Why? Coming Back to CLE!

***A bit of blogkeeping: While I’m off in Cabo having some fun in the sun, I’ve arranged guest posts from some fabulous bloggers to keep you entertained. Today’s post comes from Julie at Wearing Mascara. Thanks, Julie!***

Hello friends!

Thank you Jen for allowing me to guest post today. I blog at Wearing Mascara and have been blogging since 2008.

The unique part about my blog is that while I went to high school and college near Cleveland, I have also lived in three other cities. Born in Pittsburgh (shhhh), I moved near Akron, Ohio when I was 13. I stayed in the area through college and finally packed up and moved to Washington, DC for graduate school. I stayed in the DC-area for 3 years, moved to Pittsburgh for an internship, and took my first job in Lancaster, PA last year. This past summer, I decided to move back to Cleveland to live closer to my family.

I moved back to the area in August and have officially been living in Lakewood (a West Side urban/suburban suburb of Cleveland) since November.

I am here to tell you how much I love Cleveland. So often, I hear people slam Cleveland. We are constantly in the top 10 lists of “Worst Cities for… {fill in the blank}” and I’m sick of it.

Here are my top seven reasons that I am defending Cleveland.

 Four Seasons

Yes, the winter can be difficult, with snow, ice, and cold, but we have four seasons, four distinct seasons. I hate when people say “Cleveland weather sucks” because it doesn’t. Have you ever been here in the summer? It’s beautiful. Most of the time the weather is not too hot and quite often, you can enjoy a cool breeze along Lake Erie. The fall here is gorgeous, too. The colors and so vivid that you feel like you’re in a watercolor painting.


A few years ago, they hosted women’s NCAA basketball championship and last year, Cleveland was one of the sites that hosted the first and second round of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament. We have Blossom, an outdoor music center, which hosts music festivals all year round, including country music festivals and The Warped Tour. The Quicken Loans Arena (The Q) hosts events throughout the year such as the circus, concerts, along with being a home venue for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Lake Erie Monsters.

On a personal note, ever since I moved back to Cleveland, I hear about events constantly through restaurants and local venues. My calendar is much more jam-packed than when I lived in DC, Pittsburgh, and Lancaster when it comes to local events.

 Drivability and Traffic

Different highways give you easy access to and from the city of Cleveland and it’s surrounding suburbs. There are many alternate routes you can take depending on your personal driving preferences without a lot of traffic. Looking back at my last few months of living here, I cannot think of one time I was stuck in traffic. Still, in the mornings there is rush hour but it pales in comparison to my driving experiences in both DC and Pittsburgh (hello, construction). Basically, our rush hour traffic is DC’s middle-of-the-day traffic.

 Lake Erie

Lake Erie is the northern border to the city of Cleveland. It’s one of the 5 great lakes and the shallowest of the five. The water is generally warmer too. Only an hour and a half drive and a ferry ride away, you can find the Lake Erie Islands, which is a fun trip to take with friends or family. There are free beaches you can access throughout the Cleveland area.

 Wide Range of Areas

In Cleveland, there are a ton of different neighborhoods and areas to live in. Whether you’re looking for a family feel or a young adult scene. You have areas like Little Italy and Chinatown. The Cleveland Metro Parks is a fun visitor’s attraction that stretches throughout the area. There are golf courses located within the Metro Parks as well as other courses in the area too. Really, Cleveland can offer you any type of atmosphere you crave.

Cost of Living

The cost of living is phenomenal. Even compared to Lancaster, PA, Cleveland is a very cheap place to live. This is such an important part of this list considering the current economy. I also love that you can have a cheap night out.


The restaurants in Cleveland are as diverse as the people. You can find Thai, Ethiopian, Indian, Chinese, etc and they are all very good. In addition, you find innovative restaurants such as Fahrenheit in Tremont, Noodlecat, and the Michael Symon restaurants (such as B Spot and Lola). So far (knock on wood), every restaurant I have tried has been excellent.

When you visit these restaurants, you feel a vibe that can only be found in Cleveland. The people who run these restaurants are full of pride. Pride for their food, and pride for this city.

3 Responses

  1. My boyfriend moved back to Cleveland after college and brought me with him! I grew up in Rochester, NY and while I see similarities between the two, I really think that Cleveland is the perfect sized city. Big enough that there is always something to do, but small enough where you don’t feel overwhelmed. I also love that there are so many small distinctly different areas of Cleveland. You’ve got the Cleveland Heights/Coventry Area, Cedar/Lee/Fairmount, Playhouse Square, Tremont, The Flats, Ohio City etc.

  2. I’ve lived in both Pittsburgh and DC and completely agree with all of these points. It’s funny though how you don’t realize all the wonderful assets Cleveland has, until you move out of the area!

    I suggest all natives do it for a year or two to get a different perspective on just how livable this city is.

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