Date Archives: May 2017

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May
26

This Local Interior Designer Creates Homes as Unique As You Are

Just over a year ago. Husband-and-wife duo Amanda and Matt Whited decided to pursue a dream with Bell Station, specializing in design, decor and woodwork. Amanda, who previously worked as a corporate graphic designer for 13 years, developed a knack for painting murals as well as carefully choosing home decor, and decided to transfer her artistic talent into a passion project.   Matt and Amanda work together on their projects from start to finish, with Amanda as the creative lead and Matt working as the in-house woodworker and furniture-maker. They believe that a bit of creativity and design go a long way when turning a house into a home, and that the style should be reflective of who lives there. Amanda listens carefully to her clients and their preferences before making a plan, and of course they weigh in along the way. As for her inspiration? She says she can find it almost anywhere. "I once designed a room based on a tissue box," she explains. While each of Bell Station's projects are unique, they have one thing in common — careful craftsmanship. From color palette and proportion to wall hangings and lighting fixtures, each room is methodically put together. It's like each room is an art project reflective of its inhabitants. The couple's farmhouse in Stoutsville, Ohio, is a brilliant showcase of their design skills. The house is a new build on a 35 acre mini-farm that once belonged to Amanda's great grandfather — it doesn't get more charming than that! We spoke to her about the project, including her inspiration and the details you'll find throughout. Cutler: What were you aiming to accomplish with this project? Amanda: Our budget definitely drove the project. We wanted a fresh farmhouse style. Things always go a little bohemian when I'm decorating for myself. I like the farmhouse/boho combination. C: How did you choose the color palette for this project? A: Black and white are clean and timeless. I love the current teal/turquoise trend so I used those color accents. C: Who painted that gorgeous mural? A: I painted the mural in what we call the "art room". It's really my office, where I work on design and paintings. I like having whimsical little surprises in our home, like tacking a tree branch to the wall. C: What are the wooden elements you created in this project? Can you tell us a bit about them? A: Matt is a furniture maker. He built several pieces for the house. The master bath vanity we built uses wood from a fallen hog barn on the property. C: What Bell Station decor tips are you willing to share with our readers? A:  In the words of Billy Baldwin, "Stick to what you love — an honest room never goes out of style". Looking to revamp your house anytime soon? Bell Station offers the chance to test out their services with digital design boards. You send in the measurements and photos of the space you want designed, and they'll send back a full digital design complete with a color scheme, furniture placement, and a shopping list for home decor items. It's a risk-free way to test out their services, but we're sure you'll be impressed with the result!
May
26

8 Fantastic Swimming Holes Near Cleveland You Should Visit This Summer

Spring has come and gone, and the summer sun is heating up Ohio. While we're loving this warm weather, we're also finding it hard to resist a refreshing dip in the pool to cool off. Splashing around in the water is fun for all ages, and for that reason, Cleveland's public pools can get fairly crowded during the summer months. When you're looking to make a splash without wading through people, perhaps look to our natural watering holes instead! We're lucky to have Lake Erie at our fingertips (which comes with sandy beaches and calm water), but there are also a number of swimming holes scattered around the area. Some are secret, some are well traveled, but all offer a new adventure. We've gathered up some of our favorites below, so go ahead and jump in — the water's fine!

Nelson Ledges Quarry Park

Nestled in the 250 acres that make up this gorgeous park lies a swimming hole of epic proportions. The deep turquoise waters and surrounding ledges make it a popular destination for cliff jumpers, but you could spend an entire day here paddling, hiking, and even snorkeling or scuba diving. Afterwards, you can avoid a long trek home by pitching a tent in the park and staying the night.

Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach is both spectacularly beautiful, and spectacularly popular. The area is home to a wide array of wildlife, and serves as an oasis for anglers and swimmers alike. If you're not in the mood for a dip, shaded picnic areas high above the beach allow onlookers to enjoy the water without being splashed by the waves. Fun fact: In 2011, Huntington Beach reached a new standard for success by becoming Blue Wave Certified beach on Lake Erie. The Blue Wave certification is a national, environmental certification.

Punderson State Park  

The natural lake at Punderson State Park covers more than 150 acres, and offers plenty of opportunities for splashing around. With cozy cabins and cross country skiing courses, the park is actually known as a winter destination, but don't miss out during the warmer months! After playing a round at the 18-hole golf course or hiking/biking on the trails, venture over to the 600-foot public swimming beach.

Squaw Rock

Squaw Rock is a cultural landmark located in the South Chagrin Reservation. Named for the subject engraved on the sculpture by a man named Henry Church, the rock has been around since 1885. A river borders the eastern end of the reservation, and provides ample opportunities for splashing around, especially to cool off after exploring the nearby falls on foot. The waters are not very deep — so no jumping here.

Chagrin Falls

Photo courtesy of Chagrin Falls

Smack dab in the center of town, you'll find a gorgeous waterfall that is the namesake of Chagrin Falls. The falls are perfect for an afternoon picnic, and the water offers an oasis for cooling off if you spend too much time in the sun — people enjoy fishing here, too. Walk down the stairs past the falls for access to all of it!

Fairport Harbor

Fairport Harbor is protected by a break wall — which means the water is calmer here than at most Lake Erie beaches. The amenities (including a playground, volleyball courts, and rental stations for water sports) make it a favorite for families with kids. The beach is expansive and offers plenty of room to lay down a towel and soak up the sun. Bonus: Fairport is also one of the few beaches in Ohio that welcomes dogs to the shore, and includes a special dog swim area on the eastern end of the beach.

Kelleys Island State Park Beach

Photo courtesy of the Ohio Division of State Parks and Watercraft

Commonly known as Lake Erie's Emerald Isle, Kelleys Island State Park is a relaxing, waterside retreat with plenty to do. Enjoy hiking on one of  the island's many trails, marveling at the unique geological and archeological features, and spending time on the water (of course). You can swim from the 100-foot swimming beach, which is easy to find. Afterward, make camp on the island or stay in a nearby lodge.

