Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Red Maple Inn

Photos by OHventures

Every once and awhile, I find it necessary to escape from the fast-paced world of the big city by visiting Ohio's serene countryside. Nestled not far from Akron, Canton, Youngstown, and Cleveland is Geauga County, home of the world's 4th largest Amish community, and a perfect place to make that restful retreat.

This summer, I was invited to stay at the Red Maple Inn, a beautiful boutique hotel located in the small town of Burton in the heart of Geauga County's Amish Country. With unbeatable views of lush green fields, a selection of spacious rooms, and hearty Amish-style breakfast buffets, the offer to stay was impossible to pass up.

Arriving at the Red Maple Inn, I was "greeted" by Rut Maple, a horse and carriage crafted out of recycled steel parts by local artist Chris McConnell. This striking artwork sits right outside the entrance of the hotel, and sets the tone for the whimsical stay guests are about to experience.

There are 17 rooms and one suite available, each with handmade furniture crafted by the Amish from various types of wood. This makes each room a bit different from the others. However, all rooms come with a flat screen TV, fireplace, coffee maker, balcony with outdoor furniture, and my personal favorite: a jacuzzi tub! Talk about relaxing!

All guests have access to an on-site fitness facility, a library and gaming nook, You can also enjoy complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres at certain times during the week. After enjoying a glass of red wine and checking into my room, I went out to explore the surrounding area.

Railroad car at Century Village Museum

The Red Maple Inn is located in walking distance to a number of worthwhile tourist stops. For starters, a small footbridge leads you from the hotel property to the Century Village Museum, a series of buildings and artifacts that serve as an authentic representation of life in the Western Reserve during the 1800s.

Burton Log Cabin & Sugar Camp

Walking a little further takes you to Burton Square,the center of town, modeled after the village greens of New England. Here, you can visit the Burton Chamber of Commerce Log Cabin & Sugar Camp, where pure maple syrup and other related products are made and sold. I took home a bottle of syrup, as well as some maple candies for my aunt (she loves them!).

Nearby is Warren's Spirited Kitchen, a rather new establishment in Burton, with a more modern feel to it. I sat and enjoyed a cocktail (a Cleveland Old Fashioned) while listening to a local guitarist, before retiring to my room at the Red Maple Inn.

On my way home, I stopped at Mary Yoder's Amish Kitchen for a home-cooked meatloaf dinner. If there's one thing that's consistent in the Geauga County Amish Country, it's how flavorful and filling its food is! I went home with a full belly and a happy heart!

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