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Best things to do in Cleveland

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Where in the world: USA  /  Ohio  /  Cleveland

Top 15 things to do in Cleveland

1. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Celebrating the spirit of music, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame features displays narrating the story of some of the most influential performers, producers, and other professionals in the music industry. Designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei, the building rises above the shores of Lake Erie, featuring a mix of geometric forms and cantilevered spaces, with a 49 m (160 ft) tower supporting a triangular structure often described as a glass tent. A top landmark in the city, the building houses a store, cafe, and over 5,100 sq m (55,000 sq ft) of exhibit spaces. Stop by to learn the secrets behind some of rock and roll's most successful acts, such as the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and the Rolling Stones.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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Tours including Rock & Roll Hall of Fame:

2. The Cleveland Museum of Art

World-renowned for its Asian and Egyptian collections, The Cleveland Museum of Art remains free to the public, as it was originally intended to be, through one of the largest endowments in the country. The museum has more than 40,000 works permanently on display, along with exceptional traveling exhibitions. The artwork inside the museum and the museum's architecture are often equally enticing for visitors. The building was built in the Beaux Arts style using neoclassical white marble, which has stood the test of time over the last hundred years. The museum and Wade Park, which surrounds it, are currently on the National Register of Historic Places.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including The Cleveland Museum of Art:

3. JACK Cleveland Casino

Jack Cleveland Casino (formerly Horseshoe Cleveland) is a casino in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, owned by Vici Properties and operated by Jack Entertainment.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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4. West Side Market

Used since its inception in 1840 as a center for commerce and trade, West Side Market represents Cleveland's oldest market space. The building's iconic 42 m (137 ft) clock tower and brick construction date from a 1912 remodel, which transformed the old wooden structure into its present neoclassical style. You can explore hundreds of stalls selling fruits, vegetables, and other foodstuffs. Locals use the market for day-to-day food shopping. If possible, join a guided tour, offered occasionally by longtime shoppers.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including West Side Market:

5. A Christmas Story House

A Christmas Story House offers the chance to relive the 1983 film by the same name. Step inside to learn about the making of the film, and see where nine-year-old Ralphie lived. Hardcore fans of the film act as guides to lead you through the house and divulge trivia. Props such as the Red Ryder BB gun, the boys’ winter hats, and the leg lamp litter the house. You are welcome to come relive your favorite moments from the film; crawl under the same kitchen sink that Randy once hid beneath, and look for mail in the old mailbox that Ralphie checked every day until his secret decoder pin finally arrived. After touring the house, pop across the street to the museum where you will find more props and costumes from the film, as well as behind-the-scenes photos from the production process.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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Tours including A Christmas Story House:

6. Lake View Cemetery

Known locally as "Cleveland's Outdoor Museum," Lake View Cemetery houses a memorial dedicated to president James Garfield and an ornate Neoclassical chapel, both listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A quiet place for a picnic or a stroll, the garden is located in the "Heights" area of Cleveland, notable for offering unobstructed views of Lake Erie. Founded in 1869 and modeled after renowned English and French graveyards of the Victorian era, the cemetery offers a variety of walking, bus, and self-guided tours of its grounds and two notable structures. As you walk through the cemetery, look for the Rockefeller family obelisk, made of the largest piece of granite ever cut for memorialization purposes.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Lake View Cemetery

7. St John's Cathedral

The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist is a historic Roman Catholic church building located at 1007 Superior Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States. Completed and consecrated in 1852, it is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. Numerous renovations have changed some aspects of the cathedral, but it remains essentially the same since its construction.
Large numbers of Catholics started to arrive in the Western Reserve region of Ohio in the 1830s and were served by visiting priests sent north by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. A small group of Irish settlers established St. Mary's of the Flats in 1826. The congregation met in several locations before beginning construction on its own sanctuary in 1837. When Pope Pius IX established the Diocese of Cleveland in 1847, he named Louis Amadeus Rappe as its first bishop.
Bishop Rappe established St. John's Cathedral on Superior Street and Erie Street (today's East 9th Street) on land purchased in 1845 by St. Mary's pastor Rev. Peter McLaughlin. He selected architect Patrick Keely, who designed the building in an ornamental gothic style and the Bishop laid the cornerstone October 22, 1848. Until the new building was completed in 1852, St. Mary's served as cathedral for the diocese. At the time of its completion, the new cathedral was the well beyond Cleveland's Public Square.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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Tours including St John's Cathedral:

8. Rocky River Reservation

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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9. University Circle

University Circle is a district in the neighborhood of University on the East Side of Cleveland, Ohio. One of America's densest concentrations of cultural attractions and performing arts venues, it includes such world-class institutions as the Cleveland Museum of Art; Severance Hall (home to the Cleveland Orchestra); the Cleveland Institute of Art; Case Western Reserve University; the Cleveland Institute of Music; the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland; the Cleveland Botanical Garden; historic Lake View Cemetery; the Cleveland Museum of Natural History; and University Hospitals/Case Medical Center.

The area is also known as "The Circle" to locals. Encompassing approximately 550 acres (220 ha) the University neighborhood is bordered to the north by the Glenville neighborhood, to the south by the Buckeye-Shaker neighborhood, to the west and southwest by the neighborhoods of Hough and Fairfax (also known as Midtown) and to the east by the cities of East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights. University Circle is member of the Global Cultural Districts Network.

