What to do in Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland may not be as popular a destination as New York City, Los Angeles, or even the nearby Midwestern metropolis of Chicago, but it certainly has some noteworthy places to see by its own merit. If the Forest City (as its called) is a stopping point on your road trip, don’t miss checking out some of the things that follow.

A few fun facts about Cleveland: did you know it was the first city to be lit by electric lighting? That Cleveland is the birthplace of Superman? That Chef Boyardee got his start here? And that the first Rock-n-Roll concert was in its city limits…hence the Hall of Fame? Check out these fun things to do if you’re ever in Cleveland, Ohio:

Catch a show at Playhouse Square

Want a photo opp with the largest outdoor chandelier in the world? There are 4,200 illuminated crystals waiting for you at Playhouse Square. It’s the second-largest center for performing arts in America, and many Broadway Shows take a stop here on their tour.

Enjoy the View at Edgewater Park

If you enjoy outdoor pursuits like biking, kayaking, or fishing, you won’t want to miss Edgewater Park on the shoreline of Lake Eerie. And if you have canine travelers accompanying you, this is a great place to take them for a walk. The Edgewater Beach House is a great waterfront place to catch something to eat or a brew to drink.

Hunt for Ghosts…or Admire the Architecture

Do you like rambling Victorian mansions with an heir of mysterious tragedy? Franklin Castle should be on your Cleveland itinerary. The imposing stone structure dates to the 1800s and was home to the wealthy but tragic Tiedmann family. Many of its members passed away within its walls, giving rise to its reputation as a haunted house.

Take in some Classic Art

Every year 500,000 visitors pass through the Cleveland Museum of Art to admire 45,000 different paintings and sculptures, some of which go back before the invention of writing. Especially noteworthy are the collections of American artists like Winslow Homer and Edward Hopper.

Enjoy the Avant Garde

If modern art is specifically your cup of tea, don’t miss out on Cleveland’s own MOCA or Museum of Contemporary Art. The stunning building of new-age hexagonal glass panels showcases permanent and rotating exhibits of over 2000 pieces. 

Go on Safari

Do you love looking at animals? Are you traveling with kids who would love to see lions, tigers, and bears? The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is one of the premier places to view wildlife in the midwest, with over 600 different species available for viewing.

Twirl Some Pasta in Little Italy

Cleveland’s Little Italy is a wonderful cultural enclave of galleries and (you guessed it) family restaurants. If cultural excursions are particularly something you enjoy, try to plan your trip during one of the festivals like the Feast of the Assumption in August.

Shop Til You Drop at the Arcade

The Cleveland Arcade is an indoor masterpiece of steel and glass. This indoor shopping center goes back to the 19th century and still retains its opulent look of the so-called gay nineties. Shops and restaurants abound and a Hyatt hotel is on the premises.

Rock-n-Roll at the Hall of Fame

One of the most famous landmarks in Cleveland is the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, which has seen almost 10 million tourists since it first opened its doors in 1995. Learn about the history of this popular music genre from the early days of Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley to the contemporary artist you know today.

Amuse Yourself at Cedar Point

If you’re looking for outdoor fun and a rush of adrenaline, don’t miss the 17 roller coasters at Cedar Point, including Top Thrill Dragster, which reaches speeds of 120 mph. If you don’t like intense rides, there are 70 others to choose from, including many kid-friendly options. Be on the lookout for Snoopy and Friends!

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