Consider this your ultimate guide to all the fun, delicious, and interesting things to do in Cleveland, Ohio. This list is divided up by neighborhood, and includes more than 100 unique things you can do in The Land.
Use this as your Cleveland bucket list!
21 things to do in downtown Cleveland
Top thing to do in downtown Cleveland: Rock Hall
Spend the day at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, arguably one of Cleveland’s main attractions. There are permanent exhibits that cover the history of rock music, some rotating exhibits, and an interactive “Garage” where you can play your own music.
Other things to do in downtown Cleveland
Get your sports on. You can see an Indians game at Progressive Field, watch the Browns play at First Energy Stadium, or go to a Cavs game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Go up to the Terminal Tower Observation Deck in summer. Located on the 42nd floor of Terminal Tower, the observation deck is open on weekends during the summer months. The views over the city and Public Square are some of the best.
Take a stroll through Public Square. Redesigned in 2016, Public Square is now a nice spot to enjoy the outdoors downtown. There’s a large green space, a splash pad in summer and a ice rink in winter, and even a cafe with outdoor seating.
Visit the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument. This monument is in one corner of Public Square and is dedicated to Civil War soldiers and sailors from Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. The small museum inside the monument is free to visit.
See the Fountain of Eternal Life. Also known as the War Memorial Fountain, the statue and fountain is located on Veterans’ Memorial Plaza.
See the giant red Free Stamp in Willard Park, one of the many cool pieces of public art around the city.
Learn about money at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. You can visit the Money Museum for free.
Go on a Lake Erie cruise. The Goodtime III sails from North Coast Harbor and offers several different cruises on Lake Erie.
Stop in to the main branch of the Cleveland Public Library. The architecture inside is stunning, and they often have interesting exhibits and events.
Sip wine at the downtown Heinen’s. It might sound strange to include a grocery store on this list, but the Heinen’s at the corner of E. 9th and Euclid is located in the old Cleveland Trust Co. building, with an incredible stained glass dome in its rotunda. The store has a wine shop on the second floor where you can do wine tastings.
Go bowling with friends at The Corner Alley, a downtown bowling alley and bar serving food.
Hang out on East 4th. The pedestrian-only block is filled with restaurants, bars, and a Cleveland Clothing Co. shop.
See a concert or comedy show on East 4th. The House of Blues hosts lots of acts, and right across the street is Hilarities comedy club at Pickwick & Frolic.
Go to a Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues, which are held on Sundays.
Visit the Cleveland Arcade between Euclid and Superior. The Arcade dates back to 1890, and was one of the first indoor shopping malls in the United States.
Grab a delicious ice cream sandwich from Cathy’s Gourmet Ice Cream Sandwiches, a Black female-owned company operating inside the Arcade at the Euclid entrance.
Shop in the 5th Street Arcades. Across the street from the Cleveland Arcade, these arcades connect Euclid and Prospect, and date back to 1898 and 1911.
Have rooftop drinks at Metropolitan at the 9. The Azure Rooftop Lounge is one of my favorite rooftop bars in the city.
See a show at Playhouse Square. Playhouse Square is the second-largest performing arts center in the United States after Lincoln Center in New York City. It’s theaters host hundreds of plays, concerts, lectures, and more throughout the year.
Admire the Playhouse Square chandelier. While you’re in Playhouse Square, don’t forget to admire the massive outdoor chandelier. Made with more than 4,000 crystals, this is the largest outdoor chandelier in the world.
12 things to do in Ohio City
Top thing to do in Ohio City: West Side Market
West Side Market is easily my favorite thing in Ohio City. A market has been operating on this spot since the mid-1800s, and some of the current vendors inside the main market hall have had stands there for generations. Go to shop, or even take a market food tour.
Other things to do in Ohio City
Go on a DIY brewery tour. There are nearly a dozen craft and micro breweries in Ohio City alone, so you can definitely plan a brewery hop here. Favorites include Great Lakes Brewing, Platform Beer Co., Hansa Brewery, and Nano Brew.
