There are so many things to do in Cleveland, Ohio for visitors of all ages. Located on the shore of beautiful Lake Erie this city has been attracting visitors since its beginnings in 1796. This city is known for its performing arts and music scene. Cleveland is a wonderful place to escape for the weekend, or spend even longer exploring this beautiful city along the shore of Lake Erie.
10. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
This is an exciting place to visit in Cleveland, Ohio. Kids love spending the day here learning about all the different animals. This zoo is known for having the largest selection of primates compared to other zoos across the United States. A favorite exhibit at the zoo is the elephant crossing, where the elephants can walk beneath you as they travel from one area to another in their habitat. Another favorite exhibit is The RainForest. This is the largest exhibit of its kind around the United States. There is a 25 foot waterfall, a rainforest effect with thunder and lightning, over 10,000 plants and 600 animals, and much more.
9. USS Cod Submarine Memorial
The USS Cod is 312 feet long and was launched in 1943. The USS Cod’s last act of duty was to perform the only submarine to submarine rescue in history. It was recognized with destroying 12 enemy vessels during its WWII service. This submarine has not been altered from when it was used during WWII. Visitors should wear sturdy shoes and be prepared to climb several ladders and staircases. It is a National Historic Landmark. They have several land exhibits as well including: a steam driven torpedo, a submarine propeller, and a periscope that you can view the port of Cleveland through. They are open from May through September.
8. Rocky River Reservation
The reservation is located in the Rocky River Valley and has soaring shale cliffs rising above. This beautiful park is a wonderful place to visit any time of year with the entire family. They have trails perfect for walking, jogging, and biking. The Rocky River is a gorgeous river to wander down and have a picnic. Visitors will be able to see several small waterfalls throughout the river. During the fall months the foliage colors are warm and bright. Stop in at the visitor center to learn about the valley’s early inhabitants and see a shale cliff from the deck that is 360 million years old.
7. Playhouse Square
Playhouse Square is a group of eight performance stages. Originally built in the 1920’s, the theaters fell into disuse as TV’s grew in popularity and people moved to the suburbs. By the late 1960’s all but one of the theaters were boarded up. During the 1970’s the theaters were restored and reopened one by one. Today, Playhouse Square is the largest performing arts center around the United States, except for the Lincoln Center in New York City. They have over 1,000 shows every year including: Broadway, concerts, dance, plays, family shows, comedy, and public speakers. Seeing a show here with friends and family is a memorable event that you will cherish for years to come. Public tours are free, but are only offered one day each month.
6. Lake View Cemetery
Lake View Cemetery offers walking, bus, and self-guided tours through their beautiful grounds. This cemetery has several well-known National Historic Places. The most notable is Garfield Monument. It houses the gravesite of the 20th U.S. President and his wife. The monument is 180 feet tall and there just over 150 steps to the top. The Wade Chapel is another frequently visited site at the cemetery. The beautiful stained glass windows have been attracting visitors for years. The chapel was built in memory of Jeptha Wade, the founder of the Western Union Telegraph Company. Several other famous people are buried here, and the trails and foliage make for a very historic and beautiful place to walk through.
5. Cleveland Botanical Garden
Touring the botanical garden is a picturesque place to spend a sunny afternoon. The botanical garden has ten acres of outdoor gardens and a large glasshouse. There are 11 different types of gardens including a children’s garden, a topiary garden, an herb garden, and many more. Visitors love to stroll through the different gardens and learn about different plant life growing there. The glasshouse features a rainforest and a desert. The rainforest section releases new butterflies every day. Butterflies may land on visitors throughout their visit. The desert area also has several different species crawling through the desert sand. They are closed on Mondays.
4. Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall
The concert hall is absolutely breathtaking. Severance Hall is considered to be amongst the most beautiful concert halls around the world. It was opened in 1931. It was restored and expanded in 2000. During the restoration they upgraded the acoustics, restored the original detailing, and updated the patron services. Attending a show here can be a perfect end to a romantic date night. Tours of Severance Hall are held on select Sundays throughout the orchestra’s season. The tours are free if you manage to be in town when one is held. The orchestra plays at Severance Hall from May through mid-September, and then tours across the globe during the other times.
3. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
The museum collects and preserves artifacts from Rock and Roll superstars. During the mid-1980’s leaders within the music industry announced plans to build a hall of fame in New York. Cleveland was among many other cities to send delegates to New York to convince the committee that their city was the best place for such a museum and hall of fame. After many years of deliberation they began building the museum along the shore of Lake Erie. Museum exhibits look at the past, present, and future of Rock and Roll. This is a fun place for any music lover to visit.
2. West Side Market
This is the oldest market within the city, and has been operating since 1912. The 137 foot clock tower is considered to be the most recognized feature throughout the market, and has stood outside the market for over 100 years. This public market offers many tasty items including: fresh meat, vegetables, fruit, spices, flowers, ready-to-eat food, dairy, and many more. There are over 100 vendors that participate in the market. The market is among the best places to visit in Cleveland, get fresh, locally grown products while visiting the area. The market is open all year long, but is closed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.
1. Cleveland Museum of Art
The museum was opened in 1916. The galleries feature artwork from around the world. Some of the oldest pieces date back 6,000 years. There are over 45,000 pieces of art within the galleries. This is one of the most visited art museums around the world. Don’t miss out on this amazing collection of artwork. They recently underwent a major expansion and renovation project to keep the museum up to date. The majority of exhibits are free to the public, only special, temporary displays will sometimes charge an admission fee. They are closed on Mondays.
There are many wonderful and well-known tourist attractions in Cleveland, Ohio. Despite the occasional heat wave, summer and fall is typically the best time to visit. The weather is more predictable through October and better suited to outdoor activities. Winter is unbearably cold, and frequent snow fall easily disrupts travel plans. Spring tends to be too rainy and cold for visitors to truly be able to enjoy everything the city has to offer.