The Drive: Rio Grande, Ohio Miles: 236 Hit the Hoedown: The 37th Annual Bob Evans Farm Festival will take place Oct. 12 through 14, with dozens of family-friendly demonstrations that represent traditional country living.
As you approach the sprawling Bob Evans Farm on state Route 588 in Rio Grande, Ohio, roll down your car windows and give your sense of smell an autumn treat. To appreciate the farm, you need to inhale it.
Start by taking in the crisp whiff of a freshly mown pasture. Then enjoy the smoky-sweet scent of sausage cooking. Each is part of a bouquet called Americana. Down here, it’s just you, your family, about 1,000 acres of rolling fields and a working farm that’s high on charm. People flock here in search of a culture, not just a company.
“We try to take folks back to a simpler time,” says Ray McKinniss, manager of Bob Evans Farm. “This is a place where a couple can take a walk along a back road while their kids run around — everyone knows everyone else is safe.”
And don’t overlook the draw of the sausage. Savor those splendid links and patties (“breakfast anytime!”) in the original Bob Evans restaurant, which overlooks the property’s signature brick farmhouse known as the Homestead. It houses a museum of family memorabilia, the reconstructed counter of the original Steak House owned by Bob Evans, and TV ads that he and his wife, Jewell, aired in the 1950s. 1-800-994-3276, www.bobevans.com