It might take a good 35 minutes to reach Chagrin Falls from downtown Cleveland, but the destination makes the journey worthwhile. Reminiscent of a quaint New England town, this charming burg boasts a village square (triangle, actually), bustling Main Street, and the namesake waterfalls. Make the trip in mid-October and you might never again pine for a fall foliage trip to New Hampshire.
Wear comfortable shoes and you can easily hit all the popular spots on foot. Park your car near the centrally located square and you’ll even be able to drop off shopping bags as they accumulate.
Every small town needs an independent bookstore, and in Chagrin Falls it’s Fireside Book Shop (29 N. Franklin St., 440/247-4050). For 50 years, this cozy bookshop has kept locals well informed thanks to its new and used titles. Fireside also carries an uncharacteristically large selection of children’s toys, puzzles, and games. Music buffs make the trek to Warren Henry Music (49 W. Orange St., 440/247-0300) for high-quality musical instruments (especially guitars), sheet music, books, and accessories.
Chagrin Falls residents take pride in their lovely Western Reserve-style homes, and they have no shortage of shops to keep them well furnished. Simpatico (8 E. Washington St., 440/247-3116) offers high-end home furnishings, lighting, and art, including 100 percent sustainable and nontoxic furniture.
At Three Home (477 Industrial Pkwy., 440/247-8425), shoppers will find eclectic, one-of-a-kind, and hard-to-pigeonhole home furnishings and accessories, much of it falling in the architectural salvage category. Shabby-chic freaks are in heaven upon entering White Magnolia (46 N. Main St., 440/247-5800), an airy shop loaded with trend-conscious treasures. Antique crystal chandeliers, Parisian textiles, and architecturalsalvage items adorn this roomy boutique; the in-store bakery turns out delish cupcakes. For those with more traditional tastes, Chagrin Antiques (516 E. Washington St., 440/247-1080) stocks high-end collectibles like 19th-century English furniture, rare jewelry, and porcelain.
Clothes-obsessed ladies can lose track of entire afternoons in Chagrin Falls. Juicy Lucy (31 W. Orange St., 440/247-5748) attracts women from all over the region thanks to its high-end collection of New York and European fashions and jewelry. Nola True (15 N. Franklin St., 440/247-8980) caters to a slightly younger clientele with its fresh and current fashions. The more sophisticated gal hits Find Me! (24 N. Main St., 440/247-3131) to shop for clothing, shoes, and accessories in an elegant antique setting. Men are well taken care of at Cuffs (18 E. Orange St., 440/247-2828), an old-fashioned gentlemen’s outfitter housed in a brick 19th-century home. When Cuffs customers tire of shopping for timeless Italian, French, and American designs, they can enjoy a glass of wine at the in-store wine bar. If you prefer to purchase an entire bottle, stop by Chuck’s Fine Wines (23 Bell St., 440/247-7534) for matchless selection and service.
You can’t travel to Chagrin Falls and not stop for an ice cream cone at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (67 North Main St., 440/247-2064) or popcorn at the old-timey Popcorn Shop (53 Main St., 440/247-6577), both perched above the falls. For a full meal, hit Rick’s Cafe (86 N. Main St., 440/247-7666) for burgers and ribs or Umami Asian Kitchen (42 N. Main St., 440/247-8600) for seafood-heavy Pacific Rim cuisine.
To turn your day trip into an overnight stay, book a room with a fireplace at the charming Inn of Chagrin Falls (87 West St., 440/247-1200).