Cleveland rocks and that’s not just according to (Cleveland native) Drew Carey. There’s so much to do here, all year, that most first-time visitors want to lengthen their stay, or at least, plan to return. Here, are the ten top attractions in Cleveland, Ohio.
Things to do in Cleveland
Cleveland officially the City of Cleveland, is a major city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Cuyahoga County. Located in the Northeast region of Ohio, which is the most reliably Democratic region of the state. The city is situated along the southern shore of Lake Erie, across the U.S. maritime border with Canada and approximately 60 miles (100 kilometres) west of the Ohio-Pennsylvania state border. It is one of the major cities in the Great Lakes region. Cleveland is the largest city on Lake Erie and one of the most populous urban areas in the country.
Great Cuyahoga Valley
Take a walk on the wild side and visit Cleveland’s own National Park in the great Cuyahoga Valley. The park service preserves and manages 33,000 acres in the valley that divides Cleveland’s east and west suburbs. Several hundred miles of trails there delight cross-country skiers, horseback and bicycle riders as well as hikers.
The Emerald Necklace
Try on an Emerald Necklace Cleveland is a proud town, not willing to let the National Park Service steal all the glory (or protect all the pretty land). The result is Cleveland’s own MetroPark system, affectionately known as The Emerald Necklace.’ In several spots, the Metroparks and the National Park overlap, and to their great credit, both park systems work very well together. The Metroparks offer something the National Park doesn’t Cleveland’s own Institute of the Great Outdoors offers year-round courses in backpacking, kayaking, fly fishing, orienteering, and more.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Rock this way, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a gorgeous building. Designed by I.M. Pei, it is worth the trip for its architecture alone and the same could be said for the view. Perched on prime real estate, the hall sits on Eries shore, at the end of East Ninth Street, surrounded by the downtown skyline, in the heart of a district chock-full of good restaurants and great museums. (Be sure to see the two maritime attractions, the William Mather, one of the Great Lake’s oldest iron-ore carriers, and the U.S.S. Cod, a pristinely preserved sub, docked within a block of the Rock Hall.)
Great Lakes Science Center
Experiment here at the Great Lakes Science Center, right next door to the Rock Hall. A similarly striking architecture will draw your interest from the outside; inside, there are so many exhibits to get your hands on it’ll be hard to leave. Permanent exhibits allow you to fly a blimp, land the space shuttle, play with electricity, and try your hand at being a weathercaster. Upstairs, kids will have a blast playing with polymers wisely displayed in a playroom with a ball pit, slides, and other playthings.
Many travelling exhibits come and go, all of which keep locals coming back. Similarly, IMAX theatre shows rotate frequently, and tickets can be included in the admission price for just a couple of extra greenbacks.
Catch a game between the Browns, the Cavaliers and the Indians, anytime is a good time for sports fans to visit Cleveland, and all three play in fairly new venues. Tickets can’t always be found at the last minute, so check with local hotels and ticket agencies for tips on getting the best seats, even when all the seats seem to be taken.
Tour Italy less than five miles from downtown, and up steep Murray Hill Road, and you’ll swear you’ve landed in a little version of Italy. And you’ll be right. Little Italy is one of Cleveland’s many flavorful neighbourhoods. Be sure to walk whatever the weather up Murray Hill to sniff the great bakeries’ offerings, ogle at the art galleries, and tour Lakeview Cemetery, which bills itself as Cleveland’s Outdoor Museum. Built by Italian immigrants after the great garden cemeteries of Europe, it is truly a worthy tourist spot. Take your camera.
Museum of Natural History
Don’t neglect your health or history Cleveland’s Museum of Natural History is one of the country’s oldest museums, and it houses one of the oldest women you’ll ever meet Lucy. Lucy is an Australopithecus afarensis skeleton, thought to be between 3.4 and 3.8 million years old. But who’s counting? Be sure to take in a planetarium show while you’re in the museum, and walk about the circle area outside. University Circle is home to many of Cleveland’s great eateries, in addition to a variety of museums.
Museum of Art
Speaking of Museums, be sure to visit the Cleveland Museum of Art, home to more than 40,000 works of art, some dating back 5,000 years. The collection of Asian pieces is especially strong. So, apparently, is the museum’s technological appeal: the museum was among the first in the country to offer patrons free Wi-Fi access while they’re in the museum.
Weather, or not In the warmer months, be sure to dip your feet in Lake Erie at one of the city’s beaches: Downtown, Edgewater Park, an Ohio State Park, offers about 3 miles of trails plus a 600+foot swim beach. To the west, visit Huntington Beach, owned by the Cleveland Metropark System; to the far east, Mentor Headlands, another Ohio State Park, offers beautiful natural sand beaches and great swimming waves. Too cold to swim? Visit the Cleveland Botanical Garden
instead for a veritable breath of fresh air. Known as the “Garden Center of Greater Cleveland” back in the 1930s, the newly renovated garden is the oldest urban civic horticultural center in the country. Visitors of all ages enjoy the interactive Hershey Children’s Garden.
Amuse yourself Cleveland is just 30 minutes from Geauga Lake, a world-class amusement park with a long history. Known as Geauga Lake for decades, it was purchased by Six Flags Worlds of Adventure a few years ago but soon after was returned to more local ownership and the much-loved name was returned to the park. Some of the world’s fastest, screaming-est coasters roar along the lake, which the new-again ownership is fast developing into an even larger waterpark.
Visiting in the off-season? Don’t despair. Clevelanders know how to keep active in the winter months. Head for the Cleveland Rock Gym to climb the walls (some challenge even the most experienced climbers) or do some aerobic shopping at Tower City, where dancing water fountains (and more than 100 shops and restaurants, including a Hard Rock Cafe) will amuse and entertain even the most hard-to-impress shoppers.
Stay awhile in Cleveland and you’ll see why the ‘North Coast’ is fast becoming one of the most popular cities in the U.S. for both visitors and residents.