Cleveland Trip Guide | Midwest Living

Cleveland Trip Guide

The City of Rock and Roll has a playlist of attractions that includes University Circle’s nine museums and Little Italy’s hillside bakeries and restaurants. Oh, and there’s that rockin’ hall of fame, too. Check out our trip guide of what to do, where to eat, and where to stay.


Cleveland Bike Tours Two-hour guided tours cover about 4 miles in downtown, University Circle or Ohio City.

Cleveland Botanical Garden The 18,000-square-foot Glasshouse spotlights plants, insects and birds from the spiny deserts of Madagascar and the rainforests of Costa Rica. Roses, topiaries and herbs thrive in outdoor gardens.

Cleveland Museum of Art A $320 million expansion added airy spaces to showcase 45,000 pieces by the likes of Claude Monet, Georgia O’Keeffe and Grant Wood.

Cleveland Museum of Natural History In addition to displaying favorites like dinosaur skeletons and gemstones, this University Circle attraction puts on live animal shows daily.

The Cleveland Orchestra During the summer, listen alfresco at Blossom Music Center, 25 miles southeast of Cleveland.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park A half hour south of Cleveland, the park includes dramatic rock formations and costumed interpreters, The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad runs through the park.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Great Lakes Science Center See hundreds of exhibits and an Omnimax theater.

The Holden Arboretum More than 20 miles of trails wind through the gardens. A new 500-foot-long canopy walk provides views of dense pine forest from 65 feet in the air.

Lake View Cemetery This cemetery feels like a park with views of Lake Erie. Visit the James A. Garfield Monument and the Tiffany-designed interior of Wade Memorial Chapel.

Playhouse Square Reborn movie palaces—in America’s largest performing arts center outside New York—hold concerts, dance performances and Broadway musicals. Get a behind-the-scenes look on monthly free guided tours.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum The Rock Hall continues to energize the Lake Erie shoreline after more than 20 years. Don’t miss the Rock and Politics exhibit opening in May.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Terminal Tower Catch a great view from the 42nd floor.

West Side Market Catch a glimpse of Cleveland’s melting pot heritage at this bustling indoor market.

West Side Market

West Side Market


Adega Be dazzled by chandeliers made of hand-blown glass and flatbreads like the shrimp and chorizo with garlic oil and arugula.

B Spot Burgers Celeb chef Michael Symon’s most casual Cleveland joint (he owns four) serves the award-winning Fat Doug burger with pastrami, Swiss cheese and coleslaw.

B Spot Burgers

B Spot Burgers

Cleveland Tea Revival The husband-and-wife team of owners will happily explain the differences between kombucha, puerh and oolong. Lounge on the deck with a cup of your choice.

Cowell and Hubbard The former jewelry store shines with creative twists on contemporary French cuisine. Save room for hamburger-size meringues.

Crop Bistro and Bar Gleaming marble columns and 35-foot-tall ceilings in the former bank provide a dramatic setting to enjoy plates of Ohio-sourced ribeye and Cornish game hen.

Fahrenheit This Tremont bistro has spiffed-up entrees, such as pizzas and coffee-and-mustard-crusted pork tenderloin.

Great Lakes Brewing Company Sample some of the five year-round and the variety of seasonal craft beers on tap in an 1870s tavern.

Little Italy Among the reasons to fall for this walkable village on a hill: O mio!  The authentic Italian food. Vintage chandeliers cast soft lighting straight out of a European romance novel at Trattoria on the Hill, which dishes heaping plates of sauce-drenched eggplant Parmigiano. Save room for baseball-size cream puffs from Presti’s Bakery and Cafe. 

Lola Bistro In the hip Fourth Avenue entertainment district, celeb chef Michael Symon’s menu draws carnivores eager for braised short ribs and beef-cheek pierogis.

Lucky’s Cafe Legendary cheddar and scallion biscuits with sausage gravy and homemade pastries keep this Tremont breakfast hangout hopping. Lucky's Cafe facebook page

Mabel’s BBQ Ribs, brisket and pork belly slow-cook to juicy perfection in wood-fire smokers at this downtown joint, the latest endeavor of celebrity chef and Cleveland native Michael Symon. Mabel's BBQ facebook page

Mabel's BBQ

Mabel's BBQ

Melt Bar and Grilled The grilled-cheese-centric menu lists more than 20 options. We love the Monte Cristo, with honey ham, turkey, two cheeses and berry preserves.

Pura Vida by Brandt Flip-top jars filled with chickpea spread accompany house ricotta, basil pesto, olive tapenade, radishes and grilled bread for an urban picnic experience.

Sweet Moses Soda Fountain and Treat Shop Get your fix of nostalgia with drinks and desserts at this old-fashioned joint. Indulge in the Gordon Square Sundae: a brownie, bananas Foster ice cream, caramel sauce and hot fudge.

Tommy’s Restaurant Thick, rich milk shakes might be the first reason you come, but inventive vegetarian entrees (and decent burgers) make the eatery in Coventry Village destination-worthy. Be sure to sign yourself in on the waiting list.


Cleveland Airport Marriott A stunning renovation turned this into a gleaming gem. Whether you stay here or not, dine at AMP 150, a destination small-plates restaurant with veggies grown out back. 

Glidden House A converted 1910 French Gothic mansion transports guests to the past with quaint touches like faux rotary phones in rooms.

Metropolitan at the 9 Sensuality rules in guest rooms equipped with glass-walled showers and gold lamé pillows. Chill 150 feet above the streets at the city’s largest rooftop bar, Azure, or be dazzled by Mediterranean-inspired dishes served under chandeliers of hand-blown glass at on-site restaurant Adega.

Azure at Metropolitan at the 9

Azure, Metropolitan at the 9

The Schofield Hotel Playful nods to the city's musical and manufacturing history—acoustic guitar loaners, sock monkey carpet—elevate the experience at this Kimpton lodging.

The Tudor Arms Hotel Restored landscape murals and bas-relief sculptures in public areas contrast with sleek Euro-style furnishings in the guest rooms of this 1939 hotel.

More information: This Is Cleveland


Add Your Comment