Cleveland rocks, and we're not just talking about music. Located on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland is a perfect blend of sights, sounds, and activities that represent the best of Northeast Ohio.
Whether you're off on a romantic weekend, a family getaway, or an adventure with friends, put these amazing places in Cleveland on your must-see list.
With more than 750,000 guests each year, the internationally renowned Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the most-visited art museums in the world. Founded in 1913 by a group of local industrialists, the museum holds a comprehensive collection of more than 61,000 works, highlighted by their well-regarded holdings of Egyptian and Asian art. Even the neoclassical building itself is a stunning work of art, while its setting of Wade Park is on the National Register of Historic Places. Museum hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday except Friday when hours are extended until 9 p.m. Admission is free for all visitors.
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Out of three vibrant public markets that served Cleveland's diverse and growing population in the early 20th century, only West Side Market remains. While local residents still flock to the market for shopping and dining, it's no longer a hidden gem. Tourists from across the country visit the market, drawn by glowing coverage from national sources such as Food Network and Travel Channel. The iconic tower with its Seth Thomas clock presides over more than 100 vendors selling top-quality meats and seafood, fruits and vegetables, baked goods, specialty items, and ready-to-eat foods. West Side Market is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The Kimpton Schofield Hotel is quirky and colorful yet classic and traditional, much like Cleveland itself. Housed in a landmark downtown building restored to its original facade, the charming boutique hotel features pet-friendly guest rooms with pillow-top beds, luxury linens and bath accessories, and Victorian-style artwork. Amenities range from a fully-equipped fitness center to complimentary Micro Kickboard scooters for kids to use. Visit the website for information about special offers and hospitality packages.
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Live theater offers a magical energy that's different from other forms of entertainment. Playhouse Square has the distinction of being the largest performing arts center in the country outside of New York City. As one of Broadway's touring partners, Playhouse stages first-class productions of Waitress, To Kill a Mockingbird, and other eagerly anticipated shows. Playhouse Square also serves as home to the Cleveland Ballet, Cleveland International Film Festival, DANCECleveland, and Tri-C Jazz Fest. Visit the website to view the full calendar of events and ticket information.
Most urban parks are an oasis of greenery tucked away inside a city. Cleveland Metroparks is a dazzling network of 18 reservations that circle the city, earning it the nickname of the "Emerald Necklace." The system sprawls across more than 24,000 acres, including 300 miles of trails, eight golf courses, nature education centers, and countless fishing spots. In the midst of this exciting variety of activities is the glittering centerpiece of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Park grounds are open 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. daily. Zoo hours are 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. seven days a week, extended to 5 p.m. from April through October. Tickets are $16.95 for adults and $12.95 for ages 2-11.
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Butcher and the Brewer offers an inventive take on two staples of the Cleveland culinary scene: meat and beer. An in-house butcher and charcutier handle the former, while the latter is brewed on-site in the century-old, 13,000-square-foot building. Long tables and public house-style seating promote a convivial atmosphere, complemented by communal dining from the creative menu of small plates. Customer favorites include the crispy pork belly and kimchi, an Asian-flavored take on Italian arancini. Butcher and the Brewer is open 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 4 p.m. - midnight Friday and Saturday.
Are conventional hotels a little too cookie-cutter for your taste? Immerse yourself in the authentic Cleveland experience with a stay at Stone Gables Inn. This delightful boutique hotel is located in a picturesque historic mansion in trendy Ohio City, whose motto is "A Complete Cleveland Neighborhood." Owners Jeff and Connie bought the inn after spending many nights there themselves while renovating a nearby duplex. Each guest room has a private bathroom, and there is no front desk, which adds to the homey ambiance. Visit the website for rate information and reservations.
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A favorite holiday tradition comes to life at A Christmas Story House & Museum. The green-trimmed Victorian in Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood has been restored to the same appearance it had as the Parker home in the classic holiday movie. Megafans can actually spend the night sleeping in Ralphie's and Randy's beds in the home's private third-floor loft. Across the street is the museum, which holds memorabilia such as props and costumes, and the gift shop, where you can purchase a leg lamp of your own. Hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $15 for adults and $11 for ages 3-12.
Aviator Amelia Earhart and astronaut Sally Ride are just two of the pioneers whose accomplishments are honored at the International Women's Air & Space Museum. Exhibits such as "Women of NASA" and "Link GAT-1 Flight Simulator" are part of the museum's goal to showcase the history and culture of women in flight for current and future generations. Museum hours are 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily, while the gift shop is open weekdays from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Admission is free for all visitors.
In honor of Cleveland's status as the home of rock and roll, which musician or group would be #1 in your personal hall of fame?
