Lorain's HarborWalk Community is on the Black River, just minutes from Lake Erie. / Photo: Rona Proudfoot

When locals refer to Northeast Ohio, they’re usually talking about the region that encompasses the cities of Cleveland, Akron and Canton. An outer ring of thirteen additional counties are considered part of Northeast Ohio as well:

Small-town charm and rustic scenery meet exceptional cultural opportunities in Ashland County, an area with a vibrant business community, peaceful neighborhoods and thriving parks. Ashland County communities are warm and welcoming and provide a diverse mix of moderately priced single-family homes, condos, townhouses and apartments. Educational opportunities continue beyond K-12, as Ashland University offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a broad range of fields. For more information: Ashland County,

The City of Ashland, is self-proclaimed as “The World Headquarters of Nice People.” With a good public school system and low crime rate, it is a great place to raise a family. For more information, contact City of Ashland at 419.289.8622;

Loudonville is a small, charming town with a population just over 2,600. Nicknamed the “Canoe Capital of Ohio,” it has a historic, rural, close-to-nature feel to it. There are plenty of parks for camping, canoeing, hiking and other outdoor activities. For more information, contact Village of Loudonville at 419.994.3214;


The Harpersfield Covered Bridge is 228 feet long. It spans the Grand River in western Ashtabula County.

Ashtabula is Northeast Ohio’s most northeastern county and is situated along the Lake Erie shoreline. It is best known for its wineries and covered bridges. Major communities include Geneva, home to more than 20 wineries; the City of Ashtabula, home to the Historic Ashtabula Harbor; Conneaut, steeped in history and culture; as well as Jefferson, home to the Ashtabula County Fair each August. In October, the fairgrounds serve as the central location for the county’s famous Covered Bridge Festival. For more information, contact Ashtabula County at 440.576.9090;

The city of Ashtabula offers some of the most affordable housing on Lake Erie. Some of the nicest neighborhoods include Walnut Boulevard and Edgewater Drive. For more information, contact City of Ashtabula at 440.992.7155;

This charming city has a diverse offering of housing styles and pricing. There are older neighborhoods with sturdy homes from ship captains and others that spent their winters here, as well as newer developments close to shopping. For more information, contact City of Conneaut at 440.593.7401;

While the area is a destination for vacationers, many choose to live here year-round. Who wouldn’t love to live where people vacation, with restaurants serving local wines and breathtaking sunsets over Lake Erie? A new development, Lake Erie Vista, is a five-story upscale condominium that is popular with residents buying for year-round living or summer getaways. For more information, contact Village of Geneva-on-the-Lake at 440.466.8197;

The Roaming Shores Village is Ashtabula County’s newest and most affluent Living Here community with housing development on the waterfront where many residents dock their boats. For more information, contact Village of Roaming Shores at 440.563.3123;

Bordered by Pennsylvania to the east and the Ohio River to the south, rural Columbiana County boasts a legacy of agriculture and industry. Residents enjoy pick-your-own fruits and vegetables, as well as roadside produce stands, and a smattering of state parks and wildlife areas. Farms abound in Columbiana County, but not all residents have to be farm owners! Homes on small and large lots alike exist at price points in the low to moderate range. For more information: Columbiana County,   

East Liverpool, established in 1834 and with a population of 11,195, is rated by Niche as one of the Best Places to Retire in America. For more information, contact City of East Liverpool at 330.385.3381;   

The quiet village of Leetonia has a rich historic past and a picturesque natural setting. The village is currently undergoing a downtown revitalization, with the hopes to bring new businesses and traffic to the area. For more information, contact Village of Leetonia at 330.427.6721;

Midway between Cleveland and Toledo, Erie County hugs the southern shore of Lake Erie and provides easy access to Lake Erie Shores & Islands. Home to 76,000 residents, Erie County offers a number of lifestyles to choose from, including metropolitan areas, lakeside communities, historic downtowns and rural “small town” communities.  For more information, contact Erie County, 419.627.7682;

An old port town built in large part on the steel industry, Sandusky today is home to adventurers and beachcombers who enjoy its proximity to islands, beaches and bays, as well as Sandusky’s infamous amusement and water parks. The area has plenty of choices for residents: single-family homes, town homes, condos and apartments. For more information, contact City of Sandusky at 419.627.5844;

Positioned on the Erie County/Lorain County border, Vermilion cherishes its maritime history and flavor — from its famed lighthouse, sitting near the mouth of the Vermilion River, to the Inland Seas Maritime Museum. Riverfront houses and condos immerse residents in that maritime spirit; those who choose to live in the many other areas of the town are just a short way from boats, beaches, shops and restaurants, including the nationally acclaimed Chez Francois. For more information, contact City of Vermilion at 440.204.2400;


Geauga County
Maple Highlands Bike Trail in Chardon (Geauga County) / Photo: Bruce Bennett

Geauga County is known for its rural vibe, quaint communities and thriving Amish population. Locally owned shops, restaurants, bed & breakfasts and seasonal festivals lure visitors seeking an escape to the countryside, while commuters enjoy living off the beaten path with easy access to Cleveland to the west and Akron to the south.

