Solon, a small, family friendly Cleveland suburb can be found in the heart of Cuyahoga County. Comprised of a little over 20,000 people, the area hosts friendly neighborhoods, top-notch public schools, and an especially tranquil location for seniors to enjoy their golden years. While the population has seen steady growth, the area still retains its small-town feel – even being voted onto the “Best Places to Live” list multiple times by Money magazine and as “One of the Best Places to Raise Kids” by Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Laid out in a traditional New England plan, the city has a public square in its town center where many commercial and retail areas are based as a convenience to all residents. The strong business climate, array of recreational activates and modern amenities make this quiet town an area that residents are proud to call home.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Fortunately, this small town isn't "small" when it comes to options for foodies. Tucked inside a well-weathered old house, visitors to American Tavern are treated to some of the best homemade chili and tuna melts in the area. This no-frills restaurant displays several specials throughout the week, too - all at very affordable prices. Dimly-lit and never overcrowded, this laid-back gem is a favorite lunch spot of locals.
Just down Miles Road, those in the know hit a strip mall for Japanese gold at Shinano Sushi Bar. This authentic Asian restaurant provides a traditional Japanese menu and atmosphere, handing out warm towels before dinner and green tea after. Patrons can take a seat at the bar itself or sit in the dining room to partake in a variety of sakes and bento boxes. A variety of noodle-based entrees are available, including Zaru Soba, chilled buckwheat noodles in a light soy sauce. You won't find hibachi style shows here, but teriyaki dinners with pork cutlets, chicken and steak steal the spotlight all on their own. A clean, casual and airy interior with soothing music and hospitable service makes for a delectable spot to dine.
Solon may not be known for a wild nightlife, but residents have plenty of dining options to share a few cocktails with friends on the weekend, such as the Swirl Wine Bar. Set in a charming white house, wine aficionados and casual drinkers alike delight in the restaurant's unparalleled selection of vino. By the bottle or glass, a wine for any palate can be found under one roof, with the accommodating staff ready to help pick the perfect selection for each customer. Small plates, including cheese and sausage boards, are great for snacking while sipping. Heavier options like the zesty pesto burger are also on the menu, and during the warmer months, an outdoor patio and bocce ball are available - much to the delight of customers. Guests can benefit from the establishment's many special events like Ladies Martini Night and Retail Bottle Nights. Handcrafted and churned ice cream and sorbets are a perfect way to end the evening.
History & Culture
Originally supported by dairy farms, the area of Solon has always enjoyed an atmosphere of progressive development. The area experienced a boom in 1857 when the Cleveland and Mahoning Railroad established a line running through the area. Officially incorporated in 1954, the city has held onto an idealistic suburban feel in modern times, thanks to a zoning plan designed to insulate this “bedroom community” from the impersonal feel of industrial activities.
Home to an active performing arts community for all ages, The Solon Center for Arts enables residents to enjoy dance and theater – even advertising drama classes for seniors - while the Solon Philharmonic Orchestra has designed a class tailored to kids.
Certainly not as congested as many of its neighboring counterparts, the area enjoys free vehicle flow; a perk given that transportation by car is the first choice. Easy access to many freeways connects Solon residents to Northeast Ohio and beyond. Located less than 20 minutes from downtown Cleveland, the commute is relatively easy and can also be made by bus. The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority offers bus rides into the city for an affordable price. Taxis are few and far between, however Uber is always an option. During the day, community members can be found strolling down the street or cycling on the many bike paths, but most stick to cars after sunset. Free parking can be found at most of the local attractions and eateries.
The cost of living in Solon is higher than other areas in the Cleveland area, with its cost of living 13% higher than the national average. A one bedroom apartment will cost you around $766 monthly while the cost of gas is lower than the national average. A beer at your local bar can be surprisingly cheap during happy hours, but the average pint is still easy on the wallet at about $3.50.
Solon is home to familiar high-end stores, such as the town's Pier 1, as well as value chains like Old Navy and drugstores like CVS and Walgreens. When it comes to shopping, food is king in this area. A large Giant Eagle services the area, offering an impressive assortment of gourmet delights in addition to typical groceries - they even host beer tastings in the store.
While there isn't a traditional, street-based farmers market in town, Miles Farmers Market is a physical shop with the best in meats, produce and baked goods for perusing pleasure. Jam-packed with repeat customers, things get happily hectic around the holidays thanks to the shop's famous pies. In the warmer months, the store holds clam bakes and barbecues.
Other specialty food markets populate the area as well, such as the health-conscious Mustard Seed Market, Sunny Asian Food and Spices for something more exotic, or Jim Alesci's Place, filled with anything you could wish for when it comes to making an Italian feast.
Shopping local is big with Solon residents, which means frequent stops at independent stores like Wildlife Garden. This nature-lover's haven features nature and gardening products, including over 200 types of bird feeders and houses. Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve, another local star, is a Handmade Organic Bath & Body care company that welcomes visitors by appointment only. Kids of all ages head to Playmatters for an impressive toy and game selection.
Solon residents enjoy the outdoors, reflected in their free-to-the-public parks. Solon Community Park, home to ten baseball fields and two playgrounds, also offers a pavilion that's perfect for social gatherings. Timberlake Park has wide open spaces for running, strolling with the family dog or even trying your hand at fishing in a serene four-acre lake.
The annual Solon Home Days brings all ages together each July when the community celebrates the summer and their hometown pride with regional games such as cornhole toss and a lavish parade.