Cleveland, OH

Destination Location

  • 41.499320, -81.694361:primary
  • 41.409417, -81.854979:secondary

Overview

With one visit to Cleveland, you'll find world-class museums, cultural events, and professional sports all bursting at the seams.

Experience the robust cultural offerings in Cleveland and take in all the city's artistic communities have to offer. Downtown, like most of Cleveland's neighborhoods, is chalk full of character and never short on cultural offerings. The E.4th Street neighborhood is known as the entertainment district. A premier night spot, this neighbourhood is where some the of the city's best restaurants call home. Within walking distance to all of major sports venues and theaters, this street is host to throngs of people year round and the perfect place to people watch.

One of the most popular activities in Cleveland is paying a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. According to the official visitors bureau, its permanent collection includes artifacts from the world's most iconic artists and bands, along with an ongoing rotation of temporary exhibits that are equally fascinating. Permanent exhibits include one devoted to The Beatles that features almost 70 items, including Paul McCartney's handwritten arrangement for "Birthday" and John Lennon's Gibson J-160E acoustic guitar. Other exhibits cover every genre of rock, and the Treasures from the Vault exhibit features artifacts from musical artists such as Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Led Zeppelin and James Taylor, among others.

Playhouse Square is one of the largest performing arts facilities in the U.S., where you can hear the Cleveland Orchestra or take in a Broadway play on tour. The city's University Circle is a concentrated square mile of arts and cultural offerings and acts as an entertainment hub in the city. It contains the Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland Institute of Music and more. The city also boasts several first-class art galleries.

When you've had your fill of arts and culture, there's no shortage of sports and recreational activities to take in while you're in Cleveland. This city is home to the MLB's Cleveland Indians, the NFL's Cleveland Browns, and the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland also boasts more golf courses per capita than any other state, so make sure to pack your clubs.

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Destination basics

July, on average, is the warmest month with a mean temperature of 22 C (72 F), but Cleveland summers often experience relatively high humidity. January, on average, is the coldest month with a mean temperature of –4 C (25 F). Cleveland winters are cold, but the city usually experiences just a handful of heavy snowfalls with the occasional wind-chill factor of -15 C (5 F).

Though it will always be better known for its rock than its rolls (or steaks or cakes), Cleveland nonetheless has some serious chops when it comes to places to eat. It also boasts some outstanding seafood and numerous steakhouses.

Downtown

You cannot walk two blocks downtown without coming across a fine steakhouse. David's at Key Tower and Morton's of Chicago, The Steakhouse are among the best places to enjoy a sirloin or filet mignon. Located just up Prospect from the Terminal Tower, Lola's Bistro serves everything from oysters to pierogis in an elegant but fun atmosphere.

Morton's also has a wide selection of seafood, which seems to be the most abundant fare in the city. The Blue Point Grille is one of the top stops on the seafood trail. Johnny's Downtown will toss in a dish of linguini with your lobster, and if you're craving something from local waters, you can get a plate of perch just about any place.

Pasta is the most prevalent non-domestic dish downtown. Italian restaurants line the streets and you do not have to be in Little Italy to find one. Johnny's Bar is a good option for both cocktails and a great Italian or seafood meal. Other cuisine options include Sans Souci restaurant, which serves traditional French dishes, and the Greek Isles restaurant, which has a menu that features the flavors of the Mediterranean.

The Flats and Tremont

This area's largely nightclub scene has a few selections for those wanting more than bar food. Shooter's on the Water and Pats in the Flats prove that a bar-and-grill can actually have the emphasis on grill.

For people seeking trendy bistros and eclectic eateries, Tremont is the neighborhood for them. Fat Cats is among the top Italian establishments in this neighborhood or any other. Fahrenheit kicks it up a notch with a fresh seasonal menu of pizzas and pasta.

University Circle

They do more than study in the area surrounding Case Western Reserve University. Those future doctors and lawyers need somewhere to eat. Severance Restaurant, inside Severance Hall, is one of the top choices in the vicinity.

East Side

On the near east side Balaton Restaurant features stick-to-your-bones Hungarian fare and is an example of the ethnic diversity in the Shaker Heights neighborhood. For Italian food, Mayfield's Battuto is the best of the east.

