19 Things You Need To Know About Westerville, Ohio

It's always a great idea to find pieces of quirky info about a place before visiting or relocating. It's really all about the "little things" wherever you live.

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By

Andrew Hanin

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Jan 21, 2021

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1. Cheryl's Cookies

614-901-0046 | 646 McCorkle Blvd, Westerville, OH | cheryls.com

Cheryl's cookies have something for every season! This bakery — focused on sweet treats — may serve its goods nationwide, but did you know they started in Westerville? 

What a way to kick off this list! Almost everyone knows Cheryl's, the sweet tasty delicacy that almost always makes it on our holiday menus, well it turns out that Cheryl’s Cookies was founded in Westerville in 1981. Back then it was still known as Cheryl&Co. Even after these many years of success, the great dessert company’s headquarters are in Westerville.

2. Named America’s Best Suburb

Yes, you read it right! Westerville once took the crown of being America’s best suburb and it wasn’t long ago either, in 2013 Movoto named Westerville the best suburb in the whole of America. The list of the top ten suburbs was released after some studies and research had been performed and Westerville, OH was number 1.

3. An Amazing Visitors’ Website

Fridays are special in Westerville, with monthly festivals supporting local businesses. Image courtesy of Visit Westerville.

Westerville has a functional official visitor’s website where visitors planning to travel to the city can find all useful information necessary to make their stay in Westerville a pleasant success.

4. 4th Friday in Uptown Westerville 

Every 4th Friday of the month Uptown Westerville turns into a street vending place! There are lots of food carts around, live entertainment, many fun activities for kids and the young at heart, trading hours of all Uptown shops are extended. Visitors can see the full 4th Friday calendar here.

5. “Dry” History

Wait… Westerville used to be called “The Dry Capital of the World?”

It may be hard to believe now — especially if you love to visit one of their great bars — but many years ago, Westerville used to be a zero alcohol city. They had strict laws prohibiting the production and commercial sale of alcohol. 

The laws were so strict and so enforced that the city earned the right to be called "The Dry Capital of the World." The laws were eventually repealed and alcohol began legal just like everywhere else. This piece of Westerville history is preserved in the Anti-Saloon League Museum that is open for public visiting.

6. A City in a Park

Most people have heard about certain, especially picturesque cities that are surrounded by natural and man-made parks. What most of those people do not know is that Westerville is part of those beautiful cities, filled with green vegetation, natural views and clean fresh air. 

The city’s parks and recreation department is very proud of their program, so you’ll have to check out one of this city’s awesome green spaces the next time you visit!

7. Glee Reference

If you watched Glee when it first aired, then this is not only surprising but exciting! Image courtesy of outspokenoppa.com.

Westerville is the location of the famous television show, Glee’s fictional private school, Dalton Academy, a school with a very proactive show choir.

8. Schneider’s Bakery’s Late Nights 

614-882-6611 | 6 S State St, Westerville, OH | schneiders-bakery.com

We really wish it were us who had these donuts right now. They. Look. So. good!  

Westerville’s leading bakery Schneider’s Bakery opens every Tuesday to Thursday at 1am. It has since become a favorite place for Otterbein University students who are up until early morning hours. These students frequent the bakery at 1am to buy freshly baked donuts, and you should too!

9. City Run Programmed Community Events

Being a city dedicated to maintaining a strong sense of community, Westerville actually has a city-run program of events for the town. The events range from toddler’s day every Friday to mom and me tea parties for little girls and their mothers. There’s even a glow in the dark adult’s Easter egg hunt! 

The events program calendar is maintained and updated on the official Westerville website. Such activities keep and maintain Westerville’s culture and reputation as a community-focused city.

10. The Frank Museum of Art

614-818-9716 | 39 South Vine Street, Westerville, OH | otterbein.edu


This renovated church now acts as a must-see art museum. African, Japanese, and New Guinean art is the focus at this university art museum. Image courtesy of Otterbein University.

We know what you’re thinking. Westerville sounds great, but can a midwestern suburb really provide everything that a more cultured and developed city can? If culture is what you’re looking for, then check out the Frank Museum of Art, featuring Otterbein University’s collection of art from Africa, New Guinea, and Japan. 

This small museum is rich with excellent exhibitions and pieces as well as history, as the building has served the community for centuries as a church, home, and place of gathering before its final designation.

11. The Westerville Symphony

614-899-9000 | 244 Battelle Fine Arts Building, Otterbein University, 170 W Park St, Westerville, OH | westervillesymphony.org 

Ever heard of a suburb with its own symphony? Welcome to Westerville. Image courtesy of westervillesymphony.org

With origins as the Otterbein University Orchestra, the Westerville Symphony took shape once a few committed Otterbein faculty members established a professional-grade symphony in the 1960s. 

The organization surely puts on some great performances for locals and visitors to enjoy, but the symphony also is devoted to giving back to the community, providing many outreach programs to local students looking for music education.

12. Westerville Golf Center

614-882-9079 | 450 W Schrock Rd, Westerville, OH | westervillegolf.com

From PGA diehards to mini golf lovers, this place has you covered.

