Midwest Living Review
It's not surprising that rosemary is the official herb of Gahanna, Ohio. In the world of herbs, rosemary symbolizes love and remembrance, and no town loves green spaces and keeps them in mind more than Gahanna. With its 30-plus parks and preserves, the city of 33,000 could well be one of Ohio's greenest places per capita. Among its many natural wonders are the profusion of wildflowers and birds at Gahanna Woods State Nature Preserve and the Geroux Herb Garden, which has medicinal, culinary and other themed areas and is named for the woman who persuaded the state legislature to declare Gahanna the "Herb Capital of Ohio" in the 1970s. Long before Gahanna became a bustling suburb (located near the Columbus airport), it was a mill town on the banks of Big Walnut Creek. Today, that stream is the focal point of Creekside Park, a mini version of San Antonio's famed River Walk. Luring visitors with a waterfall, paddleboat rides and meandering walkways, it's the focal point of Olde Gahanna, where vintage buildings house the Ohio Herb Education Center and a variety of interesting shops. The pretty park also spawned the city's signature event, the three-day Creekside Blues and Jazz Festival, as well as Creekside Gahanna, an upscale retail and residential development that opened in 2007. Although the nation's economy woes have hindered the Creekside project, its stunning public plazas, fountains and sculptures provided Gahanna with a handsome urban park, new boutiques and restaurants, and the bonus of a free parking garage for visitors that is convenient to the entire downtown.