On the banks of the Maumee River lies a charming community that was once a major lake port and shipbuilding center, second only to Cleveland. Often described as “a vibrant town in the middle of everywhere,” Perrysburg, Ohio is a quaint, coastal community with award winning schools, attractive historic homes, a bustling downtown, and innovative businesses.
Founded in 1816 and named after Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, Perrysburg is the perfect mix of old and new. I can’t help but be thankful to be a third generation resident of this delightful and family friendly community. The historic downtown, which is visited and sought out by many, is surrounded by beautiful Victorian and Colonial style homes. Growing up just a few blocks from the heart of the city, I have always loved strolling through these historic neighborhoods on my way downtown for dinner, coffee, or shopping.
Although Perrysburg is a popular destination for many in Northwest Ohio, it still somehow maintains the hometown feel that us Perrysburgers love so much. The downtown is a wide two block stretch of 19th century buildings that are as charming as they are historic. I love the quiet streets of the early morning and late evenings, but I also love that it comes alive during the day.
We love bringing Lilly downtown to explore the unique shops and boutiques, buy fresh produce from the Farmer’s Market, watch one of the many patriotic parades, attend the annual Harrison Rally Day Festival, or eat on the patios of the many locally owned restaurants. Whatever activity we are seeking out, there are plenty of fun opportunities for families and individuals to enjoy.
We love Perrysburg in all the seasons, but there is something extra magical about this community in the summer. There is nothing better than spending a day shopping at preppy Meig Boutique (fun fact: this building used to be my grandparent’s bakery which was open for 50 years!), grabbing coffee from Maddie and Bella, having craft beer and feta dip on the patio at Swig, or enjoying a romantic dinner at Rose and Thistle. However we spend our time downtown, it’s always a joy to watch Lilly, now a fourth generation resident, run and squeal with delight on the same streets her great-great grandparents ran through.
At the end of the two block stretch of the historic district lies the increasingly popular riverfront. Here you can find two City parks with panoramic views of the river, public boat docks, the Perrysburg Boat Club, miles of walking trails, and glamorous historic mansions.
The riverfront is perhaps my favorite part of the City. I love hearing the water gently crashing along the rocky shores. I love the feeling of peace and contentment that comes with sitting and enjoying the view. And I also love the history the riverfront has played in shaping this community. Not only was Perrysburg an important shipping port in the 18th and 19th centuries, but it also played a major role in the War of 1812. Perrysburg is home to Fort Meigs, Ohio’s War of 1812 Battlefield, which lies just around the river bend from the historic downtown. It is here where the Americans built a fortress on the bluffs of the Maumee River to protect the Northwest Territory from British attacks.
We spend so much time down by these boat docks. Lilly loves to watch the boats bobbing in the water or chase the many geese that have claimed the rocks as their home (although don’t be fooled, these birds can be mean buggers!). Someday I hope to have a boat of our own anchored to these docks, but for now, I will dream and soak in the view.
I grew up in this historic community that lies on the banks of the river. I hope that someday Lilly will come to appreciate this charming city and love these river shores as much as I do.
One of our favorite parts of this particular vacation was the day on the water we spent with Captain Rich and his crew aboard the Schooner Eleanor. Our boys had sailed before, but never in Maine. They were up bright and early that morning eager to see what the ride would be like.