What to do and see in Painesville, United States: The Best Places and Tips

July 22, 2017 Karren Gelb

Painesville is a city in and the county seat of Lake County, Ohio, United States, located along the Grand River. Its population was 19,563 at the 2010 census.
Restaurants in Painesville

1. James A. Garfield National Historic Site

8095 Mentor Ave, Mentor, OH 44060-5753 +1 440-255-8722
Excellent
76%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 263 reviews

James A. Garfield National Historic Site

The site is made up of a visitors' center, as well as the 20-room farmhouse Garfield lived in with his wife and five children.

Reviewed By Edward Hobart T

This is a great gem of a place. A self made man, last log cabin President, rock star of politics, death was more grieved than Lincoln's, and an incredible wife, Lucretia. Tour wonderful, tour guide, Barbara was just terrific. Spent two great hours and could have spent longer. Go. Go now.

2. The Holden Arboretum

9550 Sperry Rd, Kirtland, OH 44094-5149 +1 440-946-4400
Excellent
79%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 249 reviews

The Holden Arboretum

The Holden Arboretum is 3,600 acres of the most beautiful gardens and natural areas in Northeast Ohio, including the Holden Wildflower Garden, featuring Ohio native plants; the Holden Butterfly Garden, which attracts hummingbirds and butterflies; the 20-acre Layer Rhododendron Garden and the 4.5 acre Paine Rhododendron Discovery Garden; and collections of lilacs, viburnums, crabapples and conifers. The Arboretum includes the Murch Canopy Walk and the Kalberer Emergent Tower, which are open from April 1 through Nov. 1. Guided walking tours of the grounds are available from April through May, and tram tours are available May through October. Winter activities include snowshoe hikes in January and February, weather permitting.

Reviewed By haridas88 - Ohio

Lovely place to go for a hike . The tower and canopy tree walk were fun . Felt the canopy tee walk was a very short one . Don't forget to pay at the entrance if you would like to go to these two places . If you don't pay , you can go around the place and hike but I suggest paying and going to the two places .

3. Lake County History Center

415 Riverside Dr, Painesville, OH 44077-5321 +1 440-639-2945
Excellent
74%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 15 reviews

Lake County History Center

Reviewed By Anita S - Painesville, Ohio

What an remarkable place. The grounds are kept beautiful. The gift shop Is open, which helps support the Historical Center. The clothes and all the memorabilia is just exquisite. This is a wonderful family outing. So much to learn and we always find new facts. Great experience for yopung and old. Beautiful setting.

4. Fairport Harbor Marine Museum and Lighthouse

129 2nd St, Fairport Harbor, OH 44077-5816 +1 440-354-4825
Excellent
57%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 34 reviews

Fairport Harbor Marine Museum and Lighthouse

Reviewed By Paul S - Marion

The Fairport lighthouse and museum is easy to find on High Street just before the beach. We had to drive around a little to find an open parking place on a weekend afternoon but it was worth it. The museum was quite interesting and very well done, and the lady was very helpful and friendly. Unlike a lot of lighthouses, you can climb to the top and walk out on the top deck for great views of the town, harbor, beach and lake. You get a ribbon in the gift shop for completing the climb. When we were there one couple had the brilliant idea to take their Airedale terrier to the top. It made it up just fine but would not go back down. Maybe it was scared of the cat ghost. Ask about that story in the museum. Anyway, it was a nuisance because there is not room for several people and a large dog at the top of the stairs. They finally carried the dog down so it made it out okay..

5. Maple Highlands Trail

9280 Ravenna Rd, Chardon, OH 44024-9159
Excellent
76%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 29 reviews

Maple Highlands Trail

Reviewed By ElaineAndGreg - Chesterland, Ohio

Imagine a park something like 23 miles long that is as little as about 20 feet wide in places and maybe 100 feet wide throughout much of its length. This park is mostly level and passes through many miles of beautiful woodland. Most of the trail is paved and is ideal for hiking or biking.

That's pretty much Maple Highlands Trail.

This beautiful park is along an old B&O railway line (think Monopoly) that was abandoned decades ago and has been converted over the course of years into a trail way through many of the most attractive parks of Geauga County. Most of it is paved (although much of the southern portion is not). The course is mostly wooded, with both newer and more historic covered bridges. You can basically decide how far you want to go and turn around wherever you want to.

Although this park snakes along many miles, there are a limited number of convenient places to park. As a result, while this is fun to walk, a bicycle might be more practical. Most recently, we go onto the trail just south of Chardon at the Mountain Run Station. Oddly enough, you pass through a sort of industrial park to get there, but once you are at the parking area it is a very pleasant paved walk in the wood to the trail. There are several other entrance points you can easily find on the Geauga Park District web site.

It's great that they've both preserved and converted this rail line so that we can all enjoy a trip of pretty much any length you would want. We also saw some older remnants from the rail line along the way.

6. Lake Erie Bluffs

3301 Lane Road, 2901 Clark Rd, Perry, OH 44081 +1 440-639-7275
Excellent
77%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 13 reviews

Lake Erie Bluffs

Reviewed By WHMeg - Willoughby Hills, Ohio

Although the Tower (free!) is the latest addition to the park, don't miss the other attractions! (By the way, the tower is handicapped accessible only at the lower level.) There are paved (and unpaved) hiking trails, access to the beach (natural and fun to explore!), a birding observation platform in a meadow area and even primitive campsites that can be reserved! Eagles are commonly observed and the sunsets and wave action during storm weather are both amazing. A beautiful shelter is also on the grounds, equipped with roll-up garage doors so that the shelter can be open during good weather and closed during cooler or stormier times. There are two parking areas, so make sure you discuss where you'll meet friends!

