As sure as the daffodils will bloom and the robins return, you know it is spring when you start seeing signs for the Annual Drive-it-Yourself Tour! This year’s excursion is Saturday, May 9, so clear your calendar and invite your favorite ‘road trip buddy’ for a day of fun and exploration!
The event is a tradition in Geauga County that kicks off National Tourism Week in fine fashion, and gives everyone an opportunity to be a ‘tourist in his or her own backyard.’ So, how does it work? First you need a List and Map of the 25 participating locations, each featuring special activities, give-aways, sales, samples or demonstrations to participants. You choose a minimum of ten stops that appeal to you. When you stop in, get your map stamped at that location.
Choose places you’ve never visited, or pick your favorites for a great sale or special activity. This year’s tour has seven first time stops, several stops making a re-appearance to the tour after being off for a few years – and some standby favorites.
“I love talking with participants throughout the day and at the Finale,” says Lynda Nemeth, Destination Geauga Director. “I hear the same phrase at least 100 times that day ‘I’ve drive past that place almost every day and have never stopped until today, I’m so glad I did!’ We love giving people that reason to stop!”
Participants can choose to visit the recently awarded Cleveland Hot List Winner ‘The Nest’, the newly reopened Punderson Manor Lodge for a peak into an estate room and the library, or stop in Sport Rack and purchase a t-shirt and they will custom print it in the fashion of the ‘old tour t-shirt’ with all of this year’s tour stops on the back and the logo/year on the front!
You can also choose to nibble your way through the tour as 16 of the locations are offering refreshments or samples of food! Enjoy everything from ribs at Blazin Bills or a taste of the Famous Fried Bologna Sandwich at the newly opened Bistro 608 at Grandview. Watching your diet? Stop at Kalle Naturals where you can sample healthy alternatives to your favorite snacks and coffee!
If you forgot its Mothers Day weekend, don’t worry! We have plenty of great deals for shopping, from antiques to housewares, crafts to outdoor furniture!
Tour stops are The Barn Treasures, *Beth & Dawn’s Garage Sale, *Bistro 608 at Grandview, Blazin Bills, Burton Log Cabin & Sugar Camp, The Craft Cupboard, Creekside Lawn Furniture, End of the Commons General Store, For the Birds Wildlife and More, Fowlers Milling Company, Geauga County Airport, Hershbergers’ Housewares, Kalle Naturals, Mulligans Pub, *The Nest, Punderson Manor Lodge, Reba’s Second Look, Richards Maple, Sharon James Cellars, Sirna’s Pizzeria, *Special Hands Shoppe, *Sport Rack, *Valentine Antiques, *West Geauga Plaza-Chesterland Floral, and White House Chocolate (*Designates new stop) Destination Geauga thanks Event Sponsors Blazin Bills and End of the Commons General Store for their support.
So shop, munch, browse and enjoy the day while keeping your dollars local, and supporting Geauga County’s small businesses! The event runs from 10am to 4pm. The Grand Final is at Middlefield Market Pavilion (indoors) where you will want to be by 3:45. The building will open by 3:00pm with vendors, entertainment, snacks, a silent/Chinese auction, and prize drawings begin at 4:00pm.
To eligible for the prize drawings you must visit at least ten places and have their stamps on your map. In addition, you must have your map validated as you enter the finale by 3:45pm. Prizes and auction items will be baskets and gift certificates from the stops and area businesses.
Participants can get a List and map online at www.DestinationGeauga.com, or by calling the Destination Geauga Office 440-632-1538 or 800-775-TOUR, or at any of the participating member locations.