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Wayne County Courthouse in Wooster

Main Street Wooster

Small-town charm in Wooster

Stroll the bustling downtown and sample the locals’ favorite pizza.

You don’t rank 37 out of 100 on Time’s “Best Places to Live” list without having something special to offer. Wooster City Planner Andrew Dutton ’04 MCRP says his town’s treasure is at the heart of it all. “Our downtown area is kind of the crown jewel of the city.” Less than two hours from Cleveland and Columbus, the downtown charms visitors with an array of shops and restaurants. But don’t mistake charm for out of date, as Wooster also is home to JAFB Microbrewery and Minglewood Distilling Co., the latter of which offers weekend tours and tastings.

Where to stay

If you’re planning more than a day’s stay in Wooster, consider the St. Paul Hotel right downtown. The boutique hotel was renovated in 2011 to restore exposed brick walls and a tin ceiling in the lobby.

Where to stay

To eat like a native, check out Coccia House, the local pizzeria. But bring cash; they don’t take plastic. Owned and operated by the Coccia and Calabria families since 1958, Coccia House features thick pizza. “If you eat two pizzas, that’s something to be proud of,” Dutton says.

And don’t miss

Leave time to hike the trails of Wooster Memorial Park and shop at the Pine Tree Barn, a gift, furniture and specialty food store. And if you go in mid-September, take in the Wayne County Fair for a sense of the area’s agricultural heritage.