The Cleveland Metro Area is a great host for your next late summer adventure. The area embodies the classic blue collar mentality of the Midwestern United States, while being vibrant and filled with fun things to do.

Cleveland as a whole is very culturally diverse and that’s reflected in the options for local cuisine. You’ll find any type of food you’re looking for, from neo-Italian to traditional bar food. Crop Bistro is located downtown and features a luxury dining experience. This establishment has been showered with praise for its atmosphere and menu from outlets such as Zagat’s and Scene. Farm-to-table ingredients and a unique setting make this a must visit restaurant. Slyman’s Restaurant is another local favorite. It’s a traditional style deli restaurant with a great selection of sandwiches and entrees. Former President George W. Bush even stopped in for a meal back in 2007.

While the roots of the Cleveland are intertwined with hard work, the attractions here are nothing but fun. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an attraction you won’t want to miss. The beautiful facility was designed by world famous architect I.M. Pei, and it’s one the most recognizable buildings in the state. Inside, you’ll encounter over 50 exhibits that showcase the largest collection of rock artifacts on the planet. Cedar Point Amusement Park is another great attraction, especially if your vacation is aimed toward fun, adventure, and exhilaration. This park has something for all ages, from special events to thrill rides. In fact, this park carries the nickname “The Roller Coaster Capital of the World.”

The Crocker Park Wine Festival is located just 12 miles east of downtown Cleveland, in the suburb of Westlake. This is one of the top up-and-coming festivals in the state and organizers are  expecting at least 5,000 people in attendance. There will be over 200 different wines, 30 different craft beers, and a selection of great food options from the area’s best restaurants featured at the festival. Held at the Crocker Park Shopping Center, the festival gives you the opportunity to explore the many shops and restaurants within the complex. We got the chance to speak to Debra Sherman, representative for the event, to find out all about this unique wine celebration.

RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.

DS: The Crocker Park Wine Festival is celebrating its 6th year and draws over 5,000 guests annually. One of Northeast Ohio’s fastest growing festivals, it has become one of the staple events each fall. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample more than 200 wines from local, national and international producers. In addition, there will be over 30 craft beers and dozens of spirits. The wine festival is just one of many attractions on the west side of Cleveland and just a few miles away from the Lake Erie shoreline.

RAL: Take me through a day at the event.

DS: Guests will enjoy live music from the top bands in the area including Monica Robins & The Whiskey Kings and Funkology. They also will have the opportunity to visit with more than a dozen local exhibitors representing a variety of businesses. Our beneficiaries will also be onsite educating the public on their causes. Food will be provided by Scott’s Fire & Ice (wood fired pizzas and gelato), Rosewood Grill (sweet & spicy Asian bbq pulled pork sliders, lobster mac & cheese, and strawberry shortcake), and Enso: Bowls and Rolls (sampling sushi onsite). The endless list of shops, restaurants, and service providers adjacent to the festival within Crocker Park offers guests many options to fill their proverbial cups with activities throughout the weekend.

RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

DS: Hyatt Place Cleveland/Westlake Hotel just recently opened its new, state-of-the-art facility at Crocker Park. The hotel boasts a wide variety of amenities, including WiFi, an indoor pool, 24-hour fitness center, around the clock dining, and the Coffee to Cocktail Bar.  Hyatt Place currently has a promotion code (G-CPWF) which provides wine festival guests with a special rate. The City of Westlake is also home to many popular hotel chains that are within close proximity to the festival.

We recommend visiting www.crockerpark.com for a complete list of shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities in the area. Westlake is the perfect place to spend the weekend and is just a short drive from many Cleveland area popular attractions including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lakes Science Center, and the Cleveland Aquarium to name a few.

RAL: What does the event mean to the community?

DS: The Crocker Park Wine Festival signals the beginning of fall and the harvest season for the wine world. With more than 50 wineries onsite, the festival offers an opportunity for guests to mix and mingle while supporting health, wellness, and military support organizations. Our three beneficiaries include the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and NEOPAT, the Northeast Ohio Foundation for Patriotism. Each benefactor plays a role in the festival and guests have the opportunity to learn more about the organizations and how they support the communities they serve.

RAL: Why should people come to your event?

DS: In addition to the wine festival and wide variety of shopping and dining options onsite, you’ll also find a weekly Farmers Market on Saturday morning adjacent to the festival. Patrons will also find many special events in the area that are open to the public. Crocker Park is a great destination that can best be summarized as a place where big city energy meets small town charm. There truly is something for all ages at Crocker Park and we invite you to join us for a few hours, the afternoon, or the weekend and see for yourself all that the area has to offer!