Best Places To See Autumn Leaves In Cleveland

October 13, 2012 2:00 PM


Ohio is known for its brilliant and vibrant fall leaves made beautiful by the long, cool nights, just the right amount of rain and short, sunny days from the end of August through the end of October. From hardwood to ferns, Ohio’s colors abound. Trees such as dogwood, and red and white oaks, show off their deep red leaves. Trees such as ash, sycamore, hickory and birch show off their deep yellow leaves. Trees such as sugar maple, sweetgum, buckeye and red maple show off their sometimes deep purple or pink leaves. This time of the year creates a perfect time for sightseeing, photographs and just getting outdoors. Start here.

Getting There

Just 48 minutes away from Cleveland is a small town of Vermilion. Vermilion offers not only trees but also water. To get to Vermilion, travel I-90 west toward Toledo. After about 26 miles, take OH-2 west toward Lorain/Sundusky. Then take OH-60 exit toward Wakeman/Vermilion and merge onto OH-60 toward Vermilion. Take a right onto south/OH-60 then turn right on Main Street.

Vermilion is a quaint little town with that will take you back in time. The small woodsy neighborhood offers a variety of natural beauty. Even if you just walk around town strolling from shop to shop and go down to the dock to the marine museum, it is a wonderful place to enjoy nature.

What to Do

photo by ken chernok vermilion river 300x199 Best Places To See Autumn Leaves In Cleveland

(credit: Ken Chernok /

West River Kayak & Canoe

Captain’s Corner Marina
655 W. River Road
Vermilion, Ohio 44089
(440) 967-5292

Price: $20 an hour paddle boats/$12 per hour kayaks/$35 for four hours/$5 every hour after/$5 an hour canoes/$45 for four hours and $5 every hour after/specials are available for groups.

There’s no better way to enjoy nature than to be a part of it. Winding through the Vermilion River, coasting between the banks of brilliant lines, vibrant trees and the rapids of the water, experience nature up close and personal. Witness the innocence of deer drinking along the banks and beaver swimming through the river, spot a bald eagle soaring through the treetops. Reservations are not required, but driver’s license and/or state IDs are required. Alcohol is not prohibited on the river.

shale cliffs Best Places To See Autumn Leaves In Cleveland


Vermilion River Reservation

51211 N. Ridge Road
Vermilion, Ohio 44089
(440) 967-7310

This wonderful reservation actually is two reserves divided by the Vermilion River. This outdoor paradise offers five miles of wooded trails, picnic shelters, playgrounds, two ponds and a valley that was naturally carved by the rush of the river. There are several pullovers for bird watching, fishing, boating ad sight seeing. It is a great place to picnic, lie in the tall grass watching butterflies or just cruise around the park, enjoying the colors of the leaves in the comfort of the air conditioning.

Related: The Best Scenic Drives within 60 Miles of Cleveland


Main Street Soda Grill

5502 Liberty Ave.
Vermilion, Ohio 44089
(440) 967-4002

Take a step back in time and enjoy a family restaurant that is as unique in atmosphere as in character. Main Street Soda Grill was voted best in Ohio by Ohio Magazine for its milkshakes, so be sure to snag one. The main focus is its vintage soda fountain, but it offers fresh burgers, delicious barbecue pulled pork sandwiches, homemade soups and salads, and homemade desserts. It also offers frozen custard, coffees, teas and cappuccinos.

quarryhill Best Places To See Autumn Leaves In Cleveland


Quarry Hill Winery

8403 Mason Road
Berlin Heights, Ohio 44814

Located on the former area called “The Pinnacle,” this 2005 establishment provides the finest in fine wines and a wonderful view of Lake Erie. Relax with a refreshing glass of wine while watching the calmness of sailboats drifting along the coast. Choose from wines such as pinot noir, pinot grigio, riesling and vidal blanc. Fresh foods include a wide variety of cheeses, desserts, lobster bisque ad paninis. Live music is available on the weekend.


Cottages at the Water’s Edge

6419 West Lake Road
Vermilion, Ohio 44089

Rates: $395 to $1,400 weekly/weekend rates based on availability

Welcome to the “window into the past,” close-knit family owned cottages you’ll just love. Dave and Therese Hoffman have created a family experience that is hard to find in this day in age. Enjoy the lake’s evening breeze while gathering around the bonfire and listening to the rush of the waves hitting against the rocks on the coast. The facility offers a private beach, play area for children, basketball court and shuffleboard. The cottages accommodate parties of two to eight people. The cozy cottages provide everything from fully stocked kitchens, outdoor grills, air conditioning and heat. The cottages do not have televisions or telephones. This is to encourage family bonding. Pet are not allowed. Profanity and alcohol are to be used discretely. A deposit is required at the time of booking and is non-refundable. Bedding is not available; be sure to bring your own sheets and pillows. Reservations are required.

Related: Is Camping the Right Vacation for You and Your Family?

Danielle Coots has been writing since 1996. She has published short stories and articles in many publications. Danielle loves being active in the community and providing quality information regarding current and upcoming events in the Cleveland area. She will be covering topics of travel & outdoors. Her work can be found at

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