In the midst of cornfields and seas of soy beans, there is a tiny gem in southwest Ohio called Yellow Springs. Between Cincinnati and Columbus is a village that attracts tourists and idealists from around the country. The train tracks--now a lovely rails-to-trails bike path--once ran passed the resort and educational community of Yellow Springs, but now the easiest way into town is sadly by car. A haven for hippies and various forms of alternative culture, the village is diverse and accepting; a family of sorts.
A charming village to walk around on a drive through, or the sort of place to spend a happy retirement, the unusually liberal town (for Ohio) is home to Republican Senator Mike DeWine (and many generations of DeWines before him). Yellow Springs is also proud to be the home of "The Father of American Education," education reformer and Congressman Horace Mann, children's author Virginia Hamilton, musicians Cindy Blackman and Richie Furay, blogger Jorn Barger, "Twilight Zone" creator Rod Sterling, and of course comedian Dave Chappelle!
The town is a major tourist destination in southwest Ohio, especially in the summer months and during the two annual Street Fairs - see details at Yellow Springs website.
Indigenous peoples have been making their way to the yellow springs of Yellow Springs for the healing benefits of the iron-rich waters since people first arrived on the North American continent.
The village was founded in 1825 as what would today be called an intentional community or commune, but what the founding families intended as a utopia. Human imperfection led to the demise of that dream, but the Underground Railroad brought new hope to town in the form of escaped slaves, including Wheeling Gaunt (after whom Gaunt Park is named).
Inspired by the indigenous peoples' legends surrounding the Yellow Springs, in the mid nineteenth century some white businessmen marketed the village as a resort spa. The Little Miami Railroad brought flocks of tourists to enjoy the gorgeous landscapes and healing properties of the springs.
The closest airport is Dayton International Airport. Columbus is serviced by Port Columbus International Airport. Rental cars are available at both locations.
Yellow Springs is on route 68, just 12 kilometres south of route I-70. It is approximately a half hour drive from Dayton, and a one hour drive from Columbus.
The Greyhound bus stops in nearby Springfield, about 15 minutes from Yellow Springs.
There's no sense trying to get around town in a car, since everything is in walking distance. So park that rinky-dink piece of metal & plastic, and enjoy the town out in the fresh air!
Sadly, there is none.
The downtown area is easily walkable. It is relatively flat and a great town to get around by foot.
There are several places to rent bikes in Yellow Springs and beyond. Check out Bike Shops in Miami Valley for more info.
The most luxurious places to stay in Yellow Springs are the
There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.
See also International Telephone Calls
The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.
The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.
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