Friday, June 24, 2016

Brandywine Falls

Photos by OHventures

Brandywine Falls
8176 Brandywine Rd.
Sagamore Hills, OH 44067
(234) 380-3789

I am pretty certain that I have found one of the most gorgeous places in Ohio: Brandywine Falls. Part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the falls are part of the Brandywine Creek, which is a tributary of the Cuyahoga River. These majestic waters fall from a height of 86 feet, making it one of the largest waterfalls in the entire state (click here for a map of all of the significant waterfalls in Ohio).

On top of being one of the tallest waterfalls, Brandywine Falls is certainly one of the most scenic in the state. You can access the falls by a series of wooden pathways built to overlook the water. From there, you can also take dirt and rock-covered trails to the base of the waterfall. It makes for awesome photos, as shown on this blog!

The falls are dog friendly, too. Slider definitely enjoyed trotting alongside me and soaking in the sights on a recent visit to Brandywine Falls in May. Additional amenities of the park include public restrooms, a 1.5 mile gorge trail (which bypasses the man-made boardwalks mentioned above), and a nearby bed and breakfast, called The Inn at Brandywine Falls.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Findlay Market Cincinnati

Photos by OHventures

Findlay Market
1801 Race Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 665-4839

Even on a Sunday afternoon, the Findlay Market located in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is booming with activity. As Ohio's oldest public market (having been established in 1852), the Market shows no signs of slowing down. With the brightly colored Italian-style architecture, you'll immediately feel in a cheerful mood, ready to explore the Market head on!

On a recent visit, the hustle and bustle was in full force. Red picnic tables were overflowing with folks eating lunch, drinking local craft brews, and enjoying live music in the beer garden. Hundreds of people were perusing food and retail vendors located in both indoor and outdoor booths. 

There are over 40 full-time vendors, and an additional 50 pop-up vendors on the weekends, offering a mix of grocery, prepared foods, and related goods. This is where local restaurants come to get their meats, local breweries come to get their spices, and the general public come to stock their pantries.

With 1.2 million visitors a year, the Findlay Market is the fifth most visited place in Cincinnati. It is also known to be the most diverse spot in city as far as careers, income, and background of vendors and patrons alike.

The Findlay Market has served as the launching pad for larger success stories, including Taste of Belgium, an eatery offering waffles and other Belgian inspired dishes that started at Findlay Market in 2007, and has since expanded to four additional locations (including one in Columbus). 

Urbana Cafe is another example of a business that began in Findlay Market and has grown over the years. You can't miss the periwinkle-colored classic utility motorcycle fashioned into a mobile coffee shop, often appearing outside near the pop-up tents of the Market. Known to serve "coffee with a purpose," Urbana Cafe is an experience in and of itself!

With so many vendors to check out, I could go on and on. But, I will save you from that and simply give you a few top picks in addition to those mentioned above:
  • Zinncinnati: Flowers and decor
  • Mr. Kofinas: Infused olive oils
  • Pho Lang Thang: Vietnamese pho done right
  • Fireside Pizza: Oven baked pizzas - my weakness!
  • DIRT: A Modern Market: Veggies, fruits, cheese, and meats all in one shop.
  • J.E. Gibbs Cheese: Who doesn't love cheese?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Discover Medina County Wineries

Sipping on wine is more than just an experience for your tastebuds – it’s an all-around adventure that allows you to spend quality time with friends and family, all while soaking in the sights and sounds of Ohio's beautiful scenery.

As National Wine Month winds down, consider taking a trip to three great wineries found within Medina County: High & Low WineryFilia Cellars, and It’s Your Winery. All offer a fantastic selection of wines in comfortable Ohio countryside settings.

High & Low Winery is located in the City of Medina, and boasts that it is a place to meet all of your moods – whether you are looking for something casual or classy, laid back or upbeat, High & Low Winery has you covered.

The winery looks like a French chalet on the outside, and has a warm and modern feel on the inside. There's a fantastic menu to pair with the large selection of wines, including delicious paninis (try the Good Golly Miss Molly) and meat & cheese plates.

On a recent visit to High & Low Winery, me and some friends sat on the back porch, listening to local live acoustic music, and taking advantage of the great deals associated with their weekday happy hour! I tasted several wines, and would highly recommend the King Of The Heavies (a dry cabernet franc) or the Misunderstood (a rich merlot). If you're like me, you'll also appreciate the artwork found on the wine bottles, and you'll love the friendly staff!

Located just a few minutes down the street from High & Low (also in the City of Medina) is one of my new favorite spots, It's Your Winery. It has a small tasting room and retail area, and an enormous area for wine production!

It's Your Winery is named as such because it specializes specifically in offering patrons the unique experience of using state-of-the-art equipment to produce their own wine to take home with them in small batch form (30 bottles for a full case, or 15 bottles for a half case).

The winemaking process at It's Your Winery takes up to 10 weeks. You first come in to choose the wine you want to make, then begin the process with step-by-step instructions from knowledgeable staff. You come back in several weeks when the fermentation process has completed. This is when you bottle, cork, cap, and label the wine (with your own personalized labels)!

It's Your Winery has a HUGE selection of fruit wines. Everything from a cherry/peach sangria to a cranberry wine to a raspberry wine. Even if you don’t want to make your own wine, you can still come in and have a glass or some tastings!

Last on our tour of Medina County wineries is Filia Cellars, a new winery located in the City of Wadsworth. On a recent visit, the owners greeted me warmly, and I was told much about the history of the family’s wine business.

Wines here are made with grapes grown both here in Ohio (the white wines), and on the owner’s property in California (the red wines). The name, Filia, means “daughter” in Latin, and some of the wines are named after strong females in the family (Isabella, Hannah, Lillian).

Filia Cellars has a relaxing backyard atmosphere, complete with a duck pond, Adirondack chairs, and picnic tables with umbrellas. There is a small stage for live music, yoga sessions, paint parties, and even visits from local food trucks (Get Stuffed was there on my recent visit).

What I like best is that the outdoor section of the winery is dog friendly, so I was able to bring my little pup Slider with me, and my friends brought their French bulldog Beau! We sipped on the delicious dry reds and enjoyed the gorgeous weather.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

CAK Runway 5K

On Saturday, October 8, you have the opportunity to join in on A ONE OF A KIND experience as the Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) celebrates 70 years serving the aviation needs of our community. Join in on a truly unique 5K on the CAK runway.

The race will start and finish at the MAPS Air Museum.

The course will take you out on to the runway/taxiway areas of the airport that are normally restricted for aircraft only. Expect a fast course!

Race features include finish line food, a super cool start/finish experience, a long sleeve event shirt, AND a fantastic finisher medal.

Help "Stuff the Plane" by bringing canned goods or non-perishable foods in an attempt to fill an airplane entirely with donated items for the Akron Canton Regional Foodbank.

Hurry, because this race is open only to the first 700 runners, and this race WILL sell out!