Over the River & Inn the Woods Retreat

Our Top 10

Destination Recommendations

Below are some of our favorite places to go.  We’ve paired our destinations with tried, true and tasty eateries.   So, browse through our Senses and Supper; we’re sure you’ll find just what you’re looking for. The recommendations are listed by distance: The first four destinations are our favorite things to see and do within 12 minutes.  The next four are 25 minutes, the vineyards are 45 minutes and Sugarcreek is 90 minutes away. To help you get the most out of your journey through Senses and Supper we decided to include some food for thought.  In his book, How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci, author Michael Gelb, puts us in Leonardo’s dusty shoes and helps us engage our Curiosita—Curiosity!  We will apply his principles to your journey, so you may experience things in a whole new way.

Senses and Supper, Lakeshore

On a windy day at Eastlake’s Boulevard of 500 Flags, the sound of each flag snapping, cascade-like in the breeze can give you chills.


Sensazione: the continual reinforcement of the senses.

Close your eyes and really listen to the sound of the flags blowing in the wind. Watch them as they snap and wave.  Then head over to Dubrovnik’s and enjoy a taste of NEO’s Croatian heritage.  We recommend the Villa Croatia Platter or the Rib-Eye Steak. 

The military flagpole display is by EZPOLE Flagpoles—USA manufactured locally. Mention the name Todd and you might get a private tour.

Senses and Supper, Duck Pond

The Nature Center and Marsh Boardwalk in our North Chagrin Reservation metro park is a favorite stop.  Paved, gravel, and dirt paths are well marked. Other places in the park that are local favorites are Strawberry Lane, Buttermilk Falls, and Squire’s Castle.

Dimostrazione: A commitment to test knowledge through experience, persistence and a willingness to learn from mistakes.

After your brisk walk at the North Chagrin Reservation, take a one-minute drive over to Tavern Six.  Try their creative appetizers, entrees, burgers, and pizza on their patio.  Pair it with a glass of wine but leave room for one of their specialty cupcakes—a different one for every day of the year!  Hat’s off to the chef for her persistence in creating these taste-bud delights

Senses and Supper, Eastlake

The doubleheader: Cracker Jacks and Trader Jacks.  This combo can easily take you to a grand slam victory.  The Murphy’s Oil Soap family got the ball rolling on this joy of the neighborhood.  The Captain’s Stadium is quite spectacular and offers a great night out for all.  The minor league games offer the excitement of the major leagues but without the high fees, heavy traffic, and parking nightmares.  The safe, family fun ends with fireworks after each game.

Sensazione: The continual reinforcement of the senses (especially sight) as the means to liven the experience.

Trade Jack’s Riverside restaurant is located on the north end of the Chagrin River and is one of many Eastlake hotspots.  A great review states: “Worth the drive from anywhere for the cod sandwich.”  Lobster bisque, wings, and Lake Erie perch are on the menu.  Just save room for the popcorn and Cracker Jacks at the ballgame later.

Senses and Supper, Orchard Grove

We are uncertain on whether or not we should share this wonderful find. If we share it, then it will become popular and the peaceful may be less so, but If we don’t share it…well, that’s just selfish!  A true paradox indeed.

Sfumato: Literally meaning “going up in smoke.” This refers to a willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox and uncertainty.

The variety of the simple lay in wait to capture your every sense!  The abandoned golf cart paths take you though rolling meadows and thick dense woods and beside a decked-out pond.  If you take a moment, your senses will feel the warm and cool breeze exchange as you make your way through these environs. The reward for your diligent exercise lies in wait under a glass counter at Patterson’s Fruit Farm’s bakery adjacent to Orchard Grove.  How thoughtful is that!  Be mentally prepared, the blueberry doughnuts may just put your senses on overload.  In the fall you can exercise off that donut by picking your own apples. 

If you’re more in the mood for pizza or ice cream then Angelo’s is the place! Their fresh pizza and smooth rich and chewy chocolate ice cream (my favorite) will rotate your eyeballs 360 degrees.  Maybe you’re in the mood for a burger and a beer, then head on over to The Kirtland City Tavern.  They are also the World Headquarters for Bread Pudding Culinary Artisans.  A different one every night.

If you are ambiguous about taking your taste-buds to the limit, then this is where you must embrace the paradox and let your diet go up in smoke.

