My Town Travels at Treasure Island Marina and Park

Miami County, OH – Great Small Towns on the Great Miami River

Anyone who has been following My Town knows that we love River Towns! Not only are they abundant in small town destinations, but they add greatly to your memories and experiences. Natural settlements throughout history have always migrated toward a water source when available, leaving a beautiful historical canvas behind.

In Miami County, you have the opportunity to explore Ohio’s Great Miami River and the wonderful history and charm of its small towns.  Here are several great Small Town Places To Visit that My Town recommends to enjoy all Miami County has to offer.

Float Troy

Float Troy Shoal Tents on Great Miami River with Downtown Troy in view

If you haven’t yet heard of “Float Troy” and the experience you can have for an overnight stay on the Great Miami River, keep reading. The Float Troy experience starts in small town Troy, at Treasure Island Park. This literally is the only camping experience in the country where you sleep on a river! You stay in special tents called “Shoal Tents” (pictured). Made by a local manufacturer, SmithFly, they are constructed to be a special inflatable raft with a plasticized floor and plenty of room for two!

How to Prepare

To experience the Shoal Tents, you will take a kayak or canoe that is provided out to your tent. You will then attach your boat to the tent. So, to get your gear out there you have to put it in the boat. You will need all your regular camping gear- sleeping bags, pillows, lanterns, etc. But because of the location, I would keep a few other items in mind. No-slip footwear & extra towels to help keep the inside of your tent dry. We really didn’t have any issues with anything getting wet, but you will want peace of mind.

The tents are located in a cove of Treasure Island Park, so you don’t have to worry about the river flowing too much. Also, the parking lot is not far away, so you should only paddle out the gear to the tent that you absolutely need. You will love being able to take advantage of the river right outside your door. See Video Here.

The Great Miami Riverway (99 miles of river, paved trails, and connected communities in Southwest Ohio) is part of the park, and you can take your kayak out and explore. From your tent you can also see beautiful downtown Troy, just beckoning you to explore.  Ready for your adventure? Float Troy has a very limited number of tents, and they book quickly. To reserve for the 2023 season don’t delay, book now!

Small Town Charm in Miami County


Like many small towns across the country, Troy has been steadily undergoing revitalization. Its picturesque roundabout in the center of town will make it easy to see all the great shops and restaurants you can explore.  Troy is known for its beautiful downtown, signature events like the Strawberry Festival, Float Troy, and has also become a biking destination! Click here to see aerial footage of Downtown Troy & Treasure Island Park! (Keep Reading for More Locations in Troy).

Roundabout at Sunset – Downtown Troy, OH


Suspension Bridge and Hiking trails at Maple Ridge Reserve

You will get your history fix in Miami County when visiting Piqua. You will love exploring the historic downtown landmarked by the beautifully restored Fort Piqua Plaza Hotel, located right in the heart of town. Along with its many other historical buildings, each one houses great places to shop & dine to enhance your day tripping in downtown Piqua!

Plus, you can’t miss your Miami County History by exploring Johnstown Farm. Pair your adventure with the best Italian lunch in town at 3 Joes (Read More Below). Afterwards, head over to nearby Covington, to go hiking on the suspension bridge at Maple Ridge Reserve (see video here).

Downtown Tipp City

Tipp City

Originally built to accommodate traffic from the Miami-Erie Canal, Tipp City (short for Tippecanoe) now offers guests an upscale small town experience. The boutique shops along Tipp City’s Main Street range from unique book stores to gourmet tea shops. Plus, Tipp City is known for its unique dining ranging from small town favorites like Sam and Ethels to celebrated French cuisine at Coldwater Café (Keep Reading for More on Our Experience in Tipp City).

Where to EatThe Delicious & Delectable of Miami County

Bakehouse Bread & Cookie Company

If you love a REAL bakeshop with homemade treats made daily, freshly baked bread, and that iconic small-town feel; you’re going to LOVE Bakehouse in charming small town Troy! Officially Bakehouse Bread & Cookie Company, you will find everything your fresh-baked heart desires when visiting. The goods here are just delicious, and you’ll also love the beautifully displayed & hand-crafted cookies, pastries, & pies. Plus, a café menu featuring breakfast and lunch items made on their homemade slices of bread.

The idyllic location right in downtown Troy has an open stone entryway into their kitchens. Here you can see these bakers hard at work. My Town Recommends stopping in for breakfast. But also, make this a final stop during your trip, so you can bring home a Taste of Troy!

Agave & Rye

Agave & Rye’s Epic Rita, Sticky Cauliflower Bites, The Whipper Snapper, Cousin of Vinnie, & Easy Ranchero Epic Tacos

This restaurant is a “Must Do” when visiting Small Town Troy, OH. Their specialty drinks made with the best top shelf liquors are amazing! My Town loved the Agave Epic Margarita. But additionally, their Epic Tacos will blow you away with quality ingredients and crazy flavor combinations. Seriously, this place brings tacos to whole other level! Agave and Rye is located right downtown so you’ll love the atmosphere inside and out of this eclectic and trendy restaurant.

