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Believe it or not, there are a lot of fun things to do in Cleveland, Ohio. A lot of the Midwest region of the United States tends to go overlooked by international travelers, with so much focus typically paid to coastal cities (like New York, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles). But it’s sometimes the cities in this region that have the most character, and make for the most uniquely American experiences.
Cleveland was the first city to be lit electrically in 1879. This city contains lots of fascinating facts and history. So with that said, we’re looking into some of the fun things to do in Cleveland – a city once called “the mistake by the lake” and also the second-largest city in Ohio that has lately undergone a cultural revival that’s put it on the map as a travel destination.
Tour The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame may be Cleveland’s most famous attraction. Located right on Lake Erie (one of North America’s “Great Lakes”) and built in the form of a glass pyramid, this museum was built as a tribute to the world’s greatest rock stars. In addition to being a really cool museum, the Hall of Fame also hosts a lot of Cleveland’s biggest events, so be sure to stop by and see what’s on. While the museum’s back is up against the lake, the front of it is essentially a wide-open, flat space where there are often concerts held, with crowds spread out beneath the pyramid.
Eat On East 4th Street
East 4th Street is a district in downtown Cleveland that’s emblematic of the city’s revival as something of a cultural hot spot. Shopping and dining experiences abound on either side of what’s essentially a walking avenue, with strings of lights hanging overhead. Our favorite place to eat here is Lola, a very pleasant, rustic American bistro – but truth be told, there are all sorts of cool places to try. East 4th is also home to Cleveland’s House of Blues, so be sure to check the venue’s calendar before your visit!
Browse The Cleveland Museum of Art
You really can’t pass up a visit to the CMA, especially considering the fact that admission is completely free. While some special exhibits do require paid tickets, the most exciting works to see are usually part of the permanent collection. The building itself is a piece of art, and it will take you back in time with its high ceilings, marble staircases, and regal columns. Frankly, this museum could easily be an attraction in a bigger city more popular among tourists, or even in Europe.
Watch Professional Sports
People mocked Cleveland sports just a few years ago, but the city has turned things around. The Cleveland Indians, the city’s professional baseball team, have had several strong seasons in a row now. The Browns of the NFL are stocked with young talent and were actually given decent odds by some of the new U.S. online sportsbooks to compete for a Super Bowl in the current season. The Browns aren’t looking likely to make good on those odds, but they’re still a team on the rise. And the Cavaliers of the NBA famously ended Cleveland’s lengthy championship drought in 2016 – a thrill that’s still reverberating around the city even if hometown star LeBron James has since left. Seeing any of these teams alongside the passionate Cleveland fans is tons of fun.
Enjoy Nature At The Cleveland Botanical Garden
The Cleveland Botanical Garden is truly magical. The complex is both indoors and outdoors, making it ideal for any time of year, and allowing for various types of simulated environments. Inside you can be immersed in a rainforest habitat, complete with a rare butterfly collection. Outside, you can get lost in the labyrinth of gardens that is also illuminated with twinkling lights during the holiday season. If you happen to be traveling with kids, there is a playground tucked away in the back corner of the outdoor gardens that is a must-see.
Shop At The West Side Market
If you’ve done much research on Cleveland or you happen to know anyone who’s visited, you may have seen social media pictures of the beautiful tiled ceiling at the West Side Market. It’s one of the more commonly photographed sights in the city, and comprises a lengthy, arched roof over what’s actually a delightful market to browse. This market is home to 100 vendors and is not unlike some of the markets you’d expect to see in old European cities. While there, you can buy all kinds of tasty, interesting ingredients or snacks, or you can grab a quick and tasty to-go lunch if that’s all you have time for.
Catch A Show At Playhouse Square
Playhouse Square is no Broadway, but it’s still loaded with plenty of glitz and glamour. In fact, as of a few years ago, Play House Square is home to the biggest chandelier in the world! This enormous lighting fixture is actually outside, too, perched over a major Cleveland intersection. While it does feel slightly over the top, it makes for a great photograph and reminds us all that Cleveland can be fancy, too. Make sure you catch a sight of it on your way in or out of a theatrical performance in the area.
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There are still lots of things to do and places to visit in Cleveland besides those listed above. We haven’t yet covered recommended foods or restaurants we shall try when we visit Cleveland as well as the accommodations in the city.
The people who stay in Cleveland claimed that they have got world-class experiences without the world-class ego. Everyone is welcome in Cleveland. Maybe, I shall visit this city again next time and explore the cities nearby at the same time. What do you think?
Any recommended places to visit in Cleveland besides those already listed above? Do let me know in the comment box below!