On our first visit to Cuyahoga Valley National Park back in 2014, I learned about the Inn at Brandywine Falls. It’s a bed and breakfast that’s actually located within the national park (this is quite rare in today’s times) and as its name suggests, only a stone’s throw from the famous falls. At the beginning of the month, I was looking for a nice and convenient overnight getaway and I happened to remember the Inn. Even though I inquired about availability rather late (less than a couple of weeks out), thankfully there were rooms to be had. And that’s how we ended up in the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Unlike some bed and breakfasts you find in charming and historic small towns, the Inn at Brandywine Falls is a bit different. Built in the late 1840s (well before the American Civil War), the Inn was first and foremost a working farm. (The original owners, James and Adeline Wallace, owned the mills that were found in Brandywine Mills along with 800 acres of land.) While its farming days are long over, today the innkeepers George and Katie still have chickens and a rooster on site, which is where their supply of eggs are from (you can even stop and buy some yourself). There are also two goats, pet goats that is.
Unfortunately, the weekend we were there George and Katie were not at home (they were apparently on a much overdue vacation), but thankfully the substitute innkeepers Greg and Dawn were utterly fabulous. Upon arriving, we were taken on a tour of the public rooms of the house and our room, where Greg went over some things.
They also invited us to a glass of wine, along with some oyster crackers to nibble on, after arriving. This is one of the many reasons why staying at a bed and breakfast is always a lovely affair. As we were the only guests staying there that weekend, it gave us the chance to enjoy some pleasant conversation with Greg and Dawn. There were also freshly baked cookies and a choice of tea/coffee/hot chocolate after the dinner hour which we partook of as well.
Simply put, the house is lovely. Although it appears plain from the outside, the inside is definitely alive with both history and character. The living room features a vast array of current periodicals in addition to a separate library chock full of books, including many on the history of both the Inn and the local area (George, I was told, is quite the history buff).
I debated between a few rooms although I ultimately ended up selecting the James Wallace Parlor. This is actually on the first floor and, as its name suggests, once served as the parlor for the Wallaces. The room is lovingly appointed and probably my favorite part are the shades that had been hand painted by George. It also features a cozy “reading corner.” The bathroom is on the smaller side but still larger than what you’d find in a Paris hotel.
And of course, my favorite part about staying at a bed and breakfast is the breakfast. We were treated to a delectable, multiple course offering (breakfast takes place at 9 AM). There was oatmeal, along with a dizzying array of toppings, fresh fruit, cinnamon rolls, freshly baked bread made by Greg himself, and an egg dish that featured a sausage ring (the sausage was exceptionally delicious).
Just as I knew it would, staying at the Inn at Brandywine Falls provided a perfect weekend. Although the weather in early March wasn’t the best, nothing could detract from its beautiful setting nor its lovely offerings on the inside as well.
A few things to note:
-You’re in a national park and the driveway at the Inn is not paved, so it will be muddy if it has just rained. Pack appropriate footwear, especially if exploring the park.
-While its setting is somewhat remote, you’re only a 15 minute drive from nearby Hudson, Ohio, a charming suburban town complete with a vast array of food and shopping options.
-The Inn is less than a ten minute drive from the Ohio Turnpike, making it quite convenient to get to.