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Cleveland, Ohio

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Personality Types that Like it Best

Did You Know … ?

  • Cleveland’s Winton Motor Carriage Co. placed the earliest known car ads in Scientific American (1898).
  • Cleaveland was the original name, but a newspaper dropped a letter to fit the name into its masthead (1831).
  • Cedar Point’s first ride (1880s) was a trapeze that hurled customers into Lake Erie.
  • Clevelanders Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel created the comic hero Superman (1933).
  • Cleveland hosted the first rock festival, the Moondog Coronation Ball (1952).

Rock ‘n’ roll city

Cleveland has progressed from being a city built on industry and shipping to one in decline and default and, finally, to a city reshaped by a more varied economy and revitalized in ways that make it more livable and a more-than-viable tourist destination.

Cleveland sits on the Cuyahoga River where the river spills into Lake Erie. The 19th century Ohio and Erie Canal connected the Ohio River to the city and lake. This combination of waterways spurred Cleveland’s early steel and manufacturing boom but pay off today in recreational opportunities.

Cleveland Metroparks and the nearby Cuyahoga Valley National Park encompass 56,000 protected acres. Important stretches of Lake Erie coastline, available for water-based recreation, fall under the Metroparks umbrella. The former canal towpath is the basis for a biking/hiking route that is the major trail through the national park. Other choices for the active traveler range from cruising or fishing on the lake and golfing to cycling and rock climbing.

There’s culture, too, with appeal to all personality types. Cleveland offers quality choices for art and other museums, stage entertainment and, especially, music.

The same city that nurtures the Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Opera is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Local DJ Alan Freed coined the phrase rock ‘n’ roll in 1952. Today, the museum is the setting, inside and on its plaza outside, for activities involving Hall of Fame inductees and live performances featuring up-and-comers.

Further, visitors may seek out country, punk, rap, rock or other popular music in the open-air Jacobs Pavilion and the Blossom Music Center or in more intimate nightspots. Cleveland is the place to buy old vinyl records, too!

Cleveland works for sports lovers, as well, boasting well-known professional teams — although promoters sheepishly acknowledge the Indians haven’t won too many World Series titles.

Revitalization after the 1978 default put billions into the downtown landscape and infrastructure. These past decades have seen dodgy neighborhoods become trendy, attracting the arts, unique shops, eateries and nightspots. Several areas are designated historic districts. And, atypically for an American city, the downtown is a good place to shop.

Things to do for Venturers

  • Go to the edge. See forward-leaning contemporary art at the Transformer Station, a repurposed train power building, or book a seat at the Cleveland Public Theatre, noted for experimental stage productions.
  • Attend the Tri-C JazzFest, held in early summer, or the autumn IngenuityFest. The latter celebrates ingenuity in art and technology and in the ways the two worlds interconnect.
  • Eat pierogi (Polish dumplings) while in town.
  • Hike at Kendall Ledges, a site noted for its enormous orange and yellow rocks. Or get your permit and climb the rocks at Whipp’s Ledges in Hinckley Reservation, part of Cleveland Metroparks.
  • Ride the roller coasters at Cedar Point Amusement Park on Lake Erie. Four of the 16 are more than 200 feet tall.
  • Take a glass blowing or a welding class at the Glass Bubble Project. Make items to take home. Or buy glass or metal objets d’art in the project’s shop. The project is located in the unmarked site of a former welding business.

Things to do for Centrics

  • Nostalgic for vinyl records? Gain insights into the art of pressing vinyl with a tour of Gotta Groove Records, then shop for music — including old and new vinyl records. Blue Arrow carries decades’ worth of used vinyl.
  • Buy tickets for a country, pop or rock concert at the city’s outdoor amphitheater, Blossom Music Center. Check for the free Summer in the City concert series, too.
  • Design your own beerfest with a turn through Ohio City, Cleveland’s in-town craft beer mecca, home to local beer makers.
  • Pack the binoculars with a view to following the Lake Erie Birding Trail, which will take you to the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve.
  • Book a kayaking tour on one of the area waterways, such as the Ohio Erie Canal.
  • Ride the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, then cycle or hike for your return trip, following the historic Towpath Trail of the Ohio and Erie Canal.  Or, cycle or hike first and ride after.

Things to do for Authentics

  • Hear the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra. Also, get a taste of the extensive collections at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
  • Cheer the Cleveland Browns or the Cleveland Indians.
  • View the city from the Terminal Tower observation deck. Or use the observation tower in Lake View Cemetery; it’s part of the memorial to President James Garfield and offers views of downtown and Lake Erie. On the ground, take a look at the AT&T Tower, said to be the inspiration for Clark Kent’s newspaper, the Daily Planet.
  • From downtown docks, take a cruise on Lake Erie or on Cuyahoga River.
  • At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, attend one of its Hall of Fame Series events, which bring in hall of famers to discuss their lives and their music, with a Q&A, and often provide live performances, too. Tour the museum.
  • Go fishing on Lake Erie from the East 55th Street marina, or find a lakeside beach that pleases you in Edgewater Park.

Additional Resources

For more information, consult Destination Cleveland at www.thisiscleveland.com