Chardon, Ohio, is a wonderful rural community approximately 37 miles east of Cleveland. Chardon is the county seat of Geauga County and hosts the Geauga County Maple Festival every year. You will find history, the arts, golf, great food and so much more in Chardon.
If you are looking for antiques, be sure to check out Antiques on the Square located at 101 Main Street. The building is even an antique as it was built around the 1870’s. They have over 20 antique dealers set up on two floors. Antiques on the Square have been on Chardon Square for 25 years and have been voted the #1 antiques shop in Northeast Ohio by the local Fox station. Their hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 am until 5 pm and on Sunday from 12 pm until 5 pm.
In that same vein, if you are looking for vintage designs you will want to check out Second Time Designs (just a walk away from Antiques on the Square) located at 105 Water Street. Here you will find an eclectic collection of home items as well as retro clothing and vintage jewelry. Check out their website for hours and more information (www.secondtimedesigns.com).
Taking a stroll around the square you will find other shops to stop in and see. A few other unique shops would require short drives visit them. For example, For the Birds, Wildlife & More located at 153 Center Street is a great shop. They offer a vast selection of birdfeeders and bird feed but they also have bird houses, bird baths, weathervanes, bird kites as well as gift items for all the bird lovers on your gift list. Their website details their hours and other product lines they offer (www.forthebirdsandwildlife.com).
Just across the street, you will find The Corner of Art & Function at 209 Center Street. The Corner of Art & Function has handmade items from all over the US on display and for sale. You can find jewelry, beads, glass, ceramics, metalwork and more. You will wonder at the beauty of the handmade items. They are open Tuesday through Saturday. You can call them for specific hours at 440-285-4116.
Geauga County is one of the states biggest producers of Maple Syrup, hence the reasoning behind hosting the Geauga County Maple Festival. Richards Maple Products located at 545 Water Street is celebrating their 100th year in business during 2010. Richards Maple Products offers the best variety of pure Maple Syrup items around. You can find Maple Syrup candy, spreads, sauces as well as local jams and jellies, locally produced pancake mixes and gift boxes. If you like Maple Syrup, you will want to stop at Richards (www.richardsmapleproducts.com).
After all that shopping, you would probably like a light lunch. Rosepointe Cottage Tea Room would be a highlight of any trip to Chardon. Located just off the square at 107 Center Street, you can experience a lovely tea room dining experience and spend some time shopping in the Victorian store. Because this is an intimate tea room and space is limited, reservations are suggested. You can reach them at 440-285-8686 for hours, reservations and more information.
If you are more of an outdoors person, Chardon options for you too. The Geauga Park District is truly one of the best park districts around and they happen to be headquartered in Chardon. You will find Big Creek Park & Donald W. Meyer Center as well as parts of The Maple Highlands Trail. The park system offers many activities and events throughout the year. Their website details those events, each park and what it has to offer and so much more at www.geaugaparkdistrict.org.
Just south of Chardon Square, you can find a wonderfully appointed 18-hole golf course, Chardon Lakes Golf, which is open to the public. This course has been around since 1931. You can walk the same course that Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer walked in the Seventies. In fact, the course record was set by Jack Nicklaus (he shot a 67). You will be challenged by the sand traps, water features and sloping greens. Their website (www.chardonlakes.com) can show you the course layout and set you up with a tee time.
While you are in Chardon, you will want to check out the schedule at the Geauga Lyric Theater Guild. The Guild took a historic movie theater and changed it into a wonderful “little theater.” They offer plays, classes for young and old, and show first run movies during the off times. I have seen several productions at this theater and have not been disappointed. The theater is right off the square at 101 Water Street. This theater is a gem in the crown that is Chardon. Check out www.geaugatheater.org for schedules, pricing and more of the history.
Looking for fresh, local produce? Chardon has that too. Just 1 ½ miles west of Chardon, Sage’s Apples located at 11355 Chardon Road (Rt. 6) offers a wide variety of homegrown fruits and vegetables. Their website (www.sagesapples.com) details what produce are available at what time during the year. The Chardon Square Association also has a fresh farmer’s market on the square on Friday nights.
There are several great options for dining in Chardon. My personal favorite for a special meal would be the Bass Lake Taverne and Inn located at 460 South Street. At the Bass Lake Taverne you can get salads, pasta, pork chops, steaks, chicken, seafood and more. The atmosphere is romantic. If you are looking for a more casual fare, Noce Gourmet Pizzeria on the Square has the best pizzas around. New York Deli, west of the square, offers a wide variety of deli foods and is very good. El Patron is a very good Mexican restaurant in town. South of the Square is Spinner’s Diner where you can get a GREAT burger or other diner fare. There are more, so you can see whatever your taste; you can find it in Chardon.
If you find that there is too much to see and do in one day, you have an overnight accommodation option right in Chardon. Remember I mentioned the Bass Lake Taverne for dinner; they also have a 12 room inn which overlooks the golf course. The rooms are charming and very nice. The location is quiet and perfect for that much-needed getaway. Check out their website to find out more about the inn and the tavern (www.basslaketaverne.com).
Chardon, Ohio, has that small town feel yet you can come for a day or longer and enjoy all that there is to see and do. It is a charming community in a rural county – it has all the makings of the perfect getaway. Happy Travels!!