Romantic Getaways

Whether you're planning a great date or an anniversary trip, these 50 spots promise to put a spark in your life.

20 Romantic Meals
There may be no better place to get to know one another than over a beautifully crafted dinner at one of these 20 beloved dining spots across the state.

Lola Bistro: Iron Chef Michael Symon’s sleek downtown Cleveland hot spot presents an award-winning menu of creative and modern dishes that promote local purveyors. A wine list, delivered by iPad, provides 400 options to accompany your meal.” 2058 E Fourth St., Cleveland 44115, 216/621-5652,

Cameron American Bistro:
The original Cameron Mitchell restaurant provides a fresh environment to match its modern American cuisine. The menu is focused on steak and seafood. 2185 W. Dublin-Granville Rd., Columbus 43085, 614/885-3663,

DBA: Chef Dante Boccuzzi’s menu of rock ‘n’ roll-inspired modern American cuisine is presented on the back of album sleeves. The Michelin-star chef’s staple dishes include Green Spaghetti, served with braised spinach, fire-poached garlic shrimp and topped with a toasted and breaded cheese crumble. 21 Furnace St., Akron 44308, 330/375-5050,

Via Vite:
Located on Cincinnati’s Fountain Square, this Italian restaurant serves authentic pasta, meat and fish dishes with an emphasis on Tuscan traditions. 520 Vine St., Cincinnati 45202, 513/721-8483,

Rue Dumaine: Following chef Anne Kearney’s motto “Food of Love,” this restaurant features classic French cooking inspired by the Provence region. The James Beard Foundation award-winning chef offers a menu with weekly specials and features such as golden pan-seared ruby red trout amandine.” 1061 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd., Dayton 45459, 937/610-1061,

The Refectory: Located in a restored 19th-century church, this restaurant’s elegant setting showcases the building’s original hand-hewn beams and exposed wooden roof structure. The menu of contemporary American cuisine and classic French dishes is accompanied by more than 700 choices from the on-site wine cellar. 1092 Bethel Rd., Columbus 43220, 614/451-9774,

Mancy’s Steakhouse: Managed by the third generation of the Mancy family, this steakhouse dedicates its menu to fresh ingredients, such as fish flown in daily from both coasts, and steaks that are aged and hand-cut on-site. Tiffany lamps and carved wood provide a classic feel. 953 Phillips Ave., Toledo 43612, 419/476-4154,

The Buckley House Restaurant: Chef Emad Al-Masri’s Mediterranean cuisine stretches from Northern Italy to Lebanon to Morocco, but his ingredients are mostly local. The menu changes seasonally and sides vary, ranging from couscous to scalloped potatoes. 332 Front St., Marietta 45750, 740/374-4400,

Basi Italia:
This small eatery reflects the friendly atmosphere of the city’s Victorian Village neighborhood and offers a seasonal menu of traditional Italian dishes. Wine is a focus, and weekly tastings are offered on the terrace, which is heated throughout the winter. 811 Highland St., Columbus 43215, 614/294-7383,

City dining meets European style at this lavish downtown Cincinnati restaurant marked by its signature bright red entry door. Chef David Falk’s menu is a tour of continental cuisine that also brings ingredients like Amish-raised chicken together with accompaniments such as wild mushrooms and heirloom carrots. 114 E. Sixth St., Cincinnati 45202, 513/542-4455,

Panoramic views of downtown Cincinnati set the scene at this award-winning Italian restaurant. Now celebrating its 25th year, Primavista focuses on tastes characteristic of the northern and southern regions of Italy. Specialties include the boiled grouper and sautéed veal scallopine. 810 Matson Place, Cincinnati 45204, 513/251-6467,

Orchids at Palm Court: Todd Kelly’s American cuisine offers a seasonal menu of creative appetizers and entrees ranging from bone marrow tortellini to swordfish medallions. The restaurant is located in the historic Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza hotel. 35 W Fifth St., Cincinnati 45202, 513/421-9100,

M: Cameron Mitchell’s marquee restaurant and bar focuses on American cuisine with an emphasis on European and Pacific Rim flavors. Guests can dine while taking in scenic views of the Scioto riverfront. 2 Miranova Place, Suite 100, Columbus 43215, 614/629-0000,