Tour the Mitchell’s Ice Cream factory. Mitchell’s ice cream is a Cleveland favorite, and you can tour their ice cream factory at their flagship Ohio City shop (which happens to be housed in an old renovated theater!). (Read more about ice cream in Cleveland.)
Go to Soho Chicken + Whiskey on Wednesday for their “Chicken Pickin'” night, where you can order their awesome chicken and sides a la carte.
Play board games at Tabletop. Grab a coffee or a beer and some friends, and play board games at Tabletop Board Game Cafe.
Take a glass blowing class at Glass Bubble Project. They even have a pet rooster named Morty who calls the shop home.
Spot some street art. Ohio City and nearby Hingetown have some of the best murals in Cleveland.
Check out art at SPACES, which describes itself as a “resource and public forum for artists who explore and experiment.”
Take a cooking class at stir studio kitchen, which offers classes several days every week.
Have drinks and pay at game at Forest City Shuffleboard, which has both indoor and outdoor shuffleboard courts.
Create your own unique candle at Cleveland Candle Company, perfect for an Ohio City date night!
Walk across the Hope Memorial Bridge to admire the Art Deco Guardians of Traffic, the massive sculptures that “guard” both ends of the bridge.
5 things to do in Tremont
Top thing to do in Tremont: A Christmas Story House
Re-enact scenes at the A Christmas Story house. Scenes from the holiday classic “A Christmas Story” were filmed here in Cleveland, and you can tour Ralphie Parker’s house and visit a small museum dedicated to the film in Tremont.
Other things to do in Tremont
Cuddle with kitties at AffoGATO cat cafe. Cleveland’s first cat cafe opened in 2019, and has been facilitating lots of adoptions and kitty cuddles ever since. This is a great place to spend an hour or two with a cup of coffee and a furry friend. They even offer cat yoga!
Enjoy Walkabout Tremont. This monthly art walk takes place the second Friday of every month, when local businesses and galleries stay open late. It’s a fun way to explore the historic, arts-centric neighborhood.
Go for a run, walk, or bike ride at Scranton Flats, which connects to the Towpath Trail.
Enjoy some of the great restaurants and bars with patios – our favorite is probably the South Side!
9 things to do in Detroit-Shoreway
(Including things to do in Edgewater Hill.)
Top thing to do in Detroit-Shoreway: Happy Dog
Food is topping the list here because Happy Dog is such a great local spot. Happy Dog has a distinct “neighborhood corner bar” feel, and is known for its build-your-own hotdogs, beer, and live music and events. On the first Wednesday of every month, they host Keep Talking: A Storytelling Show.
Other things to do in Detroit-Shoreway
Spot street art in Gordon Square. The Gordon Square Arts District is another of my favorite areas in Cleveland to spot some colorful murals.
See a theater show. Gordon Square is also home to some great local theaters, including the Cleveland Public Theater and the Near West Theater.
Try beer-infused donuts at Brewnuts. Tasty donuts made with beer in a funky bar space that also serves craft brews. What’s not to love?
Play old games at Superelectric Pinball Parlor. They have more than 20 different pinball games, some dating all the way back to the 1950s.
Go wine tasting at Flight. This trendy new wine bar specializes in wine flights, and they even have a flight for bubbly lovers like me.
Go to Third Fridays at 78th Street Studios. This is an old warehouse that’s been converted into artist studios, which is open for public tours/shopping on the third Friday of every month from 5-9 p.m.
Get dessert at Sweet Moses. This old-fashioned soda fountain serves homemade ice cream sundaes and root beer.
Hang out at Edgewater Beach. This is technically in the Edgewater Hill neighborhood, but it’s so close to Detroit-Shoreway that I’m including it here. Edgewater Beach is Cleveland’s most popular Lake Erie beach and park. It’s home to one of the Cleveland Script signs, as well as a sandy beach that hosts a concert series in the summer, and a pier that’s popular at sunset.
