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.
The staff members at Living Wellness Associates practice an array of personalized health-care therapies that are designed to help prevent illness and ease pain for each patient. Operating under the belief that wellness does not mean the absence of disease alone, technicians use a variety of holistic techniques to promote relaxation and maintain well-being. Guests unload their stresses with services such as relaxation massages and aromatherapy, which awakens olfactory receptors with lavender and chamomile essential oils and eucalyptus that reenergizes clients better than napping in coffee grounds. Additional therapies include body-balancing polarity treatments, reiki and reiki drumming, and sound therapy.
Lasers flash across a 4,000-square-foot arena. Bumper boats splash against each other in a 135,000-gallon lake. An elastic EuroBungy harness flings bouncers skyward for death-defying flips. These are just a few of the attractions and activities at Fun 'n' Stuff, where families can also fill their days by racing go-karts, climbing a rock wall, or gliding around a rink on rented roller skates. Guests who want to breathe in fresh air can putt through two 18-hole mini golf courses, whack balls in five hardball and four softball cages, and slide down a 24-foot inflatable slide. The littlest visitors play in a ball pit, whereas the Extreme Looping Bikes send older ones soaring through the air, just like the majestic eagle they rode to their middle-school graduation.
For more than half a century, Buckeye Sports Center has outfitted outdoorsfolk with winter and summer sporting gear from brands such as O’Neill, Connelly, Nordica, and Dynastar. Every season, full-time employees diligently test the store’s selection of snow boots and ski equipment to match Midwestern snow conditions, factory-trained boat mechanics service Mercury motors and jet skis, and recreation scientists research ways to conquer the unexplored frontier of water-vapor sports. Knowledgeable staff members match customers to perfectly fitting skis, boards, and boots, and a fleet of Hobie kayaks and glistening powered speed and fishing boats opens up lakes and rivers for fun-filled voyages of exploration.
PatDee's Pub and Eatery began carving out its niche in Northfield's culinary landscape in 1995. The restaurant's current chefs have been onboard since the beginning, adding a dash of familiarity to the homestyle dishes that diners have come to greet on a first-name basis. Inside the eatery, cozy vibes pervade meals centered on juicy prime-rib platters and handmade pizzas, and pancakes and omelets rouse early birds during morning hours on weekdays and until 1 p.m. on weekends. PatDee's also dispatches its housemade eats around the neighborhood with its catering service, granting party hosts the option to pick up their spread or have it delivered by a polite staffer shot out of a circus cannon.
At all 22 TNT Tanning locations throughout northeast Ohio, clients tan hides a healthy golden hue with the latest tanning beds and spray-tan booths. While at the salon, they can peruse shelves lined with skincare and tanning products such as bronzing powders, tanning lotions, and sunless sprays.