• Population: 11,464
• Median Household Income: $115,357
• Median Home Value: $147,200
Bainbridge offers convenient access to the highways that connect Cleveland to its eastern and southern suburbs, while also allowing residents to enjoy a peaceful, rural lifestyle. Bainbridge has excellent public schools and is a top-rated community for families. For more information, contact Bainbridge Township at 440.543.9871;

Horse-drawn Amish vehicles are a common site on Burton's country roads.


• Population: 1,266
• Median Household Income: $50,625
• Median Home Value: $197,658
Burton, with its rolling farm fields, open pastures and surrounding Amish communities, is rich in history and culture. The village of Burton hosts the oldest fair in Ohio, the Great Geauga County Fair, and also attracts thousands of visitors each year to its Apple Butter Festival.
For more information, contact Burton Township at 440.834.1500;

• Population: 5,171
• Median Household Income: $67,944
• Median Home Value: $177,000
The city of Chardon’s quaint, shop-filled public square, numerous events and activities for all ages, highly rated schools and proximity to the shores of Lake Erie make it a safe, desirable location for many families. Chardon is also known for its maple syrup, celebrated annually at the Geauga County Maple Festival.
For more information, contact City of Chardon at 440.286.2600;

• Population: 10,317
• Median Household Income: $77,863
• Median Home Value: $222,100
Referred to by locals as Chesterland, this township has the second largest population in Geauga County and yet
maintains its rural, country-living vibe. Older professionals and retirees make up the majority of Chesterland’s population, according to, and the highly rated schools attract many families. For more information, contact Chester Township at 440.729.7058;

• Population: 2,707
• Median Household Income: $47,319
• Median Home Value: $155,200
Middlefield, whose motto is “Where Families Grow Strong,” is the center of the fourth largest Amish settlement in the world, as well as one of the most thriving communities of its size in the region. Local businesses and industries are growing, while residents enjoy a high tax base, low unemployment, low utility rates and low real-estate taxes. For more information, contact Village of Middlefield at 440.632.5248;

Russell Township
Located in Russell Township, this geodesic dome was built in 1959 as the world headquarters of ASM International.

• Population: 5,222
• Median Household Income: $106,522
• Median Home Value: $276,500
South Russell is a residential community that maintains both a suburban and rural feel. Located on the western edge of the county, residents enjoy its proximity to the charming village of Chagrin Falls and an easy commute to greater Cleveland’s eastern communities. Families are drawn to its excellent public schools. For more information, contact Village of South Russell at 440.338.6700;

Steeped in history and tradition, Huron County is a rural region. Its 1,000 farms and a variety of manufacturing businesses provide employment for many residents. Norwalk is the largest city, as well as the county seat, of Huron County. The cities, towns and villages of Huron County offer families and individuals a diverse range of affordable homes in quiet neighborhoods. For more information: Huron County,   

Norwalk, Tree City, has a Main Street lined with maple trees and takes pride in maintaining its street and park trees. Those driving through the city experience the beautiful views Norwalk has to offer, with historic houses and buildings that line the streets. For more information, contact City of Norwalk at 419.663.6700;   

The City of Blossoms, one of three of the largest cities in the county, has a history with railroads that marks the city. According to, the original purpose of Willard was to be a community for railroad employees and support people for the railroad. For more information, contact City of Willard at 419.933.2581;


Lake County
Holden Arboretum in Kirtland (Lake County)

Lake County, along the southern shore of Lake Erie and just east of Cuyahoga County, boasts 30 miles of shoreline and numerous parks and preserves. With its affordability and direct freeway access to downtown Cleveland, Lake County attracts everyone from young professionals and first-time homeowners to families and retirees.

