Cleveland is a city of many nicknames, from “The Rock and Roll Capital of the World” to “C-Town” and the more historical “Sixth City.” You’re bound to find something delightful in a city that’s home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the house featured in The Christmas Story. Of course, these days, all everyone can talk about is the Cleveland Cavaliers. Whether you’re traveling to C-Town for the game or plan on visiting after the NBA Finals, let us woo you with 12 of our favorite spots in Cleveland.
1. Hyatt Regency Cleveland at the Arcade: The Arcade was built in 1890 by a group of local investors, including John D. Rockefeller. Dubbed America’s first indoor shopping mall, it has four levels of balconies that front hotel rooms and more than 40 unique shops built around a nine-story, glass-topped arcade with a 100-foot high, 300-foot long skylight. If you can swing it, you’ll want to stay in the midst of all the action.
2. Glidden House: If your dream vacation setting is far removed from the hustle and bustle of the big city, then Glidden House is your oasis. You’ll enjoy the luxe charm that comes from staying in a 1910s mansion nestled close to Case Western’s cozy and green campus. (via Glidden House)
Where to Eat and Drink
3. Momocho: It has made the list of several Iron Chefs and seems to be a darling of Cleveland Yelp reviewers. We think it might have something to do with their killer margarita and guacamole samplers. Serioulsy, Momocho has six guacamole items on the menu at any given time. (Photo via Momocho)
4. Green House Tavern: Located in downtown Cleveland, this innovative restaurant is run by Jonathan Sawyer, the culinary son of Cleveland. Their menu covers everyone from vegan to carnivore and is known for sourcing local produce, proteins and grains. Their must-try dish is the gravy frites —they’re cooked in duck fat and topped with mozzarella cheese and brown gravy. Yum! (Photo via The Green House Tavern)
5. Lucky’s Café: We know how the morning goes: Nothing is safe or sacred until you’ve had coffee and brunch. Tucked away in the Tremont area of Cleveland, this quaint little community spot with hipster vibes is showing off their local farms hookup with famous dishes like biscuits and gravy.
6. Great Lakes Brewery: No trip to Cleveland would be complete without visiting the Great Lakes Brewing Company. They brew 15 mouth-watering beers, including a pale ale that celebrates the fact that its home city’s river once caught fire because it was so polluted. If that isn’t charm, we don’t know what is. (Photo via @glbc_cleveland)
Where to Shop
7. West Side Market: Clocking in at 101 years old, West Side Market is Cleveland’s oldest public market, home to 100 vendors offering meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, baked goods, dairy, flowers, ready-to-eat foods, spices and nuts. Come hungry and ready to sample everything. (Photo via @westsidemarket)
8. The Arcade: We talked about booking a room here, but don’t forget to shop here too. We can’t imagine a more fitting backdrop for some credit card sizzling than the 1890 marvel of ornate ironwork and immense glass skylights. It is the first building in Cleveland to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
9. Sweet Lorain: You may just forget which decade you belong to once you step through the doors of this popular vintage department store. There are enough stylish duds and home accessories to make even Betty Draper jealous. If you’re not tired of shopping yet, make sure you drop by Flower Child, another Cleveland vintage gem.
10. Big Fun: While you’re having fun wandering down memory lane, let’s whisk you off to toy town. With a tagline that promises “a cornucopia of delights, a cathedral of counter-culture, a warehouse of nerdabilia and nostalgia,” you’re probably going to need a few hours to take everything in.
Where to Go
11. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum: If you have HBO, you’ve probably seen the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame awards umpteen times by now. While you’re in town, chuck over to the legendary music spot for some rock god hero worship and a little bit of glam.
12. Cedar Point: Cedar Point has been voted the Best Amusement Park in the World 15 years in row. It’s located 90 minutes west of Cleveland, in the town of Sandusky, so technically it’s not Cleveland, but technicalities are so petty. Cedar Point is definitely worth a day trip. With 14 roller coasters, it has more than earned the title of Roller Coaster Capital of the World.
What are your favorite spots in Cleveland? Spill in the comments below!