We certainly believe that nature makes us happier, healthier, and more creative! At Ohio Explored, we like to spend as much time in nature as possible. It heals our minds and bodies. That is why we are so excited about this upcoming event at Cincinnati Nature Center!Read More
This is a guest blog post written by Alyssa Rodgers, The Mexitalian
Growing up, my mom’s side of the family always celebrated our Italian culture. Lucky for me, a lot of that celebration involved really delicious food. When I moved to Cleveland last year I was so pleased to find so much great Italian food and culture. From Little Italy to modern Italian restaurants there are a ton of Italian food gems in Cleveland and the surrounding area. While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, here are several of the wonderful local Italian spots.
First up, I absolutely must mention Cleveland’s own Little Italy on the east side of town. A popular spot for tourists and locals alike there are a range of shops, restaurants, and cafes in the neighborhood. It’s especially lovely on summer evenings when patios are full and the music is flowing. Mia Bella on the corner of Mayfield and Murray Hill is a well known spot for their creamy tortellini. If you are looking for a quick ingredient or sandwich, Murray Hill Market is just what you need. They offer a small selection of groceries, beer and wine. Their fresh-made Italian sandwiches really hit the spot, with options like porchetta, eggplant parmesan, and roast beef with Italian peppers and provolone.
When it comes to bakeries in Little Italy, there are strong feelings from those who are team Presti’s Bakery and those who are team Corbo’s Bakery, two bakeries just down the street from one another. I happen to be team let’s have both! I love that you can have a sandwich or hot dish from the prepared food’s case at Presti’s along with a lovely pastry or a fresh-filled cannoli and a seriously good pepperoni roll from Corbo’s.
Word on the street is that some of the restaurants in Little Italy source their pasta from Ohio City Pasta. Ohio City Pasta makes a huge variety of fresh pasta noodles and ravioli with flavors like lemon pepper pappardelle, and garlic chive linguini. You can find their pasta all around town in local shops, many grocery stores, farmer’s markets throughout northeast Ohio, and always at the West Side Market. Their delicious pasta will make for the perfect Italian feast at home.
Little Italy isn’t the only place around town for an Italian meal.
In the flats is relative new comer, Lago East Bank at the base of the Aloft Hotel. The space is small but the food is solid. Their meatballs are tender and super flavorful, a perfect appetizer or side. They also offer an extensive happy hour to fill you up without breaking the bank.
Dante Boccuzzi is one of Cleveland’s most well-know chefs as he has been named one of the top chefs in the US. You can try his Italian food (he has several other restaurants as well) at Dante Next-Door in Tremont, The D.C. Pasta Co. in Strongsville, or grab a pizza and play some bocce at Dante’s Inferno in The Flats.
Another house hold name is Cleveland is Zack Bruell and his downtown spot Chinato is another option for Italian in the city. This upscale 4th street spot provides a modern, upscale take on Italian food with hearty dishes like beef osso bucco with risotto, and paccheri, a large tube-shaped pasta, with squid and broccoli rabe.
A bit more off the beaten path is Luca Italian Cuisine. The restaurant is known for being cozy and full of character, and the food hearty and delicious. Try the calamari, white truffle and ricotta stuffed pasta, or the pollo alla piccata, chicken with a white wine, lemon, and caper sauce.
The rest of northeast Ohio is not without good Italian food. Flour, an Italian kitchen in Moreland Hills, offers a really special Italian Sunday brunch. For the full communal Italian experience, go with the whole family for a special brunch out. The pepperoni biscuits and gravy is something special, or you can opt for a big bowl of Bolognese, or a wood-fired breakfast pizza, because Italian food is good at any time of the day.
Finally, I couldn’t miss the perfect place to buy all of your Italian food needs. From imported ingredients, such as the the simplest and tasty semolina crackers, to a range of cured meats, Gallucci’s has everything you need. You can stop in and grab ingredients like fresh pasta sheets and ricotta to make your own lasagna, or frozen meals made in-house that you can enjoy with much less work. Try stopping in at lunch during the week and you will find a line almost out the door for one of their sandwiches or hot lunch counter specials. The Gus Galluci Company has been sharing fine Italian goods with Clevelanders for over 100 years and is truly something special.
We have been following Sunny Meade Alpaca Farm on Facebook ever since we saw our first video of Baby Tut flopping around in their field. Sunny Meade is an alpaca farm located in Swanton, Ohio. They post daily wonderful videos of their happy Alpacas on their Facebook page. During our last trip to Northwestern Ohio, we took some extra time to meet these beautiful creatures and their keepers.
