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Life Beyond Campus

Small-town charm meets big city amenities in Mount Vernon, just 45 minutes away from Columbus, Ohio.

Life at MVNU Extends Far Beyond Campus

Just down the road from MVNU’s main campus is historic downtown Mount Vernon. Here you will find a number of local restaurants and ice cream shops, along with quaint artisan shops and boutiques. The central commerce district extends out Coshocton Avenue with more restaurants and big box stores. Shop locally and be part of this thriving community.

We have also compiled a short list of some of our students' favorite places in and around Mount Vernon, as well as Columbus, Ohio. It's easy to see that when you need a break from campus, there are lots of great options.

Happy Bean

Whether you’re in the mood for a cold brew or a hot pour over, Happy Bean brews hope in Knox County, empowering all community members to see the potential of their life and families. Visit locations on campus or in Hunter Hall in downtown Mount Vernon.

R&M’s Southside Diner

A retro, breakfast-all-day diner with a pie list a mile long and dozens of throwback candies for sale.

Whit’s Frozen Custard

An ice-cream lover’s paradise, Whit’s frozen custard is made fresh daily.

Dave’s Cosmic Subs

Offbeat counter-serve chain offering creative sandwiches & a classic-rock atmosphere.

The Alcove Restaurant & Lounge

The diverse menu of fine American cuisine, delicious salads, and hearty sandwiches offer something for everyone.

Mazza's Italian Restaurant

Established in 1939, the ever-popular restaurant is back with a homemade spin on traditional Italian classics, original family recipes, and Mazza's salad!

Round Hill Dairy

Homemade country ice cream that’s as delicious as it is affordable.

Ariel-Foundation Park

Located in Mount Vernon, Ohio, the park is a stunning 250-acre example of adaptive reuse, created on the former site of a glass-making factory. It offers architectural ruins, lakes, observation tower, walking trails, steel sculptures, a museum, and connections to both the Kokosing Gap Trail and the Heart of Ohio Trail.

Honey Run Falls

A 2+ acre property that includes a stunning, 25-foot high waterfall. This park, named for the stream, Honey Run, that cascades over the waterfall, is open to the public 365 days a year.

Learn more about Mount Vernon & Knox County

Discover all that Mount Vernon & Knox County has to offer from outdoor recreation to entertainment and great dining options.

Visit Columbus

MVNU is just 45 minutes from Forbes’ #1 City of Opportunity: Columbus, Ohio. Students love heading down to the city on the weekends for concerts, events, shopping, and more.

Easton Towne Center

With more than 25 million visitors per year, Easton is the Midwest’s premier shopping, dining, and entertainment destination featuring nearly 300 best-in-class retailers alongside Columbus’ most exciting dining options, Ohio’s largest movie theatre, a world-class comedy club, and pedestrian-friendly open-air town squares, fountains, and parks.

Mission Coffee

Mission is one of the highest-rated coffee shops in Ohio — and one of its co-owners is an MVNU alumnus!

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Columbus Zoo is known for amazing exhibits and its annual winter Wildlights at the Zoo event, where you can experience displays of millions of LED lights among hundreds of wild animals.

Polaris Fashion Place

Polaris Fashion Place is a premier shopping destination in Columbus, Ohio, that offers over 150 retailers and dozens of restaurants.


Columbus, Ohio's dynamic Center of Science and Industry inspires the scientists, dreamers, and innovators of tomorrow.

Franklin Park Conservatory

This beautiful conservatory offers enriching and memorable experiences inspired by art, culture, and the botanical world.

Visit Columbus

The urban excitement of Columbus is just a short drive from campus. Learn all about some of our favorite destinations and so much more!

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