Oh, Butler County. We love you for many reasons, not the least of which is your Donut Trail. We’ve had the pleasure of visiting Butler County twice before (see here and here), and we’re always looking for an opportunity to head back. Our past two visits have been during colder months, so we were especially excited to see the area in the August heat.
And Butler County welcomed me with the best credentials I could ever ask for…
But our visit was about more than just donuts this time around. We were also out to explore movie theatres, games, beer, and other delicious meals. We arrived Friday early evening and checked into the Staybridge Suites in West Chester, conveniently located close to the highway and the surrounding areas.
After check-in, we headed into Hamilton, Ohio, the county seat, to grab dinner at Taqueria Guanajuato, a delightful little find in a strip mall to the west of town.
The service there was friendly and lightning fast. The food came out blazing hot, and we all tucked into the classics: queso, fajitas, quesadillas, and good old fashioned chimichangas.
It was a big hit with our hungry crew.
After dinner, we drove up the hill to the Holiday Auto Theatre, a Hamilton staple showing movies since 1948. It makes me so happy to see places like this still thriving.
They give you clear instructions on where to park and how; in the center of the drive-in sits a small building with restrooms and a snack bar with a full menu: popcorn, pop, nachos, pizza, pretzels, candy, you name it.
The boys had never experienced a drive-in movie before, so they were in awe of the simplicity of parking your car, throwing open the back, tuning the radio to the right channel, and enjoying a flick.
The theatre shows a double feature. Fortunately for us, the first movie of the night was Christopher Robin, an easy-to-like story that catches up with the character from A.A. Milne as he’s all grown up.
Don’t forget, parents, that the shows don’t start until it’s dark, so even one movie can mean a late night.
…the next morning, it was time for donuts. The boys and I snuck out of the hotel early to visit a new addition to the Donut Trail: The Donut House in West Chester.
The Donut House features a good selection of the classics: sour cream donuts, glazed twists, simple yeast raised beauties.
Their signature is the filled donut. They create a yeast shell than you can have filled with chocolate or vanilla custard or all manner of jellies.
After donuts and a more substantial breakfast at the Staybridge Suites, we headed back into Hamilton, stopping of course to see the statue of A. Ham himself.
We strolled a bit about the county courthouse; there was a small market operating around the block, and we check out some of the vendors.
We also enjoyed the chalk murals outside Renaissance Fine Art Supplies.
A little brotherly love…
After poking around in more galleries, we stopped into Alexander’s Market & Deli.
The large corner deli features plenty of room to sit and enjoy your sandwiches, or you can take them to go. There’s even wifi if you need to stay a while.
Many of the sandwiches sport funny names, from the Kale Yeah to The Hamiltonian to Fogouda Boutit. We picked up sandwiches, drinks, and chips to go.
And we had to make one more stop for donuts. Our favorite entry on the Butler County Donut Trail is Ross Bakery in Hamilton. The unassuming little storefront is home to some of the best glazed yeast donuts we’ve experienced. They were easily our top bite when we first did the trail in early 2017, and that’s really saying something. It speaks volumes when a bakery excels at doing a simple glazed donut so well: soft, fluffy but holds its structure, evenly glazed but not too sweet.
With deli sandwiches and donuts in hand, we ventured off to our next stop of the day, another Hamilton favorite: Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum! Check out the stunning conclusion of our Butler County trip in part two.
P.S. Read more about our past Butler County adventures on the Butler County travel guide!