Dundee Falls

The trek to Dundee Falls is as beautiful as it is entertaining. Once you arrive at the idyllic waterfall, hidden away in the Beach City Wildlife Area of Tuscarawas County, it'll be tough to pull you back to reality. Spend the afternoon picnicking, enjoying the scenery, and splashing around in the falls — and remember to take pictures!

Just Keep Swimming!

May
26

Your 2017 Summer Bucket List for Northeastern Ohio

Ahh, sweet summer — the weather is warm, the sun is high, and it is time to celebrate! We've been in summer mode since early May, but with the first official day of summer coming up on June 22, we're realizing just how fast time flies. Fall will be here before you know it, so maximize your summer plans and take advantage of the fun opportunities our region has to offer. From adventuring on Lake Erie, to exploring the best of city life in Cleveland, we've rounded up a list of our favorite summer activities in the area. Challenge yourself to try at least one, if not all of them! You might just have some fun and make some memories while you're at it.

Try a New Water Sport

Photo courtesy of Jill Jankowski, owner of SUP Cleveland

The calm waters of Lake Erie are popular during the summer months for a variety of exciting water sports — but stand up paddle boarding is one our absolute favorites. Paddle boarding offers the opportunity to work the core, legs and arms while soaking up the sun and enjoying the lake scene! Make it a point this summer to try something it out. SUP Cleveland offers adventurers the chance to try stand up paddle boarding in a fun group environment, including yoga classes and events on the water. Rentals, lessons and a good time are all provided!

Find a New Swimming Hole

With the sun shining high and temps in the 90s, summer is the best time to cool off in the water — but sometimes Cleveland's public pools can get a bit overrun. When that happens, adventure outside the city and discover one of the area's many swimming holes! Whether it's hidden at the end of a hike or a well-traveled destination, we're sure a dive or a toe-dip at these spots are more fun than a pool (and chlorine free to boot). A few of our favorites include Chagrin Falls, Nelson Ledges Quarry Park, and Dundee falls, but there are many more to choose from.

Go on a Brewery Tour

Photo courtesy of Great Lakes Brewing Co

After all that adventuring, why not wind down the day with a pint? There are plenty of breweries in town to choose from if you're just looking to sip a cold one, but taking a tour enriches the experience. Our favorite tour is the option at Great Lakes Brewing Co, which leads you through a major brewery's production facility as well as giving you a glimpse into Cleveland's history. Of course, drinking beer is a quintessential part of the tour, so grab a brew and join in the fun!

... Or Visit a Local Winery

Not a beer fan? That's okay, we've got an option for you, too. Thorn Creek Winery is nestled just south of Cleveland in Aurora, and offers award-winning wines alongside stunning gardens. Come to enjoy a night of live music and share a bottle with friends, and bring your four legged friend to Yappy Hour on the first Wednesday of the month during summer! Check out the events calendar for a full list of the fun things coming up, including farm-to-table dinners and painting classes.

Explore a New MetroPark

Photo courtesy of Cleveland Metroparks

If you ever thought out connections to the outdoors were limited, think again. Cleveland is home to 18 metroparks featuring more than 100 trails to choose from. Some of the parks host fun concerts throughout the summer, and eight of the parks have spectacular lake views perfect for watersports or picnicking. All you have to do is pick one and get ready for a new adventure! Bonus: Don't miss out on the Centennial Fireworks event on July 22, which will celebrate the Cleveland Metroparks' 100th anniversary! Expect live music, food trucks and outdoor recreation activities during the day, concluded with a spectacular fireworks show over the water at Edgewater Beach.  

Spend an Evening Under the Stars

The warm weather is certainly inviting for outdoor adventures, but why not extend your stay in mother nature? Our state is home to plenty of places to pitch a tent, from enchanting forests to nearby islands. Here are our 15 favorite campgrounds in Ohio to get you started — all you're missing is the s'more supplies and the campfire stories.

… Or Marvel at the Stars at the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center

The Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, located in Bay Village, offers free admission every day and a chance to interact with the wonders of our world (and beyond). While the wildlife exhibits are fantastic, our favorite part of the center is the planetarium, which allows you to spend an evening under the stars without going outside. Sit back and marvel as the skies change almost instantaneously, and the staff explains the wonders of the universe.

Hit up a Festival

It's summertime — aka time to celebrate. Grab your party shoes and get ready to rumble, because there are plenty of festivals planned this summer in Cleveland and the surrounding areas. Here are a few we're looking forward to. Huron River Fest | July 7-9 A roadshow, a pet parade, live music, vendors, fireworks and a duck race — what more could you want? Cleveland Pizza Fest | June 23-25 Endless pizza — need we say more? We will. There's also live music, family-friendly games and activities, a motorcycle and car show, a 5K and more than 20,000 pizza lovers from near and far joining in the festivities. Island Fest | July 14-16   The Island Fest features the best of Kelleys Island, including great food, great beer, nighttime dancing, watersports and fireworks — and was voted the number one festival by readers in Lake Erie Living Magazine. Christmas in July | July 21-23 It's the most wonderful time of the year! Well, almost. Luckily you don't have to wait until December to celebrate Christmas. This jolly festival features all of your holiday favorites, including garlands, Santa hats, holiday drinks and a Christmas parade.

Shop at a Farmers' Market

Sure, super markets are great — but no one can deny that meals taste better when prepped with farm-fresh ingredients. Cleveland hosts a variety of farmers' markets during the summer months, each filled with fresh fruits and veggies, warm pastries, hanging flower baskets and more. Whether you're looking to stock up on groceries or simply take in the sights, visiting a farmers' market is a quintessential summer activity. Check out the North Union Farmers Market, which actually hosts nine markets around Northeastern Ohio. You're sure to find one nearby!