We learned the Sunny Meade Alpaca Farm has been in business for 19 years! Owner, Julie, was a graphic designer that fell in love with a baby Alpaca while working on an Alpaca logo. She says the rest was history. Along with her husband, Julie cares of these beautiful animals.
Along with raising and caring for the alpacas, Julie also has her own art studio where she creates beautiful pieces from alpaca fibers. She offers classes to local crafters!
Products from Sunny Meade Alpaca Farm feature a photo of the Alpaca that contributed fiber to your item! You can even meet your special Alpaca at the farm.
We always love exploring Toledo. From Oak Openings Preserve to Maumee Bay State Park, Toledo has everything that an adventurous soul desires. However, we always find it difficult to find somewhere to stay during our Toledo trips. When we heard about the new Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Toledo, we knew we had to check it out.
The Toledo Renaissance Hotel features a roof top bar, a top rated restaurant, and beautiful city views. We enjoyed relaxing in the hotel after a day full of adventures.
We stayed on the highest residential floor during our visit to the Toledo Renaissance Hotel. Our room allowed us to see stunning views of Toledo, as far as the eye could see.
When we woke up, our views had turned foggy but just as beautiful. We loved seeing Toledo from a new view point.
We have been big fans of subscription meal services since they came into existence. Often, we are too busy exploring Ohio, that we don't have time to go grocery shopping or cook healthy food. We have tried Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Purple Carrot, and Plated. All of which failed to meet our expectations. The food was either damaged or delivered late consistently. Once the food was delivered, we still had to spend at least 1 hour cooking. Plus, it was impossible to eat locally while subscribing to out of state food services like those mentioned above. So when we found Sprinly, we were thrilled!
Sprinly is an organic meal plan service based in Cleveland, Ohio. They create healthy meals and deliver them to their clients on a weekly basis.
Our first Sprinly order arrived in a beautiful box and we couldn't wait to open it. They keep the food fresh and cool by using environmentally friendly frozen packaging. We opened the box to find a week's worthy of healthy prepared meals ready to be stored and then devoured at will. We have to admit that having healthy meals readily available saved us so much time! As vegetarians, we also appreciated that all of the meals were plant based. After falling in love with Sprinly we asked the owners, Mary & Ray, to tell us more about their story!
Tell us more about Sprinly & your background.
Our focus is all around making healthy eating as convenient as possible, so we worked with nutritionists and a doctor focused on plant-based nutrition to ensure that our meals are honestly healthy and we partnered with FedEx to ship our meals via overnight service in a refrigerated box with a biodegradable insulating liner to make sure our clients receive them as fresh as possible. Even more, we use organic ingredients, no refined sugars, no artificial ingredients or preservatives, and all of our meals are gluten-free! Currently, we have two weekly plans available: 12 meals for $199 or 6 meals for $109. Many of our clients either bring our healthy meals to work or enjoy a healthy dinner with a significant other or family during their busy nights at home. An interesting tidbit is that the majority of our clients are actually not vegan - they're mostly individuals who understand the positive health impacts of eating more vegetables and want to incorporate more of that into their diet as they look to eat healthier.
How did Sprinly come to be?
About three years ago, my girlfriend and I both decided to quit our finance and tech jobs in San Francisco, without a backup plan. Mary and I are both planners, so up to that point, we always knew our next step, but this time was different. We were going to take a trip and backpack around the world, with no end date and no itinerary. During our trip, we immersed ourselves in each country and found ourselves meditating with monks in Thailand, visiting rural villages in China, and sleeping under the stars in the Amazon rainforest. It was the most inspiring and enlightening adventure we’ve ever been on, and it was incredibly humbling. After our travels, we stopped in Cleveland, where I grew up, to visit my family and to figure out our next steps. We had initially planned on looking for new jobs in the startup world of Silicon Valley, but we were taught a memorable lesson from a monk in Japan during one of our meditation retreats. He was our age, and he opened his heart to us one night. He told us that he truthfully didn’t want to be a monk, but in order to honor his father and carry on his family tradition, he was obligated to live as a monk for the rest of his life. A monk forever. He kept reminding us that we were incredibly fortunate to have the freedom to pursue our passions. That stuck with us.
Our whole lives, Mary and I have always been passionate about living a healthy lifestyle (exercising, eating right, meditating…etc.), and while we were in Cleveland, we faced one particular problem: we couldn’t get a meal that was both convenient and healthy. Without preparing meals for lunch every day or cooking every single night, this simply wasn’t possible. Even more, we were tired of all the "healthy" claims in stores and restaurants when we knew by looking at the ingredients that those meals were not honestly healthy. The word, "healthy," has evolved to become more of a marketing claim, and that bothered us.