• Population: 18,229
• Median Household Income: $52,255
• Median Home Value: $125,200
Less than 20 miles northeast of downtown Cleveland, along the shore of Lake Erie, residents enjoy the advantages of living in Lake County’s largest city. From lakefront parks and marinas to strong schools and a low crime rate, the appeal of Eastlake draws people of all ages and stages of life. For more information, contact City of Eastlake at 440.951.1400;

• Population: 3,091
• Median Household Income: $53,950
• Median Home Value: $108,200
This picturesque harbor town perched on the bluffs above the mouth of the Grand River has long drawn visitors and residents seeking a home in the heart of Lake Erie’s boating and fishing culture. The town’s history as a working port, its beautiful lakefront recreational areas and its
welcoming European feel make this community ideal for anyone seeking laid-back coastal living. For more information, contact Village of Fairport Harbor at 440.352.3620;

• Population: 6,827
• Median Household Income: $88,537
• Median Home Value: $276,500
Kirtland evokes a quiet, small-town feel while offerings easy access to larger metropolitan areas. The natural beauty of the land, once dotted with dairies, orchards and potato farms, is preserved and celebrated at several parks and reservations, including the renowned Holden Arboretum. Kirtland is also the site of the first temple of the Latter-Day Saints, founded in 1836 by Joseph Smith. For more information, contact City of Kirtland at 440.256.3332;

Many residents in Mentor, and other communities in Lake County, enjoy homes with their own private beach.

• Population: 47,062
• Median Household Income: $69,069
• Median Home Value: $171,600
Lake County’s largest metropolitan area by far, the city of Mentor boasts more than 300 retailers and 170 restaurants, a large percentage of which are independently owned. Mentor is known for its lower crime rates, strong public schools, affordable housing and attractive neighborhood. It was also the home of James Garfield, 20th President of the United States. For more information, contact City of Mentor at 440.255.1100;

• Population: 19,828
• Median Household Income: $48,222
• Median Home Value: $100,300
Approximately 30 miles east of Cleveland, Painesville is the county seat of Lake County and the site of many historic homes, churches and other buildings. This business- and industry-friendly city is also situated on the Grand River and is known as one of the best places east of the Mississippi to catch Steelhead trout! For more information, contact City of Painesville at 440.352.9301,

• Population: 12,736
• Median Household Income: $53,183
• Median Home Value: $142,861
First settled in the early 1800s, Wickliffe is now a city of more than 12,000 people on the western end of the county. It prides itself on being the “Gateway to Lake County.” For more information, contact City of Wickliffe at 440.943.7100;

• Population: 22,860
• Median Household Income: $53,045
• Median Home Value: $156,065
Willoughby boasts lively restaurants and nightlife, as well as many parks and a year-round municipal golf course. It also holds the distinction of being the only town in America that has belonged, at one time or other, to six different counties, according to the city’s website. For more information, contact City of Willoughby at 440.951.2800;

• Population: 14,148
• Median Household Income: $53,926
• Median Home Value: $138,082
Living in Willowick offers residents a dense suburban feel, with ample bars, restaurants and shopping centers as well as plenty of parks and recreational facilities for families and seniors. For more information, contact City of Willowick at 440.585.3700;

Lorain County extends 50 miles inland from Lake Erie, west of Cuyahoga County. As Ohio’s fourth-largest county by area, it offers a diverse mix of urban, suburban and rural options, from industry—and business-oriented communities to farmland to the hip college town of Oberlin.

• Population: 6,894
• Median Household Income: $55,881
• Median Home Value: $148,100
Amherst is an alternative to both urban and suburban living. Known for its small-town friendliness, single-family dwellings and many new home developments, this community is often selected by people looking for the best place to raise a family. For more information, contact City of Amherst at 440.988.4380;

• Population: 22,786
• Median Household Income: $104,125
• Median Home Value: $282,100
This growing suburb has many new housing developments and is ideal for growing families. In addition to access to shopping and recreation, the city is home to the Lake Erie Crushers, a professional baseball team with the Frontier League. For more information, contact City of Avon at 440.937.7800;

• Population: 23,777
• Median Household Income: $87,525
• Median Home Value: $243,600
Avon Lake is a professional, family-friendly community perched at the northeastern tip of Lorain County, along Lake Erie. Residents enjoy public beaches, 20 miles of bike trails and more. While there are many new housing developments, the city also hosts a thriving business environment. For more information, contact City of Avon Lake at 440.933.6141,

