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, contactCity of Amherst at 440.988.4380; amherstohio.org.
• 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; cityofavon.com.
• 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, avonlake.org.
• 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, cityofelyria.org.
• 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; cityoflorain.org
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; nridgeville.org.
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; cityofoberlin.com.
• 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; sheffieldlake.net.