Cleveland in Ohio, situated on the shores of Lake Eyre gives a breathtaking view for the tourists. It is famous for its steel and railroad industries. The winding Cuyahoga River runs through the city and you can still see the vast steel bridges that connect its east and west sides.
In the 20th century, this city has gone through some catastrophic disasters, and now much of the city is a kind of re-developed. Crumbling warehouses have been transformed into breweries, bars,and restaurants. Elsewhere, the grand old banks in Downtown Cleveland, long left empty and abandoned, have been converted into hotels and nightclubs.
Cleveland has some excellent museums and is the ideal place to watch a sports game, enjoy delicious meals and relish delightful Midwestern hospitality. So, book a room in Downtown Cleveland and make the most of what the city has to offer.
A fun way to see the city is by bike. Cleveland Bike Tours offer family-friendly bike tours where you can explore the city and learn about its history. Otherwise, take a short taxi ride to Cuyahoga National Park and enjoy a day’s hiking, biking or kayaking. The park is free to enter and there is an 87-mile canal towpath trail as well as pretty forests and dramatic waterfalls to explore.
It is said that the term “Rock & Roll” was coined by Cleveland DJ Alan Freed in 1950s and many other interesting facts are displayed at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It has a fabulous glass pyramid structured building near the lake and contains highlights about the origins of Rock & Roll and the lives of Elvis Presley, Blondie,and the Beatles.
Electric guitars are displayed incredibly and wild outfits worn by David Bowie and Mick Jagger are exhibited along with the sparkly numbers favored by Beyoncé and Taylor Swift. Once you have had your fill of rock memorabilia, head to Level Three and check out the hall of fame, where you can vote for the next inductees.
Other cultural highlights can be found at University Circle – the location of several of Cleveland’s universities. This is where you will find the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. It has an impressive selection of dinosaur fossils and animal stuffing as well as the newly opened interactive exhibition on biomechanics which is well worth a look.Outside, there is a small wildlife center dedicated to rescue animals native to Ohio.
Nearby is the Cleveland Museum of Art, one of the few free museums in the city. It contains more than 45,000 works of art including paintings by Monet, Matisse, and Warhol. Even the building itself is a masterpiece featuring a magnificent atrium.
Playhouse Square in Downtown Cleveland is the second largest theatre district in the USA and puts on more than 1000 performances every year. Only a few decades ago everything was closed for business, but thanks to a grassroots effort the area has been regenerated and is one of the city’s greatest success stories.
Performances range from West End Shows (usually at Conor Palace) to dance, comedy and children’s shows. The KeyBank State Theatre has recently been returned to its full 1920s glory, including the restoration of four murals by American modernist painter, James Daugherty.
Tickets for the full 2018-2019 season are now on sale – if there’s a show you really want to see then book in advance. Otherwise turn up and see what’s available.
Make sure you stop to appreciate the 24 feet high “GE Chandelier”, the world’s largest outdoor chandelier composed of 4,200 crystals.
Where to shop
There are some lovely independent shops in Cleveland selling all sorts of jewelry and gifts. Head to Detroit-Shoreway for your shopping fix and make sure you stop by Hausfrau Record Shop and have a root through the dollar bin.
If you get tired of shopping stop by Brewnuts for a maple bacon doughnut or Sweet Moses for an old-fashioned malt milkshake. To complete the full retro experience spend some time in Superelectric Pinball Parlour and try your hand at the pinball machines while enjoying ice bars of your choice.
If you’re feeling fancy have a mosey in the shops at The Arcade Cleveland, a grand Victorian-era five-story arcade with glass ceiling spanning 300feet. Nearby is 5th Street Arcades where you can purchase a quirky gift for your loved one.
Restaurants and Recreation
Comfort food is what the Clevelanders do best and every dish comes with a side of warm hospitality. If you’re in Downtown Cleveland head to East 4th Street and order a “Mr. Beef” from Mabel’s BBQ: a hulk of a sandwich packed full of chopped brisket, shaved onions, pickles,and mayo.
Alternatively, walk around the corner to Hodge’s and tuck into their fabulous crispy chicken sandwich served in a hot pretzel roll with a side of tots (tiny hash browns).
Cleveland also has some great upmarket restaurants, and I was particularly impressed with Fahrenheit in Tremont. Chef Rocco Whalen has put together an inspired menu of American comfort food with an Asian twist. Our starter of Ahi Poke Nachos with citrus aioli was an absolute revelation.
For lunch on the go, West Side Market on the corner of West 25th Street is the oldest indoor/outdoor market in Cleveland and is chock full of counters selling cheese, cured meat, sweets,and pastries.
You can also find a huge Polish and Slovenian expat community in Cleveland and you can purchase a pair of perogies (filled dumplings) at Johnny’s Hot Dog for just $2.50.
Hotels and Holiday Inn
The Holiday Inn Express in Downtown Cleveland is located in walking distance from many of Cleveland’s most popular attractions. The rooms are large and comfortable and both the breakfast and WiFi are free of charge. Rooms start at $80 per night.
If you’re traveling from the UK, Icelandair offer flights from London to Cleveland via Keflavík International Airport. Passengers are able to stopover in Iceland on their way to Cleveland for up to seven days at no extra fare price. The airline offers two classes of travel: A spacious Saga Premium with attentive service and Economy class with an impressive 32-inch seat pitch.
I hope this will give you a real insight and you will consider your next travel destination to be Cleveland, Ohio. Enjoy your stay!