We know Cleveland as the land of Rock and Roll.
And that is for a good reason. Because these days, you can rock and roll your way up to Cleveland for a visit. And yes, I am sure Cleveland will rock you off your senses.
Rock and roll initially were to lure tourists to visit. And how interesting because it is as effective as any other marketing project.
Aside from rock and roll, there is a continued effort to make Cleveland as appealing as possible. The step includes a clean-up of the more polluted areas of the city.
There is also an increase in trendy hotels and restaurants in downtown Cleveland.
And I should agree.
All these efforts are making Cleveland more interesting beyond rock and roll. And the cherry at the top is that Cleveland has several tourist attractions you can visit.
Rock and roll, trendy hotels, unique dining establishments, and beautiful attractions are all found in the city.
These attractions are all within the downtown premises. They are a few minutes away from each other and even without a car, getting to them is easy. And if there is a need to take a ride, the public transportation is enough to bring you to these other destinations.
What more could you ask?
Anyway, here are twelve of these attractions in Cleveland that I adore.
List of Contents
- 1. The Museum of Contemporary Art
- 2. Playhouse Square Center
- 3. Lake View Cemetery
- 4. USS Cod Submarine Memorial
- 5. Cleveland Botanical Gardens
- 6. West Side Market
- 7. Great Lakes Science Center
- 8. The Flats
- 9. JACK Cleveland (Formerly The Horseshoe Casino)
- 10. Western Reserve Historical Society
- 11. The International Women Air and Space Museum
- 12. The Terminal Tower
1. The Museum of Contemporary Art
Famous by its initials MOCA, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland is one of the best in the country.
The contemporary artworks inside are also some of the best in the world. There are local and international artists whose works grace the space inside.
The museum’s building provides visitors with an idea of what the insides bring.
It is a modern-looking building in an unusual shape. It is also made out of tinted glass, which adds beauty and uniqueness to the structure.
From the ground, the building starts as a hexagon. But as it moves its way up, it becomes a square at the roof. The glass walls also provide the building with a clean, mirror finish.
2. Playhouse Square Center
At the heart of Cleveland is the Playhouse Square Center.
The Playhouse Square Center houses nine impressive theaters. Out of the nine, the most popular is The State and The Palace theaters.
The center highlights the city’s famous and well-loved performing arts scene.
The theaters are old. These theaters have been in existence for many decades.
Built around the 1920s, the theaters experienced some rundowns and potential destruction.
It was only through the efforts of the locals during the 1990s that the restorations took place.
The restorations were for the theaters to retain their long-lost glory. And the efforts to restore the theaters were successful.
Because of these restorations, the locals saved the theaters from demolition.
Now, the theaters are some of the major attractions when in Cleveland. Locals and tourists flock to the Playhouse Square Center for a night (or an afternoon) of fun and entertainment.
3. Lake View Cemetery
The locals refer to the attraction as the outdoor museum.
The Lake View Cemetery covers a vast expanse of land. It also has more than 100,000 graves.
It was in 1869 when the locals first started to use the cemetery.
These days, we are still seeing about 700 burials every year.
It is normal to find graves of notable personalities like any other old cemetery. One such personality is James Garfield. Another famous person buried here is John Rockefeller.
There are also monuments in the area to honor these two men.
A chapel in honor of J Wade also stands within the cemetery. They call it the Wade Chapel.
And when you are in the area, the chapel is worth visiting. It is one of the most beautiful structures on the whole property.
4. USS Cod Submarine Memorial
Visiting the site may feel imposing. But the USS Cod Submarine Memorial is one of the most iconic places in Cleveland.
The tourist attraction is on the shores of Lake Erie. It is a tourist attraction rich in history, especially during its active years.
Used during the Second World War, it is famous for being the first submarine vessel used in the submarine rescue. This event happened in 1945 during WWII.
Visit during the summer season, and it should be perfect.
You can board the vessel by passing through its original hatches if you do. Once boarded, you can also tour the different areas of the submarine,
5. Cleveland Botanical Gardens
A relaxing walk at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens is another activity you should not miss when in town.
The Garden boasts an incredible variety of plant species. And what I like about the Garden is the division of themes depending on your area.
Each themed area has carefully selected plants and flowers that make each themed area impressive.
The GardenGarden also has an Inspiration Area. Its goal is to inspire people by giving them ideas for their gardens.
Along your walk, there is also the Japanese GardenGarden. Another notable area is the Woodland Garden and the Butterfly Garden.
I especially enjoyed the Butterfly Garden. It is an area with a wide variety of famous plants for attracting butterflies, hence, the name.
6. West Side Market
The West Side Market in Cleveland is one of the oldest in the city. It has been operating since 1912 and is, in fact, the longest operating market in the town.