Coldwater Cafe:
Previously home to a bank, this restaurant brings fine dining to a small-town setting. The seasonal menu offers signature dishes from pan-seared tuna salad to almost-one-pound pieces of carrot cake. 19 E. Main St., Tipp City 45371, 937/667-0007,

Chez Francois: This upscale waterfront dining location offers a bimonthly seasonal menu and seafood shipments flown in daily from around the world. Guests can find truffle cappuccino, duck confit and beef Wellington on the menu of French cuisine. (Closed January and February with the exception of Valentine’s Day weekend) 555 Main St., Vermilion 44089, 440/967-0630,

Pier W: Built to look like a hull of a ship, this lakeside restaurant gives diners a scenic view of Lake Erie and the Cleveland skyline.  The primarily focused contemporary seafood menu delivers fresh meals from sustainable, and often local, sources. 12700 Lake Avenue, Winton Place, Lakewood 44107, 216/228-2250,

Bistro on Main: This restaurant pairs exotic flavors with traditional favorites. Guests can choose from a hand-selected wine list to accompany dishes ranging from smoked tomato-steamed clams to fried green tomatoes. 1313 W. Main St., Kent 44240, 330/673-9900,

Stockport Mill Inn:
Named after the Muskingum River’s last remaining mill, which opened on this site in 1842, Dottie Senger’s riverfront inn serves American comfort food made with locally grown ingredients. 1995 Broadway Avenue, Stockport 43787, 740/559-2822,

Lake Hope Lodge:
This timber-framed lodge in the heart of Lake Hope State Park embraces a campfire feel with its hearty cuisine. But the all-Ohio meats prepared over a wood-fired smoker are far from backcountry eats. 27331 St. Rte. 278, McArthur 45651, 740/596-0601,

The Gathering: This restaurant serves steak, seafood and vegetarian dishes in a circa-1890 building that retains its exposed-brick charm. 114 E. Main St., Findlay 45840, 419/422-5930,


12 Places to Fall In Love
From winter-season favorites to places that come to life once the days get longer and the sun starts shining, these dozen destinations promise to help you kindle a little romance.

Hocking Hills:
Explore the parks, caves and cliffs of Hocking Hills State Park. Activities range from canoeing on Lake Logan during the summer to venturing on an ice cave hike when the snow falls. During the winter months, guests can enjoy events including a sweetheart’s hike, Wednesday wine events and more. various locations,

Debonne Vineyards:
This vineyard is home to the largest estate winery in Ohio as well as Cellar Rats Brewery. Known for its Riesling and ice wines, this establishment features two dining rooms, winery tours and wine tastings year-round. 7840 Doty Rd. Madison 44057, 440/466-3485,

Heritage Vineyard Winery:
This family-owned winery provides a country getaway with picturesque views of the rolling foothills of eastern Ohio. Relax while enjoying handcrafted fine wine at the tasting room or stay the night at the Heritage Guesthouse. 27561 Township Rd. 45, Warsaw 43844, 740/824-4314,

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium: During the holiday season, the Columbus Zoo hosts its annual Wildlights, featuring millions of LED lights, light shows and a holiday skating rink. This summer, the Columbus Jazz Orchestra will perform four JazZoo Concerts on July 8, 15 and August 5, 22. 4850 Powell Rd., Powell 43065, 614/645-3400,

Marblehead Lighthouse State Park: Built in 1821, the Marblehead Lighthouse is the oldest continually operating lighthouse on the Great Lakes. Visitors can take in panoramic views of Lake Erie from the tower, and it’s a popular spot to take in a sunrise or sunset. 110 Lighthouse Dr., Marblehead 43440,

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens: With more than 150 years of rich history, the conservatory is home to a wide range of plant collections, gardens and art, including glass works by renowned artist Dale Chihuly. 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus 43203, 614/715-8000,

