If you like small town Main Streets with antique stores, cute cafés and even a Mexican grocery store, you just might want to visit New Carlisle. The town is about 20 minutes away from Witt on U.S. 40-West.
Although you probably couldn’t spend a whole day there, if you want a few hours off campus, New Carlisle is definitely good for that. I loved walking down Main Street, a very cute stretch of antique stores and cute shops. The area is surrounded by sprawling farmland, so seeing a cute downtown was nice.
I was initially surprised to find a fairly large Mexican grocery store, La Condesa, but when I remembered that New Carlisle has a fairly large Hispanic population, it didn’t seem so out of place. The owners were very nice and greeted me as I walked in. Although most of the things were specialty items, they also had some college-kid basics like Ramen noodles and pasta. I especially liked seeing some of the sweets they had, like assorted cookies and Duvalín (think of a Nutella-consistency spread, but with different flavors). Not necessarily a store I would do my day-to-day shopping at, but if I were looking for something particular, I would definitely make the drive out.
The antique stores sold a lot of furniture, which was nice, but not really helpful for a college student living in a small room with provided furniture. If you’re living in a campus house and need a couch or vanity, however, I would definitely suggest checking it out.
New Carlisle markets itself as “a great place to shop, visit, or live!” in their town brochure. While I couldn’t see myself living here, it does make a cute off-campus visit.
If you’re in a driving mood or have time to kill, stopping in Enon on the way back to Springfield could help you put off that essay for a little bit longer. Enon is about 15 minutes away from New Carlisle and is home to Ohio’s second largest conical burial mound. The Enon Mound is said to have been built by the Adena people, a Native American group that lived from around 1200 B.C. to 1000 A.D.
You can drive around the mound and read a small plaque about its history; while it may not be a huge site, it is a piece of local history and is interesting to see. From there, it is just a quick drive up State Route 4 to get back to campus.