Explore Oberlin's Natural and Cultural Attractions
Find out why Oberlin was named one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations!
Outdoors & Recreation
Bike Path and Biking in Oberlin
Experience Oberlin on a bike! The entire town is quite bike-friendly and has a lovely bike path, converted from the old railroad. This is part of a network of interlocking bike paths across Ohio and the local Back Roads and Beaches bike route. The path runs through south Oberlin. See also our self-guided Biking Tour of Historic Oberlin.
Location: The best place to get on is behind the Oberlin Depot (240 South Main Street, now a community center). You'll find the bike path crossing South Main and South Professor Streets just beyond the intersection with South Street.
Bill Long Nature Preserve
This nature preserve is built up around an old reservoir. It includes trails through wooded areas and benches overlooking the reservoir – a good spot for birdwatching.
Location: Just southwest of the intersection of Morgan Street and Pyle-South Amherst Street.
Take an hour or two to wander through the “Arb,” as it is locally known, a sizeable nature preserve which includes two large ponds (former reservoirs) as well as a long section of Plum Creek. Paths criss-cross the wooded and grassy areas, and birds and deer (and other nature-loving humans!) are common sights. The Arb has three entrances: off South Professor just south of South Street; off Morgan Street at the intersection with South Cedar (behind the old stone waterworks); and at the intersection with South Prospect (follow the gravel driveway between the golf course and the houses and enter through "Ladies' Gate," marked with stone pillars).
Martin Luther King, Jr., Park
Connect with history at this small park which includes monuments to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Oberlin citizens who died at Harper's Ferry, and the Oberlin-Wellington Rescuers, who freed a re-captured runaway slave and were subsequently jailed for it.
Location: Intersection of East Vine and South Pleasant Streets
Oberlin Depot Park and Playground
Families love this kid-friendly park with its playground designed for differently-abled visitors.
Location: Intersection of South Professor, South, and South Main Streets.
For more parks, see the City of Oberlin's Parks Page.
In the "dog days" of summer, you'll appreciate a cool dip in the local pool and water park! (And in the cooler months, you'll appreciate the indoor facilities - a warm place to get some exercise and have some active fun!)
Enjoy a mixture of history and nature as you come out to this park managed by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. At one time the land belonged to the Copeland Family, who were prominent Black abolitionists. The preserve includes native prairie, fields, woodlands, wet sedge meadow, and Forested vernal pools.
Location: 425 West Hamilton Street
Plan a picnic in or leisurely stroll the town square located in the heart of downtown Oberlin. Tappan Square used to hold several College buildings but has been a town green since 1927. In good weather, you'll almost always find folks walking their dogs, taking a jog, or just enjoying the sunshine. Many community events also take place here: outdoor concerts in the bandstand and community-wide celebrations like Juneteenth and the Big Parade. Two monuments, a plaque to Charles Martin Hall and a large Memorial Arch dedicated to Oberlin missionaries killed in the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, are also located here.
Enjoy the peaceful beauty of this park-like cemetery where many famous Oberlinians are buried. There is also a monument to a young runaway slave who died in Oberlin while traveling the Underground Railroad. The cemetery functions as a nature preserve, with a wide variety of plants and trees and a small pond.
Location: West end of Morgan Street
Wright Park holds the Soldiers' Monument, honoring Oberlin citizens who gave their lives for their country. The original Soldiers' Monument dates to the Civil War; more plaques have been added after subsequent wars and conflicts. Follow the Plum Creek walkway to the intersection of Morgan and South Professor Streets to see a statue of Civil War officer Giles Shurtleff.
Location: Intersection of South Main and East Vine Streets
Arts & Culture
Surround yourself with masterpieces in the Allen Memorial Art Museum, one of the finest college or university art museums in the country.
Location: Intersection of North Main and East Lorain Street.
Take in a movie at the Apollo! This historic single-screen movie theater was the first in town to show movies with sound (in 1928).
Location: 19 East College Street
Browse FAVA’s gallery to see rotating art exhibits throughout the year, including a Quilt Show every spring, and a Christmas Exhibit of works by local artists every winter.
Location: New Union Center for the Arts, 39 South Main Street.
Check out the Oberlin College calendar of events to choose from the astounding variety of concerts, performances, and programs offered almost every day during the school year.
Oberlin Heritage Center
Visit our three historic buildings! Tour the Monroe House, Little Red Schoolhouse, and Jewett House every Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. Or stop in Tuesday through Saturday for a 30 minute Sneak Peek tour of the Monroe House. Many more tours, neighborhood history walks, community events, and programs are available. See our Events and Visit and News menus for more information.
Visit the Weltzheimer/Johnson House in Oberlin to view a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The house is managed by the Allen Memorial Art Museum. Check their website for tour availability.
Location: Walk-up entrance off of the west end of Morgan Street