You may not think of Cleveland, Ohio as a hot spot to visit. However, we assure you you’re wrong! Cleveland has been working quietly to improve the downtown area for several years and the improvements are becoming noticeable. Currently, the city is involved in an overhaul of Public Square, the central gathering space in front of Terminal Tower. Terminal Tower is one of Cleveland’s most historic buildings which began as a train depot and now serves as a hub for the city’s rapid transit system as well as an indoor shopping mall and food court for the attached office buildings. The most popular tourist attractions in Cleveland are the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball games featuring “The King”, LeBron James. However, besides these two well-known attractions, there are many other places to visit in America’s North Coast — Cleveland.
Local Art and Culture
Cleveland is a haven for art and culture. Begin your tour with the Cleveland Museum of Art, which has recently undergone a vast remodeling. This museum sits on Wade Oval which is also the address for several other attractions including the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, Western Reserve Historical Society, which houses the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The auto museum is one of the best places in the country to see decades of cars from American history. The historical society is also the home for the restored carousel from the now defunct Euclid Beach Park, a fond memory of many native Clevelanders. You can ride the carousel for an extra fee or just admire it from the sidelines.
Besides the official cultural centers of the city, there are many smaller galleries and farmer’s markets which have artists who sell their work. Cleveland offers a wide range of artists that stayed in the city after attending the Cleveland Institute of Art. You can see student exhibitions throughout the year at the art institute or join a class as an adult. Many of the local artists are tucked away in corners of the city such as Little Italy, 78th Street Studios and Cleveland Heights.
Ohio is known as the most haunted state in the U.S., and Cleveland is part of that heritage. You can take one of Haunted Cleveland’s Ghost Tours to get in on the spooky action. Visit Franklin Castle, Riverside Cemetery, and Gray’s Armory to learn more about the history behind the hauntings.
Local Foodie Town
One of the best-kept secrets in Cleveland is the Shaker Square Farmer’s Market run by North Union Farmer’s Market. It is a symbol of Cleveland’s local food passion that is reflected in many restaurants around the city. Shaker Square is also the host to late summer’s Cleveland Garlic Festival. If you love garlic, you will be enthralled with the specialties offered, but Nosferatu should probably skip this one.
More famous is the West Side Market on the near west side of the city. Both markets offer food fresh from the farm, made by local merchants and sold within days of harvest. Visitors can taste their way through and find delectable goodies to take home.
Cleveland has many one-of-a-kind events such as the Violins of Hope project which features a group of Holocaust-era violins, originally owned by Jewish musicians who went through the concentration camps in WWII. Many of the artists perished, and their violins have now been restored to performance-level quality and are being used in the Violins of Hope performances. You can see 19 of the violins at the Maltz Museum of Jewish History after October 2, 2015.
Take a chance with Cleveland, look around, and enjoy the unique historical opportunities it has to offer.