Travel Guide: What is there to see and do in Cleveland
Cleveland in Ohio, located on the shores of Lake Eyrie, made its name as a booming industrial center for the 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.
Much of the city has been regenerated after it suffered some disastrous setbacks in the 20th century, including the infamous river fires that helped spur the environmental movement in the US. Crumbling warehouses have been transformed into breweries. Elsewhere, the grand old banks in Downtown Cleveland, long left empty and abandoned, have been converted.
So, book a room in Downtown Cleveland and make the most of what the city has to offer.
They say that the term “Rock & Roll” was coined by Cleveland DJ Alan Freed in the 1950s and you can find out more about this and other interesting facts at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It is housed in a fabulous glass pyramid near the lake and contains highlights about the origins of Rock & Roll and the lives of Elvis Presley, Blondie and the Beatles.
Incredible displays of electric guitars and wacky outfits worn by David Bowie and Mick Jagger sit alongside the sparkly numbers favoured 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. It has an impressive selection of dinosaur fossils and taxidermy as well as the newly opened interactive exhibition on bio mechanics which is well worth a look.
Outside, there is a small wildlife centre dedicated to rescue animals native to Ohio. You’ll see bald eagles, otters, snowy owls and even a bobcat named Bob.
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.
Take a tour
A fun way to see the city is by bike. Cleveland Bike Tours offers family friendly bike tours where you can explore the city and learn about it. Alternatively, take a short taxi ride to Cuyahoga 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.
Take in a show
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 (usually at Conor Palace) to dance, comedy, and children’s shows. The Key Bank State Theatre has recently been returned glory, including the restoration of four murals by American modernist painter, James Daugherty.