I was invited by Athens County to come check out the 30 mile meal and explore Athens Ohio during a day trip. It was the perfect excuse for a besties trip, so one of my oldest and dearest friends, Lindsey came on this adventure. But what is the 30 mile meal? It’s the chance to discover food, drink, local farms, markets and more that are all within 30 miles of Athens. It’s about all local all the time! Come follow along and check out all the amazing places we got to visit (and all within that 30 mile radius).
Our first stop was the Athens Farmers Market. It’s a year-round Farmers Market that runs Saturdays 9a-12p and Wednesday’s (April through December) 9a-1p. Located inside and outside The Market on State Mall. With over 50 vendors, there is literally something for everyone. Our first peek was at the gorgeous state jewelry by Amanda Buchanan. I started holiday shopping early and snagged a few as stocking stuffers.
Beautiful Pottery By Sledding Hill Pottery
Fell in love with these shirts and the concept behind It’s Still Today.
There was no limit to the salsa we got to taste from Southwestern Style Salsa which was a great thing because we ended up taking home a few jars.
Of course, it wouldn’t be fall without pumpkins
I got the chance to meet the sweet daughters of Sarah’s Sweets. Truly delightful girls who are so proud of their mom. You guys already know how much I love my sweets but what you might not know is that my favorite candy is fudge. I LOVE fudge so much and Sarah has a huge selection to choose from (more than 20)!
We could have eaten our way through the market and been full for the day but we had a lot more eating to get to so we kept ourselves in check. Check out some more favorites like the jams from Fisher Farms and chips and beans from Shagbark.
I couldn’t resist taking home some truly stunning flower bouquets.
After strolling the market, we headed to our next stop, Donkey Coffee and Espresso. We found the coziest little spot that embodies a true love of all things art and music. I was swooning over the old school jukebox and can only wish to have one someday. Only selling Fair Trade coffee, they really stand behind fair and just business practices. I love when a spot really stands up for what they believe in. The space is incredible and houses events like open mike night, open stage, comedy, poetry slams, bands and more.
Just a hop away, we headed over to lunch at Fluff Bakery & Catering. Even though it was lunch, we both couldn’t resist some of the brunch specials. I ordered the ricotta pancakes (so yum) and Lindsey ordered the biscuits-n-gravy. We perused the in-house sweets while waiting for our meal and sipped on a mimosa. LOVE that each mimosa came with it’s only bottle which made it more like 2 drinks if you keep adding the mimosa as you go. While peeking around we found out that they offer quite a bit of vegan baked goods which is such a treat because good vegan goodies can sometimes be hard to come by.
After so many yummy goodies, we had to start burning off some calories before taking more in. We took a couple of hours and strolled around Ohio University (ya know, the place professionals attend), explored Court Street and the shops Uptown.
While shopping we popped into Little Professor Book Center and I finally got the chance to grab my newest read:
While out walking, we found the neatest studio that’s mission is very close to my heart. Passion Works Studio is an inclusive studio where artists with disabilities collaborate with disabled and non-disabled adults to create art. Their belief that art enhances the quality of life and strengthens communities is one I truly believe in and the fact that they work with disabled adults is so close to my heart as my brother is a disabled adult.
Whether you live in Athens or not, you have the ability to purchase their official Painted Passion Flower (which is the official flower of Athens). It’s made from recycled aluminum printing plates from the local newspaper and the hand-painted by artists of the studio. They are each as unique as the artist and they are truly beautiful. If you’re looking for a special holiday gift, purchase here.
Since we all know that my day would not be complete without a donut, our next stop took us to McHappy’s Donuts and Bake Shoppe. This bakery started over 40 years ago, and they still use the same recipe today. All goodies are baked fresh each morning and they have a massive assortment to choose from. They really take pride in the sweets they bake and are truly committed to a quality product. Pro-tip THEY DELIVER!!!!
Our bellies need a rest so we decided to check out The Farmacy which is the headquarters for quality natural and organic food. Back when it first started in 1971 the store stocked many hard-to-find items that couldn’t be purchased because oh yeah, no internet. Today, natural and organic food is a billion dollar industry (think Whole Foods and the like) but these guys were well before that time. Still a small independent store, they stock a wide selection of organic, ethnic and many vegetarian foods. The staff is super knowledgeable and doesn’t mind answering any questions to help you find what you need.
One last stop before heading off to dinner and since we wanted to save all the room we could for dinner we opted for a wine tasting at Village Bakery. A bakery whose menu focuses on the foods that are currently in season in the Athens area. I loved that they have anytime daily wine tastings. Hello Day Drinking at it’s finest!
Our very last stop on today’s adventure was also my favorite, Pleasant Hill Vineyards for dinner. We were fortunate to participate in the last Steak Fry of the summer. What a treat this truly was. Offered June thru September on Saturday nights, it’s a cook your own steak adventure. Dinner included a half a bottle of wine of your choosing, a salad that was probably my favorite of all time and homemade dinner rolls. For our protein we got to choose from a 14 ounce (FOURTEEN OUNCES) NY strip steak, salmon or butterflied marinated chicken breast. Plus a baked potato and dessert.
Even though Steak Fry season is over, don’t fret, the winery has many other events. November thru April Saturdays feature Italian meals and Wednesdays feature soups and breads.
Simply stunning views of the vineyard
14 ounces you guys. FOURTEEN with barely any fat!!! I typically order a 6 or 8 ounce steak so this was some serious meat for me to handle.
I’m not kidding when I say this is best salad I’ve ever had. I would go back for this salad alone.
To be perfectly honest, I have never grilled a day in my life. Not once ever so it was quite daunting to think I had to cook this steak and well enough that I wanted to eat it. BUT the staff were supper helpful in not only seasoning this beauty but making sure it was cooked to perfection. Lindsey and I sure laughed a lot at this part of the adventure so if this doesn’t sound like something you would do, go outside your comfort zone because we had the best time ever!!!
The sunset was to die for – no filter needed!
Thank you Athens County for treating us to an incredible day trip. Although this post was sponsored by Athens County, this in no way affects my review of each location. I’m always very upfront and honest about my experience and if you think otherwise, we probably haven’t met. Check out all the business details here: