When the Village of Sunbury was laid out in 1816, the village square was designed to be the center of activity.
Nearly two centuries later, the square still serves as the heart of the community, said Cindy Hall, executive director of the Sunbury/Big Walnut Area Chamber of Commerce.
“The historic Sunbury square serves to bring the community together in a somewhat old-fashioned, hometown setting,” she said.
Community organizations host flea markets, historic reenactments, concerts and children’s activities on the square, which is flanked by businesses and restaurants.
Families can get a sense of the community’s history during a visit to the Myers Inn Museum and Gift Shop. Portions of the building, which has served as a house and a stage coach inn, may date back to 1816, according to local historians. Among other things, the museum tells the story of Delaware County native William Starke Rosecrans, a Union general during the Civil War.
Sunbury offers several interesting shops to explore. Weidner’s Antique Mall features almost 30 vendors and is a great place to browse. Linda’s 3 also offers an interesting array of antiques and other merchandise.
Katie’s Kloset On The Square is a fun resale shop with a small but eclectic inventory. Owner Katie Cautela recently started offering sewing classes for children. She and her friend Gail Castro are teaching a sock monkey class July 14 and Aug. 17 (for details and registration, call 614-935-2594).
Kids will not want to miss Fins and Fangs Exotic Pets and Supplies, a small pet store that’s big on customer service. The owners love to talk about their animals and areeager to interact with customers or curious kids.
For more active fun, check out Sunbury Skate Club, a roller rink with a wooden floor. The rink opened in 1965 and offers inline and traditional skate rentals.
The Community Library offers plenty to do, including story hours and family-oriented evening programs.
Visitors also will find several interesting dining choices in Sunbury. Joe’s Firehouse Tavern makes tasty burgers and spicy chili. The Sunbury Grill has a diner feel and serves yummy pies.
Locals rave about the food at Wah Yuen, a Chinese restaurant on the square. Long Branch Pizza has family specials seven nights a week.
For cool treats, check out Doodle Dips, an ice cream shop that also sells gourmet hot dogs.
The nearby Village of Galena, located a few miles to the south, also offers some good eating options and spots for family-oriented fun.
A visit to Galena must include a stop at the Hoover Nature Preserve, where a 1,500-foot boardwalk gives visitors a peek at the fish, birds and water snakes that live in and around the Hoover Reservoir and the Little Walnut Creek. Young anglers may enjoy casting a line from the boardwalk, which attracts lots of fishermen. Be sure to apply sunscreen because the wood platform does not offer much shade.
If the munchies strike, there are two good options near the boardwalk. Mudflats Bar & Grill serves a nice variety of sandwiches, salads and Cajun-inspired seafood dishes. Many dishes are served with the restaurant’s signature potato chips.
The Galena Diner, known for its great selection of breakfast food and friendly service, is also worth a visit.
Photos by Alysia Burton