• Population: 53,883
• Median Household Income: $46,534
• Median Home Value: $117,101
The second-largest city in Lorain County, Elyria is about 30 miles west of Cleveland and recently celebrated its 200th anniversary. Elyria is enjoying a period of revitalization and growth; the downtown area boasts a variety of new businesses and restaurants as part of its restoration, and the large number of parks and recreational centers offer outdoor enthusiasts a place to play. For more information, contact City of Elyria at 440.326.1402,

• Population: 64,028
• Median Household Income: $37,014
• Median Home Value: $85,400
Lorain is the county’s largest city and the home of the Lorain U.S. Steel mill, an industrial icon and a lasting testament to the region’s rich manufacturing heritage. The city is located on the shore of Lake Erie at the mouth of the Black River, about 30 miles west of Cleveland, offering the best of urban living, waterfront recreation and employment opportunities. For more information, contact City of Lorain at 440.204.2002;

North Ridgeville
North Ridgeville's 30-acre South Central Park offers a fishing lake, a 1.2-mile fitness trail, a splash pad for kids and many other amenities. / Photo: City of North Ridgeville

• Population: 32,954
• Median Household Income: $74,309
• Median Home Value: $170,500
This business- and visitor-friendly city offers the infrastructure and advantages of a mature suburban community with a warm, relaxed lifestyle: transportation, workforce education, technology, healthcare, low cost of living, low crime rate and low tax rates. North Ridgeville is also conveniently located, with easy access to several major interstate and state highways. For more information, contact City of North Ridgeville at 440.353.0819;

Experience small-town living in Oberlin. / Photo: Edsel Little

• Population: 8,010
• Median Household Income: $51,087
• Median Home Value: $147,300
You don’t have to be a college student to appreciate the benefits of living in a college town like Oberlin. While the heart of the city is its renowned liberal arts school, Oberlin College and Conservatory, its population is a diverse mix of permanent residents, students, and visitors who enjoy small-town living with a rich variety of educational and cultural opportunities. For more information, contact City of Oberlin at 440.775.1531;

• Population: 8,976
• Median Household Income: $59,740
• Median Home Value: $127,448
This quaint, family-friendly lakefront community 25 miles east of Cleveland boasts numerous parks, beaches and multi-use paths that enable its residents to take full advantage of life on Lake Erie. For more information, contact City of Sheffield Lake at 440.949.7141;

• Population: 10,453
• Median Household Income: $64,189
• Median Home Value: $155,924
This enchanting lakeside harbor town at the Erie County/Lorain County border boasts a marina with more than 1,000 boat slips and a blend of maritime history and contemporary culture. Community-wide revitalization efforts have encouraged property owners to retain the unique charm of their homes— ranging from beautifully maintained captains’ homes in Vermilion’s historic district to newer construction and charming summer-cottage style neighborhoods nestled along the shore. For more information, contact City of Vermilion at 440.204.2400;

Mahoning County and its county seat, Youngstown, is situated midway between Cleveland, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Home to Youngstown State University, a comprehensive urban research university offering programs from business to engineering to the creative
arts. Residents enjoy one of the best affordable housing markets in the Youngstown area. Options range from suburban to rural living. For more information,

This quiet community has a 206-acre park along with five smaller neighborhood parks offering plenty of entertainment options, such as a concert series in the summer, as well as a disc golf course. The campus-style school system is top-rated. For more information, contact Austintown Township at 330.792.8542;

Located just south of Youngstown, Boardman is a large, sprawling suburb. While there has been a lot of commercial development, residents enjoy the natural beauty of Boardman Park, a 227-continguous-acre-park centrally located in the
township. The park offers residents not only natural beauty, but numerous recreational opportunities as well. Residents also enjoy many dining and shopping options. For more information, contact Boardman Township at 330.726.4177;

This affluent suburb of Youngstown has a tree-lined “Village Green” at the heart of the New England-style village. It has a mix of century-old housing as well as new housing developments. In the town center, there is a wide range of community activities. The city is also the site of Ohio’s largest fair at Canfield Fairgrounds. For more information, contact City of Canfield at 330.533.1101;

Downtown Youngstown is in a renewal phase with development in the works for an outdoor amphitheater to open in the spring of 2019. In addition, Youngstown State University links to downtown, and they have built and continue to build additional student housing, including a new complex that will include retail space. For more information, contact Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau at 330.740.2130;

While there has been new growth of homes in Poland Township, many of the older homes have been preserved to blend in with the community, while it retains its New England settlers’ heritage and culture. The area remains a bedroom community with only small business, promoting a safe, family-friendly environment. For more information, contact Poland Township at 330.757.0733;