Looking for a fun, recreational activity in this delightful, little city? Try the Westerville Golf Center, home to Westerville’s premier driving range, miniature golf course, and batting cage all in one central location! 

Their pro shop is a great spot to check out for golfers, but Westerville Golf Center has something for just about anyone. And if you’re looking to up your skills, sign up for some golf lessons!

13. Hanby House

614-891-6289 | 160 W Main St, Westerville, OH 43081| hanbyhouse.org

Photo of the Hanby House in Westerville
A historic home full of amazing antiques and preserved furniture. Image courtesy of the Hanby House.

We all know how important history is, but do you know about your local history? The stories and pasts of these smaller places are just as rich as the grand histories we learn in school, but the lessons they hold are often lost in the learning process. 

Get a quick history lesson at the Hanby House, a historic home filled with preserved furniture and antiques to immerse goers into a tangible representation of the past. This house may be decoratively historic, but its importance extends way beyond antiques — the home is recognized as a significant Underground Railroad site. 

For anyone looking to learn more about the rich history of Westerville, the Hanby House is a must-visit!

14. Otterbein University’s Department of Theatre & Dance

Avid theatre-goers can catch a glimpse at some of the theatre world’s up-and-coming talent at Otterbein University’s Department of Theatre & Dance. This nationally renowned program has some of the most talented young actors and actresses in the country basing and performing all of their work right here in Westerville. Many of the alumni go on to perform on much bigger stages — ahem, Broadway — so to get a sneak peek at the industry’s greenest talent, make sure to go see a show at Otterbein!

15. Highlands Park Aquatic Center

614-901-7665 | 245 S Spring Rd, Westerville, OH | parks.westerville.org

Fun day in the sun? Check. Image courtesy of parks.westerville.org.

With so many rich offerings to choose from, Westerville has to be lacking on something, right? Well that something isn’t recreational fun, that’s for sure, since the city is home to Highlands Park Aquatic Center, a perfect spot for some family fun. With slides, pools, and even a lazy river, the HPAC will keep you cool and entertained during those hot, Ohio summers.

16. Record-Breaking Debates

Photo of 12 Democratic candidates at the October 15 Democratic Presidential Debate in 2019
Westerville was the home to the largest presidential debate to date. In the 2020 Presidential Race, Westerville made history with a debate featuring 12 Democratic candidates. Image courtesy of WOSU.

On October 15, 2019, Westerville made history. The city hosted the Democratic Party’s fourth presidential debate, featuring a whopping 12 candidates, setting a new record for the highest number of candidates on stage for any presidential debate.

Held in Otterbein’s Rike Physical Education Center, the debate featured candidates like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and eventual party nominee Joe Biden. 

By hosting such an event, Westerville got an opportunity to leave its mark on the entire country, with millions tuning in to watch the candidates of their choices discuss policy and politics in Westerville, Ohio.

17. Sportstown, Ohio

You already know about the amazing parks that the city’s parks and recreation department maintains, but what about the more than 1,300 different recreational opportunities Westerville offers to their residents every year? 

Yep, you read that right, 1,300 unique chances for you to have an amazing experience with friends and family. 

The amount of recreational activities that the city provides didn’t go unnoticed, however, as Sports Illustrated honored Westerville by naming it Sportstown, Ohio, the only city in Ohio with such a designation.

18. Inniswood Metro Gardens

614-895-6216 | 940 S Hempstead Rd, Westerville, OH | inniswood.org

Take a relaxing stroll through the Inniswood Metro Gardens!

The Inniswood Metro Gardens is a really pleasant place to spend a whole day if the weather in Westerville is nice. There are plenty of places to sit and relax, or you could take a walk through the whole garden and enjoy the pretty scenery. 

It’s perfect for a family visit, a date, or a solo walk through. Whatever kind of day you’re looking for, you can have it at Inniswood Metro Gardens.

19. Over 200 Years Old!

For anyone wondering about how long Westerville has been around, this fact is for you. Westerville’s history can be traced back to 1806, when Edward Phelps and his friend, Issac Griswold, settled in the area that is now known as Westerville Road. The village grew and grew, with the first family residence in Westerville’s corporate limits arriving in 1809, and the namesake Westervelt family settling in 1818. 

The city’s history may look rosy, but prior to the settlement of Westerville, the area was primarily inhabited by the Wyandot people, who — like almost all Indigenous people in the time — were forced out by the pioneers in the area. The land holds stories that go far beyond what the local history may suggest, and this background deserves to be known, especially by Westerville locale.

Image of Westerville, Ohio
Westerville has so many amazing things to offer and is full of great history. Image courtesy of cleveland.com.

Well there you have it. Nineteen interesting facts about this great Ohio town, full of lively sports, fun entertainment, beautiful nature, and interesting history. Anyone unfamiliar with Westerville may think it is a little overshadowed by its neighbor Columbus, but this city has its own amazing vibe and energy deserving of a visit!


April 14, 2021
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