We knew we couldn’t be the only ones having trouble getting a convenient, honestly nutritious meal. This, along with our desire to have a positive impact with our career, is what inspired Sprinly. This is why we decided to design each meal with nutrition in mind first and why we work with nutritionists and doctors. This is why our service is plant-based, because we know that if we want to have the biggest healthful impact possible in our country, it has to start with Americans eating more vegetables. This is why we decided to make Sprinly a delivery service, so we can reach more people and make healthy eating as convenient as possible. And this is why our long-term vision is to serve the entire country, because if traveling has taught us one thing, it’s that we’re all similar, no matter where we live, and Mary & I believe that location shouldn’t prevent anyone from having access to convenient, honestly nutritious meals. Our mission is to spread health and create happiness - we want to give people their time back and make it as easy as possible for others to live a healthier, happier life.
In line with our mission, with meals purchased, we donate to mission-driven non-profits who share similar values. From day 1, we made the decision to build a socially-aware business, and we believe that by working together, we can have a larger impact and create a healthier world. We are still just starting, but we've put our life savings into this, and we’re committed to creating something meaningful - something that will have a lasting positive impact on people's lives, and we believe that starts with one of our most priceless and underappreciated assets: our health.
Shopping local has so many benefits! When you support local businesses, you make a positive impact on the world around you.
10. Know Your Makers - Shopping local gives you the opportunity to know the people who make your products. Local business owners have more accountability than "Big Box" store owners. If something is wrong with your purchase, you can speak directly with the person in power to fix your problem. No long customer service calls. Since local products are made near you, most can be customized to meet your specific needs. You can take personalization to a whole new level.
9. Strengthen Your Economy - When you support local businesses, you directly boost your local economy. Strong locally owned businesses raise property values. They also put their taxes back into your local economy. Local business owners tend to support other local businesses - so your local purchase starts a cycle of local support! Studies show that 68% of money spent locally stays local compared to less than 50% at chain stores. Strong local businesses inspire more competition and foster innovation. More competition = better products & services + more choices for consumers.
8. Create Jobs - Local businesses hire locals to staff their companies. These jobs tend to have higher wages and better benefits. Local businesses always create local jobs.
7. Support Local Families - When you make a local purchase, you directly support local families. Many families of small business owners struggle to make ends meet each month. Your support literally puts food on their tables and a roof over their heads. Often people vocally support their favorite local businesses without actually financially supporting that business as well. While word of mouth is fantastic, it does not pay the bills. Small local businesses rely on neighbors and community members to keep them alive.
6. Find Better Quality Products - Locally made products are made with love. The artists & makers that create each product, care deeply about the quality of their goods. Local small business owners know that they are going to be held accountable if their products are sub-par.
5. Get Healthy - When local makers create products by hand, they are very careful about which ingredients go into their products. Makers tend to create more eco-friendly products. Some of the world's best natural goods companies are located in Ohio! Food is also healthier when grown locally. It is easy to find out exactly where your local foods come from. Not a fan of pesticides and preservatives? Always shop local!
4. Vote With Your Dollars - "Get Political" - Make sure the businesses and organizations that you are financially supporting with your purchases are aligned with your values. With local businesses, it is easy to find out where their profits go. For example, you can choose to shop at your locally owned grocery store which directly supports your local agricultural industry OR you can choose to shop at Walmart and directly support unethical labor, unfair wages, and the killing of small businesses in America. Let's just say, most local business owners are WOKE AF.
3. Build Community - When you shop local, you build meaningful connections & relationships with business owners in your community. When neighbors take care of neighbors, communities are stronger. Local non-profits receive more support from locally owned businesses. Strong local businesses create a more unique community - which in turn attracts travelers and tourists to explore your town. Communities that support their local businesses thrive.
2. Save The Environment - Choosing local has a direct impact on the environment on a local and global scale. Since local shops are near your home, you can walk, bike, or take public transit to go shopping - which eliminates nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and other pollution from cars. You can also reduce the transportation impact from traveling goods. To make mass-produced products, there is a long chain of processes which all negatively impact the environment. When you buy from a local Maker, your product makes a much smaller footprint on the environment. Some local Makers strive to make only positive impacts on the environment with their products and their business practices.
