It seems a bit obvious to start this list with a town in Amish Country, but it's also impossible to start the list anywhere else. Ohio not has more Amish residents than any other state. Their pre-industrial way of life is often held as a paragon of 'the simple life': highly family- and community-oriented, everything home-made, home-grown, or bought or traded from within the community. If your definition of simple means traditional, then you've got it in Middlefield, the heart of Geauga County Amish Country.
Consistently ranking in lists of top places to live in Ohio. With over 26,600 people, it's the largest city on the list. It makes the list because despite its size, it still has that small-town charm that makes you feel right at home. The many smaller townships within Medina offer a variety of things, from millennial, to quaint, to rural, to family-oriented.
This charming college town knows how to keep it simple without sacrificing any comforts. Wooster's resident businesses include a third generation jeweler, and great local eateries with an interest in keeping things simple. Fresh local produce, from carrots to pastries, are front-and-center in Wooster's small but formidable dining scene.
Peninsula receives a lot of visitors for such a small town, because it's one of the stops along the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. This little town only has about 570 people. The town itself is nestled into the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, making it feel safe and secluded, despite being just a convenient drive away from the city.
5. Seven Hills
With a tiny crime rate of only 1 in 300, and more festivals, fairs, markets, and community activities than you could poke a stick at, Seven Hills makes the list. The farmers market shows off local produce at its freshest. Just visit the town's Facebook page: it might be one of the friendliest towns in Ohio.
Chardon is home to the Geauga Country Maple Festival, which starts with the annual Tapping Sunday. The residents of Chardon produce some of the best maple syrup in Ohio. This town has seen hard times, but its community and neighborly spirit has seen it through.
7. Munroe Falls
Munroe Falls calls itself "A great place to call home", and we agree! It's safe, quiet, and has three beautiful Metroparks. They have a great farmer's market in the summer, and their very own Historical Museum, open once a month to the public.
With a population hovering just under the 250 mark, Kipton in Lorain Country is a unique little town. It was made (in)famous by a railway collision in 1891 which killed 8 people. Today, it's more than recovered.
It's highly community-oriented, with holiday activities, and enough to keep both adults and kids entertained all year 'round.
Every town on Lake Erie has its charm, but with just over 7,400 people and a crime rate of just 0.01 per person, Mentor-on-the-Lake stands out. It's full of family-friendly activities, and Lakeland Community College.
10. Sugar Bush Knolls
This tiny, tiny, 200-person village is just charming. There's only nine streets, but there's two lakes! It's named after the sugar maples that grow in the area, which was a tree nursery during the depression, and was developed only in the 1950s.
11. Bainbridge Township
Located about 30 minutes outside Cleveland, in Geauga County, Bainbridge is a lovely combination of tradition and modern living. It's run by an elected board of just three trustees, and was rated by HomeSnacks as one of the top 15 towns in Ohio based on median income and crime rates. Possibly the most charming thing about Bainbridge Township is that it has an official flower, brought back from Belgium by a soldier in WWI, who lovingly tended it until he perfected growing it in Ohio conditions.
This little rural town on the Vermilion River has everything you could expect it to have - and a few things you wouldn't! In a town of barely 1000 people there are two wineries, and an alpaca farm! It's been named one of the 100 best small towns in Ohio.
13. Valley View
Although it's so close it's basically a suburb of Cleveland, Valley View's location and overall vibe give it a small-town feel. With around 3000 residents, this town has access to great modern amenities, but is adjacent to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and is home to many interesting historical buildings.
14. North Perry
Home to Towline Park, a 100 acre reservation with every outdoor activity you could want, this small town is a gem. It has around 900 people, and by zoning, it's about 80% urban, 20% rural. Undoubtedly, the unparalleled access to the lake is the main draw to this town - just lots of lazy summer Sundays at the lake!
With a name like this, it's actually hard to believe that this town exists. But it does! In fact, it was improbably named after a town mayor, Clement L. Reminder. The town now boasts a great school district, and prides itself on being "city-close and country-quaint". They live up to their claim with community Easter egg hunts, Halloween parties, and more, and also a town smartphone app.
These are just 15 of the small towns near Cleveland in which life just feels simpler. What is your