Photo courtesy of Fire Truck Pizza CompanyHoused in old fire trucks, Fire Truck Pizza Company is serving up some of the best pizza in Cleveland. Their refurbished trucks are equipped with a wood-burning oven, directly imported from Italy, that cook at temperatures over 800 degrees. Grab a piece of their signature pizza, the Bacon Honey, made with house-made garlic white sauce topped with bacon, mozzarella, and a blend of secret spices, drizzled with honey. Add a scoop of their homemade ice cream to your order and you'll have yourself a perfect summer afternoon! Schedule This female-owned and -operated food truck is a Cleveland favorite, serving gourmet burgers and homemade cheesy tots to hungry locals. They also cater, so you can hire them for your dream wedding, a corporate event, or even just an intimate anniversary dinner for two. But when you do pay them a visit, or have them come to you, make sure to place an order for Betty's Poutine, cheesy tots topped with braised beef, cheese curds and homemade gravy! Schedule Smokin' Rock N' Roll Truck was the dream of two music career professionals, Billy Morris and Todd Chaisson, who started writing recipes instead of learning songs. They partnered up and decided to give the food truck scene a good college try and we're so glad they did. Today, they serve up some tasty smoked meats and vegetables daily — with a heaping side of Rock and Roll of course! Schedule
Photo courtesy of Proper Pig SmokehouseTexas BBQ, home-smoked meats and bacon on a stick — need we say more? The Proper Pig Smokehouse started out with just two friends and a utility truck they purchased off of Craigslist. Today, it's one of the most popular food trucks in the area and an extremely successful restaurant in Lakewood. Don't miss their tantalizing selections like the Lake Erie Crusher, a hot sausage sandwich with slaw, or any of their juicy smoked meats that you can buy by the pound. Schedule Not only does Manna donate a portion of their proceeds to hunger efforts, but they also serve one of the most diverse menus in the area. Dive into a plate of slow-roasted beef brisket with cherry cola BBQ sauce, an Asian chicken sandwich, duck confit or their famous lobster roll (or all of the above — we won't judge). Schedule Zydeco is a unique, Cajun and Creole-influenced mobile restaurant providing delicious New Orleans-inspired dishes to the greater Cleveland area. The booming business is owned and operated by Chef Johnny Schulze from Baton Rouge, so you can rest assured that he knows how to create fantastic and authentic Cajun dishes. They move around a lot, so make sure to take a look at their weekly schedule so you can find them during your next lunch break! Schedule
Photo courtesy of Slyman's TavernIf you've ever looked up the hashtag #CleFoodie on Instagram, then you've probably seen hundreds of drool-inducing photos of Slyman's famous corned beef sandwich. The hefty dish is several inches thick, layered with 12-14 ounces of corned beef. So clear your day and head to Slyman's food truck, which you can usually find tucked away in a Cleveland suburb or feeding crowds at a local festival, and indulge in the best sandwich you'll ever have — we promise. Schedule Founded by Culinary Institute of America graduates, chefs and brothers, J.J and Kevin Altomare, the Beachcomber Truck offers a diverse menu full of coastal-inspired dishes. You'll find everything from buffalo chicken pierogies to Caribbean chicken over coconut rice — all made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Schedule
Photo courtesy of Matt West via DonutLabCleveland's first and only mobile mini donut kitchen, the DonutLab is a dessert food truck where you can get a bag of hot, fresh donuts or even a donut parfait. We recommend ordering a bag of their simple, yet amazing, powdered sugar mini donuts and a side of their raspberry sauce for dipping! Schedule We firmly believe that you shouldn't have to wait until the weekend to enjoy our favorite meal of the day: brunch. That's why we love stopping by the Brunch Box whenever we can. Enjoy fresh eggs, bacon and croissants all week long along with other delicious staples like salads and sandwiches. You can usually find them at the VA Medical Center, but make sure to check out their schedule on their Facebook Page.
Photo courtesy of the Cleveland Public LibraryThousands of visitors come to Cleveland each year, just to marvel at the exquisite buildings. In fact, our distinctive architecture was featured on Fodor's list of reasons to visit Cleveland, and for a good reason. Our city is full of history, gargoyles, Corinthian columns and, of course, beautiful homes. If you haven't yet, be sure to pay a visit to the Arcade, the Cleveland Trust rotunda and the Cleveland Public Library for a little taste of the stunning landmarks from around the area.
Photo courtesy of East 4th Street.Pedestrian-friendly East 4th Street is the epitome of urban development. With strings of overhead light bulbs, an abundance of patio seating and ever-present street life, this up-and-coming downtown neighborhood is hard to ignore. This is all due to a tenacious developer, who was determined to put life into a block of vacant and struggling storefronts in the heart of our beloved city. If you're not ready to buy a home, check out their amazing apartments! Neighborhood highlights: The Corner Alley, CLE Clothing Company, Pickwick and Frolic, Zocalo Tequileria and Erie Island Coffee Company. The Civic Center District is an essential Cleveland stop. This area is home to the city's landmark skyscraper, Terminal Tower, as well as the Cleveland Mall, one of the city's public parks that is a grassy oasis in the middle of downtown. Don't miss the JACK Cleveland Casino, which used to be the Higbee Department Store featured in the famous "A Christmas Story" movie! Neighborhood highlights: Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland, and the Cuyahoga County Courthouse.
Photo courtesy of Phoenix Coffee.In the mid-19th century, the Warehouse District was home to warehouses for hardware, marine and garment businesses, as well as offices for the shipping industry. Today, the Victorian-era buildings are preserved on the outside but are now filled with fine dining eateries, wine bars, clubs and urban lofts. Neighborhood highlights: Dive Bar, Blue Pointe Grille, Barley House, the Nauti Mermaid and Johnny's Downtown. You can't miss the massive marquees and twinkling lights of Playhouse Square, Cleveland's official theater district. This area's collection of glamorous theaters draw well over a million visitors annually. Aside from New York's Lincoln Center, this is one of the largest theater districts in the United States with staples like the Cleveland Play House and Great Lakes Theater. Neighborhood highlights: DYNOMITE, Cowell & Hubbard and the plethora of venues.