We stayed for two nights at the AngelWoods Hideaway Bed & Breakfast. It is located 20 minutes outside of Mansfield near Malabar Farm State Park in Lucas. If you are looking for something quiet and isolate, this is the place for you! It is in the country surrounded by woods and fields. It is so isolate in fact, you will not get any service on your mobile phone. Don't worry! The hosts John and Victoria are very nice and said we could use their land line at any time if we needed to.
The hosts John and Victoria are so nice and welcoming. You will enjoy your stay in the private and serene atmosphere. Hideaway is the perfect word to describe AngelWoods.
Downtown Mansfield is a must-see. We were impressed by the charm of Main Street and the whimsy of the Historic Carousel District. You will find unique shops, galleries and even an antique hand-carved carousel on the brick paved, tree lined streets.
Speaking of charming shops you need to pay a visit to Squirrel's Den. It is a specialty chocolate, nut and popcorn shop located just steps from the carousel. The owner LaDonna is so "sweet" - she showed us where she makes her hand-dipped chocolates, homemade fudge, over 21 flavors of popcorn and cinnamon frosted almonds and pecans. Needless to say, it smells divine in this shop! My favorite was the flavored popcorn! I would recommend the confetti flavor so you get a bit of everything. Check out the last photo above. It is a scene from the Shawshank Redemption that LaDonna made of chocolate! Can you tell which scene it is? Hint: "Brooks was here."
One of the most stunning buildings in Mansfield is the historic Renaissance Theatre. We had the pleasure of seeing a show there during our visit. The theatre was so impressive with its beautiful architecture including a stunning chandelier. This 80-year-old theatre is the host to everything from Broadway musicals to world-famous comedians.
End your evening with a trip to Cypress Cellars. This small urban winery is in the lower level of an old sandstone and brick building located right in the downtown. We met the lovely owners, Rick and Carol. If you like whites like we do, you must try the 2010 Symphony and my favorite, 2010 Riesling. The Riesling is a citric wine with aromas of apples and grapefruit and a distinctive apricot flavor. The winery has a small and cozy atmosphere. I would recommend it for a nice romantic evening or to visit with some friends.
For a quick yet delicious meal, head to Athens Greek Restaurant in downtown on Main St. It is located right next to Squirrel's Den. Offering authentic Greek cuisine, you will not be disappointed with the portions or the food! I enjoyed an open faced Gyro and some Baklava. We were impressed by the speedy service and the savory food.
If you are looking for a more formal and romantic dining experience, then Skyway East is the place for you. The ambiance is quiet and candlelit. You can expect to find linen tablecloths, low lighting, fresh flowers and a 100 bottle wine list. Each evening, 85 entrees are offered on the ever-changing daily and regular menus. You will find steak, seafood and everything in between. In fact, it took us awhile to decide what we wanted to order! We started with lobster bisque. The generous bowl was thick and flavorful with plenty of lobster. I ordered the Shrimp Lover meal and my husband went for the NY Strip Steak. The shrimp scampi was my favorite of the four kinds of shrimp presented in my meal. The other shrimp was all breaded so it left me very full. In fact, I couldn't even finish it. The regular cut beef Angus that my husband ordered was thick and juicy. He loved the traditional presentation. You will want to visit Skyway East if you are looking for a relaxing fine dining experience.
The Malabar Farm Restaurant is located in rural Ohio, surrounded by agriculture and livestock. It was not too far from AngelWoods. They have a relationship with local growers and a goal for being completely reliant on Ohio produce. They strongly believe that food is most flavorful when it comes from their back yard, therefore they encourage and support rural Ohio. So as you might expect, the menu is simple. We enjoyed the Crab Cakes with honey sesame slaw and the Shrimp Pasta. The crab cakes were some of the best we ever tasted. They were so fresh and full of flavor. The shrimp pasta was made in a very light cream sauce with bacon and roasted garlic. Both dishes were delectable. The ambiance is more upscale casual, yet it is very comfortable and inviting.
The Ohio State Reformatory is known as one of our nation's most historic treasures. The cornerstone laid on November 4, 1886 evolved into a magnificent Chateauesque structure. This is evident from the moment you enter the driveway. The structure is enormous and visually stunning. Designed as a reformatory, it was meant to encourage inmates back to a "rebirth" of their spiritual lives. It is comprised of more than 250,000 square feet and houses the world's largest free-standing steel cell block.
Yet another historic landmark in the area is Malabar Farm. Located in Pleasant Valley, it is now a state park. Once upon a time it was the dream home of Pulitzer Prize winning author Louis Bromfield. You can visit the home and the farm just as it was in Bromfield's time.We toured the 32-room Big House that was designed by Bromfield himself. It is left as Louis left it in 1956 so it is a really interesting tour. You can also find trails, camping, fishing and plenty of outdoor activities throughout the park. We drove to the highest point, Mt. Jeez to experience a stunning scenic outlook.
For more information on visiting Mansfield, check out www.mansfieldtourism.com. You will find many of the places mentioned above and so much more! You will be amazed by all there is to do and see in the Heart of Ohio!
Disclosure: I did not receive any financial compensation for this post. All opinions are my own and uninfluenced by anyone else. I did receive some free product(s) to facilitate my review from the companies or their PR agencies. See my full disclosure.