Find a Deal at the Cleveland Flea

Celebrate our small businesses by hitting up the Cleveland Flea! This market was founded in 2013 as a way to support local artisans and build a community around their talent. You'll find a mix of more than 170 vendors selling charcuterie, vintage-style leather purses, freshly baked breads, crafts, jewelry, art and furniture. In short, anything you could dream of buying, you'll find here under one roof.

Scream for Ice Cream

No summer day is complete without dessert! Make it a point to stop by a new ice cream shop this season — in your neighborhood or elsewhere. Treat yourself and support the local community! If you're willing to venture south, here are some of our favorites in Akron and Canton.
May
19

A Complete Guide to Outdoor Adventuring During the Summer in Cincinnati

When the weather warms, Cincinnati locals know that there is no better place to be than outside soaking up the sunshine. While some of us seek our adventuring within city limits — running, swimming or taking to a MetroPark — there are thousands of trails, rivers and parks just outside of Cincinnati begging to be explored. We've gathered up some of our favorite outdoor adventures near Cincinnati, including where to go and how to get the correct gear. Whether you're looking to swim, hike, bike or even skydive, consult this list before scheduling your next outing. Mother Nature awaits!

Skydiving

Photo courtesy of SkyDive Cincinnati

Sure, you think you're tough now. Just wait until the plane door opens at 16,000 feet! For the daredevils among us, skydiving is perhaps the ultimate outdoor experience — offering the chance to see the world from freefall. Tandem skydiving is the most popular option for beginners, allowing you to jump attached to an instructor and simply enjoy the view. If you're looking for something a little more hard core, enroll in a course at SkyDive Cincinnati, and take steps towards earning your skydiving license.

Mountain Biking

Biking on the road is definitely fun, but why not switch it up a little bit and hit the trails? Mountain biking challenges the mind as well as the body, offering spectacular views and a chance to overcome obstacles on the trail. Whether you're a beginner or an athlete looking for a challenge, the Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance is a spectacular resource for finding groups, trails and gear. Earn your turns!

Kayaking and Canoeing

In Cincinnati, we are lucky to be surrounded by plenty of gorgeous rivers, all perfect for different outdoor adventures. If it's a canoe or kayak trip you're after, you'll probably want to hit the Little Miami River or the Mad River, which are both scenic and fun. There are a plethora of local rental companies that can outfit you with gear and point you in the right direction. Our favorites include Little Miami Canoe, Scenic River Canoe Excursions, Morgan's Outdoor Adventures and Whitewater Canoe Rental. Check out CincyPaddlers if you're looking for a community of like-minded adventurers!

Fishing

If cruising down the river isn't your thing, maybe you'd enjoy being near the water instead! The Great Miami River offers so many awesome fishing holes perfect for catching bluegills, bass, carp and channel catfish via fly fishing or lures, and the Mad River is one of the best trout streams in the state. Take to the many lakes in our area if you'd rather sit calmly and avoid the current — rumor has it that Acton Lake and Rocky Fork will both be teeming with great catches this year. Gear up at On the Way Bait & Tackle, conveniently located near the river.

Camping

You can never spend too much time enjoying the great outdoors! Extend your stay in the wilderness by pitching your tent and staying the night. The daytime will allow for hiking, biking, fishing (and almost everything on this list), while the nighttime is perfect for relaxing with friends and family, cooking on the campfire, and counting the stars. Here are our 15 favorite campgrounds in Ohio to get you started on your adventures. Don't forget the graham crackers and marshmallows!

Wakeboarding

Photo courtesy of Wake Nation Cincinnati

If you have access to a motor boat, wakeboarding on our nearby lakes and rivers is a must! Wakeboarding is a fun and challenging activity the whole family can enjoy while soaking in the Ohio sun. No boat? No problem. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, Wake Nation Cincinnati will take you on a wakeboarding or waterskiing adventure you will love, all sans motor. Enjoy private lessons or go off on your own, and make sure to check out the Aqua Glide Waterpark when you're done!

Running

If you're training for a marathon, trekking through the hills on a trail run, or just hitting the pavement a few times a week to improve your fitness, you're engaging in one of the toughest and most rewarding physical workouts — so well done! While challenging, running also offers the chance to get to know your surroundings, adventure in new places and meet some wonderful people. The Runners' Club of Greater Cincinnati is your new favorite resource for finding routes and scheduling group runs! Before you hit the trails, you'll need a great pair of running shoes! Find yours at Bob Roncker's  Running Spot, which offers friendly service, a great selection, and knowledge about the surrounding routes and trails.

Hiking or Horseback Riding at Mt. Airy Forest

Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Parks

Mount Airy Forest is just as magical as it sounds, with gorgeous scenery and well-maintained trails perfect for hiking or horseback riding. The park includes nearly 1,500 acres with plenty of routes for your chosen activity. After adventuring, take to one of the 23 picnic areas in the park to enjoy a leisurely meal with friends and family.

Swimming at Caesar Creek

Photo courtesy of Ohio State Parks and Watercraft

Sure, Cincy is home to some gorgeous community pools — and we're proud of that! But when the weather warms and you're looking to cool off in the water, switch it up a bit and head out to Caesar Creek State Park. Hike, bike, or ride around the park before hitting the beach — such an oasis so close to home. Campgrounds are available if you feel like making a weekend out of it, and a new swinging bridge has recently been completed in the area. The bridge was funded 100% by donations from people who love the trail, and built by volunteers and partner organizations. Its unique beauty enriches the surrounding area and allows easier access to the nearby scenic waterfall and steep rock gorge. 

Adventure is out there!

May
19

12 Bands From Columbus You Should Listen to Right Now

Columbus, known for its friendly people and beautiful skyline, is also one of the greatest up-and-coming music cities in the country. Every night, a different band hooks up and ignites our local bars and venues to the applause of crowds both large and small. Some of these bands are just getting their start and some have been playing for years, but each has a unique sound that is tough to find and impossible to reproduce. Our town is home to some pretty incredible musicians, and while they tour the country and take in the sights, they'll never forget their Columbus roots! We're always hunting for new tunes to add to our Spotify playlist, and we've found some pretty great ones from bands that originated right here in Columbus. Whether you're into rock, reggae, garage punk or a little bit of everything, you're sure to find a new favorite on this list. Enjoy!