West Side

Not to be outdone, the "newer" side of town has a healthy list of eateries. Gamekeeper's Taverne in the Rocky River neighborhood features an outdoor café, weather permitting. Westlake features the best France and Italy have to offer at Le Bistro Du Beaujolais (located several miles south of Westlake, in Olmsted Falls) and Buca di Beppo, respectively. Known for its nightlife, Lakewood has plenty of places to dine before dancing. Pier W keeps the shellfish coming. Don's Pomeroy House in Strongsville proves the point that all of Cleveland is on a seafood diet.

Sitting on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland is about as Midwest as Midwest gets. Part of a cluster that includes Akron, Youngstown, Canton and Toledo, Cleveland is no longer Ohio's biggest city (a distinction that now belongs to Columbus), but it is Ohio's center of culture and activity.

Downtown

It is hard to imagine many places in the world having undergone the type of face-lift Cleveland experienced over a 15-year period. From the 1980s to the mid-1990s, the dirty, damp and dingy steel town was transformed into a shiny new lakeside spectacle. A skyline once filled with smokestacks now boasts glowing towers, shiny stadiums and a host of modern museums and shopping centers. Progressive Field, Quicken Loans Arena, and Cleveland Browns Stadium, along with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Great Lakes Science Center, are the architectural and cultural creations that define downtown's rebirth. The Key Tower, a skyscraper built since the mid-1980s, joins the 70-year-old Terminal Tower to give Cleveland a skyline that reflects both its history and its future.

The Flats

Located down the hill from downtown on the very near-west side of the city, the Flats has been reborn with the rest of the city. The clean-up of the once-burning Cuyahoga River has coincided with the emergence of this entertainment district. Highlighted by such establishments as McCarthy's, the Flats is where you will find Cleveland's most active nightlife. The Nautica Pavilion offers outdoor concerts by popular national acts throughout the summer, while you can find laughter year-round at Cleveland Improv. The Flats is located near the mouth of the Cuyahoga, a few meanders north of the steel belt, where a handful of refineries are still productive.

University Circle

Centered around the prestigious Case Western Reserve University, this enclave about 4 miles east of downtown is a haven for museum-goers, as well as those looking for quaint shops and cozy eateries. Home to no fewer than nine museums, including Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Western Reserve Historical Society, the neighborhood has an almost Smithsonian feel. Culture-seekers are not limited to museums. Visitors to University Circle will find Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Play House.

 Ohio City

One of the oldest neighborhoods in the Cleveland area, Ohio City was originally settled by German and Irish immigrants. Today, it's home to more than 15 ethnic groups, making it the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in the city. This was also the birthplace of football legend John Heismann. Ohio City also includes the Market Square District and the West Side Market, each about a century old and always crowded with visitors. This area is home to many fabulous restaurants, as well as places like The Great Lakes Brewing Company, which features home brews and fine foods and is one of the more popular places for locals to gather.

Tremont

Located about five miles from Lake Erie, directly south of downtown, Tremont is populated by mostly Greek families. This area treats you to some of the best views of downtown Cleveland and the Flats. Enjoy a show at the Masonic Auditorium, once the home of the Cleveland Orchestra. There are many small lodging options, such as Lincoln Inn, in this area as well.

East Side and West Side

Such "new" suburbs as Westlake, Rocky River, Bay Village, Strongsville and Middleburg Heights represent a good portion of the population that left Cleveland but did not go very far. This booming area continues to grow, with the sprawl continuing as far west as Vermilion and beyond and as far south as Medina. Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, Newburg Heights, Maple Heights, Cuyahoga Heights and Garfield Heights highlight an area of ethnically diverse communities. Newer "burbs" such as Solon, Brecksville and Sagamore Hills bridge the gap between Cleveland and Akron, which sits about 25 miles to the south. Travel east or west from downtown and you will find the signs of urban flight: strip malls, fast food stores and every other chain retailer imaginable.

In a city nicknamed the "Rock and Roll Capital of the World," it does not take a wild imagination to figure out what people do for entertainment. But despite the moniker, which conjures images of guitars, smoke and fire, rock concerts and exhibitions only account for a small sampling of the entertainment scene.

