Tell me about Cleveland, OH

In early-to-mid October, I’m gonna be winging my way across The Pond to visit a few friends who live in Cleveland, OH. (I’ve never been to teh USA before, so I am SUPER-excited!!)

Now, while my pals are all native Clevelanders and will be showing me round their fair city, I’d like some recommendations/suggestions from folks here who know the area - tell me some interesting places to visit!


Also, what’s Cleveland’s weather like in October?


If you like classical music, Cleveland has a great orchestra, and Severance Hall has some of the best acoustics of any hall in America. Cleveland also has a great art museum.

Do not let anyone try to take you to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

I’m not from Cleveland, I’m from a town about 40 miles to the southeast. If you can get out of town, and are into that sort of thing, the countryside around Cleveland is quite attractive.

October was always my favorite month when I was growing up there. The leaves are turning, and it’s generally shirtsleeve to lightweight jacket weather. Cleveland tends to be a bit cooler, and quite a bit windier, than inland, so you might need the jacket more often. It’s also cloudier, and has more rainy days, than much of the northeast, but coming from London you’ll probably think you’re in a desert.

Coventry is great. If you have any love of pop-culture claptrap at all, make sure you go to Big Fun. Trust me on that.

I second the art museum, and for night life you can check out the Flats. Finally, if you like shopping then Tower City is perfect and has one of my favorite water fountains of all time in it.

That’s where they set Howard the Duck.

Don’t hold against the city, though. They probably didn’t get a say in the matter.

Oh, and watch out for the Hellmouth.

Oh darnnit… that’s one of the places a friend is taking me to!! :smiley:

I’ve got a friend in Akron who I’m planning on seeing while I’m in the area… What’s it like there?


You’re right there!! Ye gods!! If we have any more of this Soggy Summer Weather, methinks I’m gonna grow fins!!

makes mental note to pack flippers and a spare brolly

This also means I’ll have Frizzy Hair - can anyone recommend to me some super-strength hairspray!!!


Born and Raised in Cleveland, what would you like to know?

If your pals are natives, they’ll know all the good spots.

Here are some must sees:

1.) University Circle - This is a rather large area centered around Case Western Reserve University , University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic . Its the arts/intellectual center of Cleveland, and is very pretty. Lots of parkland, lots of top notch museums. I especially recommend the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Botanical Gardens and the Crawford Auto / Aviation Museum.

2.) Little Italy - This is located just up the hill from the University Circle area and is full of great restaurants, galleries and shops.

3.) Nightlife - I’d stay away from the flats, it’s pretty dead these days as the nightlife spot. All of the popular clubs and bars are now located along W. 4th (or is it W. 6th?) street. if you are at all interested in industrial architecture though, at least a drive-through of the Flats is called for.

4.) Playhouse Square - Believe it or not, this is the 2nd largest theater district in the U.S. (1st is Broadway of course). Worth a look if you are into the theater arts.

5.) Coventry Village - technically located in Cleveland Heights, I second it as a cool spot to hang out. There is a street fair/farmer’s market every Thursday, which would be a good time to check it out.

6.) Lakefront Stuff - Take pictures in front of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but don’t bother going in unless you REALLY like Rock and Roll. Just down the street in one direction is the Great Lakes Science Center and the Cleveland Browns stadium. If possible, attend a Browns game! It’s definitely a Cleveland Experience. Down the street from the Rock Hall in the other direction will give you the Steamship Mather museum, and the USS Cod, both shipboard museums. The former is a steamship frieghter and the latter is a WWII era submarine. Also in the vicinity is the Hornblower’s Barge & Grill, situated between the USS Cod and Burke Lakefront Airport. It’s also located on a boat, and serves great seafood.

7.) West Side Market - October is still warm enough to enjoy this Cleveland favorite. It’s and old-world style market, with both indoor and outdoor sections full of vendors offering just about every type of food you could want. I get insanely hungry just walking though the place! One of my personal favorites. The Market is located on W. 25th street, and there are a few other restaurants, shops and galleries of interest along the same street.

I’ll keep this short so I can post it and not be redundant w/ other ppl’s recommendations heh. if you are going to venture outside of the city, have your friends take you down to Amish Country. Akron is a smaller, grungier version of Cleveland, and I can’t offer much advice there. Perhaps an Akron native will chime in.

Awww, that’s kind of sad. I lived there about 10 years ago now and we always had a lot of fun down there. I liked how it was so close to the water.

You could toast marshmallows over the Cuyahoga River.

:: d & r ::

Well, there’s still life on the West Bank, but the East Bank is pretty much dead these days. A combination of bad management and real estate drama i think. There are a few condos and lofts popping up however, and it may make a comeback.

Dorjan listed all of the best downtown/Cleveland Heights highlights. Also a good recommendation for Amish country.

Akron’s got some stuff to offer, like the Inventor’s Hall of Fame (The Inventure Place) and Canal Park which is home to one of the Cleveland Indians’ farm teams, The Akron Aeros. There’s also Quaker Square with some dining attractions. Honestly I don’t get out to Akron much :slight_smile:

Northeast Ohio has one of the country’s best park systems. And in the fall it’s really beautiful. I like the trails at the Brecksville Metroparks, about 15 miles south of Cleveland.

Regarding your hair…I don’t think the humidity here is any different than London. Especially in the Fall. I wouldn’t worry about it :slight_smile:

If you want a crazy dining experience downtown, check out Brasa. I also really like a place called Pickwick & Frolic.

If you want some “underground” type art and culture, see what’s playing in the various theaters around Lakewood, like The Karamu House.