1. Buy Way Cooler Stuff - Locally made products are always more unique than mass-produced products. Wear a locally made necklace to work and we guarantee you will experience "where did you get that" moments. And you will feel good while wearing it! Local artists & makers are simply following their true calling. It is their destiny to create. They are the mediums through which amazing ideas are transformed into real life creations. There is a special energy transferred in handmade goods. When you purchase a locally made good, you are also buying the positive vibes instilled from the product's creator.
Featured Local Shop: Fern Shop Cincinnati // Photos by Rikki at Ohio Explored
Shop Local at our Ohio Maker Marts!
Written by: Meach Zavodny of the fashion and lifestyle blog "My Versatile Style"
There's no doubt that wellness has become #trendy. In a quick scroll through Instagram you're almost guaranteed to find a friend's gym selfie or an artsy photo of avocado toast - if not both. And although it can be argued that some people go a little too far with the #fitspo, I personally love the fact that an industry geared towards the enhancement of mind, body and soul is thriving - especially in little, old, unassuming Cleveland.
Maybe this is old news to you, or maybe you had no idea, but The Land is quickly becoming a health buff's dream. From bulletproof coffee to cold pressed cocktails, local entrepreneurs have found innovative ways to put a healthier twist on even the simplest of pleasures. With the betterment of the mind, body and soul at the core of everything they do, these business owners have created a wellness community of sorts in CLE, and it’s really cool to see.
Whether you live in Cleveland or are planning a visit, here are 5 of my favorite wellness-oriented local businesses that are worth a try (or ten!).
Located in Ohio City, just steps away from the West Side Market, TownHall is the mecca of the Cleveland wellness scene - specifically when it comes to food and drink. Their menu was specifically crafted to be 100% NON-GMO, and they're all about #balance! So while they're committed to keeping chemical-rich foods off their menu, flavor is by no means sacrificed. Their menu includes an array of guilty pleasures, but it's also inclusive of those who follow vegan, paleo and/or gluten-free diets. Some of my favorites include their grass-fed burger (topped with organic cheese), crisp zucchini noodle bowl and bone broth (it’s more delicious than it sounds)! The fortitude smoothie is my beverage of choice if I'm visiting for brunch, otherwise I go with the "Make Me a Bicycle, Clown!" cold pressed cocktail.
Rebol is located in Public Square, right in the heart of Downtown Cleveland. It's actually TownHall's little sister, but like all siblings they're unique in their own way. A cafe-style eatery, Rebol has a smaller menu, but it still packs a powerful (and NON-GMO) punch. Everything is simple and clean, and they implement organic products whenever possible. I'm a huge fan of their "Yolked Up" breakfast sandwich as well as their Breakfast Bol. Their bulletproof coffee is fantastic, too, and it prolongs energy without the mental fog or crash.
This one is more oriented to Cleveland locals, but I had to add it here because it's such a cool concept. Through Raw Trainer you can get clean, pre-packaged meals and snacks delivered to you on the weekly. So if you’re too busy to cook clean meals, or you don’t know where to start, they have your back. I especially love their "cookie dough" and "brownie batter" snacks. Their Poke Bowl is great, too!
Cleveland Yoga has two locations - Uptown and Beachwood. They specialize in Power Vinyasa Yoga, offering group classes, private sessions and even beginner courses. They’re prepared to train people of all skill levels, so you by no means have to be a pro! And while yoga is their specialty, they preach wellness in all areas of life. In that, they also offer services like health coaching and massage.
Like yoga, barre is one of those workouts you underestimate until you actually do it. The workouts are a combination of yoga, Pilates and strength training using your own body weight (for the most part). It's said to be great for toning, stretching and achieving an overall lean look. And while the folks at Barre Cleveland are great at their craft, it's actually their community that impresses me most. Everyone seems to know everyone, and if someone unfamiliar walks through the doors they are immediately welcomed by all! Barre Cleveland is exclusively located in Beachwood, right off Chagrin Blvd.
All of these businesses regularly inspire people, both old and young, to live their best lives. I hope that by introducing you to them I've inspired you to do so, too, no matter where you might live. But if you do live in CLE, or even if you plan on visiting soon, be sure to check these spots out. Your mind and body will thank you for it.
Live in CLE? You're in for a treat! In celebration of Small Business Saturday, we're giving away the ultimate wellness package to one lucky winner! The package includes:
$100 gift card to TownHall
$50 gift card to Rebol
One small pack from Raw Trainer with free home delivery
One month of unlimited classes at Cleveland Yoga
One month of unlimited classes at Barre Cleveland
To enter, you must 1. follow each of the accounts linked below on Instagram, and 2. post any of the pictures included in this write up to your own personal Instagram account. In the caption of your post, let us know why you want to win, OR encourage your friends to #shopsmall on Saturday, November 25th. Be sure to tag all of the partners below in your photo so we know you've entered!
