Eaton was named after an American Revolution war hero—General William Eaton.
As years passed, Eaton grew into a city and eventually became the county seat of Ohio's Preble County.
It has maintained its quaint appeal, with many fascinating historical attractions.
Eaton is also home to some of the nation's oldest wooden covered bridges, with some still open for traffic.
Those planning a short vacation in Eaton should expect a laid-back atmosphere with lots of historical tours and outdoor recreation.
Visiting Eaton is perfect for those who yearn to shake off stress and want to explore the outdoors.
Here are the best things to do in Eaton, Ohio:
Check Out Ohio's Oldest Covered Bridge
Old bridges are always fascinating to visit.
With that in mind, check out the Roberts Covered Bridge, the oldest covered bridge in Ohio.
You can find this bridge along South Beech Street, featuring its 1829 structure across Seven Mile Creek.
More fascinatingly, this bridge is one of the nation's six remaining bridges of its kind, featuring a double-barrel structure.
The bridge underwent a massive restoration in the early 1900s after a major fire damaged its structure.
Some of the bridge's parts, including its wooden covering and trusses, were replaced due to the heavy damage.
Nonetheless, the Roberts Covered Bridge has restored its former beauty and has been one of Eaton's famous tourist attractions.
Visiting this bridge offers you a deeper understanding of Eaton's rich history.
At the same time, you can take photos or cross the bridge on foot to complete your visit there.
Explore the Great Outdoors at Fort St. Clair Park
Go on an outdoor adventure at Fort St. Clair Park to start your Eaton travel adventure.
You can find this outdoor attraction along Camden Road.
It mainly features the former fort constructed during the height of the Northwest Indian War that took place in Eaton.
In 1970, the National Register of Historic Places officially listed the park to preserve its historical value.
Today, Fort St. Clair Park is one of the most famous outdoor and historical attractions in Preble County.
Like most top-notch parks, it has a playground area, a gazebo, picnic tables, fireplaces, barbeque pits, and a vast green open field to enjoy.
At the same time, you can find interpretive signs and remnants of the old fort, making it a fascinating place to explore.
With all that in mind, visiting this park should be a no-brainer.
Meet and Greet Exotic Animals at Safari Junction
Safari Junction is a fascinating attraction in Eaton.
You'll meet and greet exotic animals mainly native to Australia.
It's home to dozens of exotic animals you can feed and even pet inside this 10-acre facility.
Animals such as wallabies, kangaroos, emus, lemurs, and camels await your arrival at this attraction.
You can find this incredible attraction along US Route 127 South highway.
It's an excellent place for quality bonding with your whole family or travel crew.
While touring, you'll enjoy a hands-on experience with animals while learning about their needs, behaviors, and habitats.
Safari Junction is a must-visit place for everyone who wants a unique wildlife experience.
Pop a Bottle of Fine Wine at Olde Schoolhouse Vineyard & Winery
Those yearning for a relaxing activity can head to Olde Schoolhouse Vineyard & Winery.
You can find this charming vineyard and winery along Ohio 726 highway.
It's an exciting place where you can try its 20 intricately crafted fine wines.
Satisfy yourself with a glass or bottle of its finest wines that come in varieties such as dry, semi-sweet, and berry wines.
At the same time, the winery's countryside vibes are perfect for unwinding.
Moreover, your visit to Olde Schoolhouse Vineyard & Winery involves a bit of a historical side trip.
The winery once served as a schoolhouse known as "Oklahoma Schoolhouse No. 4" in 1890, which you can learn more about through guided tours.
Wander through Historic Downtown Eaton
One of the most recommended activities in the city is visiting Historic Downtown Eaton.
This place, which also serves as the city's official downtown, is a treasure trove.
It showcases the city's rich past and where most local businesses are concentrated.
Visiting this place offers you lots of leisure activities such as shopping and dining through its turn-of-the-century brick-and-mortar stores.
At the same time, you'll also find yourself celebrating various events with the locals since it usually hosts multiple activities.
It's where you'll witness events, including Bridges, Bikes, and Blues; the Annual Truck Show; the Annual Car Show; and White Christmas.
Historic Downtown Eaton offers a genuine experience of what the city best serves its visitors.
Get up Close with the Whispering Oak Tree
Although it doesn't whisper, the Whispering Oak Tree remains a fascinating and must-visit historical attraction.
This famous tree is witness to the city's history dating back to the 1700s.
You can find this 250-year-old oak tree in Fort St. Clair Park.
Historically, this tree survived the American Revolution and has witnessed Eaton's significant changes through the years.
Today, the tree remains healthy, thanks to the efforts of the National Arborist Association and the International Society of Arborculture.
Visiting the Whispering Oak Tree is a fascinating historical experience.
You will learn how this massive tree survived through the centuries.
At the same time, you can take photos and join a history lesson with fellow visitors to further understand the tree's significance to Eaton.
Take a Break at Waterworks Park
Waterworks Park offers you a fun-filled activity to enjoy with your travel companions.
You can find this outdoor attraction along Park Avenue, featuring 25 acres of recreation area for everyone.
Waterworks Park is an outdoor recreation area managed by the local waterworks.
It's adjacent to a water treatment facility and features a playground, picnic tables, and a fenced dog park.
It's one of Eaton's most famous outdoor attractions, especially for picnics and outdoor recreation.
The sheer number of trees that provide shade from the sun makes this park convenient to visit.
It also offers a peaceful and relaxing ambiance, excellent for taking a break from exploring Eaton's historical attractions.
Pass under the Norfolk Southern Consolidated Road Overpass
Eaton is also home to an old stone arch railroad overpass aside from centuries-old covered bridges.
