Weekend Fun in Medina
Earlier this month Nicholas and I took a weekend trip to the lovely town of Medina, located about 45 minutes outside of Buffalo. It was his birthday weekend, so I decided to plan a little staycation road trip. I’ve been to Medina twice before, but there was so much that I hadn’t explored yet, so this was the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with the town.
The weather was a little overcast but perfect for exploring. We arrived in the afternoon and checked into the Hart House Hotel. We stayed in the Astor room which was ADORABLE as you can see from the photos below.
Because I’m a bit of a planner, I had a full agenda planned for our trip. Having only one fully day, I wanted to pack in as much as we could, and I definitely think we accomplished that!
Here’s an outline of all of the fun things that we did on our Medina adventure:
I heard about 810 Meadworks from a friend on Instagram, and it looked super cute so I knew that we had to check it out.
What is mead, you ask?
Funny enough, I had no idea what it was either until I saw their handy poster which I made sure to take a picture of (below). Mead is basically fermented honey, water, and yeast that’s aged for up to four months. We both tested a few of them…I prefer things on the sweeter side, so I ended up really enjoying Strawberry Patch. It’s made with wildflower & alfalfa honey and infused with fresh strawberries, but be careful because the alcohol content is pretty high on these bad boys! The tasting room was adorable and cozy and the girl behind the bar was super friendly and knowledgable about the area and gave us a great recommendation for lunch!
Our lunch stop came highly recommended from our friend at 810 Meadworks. We love Mexican food, so we were super pumped about this place. It was so good! The queso was A++
Walk alongside the Erie Canal
You can’t go to Medina without walking alongside the Canal. We came across a giant apple which I was confused about at first, but after reading the plaque, learned that it was a tribute to Western New York fruit growers.
PLAY/GROUND Cocktail Party
This cocktail party was the event that sprung my idea for a weekend in Medina.
If you haven’t heard of PLAY/GROUND, it was an art exhibition that made its debut last year in the former Medina High School. You can see pictures from 2018 HERE. Anna Kaplan was one of the organizers of the event, and she invited myself and a few other influencers to the space to see the last standing installation, this beautiful geometric pink tree by artist Colleen Toledano, and chat about 2019’s event.
I unfortunately wasn’t able to attend last year, so seeing this tree and exploring this space was definitely a highlight for me. If you are interested in attending PLAY/GROUND 2019, you can purchase tickets on their website.
We had some time to kill before dinner, and Nicholas knew of this really cute state park about a half hour outside of Medina. They have campgrounds (SO many people were camping!) and a really pretty lighthouse that you can actually go up into during the day. I’d definitely love to go back and explore when the wether gets a smidge warmer!
Zambistro was recommended to us by many people for dinner. It was a touch on the fancier side, but not overly stuffy. Our food was really good (my mashed sweet potatoes were amaze) and the service was great. This restaurant seems to be a great staple in the community and definitely one that people gravitate towards for nights out or special occasions. We would absolutely go back!
I’ve always heard good things about Mile 303, so I knew that it was somewhere that we had to check out. We stopped in for a drink and dessert after our dinner at Zambistro, and the vibe of this place was so rad. The space is actually home to an abstract sculpture of the Erie Canal, which serves as the main area to sit and socialize around. Nicholas went with a beer while, predictable me, had a ginger beer (which was SO good) and their “Sweet” menu option, which didn’t have a description so I knew it would be a surprise. It ended up being some kind of Tres Leches inspired cake with whipped cream and strawberries on top, and it was not too heavy and exactly the amount of sweetness that I needed to finish my meal. The vibe of the bar was pretty chill and everyone was super friendly. Definitely happy that we checked it out.
We ended the evening back at our home base. The Shirt Factory Cafe is located inside the same building as 810 Meadworks and the Hart House Hotel, so it was the perfect place for a late night beverage. Scott is the man behind the bar, and he’s always been so welcoming and you can tell he’s passionate about cocktails, the Cafe, and Medina itself. I assumed that those who were perched at the bar were regulars, as they were all talking and laughing with each other about what was going on in the town. It made me feel right at home. Nicholas got a drink and we lounged in the back area of the Shirt Factory in two big comfy chairs and I’ll admit I almost fell asleep from our day of exploration. Thankfully we didn’t have far to walk and headed back up to our room shortly after. PRO TIP: You have to eat at the Shirt Factory if you come to Medina. The Bob Hope sandwich is insane and I’m a massive fan of the Peanut Butter Toast. Also, they offer mocktails on their drink menu which I really appreciate.
All in all we had an incredible weekend in Medina. If you haven’t been, I suggest you hit the road soon and make that quick trip. There’s so many great things to see and eat and experience. One of the things that I loved most about the trip was seeing the sense of pride that the community has. Just like Buffalonians, they love to see their small businesses and neighbors succeed and support everything local.
We’ll be back, Medina!