Senses and Supper, The Marsh

We believe that by the time you reach the boardwalk’s end, you’ll have solved at least two of mankind’s most plaguing problems.  Now, that is time very well spent!  Moving onto a less complex endeavor—where’s a great place to eat with lots and lots of character?  Pickle Bills; an eclectic and esoteric menagerie of deep- sea fishing and antique maritime paraphernalia located on the Grand River.  It features are large deck and a few mermaids.  It’s a little pricey and there are mixed reviews on the food, but they do serve up great crab and crabby cakes and all you-can-eat perch.

Now, I don’t want to leave out Brennan’s Fish House as you can’t go wrong there either, especially if Pickle Bills gets too packed.  Brennan’s is uncluttered tidy fish house.   A great place to finish up any whole-brain thinking that you’ve left undone.  

Note: I think I saw a dehydrated yellow and porous Sponge Bob, Patrick Star, Mrs. Puff, Mr. Krabs, and Squidward.  I didn’t see Sandy the squirrel, which surprised me because, after all, the place is a little nuts. 

Arte/Scienza: The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination; whole-brain thinking.

By the time you reach the boardwalk’s end, you’ll have solved at least two of mankind’s most plaguing problems. Now that’s time very well spent.  Moving onto a less complex endeavor—where’s a great place to visit with lots and lots of character? Pickle Bills.  Now I don’t want to leave out Brennons Fish House as you can’t go wrong there, especially if Pickle Bills gets too packed.  Brennons is uncluttered and a tidy fish house.   A great place to finish up any whole-brain thinking that you’ve left undone.  Next door is  Pickle Bills.  Yes, it features clutter and lots of it.  Deep sea fishing and antique marina type stuff including a few mermaids.  These aren’t wall mounted like some of the large catches that are featured but they have their prominent perch-like positions.  It’s a little pricey and there are mixed reviews on the food.  They serve up great crab and crabby cakes and all you-can-eat perch. 

I think I saw a dehydrated yellow and porous Sponge Bob, Patrick Star, Mrs. Puff, Mr. Krabs, and Squidward.  I didn’t see Sandy though, maybe because they started serving squirrel. After all, the place is a little nuts. 

Senses and Supper, Headlands Beach

The mile-long beach attracts two million visitors a year from the US and Canada. The break wall at the eastern end of the park which is frequented by fishermen, has the Fairport Harbor West Breakwater Light. Amenities include hiking trails, a playground and bathrooms. It’s also the home to Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve.

Corporalita: The cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness and poise.

Headlands is a free beach with plenty of parking and picnic areas.  Just east of headlands is the Fairport Harbor Beach.  It’s smaller and there is a minimal charge for parking, but it has more amenities, a finer sand and is frequently sifted.  You’ll find some playground equipment, snack shop and on occasion, rentals.

After a day of basting at either beach you’ll have an appetite.  Scooter’s Dawg House and ice cream shop will be the perfect place to discover your ambidextrous skill sets.  Juggling your mile-high pile of fries, drink and dinner will be the proof of your impressive skills.  The cultivation of grace will be achieved as you carefully and slowly down the Hawaiian pineapple donned Dawg.  They also have angus burgers and other selections.  What better way to finish a day at the beach then with some ice cream.  We highly recommend the Turtle Sundae.

Senses and Supper, Chardon Square

Historic Chardon Square is a great place to visit.  They have fairs and events throughout the year, so you may want to check their calendar.  Mid-summer they have a farmer’s market on Fridays and a band playing at night in the gazebo. Locals bring their lawn chairs and a picnic.

Connessione: The recognition of and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things and phenomena; “systems thinking.”

Interconnectedness.  You can experience this phenomenon first-hand—just show up at the El Patron Restaurant with an appetite.  When you look at their awesome and entertaining menu, you can say to the server, “Hey, I know the guy (Jim Kraft) who designed this cool menu!”  I designed, not only that menu, but this very website that you are now reading.  Now that’s interconnectedness!

Our recommendation: The Burrito Mexicano.  In the menu, I put Mexican jumping beans in a hot tub filled with El Patron’s  life-changing Queso to demonstrate how it will make you feel.  The steak fajitas are heaven and come on a smoking, sizzling platter.

