Spend a Day in Chagrin Falls
It might take a good 35 minutes to reach Chagrin Falls from downtown Cleveland, but the destination makes the journey worthwhile. Reminiscent of a quaint New England town, this charming burg boasts a village square (triangle, actually), bustling Main Street, and the namesake waterfalls. Make the trip in early October and you may never again pine for a fall foliage trip to New Hampshire.
Wear comfortable shoes and you can easily hit all the popular spots on foot. Park your car near the centrally located square and you’ll even be able to drop off shopping bags as they accumulate.
Every small town needs an independent bookstore, and in Chagrin Falls it’s Fireside Book Shop (29 N. Franklin St., 440/247-4050, www.firesidebookshop.com). For over 45 years, this cozy bookshop has kept locals well read thanks to its new and used titles. Fireside also carries an uncharacteristically large selection of children’s toys, puzzles, and games. Music buffs make the trek to Warren Henry Music (49 W. Orange St., 440/247-0300, www.warrenhenrymusic.com) for high-quality musical instruments (especially guitars), sheet music, books, and accessories.
Chagrin Falls residents take pride in their lovely Western Reserve–style homes, and they have no shortage of shops to keep them well furnished. Tonic Home (22 N. Main St., 440/893-9800, www.tonichome.com) enables home-decor addicts with a unique line of modern furnishings and embellishments. Gift givers know to come here to cross entire columns off their lists. Arty vases, bookends, candlesticks, and glassware are just some of the items in stock at this sharp shop.
Shabby-chic freaks are in heaven upon entering Stash Style (46 N. Main St., 440/247-2550, www.stashstyle.com), a 3,200-square-foot shop loaded with trend-conscious treasures. Antique crystal chandeliers, Parisian textiles, and architectural-salvage items adorn this roomy boutique; the in-store bakery turns out delish cupcakes. Three Home (67 N. Main St., 440/247-8425, www.threehome.net) is a creatively decorated home-furnishings boutique where vintage and contemporary furnishings are arranged as one might find them in a home. For those with more traditional tastes, Chagrin Antiques (516 E. Washington St., 440/247-1080) stocks high-end collectibles like 19th-century English furniture, rare jewelry, and porcelain.
Clothes-obsessed ladies can lose track of entire afternoons in Chagrin Falls. Juicy Lucy (31 W. Orange St., 440/247-5748) attracts women from all over the region thanks to its high-end collection of New York and European fashions and jewelry. Nola True (15 N. Franklin St., 440/247-8980) caters to a slightly younger clientele with its fresh and current fashions. The more sophisticated gal hits Find Me! (24 N. Main St., 440/247-3131) to shop for clothing, shoes, and accessories in an elegant antique setting.
Men are well taken care of at Cuffs (18 E. Orange St., 440/247-2828, www.cuffsclothing.com), an old-fashioned gentlemen’s outfitter housed in a brick 19th-century home. When Cuffs customers tire of shopping for timeless Italian, French, and American designs, they can enjoy a glass of wine at the in-store wine bar. If you prefer to purchase an entire bottle, stop by Chuck’s Fine Wines (23 Bell St., 440/247-7534, www.chucksfinewines.com) for matchless selection and service.
You can’t travel to Chagrin Falls and not stop for an ice-cream cone at the Popcorn Shop (53 Main St., 440/247-6577, www.chagrinfallspopcorn.com). Housed in a 150-year-old building just steps from the roaring waterfalls, the store is a local institution. For a full meal, hit Rick’s Cafe (86 N. Main St., 440/247-7666, www.rickscafeandcatering.com) for burgers and ribs, or Gamekeeper’s Tavern (87 West St., 440/247-7744, www.gamekeepers.com) for upscale pasta, seafood, steaks, and wild game in a lodge-like setting.
To turn your daytrip into an overnight stay, book a room with a fireplace at the charming Inn of Chagrin Falls (87 West St., Chagrin Falls, 440/247-1200, www.innofchagrinfalls.com).
© Douglas Trattner from Moon Cleveland, 1st Edition