Each year, TJ and I use his birthday as an excuse to travel. Since we recently returned from our Costa Rican honeymoon, we decided it might be best to keep our mini getaway close to home. We looked at the calendar and like many of you, we didn’t have any free weekends! It is wedding and baby season, after all. Squeezed on our calendar was a baby shower in Twinsburg, so we decided, what the heck, Cleveland it is.
I wanted to make this birthday trip just as exciting as our trip to NYC a couple of years back – how do I top that in Cleveland?!
I’ll tell you how! We stay at one of the newest, historically renovated masterpieces on E. 9th St. of course – The Kimpton Schofield Hotel. The original, c. 1902 Schofield Building was transformed into a modern, urban oasis and just opened this year. I’m a YP and like everyone says my generation is supposed to, I love the community space they incorporated into the lobby. Each morning they put out a fabulous selection of teas and coffee and little baby muffins and fruit. The best part was, I could take it back to my room or enjoy one of these cute reading nooks. Notice all that green stuff? It’s alive! The new “it” thing to bring into your lobby are these living walls – perfect, particularly when you’re at an urban property. Their restaurant, Parker’s Downtown, just opened – check it out!
We kicked off the weekend at one of Cleveland’s best restaurants, Michael Symon’s Lola. Lola is located in the East 4th Street entertainment district, just a stone’s throw from The Schofield Hotel. TJ loves pierogis, so you can bet we tried the Beef Cheek Pierogi with mushrooms and horseradish crème fraiche. The waiter said it’s been on the menu since the restaurant opened, which I can certainly believe because it was phenomenal. We wrapped up our first night by visiting another great property in downtown Cleveland – the Azure Rooftop Lounge at the Metropolitan at the 9. The hotel itself is the definition of trendy. Staff looked professional in anything but a uniform (jeans, vests, fedoras, you name it!) and the bartenders were bustling on one of Ohio’s first beautiful summer nights. From this rooftop on the 12th floor, you can see the entire city.
Line that picks up at 9th & Euclid). We visited TownHall Ohio City on a recommendation from a local and we fell in love. I had the Flaxberry Smoothie and the Wakey Wakey – that bacon is to. Die. For. We also noticed there were a number of pups on the patio and, was that one of them eating out of a dog bowl?? Yep – this is a very pet friendly joint! Check out their dog menu!
We spent the rest of the day discovering Cleveland. While in Ohio City, we visited Cleveland’s oldest continuously operating, municipally owned market, West Side Market (now open Sundays!). We checked out the new Hilton Downtown Cleveland. Speaking of markets (did I mention we love food?), we also paid a visit to Heinen’s Grocery Store located on the corner of 9th & Euclid. Heinen’s began as a butcher shop on the east side of Cleveland in 1931 and now operates twenty-two stores throughout Ohio and Indiana. You can do all of your grocery shopping or visit the historic Rotunda for a grab-and-go selection of fresh salads, sushi, sandwiches, etc. We finished our evening with dinner at another hometown favorite – Pickwick & Frolic, followed by a show at Hilarities 4th Street Theatre, which recently celebrated its 30th birthday!
Before heading home, we swung through Adega, another of the spectacular dining options at Metropolitan at the 9. Settling in with a mug of tea in hand, after a weekend full of discovery, food and sunshine – all in our own backyard, the idea of Inn Love was born.
“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck