The Nelsonville Music Festival will feature acts like Jason Isbell, the Avett Brothers, and more.
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This area of the state offers a buffet of regional foods, festivals, music, art, and outdoor thrills — something for every taste and pocketbook. The can’t-miss options:
● Nelsonville Music Festival, Hocking College, Nelsonville (Athens County)
A family-oriented affair, the festival will take place from May 29 to June 1. Billed as a “music festival with a more personal experience,” the event features music on multiple stages — including the front porch of a log cabin — as well as local art and food vendors. Entertainment includes Jason Isbell on May 29, Dinosaur Jr. on May 30, and the Avett Brothers on May 31. Single-day tickets cost $50 to $80, with weekend and camping passes available. 740-753-1924, www.nelsonvillefest.org
● Appalachian Uprising Festival, 1175 Township Rd., Scottown (Lawrence County)
If you enjoy bluegrass music, the Appalachian Uprising Festival in the foothills of southern Ohio will have your toes tapping. Among the headliners at the festival, June 5-7, is the Marshall Tucker Band, the Traveling McCourys, the Gibson Brothers, Della Mae, Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice, and Town Mountain. So far, 17 groups have committed to the event. Primitive campsites are available at the venue. 740-533-7271, www.appalachianuprising.net for ticket information and the entertainment schedule
● Ribs, Rhythm & Blues, Union Hall Theater, 7520 Marion St., Chesterhill (Morgan County)
People with a passion for ribs, homemade pies, and great sides topped off with an order of hot blues might enjoy the Ribs, Rhythm and Blues Festival on June 7. The featured artist will be Teeny Tucker and her seven-piece band. Advance tickets for dinner and music cost $30, or $10 for those younger than 18; day of show: $30 for music only. 740-554-3271, www.unionhalltheater.org
● Zanesville Art Museum, 620 Military Rd., Zanesville (Muskingum County)
For those seeking a cultural experience, the Zanesville Art Museum offers 18 galleries with a rotating selection of paintings, sculpture, glass, and more. Through July 24, the spotlight is on “Art Quilt Network: Without a Word,” featuring 35 quilts by members of the Art Quilt network. The international organization was founded in Ohio in 1986 by quilt artist Nancy Crow. Also, from June 14 through Sept. 20, the museum will feature “Owens Pottery: Beyond Utopia.” Owens Pottery was in production in the Zanesville area from 1896 to 1907. It produced about 50 lines of art pottery. For ticket prices and hours of operation: 740-452-0741, www.zanesvilleart.org.
● Ohio Brew Week, Athens (Athens County)
For some, what better way to quench your thirst on a hot summer day than with a cold brew? Brew Week is a nine-day celebration of Ohio’s craft-brew industry, with live entertainment, competitions, and myriad guest speakers. This year, Brew Week — July 11-19 — will feature events at many establishments in Athens, including Casa Nueva Restaurant, Restaurant Salaam, and Jackie O’s Brewery, plus Kiser’s at Eclipse near The Plains. It’s an opportunity to enjoy the scenery, eat some fabulous food sourced from local farms, and, of course, try brews from throughout Ohio. Both Brew Week weekends offer fun events, from the Rock-n-Roast patio party at the Ohio University Inn to Last Call, the summer’s best street party uptown. www.ohiobreweek.com
● Jamboree in the Hills, 43510 National Rd., Belmont (Belmont County)
For country-music fans, it doesn’t get much better than this summer event. Running from July 17-20, this year’s jamboree will feature Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Brantley Gilbert, Kip Moore, Neal McCoy, Montgomery Gentry, Cassadee Pope, Joe Diffie, Diamond Rio, Brett Eldredge, Darius Rucker, David Nail, Sam Hunt, Eric Paslay, Kelleigh Banner, Cole Swindell, Brothers Osborne, Tristen Smith, and Drake White and the Big Fire. www.jamboreeinthehills.com for ticket and camping information
● Seneca Lake Park, 22172 Park Rd., Senecaville (Noble County)
If you seek peace and quiet, Seneca Lake offers 513 campsites, a swimming beach, more than 3,500 acres of water for all types of freshwater activities, and almost 4,100 acres of land, including forests. Part of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, the park is a great place to unwind. www.mwcd.org
● Piatt Park, Rt. 78 to County Road 30 to Township Road 2308 near Woodsfield (Monroe County)
Nestled in a county that borders the Ohio River, Piatt Park, although small in size (119 acres), is big on beauty. There are camping facilities with a new handicapped-accessible shower house and rest room, a playground for children, and exquisite views of nature. The setting is unique, with hiking trails that offer vistas into a natural gorge. Piatt Park is one of the hidden gems in southern Ohio. www.monroecountyohio.net
● Hocking Hills Parks and Caves (Hocking County)
Just about an hour southeast of Columbus is nature at its best — from pristine to wild, from relaxing to exhilarating. It is all part of the Hocking Hills, a collection of caves, parks, nature areas, and lakes. Lodging is available, from rustic to plush, and at all price ranges. Activities range from hiking, bird watching, and cave exploring to zip-lining, canoeing, hot-air-ballooning, and horseback riding. www.hockinghills.com
● Sternwheeler Festival, Ohio River Levee, 121 Putnam St., Marietta (Washington County)
Top off the summer with a trip to Marietta, at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio rivers, for the Sternwheel Festival, Sept. 5-7. During the free three-day event, about 100,000 people descend on Marietta to see up to 35 authentic sternwheel boats along the Ohio River. Each year brings boat races and a huge car show, plus vendors of all varieties. On Sept. 6, a huge fireworks display is launched from barges on the Ohio River, creating a great way to end a summer of fun and ease into autumn. 740-373-5178, www.ohioriversternwheelfestival.org
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