Angela Perley & The Howlin' Moons

Photo courtesy of Angela Perley & The Howlin' Moons

The Rock 'n' Roll beats of Angela Perley & The Howlin' Moons are as danceable as they are enviable. Perley's voice has the perfect balance of edge and clarity, and simply floats over the hard hitting bass and electric guitar. The band credits Tom Perry, Led Zeppelin, Nebula and David Gilmour as influences, but have created a sound that is truly their own. They play in their hometown (Columbus) fairly often, but have also embarked on many tours nation-wide (including the notorious South by South West festival in Austin, Texas).

All Dogs

Photo courtesy of Hillary Jones via All Dogs

This pop punk quartet hails from Columbus, but is known to play shows all over Ohio. They released a split cassette with Slouch, another Ohio band, before debuting with a full album, Kicking Every Day in 2015. The music is an impactful collision of soft vocals, rolling drums and snappy guitar, and is the perfect mix to listen to on a "Sunday Morning" with the windows rolled down.

Red Wanting Blue

Photo courtesy of Bridgette McCullough via Red Wanting Blue

Red Wanting Blue came to life back in 1996, when leader Scott Terry was in school at Ohio University, and was immediate success story. By 1998, the band had already released its second full-length album entitled The Image Trigger, and has since toured the country over two decades, playing an average of 200 shows a year. The band features toe-tapping, finger-snapping beats, as well as deep vocals and lyrics that are sure to stay with you long after the first listen.

Fever Fever

Just try to stay still while listening to Fever, Fever — this alternative indie band's upbeat tunes are sure to have you nodding your head and tapping your toes in no time. The quartet has been around since August of 2014, and though newer, have already made quite a splash with their full-length album, Aftermath.

Rascal Flatts

This trio originated in Columbus nearly 20 years ago and gained instant fame. Now, as one of the most recognized names in the nation for modern country, Rascal Flatts has headlined on tours more than 14 times since 2000 and released a number of highly-successful albums and singles alike. Whether you're a country music fan or not, you'll surely be captivated by the crystal clear vocals of Gary LeVox.

New Bomb Turks

Photo courtesy of the New Bomb Turks

The New Bomb Turks are masters of the garage punk genre, featuring a collision of danceable rock 'n' roll beats and the rebellious punk vocals that we know and love. They've been around for awhile, evolving from a college band at Ohio State University in 1990 to a European tour in 2017. Explore their ten full-length albums, two EPs and twenty singles — you won't regret it.

Earwig

Photo courtesy of Ryan Miller via Earwig

Earwig oozes an attitude that is oh-so enviable, and with clear vocals and hard-hitting guitar, they've got everything a great rock band needs. The band has released several full-length albums, each with a unique sound. Gibson Under Mountain was the most recent of these, released in 2014.

Twenty One Pilots

This iconic duo gained almost instant popularity after its formation in 2009, and have now risen to the top with two concurrent top ten singles in 2016 and a grammy under their belt for best pop duo performance. Tyler Joseph and Josh Dunn are known for snappy beats, electronic undertones, and their loyal fan club dubbed the Skeleton Clique. They've captured the hearts of many at their dynamic festival performances, but still call Columbus home.

Shrub

Photo courtesy of Shrub

In 2010, Jay Shrub decided that a white-picket fence life didn't sound as rewarding as the life of a musician, and released a reggae/rap album created in his basement studio (to his friends). Luckily the sound took off, and now Shrub has evolved into a seven piece band that performs locally and across the country. Their humor and musical talents  are sure to put you in a good mood.

Two Cow Garage

Photo courtesy of Two Cow Garage

The husky vocals and fast-paced beats of this alternative rock band will draw you in immediately. The band was formed in late 2001 by singer and guitarist Micah Schnabel, and has since released seven full-length albums. You'll find them touring the state and capturing the hearts their listeners — with a name as Ohioan as Two Cow Garage, how could they not?

Like Moths to Flames

Photo courtesy of Jonny Costa via Like Moths to Flames

If you're more of a metalcore fan, Like Moths to Flames will impress with their hard-hitting guitar and strong vocals. Since the band's formation in 2010, they have released two EPs and three full-length albums, the most recent of which was released in late 2015. Fans hope there's something else up their sleeves!

RJD2

Photo courtesy of RJD2

The famed RJD2 now hails from Philly, but his roots are in Columbus. This artist is a master of the psychedelic hip-hop genre, paving the way for this trancy, catchy music with hits like "Ghostwriter" and "A Beautiful Mine" (the theme song for Mad Men). If you're as captivated by these songs as we are, check out his newest album Dame Fortune, which was released last year.
May
14

A Complete Guide to Columbus Farmers' Markets

This post was updated on April 9, 2019 to include up-to-date information.

When the weather gets warm, Columbus residents know there is no better place to be than outside enjoying the sunshine. While our town is home to a variety of outdoor experiences and patios perfect for soaking up some Vitamin D, we also have a large number of farmers' markets that serve a dual purpose — allowing you to enjoy the day while purchasing locally produced groceries for the week. Sure, supermarkets are fine, but no one can deny that meals just taste better when created with farm-fresh produce and breads you picked out at the market that day. During the summer months, there are a plethora of markets around the city open almost every day of the week (some are even open daily). We've broken them down by day, so pick a time, find the one closest to your neighborhood, and enjoy!  

Pearl Market May 24 through October 11 Tuesdays and Fridays, 10:30 am-1:30 pm The opening of Pearl Market is highly anticipated every year, and every year, it manages to live up to the hype. Here you'll find all kinds of loot, from hand-crafted clothing and woodwork to delicious food. It's a great place to spend the morning, grab lunch, or simply swing through for a mood-booster. The Hilliard Farm Market May 28 through September 10 Tuesdays 4-7 pm At the Hilliard Farm Market (as with most markets in the area), all of the items sold are grown or made by the vendor. This guarantees a freshness and a quality that you just don't find at the supermarket, as well as wonderful conversations throughout your shopping experience.