3 Joe’s Pizzeria & Trattoria

Three Joe’s – The Classico (sweet California tomato sauce, provolone, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, pepperoni, sausage)

This is one of those great small town places you’re excited to find for dining. A three-generation owned and operated Italian Restaurant. That fact right there lets you know it’s good. Three Joe’s has been serving wonderful Pizza and Homemade Italian dishes to Piqua for over 50 years.

My Town also loved the adorable take-out area off the entryway, with great wines to pair with your perfect meal to go. Three Joe’s also has a great outdoor seating area that is partially enclosed, so you can take advantage of an outdoor dining experience more often.

K’s Hamburger Shop

Looking for the classic small town diner? Miami county has an amazing stop in small town Troy! K’s Hamburger Shop has been serving great burgers, milkshakes, and breakfast all day since the 1930s! Great homemade soups and a trust you can put into a family-owned establishment, this stop is a no- brainer for My Town’s Small Town Enthusiasts!

Chaffee’s Brewhouse

My Town Founder Kristy Burns, enjoying drinks at the end of the day at Chaffee’s Brewhouse

Where is the perfect place to relax in Downtown Tipp City’s Historical District? Chaffee’s Brewhouse has the perfect mix of history, brews and specialty cocktails housed inside the historical Chaffee’s Opera House Building (1867).

Run by husband and wife team Shawn and Lisa, you will love all the charm they have brought Chaffee’s from their family farm and support of local distilleries. Chaffee’s is also located on the aforementioned Bike Trail, and is part of Tipp City’s DORA District. So stop in and grab a hand-crafted spirit (their house-made Cosmo is even on tap!), or try a local, Ohio-Made brew as part of your Tipp City exploring.

Historical Finds

Johnston Farm & Indian Agency

There is so much to learn and do at Johnston Farm, My Town recommends you make this one of your first stops in Miami County. Here you can learn the history of the Indian cultures of Miami County (like the Miami, Shawnee, & Wyandot) and how the area was settled by today’s Ohioans. This historical journey is unique because it tells the story through the eyes of John Johnston, an Indian Agent and Statesman of Ohio. His accounts during the 1812 Indian Wars and beyond, give us an accurate picture of the negotiations and the true happening within tribes of Ohio during this time.

Johnston Farm and Indian Agency

The current location of the Johnston Farm & Indian Agency is where John Johnston farmed and raised his family. Johnston also served as a canal commissioner and oversaw the canal being built on his property. Today, you can explore the Johnston farm, home, stables, historical artifacts found on the property, and even ride an authentic canal boat in the original canal!

WACO Air Museum

Whether you love aviation history, want to take your kids to see planes, or have never explored aviation history before, you will love the WACO Air Museum. There is so much history in Troy related to aircraft, that a Historical Society was formed in 1978 that now runs the Museum and Learning Center.  

WACO Air Museum’s most famous Plane- Sunny

Why is WACO important? WACO was the largest manufacturer of civil aircraft in the country in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. This manufacturer contributed to the war effort of the time and was a large employer in the area.

One fun aspect My Town learned was that WACO’s influence and runway space indirectly created specialized civilians that ran the Civil Air Patrol. This organization was formed to help spot planes, help monitor, and report on specific airspace during wartime. The organization still exists today.

 The  WACO Aircraft Museum is a 7,500 sq. ft. hangar housing planes, memorabilia, and footage to tell the WACO story of the past, and how this space is being utilized for the future.

The WACO Learning Center

A unique and important aspect of The WACO Learning Center is that using the principles of flight, they have created programs focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math to work with schools, preschools, church groups, Scout Troops, and homeschool families. The WACO Learning Center has become an important fixture in the community and continues to grow and develop under their director’s guidance.  

MTT Antique & Market Finds

Great Antique Shops, Boutiques, and Farmers Markets are familiar sights in small towns. This can include Thrift Shops, Local Eats, and The Like! In Miami County, there are great unique finds everywhere you look. Here a a few of My Town’s Favorite Finds.

Downtown Tipp City

Pachamama Market – Troy

Midwest Memories Antiques – Tipp City

Browse Awhile Books – Tipp City

The Golden Leaf – Tipp City

Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop – Troy

The Hotel Gallery – Tipp City

Studio 14 – Troy

Haren’s Market – Troy

A Note From My Town & Miami County Photo Gallery

We hope you enjoyed this article on Small Town Places to Visit! My Town visits are based on exploring and discovery as a first-time visitor and promoting the unique assets small towns have to offer.

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