The contest period will run from Thursday, November 23, 2017 through midnight ET on Saturday, November 25th. One lucky winner will be contacted via direct message on Instagram the week of November 27th - so please be sure your account is enabled to receive messages if you'd like to win. Good luck!
There is no place like Ohio for the Holidays! Get into the Holiday spirit by attending these festive activities and events in Ohio! Here is our list of 20 Festive Holiday Activities & Events in Ohio.
20. Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart - Cincinnati, Ohio
19. City Flea Holiday Market at Washington Park - Cincinnati, Ohio
18. Merry & Bright at the Franklin Park Conservatory - Columbus, Ohio
17. Photowalk: OTR aGlow at Park & Vine - Cincinnati, Ohio
16. Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides at Spiegel Grove - Fremont, Ohio
15. Dickens Victorian Village - Cambridge, Ohio
14. A Whimsical Wonderland Holiday Show at Krohn Conservatory - Cincinnati, Ohio
13. Christmas Cookie Tour of Inns - Holmes County, Ohio
12. Holiday Dinner, 12 Days of Christmas at the Culinary Vegetable Institute - Milan, Ohio
11. Polar Express at Dennison Depot - Dennison, Ohio
10. Light Up Toledo! Holiday Art Loop - Toledo, Ohio
9. A Storybook Christmas - Zanesville, Ohio
8. Santa Hustle 5K and Half Marathon - Sandusky, Ohio
7. Winter at the Wilds - New Concord, Ohio
6. Decemburr Dash 5K - Columbus, Ohio
5. Mariemont Annual Tree Lighting at Luminary Event
4. Luminaria Holiday Event at the Cincinnati Observatory
3. A Christmas Story House - Cleveland, Ohio
2. Christmas in Ash Cave - Logan, Ohio
1. Lighting of the Serpent at Serpent Mound
Do you know of any other awesome Holiday events in Ohio? Email us at email@example.com to add them to our next list!
Follow us @OhioExplored to see daily Ohio inspiration!
Magical twinkling lights turn dreary winter scenes into mystical winter wonderlands! Make sure to catch one of Ohio's beautiful holiday light shows while they are here. We made a list of 10 Magical Ohio Holiday Lights to help you plan your Ohio Lights visits this winter!
10. Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo - Cincinnati, Ohio
9. Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival - Columbus, Ohio
8. Alum Creek Fantasy of Lights - Delaware, Ohio
7. Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo - Columbus, Ohio
6. Woodland Lights – Dayton, Ohio
5. Wild Lights at The Akron Zoo - Akron, Ohio
4. Glow at the Cleveland Botanical Garden - Cleveland, Ohio
3. Deck the Hall at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens - Akron, Ohio
2. Lights Before Christmas at the Toledo Zoo - Toledo, Ohio
1. The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill – Clifton, Ohio
Follow us on Instagram at @OhioExplored to see more beautiful place to explore in Ohio!
Our favorite local supermarket does a great job of helping us prepare for each season. We can always count on Jungle Jim's to have the best foods for every holiday. This Halloween, we have committed to only giving out Ohio Made treats! We went to Jungle Jim's to find our Ohio Made treats. Here are 9 of our favorites!
9. Honey Filled Candy by Windy Acres
8. Candy Apples by Jungle Jim's
7. Pumpkin Cookies by Buskin
6. Gluten Free Pumpkin Pecan Crunch Cake by Tina's Sweet Treats
5. Juju Pumpkins by Backroad Country
4. Creepy Bacon Chocolate Piggy Pops by Ruby's Squeal Appeal
3. Dum Dums by Spangler Candy Company
2. Boo Cake by Jungle Jim's Bakery
1. Brain Cake by Jungle Jim's Bakery
Make sure to visit Jungle Jim's International Market this Halloween to stock up on Ohio Made treats!
Wow! This boutique hotel located in Downtown Columbus, Ohio just moved up to the top of our "Must Visit" list. Hotel LeVeque impressed us from the time we arrived. They literally dazzled us with their celestial theme which appered in details from the beautiful lobby check-in desk to the planetarium projected on the ceiling of our room. Their star-gazing theme represents the connection between LeVeque tower and the stars above. Our wedding theme was celestial so we definitely are partial to that theme.