The Farmers' Market at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens June 5 through September 4 Wednesdays, 3:30-6:30 pm Summer is the best time to be at the Franklin Park Conservatory — not just for the gorgeous blooms, but also for the Wednesday night markets. Don't miss the chance to shop for local produce, baked goods, sauces and flowers (of course) in a beautiful setting. Upper Arlington Farmers' Market June 5 through September 25 Wednesdays, 3-6 pm At the Upper Arlington Farmers' Market, you'll find a variety of delicious produce, perennials, herbs, hanging plants and more, all provided by local vendors. The market is held rain or shine, so don't be discouraged if those clouds start building up! Uptown Westerville Farmers' Market May 1 through October 30 Wednesdays 3-6 pm The Uptown Westerville Farmers' Market has been running for 11 years now, and is a prime destinations during summer afternoons for locals and visitors alike. You'll find fantastic produce, plenty of character, and an open-air atmosphere that will call you back week after week. Go ahead and bring your furry friend along! Dogs are welcome at this market.

Bexley Farmers' Market May 23 through October 24 Thursdays 4-7 pm At the corners of Dawson and Main Street, you'll find a thriving market that is as committed to the community as it is to the producers who sell there. In addition to the traditional goods you find at most farmers' markets, you'll also find food trucks, events for the kids and live music. The New Albany Farmers' Market June 20 through September 12 Thursdays 4-7 pm There's no better place to be on a sunny Thursday afternoon than at the New Albany Farmers' Market. Enjoy seasonal offerings, locally made honey and coffee, freshly baked pastries and more alongside local food trucks. It's a thriving market in the town's center, and is a great place to see familiar faces and stock up on groceries for the week. Pearl Market May 24 through October 11 Tuesdays and Fridays, 10:30 am-1:30 pm The opening of Pearl Market is highly anticipated every year, and every year, it manages to live up to the hype. Here you'll find all kinds of loot, from hand-crafted clothing and woodwork to delicious food. It's a great place to spend the morning, grab lunch, or simply swing through for a mood-booster. The Clintonville Farmers' Market Beginning on April 27 Saturdays 9 am-noon Stop by the Clintonville Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings, and start your weekend off right! 2017 marks the market's 15th season, so the vendors are obviously doing something right. If you choose to ride your bike (or bring a stroller), you can park it at the Baer Wheels Bike Corral! Westgate Farmers' Market June 1 through October 19 First and third Saturdays, 9 am-1 pm The Westgate Farmers' Market was created by a group of like-minded local residents with one goal in mind: to make healthy, locally produced foods more accessible to the community. Since the market opened, it has grown each year, drawing Columbus farmers and artisans to show their stuff and build relationships with Westgate community members. The Canal Winchester Farmers' Market May 25 through September 28 Saturdays, 9 am-12 pm Now in its 19th season, the Canal Winchester Farmers' Market continues to grow every year, offering varying supplies of fresh produce, warm baked breads and pastries, flowers and artistic trinkets to its guests — all while maintaining the atmosphere of a friendly, old-fashioned marketplace. The Worthington Farmers' Market Year-Round May through October | Saturdays, 8 am-noon November through April | Saturdays, 9am-noon The Worthington Farmers' Market is the largest in the area, boasting more than 70 farmers, artisans, bakers and more from Columbus and the surrounding neighborhoods. The market is open year-round, but moves indoors for the colder winter months. Here you'll find everything you need to make a fantastic wholesome meal, from maple syrup and breads to high quality cuts of meat, dairy, and fresh produce.   Grove City Chamber of Commerce Farmers' Market May 18 through September 7 Saturdays 8 am-noon Peach chipotle barbecue sauce, apple jelly, fresh breads, oh my! Find all of this and more at the Grove City Chamber of Commerce Farmers' Market.

North Market Year-Round Sunday-Monday, 10 am-5 pm | Tuesday-Saturday 9 am-7 pm Since 1876, the centrally-located North Market has served Columbus residents — which makes it the most seasoned market in the area. The vendors (be they candy makers, fishermen, bakers or farmers) strive to promote the diversity and vibrancy of our Ohio community, serving only the best in locally produced products. The HTH Farm Market April 2 through December 22 Monday-Friday, 10 am-5 pm | Saturday & Sunday, 9 am-5 pm Visiting this market-meets-Christmas tree lot is an experience in itself. Expect friendly service, plenty of options for fresh produce grown onsite, and a stirring conversation with the owners!

Happy Shopping!

May
12

10 Ice Cream Spots in Akron and Canton that Will Soothe Your Sweet Tooth

There's no doubt about it — ice cream is the most universally adored dessert around. Whether you're a chocoholic or a sorbet lover, there's possibly no better way to end a hot summer afternoon than with an overflowing cone of your favorite flavor. Although, we've been known to enjoy some mint chocolate chip on winter evenings as well — mmm mmm good. Luckily, Akron and Canton are two of the best spots in the state to settle into a cozy booth and enjoy homemade flavors in an old-timey atmosphere. In fact, many of the shops in the area have been around since the 1930s or earlier! Next time you're screaming for a sundae, a split or a shake, peruse this list. We're sure you'll find something to satisfy your sweet tooth.

