Oh-Penn Region Full of Diverse Recreation, Entertainment

The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown State University
The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown State University
The Butler Institute of American Art on the campus of Youngstown State University is home to 21,000 pieces of American art, including paintings, sculpture, ceramics, prints and photography.
"We like to say that we’re a tranquil respite for those escaping the big cities of Pittsburgh and Cleveland,” says JoAnn McBride, executive director of the Lawrence County (Penn.) Tourist Promotion Agency.

The Pennsylvania counties of Lawrence and Mercer are lucky. Both have a state park.

McConnells Mill State Park in Lawrence County is a 2,546-acre expanse that features a deep gorge with a restored watermill and covered bridge at the bottom, which are accessible by motor vehicles via a winding roadway. The park has several hiking trails along with activities such as whitewater boating, hunting and fishing.

Meanwhile, Maurice K. Goddard State Park in Mercer County spans 2,856 acres and offers natural beauty, wildlife, waterways and public recreational facilities. Lake Wilhelm is part of the park and is ideal for fishing and hunting, plus it attracts birds such as eagles and osprey.

Attractions in Five Counties

Such is life in the Oh-Penn Interstate Region, where quality-of-life attractions are abundant.

The convenient location between Cleveland and Pittsburgh allows Oh-Penn Region residents easy access to big-city amenities and entertainment, but they can also enjoy a host of homegrown cultural and recreational attractions in Columbiana, Mahoning, Trumbull, Lawrence and Mercer counties.

For example, Mahoning County in Ohio is home to wineries and the scenic Mill Creek MetroParks. In Trumbull County, Ohio, the W.D. Packard Music Hall draws more than 100,000 people each year for events that run from Broadway touring productions to concerts, ballets and children’s programs. And the Youngstown-Warren area of Mahoning and Trumbull counties is home to more than 40 museums, including must-sees like the Oh Wow children's center and the Ford Nature Education Center.

Winslow Homer Painting

Columbiana County, Ohio, is home to attractions such as the Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame as well as Butler Institute of American Art, which offers free admission and is home to 21,000 pieces of American art that include paintings, sculpture, ceramics, prints and photography.

“We have works from artists like Edward Hopper, John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer, and 100,000 people visit us each year,” says Louis Zona, executive director with the Butler Institute. “Our paintings date from 1719 to 2011. It’s a great place to see what Americans have been thinking throughout history.”

For local sports fans, they are privy to professional baseball and hockey along with Division I college sports, while avid shoppers can frequent large retail centers such as Eastwood Mall in Niles as well as Grove City (Penn.) Premium Outlets. There are also interesting specialty stores in the downtown districts of Warren and Youngstown along with Sharon, Penn.

Thankful for Tranquil

"As for peaceful and quiet places to live, we like to say that we’re a tranquil respite for those escaping the big cities of Pittsburgh and Cleveland,” says JoAnn McBride, executive director of the Lawrence County (Penn.) Tourist Promotion Agency. “That’s the way life happens to be throughout this entire region. There is plenty of action and much to do both indoors and outdoors within all the individual counties, and then it’s nice to eventually head home to peace and quiet.”

 

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