erie Trail that runs from Cleveland to Cincinnati. Bike, run, walk, or skate your way through beautiful rural Knox County and visit unique destinations like Rastin Tower and the Bridge of Dreams. Ariel-Foundation Park, Apple Valley Lake, Knox Lake, and others offer opportunities for kayaking, fishing, and boating. Visit Tree Frog Canopy Tours in Glenmont to zipline at more than 50 miles per hour, travel over sky bridges, and rappel for an amazing outdoor adventure.
We hope you’re hungry because Knox County will fill you up. Start with a hearty breakfast at Southside Diner, North Main Café, or experience lighter fare at Happy Bean. Taste the tantalizing international flavors of family-run eateries. Grab a sub on the go, a woodfired pizza, or a famous calzone with dine-in or take-out options. Enjoy fine dining in the century-old Alcove Restaurant. Thirsty? Try a variety of award-winning flavors and seasonal favorites Stein Brewing Co. or Happy Street Bru-Werks. Delight in one of Mount Vernon’s crave-worthy food trucks found throughout town in seasonable weather. Got a sweet tooth? Half Baked Café, Whit’s Frozen Custard, and Round Hill Dairy will fit the bill. Not to mention the numerous options available outside of Mount Vernon!