10 Distinctive Issues to Do in Cleveland that Actually Rock

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You have most likely heard this phrase earlier than: “Cleveland rocks!”

And you’ll have raised an eyebrow, emitted a scoff, or in any other case emoted your disbelief that this moderate-sized Midwestern metropolis may actually be that cool.

However this is the factor: Cleveland actually DOES rock, and has much more going for it than many vacationers understand.

To show this to you, I’ll let you know about a number of the distinctive, attention-grabbing, and downright bizarre issues you’ll be able to see and do right here in Cleveland, Ohio. Some are on the well-trodden vacationer path, whereas others are decidedly not. However all of them will (hopefully) persuade you that Cleveland is cooler than you initially thought.

Distinctive issues to do in Cleveland, Ohio

1. Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame and Museum

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland

The Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame seems on nearly each “issues to do in Cleveland” listing – nevertheless it’s nonetheless tremendous distinctive as one of many prime museums of its variety on this planet.

Again in 1954, disc jockey Alan Freed coined the time period “rock and roll” whereas working for a Cleveland radio station, and was one of many first to start closely selling the brand new style of music. It was largely due to this that the Rock Corridor is now situated in Cleveland.

Together with being a wonderful museum protecting rock music together with all its influences and off-shoots, the museum constructing itself can also be distinctive, having been designed by I.M. Pei.

>> Get Rock Corridor tickets right here.

2. Store at West Facet Market

West Side Market in Cleveland

Over in Cleveland’s Ohio Metropolis neighborhood (certainly one of my favourite neighborhoods within the metropolis!), you will discover the West Facet Market, Cleveland’s oldest indoor-outdoor market. There’s been a market right here for greater than 100 years, and a number of the distributors inside have been manning their stands for generations.

Yow will discover the whole lot from freshly-butchered meat to cheese to falafel to bubble tea on the West Facet Market – and it is all situated inside a super-photogenic brick constructing on W. 25th Avenue.

West Side Market in Cleveland

Whereas native Clevelanders usually store right here like they might at any common grocery retailer, you may also buy cooked meals, pastries, and drinks. Or, go all-out and guide your self a meals tour of West Facet Market, the place you’ll be able to style the whole lot from olive oil to hummus to Michael Symon’s favourite beef jerky.

>> E book a West Facet Market meals tour right here.

three. Go to the “A Christmas Story” Home

A Christmas Story house in Tremont

Should you’re a Millennial who grew up in America, chances are high you have seen the traditional Christmas film “A Christmas Story” – most likely a number of occasions in the event you grew up with cable TV, the place it performs for 24 hours straight on Christmas Eve every year!

Nicely, whereas Ralphie Parker’s home within the movie was situated in Indiana, the precise home that was used within the movie is situated in Cleveland, Ohio. The 19th-century Victorian residence in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood was solely used for exterior pictures within the movie, however the home was bought by a non-public developer in 2004 and reworked into Ralphie’s home, inside and outside.

As we speak, you’ll be able to go to and tour the “A Christmas Story” home year-round. The home is full of enjoyable particulars, from the bar of purple Lifebuoy cleaning soap within the toilet to the notorious leg lamp sitting within the entrance window.

four. Wander by means of Lake View Cemetery

James A. Garfield Monument

This may increasingly sound unusual to some individuals, however I am an enormous fan of visiting cemeteries after I journey. They’re usually full of historical past and exquisite sculptures, and may simply be actually peaceable locations to spend a few hours.

Cleveland has a cemetery like this on town’s east aspect known as Lake View Cemetery. Courting again to 1869, the cemetery has some notable architectural components, together with some pretty distinguished individuals buried there.

James A. Garfield Memorial in Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland
James A. Garfield Memorial

You may go to Wade Chapel with its Tiffany glass home windows and elaborate mosaics; the James A. Garfield Memorial, the place the 20th U.S. President is interred; the Haserot Angel, a well-known sculpture that seems to “cry” black tears; and the graves of individuals like Alan Freed, Eliot Ness, and even John D. Rockefeller (sure, THAT John D. Rockefeller).

5. See the Playhouse Sq. chandelier

Playhouse Square chandelier in Cleveland

Cleveland has a reasonably nice theater district, with touring Broadway exhibits and native productions being placed on almost day by day of the week in 10 totally different efficiency areas. Playhouse Sq. is definitely residence to the largest performing arts middle in America exterior of Lincoln Middle in New York Metropolis!

And today it has a reasonably unmissable attraction in its 20-foot-tall outside chandelier coated in four,200 crystals.

Come to see the chandelier, after which keep to see a present or eat at one of many space’s nice eating places (certainly one of my favorites is District!).

6. Stroll by means of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens

Hungarian garden at Cleveland Cultural Gardens
A part of the Hungarian Backyard

Group gardens aren’t usually a singular idea, however the Cleveland Cultural Gardens within the metropolis’s College Circle neighborhood are totally different. Situated in Rockefeller Park alongside Martin Luther King Boulevard, the Cleveland Cultural Gardens are a assortment of greater than 30 small gardens which might be designed and cared for by totally different cultural/ethnic teams in Cleveland.

