The Benton Family Farm has come a long way from its 1941 founding, when its only assets were two mules. Four generations of Bentons have flourished along with the farm, which, at its height, sustained more than 100 head apiece of cattle and sheep. Now the plot hosts students and families, the rumble of an austere John Deere tractor hearkening to the golden age of farming. Hay-filled wagons full of visitors trundle around the land year-round, dropping them off to learn how to shear a sheep, milk a cow, or belittle a pig. In the fall, the farm comes alive with brisk-weather activities, including pumpkin picking and tours through a circa-1901 haunted house.
When polling fans of La Mexicana Restaurant, a few words show up again and again. "Authentic" is one; "fresh" is another; "delicious" shows up a lot. It's not surprising?eschewing a busy decorating scheme and comically sized margarita glasses for a simple focus on high-quality meals, La Mexicana is the subject of many local conversations. Dishes include classics from tacos and burritos to quesadillas and flautas, and the cargo clasped between corn tortillas include goat, pork, beef, beef tongue, and tripe. Toppings often spotlight cilantro, onions, and house-blended tomatillo salsa, and sides feature refried beans, rice, and guacamole. Diners can round out the meals with homemade margaritas and finish on a sweet note with flan, while others go through a wormhole in the kitchen so they can travel back in time and enjoy their entrees all over again.
Armed with an army of innovative and certified shutterbugs, Olan Mills Portrait Studio provides families with high-quality portraits, continuing a mission that was established more than 75 years ago by founder Olan Mills Sr. Skilled in the art of capturing infants, children, families, and bunny-ears-giving ghost orbs on film, Olan Mills’s experienced smile snappers will take a series of poses amid a variety of backgrounds and lighting options. The studio is equipped with a selection of props—including numbers for birthdays, toys, and boxes—and patrons may bring their own photo-enlivening items from home. The resulting photos find their way to prints in natural color, black and white, or sepia tones; they can also be immortalized in the studio's signature Old Masters style, a canvas brushed with highlights to recreate look of an oil painting. Like the gentlemanly mariners of ages past with their full schedule of sea-battles, the photographers welcome appointments, but do not require them.
Queen City Cookies, baked in Cincinnati. Kinkead Ridge wines from Ripley. Riehle’s Select colorful popcorns from Southern Indiana. The shelves at Keegan’s Specialty Seafood Market read like an atlas of the region. The range of seafood, on the other hand, travels from around the world each day, the fresh tubs of ice brimming with sunset-hued king crab legs and live oysters. With Carabello Coffee and locally crafted wines from Kinkead Ridge filling the shop with earthy aromas and revelry, chefs in the kitchen craft a host of prepared foods. There, clams simmer in a creamy chowder base, a smoker cooks tuna belly and mahi mahi at low temperatures, and whisks dream of being used as anything other than an imaginary microphone.
The Herb Shop advocates holistic health care with a brimming supply of natural supplements and herbal formulas. Owner and horticultural curist Shelton Hendriex cultivated The Herb Shop after finding solace and alleviation in alternative medicine. Meander past the multitude of natural remedies such as St. John's wort ($24.40 for 60 tabs), echinacea purpurea ($33.70 for 180 caps), and valerian root ($15.75 for 100 caps). From ear infections to thyroid disorders, the knowledgeable staff at The Herb Shop can suggest an herbal aid to soothe the symptoms of many common conditions.
A humble standalone shop with an impressive inventory, Pipkin's provides the area with locally raised produce, specialty groceries, fresh-from-the-plot flowers, and more. Using a 100-mile radial rule of thumb, the store trucks in juicy and sweet eats from Ohio, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and anywhere flavorful greenery grows. Food-pyramid summiteers can snag one of 20 varieties of apples ($0.99 per pound) or a few bunches of spotless bananas ($0.49 per pound), while pigskin fans can snag some homemade salsa and guacamole ($3.99–$5.99). Before the leaves fall and the sun burns out, families can also stock up on pumpkins—nature's emotional lantern ($0.39 per pound).