10 things to do in The Flats
(Including things to do in both the east and west banks of The Flats, as well as Irishtown Bend.)
Top thing to do in The Flats: Heritage Park
The Flats border a couple of the major bends of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland. There are two parks – one on either side of the river – that are my favorite spots in this neighborhood: Heritage Park on the west bank, and Settler’s Landing Park on the east bank. There are nice downtown views here, and you also may get lucky enough to watch the Center Street Bridge swivel to let a ship pass.
Other things to do in The Flats
Rent a kayak on the Cuyahoga River. Head over to Great Lakes Water Sports to rent a kayak and hit the water during the summer months.
Visit the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. The aquarium is open year-round, and boasts exhibits on all sorts of marine life. There’s a shark-filled “seatube” you can walk through, and a gallery dedicated to Ohio’s lakes and rivers.
See a concert or show. There are several music venues and comedy clubs in this part of the city, including the Odeon, Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica, Improv Comedy Club & Restaurant, and Music Box Supper Club.
Hang out at Punch Bowl Social. This spot on the east bank of The Flats is a 27,000-square-foot adult fun house with four bars, an awesome rooftop, and games that include bowling and an indoor putt-putt course.
Listen to dueling pianos at The Big Bang. Yes, Cleveland has its own dueling piano bar on the Flats East Bank!
Watch the monarch butterfly migration at Wendy Park. Located on Whisky Island (which may or may not be considered “The Flats” depending on who you ask), Wendy Park is a nice green space that often hosts thousands of monarch butterflies as they migrate across Lake Erie on their journey between Canada and Mexico. (The main migration season is in September – read about it here.)
Spend time in Rivergate Park. This green space in Irishtown Bend has grassy spaces and a boardwalk, and is also home to a skate park and riverfront bar/grill Merwin’s Wharf.
Take a Lolly the Trolley tour. While Lolly the Trolley offers tours that cover much of downtown Cleveland and surrounding neighborhoods, the tours start here in The Flats! This would be a great thing to do with out-of-town visitors, or if it’s your first trip to Cleveland.
Enjoy a riverfront patio, like the one at Collision Bend Brewing Company or Lindey’s Lake House.
7 things to do in Asiatown
(Okay, so this is mostly just a list of things to eat…)
Top thing to do in Asiatown: Slyman’s
It might sound odd to name a deli as my top Asiatown pick, but you can’t talk about Cleveland without talking about Slyman’s Restaurant and Deli. This mainstay is only open for breakfast and lunch on weekdays, and is most famous (like, stand-in-line famous) for its corned beef sandwich.
Other things to do in Asiatown
Order soup dumplings at LJ Shanghai. LJ Shanghai has lots of other good dishes on its menu, but the soup dumplings are the star.
Have a bowl of pho at Superior Pho. This spot is tucked away and not easy to find (you enter from the back of the building off Danford Ct.), but the pho portions are huge and delicious.
Eat Dim Sum at Li Wah. You’ll find all the traditional Dim Sum dishes here, like steamed buns and dumplings. (Note that Dim Sum is a daytime thing; go between 10 am and 3 pm.)
Have Korean BBQ at Rising Grill. This is usually regarded as the best Korean BBQ spot in the city.
Get dessert from Koko Bakery. A local favorite, this bakery offers Asian-style baked goods and bubble tea.
Sing karaoke at Galaxy Karaoke. This cosmic-themed cocktail bar has private karaoke rooms just like you find in many countries in Asia.
12 things to do in University Circle
(Including things to do in Little Italy, too.)
Top thing to do in University Circle: Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art is regarded as one of the best art museums in the country. It has a vast collection covered everything from the ancient Egyptians to more modern masters like Andy Warhol. The best part? The museum if completely FREE to visit.
Other things to do in University Circle
Admire the Cleveland Botanic Gardens. This all-season garden has outdoor gardens, a greenhouse, a conservatory, and stuff for kids to enjoy.
Go back in time at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The museum has dinosaur fossils, great exhibits on human ecology, a room filled with minerals and gemstones, a planetarium, and an outdoor wildlife area.