Sports

The latter half of the 1990s was a tumultuous time for Cleveland fans. It saw the death and rebirth of the Cleveland Browns football team, who first moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens, then were resurrected in the form of an expansion team. It saw the resurgence of the Cleveland Indians, who were transformed from perennial basement dwellers into an annual powerhouse. The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to play in the NBA.
The Cleveland area boasts some of the best public golf access in the country, home to more than 100 courses, while neighboring Akron hosts the annual World Golf Championships NEC Invitational at Firestone Country Club.

Museums

Cleveland is the site of the world-renowned Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. The Cleveland Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art offer a chance for guests with all tastes to see their favorite works. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History provides a scientific view of history, while the Great Lakes Science Center, the Rock Hall's next door neighbor, offers the best of interactive experiences.

Music

From such major venues as the Blossom Music Center, down to the tiniest local spots, the city boasts plenty of places for performers and fans to share an evening. And glam and glitter are far from the only shows in town. The Cleveland Orchestra is one of the world's finest performing groups. Catching them playing a home gig is the tough part, as the Orchestra's players are routinely touring the world. Blossom is the summer home of the Orchestra, with performances held on at least a weekly basis.

The rock scene is generally confined to a handful of places. Blossom, with its 5,000 seat amphitheater, turns to mother nature for most of its seats, with the lawn having room for about 15,000. In the Flats area of downtown, Jacob Pavilion, a small outdoor arena, holds summer concerts. The occasional specialty show can be caught at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, though it is more about celebrating music than listening to it. If you're more interested in dancing to music than listening to it, head to Scripts Nightclub in the Flats for some of the city's hottest evening entertainment.

Theater

When it comes to the performing arts, The Rock and Roll Capital has a lot more to offer than just music. Several venues, many at the extensive Playhouse Square, are the sites for plays, musicals, concerts and a variety of other revues. The Allen Theatre and State Theatre bring in top traveling performances and host local shows.

Those wanting to stray off the beaten path a bit will be interested in the Cleveland Play House, as well as the Cleveland Public Theatre. Both are home to comedies and musicals, local and national, with performances year-round. Opera fans can enjoy a fantastic show at the Cleveland Opera.

Cinema and Comedy

The Great Lakes Science Center features an Omnimax Theatre, with a domed 60-foot screen and virtual reality productions. The Omnimax runs movies daily, typically offering multiple showings.

Those seeking a laugh or two have a handful of choices as well. Hilarities 4th Street Theatre, located on the west side of downtown, features top local comedians. You can also grab a meal there. The Flats is home to the Improv, which attracts national acts as well as local comics. Again, laughs are not the only thing on the menu, as the Improv is also a restaurant.

Amusement Parks

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, with its Rainforest attraction, draws thousands of visitors annually. 

Cleveland

State:Ohio

Country: United States

Cleveland by the Numbers
Population: 388,000 (city); 3,501,500 (metropolitan)
Elevation: 653 feet / 199 meters
Average Annual Precipitation: 39 inches / 99 centimeters
Average Annual Snowfall: 63 inches / 160 centimeters
Average January Temperature: 28°F / -2.2°C
Average July Temperature: 74°F / 23.3°C

Quick Facts

Electricity: 110 volts, 60Hz, standard two pin plugs

Time Zone: GMT-5; Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Country Dialing Code: 1

Area Code: 216

Did You Know?

Cleveland is named for Moses Cleaveland, a surveyor who settled the town in 1796. City growth was slow until the Ohio and Erie Canal was built in 1832. During this time, the first "a" was dropped from the city's name by a local newspaper.

Cleveland is on Lake Erie, and is always a harbinger of the winter season. Clevelanders can expect early snowfall as icy temperatures, with the accompanying snow, blow in off the lake, making for icy roads..

Orientation

Cleveland is an Ohio city that sits on the shoreline of Lake Erie. Cleveland is 134 miles (216 kilometers) northwest of Pittsburgh, PA and 142 miles (229 kilometers) from Columbus, OH.

