Located on the southern shore of Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio, is perhaps best known as the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. But the city is home to plenty more, from professional sports teams to the second-largest performing arts center in the country, from family-friendly attractions to historic neighborhoods lined with eateries and pubs. The city is hugged by a necklace of parks and is home to more than 100 public golf courses, a zoo and rainforest that’s home to more than 3,000 animals, an amusement park that is consistently voted the best in the world, and plenty of festivals.
A good place to go for information is the Cleveland Plus Visitors Center, located at 334 Euclid Avenue.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum educates visitors, fans and scholars about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission through its world-class museum and its library and archives. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opened its doors in 1995 on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland in a building designed by world-renowned architect I.M. Pei. Since then, the Rock Hall has welcomed nearly 8 million visitors from around the world. The museum boasts seven floors of exhibition space spanning 150,000 square feet.
Also of note by fans is the Cedar Point Amusement Park, which has been voted the best park 11 years running by amusement park fans. It has more than 150 rides and attractions, including 17 coasters of which four are over 200 feet tall. It also boasts Camp Snoopy and three other children’s areas, as well as resorts including beachfront hotels.
Founded in 1930, the Cleveland Botanical Garden campus in University Circle includes an 18,000-square-foot conservatory housing authentic recreations of two of the earth’s most fragile ecosystems with over 350 species of plants and 50 species of animals. The facility includes 10 acres of gardens, including a children’s garden, a topiary garden, an herb garden, a Japanese garden, a rose garden, and more. Cleveland Botanical Garden is located on Wade Oval Drive at East Boulevard, directly across from the Cleveland Museum of Art, which includes more than 40,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. Admission has been free since its founding charter.
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, founded in 1920, has permanent exhibits that include Lucy, a skeletal cast of a 3.2-million-year-old species of a human ancestor, and Happy, the oldest sauropod on exhibit anywhere and the most complete adult specimen of this 70-foot-long, 14-foot-high dinosaur skeleton. Also located in University Circle is The Children’s Museum of Cleveland, dedicated to the overall development of children up to 8 years old, through family learning.
An unusual attraction is the Christmas Story House, which was used as the home of the family in the holiday film “A Christmas Story.” The house has been restored and is open year round for tours. Across the street is a museum, which features original props, costumes and memorabilia from the film, as well as behind-the-scenes photos. Nearby Canton is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, an 83,000-square-foot institution.
The PlayhouseSquare District is the second-largest performing arts center in the country -- second only to New York City’s Lincoln Center -- and draws well over 1 million visitors annually. The five restored historic theaters are home to the opera, ballet, concerts and a Broadway Series and Great Lakes Theatre Festival.
A renovated train terminal, the ornate Tower City Center houses an indoor retail area with shops and an array of restaurants. It also includes a cinema and two hotels, the Ritz-Carlton Cleveland and the Cleveland Renaissance Hotel. The lower level of Tower City Center houses the Regional Transit Authority’s light rail system.