For decades, Cleveland, Ohio, has gotten a pretty bad rap. From the burning Cuyahoga River to the decaying Rust Belt industry to the bitterly cold weather, there’s plenty not to like about what many refer to as “the mistake on the lake.” But in recent years Cleveland has made a concerted effort to improve its image and entice people to come to the city.
Here are five things that make Cleveland worth visiting (maybe not in January, but maybe a summer trip).
- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This iconic symbol of American culture is worth checking out no matter how old you are. There are homages to some of the great musicians, educational, hands-on exhibits, and plenty of opportunities to snap a selfie. It’s right downtown and definitely one of the crown jewels of the city.
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park. One of the newer parks in the country, this beauty is unique in that it is so close to a major metropolitan area. In a matter of minutes, you can go from downtown Cleveland—or from downtown Akron for that matter—to a natural oasis. Designated a national park in 2000, this is a vast wilderness of beautiful forest with some fantastic hikes and wildlife-viewing opportunities.
- LeBron James. Usually, it would be a franchise worth seeing, like the Los Angeles Lakers or New York Yankees. But in Cleveland, the Cavaliers are Lebron James and a bunch of other guys. If you find yourself in Celveland during the NBA season, you defineitly want to get a ticket to the big show in Quicken Loans arean to see arguably the best basketball player of all time.
- Speaking of Quicken Loans Arena, the venue plays host to the Republican National Convention in July 2016. This 3-day event is shaping up to be a historical one, as it looks likely that we will have a Latin-American GOP nominee in Marcio Rubio (he’s gaining ground on Donald Trump and just picked up a major endorsement from billionaire Frank VanderSloot).
- A burgeoning restaurant scene. From the Cleveland Flats to the charm of the Lakewood community, there are some great places to dine and experience a wide variety of cuisine. Our favorite is chef Michael Symon’s Lola.