Prior to arriving to Cleveland, I had the assumption that Cleveland was a little old town, (damn near thought it was deserted) with not much to do. Man was I wrong! Cleveland is very much alive, and well populated. Cleveland is actually ranked as one of the largest cities in the U.S. and is the second largest city in Ohio. The city’s popularity is on the rise, again (and no, it’s not because of Lebron James)!
We arrived in Cleveland just in time for the Gay Games (GG9), which we knew nothing about until we got there. It was a time of celebration for the city and we were more than happy to join in on the free festivities. While in Cleveland, we didn’t do much of the touristy stuff, instead we hung out with the locals who gave us a tour of their hometown which they had so much pride in.
Here are some of the places we visited and recommend you visit if you’re ever in Cleveland.
1. Westside Market
This market had to be by far my most favorite place to visit while we were in Cleveland, and it’s not because me and food have a very deep and loving relationship but mainly due to the pure awesomeness of this market. I have been to many farmers market but never have I seen an indoor market like the Westside Market.
From the outside of the Market, you can barely tell that it is a market as it looks like an old train station. However, once inside it’s as if you are in another world. The atmosphere is very inviting, the air smells delicious and it’s a hell of a site to see even if your not interested in buying anything.
The Westside Market has been open to the public since 1912 and is Cleveland’s oldest publicly owned market. The market hosts over 100 vendors, and is open 4 days a week (Mon. & Wed. 7am-4pm and Fri.& Sat. 7am-6pm). In the market you can find fruits, vegetables, different kind of meats, and fresh bread and seafood. There are also booths that sell prepared food, herbs and spices and candy. Did I mention that the prices are cheap!
Market Address: 1979 W25st Cleveland, Ohio 4413 (you can’t miss the building, it’s pretty huge not to mention the huge 137 foot clock tower attached to it)
2. Market Square & W25 Street
After visiting the Westside Market, take a stroll along W25 Street and pick out one of the many restaurants along this strip to grab something to eat. If you just so happen to be full from the food in the market, stop by Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream Shop for some dessert. Mitchell’s two floor ice cream shop not only sells ice cream but also provides their customers with the opportunity to look into the kitchen to see their staff making ice cream as well as waffles. Lastly, visit the Market Square Park which is right across the street from the Market. Though it is a small park, it is perfect for a five to ten minute rest.
3. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum
The Hall of Fame and Museum is located in the downtown area and has 7 floors full with exhibits honoring the best artists of this art form. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame was actually suppose to be in New York City but after a few Ohioans petitioned for it to be in Ohio, the Hall of Fame found it’s home in Cleveland. Ohioans argued that a Cleveland DJ, Alan Freed, coined the phrase Rock ‘n’ Roll in 1952.
Though we didn’t go inside the museum, our local guide suggested that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is only a must see if you are a hardcore fan of Rock n Roll which we are not.
Hall of Fame Address: 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd, Cleveland, Ohio 44114 U.S.
4. Downtown Cleveland
Downtown Cleveland is an up and coming area. It’s has it’s similarities to most downtown areas of major cities with shops, businesses, hospitals, restaurants, bars and clubs.
In downtown, one can also find the Terminal Tower. A 52 story building, that encompasses Tower City where you can find offices, the Hard Rock Cafe, a casino, a movie theater, and a shopping mall. This is where we found what we believe to be the only shop that sells Cleveland souvenirs.
Lastly, we recommend that you go to the Conventional Center and visit the park located on the top of the building. There you can see a lovely view of the downtown area (it’s even prettier at night.)
5. Edgewater Park
Located off the I-90 on exit 192, and few miles from downtown you will find this relaxing and free park. During the summer time, the park hosts a variety of free events. The park also offers areas for BBQ and picnics, as well as open grass areas to fly kites. A nice bonus to the park in our opinion is the beach (we have a thing for water).
Website: Edgewater Park Site.
6. Take a Bike Ride Around Town
Take a bike ride around town because you never know what you will see or who you will meet. During our bike ride, we got to know the area more and met some interesting people. We also found some really nice murals, and artwork along the streets. If you want a specific street to walk, or bike along I would recommend Detroit Ave. It’s one of Cleveland’s longest and most popular street and goes through many different parts of Cleveland.