AKRON

Chill Ice Cream

Photo courtesy of Chill Ice Cream

Step into this swanky spot in downtown Akron for heaping portions of ice cream in unique flavors! If you really want to get vanilla here, it'll be one of the best scoops of vanilla you've had, but it would be a shame to pass up the pineapple habañero sorbet, the raspberry chocolate donut, the vegan blueberry cardamom or the sea salt caramel truffle. Make sure to get your own scoop — we doubt your companion will share. Trecaso's Mary Coyle Ice Cream & Italian Foods

Photo courtesy of Trecaso's Mary Coyle

This Akron staple may serve hearty Italian fare, but the real show stopper here is the ice cream. Trecaso's Mary Coyle has been perfecting its rich and buttery ice cream recipes since it opened in 1937, and it certainly shows! Opt for a banana bowl (we recommend the U.S. Mint, with mint chocolate chip ice cream, hot fudge, crushed nuts and fresh bananas), or a perfect peach showboat (with peaches, marshmallows and crushed nuts) — these creations are anything but simple. Once you've chosen, settle into the patio with your dessert and enjoy people watching on the historic Highland Square.   Strickland's Frozen Custard

Photo courtesy of Strickland's Frozen Custard

Bill and Florence Strickland opened Strickland's Frozen Custard in 1936, offering their own simple recipe of cream, eggs, sugar and flavorful ingredients. Shortly afterward, Bill developed a machine to batch freeze the ice cream while limiting the air whipped into the product — the result is rich and satisfying. The location has since expanded into a small chain throughout Ohio and as far as Irvine, California, but this Akron hot spot has not lost any of its character or its flavor. Stop in for a treat and a blast from the past. Biggins' Big Dip

Photo courtesy of Biggins' Big Dip

Located just outside of Akron in Portage Lakes, Biggins' Big Dip offers great flavors, hearty portions, and an overall incredible value for your money. Make your choice between a shake, split or sundae, and settle down in the shade outside. You'll enjoy a charming atmosphere, a fantastic view of the lake and friendly service. Pav's Creamery

Photo courtesy of Pav's Creamery

Pav's Creamery is usually busy (especially on warm summer afternoons), but the desserts are well worth the wait. Indulge in decadent flavors including chocolate-covered strawberry, chocolate peanut butter pretzel, key lime pie and German chocolate cake, but the list doesn't stop there. Whether you're a fruit lover or a chocoholic, you're sure to find something worth loving on the menu. Bonus: Stop in for happy hour and enjoy a boozy adult shake.  

CANTON

Taggarts

Photo courtesy of Taggarts

Established in 1926, Taggarts has since made a name as a Canton landmark. When you stop in (and you should soon), expect a heavy dose of 1920s' charm, complete with high-backed booths that invite you to stay awhile. Once you're settled, you can enjoy a meal (burgers, reubens and the like), or indulge in a gigantic, smothered sundae or banana split. The loyal customer base and out-of-town clientele is a testament to the quality of the food as well as the service. Almost Heaven Ice Cream

Photo courtesy of Almost Heaven Ice Cream

The ice creams at this charming shop are just as heavenly as the name suggests! Almost Heaven Ice Cream is home to more than 30 homemade flavors, all of which are served in delectable sundaes, blasts, shakes and ice cream sandwiches. You really can't go wrong, but we recommend sampling a flavor of the week — these range from s'mores and key lime pie to blueberry cheesecake and sugar-free moose tracks. Have a great idea for a new flavor? Fill out a form, and your idea could be the next flavor of the month! Milk and Honey

Photo courtesy of Milk and Honey

The historic Milk and Honey offers an experience and an atmosphere that is almost (read: almost) as incredible as the ice cream itself. Stop in for a decadent sundae or old-fashioned banana split topped with flavorful fruits, candies and sauces, and of course finished with a hefty dollop of whipped cream. After you're done, explore the shop and pick out a few candies to take home with you. Country Cones

Photo courtesy of Country Cones

The colorful exterior and southern charm of Country Cones draws in locals and visitors alike to enjoy a friendly (and delicious) ice cream outing. If you're in the mood for something savory, you can choose between country classics like smothered ribs, macaroni & cheese, and hot dogs, but don't leave without a sweet treat — the homemade ice cream is the perfect way to finish a meal or a sunny day on the town. Scoops Ice Cream & Food

Photo courtesy of Scoops Ice Cream

Scoops Ice Cream opened in 2009, and while it's one of the newer shops in town, it has still established itself as a town favorite. The no-frills shop offers incredible service, a friendly atmosphere, and just plain delicious ice cream. You'll enjoy bringing the family here on a summer afternoon, or settling down at an outside table with a few friends. If you're in the mood for something more than just ice cream, Scoops offers one of the best Phillys around — just make sure to save room for dessert.

How Sweet it Is To Have So Many Great Ice Cream Shops!

May
5

9 Homes for Sale in Columbus Perfect for Entertaining Guests This Summer

The summer months are finally upon us. Join us as we breathe a sigh of relief! As the weather warms, we can enjoy late nights grilling with friends on the patio, watching the kids play in the sunshine, and making everyone's favorite summer night snack, s'mores. While we'll be on the lookout for ways to enjoy this gorgeous Columbus weather in the city, there's nothing better than celebrating the season in the comfort of your own home. Whether you're aiming for coziness or elegance, we're sure these swoon-worthy homes for sale in Columbus will catch your eye.

A Story-worthy Home

This home is for sale at: 5851 Dunheath Lp., Dublin. Contact: Conley & Partners.

This home will make you feel like you've just stepped into a Jane Austen novel with its formal living and dining areas, French doors, and abundant natural light. Step outside and you'll find a brick patio with picture-perfect landscaping and a built in fire pit.

A Vacation Year-Round

This home is for sale at: 8630 Albury Ct., Powell. Contact: John Francis

The resort-like driveway and entryway of this home will set the perfect mood for summer get togethers. And after you and your guests have finished dinner next to the cozy fireplace in the dining room, you can retire to the covered patio or the game room for a nightcap.

Elegant Entertaining Defined

This home is for sale at: 4596 Beecher Ct., New Albany. Contact: Wendy Witker Stahanczyk.

This elegant home in New Albany would be a joy to live in year-round, but has a particular draw for the summer months. Once you're done admiring the interior, complete with reclaimed wood, a master bathroom built for queens, a gym and top-of-the-line appliances, take your guests out to the perfectly landscaped back lawn and enjoy a cold bevvie on the patio.

