Tucked between Cleveland Hopkins airport, two Cleveland Metroparks reservations, and I-71, you’ll find the small college town of Berea – only twenty minutes from bustling downtown CLE. Everyone knows the suburb hosts the Cleveland Browns’ headquarters, but it’s a hidden gem for everything from natural beauty to shopping and great restaurants.
- Cleveland Metroparks’ Rocky River Reservation and Mill Stream Run Reservation intersect near downtown Berea, meaning you’re never far away from nature. Did you know a beautiful waterfall is tucked away here? Throw on your hiking boots and head down for a few hours of exploring.
- The Rocky River meanders its way through downtown Berea, and if you look closely, you’ll find a few secret staircases that lead to a boardwalk running along the riverfront. It’s a peaceful lunchtime getaway for many locals, especially now when the greenery is in full bloom! Nearby is the beautiful, manmade Coe Lake, filled in after the land was mined for sandstone.
- Had enough nature for a while? You’ll find an eclectic group of shops and restaurants to keep you busy for an afternoon. Some of my top picks include:
- Boca Loca Burrito Factory (just how it sounds… a delicious choice!)
- Cornerstone Brewery (every college town has one, and I can’t get enough)
- The Shoppe (truly one of a kind!)
- Café Ah Roma (a neighborhood café worth a stop for a warm cup of joe)
- I miiiiiiiight be biased because I work there, but for anyone seeking a leisurely stroll, the Baldwin Wallace University campus in the heart of Berea is a dream come true. It’s a mix of modern architecture next to buildings that could have played Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies, complemented by pedestrian tree lined thoroughfares, grassy quads, and even a small forest to make it a peaceful place for everyone.
- Host to the Cuyahoga County fair, the grounds here come alive every summer. Funny (and maybe embarrassing) story: last year, a close friend and I discovered a vendor who set up a giant swimming pool and placed inflatable, plastic Zorb balls in it. The kicker? You get inside the Zorb and roll across the pool – falling over and over. Just trust me on this one. It’ll be the best $5 you’ve spent.
Berea is truly a triple-threat when it comes to location – small college town, nearby natural beauty, and proximity to all the big city amenities you could ask for!
What are your favorite things about Berea?