After participating in the Made Local Marketplace all day, we were exhausted. We we very happy to find that our room was a relaxing getaway. Our bed was very comfortable. We ordered room service from KEEP, a french restaurant located in the lobby, and stayed in for the night. Everything that we needed was located within our hotel and for that we were very grateful.
We loved that Hotel LeVeque supplied locally made shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and soaps. Cliff Original makes grooming products for hair care, skin care and beard care. All of their products are made in Ohio! They are paraben-free, sulfate-free chemical-free and cruelty-free. And they smelled AMAZING!
The stunning lobby at Hotel LeVeque called for us to explore. It included a Starbucks (which continued the celestial theme) and a delicious french restaurant & liquor bar called The Keep.
Every time we have driven through Columbus, we admired the beautiful LeVeque Tower. It's unique and beautiful shape draws the eye. Our dreams came true when we actually got to stay inside this historical Ohio building. According to their website, LeVeque Tower has been a beacon of hospitality in downtown Columbus since 1927 – it once even served as an aerial lighthouse for Amelia Earhart. That legacy lives on today in the Hotel LeVeque, a vibrant destination that suffuses the building’s original art deco architecture with glamorous celestial-inspired interior design. This lovely boutqiue hotel is truly on of Ohio's Hidden Gems.
Spending time with family and friends makes Thanksgiving such a special event. This year, we challenge you to spend some of your time together outdoors. Enjoy the natural world around you and be Thankful that we live in such a beautiful place. Here is our list of 10 Ohio State Parks to Explore This Thanksgiving!
10. Scioto Trails State Park in Chillicothe, Ohio
9. Stonelick State Park in Pleasant Plain, Ohio
8. Harrison Lake State Park in Fayette, Ohio
7. Indian Lake State Park in Lakeview, Ohio
6. Tinkers Creek State Park in Aurora, Ohio
5. Beaver Creek State Park in East Liverpool, Ohio
4. Salt Fork State Park in Lore City, Ohio
3. Alum Creek State Park in Lewis Center, Ohio
2. Shawnee State Park in Portsmouth, Ohio
1. Hocking Hills State Park in Logan, Ohio
Follow us on Instagram @OhioExplored to explore Ohio every day!
Cincinnati's first Blink festival was a must experience event. As one of the largest projection-mapping light shows in the nation, Blink brought together a diverse group of people to celebrate light. Local artists built light exhibits spanning 20 blocks across the city. We experienced the festival on Friday night. It was absolutely beautiful (the lights and the unity).
Blink runs from October 12-15 in downtown Cincinnati.
We are fans of sauces at Ohio Explored, especially when those sauces are made in Ohio! Our favorite local grocery store has a whole section dedicated to sauces including many of those that are locally made. Here is our list of 8 Ohio Made Sauces. All of these sauces & makers will be featured at Jungle Jim's Weekend of Fire on October 7th & 8th!
1. Sugar & Spice Gourmet Salsa - Made in Waynesville, Ohio
2. Chili Rocks Hot Sauce - Made in Cincinnati, Ohio
3. CaJohns Fiery Foods Co. - Made in Westerville, Ohio
4. Campana's Hot Sauce - Made in Lorain, Ohio
5. Angry Irishman Chipotle Mustard Sauce - Made in Bowling Green, Ohio
6. Spicy Chub Rub - Made in Beavercreek, Ohio
7. Black Swamp Gourmet Barbeque Sauce - Made in Toledo, Ohio
Jungle Jim's has aisles full of amazing sauces. They even have a section dedicated to Ohio Made sauces. From spicy (like very very spicy) to sweet, you can find all the sauces of your wildest dreams here.
Taste all of these amazing Ohio Made sauces and many more this weekend at Jungle Jim's Weekend of Fire!
Guest post written by Leah Deppert of By Travel & Error
Autumn is the perfect time to visit Cleveland. While summers are a blast in the Land, CLE really shows off in the fall with it’s color-changing leaves, slightly cooler temperatures and plethora of activities and events for all. Foodie? Outdoor Adventurer? Beer/Wine Connoisseur? Theater Lover? Sports Fanatic? If you answered yes to any of those questions, it’s time to book your fall weekend getaway to Cleveland.
Fall Weekend Getaway to Cleveland
Friday *Time to Paint the Town Red*
- 4:00 PM: Check-in at your lodging. Cleveland has recently had quite a few amazing hotels built in the downtown area.
- Kimpton Schofield Hotel: Location, location, location! Book here.
- Aloft Cleveland Downtown: Artsy flair and close to many popular attractions like the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & the East Bank of the Flats! Book here.