7. Girdled Road Reservation

12926 Radcliffe Road, Concord, OH 44077 +1 440-639-7275
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 7 reviews

Girdled Road Reservation

Reviewed By WHMeg - Willoughby Hills, Ohio

With three different entrances (North, South and Skok Meadow), there are plenty of ways to access this over 900 acre park. Great for hiking (small amount of paved trail), some trails are groomed in the winter for cross-country skiing. You'll often find horse trailers parked at the South entrance, as this is a good trail-riding area as well. Our hiking group easily does 5+ mile hikes here and there are trail options so that you can do anything from any easy half-mile stroll on a paved trail to a challenging 8 mile or so hike with some good up and down hill stretches. There are bathrooms near the picnic area.

8. Kirtland Temple

7809 Joseph St, Kirtland, OH 44094-9255
Excellent
67%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 63 reviews

Kirtland Temple

Kirtland Temple and Museum:http://www.kirtlandtemple.org/history.htmlhttp://www.kirtlandtemple.org/tourinfo.htmlThis is one of the most historic buildings in Ohio and an amazing example of pre-Civil War carpentry.

Reviewed By BLTurpin - Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The Kirtland Temple, owned and administered by The Community of Christ, is most attractive to anyone interested in religious history. There is certainly reason to visit if one is interested in architecture or local history, but this site is primarily about religion, those who believed Joseph Smith to be a prophet, and the community that built up around Smith's believers.

It is possible to walk around the temple without a guide, but in order to go inside you must be with a tour group. Thus, it makes more sense to start your visit at the Visitor's Center. The Visitor's Center has a small museum which explains the temple and which presents artifacts, documents, and history relating to the temple's construction. The original finial is also on display in the lobby as well. Visitors watch a short film and learn about the temple as well as The Community of Christ, the church which owns and operates the temple today.

After the film concludes, a guide will walk with your group the short distance to the temple (approx 100-150 meters.) The day we visited it was raining heavily, but the guides are well equipped and will provide umbrellas.

Once you arrive, the guide will lead you up the stairs to the second floor. The stairs are steep and there are a lot of them. This building upper floors of the building are not accessible to anyone who cannot climb stairs. The unusual architecture, features, and detailing of the hall are explained - visitors may sit down in the congregation area but are not allowed into the pulpit areas. Columns are open to show the ropes and pulleys that controlled the curtains (veils).

After the second level, visitors are guided back downstairs to the ground level. The third floor is not available to visitors on the current tour. On the ground floor, more is explained about the religious history including the building's dedication and first-hand accounts of those in attendance. The guide closes by having the group sing "The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning," Hymn #2 in the LDS hymnal which is sung at every Latter-Day Saint temple dedication.

The Community of Christ is welcoming to all people of all faiths. They are used to getting bus loads of LDS visitors and are perfectly at ease conversing with everyone. The Community of Christ are careful caretakers of the temple, using it both to tell the story of how it was built and what it meant as well as use it for some of their contemporary services. The day we visited there was a performance of hymns in the evening.

I highly recommend a visit to the Kirtland Temple. It won't take long and will provide significant insights into the people who lived, worked, and worshipped in the area in the 1830s as well as the legacy of their sacrifices.

9. Craft and Antique Co-op

1871 N Ridge Rd, Painesville, OH 44077-4813 +1 440-392-0581
Excellent
47%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
3%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 27 reviews

Craft and Antique Co-op

Visit our 47,000 sq ft Antique, Vintage, Collectible shopping co-op/mall. Over 100 vendors under one roof. We offer Unique & Unusual items with a daily changing inventory! Large furniture gallery in the rear of the store full of antique to modern furniture. Easily accessible from RT 2. Located corner of Bacon and RT 20. Come spend the day with us, you'll be glad you did!

Reviewed By gingerriss - mentor

If you like that smell they head on down. It's jammed pack (not in a good way) full of antiques (junk). It shows its age with all its old junk like collectables. The prices are so extreme you have to just laugh when you see it. I'm not sure the staff even know they work there by their aimlessly walking around. Waste of time.

10. Headlands Beach State Park

9601 Headlands Rd, Mentor, OH 44060-1001 +1 440-466-8400
Excellent
50%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 321 reviews

Headlands Beach State Park

Reviewed By Teri P - Perry, Ohio

Very nice place. Huge stretch of beach. There are life guard stations most of the beach. The farther down toward the end, there are not any stations and it is usually less crowded. They have concession stands scattered along the beach but the ones at the far end aren't open as often as the more crowded part of the beach at the opposite end. They have plenty of parking and grilling areas with picnic tables. There is even a Wind Surf and Kayak rental place. The park closes at dusk. The bathrooms aren't the cleanest and are very outdated but they are usable. No flotation devices allowed here. The park tends to have scattered litter...so many people that use this beautiful place do not take care of it. Sad but true. They have a sign posted at the entrance to the park that lets you know what the water quality is for swimming. If you have little kids, I would highly recommend Fairport Beach just down the road..they have a newer, cleaner place. The beach is smaller but much more kid friendly with plenty of play equipment for the little ones.

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