Few cities, if any, have endured reinvention as many times as Cleveland, Ohio. Founded by Moses Cleaveland (the "a" was dropped from the city's spelling in 1831) and incorporated as a city in 1837, the city evolved from a frontier town in the 18th-century to a booming center of industry in the early 20th-century. Today it is a capital of service, technology and industry. Over the years, the city has become famous, and infamous, for many things. From the notorious burning river in the late 1960s to the current status as Rock 'n' Roll Capital of the World, with the I.M. Pei-designed crown jewel Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum on the revitalized shore of Lake Erie, Cleveland has a history that is nothing if not storied.

Shortly before it became a city, Cleveland was host to two significant historical events. In 1831 James A. Garfield was born. He would become the 18th President of the United States before being assassinated just six months after taking office. A year later, in 1832, the Ohio and Erie Canals opened, connecting Lake Erie with the Ohio River and allowing industry to thrive. Cleveland steadily outgrew its frontier infancy as steel factories and other forms of industry began dotting the landscape.

Cleveland remained a booming industry town until the early 1900s, when the Great Depression gutted the city. By 1933, a third of the city's residents were unemployed. But the Depression was only the second-worst economic quandary the city endured. The worst came in 1978, when the city became the first in America to default to the federal government. The crisis lasted nearly a decade before the city's economy became soluble again in the late 1980s.

By 1950, Cleveland's population reached a zenith of nearly 950,000. The population has steadily decreased since. Once the nation's fifth-largest city, by the year 2000 Cleveland had dropped to 23rd, with a population of 478,000. However, in 1950, as the city's population peaked, there were 1.4 million people living in Cuyahoga County, which is the same number there are today. People were just moving to the suburbs. From Rocky River, Strongsville, Westlake and Berea on the West Side, to Garfield Heights, Solon, Mayfield Heights and Cleveland Heights on the East Side, nearly everyone in the area still calls himself or herself a Clevelander.

During the last century, Cleveland laid claim to several events of national significance. Jesse Owens, the phenomenal track and field star, was born in Cleveland. He later went on to humiliate Hitler at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. In 1954 Marilyn Sheppard, the wife of a prominent local doctor, was murdered. These events surrounding the case spawned national headlines. The investigation is still going on today, and spurred two TV series and a motion picture all bearing the name "The Fugitive."

Cleveland is home to some of the country's best sports and entertainment centers. With Progressive Field (formerly Jacobs Field), Quicken Loans Arena (formerly Gund Arena), and the Cleveland Browns Stadium, new homes to the Indians, Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Browns respectively, sports fans have a lot to choose from. These sporting centers also played a major role in the revitalization of downtown. Quicken Loans Arena, along with Blossom Music Center, Jacob Pavilion holds major concerts, ice shows and other various productions. Playhouse Square draws many top traveling performing shows, and Severance Hall is home to the Cleveland Orchestra, considered by many the best group of its nature in the world. 

For years, the Terminal Tower was the defining figure of the Cleveland skyline. It still rises above the train station, but now hosts Tower City Center, home to some of the city's best shopping. Major hotels, such as The Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center, the Hyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade and the Radisson Hotel at Gateway surround the skyscraper. The Galleria at Erieview and The Arcade join Tower City as places where everyone visiting or working downtown can spend some time.

These days the Key Tower (also known as Society Tower), a Manhattan-style skyscraper that solidifies Cleveland's place as a major American city, dwarfs the Terminal Tower. Beneath it are other sparkling new landmarks, such as the ballparks, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Great Lakes Science Center, which give Lake Erie boaters a completely new skyline. Inland, the Cleveland Metroparks system includes four parks and numerous trails that allow Greater Cleveland to maintain a country feel in the shadows of a major city. A booming golfing scene, with more than 100 public courses within a 45-minute drive of downtown, brings even more green to the city of Cleveland.

However, no spot in town epitomizes the rebirth and vitalization of Cleveland as much as the banks of the Cuyahoga River. After catching fire on June 22, 1969, the Cuyahoga was the laughing stock of America. It is now the aesthetic centerpiece of downtown and separates the business district from The Flats, home to the "North Coast's" most thriving night activities.

It has been a long time since Moses Cleaveland first set foot on the shores of Lake Erie, and Cleveland has come a long way. Judging by the advances and enhancements of the last decade or so, the city is not done yet and the future is as bright as ever.

Points of interest in Cleveland, OH

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