An exceptional group of prints is just one of the permanent collections in the renovated Cleveland Museum of Art.
In the same University Circle neighborhood, the Cleveland Botanical Garden is 10 acres of urban escape.
Two miles to the east, busy Tommy’s serves inventive vegan and vegetarian fare—the milk shakes alone are worth the stop.
Lake View Cemetery lives up to its name with vistas of Lake Erie; be sure to pay a visit to the flag-draped casket of President James A. Garfield.
Downtown’s vibrant East 4th Street entertainment district contains Michael Symon’s premier meat-and-potatoes restaurant, Lola Bistro, and rockin’ nightlife.
During the summer, listen to Cleveland Orchestra alfresco at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls.
Cleveland Airport Marriott (from $99) shatters airport hotel stereotypes with its hardwood floors in the room entrances, super-soft king beds, and locally sourced small plates and salads at Amp 150 restaurant.
Waffle flavors change with the season at Lucky’s Cafe; we loved the vanilla bean topped with peaches and strawberries.
If you want to get out of town for the day, a half-hour south, 33,000-acre Cuyahoga Valley National Park has more than 100 miles of trails and plenty of peace.
In town, West Side Market's more than 100 booths and stalls sell everything from soup to nuts; vendors reflect Cleveland’s melting pot heritage.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a must-do.
Head to Progressive Field for an Indians baseball game.
Beer comes first at the 1860s tavern Great Lakes Brewing Company, with five year-round and 10 seasonal craft brews.
More information: (800) 321-1001; positivelycleveland.com
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Many first-time visitors to Cleveland start here. And who can blame them? The I.M. Pei-designed glass pyramid along Lake Erie features boatloads of memorabilia, film clips and music. Don't miss the new Paul Simon: Words and Music exhibit narrated by the artist himself. (216) 781-7625; rockhall.com
One big party
Summer in Cleveland starts with Parade the Circle (held the second Saturday in June), where art comes to life as stilt-walkers, belly dancers and costumed revelers take to the streets in the University Circle neighborhood. Nearly 75,000 Clevelanders rush to Wade Oval for the parade, free activities and live music that follow in Circle Village. (216) 791-3900; universitycircle.org
Stay to remember
The converted 1910 French Gothic Glidden House mansion transports guests to a different era thanks to quaint touches like rotary phones in rooms. The breakfast buffet focuses on fresh. The Little Italy neighborhood and all the museums along University Circle are within walking distance. From $169. (216) 231-8900; gliddenhouse.com