I went through significant restoration in 2002. And I believe the major repair was just what the market needed at the time. Because after the restoration, it regained its popularity among locals and tourists alike.
Now, the market attracts bargain hunters. It is also common to find gourmet and souvenir shoppers milling about.
Despite the restoration, the market house retained its 1912 charm. And I would have to agree with anyone who says this place is one of the main attractions for Cleveland visitors.
It has more than 100 vendors selling its wares.
The market is open about five days per week.
Check out their website for details.
7. Great Lakes Science Center
On the edge of Lake Erie is another tourist attraction you should not miss.
The Great Lakes Science Center provides its visitors with hands-on experience of its extensive range of exhibits.
In the center, the main attraction is the NASA Glenn Visitor Center and the Science Phenomena Zone. The exhibits here center on unusual occurrences that we may find unexplainable. But in this part of the museum, science can help clarify.
Within the center is an Omnimax state-of-the-art theater system. It shows you several educational films. And because it is one of the most modern technologies, the viewing experience is top-notch.
The center releases its schedules regularly.
You can check out their calendars before you visit.
8. The Flats
This area in Cleveland used to be an industrial corner of the city. The name is The Flats and is now popular among tourists as a destination for its bustling nightlife.
You can find The Flats on the banks of the Cuyahoga River.
For a while in the past, the neglect of the place was evident until it came back to life one or two establishments later.
My favorite part of the area is the East Bank. This part is where you will find a whole stretch of quality restaurants and bars. You will even find an outdoor concern pavilion that shows live concerts once in a while.
But fret not.
The West Bank is also exciting. But this part of the area is for a different type of market.
On the West Bank side of The Flats, you will find a skatepark, some old-school dive bars, and a brewery.
9. JACK Cleveland (Formerly The Horseshoe Casino)
In Ohio, it was the Horseshoe Casino that first opened. The year was 2012.
Inside the casino are interiors that you will never imagine seeing in Ohio.
Why did I say this?
Because once inside, you will get the Vegas feels.
Everything inside the casino looks and feels like you are in Las Vegas.
It is the biggest and the best casino in town. It also has the highest limits and the biggest jackpots around.
Well, there are hordes of bars inside. There are also restaurants if gambling is not your thing.
You can enter the premises and dine as you do in any other restaurant. And speaking of restaurants, try eating at the Spread Buffet.
It’s the best!
10. Western Reserve Historical Society
What makes this place different is its purpose.
The Western Reserve Historical Society aims to preserve and educate the people about the cultural roots of the state of Ohio.
There is so much that you can learn in this place.
Inside, there is an extensive display that focuses on the garment industry of Cleveland. You can also learn more about fashion and entrepreneurs while inside.
One thing that you should not miss, though, is an exhibit that is more than 10,000 years old. It is an exhibit that shows how the Native Americans dwelled and explored the area at the time.
You will also find here an impressive collection of old vehicles.
Head over to the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum.
11. The International Women Air and Space Museum
Girl, if you are for women’s empowerment, this place is for you.
The International Women Air and Space Museum aims to preserve and celebrate the great women in history. These women contributed to the air and space industry and did well.
Established in 1998, the exhibits here include everything about the first female pilot from North Carolina, Viola Gentry. There are also several displays on Amelia Earhart and Jackie Cochran.
The museum is in a public building, so the entrance is free.
It regularly changes its exhibits.
And so, if you have already visited in the past, you can see the museum again. It will always be worth your time.
There may be new displays you have not seen yet.
Besides, the entrance is free.
All you need to do is to show up.
12. The Terminal Tower
If you want to have the best views of the city, this is where you will find it.
The Terminal Tower is about 52 stories high. The whole building could equate to about 250 meters.
In the building’s observation deck, you will find the best views of Cleveland and beyond.
Unlike the other tourist attractions, the tower may not be open every day. But the schedules are always released anyway. And so, if I were you, you can check out their plans before you head over to the tower.
To get the city’s best views, you can pay a small entrance fee. The fee will bring you to the top of the building.
There is, of course, an elevator that will take you to the top.
It is not important whether you visit during the day or night. The feedback is that the view is always impressive.
However, I find that the views at night are more spectacular.
The experience is a must-try.
There is more to Cleveland than rock and roll.
As you may have already seen, the attractions here vary. There are museums, an observation deck, restaurants, bustling nightlife, and even something for the kids.
You will always have several activities lined up when you are in Cleveland.
And yes, with or without a car, there will always be places to visit.
You can either walk to your destination or take advantage of the city’s public transportation. And whatever option you take, going to places is easy.
Have you been to Cleveland?
What attractions would you like included on the list?
Tell me, and we’ll see.