Richland County is an area of rolling hills, peaceful parks and leisure activities to delight every taste. Those with preferences ranging from wide-open spaces to cozy neighborhoods should have no trouble finding a wonderful home in Richland County. Mansfield is perhaps the best-known city in the county, but cities and towns such as Lexington, Ontario, Butler, Crestline, Lucas, Shelby and Shiloh offer a variety of housing choices as well. For more information:  Richland County,   

Mansfield nicknamed “The Fun Center of Ohio,” has a downtown area with many opportunities for experiencing the arts, as well as attractions and things to do. Mansfield also has access to plenty of parks, which provide a chance to interact with nature, as well as the history of the area. For more information, contact City of Mansfield at 419.755.9626;   

Ontario prides itself on being a community that has a wide range of options, like in a large city, with the atmosphere and experience of a smaller town. Ontario has had a growth of about 17 percent over the last 10 years, according to, and its access to educational opportunities like Ohio State University and North Central State College continue to help foster excellence in the community. For more information, contact City of Ontario at 419.529.3818;

Trumbull County combines both city life and rural communities, suiting every lifestyle. And, a fun fact: Trumbull County is the only square county in Ohio, measuring 25 miles wide and 25 miles long, according to Trumbull County includes six cities, 24 townships and five villages, which add up to a population of about 210,000. For more information: Trumbull County,

Cortland is located adjacent to Mosquito Creek Reservoir and State Park. This is a progressive community that retains its
historical charm and offers a retail shopping center along with numerous professional services. For more information, contact City of Cortland at 330.637.3916;

Howland Township boasts excellent housing, thriving commercial centers and a strong industrial base. For more information, contact Howland Township at 330.856.2340;

Warren is the largest city in Trumbull County, as well as the 22nd largest city in the state of Ohio. Warren offers access to a riverfront park system, as well as a rich history and variety of opportunities for cultural experiences. For more information contact City of Warren at 330.841.2601;

Historic Tuscarawas County holds notoriety for a number of reasons: Astronaut John Glenn took his first flying lessons at Harry Cleveland Field in New Philadelphia; baseball Hall of Famer Cy Young hailed from Newcomerstown; and renowned football coach Woody Hayes started his coaching career with the New Philadelphia Quakers. Tuscarawas County offers residents affordable home options with plenty of space to breathe! Many Amish families call this county “home,” especially near the towns of Sugarcreek and Baltic. Educational opportunities include not only fine K-12 schools, but also a Kent State University campus that gives local college students the opportunity to take advantage of this exceptional university at a convenient location. For more information: Tuscarawas County, 330.364.8811,

The tree-lined streets of Dover include a number of housing options, from historic homes to newly developed neighborhoods and modern apartments and condos. For more information, contact City of Dover at 330.343.6726;

New Philadelphia is perfect for someone looking for the security and feeling of a small town along with the convenience and options that come along with living in the city. The city is currently in the process of a plan for revitalization of the downtown area, with the goal of returning it as a center for economic and social prosperity. For more information: City of New Philadelphia at 330.364.4491,

Farms and wineries, parks and culture— like much of Northeast Ohio, Wayne County offers the relaxed attitude of a rural setting with the excitement of great entertainment and cultural experiences you’d expect only in big cities. The countryside is beautiful, and the quality of life is outstanding. With its relatively low cost of living and affordable property rates, Wayne County is a great place to live. The area invests in its youth through not only the public school system but also the College of Wooster, one of Ohio’s finest liberal arts colleges, which enrolls about 2,000 students. For more information: Wayne County,

The small city of Orrville hosts The J.M. Smucker Co., the Schantz Organ Company, SmithFoods Inc. and many more industries. With a population of almost 9,000, the city has continued to grow and redevelop, from its newly developed industrial parks, to an upgraded downtown area and the city’s park system. For more information, contact City of Orrville at 330.684.5000;

Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery
Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, Rittman (Wayne County)

With an elementary school built in 2006 and a new high school/middle school building opened in 2011, Rittman is a good place for families with children to settle down and make their home. Rittman is home to the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, a 274-acre site offering free burials for individuals who have served in the armed forces. It is one of two National Cemeteries built in Ohio, and 119 nation-wide. For more information, contact City of Rittman at 330.925.2045;

Wooster has a population of more than 26,000 and a lively atmosphere that includes economic development and a walkable downtown area with plenty of great restaurants and unique shops. In 2017-2018, Wooster was named one of Ohio’s Best Hometowns by Ohio Magazine. For more information, contact City of Wooster at 330.263.5200;


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