From a quaint New England village to an island paradise in Hawaii, all of the inns in the small lodging industry have great locations to share with guests. Some locations are well known to the world, while others are unique and extraordinary but have less world wide appeal.
One destination that fits this definition has been described as follows; “…rolling vineyards, sparkling lakes, quaint country sides, unique gift shops, picnics in the sunshine, festivals, tours”. You may think this is a narrative describing Lake Como, Italy or California’s Napa Valley. No, these words are from a travel promo from the Ohio Wine Producers Association. And yes, on the southern shores of Lake Erie there is an area that came to be known as the “Lake Erie Grape Belt” which can be traced back to 1820 when a domestic variety of grapes called Catawba was first planted. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow even wrote a poem titled “Ode to Catawba Wine”. In fact due to this poem, by 1860 Ohio supplied 1/3 of the nations wine and out produced California 2 to 1. What great PR. It may have taken a bit longer to get the word out (decades before our tech driven social media craze) but it did the trick!
Time passes and the southern Ohio wine district hits hard times. The Civil War creates a shortage of manpower to tend the vines and by the time Prohibition laws are passed (time to make the grape juice), the few wineries left struggle. A new era emerges in the 1900’s and Geneva-on-the-Lake, known as ‘Ohio’s First Summer Resort’ becomes a fashionable destination with the likes of Rockefellers, Fords and Firestones. Today it remains as a fun summer resort getaway destination for all.
The wineries in this location produce excellent cool weather wines, such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Gris as well as award winning ice wines. But you will find a much wider selection of wines to sample along the wine trails with twenty wineries in Northeast Ohio. You may already know or could surmise from the description of this destination location that there are bed and breakfasts and country inns that have grown up and thrived along with the vines.
The Lakehouse Inn and Winery, located on the shores of Lake Erie on the west end of Geneva -on-the-Lake, not only provides fine lodging but has its own winery. Their spectacular shoreline scenery is the perfect spot to dine and experience local wines and then retire to your guest room, climb into bed and listen to the lapping of lake waters on their sand beach. I’m in, when is the next flight to Cleveland? They are a great example of a property that has taken full advantage of their location.
There is a quote that I like from a brand marketer Tom Traynor; “Every place has some distinction, some reason to live there, work there, VACATION there, rather than someplace else.” We at The B&B Team work with inns in great locations, from sea to shining sea. It is a great pleasure when we work with innkeepers that love where they live and develop their properties into places where guests can experience all their location has to offer. Travelers love to experience and discover new places, as well as return to familiar ones. That is what travel is all about.
Have you taken full advantage of your location, its history, its uniqueness, and its distinct pleasures?
Would love to hear from you.