- Cleveland Hostel: Need a budget friendly option? Check out the Cleveland hostel which is outside of downtown but in a great neighborhood called Ohio City. Think lots of cool bars and plenty of locally owned restaurant options.
- For a full list, check out TripAdvisor’s reviews!
- 5:00 PM: Grab a glass of vino or craft beer (pumpkin-flavored preferably) from the Heinen’s Grocery Store 2nd floor rotunda balcony bar. Happy hour in a grocery store? YES! This historic building was previously home to the Cleveland Trust Company and has recently been restored to a grocery store. Check out their events calendar for themed nights like “Bubbles Because-Latin Lovers”. Done and done.
- 6:00 PM: No visit to Cleveland is complete without a stop on East 4th Street. Craving pasta? Eat at Chinato. A bit more adventurous? Check out the innovative pairings at the Greenhouse Tavern. On a budget? Tacos at Barrio it is.
- 7:30 PM: Time to be entertained! Consider going to a concert at the House of Blues, attending a show in Playhouse Square or cheering on the Cleveland Indians during the playoffs.
Saturday *Learn From the Past: A Day of History, Art & Good Italian Food!*
- 11:00 AM: Choose one or two museums to visit. There are so many to choose from, but some of the most popular include the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Museum of Art, and Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
- 1:00 PM: If you’re lucky enough to visit when the Cleveland Flea is happening, be sure to check out this local favorite! If you’ve recovered from brunch, the food and drink options here will not disappoint.
- 3:00 PM: Looking for a bit of fresh air? Check out one of the many stretches of the Cleveland Metroparks. Edgewater is close to downtown and has great paved trails and views of Lake Erie. Short drive don’t bother you? Check out one of the many apple orchards near Cleveland and pick a bushel while sneaking a few crunchy bites.
- 7:00 PM: After a bit of R&R, head to Little Italy to feast on pizza, pasta, wine, tiramisu and cannolis. Corbo’s Bakery is the perfect after-dinner sweet spot.
Sunday *Explore the Great Outdoors*
11:45 AM: Check out of your hotel and say a “see you soon” to downtown CLE. Grab your wheels and head to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad train station in Independence where you’ll hop on the 12:50 PM train headed for Peninsula. Enjoy the shades of yellows, reds, oranges and greens outside your window and experience all the fall feels.
- 1:30 PM: Get off the train in Peninsula and rent bikes at Century Cycle to work off all those calories you’ve consumed this weekend. Make a quick stop at Szalay’s Farm & Market to listen to some live music, gawk at the hundreds of pumpkins and (of course) savor some fall treats (apple cider and corn on the cob on a stick, anyone?!).
- 4:30 PM: After more outdoor adventures, return your bike and head back to Independence via the train feeling tired but happy. Vow to return to CLE because you barely scratched the surface. Drive (or fly) home thinking to yourself, “I was skeptical, but Cleveland IS pretty great…” I won’t even say I told you so.
Check out this “All the Fall Things” video that Destination Cleveland recently released and grab your calendar to decide when you are booking your fall weekend getaway to Cleveland!
We love visiting Ohio's Amish Countryside. It is one of our favorite places in Ohio. This beautiful place located in east-central Ohio is surrounded by rolling hills. Ohio's Amish Country consists of multiple neighboring counties and is home to more than 40,000 Amish people.
During our recent visit to Ohio's Amish Country, we discovered the Wallhouse Hotel in Walnut Creek. This hotel is a little piece of luxury located right in the middle of Amish Country. With balcony views of the countryside and a short 2 minute drive to the best food around, this hotel easily became one of our favorite places to relax and unwind after exploring the region.
Who knew that one of highest rated hotels in the US is located in Ohio's Amish Country? We were exhausted after days full of exploring the region, so the big comfy beds the Wallhouse offered welcome solace. This peaceful place features several lounges where guests can relax, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, a pool & hot tub, and a breakfast buffet! We loved our stay and we will definitely be back. The Wallhouse was even kind enough to provide a code for Ohio Explored followers! Enter code OHEX when you book at The Wallhouse Walnut Creek and you will receive a surprise in your room!
This region has some of the best homemade food in the world! The famous Der Dutchman restaurant is located just down the street from The Wallhouse. Many of the restaurants in the area feature home cooked traditional Amish food. Yum! We visited The Chalet in the Valley where we had delicious German food! German food is common among Amish due to their Dutch German hertitage.
