Welcome to Cleveland! A world-class experience without a world-class attitude. Located on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland is a historical city with humble roots. Cleveland began as a working man’s town but has made major headway in developing into the urban oasis that it’s become. The “City That Rocks” has a culture centered around music, a happening craft beer and culinary scene, and a multitude of state parks and attractions that even Lebron Jame found worthy enough to come back to. If you’re planning a weekend trip and don’t know where to start, here’s what to do in Cleveland!
From Hard Rock Rocksino, it’s a 30-minute drive into town. Once you reach Cleveland’s city limits, head to the historic West Side Market, but be sure to stop at an ATM on the way as you’ll want cash. This local 100-year-old market is comprised of 100 vendors and resides in the heart of the city. Recently named America’s “Best Food Lover’s Market” by Food Network Magazine, this visitor hotspot is a great place for lunch. Walk around tasting a few items like baked goods and a variety of meats and cheeses before you head up the stairs to enjoy your treats and do some people watching. Be sure to look up and check out the unique barrel-vaulted concourse. Don’t forget to save room for dessert and head to Piccadilly Artisan for liquid nitrogen ice cream and frozen yogurt using locally-sourced and organic ingredients.
With a full belly, it’s time to do some walking! Next stop is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum where you can bask in rock and roll memorabilia. The building itself is iconic, but once you enter you’ll understand what all the hype is about. With ever-evolving exhibits, and thousands of Rock and Roll artifacts, including costumes, original hand-penned lyrics, album covers, and photos, it’s easy to see why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is Cleveland’s top attraction.
Take in beautiful Lake Erie as you head down the E 9th Street pier for a short stroll. The Voinovich Bicentennial Park offers wonderful views of both the city and the lake and three “Cleveland” signs to snap a picture in front of. If the weather is warm, consider renting a paddle boat for a little time on the lake.
Next up? Ever wondered why the sky is blue? Head next door to the Great Lakes Science Center to set the facts-of-life curiosities straight. The Great Lakes Science Center features permanent exhibits of Cleveland’s maritime history through the restoration of the William G. Mather steamship. The NASA Glenn Visitor Center (one of 10 museums in the United States affiliated with NASA) takes you to another world through space exploration. The BioMedTech Gallery offers visitors the chance to enter the fascinating world of biomedical technology and engineering through interactive exhibits and educational displays. The Science Phenomena demonstrates cool scientific concepts, like what 350,000 volts of static electricity does to your hair.
End the night in Northfield Park with dinner at one Hard Rock’s five incredible restaurants that are sure to delight your culinary senses. With choices like Kosar’s Wood-Fired Grill, Hard Rock Cafe, Fresh Harvest Buffet, Concerto Italian Kitchen, and Constant Grind, options are endless and are made to please. After dinner, head to the acoustically perfect, 1,876-seat Hard Rock Live, which draws stars from every music genre to rock the night away. Chicago, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross, Sammy Hagar and Earth, and Wind & Fire are among the legendary talents who have rocked the stage.
Begin the morning with the best meal of the day, brunch! Head to Tremont for brunch at Lucky’s Cafe. Set in a quaint old house, Lucky’s Cafe is cozy, cute, and delicious! If you’re hoping for breakfast on the go, pop in for strong coffees and sweet pastries, or grab a table and indulge in brunch favorites like Cheddar scallion biscuits with scrambled eggs and sausage gravy, or lemon waffles with warm blueberry compote.
Next, delight your inner child and check out the house where “A Christmas Story” was filmed! The Christmas Story House is restored to its movie splendor and is open year-round to the public for tours and overnight stays.
With a satisfied stomach, take a stroll through one of Cleveland’s Metroparks. Cleveland’s “Emerald Necklace” is one of the most interconnected and extensive city park systems in the United States. Ohio’s oldest park system (founded in 1917) now encompasses over 20,000 acres of parkland. In fact, you can travel from the mouth of the Rocky River to the Chagrin Falls woods without ever leaving this expansive park.
After a long night of rocking the night away, chances are you may be in need of an afternoon coffee. Get your fix at Rising Star Coffee, a local Ohio spot that knows how to make great coffee. The coffee shop has locations in The Arcade, Little Italy, and Hingetown. If coffee won’t suffice, head to the popular East 4th Street for your next meal! Just east of the Public Square, East 4th Street boasts world-class dining and entertainment in the heart of Downtown Cleveland. Indulge in culinary treats or do some shopping before you head home after an action-packed weekend in Cleveland!
If you only have 48 hours to spend in Cleveland, this itinerary is how to do it! Witness world-class entertainment, grab some delicious meals, and do some window shopping before leaving our beautiful city.