Cleveland's second-largest suburb, (Parma to the south is the biggest), is home to nearly 60,000 residents, dozens of restaurants, churches, parks, art galleries, and shops. Its housing options range fro high-rise apartment and condo buildings on Cleveland’s “Gold Coast” to single-family homes and doubles. Located along Lake Erie, Lakewood is one of the area’s most walkable suburbs and its network of RTA bus stops and a nearby Rapid (electric trains) station, makes getting downtown and points east, west, and south easy.
Lakewood’s downtown is a vibrant shopping/dining district, and it has its own performing arts center—Beck Center for the Arts. It is also one of the area’s most diverse communities, with a sizeable gay population, families with small children, young professionals, singles, and retirees alike calling Lakewood home. It has several distinct neighborhoods: the Gold Coast, Clifton Park, Clifton Boulevard, and Birdtown.
Recreation options are many and include 69 parks within the city limits, including the spacious Lakewood Park, which overlook Lake Erie, making it a great location for picnics and Sunday evening band concerts during the summer months and featuring favorites by John Phillips Souza. Lakewood also borders the Rocky River Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks, and the city’s many facilities include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, baseball fields, and the Serpentini Winterhurst Ice Rink, where Olympic two-time silver medalist Tonia Kwiatkowski once trained.
The school district has seven K-5 elementary schools, two middle schools (6-8 grades), one high school, one alternative school, and a private all-boys Catholic high school. Lakewood High School received bronze-medal status in U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of high schools throughout the United States.
Housing options range from expensive lakefront homes and condos and apartments, to affordable one- and two-family homes on small lots in charming neighborhoods and apartments situated with bus stops nearby.
Also consider Fairview Park.
For More Information:
City of Lakewood, 216.521.7580, www.onelakewood.com
City of Fairview Park, 440.333.2200, www.fairviewpark.org
A few miles west of Lakewood and 12 miles west of downtown Cleveland is the picturesque and affluent lakeside suburb of Bay Village. This bedroom community consists primarily of large single-family homes and limited commercial development. As a result, property taxes tend to be high, but the beautiful homes and proximity to the lake make this a favorite place of business executives, professional athletes, and medical professionals, including Dr. Sam Shepard, who was convicted in the famous 1954 murder case.
One of the area’s nicest lakefront parks is found in Bay Village—The Cleveland Metroparks’s Huntington Reservation and Beach. Nearby is the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center and the Huntington Playhouse.
The school system is small, yet it’s one of the best. It’s comprised of two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school ranked by U.S. News and World Report as being in the top 2 percent both statewide and nationally.
Also consider Rocky River.
For More Information:
City of Bay Village, 440.871.2200, www.cityofbayvillage.com
City of Rocky River, 440.331.0600, www.rrcity.com
Home buyers in the affluent suburb of Westlake have their pick of a wide variety of housing options: modern condos, historic cottages, classic colonials, and craftsman style homes with impressive features are common throughout Westlake. What the suburb lacks in having a downtown business district, it more than makes up for in available shopping at the Crocker Park beautiful open-air shopping complex, as well as retail plazas along Detroit and Center Ridge Roads. Golfers have their pick of numerous country clubs and courses. Outdoor recreation enthusiasts can enjoy hiking and fishing at the Bradley Woods Reservation and Clague Park is where you’ll find a public pool, tennis courts, playgrounds, walking trails, picnic areas, baseball fields, and a duck pond.
The school system includes four elementary schools, one intermediate, one middle, and a high school, ranked by U.S. News and World Report as being in the top 2 percent both statewide and nationally. Westlake is also home to private Catholic, Lutheran and Christian schools, and Goddard and Montessori preschools.
Once a stop on the Underground Railroad, Strongsville is a desirable place to live and work for many reasons. Here you’ll find distinctive neighborhoods, ample shopping, 2,400 acres of green space, a covered bridge, a clock tower at the city commons, a water tower painted by Ziggy comic-strip creator and Cleveland native Tom Wilson, and a robust business community and educational system.
A variety of recreational opportunities are available. The Strongsville Recreation and Senior Complex includes a pool and weight training and court facilities. There are 86 acres of city parks, 10 general play fields, 18 baseball diamonds, plus tennis and basketball courts. The Mill Stream Reservation, a part of the Metroparks, runs through Strongsville and offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and the Chalet with its twin toboggan chutes is a favorite attraction for winter thrills.
Homes in Strongsville are recognized for their excellence and appreciating property values. There is an extensive selection of single-family home styles, including townhouse and cluster home designs. The Strongsville Business & Technology Park is home to 75 companies employing 3,275, making it the largest industrial park in Northeast Ohio. The school system is comprised of a preschool, seven elementary schools, two middle schools, and a high school ranked by U.S. News and World Report as being in the 10 percent nationally and the top 13 percent statewide. A recently approved bond issue was used to build a new middle school, for renovations to the high school and preschool, and for technology upgrades to the elementary schools.
Also consider North Olmsted, Berea, Middleburg Heights, Olmsted Falls, Sheffield Lake, Avon, Avon Lake
For More Information:
City of Westlake, 440.871.3300, www.cityofwestlake.org
City of North Olmsted, 440.777.8000, www.north-olmsted.com
City of Strongsville, 440.580.3100, www.strongsville.org
City of Berea, 440.826.5800, www.cityofberea.org
City of Middleburg Hts., 440.243.1234, www.middleburgheights.com
City of Olmsted Falls, 440.235.5550, www.olmstedfalls.org
City of Avon Lake, 440.933.6141, www.avonlake.org
City of Avon, 440.937.7800, www.cityofavon.com
Sheffield Lake, 440.949.7141, www.sheffieldlake.net
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