With its stunning views and Mediterranean charm, brides-to-be are rushing to say “I do” at Gervasi Vineyard.
“There are few places able to provide the perfect outdoor or indoor wedding,” Scott Swaldo, general manager, said. “But Gervasi is one of them.”
For a smaller wedding party, the indoor Villa Grande can wow up to 120 guests with its beautiful detailing, intimate stone fireplace and dramatic tower reminiscent of an Italian castello.
But for those dreaming of an airy vineyard wedding, the open outdoor pavilion is Gervasi’s most romantic setting. With spectacular views of the vineyard and lake in every direction, the pavilion is an Italian escape—passport not necessary.
“We believe what makes the Gervasi experience amazing is our ability to make people feel like they have been transported to somewhere very special,” Swaldo said.
By integrating the pleasures of wine, food, atmosphere and tradition, Gervasi transforms each wedding into a beautiful experience that appeals to all the senses.
Runner-up: the Canton Club Event Center
—by Maria Fischer
Wm. McKinley Presidential Library & Museum
The Wm. McKinley Presidential Library & Museum is a must-see for any presidency or history buff. The museum hosts the largest collection of McKinley artifacts in the world, chronicling the life and career of President McKinley, from his birth to his tragic death at the hands of an assassin.
But the reason this national treasure topped About readers’ lists for Local Faves goes beyond the homage to our 25th president. The library and museum serves as one of the top educational centers for science and history in the county, featuring interpretive exhibits and programs for all ages.
When asked about the library and museum’s big win for Local Faves, Director Joyce Yut didn’t hesitate.
“I think it’s because it’s an affordable venue for families. We have something for everyone. The exhibits, the research library and, of course, the memorial. School kids are out there right now. I think Canton is fortunate to have a quality museum in a city of this size,” said Yut.
Inside Discover World and the Hoover-Price Planetarium, museum guests experience fun with physics, electricity, astronomy, paleontology, meteorology and ecology. A few steps away is “The Stark County Story,” an exhibit chronicling 200 years of our local history.
A favorite stop for all visitors is “The Street of Shops,” a life-size replica of a historical town. And finally, the Keller Gallery hosts temporary and traveling exhibits. Up next, starting Sept. 5 is “Underwear,” a new exhibit that examines the history of our unmentionables.
That’s the key, according to Yut. “We always work to offer something new and fresh.”
—by Jess Bennett
Canton Arts District
The good old days. That’s what you’ll hear about when you ask some residents about downtown Canton. They’ll fondly recollect coming down to the Arcade as a child, the bustling center city, the shops and activity. The boon of business.
Today we are in the midst of an ongoing renaissance downtown, and that is happening in large part thanks to the ever evolving and expanding Canton Arts District.
The arts district features seven galleries and 22 artist studios alive with new and envelope-pushing work, five live music venues, specialty shops, restaurants and bars, and public art dotting most corners and buildings.
“I couldn’t have opened this gallery anywhere else in the country. We’re stronger together—the galleries and studios aren’t competitors, rather we’re more competitive regionally because of our collaboration,” said Su Nimon, owner, Journey Art Gallery, the newest gallery to join the arts district landscape.
“ArtsinStark is responsible for discovering the power of the arts in Canton and using it to create an atmosphere of energy in our downtown,” said Mike Gill, director of the Canton Development Partnership, a department of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce.
And, of course, every first Friday of the month, the district explodes in a spectacular celebration of arts and culture.
“The arts district rocks. It is a celebration of great art and artists. Sometime next year we will have produced 100 First Fridays. We are on cloud nine that this is being recognized,” said Robb Hankins, CEO of ArtsinStark, the County Arts Council.
It didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t happen without the painstaking work of many individuals, artists, businesses and economic development entities—and best of all, it’s still a work in progress.
—by Jess BennettCleveland Ave. NW & Fourth St. NW, Canton | CantonArtsDistrict.com
Tam O’Shanter Golf Course
FORE! It is the sound most often heard on the golf course, including Stark County’s own Tam O’Shanter, named this year’s favorite.
“I think it is because there is a lot of history here,” said Patty Gaston, golf services manager. A 20-year employee, Gaston said she believes the Tam O’Shanter is what makes Canton, Canton.
The land where the course is located is owned by the George Frease and Albert Dueber families. It was investment property for the two men. Frease once owned The Repository, and Dueber was part of the family that owned a watch factory in Canton and a small share of the newspaper. The two men were investors in commercial real estate during the post-World War I era through the 1980s. Tam O’Shanter is the only remaining investment these two families own together.
“T.K. Harris developed Hills and Dales, then the golf course across the street,” Gaston said, noting the Dales course was built in 1928, followed by the Hills side of the 36-hole course in 1931, and has been Canton’s place to play for the past 86 years. “It is Canton’s course, and everyone who grew up here have a lot of happy memories. I tell people Tam O’Shanter is just a better place to play.”
Runner-up: Glenmoor Country Club
—by Denise Sautters
Octane Fast is all about personal attention when it comes to fitness. Through years of experience, the trainers at this gym have realized that for people to get the most out of their fitness experience, they should work one-on-one or in small groups.
Owner Jeff Jones purposely made his gym different. He mentioned that it’s private, but not. Octane Fast is not like anything else. The gym has three trainers who work best with small groups. There’s no general membership, and Jones said the gym keeps growing by referrals.
When asked how he felt about winning, Jones said he was so happy.
“That’s awesome! Thanks to all of our phenomenal members.”
The reason for winning might be the equipment the gym offers. Only a few facilities in Ohio have the same equipment. But what really draws the people is the personal training. It’s varied, periodic and has specific waves.
Hit the gym for group, personal or sports performance training, and you’ll see what the buzz is all about.
Runner-up: North Canton YMCA
—by Kelsey Reinhart
About readers don’t have to go far for an ideal staycation. The North Coast of Cleveland is an hour away and, while all it has to offer can’t be seen in a day, it is an affordable long weekend trip.
In the summer, plan your trip around an Indians game (usually plenty of good seats are available at the walk-up ticket window). If the Tribe is playing at night, spend the day at the West Side Market (open only Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday). You can get anything from dairy goods to seafood and fresh beef and poultry there.
Leave time to stop at the Horseshoe Casino. Timed right, you can hit a couple of slots before the Indians, or when the weather turns, Cavs game during the week. The casino is open Sundays, and you’ll find a fair amount of Cleveland Browns jerseys gambling on a Sunday morning.
If sports isn’t your thing, Cleveland is home to one of the country’s best art and theater districts. The Cleveland Museum of Art, which is free, is in the University Circle neighborhood. Pieces span 5,000 years from ancient Egypt to the present.
Canton, of course, is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is on the coast of Lake Erie. The Rock Hall is an interesting place where it’s easy to lose an afternoon.
If you want to step outside your comfort zone—for those who aren’t accustomed to listening to an orchestra—one of the best in the country resides in Cleveland. By all means, check out the Cleveland Orchestra and plan a trip north that coincides with a performance. You won’t be disappointed.
It’s easy to see why About readers love Cleveland. It has so much to offer.
Runner-up: Amish Country
—by Todd Porter