Senses and Supper, Boats and Bridges

Enjoy dinner and a cruise at this Senses and Supper.  Cleveland has been going through continual renovation—keeping with the character of the old, but modernizing it where it makes sense.  One example is the spectacular lighting that has been done on the bridges over the Cuyahoga River.  You can’t go wrong with a river or lake GOODTIME III evening cruise.

Curiosita: an unrelenting request for continued learning.

Cleveland and University Circle are packed with so many things to see and do.   In Tower City you can ride the rapid and watch the dancing waters.   Public Square has been redone to accommodate foot traffic.  Playhouse Square Theater District is second only to Broadway.  If you want the best corn beef sandwich in town, head over to Slyman’s at St. Clair Ave. and 31st NE.   Just be sure to have your order ready or they’ll pass right over you.  It’s a little like The Soup Nazi episode on Seinfeld.

University Circle.   You can access it by exiting on to Martin Luther King Blvd (MLK). Once you’re on MLK, you can take the first left and be at the Rockefeller Greenhouse.   No admission fee here, just beauty on the grow.   Next, you’ll want to drive down MLK and experience Cleveland’s Cultural Gardens located within 276 acres of wooded parkland.   There are over 30 distinct gardens, with more being added each year.

 As you come to the end of MLK you will head into University Circle.   Straight ahead and heading left up Jeptha Drive you’ll be at The Cleveland Art Museum.  Adjacent to that is the Cleveland Botanical Garden, and at the north end is the Natural History Museum.   The Crawford Auto Museum is also nearby.

To experience a bit of Italy, Little Italy on Murry Hill is the place.  Stop by La Dolce Vita on a Monday and you might be in time for Opera Night.   Or visit Mama Santa’s for a traditional Italian style spaghetti and meatball supper.

Another favorite landmark is Cleveland’s historical West Side Market.  This market has been in business since 1912!  In 2008, it was designated as one of “10 Great Public Places in America,” by the American Planning Association.

Whatever you might have a taste for, this market has it.  Our favorite stop is the giant crepe shop—so many ways to have a crepe, so little stomach space.

Be sure and say hi to our good friends at Maple Valley Sugarbush.  Try their new maple horseradish, maple mustard, maple candy or their one-of-kind maple cotton-candy.   Before you leave be sure to take home a bottle of their incredible maple syrup or honey!

Senses and Supper, Madison Wine Country

Grapevines thrive in the sandy soils on the upper end of Ohio. The roots easily stretch and grow to grab the nutrients and water.

Sensazione: the continual reinforcement of the senses.

A review from Travels With Wine, describes our Ohio wine this way:

“First, Ohio wines are not necessarily going to taste like the wines you normally drink, especially if you are used to drinking heavy reds.  Consider this an opportunity to expand your palate.  Oregon Pinot Noirs are not heavy reds but they are exceedingly popular in part, I think, because people learned to develop a more sophisticated palate that could appreciate them.  The same could be true of Ohio Wines and you should consider this an opportunity to educate your palate.

Secondly, not all the wines made in Ohio are made from North East Ohio grapes.  If you are tasting a robust red wine, take a look at the bottle and see if it says California or from another grape-growing region in the state such as Lodi.  It’s not cheating to buy wine in bulk from California, remix it with Ohio wine, and sell it as your own, but I think it’s important for consumers to know what they are drinking.  Grapes commonly grown locally include ‘cold climate’ varietals such as Chardonnay, Riesling, and the local red Chambourcin but the list of local varietals is long.”

These two links will give you a start on exploring another great Ohio product.

Senses and Supper, Sugarcreek Live

The Amish way is alive and well down in the Sugar and Walton Creek area.  Make sure you leave time to visit the artisan shops and learn how things used to be and how some things are still done.

Many think that clean entertainment is boring.  Well quite the contrary.  Living to the full can be unpacked differently and uniquely. Christian comedians like David Peddleton and Mark Lowry know well the fine art of laughter.  The comedy/musical, “Half Stitched will be on tour again this year.  Other bands scheduled include: Phillips, Craig and Dean and Laura Story.  Broadway style musicals are in the line up with a additional plays and concerts.

The Amish way is alive and well in the Sugar and Walton creek areas.  Make sure you leave time to visit the artisan shops and learn how things used to be.  The Der Dutchman Restaurant features many Amish style, home-cooked meals.

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