There are several markets that sell locally made goods. Troyer's Country Market is one of our favorite Ohio Made markets! Oh and if you love Cheese, Ohio's Amish Country is a must visit! Every few miles there is somewhere to taste locally made cheese. Yes, please! Ohio's Amish Country is also home to some of the world's best craft malls and antique stores. Make sure to get your shopping done early in the day, because most shops and restaurnts close by 6pm and many are not open on Sundays.
Ohio's Amish Country provides endless opportunities to explore. We keep returning time and time again. We look forward to our next trip to this amazing part of Ohio!
Pumpkin picking is definitely one of our favorite fall activities in Ohio! It makes for the perfect Ohio adventure with loved ones. Pumpkin season always passes way too quickly, so make sure to go out to your favorite local farm soon! We have compiled our list of 10 Perfect Ohio Pumpkin Patches to help you find farms with plenty of pumpkins! Happy Picking!
10. Leeds Farm in Ostrander, Ohio
9. Jacquemin Farms at Shaw Farms in Milford, Ohio
8. Heritage Farms Pumpkin Pandemonium in Peninsula
7. Hidden Creek Farms in Sunbury, Ohio
6. Kingsway Pumpkin Farm in Hartville, Ohio
5. Luther’s Farm Fall Fest in Richfield, Ohio
4. Nickajack Farms Fall Festival & Pumpkin Patch
3. Burger Farm & Garden Center in Newtown, Ohio
2. Lehner's Pumpkin Farm in Radnor, Ohio
1. Fleitz Pumpkin Farm in Oregon, Ohio
There is no place in the world like Ohio in the fall. We have to admit Autumn is our favorite season (though we love each of Ohio's seasons). Fall is just magical! From cool air & crispy colorful leaves to football games and fall hikes, Ohio has it all. Here is our list of the 12 Best Spots to Watch the Leaves Change in Ohio This Fall!
12. Lanterman's Mill
11. South Chagrin Reservation in Bentleyville, Ohio
10. Devil's Bathtub in Hocking Hills State Park in Logan, Ohio
9. Glen Echo Ravine in Columbus, Ohio
8. Blue Hen Falls in Brecksville, Ohio
7. Lake Erie
6. The Ledges at Cuyahoga Valley National Park
5. Berea Falls in Berea, Ohio
4. Brandywine Falls in Northfield, Ohio
3. Athens, Ohio
2. Chillicothe, Ohio
1. Columbus, Ohio
We spent Labor Day weekend exploring The Short North. This bustling area in downtown Columbus has some of Ohio's best shops and restaurants. It is also home to many beautifulmurals and art galleries, including Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph, where the lobby and second floor showcase beautiful art merging a gallery with a hotel. The Short North is a walkable neighborhood that has something for everyone to see and do.
When exploring a new area in Ohio, we like to stay overnight so we can get the full local experience. During our Short North trip we stayed at Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph! This beautiful boutique hotel is located in the heart of The Short North. It is the perfect place to stay when exploring this area.
After dinner and drinks at Whiskey on High at SOUL on Friday night, we went exploring (we don't mind a little rain). We walked all the way up and down high street while taking in the sights. We shopped and people watched all evening long. And of course we ended the night with our favorite Ohio Made Ice Cream, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, which is just a couple blocks down from Le Méridien!
Our room was a perfect place to relax after exploring. We had a lovely view of High Street which seemed to stretch all the way across Columbus. The hotel provided local travel guides and suggestions about more places to explore. The hotel staff were so kind and helpful during our stay. They made us feel right a home. We really enjoyed our short trip to the Short North and we cannot wait to go back!
Hocking Hills is one of the most beautiful regions in Ohio. Filled with rolling hills, beautiful trees, and natural landmarks, this local area has become one of our favorites in Ohio. We just returned from our getaway to Bourbon Ridge Retreat in Logan, Ohio, at the heart of the Hocking Hills area. This serene property is tucked peacefully away in the hills and includes 202 acres featuring hiking trails, 5,000+ fruit trees, beautiful wild flowers, a suspension bridge, picnic areas, and a private pond.
We stayed at The Woodford cabin, one of several at Bourbon Ridge Retreat, and it was a dream come true. Our cabin included a fully equipped deluxe kitchen, a private pool (which turned into a hot-tub at night), a theater room, and the most beautiful shower we have ever seen. After spending our days exploring Hocking Hills, it was so nice to come home to a perfect hideaway to relax between adventures.
Bourbon Ridge Retreat is one of our favorite discoveries in Ohio. We recommend it to any couple or family that wants to get away on a relaxing trip. You can learn more about Bourbon Ridge on their website.