Its Tuesday and so again it’s time for Travel; and this week Jenna Nobs is introducing us to a slightly more rural corner of Northern America, Gambier in Ohio!
Turn right at the tractor warehouse, count three barns, and turn right again at the cornfield that looks like all the other cornfields. If you see more than five Amish buggies in succession, you’ve gone too far.
Welcome to Gambier, Ohio, USA, where 2,391 residents make their home against a backdrop of exquisite forests and farmland. Quaint buildings intermingle with the gothic architecture of Kenyon College, a liberal arts institution whose campus makes up most of town. A stroll down Middle Path, the idyllic gravel walkway that runs the length of campus, makes you feel as though you have entered a different world.
Although this tucked-away feel is part of its charm, Gambier deserves to be more than a detour. From a Kenyon student on exchange at Exeter, here are seven reasons to hit up the ‘Bier aka Gambeezy aka Africa (because Kenya is in Africa, get it?).
1. Since Kenyon and Gambier are basically the same thing, the town hosts a lot of cool visitors, and you are likely to see them roaming the three buildings known as “downtown.” Recent notables include Michelle Obama, Josh Radnor, and George Costanza (that’s his real name right?). You may even get to drink with Ted Moseby—yeah that happened one time.
2. Treat yourself to a chocolate almond biscotti mocha at Wiggin St. Coffee. This quaint community hub was once home to the beloved Middle Ground, which boasted less-fancy beverages but a more expansive and delectable menu. To blend in with the local crowd, you might consider standing on a table and starting a rousing chant of “bring back my veggie panini.” (No? Well, I’m trying anything at this point.)
3. Grab an ice cream cone or a good book at the Kenyon Bookstore, to stay or to go. Should you choose the former, those squishy brown armchairs up front are as comfortable as they look. Also, feel free to ignore the girl watching Game of Thrones next to an open economics textbook behind the pharmaceuticals. CROSS PRICE ELASTICITY IS HARD OKAY.
4. Outdoorsy athletic stuff. This doesn’t really apply to me (see #2 & 3), but the Kokosing Gap Trail offers some spectacular views as you run, bike, or walk your dogs/cows. Cool off afterwards in the Kokosing River, clothing optional.
5. The Kenyon Inn. A beautiful historic venue with the fanciest restaurant in Knox County. For lodging, I would recommend either staying here or camping out on the ambiguously-stained couches in first-year residence halls. Depends on what kind of experience you’re going for.
6. Bowling. Nothing like mingling foot sweat with strangers, am I right? The local place has disco nights, during which it becomes impossible to actually bowl because of the flashing lights/irresistible urge to dance whilst carrying a two-stone mass. So, it’s awesome.
7. Never underestimate the entertainment value of driving aimlessly. The open road provides ample opportunity for family sing-alongs and wholesome games like “meth lab or barn.” Because you can never really be sure.