Here’s a short list of things every Clevelander should do in his/her life:

  • Ride Lolly the Trolley
  • Take a trip on the Goodtime II (or III? or IV?)
  • Visit the USS Cod
  • See the fountain at The Terminal Tower
  • See the Rock Hall (at least once in your life!)
  • Visit the art, natural history and health museums
  • See an Indians’ game (you’ll have to come back!)
  • See a Browns game
  • Shoot a shot at Shooters (then leave. ugh.)
  • Visit the West Side Market

My hometown (Ravenna) is 15 miles from Akron. The only reason I could ever find to go there was to go to take my sister to the orthodontist.

Quite near to Cleveland is on of America’s foremost amusement parks Cedar Point. It has the most rollercoasters in a single park in America including the Millenium Force, the tallest, fastest, steepest rollercoaster in the world in 2001 (if you’re into that sort of thing). It is open through October and while the hours are more restricted than in the summer, the park is much less crowded.

There’s a restaurant I reallly like called Lola

Cleveland gets mocked a lot but it’s actually a pretty neat little city.

Where are you? I’m in North Canton - haven’t met any other Dopers from the area, and would love to know I’m not alone. (ETA: Just saw you’re in Ravenna. I think we’re neighbors - I’m not from here originally.)

We have the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton if you’re into that kind of thing. Sucks ass once a year during all of the festivities, but my parents enjoyed visiting this past weekend. Apparently, the HOF is a pretty fun place.

Both the Akron and Cleveland zoos are great. We just went to the Akron zoo last weekend and loved it.

I’m more into the quiet trips to the country (we have an incredible Amish community in NE Ohio, so my husband and I like to drive to Millersburg and just drive around…we also hit a lot of weekly markets), but I like Cleveland, the few times I’ve been.


If you like excellent food and even better beer, The Great Lakes Brewery should not be missed.

Ask the bartender to show you the bullet hole from when someone shot at Elliot Ness!

As for Akron, you’re in Luck, I lived in Akron for 4 years. Like the earlier poster said, it’s not much worth going out of your way for unless you’ve got the time.

I second the Amish country reccomendation. Drive down to Holmes county and visit Lehman’s Hardware .

If you’re in town during Halloween weekend, definately go to downtown Kent, home of Kent State University. The streets go nuts with costumed freaks on Halloween, and I oughta know, 'cause I’m usually one of them.

And why not stick in a plug for this weekend’s upcoming Cleveland Dopefest!

Unfortunately Akron doesn’t have a whole lot to recommend, but I will recommend this:

The Harry London Candy Factory Tour. They make a local favorite candy called Buckeyes (since Ohio is known as the Buckeye state). They are peanut butter balls covered in chocolate, with a bit of the peanut butter center left exposed to make it look like a buckeye nut. Goooood.

There’s also the Tangier Restaurant, which has been around since 1948 and is a local Akron landmark.

As for Cleveland, I spent the first 26 years of my life there and my parents still live there. I’ll be there in October myself! When I visit them, I always:

  1. go to Coventry - lots of neat little shops, etc. as mentioned above

  2. Get myself a cassata cake from one of the bakeries in Little Italy. In the Cleveland and Pittsburgh areas, these consist of several layers of white or yellow cake, with strawberries and custard in between, topped with whipped cream. You can’t get them anywhere else and they are DIVINE. Some of the restaurants in Little Italy have it on the dessert menu.

  3. Go to the Great Lakes Brewery and Brewpub . Both the beer and the food are excellent and are located in an historic building on Market Street on the near West Side. The bar itself, constructed in the '30s, is made from mahogany and the legend goes that the bullet holes in it were made by Eliot Ness himself.

As for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I think the problem there is that it’s expensive and not worth it so much unless you are really into rock music and history, but if you’re friend is paying, Bimble, then it’s all good. Don’t eat at the cafetreria, though, go to a real restaurant - there are lots nearby!

If you are into music and want to check out the local music scene, try The Agora Ballroom. Bruce Springsteen played there before he got famous.

The art museum and the symphony are world-class, and if you want to get culture on the cheap, try the events calendar here. University Circle is the home of culture in the city of Cleveland, and frequently there are cheap/free events held at various facilities there. Some of the symphony members are instructors at the Cleveland Music School Settlement and do performances there on Sundays. The Art Museum also used to have organ recitals every Sunday, but I don’t know if they still do.

As far as the weather goes, October in Cleveland is pretty similar to October in London. The nights tend to get cooler, though.

Lehman’s! That’s what I couldn’t remember. I’m planning to go there for a quilt frame when I’ve got some extra cash. Lehman’s is wonderful.

I actually think Ohio in the Millersburg/Holmes County area is more Amish than Lancaster, PA. It’s some beautiful countryside, and as long as you’re respectful, it’s a lovely place to traverse.


If you are looking for lunch in the near-downtown area, head for Chinatown and go to Pho Hoa on E. 30th / Superior Ave. They serve the best Pho in the Midwest and their Bahn Mi’s (French/Vietnamese sammich) is divine.

Also located in the same building is Golden Bakery, the only Chinese bakery in the Cleveland area. Lots of lovely little desserts and snacks to be had.

Also (hehe) in the same building, although a bit out of place, is a “Soul Food” restaurant named Just Like Mom’s.

I’m in Houston. I haven’t lived in Ohio since 1978, although I still go up and visit family every now and then.

While I haven’t found that Youngstown has a huge amount to offer, if you like art and such, the Butler Institute of American Art is here and often has good exhibits.