The City of Rock and Roll has a playlist of attractions that includes University Circle’s 10 museums and galleries, 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.

By The editors of
Updated August 20, 2020

Due to possible coronavirus-related travel restrictions, please check destinations' websites for the current status of attractions, restaurants and lodgings.


The Arcade Cleveland Shop, dine or simply pop inside for photos at one of the city’s most iconic public spaces. The Victorian-era retail center features a massive glass ceiling, sparkly railings and the Hyatt Regency Cleveland hotel.

Cleveland Bike Tours Two-hour guided tours cover about 4.5 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 desert of Madagascar and the rainforest of Costa Rica. Roses and topiaries thrive in outdoor gardens.

Cleveland Museum of Art The impressive collection spans 6,000 years of art. Look for highlights like Andy Warhol’s Marilyn x 100 and a 5,000-year-old statuette believed to be from Western Anatolia.

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

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

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Thirty minutes from downtown, forests, waterfalls, bike trails and a scenic train promise a family-friendly retreat.

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 An outdoor chandelier with more than 4,200 crystals reflects the ornate lobbies of surrounding reborn movie palaces. Guests attend concerts, dance productions and touring Broadway musicals in America’s largest performing arts center outside New York.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Look for treasures like Jimi Hendrix’s childhood drawings or jam on guitars, drums, keyboards and other instruments in a new space called The Garage.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

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

West Side Market More than 100 booths and stalls sell everything from soup to nuts at the indoor market; vendors reflect Cleveland’s melting-pot heritage.

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.

Alley Cat Oyster Bar Views of the Cuyahoga River complement seafood dishes (including, of course, oysters) in the buzzy Flats East Bank area.

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

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 a former bank provide a dramatic setting for dishes such as ribeye with heirloom tomato sauce.

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

Great Lakes Brewing Company Sample from a dozen or so craft beers on tap in an 1870s tavern. Flights pair well with a plate of locally sourced meats, cheese and produce.

Noble Beast Brewing Company The family-run brewery and restaurant turns out exceptional brews, as well as creative dishes like pickled watermelon rind salad with edible flowers.

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.

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

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.

The Plum American food with creative twists might include grilled peaches with pistachio creamed corn or an Ohio lamb burger with feta and saffron yogurt.

Presti's Bakery and Cafe Baseball-size cream puffs, cannoli and tiramisu are just a few of the sweet treats at the 116-year-old family-owned spot in Little Italy.

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.

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.


Drury Plaza Hotel Cleveland Downtown Two fully restored 1931 murals by Cora Holden highlight a two-story lobby in the former Cleveland Board of Education Building. The hotel opened in 2016 after a $52 million renovation.

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 gives guests a choice of vintage suites in the original structure or more modern rooms.

Metropolitan at the 9 Sensuality rules in guest rooms equipped with glass-walled showers and gold lamé pillows. Chill at the rooftop bar, Azure, or try Mediterranean fare at on-site restaurant Adega.

Azure, Metropolitan at the 9

The Schofield Hotel Playful nods to the city’s musical and manufacturing history—acoustic guitar loaners, sock-monkey-and-argyle-sweater carpet design—elevate the experience at this 122-room Kimpton lodging.

The Tudor Arms Restored murals and sculptures in public areas contrast with guest rooms’ sleek Euro-style furnishings in the 1929 hotel.

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