Romantic Getaways: 3 Days at Punderson Manor
Enjoy a couple’s retreat at this charming Ohio state park lodge
Northeast Ohio offers a variety of ways to enjoy a couple’s getaway – from hiking the trails, exploring the back roads of Amish Country, a day in Cleveland, or just hunkering down to enjoy quiet solitude in a state park. Punderson Manor, an Ohio State Park Lodge in Geauga County, is the perfect home base for getting away together.
Stay in one of Punderson’s traditional lodge rooms or plan a more private retreat in your own cabin or Manor House Estate room, furnished with antique reproductions. The elegant English Tudor-style manor will serve as your home away from home while you enjoy time together with day-trips in the area.
Morning – Burton
Plan for breakfast in Burton, just a few minutes from Punderson, and enjoy the local food scene. Also known as Pancake Town, USA, you can enjoy tall stacks at JC’s Restaurant that proudly serves Geauga County-made maple syrup. Be sure to buy a few bottles to take home as a memento of your getaway.
After breakfast, explore the quaint village of Burton where you will find shops like the Buckeye Chocolate Company and Ma & Pa’s Gift Shack inside of an 1820’s log cabin. Head back to Punderson for lunch and an afternoon at Punderson State Park.
Lunch & Afternoon – Punderson State Park
Have a hearty lunch of fish and chips or a sandwich, burger, or wrap in Punderson’s Cherry Dining Room then bundle up for a day of outdoor activities on the grounds of Punderson State Park.
Enjoy the tranquil stillness of winter as you hike one of the seven trails on the grounds. For a more adventurous afternoon, connect with your inner child as you hit the on-site sledding hill. The lighted hill and towrope make it easy to spend several hours re-connecting through laughter for an afternoon you will never forget. There are three snowmobile trails and two cross-country ski trails for the ultimate winter enthusiasts. Afterwards, soothe sore muscles from your outdoor adventures with a relaxing swim in Punderson’s indoor pool.
Dinner – Punderson Manor
Wind down with a romantic toast at the cocktail lounge before dinner at the Cherry Dining Room. Entrees range from Beef Wellington to Chicken Cordon Bleu to Eggplant Napoleon, among other options.
All Day – Amish Country
The winding back roads of Ohio’s Amish Country are among the greatest hidden treasures of northeast Ohio. Head eight miles east from Punderson Manor to Middlefield, a thriving Amish community. Take a moment to slow down, literally and figuratively, as you pass horses and buggies traveling with you on the roadway.
Keep the agenda loose so you can stop at the quilt, antique, and Amish furniture shops that are scattered throughout the village. In the fourth largest Amish community in the world, you will enjoy sightseeing together as you pass farmhouses, workhorses in the fields, and the simple way of life in this part of the country.
Stop for lunch at one of the Amish restaurants in the area to enjoy home-cooked food like fried chicken and an unforgettable homemade apple pie. Mary Yoder’s Amish Kitchen and the Dutch Country Restaurant are two local favorites.
In the afternoon, head to Rothenbuhler Cheese Chalet where you can take a tour to learn how cheese is made and enjoy samples made by third-generation members of the Rothenbuhler family. Be sure to stock up on their award-winning Swiss cheese to take home. There is also a museum and gift shop.
Dinner & Evening
Make reservations prior to your visit with Horse & Buggy Dinners and enjoy a traditional Amish dinner in an Amish home in the area. Return to Punderson Manor in the evening and retreat to a comfortable area of the lodge to relax or just enjoy your room after a full day of sightseeing.
All Day – Cleveland
Plan an early start with a short 40-minute drive west to Cleveland, one of Ohio’s most exciting cities. Start the morning at the award-winning Cleveland Zoo to see the seasonal animal displays, impressive habitats, and zoo babies.
Stop for lunch and browsing in Cleveland’s Lorain Avenue Antiques District. Eight miles of shopping and dining options range from specialty shops with nostalgic antiques to ethnic markets, pubs, and restaurants with unique architecture. The pedestrian-friendly district gives you a great excuse to hold hands and stroll.
In the afternoon, head to the lakefront Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Plan several hours to explore the exhibits and galleries of Hall of Fame inductees and see rare music history memorabilia.
Dinner & Evening
In the evening, make your way to The Flats district to enjoy the industrial-turned-chic area along the Cuyahoga River. You will find a mix of bars, restaurants, entertainment options, and a 1,200-foot-long riverfront boardwalk with spectacular views of the skyline – perfect for evening strolling.
Written by: Anietra Hamper
Ohio resident Anietra Hamper is an award-winning travel writer who specializes in covering outdoor activities.