Learn about Cleveland at the Cleveland History Center. Run by the Western Reserve Historical Society, the Cleveland History Center has a huge collection of items that reflect the history of the city. Included in the History Center is the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, the Euclid Beach Carousel, and two historic mansions that you can tour.
See cherry blossoms at Wade Lagoon. Many of Cleveland’s museums center around Wade Oval, which has Wade Lagoon at its center. In the spring, cherry trees bloom here.
Listen to the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall. The Cleveland Orchestra is one of the best in the United States (go look up the “Big Five orchestras”), and performs concerts throughout the year at the beautiful Severance Hall.
Talk about art at the Museum of Contemporary Art. This is another free art museum in Cleveland, focused on contemporary art. Even the building is modern-looking.
Wander around the campus of Case Western Reserve University, which is how this neighborhood gets its name.
Visit the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. Stretching from Wade Oval along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to the Rockefeller Park and Greenhouse, the Cleveland Cultural Gardens are an often-overlooked gem in the city. A collection of more than 30 small gardens here are maintained by local cultural groups.
Find famous graves at Lake View Cemetery. Don’t immediately write this off as being too morbid. Lake View Cemetery was built 150 years ago to resemble the great Victorian era garden-cemeteries of Europe. Not only is this a beautiful cemetery, but it has some very famous residents, including President James A. Garfield (his memorial is stunning), John D. Rockefeller, and Eliot Ness.
Visit Wade Chapel. Located inside Lake View Cemetery, Wade Chapel deserves a mention of its own. The entire interior was designed by Louis C. Tiffany.
Gorge yourself at some Little Italy bakeries. Between University Circle and Lake View Cemetery sits Cleveland’s small Little Italy neighborhood. The neighborhood is home to some great Italian bakeries like Presti’s Bakery and Corbo’s Bakery.
5 things to do in Collinwood
Top thing to do in Collinwood: Euclid Beach Park
Euclid Beach Park sits right on Lake Erie, and is home to one of my favorite beaches in Cleveland. It got a brand new pier in 2018/19, and is a popular hangout spot for families in the summer. It’s also the site of Euclid Beach LIVE, one of the Cleveland Metroparks’ Summer Concert series, and has one of the Cleveland script signs.
Other things to do in Collinwood
Look for street art. The Waterloo Arts District in Collinwood was one of the first to start professionally installing large murals as part of its Zoetic Walls project. This is still a good neighborhood to spot street art.
See a show at the Beachland Ballroom. This old-school ballroom and live music destination hosts everything from concerts to burlesque shows, and has a brunch series called Beachland Rockin’ Brunch.
Catch some polka at the Slovenian Workmen’s Home. Cleveland has a large Slovenian population, and this spot is one of the best places in the city to hear a polka band.
Grab coffee and a biscuit sandwich from Six Shooter Coffee. This funky, artsy coffee shop is one of my favorites. They team up with local, Black-owned Cleveland Biscuit Heads to serve up yummy breakfast sandwiches.
6 things to do in Lakewood
Top thing to do in Lakewood: Lakewood Park
Anchored by the new Solstice Steps, which curve along roughly 480 feet of Lake Erie shoreline, Lakewood Park is a great spot to enjoy the lakeshore. The park also has a lakefront promenade, a seasonal pool, and plenty of picnic areas.
Other things to do in Lakewood
Coffee shop hop. Lakewood has several of my favorite Cleveland coffee shops, including Brewella’s, The Root Cafe, Goodkind Coffee, Caffeine, and Black Bird Baking Company.
Play some games. Lakewood has two game-centric spots: 16-Bit Bar + Arcade (a bar with more traditional arcade games), and The Side Quest (which features more board games).
Eat at Pier W. This upscale seafood restaurant sits right on Lake Erie, with views back towards the Cleveland skyline.
Have a Crazy Shake at Addicted. Addicted Coffee Bar has coffee in the name, but the cafe also serves up baked goods, sandwiches, and Crazy Shakes. Crazy Shakes are 24-ounce ice cream shakes topped with candy, baked goods, and whipped cream. Bring a friend.