There’s an Italian Backyard, a Hungarian Backyard, a Syrian Backyard, and extra! The Gardens have been begun in 1916, and the distinctive idea showcases Cleveland’s multiculturalism fantastically.

7. Strike a pose on the Cleveland Arcade

Cleveland Arcade

Downtown Cleveland is residence to some unbelievable structure, however you usually should know the place to look as a way to discover it. My favourite architectural marvel is the Cleveland Arcade, situated between Euclid and Superior avenues.

This Victorian-era construction was accomplished in 1890, at a value of $867,000 (which was insane on the time!). It was constructed to resemble an Italian galleria, and is alleged to be one of many first indoor purchasing malls in america.

As we speak, the Arcade is usually quiet with a number of empty storefronts, however its particulars are as opulent as ever. Should you’re searching for a wonderful place for some Instagram pictures, do not miss the Cleveland Arcade.

eight. Go to a singular museum

Infinity Mirrors at the Cleveland Museum of Art
The Infinity Mirrors exhibit on the Cleveland Museum of Artwork

In the case of museums, Cleveland has some top-class ones, together with the Cleveland Museum of Artwork (which is FREE to go to!), the Cleveland Museum of Pure Historical past, the Museum of Up to date Artwork (MOCA) Cleveland, and the Nice Lakes Science Middle.

However in the event you’re searching for one thing somewhat extra distinctive, you’ll be able to try certainly one of these museums:

  • Dittrick Medical Historical past Middle
  • Worldwide Girls’s Air & House Museum
  • Studying Middle and Cash Museum (on the Federal Reserve Financial institution of Cleveland)
  • Buckland Gallery of Witchcraft & Magick
  • Temple Museum of Spiritual Artwork

And if you wish to see some distinctive issues at Cleveland’s extra “typical” museums, you’ll find issues like Andy Warhol’s Marilyn x 100 on the Cleveland Museum of Artwork, the NASA Glenn Customer Middle on the Nice Lakes Science Middle, and the taxidermied physique of Balto (the well-known sled canine honored together with his personal Disney film) on the Cleveland Museum of Pure Historical past.

9. Go mural-spotting in Hingetown and Gordon Sq.

Murals in Ohio City
Discover these on the nook of Detroit and W 28th in Hingetown

Like in lots of cities throughout the U.S. which might be at present going by means of revitalization efforts, a number of of Cleveland’s neighborhoods have been spruced up utilizing murals and road artwork. Yow will discover a number of the largest concentrations of murals within the Hingetown (a part of Ohio Metropolis) and Gordon Sq. areas, with new works nonetheless going up on a regular basis!

A few of my favourite Cleveland murals embody the Pizza Mural in Hingetown, a brand new mural of a falling couple in Gordon Sq., and the Cleveland postcard mural in Ohio Metropolis.

Avenue artwork is at all times a singular window into any metropolis, so remember to maintain your eye out for it in Cleveland.

10. Eat a sizzling canine with Froot Loops

Happy Dog in Cleveland
A Joyful Canine with nacho cheese and Cheetos

Lastly, I’ve to incorporate a Cleveland establishment on this listing: Joyful Canine. Once you stroll into its Detroit Avenue location, you are feeling a bit such as you’ve entered a time warp; the place would not look a lot totally different than it did when it was the native “nook bar” again within the ’40s and ’50s.

Joyful Canine is not truly a dive bar, although – it solely opened in 2008. However its house owners went out of their method to protect that dive bar vibe.

Joyful Canine is understood for its dwell music (and different dwell performances, from comedy to educational talks), large beer choice, and naturally sizzling canine. Scorching canine and tater tots are just about the one meals served right here, however you’ll be able to select from dozens of toppings for these sizzling canine. Throw something on prime from Cheetos to peanut butter to Froot Loops.

It is a place that locals love to hang around at simply as a lot as guests.

Distinctive locations to remain in Cleveland

Cleveland would not have any transformed jails or cozy treehouses to sleep in, nevertheless it does have fairly just a few historic resorts and B&Bs which might be value contemplating. For a non-cookie-cutter keep in Cleveland, try these choices:

  • Glidden Home – A 100+-year-old mansion in College Circle that is now a boutique resort.
  • Clifford Home – A comfortable B&B in Cleveland’s Ohio Metropolis neighborhood, situated in a home from 1868!
  • Tudor Arms Lodge – This is not your common DoubleTree resort; it is situated in a surprising historic constructing courting from 1933.
  • Kimpton Schofield Lodge – A downtown boutique resort.

READ NEXT: 5 of the Finest Cleveland Neighborhoods to Go to as a Vacationer

Which of this stuff would you most wish to see or do in Cleveland?


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Unique things to do in Cleveland, Ohio