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Mentor, Ohio's Attractions and Sustainability

Ms. Inglish has 30 years experience in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, history, and aerospace education for USAF Civil Air Patrol.

Fairport Breakwall Lighthouse on Mentor Headlands Beach.

Fairport Breakwall Lighthouse on Mentor Headlands Beach.

Best Places to Live In America

The community of Mentor, Ohio has been on the list of 100 Best American Cities for Living and rising in rank for several years.

Billing itself as "The City of Choice", the community is located in the Greater Cleveland Metro Area.

Manufacturing industries in this area have been increasing in number and economic health since 2000, with continuing expansion expected by local elected officials and the state and federal bureaus of labor. This is in large part because of Governors Ted Strickland and John Kasich, who advocated for expanded education and better business tax credits in this state.

Awards Received by Mentor

According to Sperling's Best Places to Live, Mentor has been named

  • Fourth best city in the USA for senior citizens and 9th for healthy retirement.
  • Sixth best city for block parties.
  • Tenth best US city for energetic residents.
Telemachus and Mentor in the Odyssey.

Telemachus and Mentor in the Odyssey.

In Greek mythology, the name of "Mentor" is proverbial for a faithful and wise advisor and counselor.


Mentor maintains at least 1,200 acres of green spaces, 34 city parks, nearly two miles of swimming beach along the lake, and half a dozen parks along the shore.

The marshlands on the lake vital for breeding among many species of fish and waterfowl, migrating birds, and butterflies. A good vacation could include watching over 150 species of birds and as many butterflies in Mentor, while taking photos.

Great Attractions

Visit the presidential home that became the James A. Garfield National Historic Site. The city also features the outstanding Headlands Beach State Park, the longest public swimming beach in Ohio. All this is on the Lake Erie portion of the Great Lakes Circle Tours.

Mentor is a medium sized city at Lake Erie and a good place to stop along this part of the Ohio North Shore Circle Tour. A circuit of highways and roads around Ohio's Great Lake create a relaxing travel opportunity along the ever-developing shoreline and on around the northern part of the lake in Ontario Province, Canada.

Am state park, nature preserve, and Fairport Harbor beaches just northeast of Mentor lie along the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail, an official state scenic byway.

Mentor Area Beaches and Light Houses

Outdoor and Sporting Attractions

The North Coast Region of Ohio offers several attractions, including:

  • Headlands Beach State Park with well maintained hiking trails and good birding opportunities among its wildlife inhabitants. Adjacent to the park, the
  • Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve. This site offers a number of rare plants as well as additional migrating birds. It supports many rare dune plants, a river marsh, a large oak bluff, and open waterway. We think of Midwestern sand dunes in Michigan, but not about the dunes in Ohio., but they are grand to visit. This nature preserve is home to two Endangered Plants, five Threatened Plants, and a wide diversity of wildlife.
  • Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve is a large sustainable area of 450 acres.Four separate hiking/biking trails service four different areas of the nature preserve and electric carts are available to those who need mobility devices. The Marina is a safe harbor with no usual flooding, with direct access to Lake Erie, and secure docks for both drive-up and floating docks. Don't miss Mentor Lagoon's Tall Ship Festival here.
Mentor Marsh Nature Preserve.

Mentor Marsh Nature Preserve.

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  • Shipwrecks on Lake Erie. A large section of Lake Erie from Fairport Harbor to Conneaut, Ohio contains historical shipwrecks.
  • State Marina and Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve lie on Lake Erie as well with an oak bluff that attracts not only migrating birds, but also several species of migratory butterflies. Birds fly back and forth across lake Erie between Canada and the USA.
  • The Hinkley Buzzard Festival is held nearby, celebrating the regular return of these birds.

Dining and Entertainment

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is about 10 miles SW of Cleveland, while Lake Erie is the site of much commercial freight. One of the items brought into the cities is fresh fish and other seafood. I know several people that drive from Central Ohio to patronize these restaurants and to attend events at the local arena, including Professional Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts events.

In addition to eating out, the people of Mentor make the grocery business a success. Jobs in that industry appear among the most frequently listed, not only for seasonal turnover, but for increasing new jobs.

Retail Shopping, Dining, and Light Industry

Tourism, shopping, and outdoors activities are major pillars of Mentor business success. The city is, in fact, the retail hub of the Cleveland area, with US Route 20, named Mentor Avenue in town, the main business district.

The large Great Lakes Mall and other malls are located on US 20, along with other retail and dining establishments.

The city is quick to encourage development of new light industry with incentives such as low property taxes. The City Manager and City Council feel that heavy industry is outdated for this area and plan to develop their ongoing diversity of business.

Commercial Transport and Freight on the Lake

A revival of the passenger rail system will send a new line from Cincinnati through Columbus and on to the Cleveland area so that Mentor connects with the other cities along the Lake Erie shoreline. Freight rail transit has already maintained steady growth, delivering goods offloaded by freighter ships on the lake.

A limited passenger railroad runs from Toledo to Detroit and across Northern Ohio, very near the lake and the Great Circle Tour route.

At one time, automobile ferries ran across Lake Erie from Detroit to Toledo and even Mentor, but this business ended decades ago. Ideas to re-institute this ferry system today are under consideration. However, a ferry system runs from Fairport Harbor at the local state park to Port Burwell, Ontario, Canada for heavy trucks and passengers on separate ships.

Mentor is near both the highway I-90 Turnpike and Ohio Route 2, with some industrial areas, smaller animal ranches, and upscale residential neighborhoods.

Car Ferries are convenient. Make sure to get a good place in line!

Car Ferries are convenient. Make sure to get a good place in line!