Eat at the new Lakewood Truck Park, which is a mostly-outdoor venue with two bars and local food trucks that rotate each day.
4 things to do in Old Brooklyn
Top thing to do in Old Brooklyn: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has all sorts of animals from elephants to snow leopards, and even has an indoor rainforest. The zoo hosts popular events throughout the year, like the Asian Lantern Festival in the summer and Wild Winter Lights in the winter, and also has a slew of educational programs for kids.
Other things to do in Old Brooklyn
Visit the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft & Magick. Based around a collection of items begun by Raymond Buckland (the “father” of modern Wicca and the man responsible for bringing it to the US), this small museum is equal parts weird and wonderful.
Eat some Honey Hut ice cream.You can’t go wrong with this local ice cream chain, where the ice cream is sweetened with honey. Their honey pecan is the best.
Shop at the Old Brooklyn Cheese Company. It bills itself as being Cleveland’s only cheese shop, and is a great place to get good locally-made cheeses.
5 things to do in East Cleveland
(Including things to do in Cleveland Heights/Coventry Village.)
Top thing to do in East Cleveland: Cedar Lee
See a movie at the Cedar Lee Theatre. This historic theater in Cleveland Heights shows mostly indie and foreign films, and is known for its monthly midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (costumes encouraged).
Other things to do in East Cleveland
Shop at the Coit Road Farmers’ Market, which has been running in East Cleveland since 1932. Shop for fresh produce Saturday mornings year-round.
Eat international. Cleveland Heights is home to several international restaurants. Favorites include Zoma Ethiopian, Anatolia Cafe (for Turkish), and Momo’s Kebab (Moroccan).
Go wine tasting at CLE Urban Winery. They don’t have a vineyard, but they do hand-craft their own wines in this unique wine bar.
At Christmas time, a trip to see the light display at Nela Park is a must-do for many Clevelanders. Nela Park is the headquarters of General Electric’s Lighting Division.
Also be sure to check out our Cleveland Calendar for a list of fun annual events.
5 things to do elsewhere near Cleveland
There’s a lot to do in Cleveland, but even MORE to do in the Greater Cleveland area! Here are a few more of my favorite things to do not far from Cleveland:
Explore the Cleveland Metroparks. This urban park system consists of 18 reservations and nature preserves encompassing 23,000 acres throughout the Greater Cleveland area. These parks include 300 miles of trails, picnic areas, nature education centers, golf courses, and more. I especially recommend Lakefront Reservation for its Lake Erie Views, Brookside Reservation for its cherry blossoms in spring, and Rocky River Reservation for its trails and fall colors.
Traverse the Canopy Walk at Holden Arboretum. The Arboretum covers more than 3,500 acres in both Lake and Geauga counties, and has a variety of cultivated gardens to explore. It also has the Murch Canopy Walk, an elevated walkway 65 feet above the forest floor.
Go to traditional afternoon tea. Head to The Macaron Tea Room in Broadview Heights for a traditional afternoon tea in a delightful tea room. The bakery here is known for its inventive macarons, but the rest of the tea trappings are also delicious.
Hike in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Less than an hour from Cleveland, you can find yourself in Ohio’s only national park. Take a hike here to see waterfalls, limestone ledges, and more. Or you could rent a bike and hit the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, or even hop on a train on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for a tour through the park. Check out our favorite hiking trails here.
What are some other things we should add to our Cleveland to-do list? Share your favorites in the comments below!
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Amanda was born and raised in northeast Ohio, and has always been a fangirl of the state. Now, she wants to share her love of Cleveland with the world, highlighting all the best things to do, see, and eat in the CLE. She’s been running Cleveland Traveler since January 2019.
This Post Has 2 Comments
Cleveland Metroparks’ Emerald Necklace is best. There is so much to explore and four seasons to see it in.
We are so lucky to have such a great Metroparks system here!