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- West Side Market
- Cleveland Museum of Art
- Cleveland Museum of Natural History
- Severance Hall
- Guarino’s Restaurant
West Side Market – great place to get fresh food, walk around and visit different stalls. They’re open early but I’d say go for brunch/lunch and try a bunch of different things. If the weather is nice, cross the Hope Memorial Bridge (Carnegie/Lorain Ave) from downtown on foot. Market is closed Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Cleveland Museum of Art – if you love art, a must-see. Best part is it’s free. Very close to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, which costs, but is fantastic too.
Severance Hall – beautiful concert venue, Cleveland Orchestra plays here. Might not fit in with the rest of the stuff you’re doing, but they have free tours on some Sundays. Walking distance from both museums.
Little Italy for dinner – also walking distance. There are a lot of choices here, have had a couple of good meals at Guarino’s.
If you don’t want to head across town to the museums and Little Italy, W 25th street has a lot of great restaurants and bars. West Side Market starts that “strip,” so you’re already there and could spend the rest of the afternoon/night in that area.
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- Great Lakes Science Center
- Playhouse Square
- Barrio Gateway
- East 4th Street
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – self-explanatory and really neat. Take E 9th Street basically until it ends by Lake Erie.
Great Lakes Science Center – right beside the Rock Hall, great for family.
Playhouse Square – nice area to walk around, see what’s playing if you like theater. Might only have time to walk around if visiting both Rock Hall and Science Center.
Barrio for dinner, best tacos ever.
East 4th street is right around the corner from the downtown Barrio (there are other locations) and has a lot of restaurants and bars. Liveliest place downtown, part of it is pedestrian-only. Very fun place to be at night, and if you’re looking for something fancier than a taco place, you’ll find it here.
Other notes and things to do
Cleveland is pretty easy to get around if you don’t have a car. You can take the rapid from the airport to Tower City, which is the downtown stop (about a half an hour). You can take the same red line right across the street from the West Side Market to the Little Italy/University Circle stop. Take it back to Tower City to get back downtown.
Tremont and Ohio City are other great places for food near downtown. If you have a car, I’d go to one of these areas for at least one meal. Uber/Lyft if not. Other favorite restaurants in the greater Cleveland area are Heck’s Cafe, Happy Dog, Slyman’s Deli, Number One Pho, and Momocho.
For families, Edgewater Park has Lake Erie access and is a nice area to have a picnic. There’s also a great view of downtown along the coastline (with the cool “Cleveland” sign on the western part of the park) and a new playground.
If you’re in Cleveland for a longer stay, Cedar Point is about an hour west and has the best roller coasters on the planet. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is about an hour south in Canton.