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum: This outdoor museum features nearly 50 artists and more than 50 sculptures on 335 acres. Visitors can choose to rent a golf cart to check out the park or explore the Ancient Sculpture Museum, which is home to Greek, Roman, Etruscan and Egyptian sculptures. 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Rd. State Route 128, Hamilton 45013, 513/868-1234,
Valentine Theatre: This 120 year-old theatre in Toledo features a wide array of events, from classic films to performances by the Toledo Opera and Toledo Ballet. Renovated in 1999, the 901-seat theater hosts performances each weekend. 410 Adams St., Toledo 43604, 419/242-3490,

Columbus Park of Roses: Established in 1948, this 14-acre public park was once filled with victory gardens planted by local residents during WWII. Come summertime, it’s now filled with 12,000 roses and perennial gardens. 3901 N. High St., Columbus 43214, 614/645-3391,

Loveland Castle: This castle built by Harry Andrews sits next to the Little Miami River. Guests can explore the castle and enjoy picnics next to the river. 12025 Shore Dr., Loveland 45140, 513/683-4686,

Carew Tower Observation Deck: Completed in 1930, this tower is the second tallest in Cincinnati, standing 49 stories tall. The observation deck provides panoramic views of the city for the price of $2 per person. 441 Vine St., Cincinnati 45202

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad: Passengers can relive the golden age of train travel on excursions through Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The scenic railroad routinely hosts wine- and beer-tasting excursions. Each trip is 2 hours long and guests can try 5 types of wine or beer. 1630 Mill St., Peninsula 44264, 800/468-4070,


5 Fantastic Wedding Spots

For those looking to tie the knot, these five spots offer a special setting for celebrating the big day.

Rivercrest Farm: This former dairy barn turned event venue in Tuscarawas County creates an ideal setting for a country wedding. Owner Deanna Vickery doubled the size of the original barn and updated the area to include a catering kitchen, restrooms, bridal suite and groomsmen bunkhouse. This rustic and romantic venue allows guests the freedom to decorate how they want for their wedding day. 6612 Boy Scout Rd. NE, Dover 44622, 614/531-4949,

The Tudor Arms Hotel Cleveland:
This classic and elegant venue adds a touch of history with its past of exclusive clubs and jazz music. Remodeled into a Hilton Doubletree Hotel, the 1931 Gothic Revival Building claims a status of a historical landmark and offers a romantic location for weddings. The wooden-beamed ceiling Tudor Room, marble-enhanced lounge and spacious Crystal Ballroom accommodate ceremonies and other events. 10660 Carnegie Ave., Cleveland 44106, 216/455-1260,

The Ohio Statehouse: Built from 1839 to 1860, The Ohio Statehouse embodies classical Greek and roman architecture of the Early Republic. The 1901 atrium hosts up to 275 guests for wedding receptions with Greek revival columns in the edifice to the west and a neoclassical style in the senate building to the west. The rotunda’s massive arched doorways, ornate ceiling and tiled granite floor provide a beautiful backdrop for wedding ceremonies and portraits. 1 Capitol Square, Columbus 43215-4210, 614/466-2251,

Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza:
Opened in 1931, this downtown landmark is one of the few remaining examples of French art deco architecture in the U.S. Murals depict the four seasons and French countryside, while bulbs hidden within sconces and chandeliers mimic natural light. The most popular ballroom is the Hall of Mirrors, with a 350-person capacity, gold-plated mirrors and French fleur de peche marble. The other two ballrooms are the hotel’s original nightclub, The Pavillion Caprice, and intimate Continental Ballroom. 35 W. Fifth St., Cincinnati 45202, 513/421-9100,

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: The third-floor bridge is a favorite wedding ceremony location, and the architecture of the building allows for a 360-degree view of downtown Cleveland and Lake Erie. The main level is converted into a dining area for the reception. With room for more tables in the lower level, the facility can accommodate up to 400 guests. 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., Cleveland 44114, 216/781-7625,


15 Romantic Places to Stay

Whether you’re celebrating your first anniversary or your 50th, these inns and bed-and-breakfasts deliver when it comes to planning a weekend away together.

