2009 Rating the Suburbs - Solon

Caryn Groedel, 50
contestant on Survivor: Palau 2005.
- Within a half mile or a mile of our house, we have access to hiking trails and bike paths and picnic spots. For our family, that has helped promote a love of nature and the outdoors that I'm not sure we would have if we didn't have that proximity to the Metroparks.

- Miles Market has grown exponentially. They have 10 different kinds of fruits and nuts and pasta. They have an incredible assortment of cheeses and wines. It's similar to West Side Market, but on a much smaller scale. It's that kind of stuff you can't necessarily find at other places, and it's always so fresh. It's our own little treasure.

- People here think a 10- or 15-minute drive is long, because they aren't really used to long commutes like Washington, D.C., or Los Angeles. People aren't used to driving far because everything is so close. Some people look at Solon as the boondocks, which is hard to believe.

- I love being so close to downtown Cleveland and the museums and events and the shows.

- We still have independent stores. Not everything is a chain. A lot of communities don't have that anymore.

- The rec center is not just a great place for kids. There is a great pool, a rock-climbing wall, a party center and a fitness center. There are all kinds of classes for both young and old.

- Solon needs a really walkable type of center of town. I think we need to have that kind of place where people will come and relax and sit outside and shop and see each other, rather than going in your destination place and leaving.

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