I’ve heard a lot of people, myself included, say that CLE has a lot of great things going on, but you have to look for them. So, if you’re new (or relatively new) to CLE, where do you start? Hat tip to CLEguy for the idea of creating a “Top 10 Things to Do if You’re New in CLE.”
This list is meant to chronicle just some of the great things going on in CLE. A Cleveland primer, if you will, that can start to give you the sense of what is so unique, fun, exciting, and special about this city. And for those of us who have been here a long time, this can get us back to basics; to some of the amazing things that even we forget to take advantage of.
Top 10 Things to Do in CLE (Newbie Edition)
1. Rock out! Visit The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. This is one of the things that non-Clevelanders immediately associate with our city. From special exhibits, such as Women Who Rock, to the permanent collection to the on-site radio station, the Rock Hall is a monument to amazing music and Cleveland’s unique role in the history of rock.
2. Take a hike through The Cleveland Metroparks system. We are so lucky in CLE to have “The Emerald Necklace,” encompassing parks, trails, horseback riding, golf courses, fishing, outdoor education, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, toboggan runs, and much more.
3. Attend a professional sports event. We love our sports in CLE. Whether it be the Indians, Browns, Cavs (maybe), Lake Erie Monsters, or Gladiators, there are lots of options for a range of price points. Cheering on a CLE team is truly an event and definitely gives you a window into CLE-ers.
4. Stroll through a Tremont Art Walk. Held on the second Friday of each month, the Art Walk is a fantastic way to check out one of CLE’s coolest neighborhoods. From galleries to shops to bars and restaurants, Art Walks are a fun and communal way to explore Tremont.
5. Eat pierogies (maybe even in Parma). CLE boasts an incredible mix of ethnicities and cultures, which have held strong to their traditions. One of my personal favorites is the prevalance of pierogies. Whether you check out Sokolowski’s University Inn or the Little Polish Diner, eating pierogies cements you as a true CLE-er.
6. See a play. CLE boasts a lot of great theater programs, but as you’re starting out in this town, there’s no better place to see a show than Playhouse Square. These gorgeous theaters comprise the largest theater district in the country outside of New York City, with a variety of shows for all tastes.
7. Be a beach bum. Lake Erie is one of CLE’s greatest resources and attractions, combined in one. Whether it’s Whiskey Island, Huntington Beach, or Mentor Headlands, there are stretches of beach for sunning, swimming, jet-skiing, and general enjoyment.
8. Feast at the Feast of the Assumption in Little Italy. CLE’s Little Italy neighborhood is packed with rich culture and delicious food. Every August, the Feast of the Assumption draws thousands to this fun and festive street fair, where you can eat, drink, and dance the night away.
9. Get cultured! The Cleveland Museum of Art contains over 30,000 works of art you can stroll through for free and is recognized as one of the premier art museums in the world. While you’re in the University Circle area, check out the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Severance Hall and the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra, and more.
10. Raise a glass! Cleveland boasts some great local breweries, but the mainstay is Great Lakes Brewing Company in Ohio City. With beers named after significant events and characters in the history of CLE, a stop here is an education in more than just great beer. Grab a pint in their pub, take a tour, or attend the popular Beer School.
So, there you have it: my list of 10 places to start getting to know CLE. What’s on your list of must-see spots for new CLE-ers? Are there any on this list you’ve missed?