The Take a Hike program (offered by Cleveland’s Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation) consists of four guided tours each week throughout the summer, making for a fun (and free) introduction to the fascinating history of the downtown neighborhoods.
Locals relish the nostalgia, visitors appreciate the historical information in this insider's glimpse of Cleveland, and everyone delights in the unique opportunity to come face-to-face with ghosts of the past through costumed interpreters representing John D. Rockefeller, Mayor Tom L. Johnson and other local historical figures.
Each tour explores the history and significance a particular neighborhood. The PlayhouseSquare walk uncovers the history of the main live theater district; the Gateway District tour revisits the Euclid Avenue area as it was in its prime. The Historic Warehouse District tour takes a look at the original downtown, and the Canal Basin Park in the Flats tour explores ties to the Ohio-Erie Canal and the Cuyahoga River.
Each easily walkable tour lasts approximately 90 minutes; no reservations necessary. Although tours are free, donations are gently encouraged. Finding a street parking spot may prove difficult; expect to shell out $3 to $7 to park in a lot.