Best Western Premier Mariemont Inn: Originally built in the 1920s as a personal guesthouse, this Tudor-style building offers a one-of-a-kind romantic getaway. Each room includes custom oak furniture and an electric fireplace. 6880 Wooster Pike, Mariemont 45227, 513/271-2100,

German Village Guest House: Located in Columbus’ German Village neighborhood, the Guest House blends in perfectly with the area’s smaller brick homes and shops. The owners make their own banana bread, coffee cake, muffins and granola. 748 Jaeger St., Columbus 43206, 614/783-4173,

Tarragon at the Inn at Honey Run: Nestled among the hills of Holmes County, this boutique hotel features walking trails and wood-burning fireplaces. Their restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers views of the surrounding woodlands through floor-to-ceiling windows. 6920 County Road 203, Millersburg, OH 44654, 330/674-0011,

The Colonel Taylor Inn Bed & Breakfast: Built in 1878 for Colonel Joseph Danner Taylor, this historical bed-and-breakfast in the Appalachian foothills is located within walking distance of the National Museum of Cambridge Glass and several antique shops. 633 Upland Rd., Cambridge 43725, 741/432-7802,

Georgian Manor Inn Bed and Breakfast:
Surrounded by lush gardens, this 1906 mansion features Victorian artwork, mahogany paneling, and spacious patios. Warm-weather visitors can unwind with tennis, bicycling and birding. 123 W. Main Street, Norwalk 44857, 419/663-8132,

The Lakehouse Inn & Winery: This boutique resort rests on the southern shore of Lake Erie and features its own winery, spa, and romantic cottages. 5653 Lake Rd. E., Geneva 44041, 440/466-8668,

The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard: This Ohio winery is home to six Italian-style villas on a 55-acre property that includes vineyards, two year-round restaurants, and an outdoor pavilion and wine-tasting bar. 1700 55th St. NE, Canton 44721, 330/497-1000,

Glenlaurel: This Scottish country inn serves gourmet breakfasts as well as 6- and 7-course meals. Guests can choose form a range of romantic rooms and cottages and are free to enjoy the 140 acres of hiking trails, waterfalls and a scenic gorge. 14940 Mt. Olive Rd. Rockbridge 43149, 740/385-4070,

The Inn at Dresden:
This 9,000-square-foot lodge on a hilltop overlooking the village of Dresden was the former home of Dave Longaberger, creator of the Longaberger Co. famous for its handmade baskets. The inn features a 4-course Italian dinner, an outdoor pavilion and private decks off of the rooms. 209 Ames Dr., Dresden 43821, 740/754-1122,

Ravenwood Castle: Built in 1995, this country inn with a medieval flair was styled after castles in England and Wales during the 12th and 13th centuries. Guests can choose to stay in castle rooms, cabins, cottages or gypsy wagons and dine on the inn’s old-fashioned, home-cooked meals. 65666 Bethel Rd,. New Plymouth 45654, 740/596-2606,

Salt Fork Lodge: Located in the hills of southeastern Ohio Salt Fork Lodge features lake activities, horseback riding, a beach and a campfire area during the summer. Winter guests can dine in their rustic restaurant, have a drink at the Wildlife Lounge and enjoy a fireplace and private hot tub in the Chalet cabins. 14755 Cadiz Rd., Lore City 43755, 800/282-7275,

Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls:
Established in 1987, this getaway destination is surrounded by Hocking Hills State Park on three sides. Guests can explore nature on scenic hiking trails or take it easy and opt for the on-site spa services. 21190 St. Rte. 374, Logan 43138, 740/385-7489,

Hide Away Country Inn: Located in Ohio’s farm country, this bed-and-breakfast and boutique hotel features a restaurant and pub and on-site spa treatments. Each room embodies a different theme and all-inclusive romance packages are available. 1601 St. Rte. 4, Bucyrus 44820, 419/562-3013,

Big Rock Cabins: These cabins are located beside Big Rock, a 200-foot-tall landmark in the southern Ohio foothills. Each cabin includes a Norwegian gas fireplace, a hot tub and large windows to give guests a glimpse of the 60 acres of scenic views. 4348 Big Run Rd., Beaver 45613, 740/988-5120,

Murphin Ridge Inn: Surrounded by 142 acres of farmland in Amish Country, this inn features the choice of a cabin or room, fine dining and numerous hiking trails. Guests can request special packages including the sweetheart retreat package or the honeymooners package. 750 Murphin Ridge Rd., West Union 45693, 937/544-2263,