It's called the Norfolk Southern Consolidated Road Overpass, constructed in 1880.
It mainly features the old-style stone arch, which served as a railroad back in the day and is still passable to regular vehicular traffic today.
The Eaton & Hamilton Railroad company constructed this stone overpass as a line for numerous other railroad companies.
Today, the stone overpass remains a vital thoroughfare and a historical attraction in Eaton.
It's a fascinating place to visit should you look for more historical backstories about Eaton and Preble County.
You can go under or pass through the Norfolk Southern Consolidated Road Overpass to complete your visit.
Of course, don't forget to take photos as souvenirs.
Get Mesmerized by the Stunning Scenery of Lake Lakengren
Lake Lakengren is a 230-acre lake situated within Eaton.
This lake remains part of Eaton, particularly on its southwest portion, although it has a census-designated community.
It has nine and a half miles of shoreline teeming with vibrant local flora and fauna.
Visiting this lake offers dozens of outdoor recreational opportunities.
It's excellent for various water sports and activities—fishing, boating, wakeboarding, tubing, surfing, and jet skiing.
Moreover, the lakeside community offers various amenities to give you a fantastic experience.
Pass the Time at Clarence E. Hook Memorial Park
Located along West Washington-Jackson Road, Clarence E. Hook Memorial Park is one of Eaton's many community parks.
It mainly features an eight-acre outdoor recreation area with sheltered picnic tables, a playground, and a vast wooded area.
If you're too lazy to explore other attractions in the city, this park is the most suitable place to visit.
You can relax and pass the time while enjoying the natural scenery of Clarence East Hook Memorial Park.
At the same time, you can explore its lush wooded area to immerse yourself in nature.
Overall, this park offers everything you want for a relaxing morning or afternoon, should you choose to find a peaceful spot in the city.
Cross the Christman Covered Bridge
The Christman Covered Bridge is one of Eaton's fascinating and must-visit centuries-old covered bridges.
You can find this 1895 bridge along Eaton Gettysburg Road.
Historically, the Christman Covered Bridge connects the Eaton-New Hope Road across Seven Mile Creek.
Everett Sherman built this covered bridge along with 20 others throughout Preble County.
It also underwent restorations to preserve its historical value like most of the remaining covered bridges.
While passing through this bridge, you'll notice its two lengthwise runners and flat floor planking which are intricate to construct.
Meanwhile, its exterior has a vibrant red/white tin roof.
Amazingly, you can still cross this bridge with your car, making your visit there worthwhile.
Cool Down at the Eaton Swimming Pool
Head to the Eaton Swimming Pool if you're finding the best place to cool down.
It's also known as the "Aquatic Center," which you can find along West Main Street.
It's been open to everyone since 1964 and remains a famous place for locals to enjoy swimming.
You won't grow bored swimming at this pool since it features the same amenities as a waterpark.
It has numerous slides, splash pads, a picnic pavilion, and other exciting amenities to guarantee you and your loved ones a fantastic experience.
At the same time, the Eaton Swimming Pool has a concession stand where you can buy food and drinks, making your visit there extra convenient.
Spot Various Bird Species at Woodland Trails Wildlife Area
Head to Woodland Trails Wildlife Area for a worthwhile trip with nature.
This natural attraction is a few miles south of Eaton's city proper.
Woodland Trails Wildlife Area is famous throughout Eaton and neighboring towns as a prime location for birdwatching.
Local and migratory bird species flock to this area year-round.
Meanwhile, predatory birds such as hawks stop in the middle of the fall migration.
Some of the most common birds you'll spot there are Henslow's Sparrow, Northern Bobwhite, Yellow-Breasted Chat, Blue Grosbeak, and Prairie Warbler.
Rare bird species such as Northern Shrike, Rough-legged Hawk, and Short-eared Owl also frequent the area.
With all that in mind, it would be nice to include this natural attraction on your itinerary for an excellent birdwatching experience.
You can hike through the open fields and enjoy the scenery, or perhaps find the best viewing spot to see birds up close.
Witness Eaton Come Alive at the Preble County Fairgrounds
The Preble County Fairgrounds along South Franklin Street is where the annual Preble County Fair happens.
The Preble County Agricultural Society organizes the fair to enhance and promote the local agricultural scene.
It usually takes place from September to November, compared to other county fairs that generally last an entire weekend.
With that in mind, you have more time to catch some of the fair's highlights and join locals during the festivities.
During the three-month fair, you can join various events such as the Preble County Pork Festival, Rabbit Fest, Fall Demo Derby, Halloween Campout, and Thanksgiving Dinner.
In addition, the fair has dozens of vendors, exhibitors, and concessionaires offering the best products you can enjoy.
Overall, visiting the Preble County Fairgrounds offers you a genuine local experience.
See Two Million Christmas Lights Shine at Fort St. Clair's Whispering Christmas
Fort St. Clair's Whispering Christmas is one of Eaton's most sought-after annual events, which started in 1987.
This magical Christmas event happens inside Fort St. Clair Park.
Over two million Christmas lights are lit up to start the Christmas season in Eaton.
Thanks to the local volunteers of the Whispering Christmas Committee, everyone in the city has something exciting to look forward to every Christmas season.
The spectacular Christmas lights show takes place every evening throughout December.
Fort St. Clair's Whispering Christmas is a magical experience you mustn't miss when visiting the city.
Eaton may not be as famous as other destinations in Ohio, but it's packed with hidden gems and fascinating attractions.
It's an ideal weekend destination for everyone, especially from Cincinnati and Dayton.
Besides historical attractions, Eaton has much more to offer.
So, have you decided on the places you want to visit on this list of the best things to do in Eaton, Ohio?
Don't forget to bookmark this list!