Record visitation, Best of Warren County Award winners announced at CVB Annual Meeting

Warren County, Ohio (March 1, 2024) – Long known as Ohio’s Largest Playground for its wide array of visitor-friendly events and attractions, Warren County welcomed a record number of tourism-related visitors in 2023, the Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau (WCCVB) announced at its Annual Meeting Friday morning.

An estimated 13.4 million people visited the county’s numerous tourism draws last year, representing a 2.3 percent jump from 2022’s then-record visitation levels and a 20 percent increase from 2020 - a year in which the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted the travel and tourism industry.

Tourism has long been one of Warren County’s top industries and one of the region’s most critical drivers of economic success.
A 2022 study conducted by the State of Ohio, showed tourism accounts for approximately $1.45 billion in annual economic impact for the county, and supports more than 12,000 jobs – making Warren County the second-most tourism-dependent county in Southwest Ohio.

“Tourism is thriving and bigger than ever in here in Ohio’s Largest Playground, and that’s due in large part to three major factors,” said Phillip S. Smith, President & CEO of the WCCVB. “We’re affordable, we’re easy to get to and we have a truly incredible array of entertainment, dining, shopping and lodging offerings. Whether you’re a roller coaster lover, an outdoor adventurer, an antique collector, a foodie or a traveling athlete, you’re going to have an awesome time here in Warren County, and you won’t have to break the bank to do it.”

Among the county’s most visited attractions in 2023 were Kings Island, Caesar Creek State Park, Miami Valley Gaming, Great Wolf Lodge, the Ohio Renaissance Festival, the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival, the Western & Southern Open (now the Cincinnati Open), and the Warren County Sports Park at Union Village (WCSP) – a 128-acre destination outdoor sporting facility owned and operated by the WCCVB.

The WCSP welcomed more than 1 million people in 2023 (only its third full year of operation), hosted 48 events, filled 93,000 hotel room nights, and generated an economic impact of nearly $100 million for the local community. The WCSP is the only destination sports park in southern Ohio, and the only one in the state operated and owned by a convention and visitors bureau. The site recently underwent an expansion project which included the addition of four new playing fields, increased parking and more visitor-focused amenities.
The WCCVB projects 2024 to be another impactful year for Warren County tourism as the industry will be fueled by a string of exciting new developments including the debut of the new Camp Snoopy kids’ area at Kings Island, the Cincinnati’s Open’s 125th Anniversary, Fort Ancient’s first full year as a UNESCO World Heritage site and more.
Also announced at the WCCVB’s Annual Meeting Friday were the winners of its 2023 Best of Warren County Awards. This year’s award process, which kicked off with an initial nomination phase in late January, featured 28 unique categories and garnered record online participation. The award winners were:

2023 Best of Warren County Award Winners

Best Caffeine Kick: Coffee Hub (Waynesville)
Best Brewery: Lebanon Brewing Company (Lebanon)
Best Bar or Pub: The Monkey Bar & Grille (Maineville)
Best Pizza Place: Pisanello's Pizza (Franklin)
Best Burger: Broadway Barrel House (Lebanon)
Best International Eats: Mae Ploy’s Thai Restaurant (Lebanon)
Best Fine Dining: The Golden Lamb (Lebanon)
Best Breakfast: The Breakfast Club (Lebanon)
Best Lunch: Village Parlor (Lebanon)
Best Sweet Treat Stop: Whit's Frozen Custard (Lebanon)
Best Signature Dish: Fried Chicken at The Golden Lamb (Lebanon)
Best Carryout: B&B Carryout (Waynesville)
Best Area to Shop: Downtown Lebanon (Lebanon)
Best Antique Shop: Lebanon Peddlers Mall (Lebanon)
Best Local Boutique: Buckeye Charm (Waynesville)
Best Local Boutique (Non-Clothing): The Jam & Jelly Lady (Lebanon)
Best New Addition: Vinnie & Velvet (Mason)
Best Date Night: Valley Vineyards (Morrow)
Best Festival: Ohio Sauerkraut Festival (Waynesville)
Best Sporting Event: The Cincinnati Open (Mason)
Best Music or Theater Event: La Comedia Dinner Theatre (Springboro)
Best Holiday Happening: Lebanon Horse Drawn Carriage Parade & Festival (Lebanon)
Best Outdoor Adventure: Morgan's Canoe & Outdoor Adventure
Best Park: Caesar Creek State Park (Waynesville)
Best Fun on the Farm: Hidden Valley Orchards (Lebanon)
Best Historic Attraction: Fort Ancient Earthworks & Nature Preserve (Oregonia)
Best Museum: Fort Ancient Earthworks & Nature Preserve (Oregonia)
Best Family Fun: Kings Island (Mason)

About the Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Warren County is Ohio’s Largest Playground®! With easy access from Interstates 71 and 75, visitors to Warren County can enjoy more activities within a 30-mile radius than anywhere else in Ohio. The Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau is a professional destination marketing and management organization whose mission is to strengthen the community by advancing economic growth and vitality through tourism and overnight stays by encouraging significant participation by visitors in the local tourism economy. Tourism is the leading industry in Warren County. More than 13.4 million yearly visitors drive an economic impact of $1.45 billion and more than 12,000 tourism-related jobs. For additional information, visit, call 513-204-1900 or visit the WCCVB on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Warren County is Ohio’s Largest Playground!®