In 1880, the final fasteners and sleepers on the Valley Railway were tightened into place. It wouldn’t be long before a billowing cloud of steam announced the arrival of the first train running through the Cuyahoga Valley, a territory that had served as a passageway for foot traffic for thousands of years. Over the next century, the railway contributed to the growth of commerce between Akron and Cleveland, changing ownership multiple times, and transforming from a freight train, into a passenger train, back to a freight train, and finally into a UFO.
Now celebrating its 41st year of passenger-rail service, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad transports sightseers over the historic rails through 33,000 acres of land owned by the National Park Service. With a year-round roster of trips, including wine- and beer-tasting excursions, passengers can set forth on morning, afternoon, and evening journeys that sweep past meadowlands, pinery, and rivers and give glimpses of native wildlife, such as fox, deer, bobcat mascots, and owls.
Lube Stop has been lauded by both local and national press outlets for its Sustainability Program, which decreases the environmental impact of the shop's auto services. Its signature EcoGuard oil change, for example, refreshes engines with re-refined motor oil. Lube Stop also recycles oil and antifreeze, and it plants two new oil-filter trees for every one it chops down.
Besides eight kinds of oil changes, Lube Stop provides multipoint inspections, tire rotations, wiper blade replacement, and other maintenance and repair services. More than 240 employees?who receive continuous training to keep up with eco-friendly practices?helm the company's 37 Cleveland- and Akron-area locations, all of which offer E-Check emissions-testing stations.
The muffled thuds of boxing gloves pummeling headgear or backs blasting into floor mats resound throughout Strong Style's steel- and chain-link-clad gym. Child and adult classes fuse moves from the judo, muay thai, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu traditions as students throw punches and kicks or discuss international politics while grappling in two full-size boxing rings. Conditioning classes work the entire body with functional training tools such as weighted ropes, TRX suspension straps, and improbably huge truck tires, previously Paul Bunyan's rollerblade wheels. To zero in on individual fitness goals, clients may schedule personal-training sessions or design their own workouts using the facility's weights and cardio machines.
Named Top Shop in the Country by Motor Age magazine, Rad Air Complete Car Care has been servicing roadsters in the Cleveland area for more than a quarter of a century. Beginning as a radiator and air-conditioning repair shop in Parma Heights, the locally owned auto franchise has expanded to 10 Northeast Ohio locations that perform such services as brake work, tune-ups, electrical repairs, tire and suspension maintenance, and fluid adjustments. Rad Air is a AAA-approved auto-repair center that offers a lifetime warranty on its work and advises clients on what repairs are needed, recommended, and on each car's birthday wish list.
The clatter of pins ripples through Cloverleaf Lanes, which proudly plays host to the longest-running American bowling tournament. But one need not be a pro to fling a ball down these lanes. Ample open bowling times mean that even newbie bowlers get a chance to experiment with bowling grips, whether using three fingers, four fingers, or their feet. Between games, guests can perch on one of the chrome stools at the snack bar or quaff a tasty brew chosen from the lounge's beer menu.
Since 1984, Champps Americana's kitchen has sizzled with made-from-scratch dishes, satiating sports fans and families with a comfortable atmosphere. Amid sunlit dining rooms, diners seated at wooden tabletops can root for their favorite pixels on flat-screen TVs broadcasting live sports. In the kitchen, chefs prepare pastas with grilled chicken and roasted artichokes, pile buns with barbecued pulled pork and spicy buffalo chicken, and fill soft taco shells with grilled steak. Behind the bar, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails and margaritas and fill goblets with wine and local craft beers on tap.