Oberlin is a city in Ohio's Lorain County. The population was 8,200 in 2019. It known as the home of Oberlin College and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music as well as many innovations in the fields of natural science, filmmaking and music composition.

Peters Hall, an icon on the Oberlin skyline.

Get inEdit

Map of Oberlin

Oberlin is on Route 58 (North/South) between Amherst and Wellington as well as on Route 511 (East/West). Within the city limits, R58 is known as Main Street and R511 is known as Lorain St. Route 20 (where it is also known as Kipton East Road) runs south of town and connects to R58.

Oberlin is approximately 35 miles west-southwest of Cleveland, Ohio.

While public transportation between Cleveland Hopkins International Airport has been discontinued, a private service, the Airport Oberlin Shuttle, has attempted to pick up the slack, albeit with fewer scheduled departures and a higher ticket price. To make reservations or for questions, call Airport Oberlin Shuttle Service, INC at +1 440 775-7779 or +1 216 941-RIDE (7433) or visit http://www.airportoberlinshuttle.com. Reservations can be made by phone, online, or by visiting their office. Airport Oberlin Shuttle Service's office is located on the first floor of the Oberlin Inn in Suite 117.

Car rental service from all the national providers, as well as taxi service to Oberlin, are also available at CLE.

Get aroundEdit

Due to its small size (approximately 3 square mi), it is easiest to walk or bike around Oberlin. Navigation is fairly simple as the streets run mostly in a standard grid system. There are two major east/west streets (Lorain/511 and College St) which are divided by Main/58 into East/West Lorain and East/West College. North/south streets are divided by College St (ex: Pleasant St. is divided into North/South Pleasant by College St. There are many scenic biking trails on Oberlin's periphery that converge on Tappan Square in downtown Oberlin.

Downtown Oberlin is at the corner of Main and College. The central square, Tappan Square, is across College St. from downtown and is a square block with corners at Main/College Sts., Main/Lorain Sts., N Professor/Lorain Sts., and Professor/College Sts. The Oberlin College campus is just west of Tappan Square (the Student Union building, Wilder Hall, is at 127 W. Lorain St).


Downtown Oberlin
  • 1 Oberlin College. Aside from being an excellent liberal arts school, Oberlin offers a unique cultural experience in the middle of rural Ohio. The school is known for its liberal and progressive leanings, and the campus sees its share of drifters moving through, particularly within the Bohemian co-ops on campus. The school is very beautiful in the Spring and Summer. Oberlin College has always taken great pride in its architectural heritage, and visiting the campus is like seeing a slice of New York architecture in Ohio. Beaux-Arts architect Cass Gilbert designed many buildings on campus. World Trade Center architect Minoru Yamasaki designed the Conservatory. The campus features many Gothic and Victorian specimens as well, all well-preserved. Architecture buffs will be pleasantly surprised with Oberlin.
    The Conservatory attracts lots of great musicians to the school, which also has a very active cultural life. On any given night, there are usually several attractions or events taking place anywhere in the vicinity.
Allen Memorial Art Museum
  • 2 Allen Memorial Art Museum, 87 North Main St, +1 440-775-8665. The AMAM is a world-renowned art museum. As far as college art museums go, it is in the same league as Harvard's or Yale's, and offers an impressive selection unparalleled for Northeast Ohio. The building was designed by Cass Gilbert and the addition by postmodern architect Robert Venturi. Contains more than 12,000 works of art from virtually every culture.    
  • 3 Frank Lloyd Wright House, Morgan St, +1 440-775-5999. The first Usonian house in Ohio and one of the few in the nation open to the public.    
  • 4 The Oberlin Heritage Center, 73 1/2 South Professor St, +1 440-774-1700.    


The Apollo Theater
A concert hall in Oberlin
  • Firelands Association for the Visual Arts (FAVA), 39 South Main Street #38, +1 440 774-7158. An independent, non-profit art organization dedicated to enhancing public appreciation of and participation in the visual arts through exhibitions and related educational and community activities. FAVA presents changing exhibits of high quality artwork in a variety of styles and media.
  • 1 The Apollo Theater, 19 E College St, +1 440 774-7091. This historic art deco theater was one of the first to introduce the world to talking pictures back in 1928. But even today, the Apollo attracts more than the college crowd for their low prices, beautiful interior and frequent screenings of cult films.    
  • Oberlin Summer Theater Festival.
  • Artist Recital Series. In addition to over 500 free concerts every year from its world-renowned conservatory, visiting guests have included Stevie Wonder, Yo-Yo Ma, Punch Brothers, Mos Def, Herbie Hancock, and Esperanza Spalding.
  • Ginko Gallery & Studio, 19 South Main St, +1 440 774-3117. A working fiberart studio and contemporary craft gallery.



A cafe in Oberlin


Chain fast-food restaurants are also available.


  • Black River Cafe, 15 S Main St, +1 440-775-FOOD (3663). Americana with an emphasis on organic foods. It also serves dinner.
  • Tooo Chinoise. Asian.
  • Mandarin, 82 S Main St. Chinese and Japanese.
  • Aladdin's, 5 W College St.
  • Lorenzo's Pizza, 52 S Main St. Excellent.
  • Quick and Delicious, 311 S Main St. The food truly is quick and delicious, the prices are low to moderate, the helpings are very generous, and the owner and staff are friendly and efficient.


  • Weia Teia, 9 South Main St. Offers Asian and American ingredients fused with Asian, French, and Italian techniques.
  • Presti's of Oberlin, 580 W Lorain St (just outside of town on the west end). Italian restaurant.
  • Garden Restaurant at Oberlin Inn, 7 North Main St, +1 440 775-1111. Traditional American cuisine that had received recognition for dining excellence.


There are two bars for non-college students in Oberlin.

  • Feve, 30 S Main St. Bar and restaurant. A popular local hang out. Occasionally features live music. Plus, where else can you get a side of tater tots with your meal? Lovely bar to sit at and relax.
  • Brewster's (Oberlin Inn bar) (corner of Main and College).
  • Agave Burrito Bar and Tequileria, 19 W College St. Bar and Restaurant. Occasionally features live music.


There are several locally owned and operated B&Bs.


Go nextEdit

Routes through Oberlin
ToledoNorwalk  W   E  ElyriaCleveland
LorainAmherst  N   S  WellingtonAshland

This city travel guide to Oberlin is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.