Fun in Any Weather

This home is for sale at: 9030 Shaffer Dr., Powell. Contact: Conley & Partners

There's so much to love about this stunning home, from gorgeous wooden cabinetry and lighting fixtures to high ceilings, a spa-like master bath and gigantic closets. Your guests will love escaping the heat in the downstairs den, complete with a wet bar and game area, or chatting late into the summer evenings around the outdoor fire pit.

An Outdoor Escape

This home is for sale at: 4429 Scioto Parkway, Powell. Contact: Chris Rosen

The interior of this home is cozy as can be, but step outside and the real fun begins. Take in the gorgeous landscaping while you relax under the shade of a spectacular pergola covered in ivy, all while your dinner sizzles on the nearby grill.

A Picture-Perfect Property

This home is for sale at: 3865 Lyon Dr., Columbus. Contact: Kim Mills.

Just picture it: casual summer nights with friends chatting around the fire pit, refreshing drinks and snacks in hand. Sounds pretty great to us! If that image isn't enough for you, take a look at the stunning white granite throughout, the fireplace with a cozy hearth, and the open floor plan in the kitchen and living room — which is perfect for hosting a party.

S'more to Love

This home is for sale at: 5429 Bayside Ridge Dr., Galena. Contact: Vinny DeFrancisco.

There's much to love about this Galena home, but we are particularly smitten with the family aspect of it. During summer get togethers, the adults can crowd around the grill or the bar area while the children play on the swingset outside. For dessert, enjoy s'mores cooked around the fire pit.

An Enviable Set Up

This home is for sale at: 2969 Atoll Dr., Lewis Center. Contact: Chris Rosen.

This home will surely be the destination everyone is talking about this summer. Aside from the open layout and elegant touches within, you'll find an outdoor area worth envying, complete with a pergola, an expansive grassy area and a built-in grilling area.

Plenty of Space, and Plenty of Privacy

This home is for sale at: 5791 Fitzgibbon Ct, Dublin

There's plenty of room to relax and play in the expansive backyard of this property in Dublin. You'll enjoy the privacy of a secluded, cul de sac neighborhood, and gorgeous landscaping to boot. After the night's festivities are over, cozy around the fireplace with your family.
May
4

The 15 Best Breweries in Columbus and What to Try at Each

Columbus is certainly making its mark in the craft beer industry. With 35 breweries (and counting), we have established ourselves as one of the beer hubs of the Midwest, and that's something to celebrate! Residents and visitors alike don't have to look far to find a crisp and refreshing ale, but the challenge is figuring out where to settle down for happy hour or a weekend bevvie with friends — there are just so many choices! In honor of Columbus Beer Week (May 12-20), we've rounded up our favorite breweries in the city, and listed a stellar brew to try at each one. The scene is constantly evolving, and we are always on the lookout for recommendations, so let us know if we missed one of your go-to brews!

Seventh Son Brewing Company

Photo courtesy of Nathan Ward via Seventh Son Brewing Company

Tucked into a charming corner of Columbus's Italian Village lies Seventh Son Brewing Company — a collaboration between childhood friends and a stellar spot to enjoy a beer. Stop in for a unique brew in a range of flavors and varieties, and be sure to accompany your choice with a bite from the food truck of the day. Beer to try: The Humulus Nimbus This strong pale ale toes the line between an IPA and a pale, and includes berry-piney hops and light malts. Mmm mm good! ABV: 6%

Four String Brewing Company

If you haven't visited this Rock 'n' Roll-inspired brewery, the time has come. Founder Dan Cochran is a bass guitar musician with a passion for creating interesting beer you can't find anywhere else — and it rocks. He has been perfecting his recipes since 1994, so stop in for a pint and see what all the buzz is about! Beer to try: The Switchblade IPA Tropical fruits and citrus are the flavor focus in this IPA, but this ain't no tooty fruity bevvie. The savage amounts of hops take this ale to the next level. ABV: 6.5%

Sideswipe Brewing

Photo courtesy of Sideswipe Brewery

This small-operation brewery focuses on quality, not quantity — and that might be why a pint here is so dang delicious. The cozy taproom is located mere steps from downtown Columbus, and offers a no-frills experience with a friendly atmosphere, fun games and great company. Beer to try: The Coop Looter This American-style saison is made with whole white wheat and aromatic Belgian malts, and is packed with effervescent flavors, thanks to the hints of grapefruit and cracked pepper. ABV: 6%

Actual Brewing

Science is the name of the game at Actual Brewing, where the brewers don't hide their process. Rather, they revel in it, brewing each beer with courage, precision and experimentation (of course). Need a bit of a pick-me-up after sampling a few beers? Enjoy a hot cup of coffee made from house-roasted beans. Beer to try: Conductor Imperial Rye IPA This imperial IPA is a favorite for many, offering a flavor that is subtle, striking and complex all at once. Enjoy a stellar malt to hop balance that is worth every penny. ABV: 8.1%

Pigskin Brewing Company

Photo courtesy of Pigskin Brewery

This friendly brewery in Gahanna offers excellent brews created and served with love — and excellent food to boot! Stop in for Won off Wednesdays, during which the company will share a unique weekly small batch brew for one time only. Once it's gone, it's gone for good! Proof that the best things in life are fleeting. Beer to try: Autumn Wind Russian Imperial Stout An intensely roasty, dark brew with complex malts and hops. Look for notes of chocolate and coffee. ABV: 10.5%

Wolf's Ridge Brewing

Photo courtesy of Wolf's Ridge Brewing

Wolf's Ridge Brewing is where elegance meets adventure. Stop in at either the tap room or the more formal dining room to get a taste of incredible beer and delectable bites. In the tap room, you'll find bar snacks, shareables and sandwiches, and in the dining room you'll find more upscale fare. Look out for the Hudson Valley foie gras, the shrimp and grits, the scallops, and the New Zealand lamb rack — and make sure to chase down your choice with a house-made beer. Beer to try: Clear Sky Cream Ale This easy-drinking, crisp ale took home first place in the 2017 Beer Army Beer Wars. Pick up a bottle or a pint on draft, and we're sure you'll taste the winning quality. ABV: 5%

