As a lifelong resident of Northeast Ohio, I’ve put down roots and don’t plan on leaving anytime soon! Of course, I make time to travel and see the world, and one of my favorite experiences abroad is meeting local people. We talk back and forth about our homes and why we love them. Just last March in Denmark, I shared the joys of Ohio with new friends in Copenhagen. I returned with new inspiration for my home, my cooking skills (or lack of them), my wardrobe and even how I view the world. Awesome!
During my trip, I enjoyed a crash course in the art of hygge. If you’re not familiar, check out this great piece from the New Yorker published in 2016. Without an equivalent English word, “cozy” is the closest we’ll get to describing gently flickering lanterns, a warm cinnamon roll, and a good book after a long day of exploring.
Thankfully, hygge is universal – it’s not confined to Denmark. I’ve lived all over Northeast Ohio, home to many forms of hygge! Here are a few of my personal favorites:
- Let’s start with an essential: coffee! NEO is chock-full of places to enjoy a great cup of coffee or espresso-based drinks, and my wintertime go-tos include Phoenix Coffee in Ohio City, Angels Falls Coffee Company in Highland Square, Coffee Corners in Burton, Six-Shooter Coffee in Waterloo, Passengers Café in Ohio City, and Tree City Coffee in Kent. Spend a Saturday at each one, and you’ll feel winter flying by.
- Strolling through Amish Country’s small towns – Berlin, Walnut Creek, Sugarcreek, and many others. My favorite store in the area is the Tis the Season Christmas Shoppe, a year-round smorgasbord of Christmas trees and holiday decorations.
- Curling up with a book or just browsing the shelves at a bookshop might just be my favorite activity EVER! My all-time favorites in NEO are Loganberry Books in Larchmere, Mac’s Backs Books in Coventry, and Books-In-Stock in Wooster.
- Keeping with the theme of books, I’m at my local library (in Lakewood) at least twice a week during any season. If anything, the snow and ice of winter make me more determined to get there and enjoy the company of fellow booklovers and librarians. Wherever you live in NEO, get yourself a library card and explore this absolutely free gathering place.
- We all have to eat – so why not find a cozy spot? My favorites include Rosewood Grill in Hudson, 91 in North Canton (I’ve never had a better martini!), Georgetown in Lakewood, and Stone Mad in Gordon Square.
Of course, if you’ve been outdoors hiking, skiing or just running errands, you can create hygge at home afterwards with warm blankets, hot cocoa, and good company. Whether you’re nestled at a café or snuggled on the couch, you can live the hygge life right here in NEO.