My travels have taken me far afield from Europe to Africa to Central America to Oceania. I am used to taking planes and trains to get to my destinations. The COVID-19 pandemic has hindered my traveling. Nevertheless, I have still found ways to experience the reasons I travel, such as exploration, food, and escape, while staying safe in my own “backyard”, Ohio. I’ve truly enjoyed seeing Ohio over the past year, plus. Here are some of my favorites from my extended time in northeastern Ohio:
A lesser known national park, but one worthy of the status. You might have heard of the Cuyahoga River because it famously caught fire, not once but twice, in 1952 and 1969. It was turned into a recreation area in the 1970s to use public funds to restore the area. It feels so far away from cities even though it is very close to Cleveland and Akron. CVNP is a great place to escape into nature with some day hiking.
A neighborhood coffee shop with style. I’ve loved exploring my local area to find places I hadn’t known about before. Supporting small businesses during this time has been very important to me!
Speaking of small businesses, Local Roots has over 225 small, local businesses under its roof. It’s a vibrant cooperative that was started in 2009 and has seasonal, sustainable foods and art.
While Ohio only has one national park, this 422 acre park feels like one as well. It has wooded, steep ravines, wildflower prairies and a tributary running through the park.
Broken Rocks Café & Bakery
Throughout the pandemic, I’ve tried to order takeaway once a week from a local, independent restaurant. Broken Rocks quickly became a favorite!
If you’re planning on seeing Ohio, especially Northern Ohio–don’t miss these gems. The notions I have when traveling, to find out how the locals live, has been applied more and more to my reality during this pandemic. It sounds silly that I didn’t live like a local in my own area, but this time has let me explore and find some unknown gems in my own backyard. And I plan to continue to apply this as I begin to travel internationally and domestically again and keep exploring locally.
*Post was written by Kirsten Drew, who is Wild Bum’s Guide Architect of the Month for May. Read more about her right here!