PaPa Joe’s menu (varies slightly between locations) specializes in replacing stomach voids with satisfying subs and tasty pizzas. Start with an eight-piece arrangement of wings ($4.95) whose sauces are kept secret unless you can guess your server’s middle name and favorite Muppet. After an antipasto salad ($6) spiced up with pepperoni, mushrooms, salami, tomatoes, and non-faux cheese, procure a personal seven-inch pizza ($4.25) with a topping of your choice. Or give your body’s gas tank a fright with one of PaPa Joe’s famous two-foot monster pizzas ($32.95 with one topping). You can also add extra summer to your summer by gargling a 10-inch Hawaiian pizza ($11.95)—which includes ham, bacon, black olives, and pineapple chunks—or sample all nine inches of the popular non-pizza, the richboy sub ($5.50+), served with ham, salami, peppers, and mozzarella.
Today’s side deal offers cottage fever as an antidote for cabin fever. Escape to the pastoral paradise of The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls, flanked by the natural bounty of Hocking Hills State Park. For $190, this Groupon gets you a night’s stay in one of the Inn’s cozy cottages ($179–$249 value), where unwinding is the only action item. Turn up the romance dial with that special somebody or something as you enjoy a $25 gift certificate towards any spa service, goodies including chocolates and other tasty treats ($45 value), and a complimentary full country breakfast, a combined value of $319. The warm, freshly baked cookies that greet you upon arrival are a delicious signifier of the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls' dedication to hospitality and personalized customer care.
Tee Jaye's founders began preparing homestyle meals in 1970, a venture that spawned a string of 24-hour diners stuffed with delicious country fare. An egg-centric medley of dishes graces the all-day breakfast menu, with options such as the barnyard buster ($5.10)—two biscuits, two eggs, and country fries wallowing in a puddle of Tee Jaye's famous sausage gravy—and the sunshine sandwich ($6.95), grilled sourdough trapped under stacks of cheddar, swiss, ham, scrambled eggs, and hash browns. Turn to the lunch-and-dinner menu to find the answer to the sphinx's riddle ("sweet tea") as well as a spread of classic country-kitchen eats, including the chicken-fried chicken ($8.25), homemade meatloaf and dressing ($7.75), and Granny's grandburger ($7.95), a half-pound beef patty served with fries and a choice of three toppings. A tot-thrilling kids' menu ($2.49/breakfast; $3.49/lunch and dinner) and a crisp collection of summer flatbreads ($6.95+) round out the restaurant's dining selections.
The zipline course at Valley Zipline Tours speeds danglers over the scenic Northern Hocking Hills in spectacular fashion, whisking them along a series of lines that extend to more than 1 mile in total length. First, a friendly guide drives the zippers up to the top of the valley, where they don their safety equipment and then zoom down the first five lines as a warm-up to the following three, known collectively as the Valley Super Lines. Starting at line 6, the journey whips riders across the valley and lake for distances of nearly 1,000 feet each and at more than 100 feet off the ground, reaching speeds of 55 miles per hour. To cap off the high-speed trip, a valley swing awaits at the end of the tour attached to the edge of a tower, inviting participants to jump and swing over the valley while suspended at more than 50 feet.
Opened during the 1950s, Skate America has sent multiple generations of Grove City residents and visitors whirring across its spacious skating floor. Today, the facility accompanies trips around the rink with laser-light shows, a 10-foot video screen, and DJs who spin family-favorable jams, such as Top 40 hits and auto-tuned remixes of the alphabet. The snack bar—better known as Pizza Town Café—fills free hands with fresh eats, and in the game room, high scores turn into piles of tickets that can be traded in for prizes or used as makeshift stunt cushions beneath bunk beds. In addition to public sessions, Skate America also plays host to birthday parties and group functions, as well as year-round lessons for amateur wheelers.
Though the hot dog may often be thought of as a simple summertime staple, the cooks at Hot Dawgs! have worked to elevate them to gourmet status. Nathan’s all-beef hot dogs, brats, Italian sausages, and veggie dogs all sizzle on grills, awaiting toppings that range from traditional sport peppers and sauerkraut to such inventive condiments as sriracha and coleslaw. Its seasonal housemade soups and tater tots pair with the handheld meals, and slices of homemade pie serve as a happy conclusion, much like a third-grader’s edits to Romeo and Juliette.