Barley's Brewing Company

Barley's Brewing Company has been on the scene for a while, perfecting its ale recipes since 1992. Over more than 20 years, the taproom on High Street has welcomed visitors and locals alike (even an impressive lineup of celebrities) to try its signature brews and enjoy the friendly atmosphere! Make sure you're one of them this year. Beer to try: Blood Thirst Wheat This refreshing ale is a joy to drink year-round, but especially satisfying in the warm summer months. The beer has an impressive citrus flavor due to the Sicilian blood orange zest added to the brew kettle, and purée added during and after fermentation. ABV: 5%

North High Brewing

Photo courtesy of North High Brewing

North High Brewing, located on (surprise!) North High Street, offers a new kind of experience — one that focuses on the actual brewing of the beer! While you can stop in anytime to enjoy a signature brew on draft (and we highly recommend that you do), you can also "Schedule a Kettle" and brew your own beer with the help of the owners using a North High recipe. Beer to try: The North High Pale Ale The North High Pale Ale is an easy-drinking brew with plenty of hops and caramel malt to balance the flavor. You might feel like a champ for drinking it, as this winning beer has secured a gold medal at Beer Wars, a silver at the 2016 World Beer Cup, and a bronze at the Best of Craft Beer Awards in Bend, Oregon. Look out for notes of tropical fruit, citrus and herbs. ABV: 5.5%

Zauber Brewing Co.

Photo courtesy of Chris Heidel via Zauber

This brewery offers traditional German and Belgian beers served in a quirky, low-key environment that is 100% American. Zauber initially opened as a small alley-side growler fill station in 2012, but is now a lively, full-service bar and taproom nestled on 5th avenue. Stop in on Wednesday for board game night, or on weekend morning to catch the EPL soccer games. Beer to try: Wunderland A Belgian strong dark ale brewed in the traditional way, with only yeast, malt and hops. Still, the flavor is rich, complex and strong. ABV: 8.7%

Land Grant Brewing Company

Photo courtesy of Matthew Carbone via Land Grant Brewing Company

Born from a passion for great beer, intriguing design and midwestern sports, Land Grant Brewing Company has certainly become a Columbus staple since it opened in 2014. The founders all come from different backgrounds, which means each offers an interesting perspective on the style of the taproom and of the beers themselves. Everything about Land Grant is a collision of flavor and culture! Stop in seven days a week to try the beer and sample from an impressive lineup of food trucks. Beer to try: Son of a Mudder A brown ale that is truer than true. Brewed with toasty hops and balanced with seven different malt varieties, you'll find flavors of toffee, caramel and coffee. This beer is sure to warm you to the core! ABV: 6.1%

Zaftig Brewing Co.

If it's a full-bodied ale you're after, look no further than Zaftig Brewing Co. This brewery specializes in hefty Ambers, Stouts and IPAs. In fact, the lightest beer on the menu clocks in at an impressive 7% ABV. Don't make your decision lightly — try a flight to get a little bit of everything. Beer to Try: The Shadowed Mistress American Strong Ale hopped with Citra hops, balanced with roasted malt, and amped with a tropical juice flavor blast. ABV: 9%

Elevator Brewing Company

Elevator Brewing Company was founded in 1999 by a father/son duo that found almost as much joy in making quality beers as they did in drinking them. Their passion shines through in the quality of the beers, which have won a smattering of awards and bring Columbus locals back to the tap room time and time again. Beer to try: Dark Force Lager A year-round staple and a palate-pleaser, this beer earned a bronze medal in the 2007 Great American Beer Festival (out of 2,832 submissions, mind you). The brew is well-balanced, lightly hopped and full of warm flavor. ABV: 5.9%

Lineage Brewing

As the name suggests, Lineage Brewing pays homage to its roots (and the history of its home, Clintonville) while constantly trying to find new ways to evolve and pave a path for the Columbus craft beer scene. The brewery is located in an old car wash, but has been transformed into a well-lit, modern space with a friendly atmosphere. The brewers are constantly on the quest to create the perfect pint, but we're sure when they find it, they won't stop there. Bonus: This brewery is dog friendly, so bring Fido along for the ride! Beer to try: The Oscura Obscura We bet you haven't seen many blonde stouts in your beer tasting ventures. Brewed like a traditional stout, but without the toasted malt, this delightfully confusing beer incorporates cocoa nibs and vanilla beans to create a robust, creamy flavor. ABV: 7.9%

Columbus Brewing Co.

Columbus Brewing Company was originally founded in 1830, but the name was resurrected in 1988 to dub the current operations. We'd certainly hope that a brewery with our city's namesake would produce beers worth bragging about, and we haven't been disappointed! While Columbus brewing's tap room is still under construction, you can find bottles of the tasty brews in liquor stores around town. Do not confuse this spot with CBC Restaurant, which is also quite tasty, but not affiliated with the brewery. Beer to try: Thunderlips Experimental Pale Ale The deep golden color of this pale ale is produced with Simpsons Golden Promise Malt, which is then amped up with plenty of hops in several varieties. The result is striking and thunderous, if you will. ABV: 5.3%

Smokehouse Brewing

Photo courtesy of Cheryl Harrison via Smokehouse Brewing

Smokehouse Brewing is the spot to settle if you're looking for a bit of barbecue with your beer. While the juicy wings, sauerkraut balls and messy ribs are certainly delightful, the refreshing beers are certainly the main event. The tart IPAs and bold stouts pair well with the sauces, and always leave you wanting another. Beer to try: The Woody Haze Barrel Aged Scotch Ale Brewed every Valentine's Day, this dark, amber ale is a celebrated staple of Smokehouse Brewing. The bourbon barrel-aging process gives the brew a rich flavor that pairs well with gamey meats.

Cheers! 

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