Why? 10 Things to Do if You’re an RNC Visitor!

So, there is about to be an influx of visitors to Cleveland. Perhaps you’ve heard. So, in the spirit of rolling out a big Cleveland welcome, I decided to revisit a post from a few years ago, with a slightly different slant.

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 (RNC 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 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.

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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. Have a celebrity make your meal. From Michael Symon to Jonathon Sawyer to Dante Boccuzzi to Rocco Whalen, Cleveland chefs have made names for themselves from the Food Network to ABC to the James Beard Awards. Dining at any of their establishments is a true gastro treat!

4. Get flat out. The Flats are Cleveland’s newest revitalized hot spot, with dining, entertainment, boating, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, and more. Sing your heart out at the Big Bang Dueling Piano Bar, sip a margarita at Coastal Taco, or jump aboard the water taxi to experience the full panorama of the Flats.

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5. Eat a pierogi (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 prevalence of the pierogi. Whether you check out Sokolowski’s University Inn or the Little Polish Diner, eating pierogi cements you as a true CLE-er.

6. See a play (and take a selfie with the GE Chandelier). 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.

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7. Be a beach bum. Lake Erie is one of CLE’s greatest resources and attractions, combined in one. Whether it’s Whiskey Island, Edgewater Beach, Huntington Beach, or Headlands Beach State Park, there are stretches of beach for sunning, swimming, jet-skiing, and general enjoyment.

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8. Feast in Little Italy. CLE’s Little Italy neighborhood is packed with rich culture and delicious food and is not far from my next must-do…

9. Get cultured! The Cleveland Museum of Art, which just celebrated its centennial year, 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, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Cleveland History Center of the Western Reserve Historical Society, and more.

10. Raise a glass! Cleveland boasts some great local breweries,including Great Lakes Brewing Company, Market Garden Brewery, and Platform Beer Co., all in Ohio City. Great Lakes Brewing offers beers named after significant events and characters in the history of CLE, so a stop there is an education in more than just great beer. Grab a pint in their pub, take a tour, or attend the popular Beer School.

This just scratches the surface of all the amazing things to experience in Cleveland! I hope you enjoy your visit and have an opportunity to get a sense of why we love this town so much!


Have a question about where to go, what to see or how to get there? Use #AskCLE to get answers, tips and recommendations on the can’t-miss spots in town. Or, take a look around at what Clevelanders are doing now.



2 Responses

  1. Angie Lowrie

    Hi Jen.

    Just sending a friendly reminder that the Cleveland History Center is an active part of the University Circle neighborhood. I know that you know us well and visit often. I think because we are across the street from the Oval we are often forgotten from the list of institutions. Can you add us to your post? Thanks!!


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