Intern Finds Favorite Local Spots

Did you know that Mansfield, Ohio is home to FIVE Haunted Sites? Not just one, but five! Did you know that Mansfield has seven locations on their Wine and Ale Trail? As an Ashland University student participating in an internship program at Destination Mansfield – Richland County, I had no idea how many great places were available to me right here in Mansfield, Ohio.  I am excited to share a few of the favorites I’ve discovered.

Food and Beverages

Hungry or thirsty? Tired of the dining hall on campus? Grab a couple of friends and head down to the Coney Island Inn on the square in downtown Mansfield; it’s become a favorite. They serve breakfast ALL DAY and offer Home-style food at cheap prices. Coney Island Inn is also open 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., so while you’ll rarely see college students there in the early hours, it is a great place to stop for a brunch or breakfast or when you want breakfast food at dinner. Sometimes you just need some home cooked food.

Looking for somewhere to get a nice drink? The area’s Wine and Ale Trail includes many great opportunities to satisfy any cravings. This trail includes 3 wineries, 2 wine bars, and 2 breweries! I had no idea there were this many unique spots so near school, some in historic buildings like an old mortuary or vintage bank.  Most locations offer a delicious menu too.  Some wineries and breweries offer a way to toast locally-filmed movie The Shawshank Redemption with beverages called Solitary White, Reformatory Red, and Redemption IPA.  After a long week of classes and assignments, the Wine and Ale Trail offers a much-deserved break.

The Blueberry Patch, home to Blossom’s Café, is a unique place to stop by with the family or friends. The café features Blueberry Ice Tea (my favorite), special coffees, soups, and desserts like the famous blueberry donuts, all located in a garden atmosphere. The Blueberry Patch experience includes an extensive Gift Shop, a Greenhouse, and the 1285 Winery. I love treating myself to this relaxing oasis.


Sometimes I just need to find some fun off campus. I’ve found a free way to spend hours enjoying live entertainment. The Brickyard is an outdoor stage in downtown Mansfield that hosts a series of events during the summer called the Final Friday Concert Series. The concerts are the last Friday of the month, beginning in May and lasting until September, with three great performances each of these Fridays. Bring your own chair and kick back for a summer evening of free music. Still want more live entertainment? Check out Destination Mansfield – Richland County’s website’s calendar of events, Facebook page, and Twitter page for more live entertainment options posted each Thursday.


“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” said Andy Dufresne, one of the main characters of Shawshank Redemption. One of the greatest movies of all times was filmed right here in Mansfield, Ohio. The Shawshank Trail follows the path of Hollywood and the brochure can be downloaded or requested through and gives you directions and details about the 15 filming sites, most filmed here. I can’t wait to take my friends to the Ohio State Reformatory (Shawshank State Prison) for a tour. And we’ll stop by other filming sites like The Bissman Building, Central Park in Mansfield, and Malabar Farm State Park. My friends are going to be blown away by the memories we’ll make on this journey.

BOO! Where are all my fellow “scary” fans? We are in a good area to love all things scary because there are FIVE locations with a history of ghosts. Four locations have been featured on Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunter’s, and My Ghost Story! How cool is that? Haunted sites include The Ohio State Reformatory, the Haunted Bissman Building, The Renaissance Theatre, Malabar Farm State Park, and the Mansfield Fire Museum. Whether you want a short experience or want to spend all night at a paranormal event, more information about all the haunted sites is available on

As a college student, I was excited to find more to do in the Mansfield area then I ever expected. As the semester winds down to a close, keep these places in mind to celebrate the end of the semester and to kick-off the semester this fall! Visit to download or order a Visitor’s Guide.

Written by Intern Mellie Derry, Edited by Kim Miers