Wishmaker House & Other Stays on an Ohio Wine and Ale Trail

A trip along the Wine and Ale Trail in Ohio’s Mansfield/Richland County led me to the Wishmaker House Bed & Breakfast in Bellville. Bellville is one of Ohio’s small-town surprises. The 1879 bandstand remains a gathering place in the summer and boutique style businesses are a tourist draw. Think town square with a gazebo, leafy trees, red brick, and houses with sit and visit porches. This is it. Because the Wishmaker House has a winery in the basement and a robust wine bar, it was a no-brainer overnight on my Richland County multi-stop wine and beer jaunt. 

Wishmaker House, Wine and Ale Trail

Overnight Stop on the Wine and Ale Trail

The Wishmaker House was a doctor’s residence in the 1890s. Years later, it was a high-end furniture store. These days, the B&B, restaurant and winery combination is a centerpiece to Bellville’s downtown. It drew us there. We arrived after hours on a day the winery and restaurant were closed. Even so, Kathryn, the general manager gave me directions on how to access our room. She also said she could add a bottle of wine to our room rate. 

Wishmaker Inn Malbec

Her directions to access the building were spot on, and the bottle and two glasses were waiting for us when we opened our room door. 

Our room, Northern Lights, is one of the B&Bs eight beautifully appointed guest rooms. The hardwood floors and Amish-made furniture including the queen bed created a rich, warm, welcoming tone. Details like the handmade ceramic dish on the table, the dark red bedspread, paisley accent pillows, the framed photographs, and the deer antler lamps created an aesthetically pleasing ambiance.

Wishmaker Inn, Northern Lights room

I wish I could have brought the bathroom home. I loved the copper sink, the decor and chocolate brown walls. The toothbrush holder invites one to stay awhile. The bathroom reminded me of the Southwest, as if I was transported away from Amish country to Sante Fe. 

Wishmaker House Bathroom

Great Food, Great Atmosphere

The rest of the Wishmaker House, from the dining room to the parlor and wine bar was comfortably and artistically decorated. Because I had a schedule to keep, my husband and I left not long after a sumptuous breakfast of homemade waffles, sausage and fresh fruit. With stories of the best cheesecakes ever from a fellow guest, we plan to return. The cheesecakes are a Wishmaker specialty. 

Wishmaker House waffles

Like other businesses that weathered Covid with creativity and grit, the Wishmaker added outdoor igloos to the dining repertoire. They were such popular features, they have stayed. Each are uniquely decorated that change with the seasons. 

Other places to stay along the Wine and Ale Trail

Richland County is dotted with small towns with rural expanses of farmland and forests in between destinations that include the Ohio Reformatory, the setting for The Shawshank Redemption and a stellar haunted experience during Halloween. The Wine and Ale Trail took me to several locations from Shelby to Lexington to downtown Mansfield.

Luftberg Farm outside

Luftberg Farm along Richland County’s Wine & Ale Trail

The small city of Mansfield is the hub of Richland County’s bounty of things to do. There you’ll find mostly hotel chains that fit budget-friendly, family-friendly and often pet-friendly travel.

Quality Inn, La Quinta, Hampton Inn, TownePlace Suites by Marriot and Traveloge are among the options. Many are close to the I-71 exits. For a kid-friendly stay with a small waterpark, head to Comfort Inn Splash Harbor in Bellville. 

Years ago, I stayed in downtown Mansfield at what was once the Holiday Inn. These days its Park Hospitality but is on its way to becoming a DoubleTree by Hilton. Another review is in the cards.

Somewhere in Time

Somewhere in Time dining room

For other B&B stays, check out Luftberg Farm Bed & Breakfast and Somewhere in Time. At Luftberg Farm, between Butler and Loudenville, each of the four guest rooms is named for the wood featured in the room’s furniture. The property includes hiking paths, outdoor games, and places for a picnic.

Somewhere in Time in Lexington is in the Martin Touby mansion. This red brick Victorian beauty has four guest rooms reminiscent of 1904 when the house was built. Here’s where you can come with your horse. Overnight horse boarding is available. Horse trails abound in this part of Ohio. This is also in Amish country, so look out for Amish buggies along the way.

If you go, Destination Mansfield is a terrific resource to lead you to unique stops for a glass of wine or craft beer. 

I booked my Wishmaker House Bed & Breakfast stay through the website. Rates start at $170. Check out Expedia or Booking.com for deals.

Post and photos of Wishmaker House by Jamie Rhein. The other photos courtesy of Destination Mansfield.

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