Jill Prout and her husband, Zack, moved to Clintonville in 2008, looking for the best of both city and suburb. The pair, whose family now includes 4-year-old son, Lee, and nearly 1-year-old daughter, Zoe, have found it.

Jill Prout and her husband, Zack, moved to Clintonville in 2008, looking for the best of both city and suburb. The pair, whose family now includes 4-year-old son, Lee, and nearly 1-year-old daughter, Zoe, have found it.

"We have the garage and the driveway," Prout said, "but we can walk to the park and the library."

Clintonville, first settled in 1813, originally attracted laborers like blacksmiths, carpenters and shoemakers, aka "mechanics," according to the historical marker planted at the North High Street and North Broadway epicenter of the community. Later came staff and faculty from Ohio State University, just to the south. With excellent schools and homes selling in a wide range of prices, the area also attracts many young families, which was also part of the appeal for the Prouts.

"We knew we weren't going to afford a home (in other parts of the city)," Prout said, "and we just got lucky when we found Clintonville."

Walkability and bike-ride-ability are a big part of the appeal. The Whetstone Community Center, with the nearby Whetstone Park of Roses and the Whetstone Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library are tops on many families' favorite on-foot or on-bike destinations. The Olentangy Greenway Trail, skirting the east bank of the Olentangy River, provides a great resource for exercise as well as bike-commuting to OSU and downtown Columbus.

Foodies find plenty to please the palate in Clintonville. On the north end of High Street, in an area also known as Beechwold, Mozart's - a restaurant, bakery and piano cafe - has happily settled into its new home. Northstar Café has a busy location south of Henderson Road. Portia's Café has a devoted following for its super-healthy and super-delicious food. Acre is a newcomer to the dining scene that gets the thumbs up from Prout for its farm-to-table fare and drive-through window.

Two specialty bakeries - Pattycake Bakery (with its vegan offerings) and Food for Good Thought (gluten-free) - prove that good taste is what matters most. Diners don't come any friendlier than Wildflower Cafe, George's Beechwold Diner and Nancy's Home Cooking. And Clintonville Community Market was there long before the words "co-op" and "locally sourced" became the buzzwords they are today. Weiland's Market is another neighborhood institution, while Lucky's Market is a welcome newcomer with its family-friendly special events.

Anyone in central Ohio who has ever had a kid in a strings program knows about The Loft Violin Shop, which services, sells and rents all manner of stringed instruments. Cover to Cover is an extraordinary bookstore devoted to children's books. Moxie's Gifts, Candy and Party Room creatively combines sweets and birthday parties at its location. And Firefly Play Cafe, the first play cafe in central Ohio, remains a favorite for play times and party times.

The Train Station has everything you need to satisfy your model-train needs. Studio 35, a true neighborhood filmhouse with special film series for youths and midnight Rocky Horror screenings to help parents relive their youth, is another Clintonville institution.

Wholly Craft is headquarters for the central Ohio crafting community: You will find great and unusual gifts, housewares, clothes, jewelry and much more inside this colorful shop, which is on the same block as Colonial Candy Shoppe, one of the original candy stores in the area, and Global Gallery, which is simply one of the best coffee shops around.

But the Clintonville Farmers' Market is probably the most archetypal C'ville event of all. Now in its 13th season, the market runs from late April to late November on Saturday mornings and during the summer on Wednesday afternoons and early evenings.

"We walk there with the stroller, hang out with neighbors and get a little breakfast pastry," Prout said. "We go for the experience."