Damaine Vonada

Cedar Point Beach

Lake Erie beach bucket list

Show of hands: After months of COVID confinement, who wants to lie on a beach towel beside a long stretch of sun-kissed water? Build sandcastles? Paddle around? Go for a long swim? Simply laze away a summer afternoon?

Cedar Point Beach, Sandusky

Cedar Point began with its beach in 1870, and today, the amusement park delivers dual fun-in-the-sun experiences: world-class rides plus a mile of smooth, white sand — all enhanced by splendid lake views and refreshing breezes. Open only to Cedar Point guests, the beach offers amenities and activities that range from lounging in an umbrella chair and snapping photos on its grand boardwalk to renting WaveRunners and parasailing high above the sand.  

Snap the Whip

All American

Louis Zona breathed a sigh of relief a couple of months ago when Snap the Whip safely returned to the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown.

The Butler was the first museum built solely for works by American artists, and for decades, Butler family members augmented its collection with masterpieces such as Albert Bierstadt’s The Oregon Trail and Edward Hopper’s Pennsylvania Coal Town. After Joseph G. Butler III died in 1981, Zona was appointed director. At the time, he chaired Youngstown State University’s art department, but his association with the museum began in the early 1970s. “My dissertation was about museum operations, and I used the Butler for my lab,” says Zona. 

Wooly Pig Farm Brewery

Wooly Pig Farm Brewery

On Fridays, Wooly Pig Farm Brewery officially opens at 3 p.m., but by 2:30, friends and neighbors are already sitting down at the natural-edge wooden tables that brewmaster Kevin Ely and his family made from a prodigious el

When the farm was for sale in 2014, Jael was finishing her Ph.D. in biology at the University of Utah, and Kevin was the brewmaster and production manager at Salt Lake City’s Uinta Brewing Company. Kevin, who has a brewing science degree from the University of California–Davis, often traveled to Bavaria to obtain equipment for Uinta. While there, he also explored historic farm and village breweries in northern Bavaria’s Franconia region. Photos of Franconia that Kevin sent to Jael reminded her of Coshocton County, but the wooly pigs in the photos really caught her eye.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Cleveland for kids

Cleveland’s wide variety of kid-friendly attractions, plus its affordability and easy access, equals an outstanding package of experiences for all ages. 

A Christmas Story House and Museum

Stroke the leg lamp like Ralphie did or crawl under the kitchen sink like Randy — or mimic any number of scenes from the iconic movie at the house where it was made. “There’s even Lifebuoy soap in the bathroom,” says owner Brian Jones.

Joe Lockhart

Iron man

A woman who had purchased a skillet from Lockhart Ironworks recently asked Doug Lockhart if he could add a helper handle to her cookware. The veteran blacksmith, a South Central Power Company member, gladly obliged.

Lockhart’s shop sits amid 83 acres of woods and fields on his farmstead, 10 miles northeast of Logan. He and his wife, Berta, live in an 1824 log farmhouse; keep ducks and goats for eggs, meat, and milk; raise some hay; and harvest their trees for lumber that they cut in the farm’s sawmill.

Frosty the Snowman

Need a little Christmas?

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems as if everyone could use some holiday cheer, and Castle Noel in Medina is just the place for a healthy dose of everything merry and bright.

Yes, Klaus is his actual last name, and with his white beard and lifelong love of Christmas, he not only looks like Kris Kringle but also possesses a kind of Clark Griswold-like zeal that one would expect of someone who has amassed the world’s largest collection of holiday movie costumes, props, and memorabilia. 

Antiquation, Medina

Holiday Gift Guide 2020

You’ve been earning and learning in your pajamas, so why not do your holiday shopping in them, too? Artisans, craftspeople, and entrepreneurs throughout Ohio produce a wide range of exceptional items that you can buy online or by telephone.

Antiquation, Medina

Designer Eric Schultz creates rustic and highly original home décor from reclaimed wood and metal. His Ohio-shaped cutouts cleverly showcase both materials and can be made to your specifications. If you like his style but don’t know what to choose, Antiquation offers gift cards that come in a string-drawn burlap sack.

Limestone obelisk marking Harrison’s tomb.

Eminent eight

Why is Ohio called the “Mother of Presidents”? Consider this: Since 1776, there have been upward of 500 million Americans; some 12,000 served in Congress, but only 44 have been sworn in as President of the United States.

Since 2020 is a presidential election year and the 100th anniversary of the last time an Ohioan — Warren G. Harding in 1920 — won the White House, it’s an especially good time to take stock of the state’s eminent eight. We hereby present a compendium of Ohio presidents that includes destinations where you can learn more about their rare and remarkable lives.

William Henry Harrison
9th President (1841) 

Born: 1773, Virginia 

Dogman of Defiance

Cryptid Ohio

CRYPTIDS [crip – tidz]: Animals or other creatures whose existence is only assumed or believed in based upon anecdotal or other non-compelling evidence.

Since President Rutherford B. Hayes owned a Lake Erie island where his family vacationed, he quite possibly heard tales about South Bass Bessie. Maybe he even saw the creature (though he never reported it if he did). The Ohio native and his wife, Lucy, left the White House in 1881 and retired to a country estate that is now the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museums in Fremont.

Tom Graham with pigs

YouTube sensations

The sign posted outside the biosecure barn where Tom Graham raises some 2,400 pigs at a time says “NO ENTRY.” Nonetheless, Graham has given tours of his wean-to-finish operation at Oaklawn Farm to hundreds of children in grades K–12. How does he do it?

“We used to bring in busloads of kids, but after we got a biosecure barn, there wasn’t much they could see,” says Graham. He built the facility in 2004 in order to raise gilts and barrows on a contractual basis for Johnstown-based Heimerl Farms. The arrangement not only frees Graham from worries about market fluctuations but also furnishes income that has helped his close-knit family remain on their farm. “I always tell people my wife teaches at Zanesville High School so I can keep farming,” he says with a grin.