If you’re looking for a fall couples getaway in Northeast Ohio, you’ll definitely want to put Lake County on your short list. The area is a haven for beautiful hikes and walks, its foodie scene spot on, and romantic places to stay plentiful. Here are my top picks for things to do on a fall couples getaway to Lake County, OH.
14 Romantic Things to Do on a Lake County Ohio Fall Couples Getaway
I adore everything about Lake County, Ohio. It has gorgeous beaches and parks, amazing spots to pop in for a meal, beautiful wineries, and beautiful places to rest your head. Here are my 14 favorite things to do in Lake County for a fall couples getaway!
Disclosure: I was graciously hosted by the fine folks at Lake County Visitors Bureau to give you the first hand scoop on what makes the area so much fun for a couples getaway. All opinions are my own.
Visit Headlands Beach State Park and Nature Preserve
When folks keep asking you if you’ve visited Headlands Beach State Park because of how gorgeous it is you make it a point to go- and that’s exactly what happened on our trip. After parking in the lot, the walk to get to the beach was no problem at all as it’s boardwalk style.
The lookout area at Headlands Beach is gorgeous, and I mean gorgeous! Hit the timing right and you’ll see jaw-dropping sunsets and birds stopping for a respite.
Shop the Downtown Willoughby’s Historic District
The quaint, historical city of Willoughby is a fun spot to park the car and mosey along the main street. It’s here you’ll find mom and pop shops, a pretty park to take a break in, and plenty of restaurants to keep you full (more on that below).
If you can’t find a parking place along the main street, there’s a free parking lot at the corner of E Spaulding Street and Route 20.
Check Out Downtown the Willoughby Outdoor Farmers’ Market
Another cool place to hit in Willoughby, its Saturday outdoor farmers’ market is ideal for finding locally grown produce, handmade goodies, and freshly made food items to hold you over until lunch.
The best time to go is midmorning as all the booths are set up and raring.
Stella’s Art Gallery
I really enjoyed the concept of Stella’s Art Gallery. The large space is a haven for local artists to both create and sell their painting, pottery, woodwork, you name it.
If you want to try your hand at a new hobby, check out Stella’s official website for upcoming art classes.
Painesville Township Park & Pier
While the area is gorgeous no matter what time of day, the Painesville Township Park & Pier is the spot to go for gorgeous nightly sunsets. It’s here you’ll be able to grab a bench and wait for the sun to set, or if you’re feeling extra ambitious, take your bikes and ride along the paved path adjacent to the waterfront.
Visiting tip: There are several steps of stairs to walk up and down to get to the pier itself. While the walk down is not a problem, the walk back up can be a little taxing, especially if you’re not used to stairs. So, even if you don’t want to take the steps you can still view the gorgeous sunset from above near the parking area.
Walk Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park
Fairport Harbor is roughly a 25 minutes’ drive from Willoughby, but it’s well worth the effort. Its Lakefront Park is absolutely adorable and gives a pretty view of the lighthouse at Headlands Beach.
My advice is to visit with a snack or picnic lunch, walk along the beach, and take some fun photos of your time.
Squire’s Castle is something you’d never expect to find in a Cleveland Metropark. An actual gatehouse built in 1890, it’s now a cool place to walk through and around, to grab some awesome photos, and learn about its historical past.
Patterson’s Fruit Farm
On the weekends, especially during Autumn, Patterson’s Fruit Farm is hustling and bustling. Located in two separate areas a couple of miles apart, head to the farmer’s market for its famous pumpkin doughnuts and then to the orchard for U-pick apples.
Truthfully, I’ve never had the pleasure of picking apples myself and absolutely enjoyed the experience. The orchard had eight different varieties of apples and the process is super simple: grab a bag, head to the orchard to pick your favorites, and then return back to have them weighed and pay right there by the pound.
M Cellars Winery
One of over thirty wineries in the area, M Cellars Winery may not be the most popular winery, but it is certainly worth a stop. Inside you can grab light bites and estate wine by the flight or glass (or even bottle if you’re feeling ambitious). While I am a sweet wine lover, I really enjoyed trying their dry selection- if you’re not sure what to pick you can never go wrong with VKat.
Where to Eat in Willoughby & Lake County
On our couple’s getaway to Lake County, OH, we delighted in the fact that there were plenty of locally owned restaurants to choose from. Here are my favorite spots.
Barrio Tacos + Tequila + Whiskey
Barrio’s Tacos is so good we actually ate there twice in one weekend! The menu concept is really easy to get on board with (they have both make your own and specialized tacos to choose from) and, if you can believe this, three dollar and four dollar margaritas during happy hour.
The restaurant’s super busy during the weekend, so if you can’t grab a table no worries, they offer take out, even on the margaritas.
Fiona’s Coffee Bar
A great place to pop into for coffee and mini doughnuts (who can resist a glazed doughnut with Fruity Pebbles on top?), Fiona’s has everything from specialty coffees, to locally made ice cream, to breakfast sandwiches. If you’re bringing your puppy along during your couple’s getaway no worries it’s dog friendly, as well.
Grand River Cellars Food & Wine Pairing in The Cave
A super cool experience at Grand River Cellars Winery, we headed downstairs to the Cave to test drive unique food and wine pairings. What I loved about the experience was that it highlighted dishes I never would have expected to pair with the wines presented.
Ferrante Winery & Ristorante
I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Ferrante Winery & Ristorante twice now (once before for a peek at Northeastern Ohio wineries), and I never tire of the food, the wine selection, or the atmosphere. On gorgeous weekends like the one that we had for our visit, the restaurant gets super super busy, so feel free to put your name on the waitlist, grab a glass of wine and enjoy the outdoor space.
Where To Stay in Willoughby & Lake County
If I had to choose a traditional bed and breakfast in downtown Willoughby it would be Homestead House Bed & Breakfast. The property is just around the corner from the main street and has five separately themed guest rooms. We stayed in the Victorian Rose Room and found it spacious, beautifully decorated, and quiet.
Each morning we had an authentic, freshly prepared French breakfast which was hearty, filling, and delicious.There’s plenty of free parking in the back of the property and we could come and go as we pleased.