Cleveland is big on museums, art galleries parks and gardens, with the Rockefeller Cultural Gardens, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum and the Children’s Museum appealing to a cross-section of visitors. The Old Arcade dates from 1890 and is a charming, covered, five-storey shopping atrium inspired by Milan’s famed equivalent. Cleveland, known as the City of Bridges, boasts the Art Deco Hope Memorial bridge named for the city’s most famous son, Bob Hope, and the swing bridge joining the two sides of Cleveland’s entertainment district is one of few remaining in the world.
Lake Erie is the warmest and shallowest of all the Great Lakes, and its beaches offer swimming, fishing, boating and walking. Outdoor sports include horse-riding, biking, rollerblading and hiking the lakeshore trails, and cross-country skiing and ice-skating are winter favourites. There’s plenty of nightlife choice in Cleveland, from summer outdoor music around Public Square through Cajun eateries with nightly live Blues to events at the downtown Nautica Entertainment complex. The Warehouse district is great for dance clubs, and pubs and bars offer live music nights.
The city’s diverse dining scene offers everything from steakhouses through ethnic eateries, burger joints and special occasion fine dining, Asian food is popular, and the Northeast district is known for its patio restaurants and al-fresco dining areas.
Shaker Square is a good place to start if you’re visiting in the summer, and the city’s West Side Irish pubs serve great pub grub along with Irish beers. For an upscale celebration, venues in East Side and Ohio City neighbourhoods won’t disappoint, and the best Italian restaurant in town is Giovanni’s.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park lies south of the city and follows the course of the river and the Ohio and Erie Canal. You’ll find heritage buildings, a scenic railroad, natural beauty and local wildlife. The northern lakeshore public beaches are deserted for much of the year, and ferries run regularly to the offshore Lake Erie Islands. A short drive from the city is historic Painesville with its downtown heritage district, and Sandusky boasts huge Cedar Point amusement park an hour’s drive away.