It was named one of the most miserable cities by Forbes magazine. It’s been the subject of a nationwide YouTube video mocking the entire city. Nobody really visits, tourism is down, jobs can’t be found and don’t forget that Lebron James just bolted town for the sunny beaches of Miami. I mean really, are there any fun things to do in Cleveland, Ohio?
Well, yes. In fact, Cleveland has been nationally recognized for its dining scene that includes heavy hitters like Michael Symon and is known the world over for its amazing orchestra. It is the home of the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame and a beacon for passionate sports fans anywhere. Wait, you didn’t know that?
Cleveland is often lumped together with other “unappealing” destinations when it comes to planning your next vacation. Don’t believe me? Ask the next 100 people where they would vacation in the United States. If you got a nickel for everyone who answered Cleveland then you probably wouldn’t have any nickels.
Things have changed over the last few years though, and often times the word is very slow to get out. For those who love the art scene, Cleveland is one of the best places to spend a weekend. Just minutes from downtown is an area called University Circle that houses the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Botanical Garden and several smaller art museums alongside a children’s museum. In the coming years, a brand new Contemporary Art Museum will open its doors as well.
Not enticing enough yet? Venture down to the shores of Lake Erie and take a peek inside the Great Lakes Science Center, of course the Rock Hall and directly behind it, the Goodtime III that offers lake and river cruises with fascinating views of downtown. Minutes away is a retired World War II submarine that you can tour, one of the only ones that not only still floats, but has not been modified in any way to accommodate tourists.
If you’re a foodie then you had better head straight for East 4th Street where, among other popular restaurants, is Michael Symon’s Lola. You’ll also find comedy clubs and a variety of other “upscale” entertainment meant primarily to cater to the crowd that pours out of their offices at 5pm on the dot and wants to wait out the traffic jams. If nightlife is your thing then you’ll want to make it a point to stop by the Warehouse District where high-end restaurants and clubs will help you stay entertained until the wee hours of the morning.
One could also argue that there is no better city for professional sports than Cleveland if you want to catch a game. Well, unless you want to see the home team win. Yep, I just said that! Still though, you would be hard pressed to find a more passionate collection of fans who love the Browns, Indians and even the Cavaliers. Depending on the time of year you visit, you can also catch hockey, arena football and more.
On the other side of the spectrum is the upscale shopping to be found on both the east and west sides of the city. Twenty minutes east of downtown lies Legacy Village and just about 15 minutes west lies Crocker Park. Both are known for their high-end shopping and both are a new kind of retail experience that combines the outdoor mall into a city of its own.
So if I’ve convinced you to visit Cleveland, or at least give it a shot, then do some more research into the fun things to do in this fascinating city by the lake. After all, prices are sure to increase once the new multi-million dollar casino opens in just a few short years. Where do you go though? Read up on some travel reviews from TripAdvisor, stop by the official visitors bureau called Positively Cleveland, check out the travel videos from Insider Perks or just do a simple search on Google.
Next time you decide to venture out of the house into the wide world of travel, consider a destination like Cleveland, Ohio. It offers much more than you think and chances are you won’t be able to beat the deals.
VideoGuy Brian Searl is the Founder & CEO of Insider Perks, a media company focused on producing travel videos. He regularly writes for both blogs on InsiderPerks.com and you can find him on a variety of social media channels including Twitter and Facebook.