Passenger Transportation

After the Great Recession, business began to grow again in Mentor, requiring increases in public transportation of many kinds.

Local voter-approved taxes are building high-speed commuter rail lines, new types of bus services, and highway improvements to attract new business and jobs.

Consistent good transportation is a key to economic growth.

A new 3-C Railroad line could replace old tracks and trains between Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland for both passenger and commercial purposes, if adequate funding can be raised.

The population of Ohio is looking forward to advances in mass transit, including self-driving cars and trucks to be tested in Columbus in 2018; and, self-driving trains. A new connecting rail system will link Cleveland suburbs as well.

President Barack Obama signs the Wall of Freedom at Mentor High School in Mentor, Ohio, Nov. 3, 2012.

President Barack Obama signs the Wall of Freedom at Mentor High School in Mentor, Ohio, Nov. 3, 2012.

What Else is in Northeastern Ohio?

Travel and Tourism

Ohio became a US State in 1803 and Mentor was founded even before that, in 1797 on the Connecticut Western Reserve. This results in many historic sites to visit. After the Civil War, greenhouses and nurseries thrived here and it's still a green community.

Mentor was already a vacation resort area to Cleveland families in the late 1700s and the beaches have been well maintained and developed.

Rail service arrived around 1850, declined in the 2oth century, but became a focus for future development in the 2010s.

Aerospace Industries

Ohio supports over 1,200 aerospace businesses and at least 30 are located in and around Mentor. The John Glenn division of NASA also operates in this area, some of its exciting projects including the transporter effect from Star Trek universe and exceeding the speed of light.

Ohio's North Coast Region

City Motto: Mentor Means Business

Local job vacancies advertised as follows:

  • September 2010: 25,000+ jobs.
  • November 2014: 81,200+ jobs.
  • August 2017: 29,000+ jobs.

Between 2010 - 2017, unemployment rates declined as new workers moved into the region and accepted employment, much of it well paid jobs. Highest demand positions have

  1. Registered Nursing Specialties.
  2. Other Healthcare Professions in Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology, Medical Device Manufacture and Sales, and Diagnostic Equipment.
  3. Retail Sales.
  4. Business.

The bulk of job openings are found in

  1. Mentor,
  2. Cleveland,
  3. Beachwood,
  4. Bedford, and
  5. Solon.

Nursing and Medicine

You will note the large number of Nurses of various specialties needed in the Mentor area. In addition to hospitals and the famous Cleveland Clinic, an Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation Rehabilitation Center has also been located in Cleveland.

These rehab centers have gradually parceled out clients to private facilities under state contracts. This has led to growth in the health and medical industries.

Mentor has experienced greater job growth on average than the State of Ohio overall, which is showing job growth higher than the national average from 2010 - 2018.

Job growth was highest in 2007 and 2011 - 2014, with marked increases in 2016 - 2017.

Job growth was highest in 2007 and 2011 - 2014, with marked increases in 2016 - 2017.

Emerging Jobs in Northern Ohio

Newer jobs appearing in want ads and increasing in number quickly include:

  1. DeNora Tech: Manufacturer of anodes and cathodes for various industries. Approximately 150 new jobs.
  2. Geomodelling Specialists for the Oil & Gas Industries.
  3. PricewaterhouseCoopers audit, financial, and IT jobs.
  4. Managers of Healthcare Information.
  5. Jobs in the Aerospace Industry. The Mentor area supports at least 30 businesses involved in aerospace activities.

Highest Demand Jobs Expected to Increase 2018 - 2024

  1. Ambulatory health care services
  2. Professional, management, scientific, and technical services
  3. Computer systems design
  4. Wholesale electronics manufacture and sales
  5. Nursing and residential care, retirement home: Management and staff
  6. Construction of buildings
  7. Public transit jobs
  8. Online and other Non-store Retail Business
  9. Civil Engineering, city planning, architecture services
  10. Motor vehicle and parts dealers

Major Employers in the Greater Mentor Area

  1. Avery Dennison: Manufacturing of papers, films, and foils.
  2. Steris Corporation: Surgical and sterilization equipment.
  3. Giant Eagle Grocery Stores
  4. ABB: Power and automation products.
  5. Lake County Hospital System
  6. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Several agencies for Travel Nursing are active in the Mentor Area, because of a nursing shortage of several years' duration. Nurses willing to travel there for 3 - 12 months enjoy rental/mortgage payments, higher than average wages, and several perks.

Cleveland Clinic (2006) - Site of first human face transplant in December 2008.

Cleveland Clinic (2006) - Site of first human face transplant in December 2008.

Mentor Area Higher Education

  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Cleveland Institute of Dental and Medical Assistants
  • Cleveland State University
  • John Carroll University
  • Lakeland Community College


  • Mentor Chamber of Commerce Retrieved July 30, 2017.
  • Ohio Division of Parks and Recreation. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  • Ohio Job and family Services. Ohio Job Projections to 2024. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  • Sperling's Best Places. Retrieved June 15, 2017.

© 2010 Patty Inglish MS

Comments and Additions

Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on October 06, 2010:

Wonderful job as always. Love the pictures. It looks like a beautiful area.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on October 02, 2010:

Thanks for all the comment! Eastern Ohio has a distinct Personality from Western Ohio and both are interesting. Today Oct 2, there are at least 29,400 jobs vacancies in and around Mentor. I very much want the railroad improvements soon, and I will visit on the railroad.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on October 02, 2010:

Thank you for the tour and history of Mentor.

Kennedy E. on October 01, 2010:

Great hub there!

Granny's House from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time on October 01, 2010:

Wow, great job on the research. Well done

PierrePierre on October 01, 2010:

Nice hub? Wow...

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