While the population of University Circle ranks on the lower end of Cleveland's 36 defined Statistical Planning Areas (SPAs), it ranks near the top in importance to the city's economic sector. Neighborhood businesses and institutions provide the city with more than 30,000 jobs in a variety of fields, including averaging 1,000 new jobs per year since 2005. Nearby attractions draw approximately 2.5 million visitors annually. As the neighborhood's name implies, higher learning is a major part of the culture of University Circle, with over 13,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students attending the area's various institutions. University Circle Inc., a not-for-profit corporation established in 1957, serves as the neighborhood chamber of commerce, providing many administrative and quasi-governmental functions for the area, including security, transportation administration, and marketing. University Circle has its own full-service police department to provide security and patrol the area.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. Heinen's Downtown

Downtown Cleveland is the central business district of the City of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, United States. It is the economic and symbolic center of the Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH Combined Statistical Area. As of 2000, 100,000 people worked in the district; as of 2012, it contained more than 16 million square feet of rentable office space.
Reinvestment in the area in the mid-1990s spurred a rebirth that continues to this day, with the residential population growing from 7,261 in 1990 to 9,599 in 2000 and 11,693 in 2010. It had the largest population growth, by percentage, of any Cleveland neighborhood over that time and is Ohio's most populous downtown. Between 2010 and 2014, it saw more than $4.5 billion in residential and commercial developments. In 2012, Forbes included Downtown Cleveland in a list of "15 U.S. Cities Emerging Downtown".
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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11. Fellows Riverside Gardens, Youngstown

Fellows Riverside Gardens (11 acres) are public botanical gardens included in the Mill Creek Metro Parks system. The gardens are located at 123 McKinley Avenue, in Youngstown, Ohio, United States. They are open daily with no admission fee.

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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12. Warther Museum, Dover

Turn of the century Dover, Ohio was like most small towns of the day. Residents worked hard, believed in progress, took pride in their community and sat down together to enjoy the evening meal.

Such was the case for one of Dover’s most famous residents, Ernest “Mooney” Warther. Born in 1885 to Swiss immigrants, Mooney, as he was known to all, would leave a mark in the community that is still visible to this day.

Mooney found his way out of the steel mills where he worked and into his workshop where he began making knives in order to make carvings of ebony, ivory, and walnut, a hobby that would later make him a recognizable figure across the nation.

With only a second grade education, Mooney would become a master carver that can only be explained through his genius. Noted professors from Case Western Reserve explained the degree of skill in the creation of the pliers tree, one of Mooney’s more unique carvings, would require an advanced degree in mathematics. His talent lives on in members of his family and his story is told in a family-friendly museum that celebrates the life of this remarkable man.

Warther Museum is like no other museum in the world. Situated on eight acres in the tree-lined residential neighborhood where Mooney once lived, the Swiss chalet-styled Warther Museum gives visitors a glimpse into the life of Mooney, his wife Frieda and their family.

Still operated by the third and fourth generation of the Warther family, Warther Museum features Mooney’s home, restored to appear as it would when he and Frieda started their life together. Mooney’s original workshop, built in 1912, features his tools, an extensive collection of Native American arrowheads and the fireplace where he would forge the steel he used in the kitchen knives. In the museum are the priceless collection of 64 ebony, ivory, and walnut trains carved by Mooney at different stages of his life. Each carving is painstakingly accurate with moving parts that are remarkably to scale.

The truly unique button house is home to Frieda Warther’s collection of more than 73,000 buttons displayed on the walls and ceiling of the quaint structure located just outside the original Warther home on the edge of the garden.

Throughout every season of each year, the Swiss styled garden is meticulously maintained. It remains a dear reminder to the Warther family of their proud Swiss heritage.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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13. Wade Memorial Chapel

Wade Memorial Chapel is a Neoclassical chapel and receiving vault located at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States. It was donated to the cemetery by Jeptha Wade II in memory of his grandfather, cemetery and Western Union co-founder Jeptha Wade. The overall design was by the newly-founded Cleveland area architectural firm of Hubbell & Benes, and was their first commission. The interior's overall design is by Louis Comfort Tiffany based on a preexisting 1893 design. The interior features two mosaics on the right and left hand walls, and a large stained glass window.

Wade Memorial Chapel was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 18, 1973.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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14. Mill Creek Park, Canfield

From the casual visitor to the local explorer, Mill Creek MetroParks offers a natural escape and recreational activities for the enjoyment of all ages. Come see for yourself.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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15. James A. Garfield Monument

The James A. Garfield Memorial was built in memory of the 20th U.S. President, James A. Garfield, who was assassinated in 1881. The memorial is located at 12316 Euclid Avenue in Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio. The country grieved for his loss almost as much as they had done for Lincoln, 16 years previously. In Washington, 100,000 plus citizens visited his casket, lying in state in the Capitol. Part of the memorial’s funding came from pennies sent in by children throughout the country.
The caskets of the President and Lucretia Garfield lie in a crypt beneath the memorial, along with the ashes of their daughter and son-in-law, (Mary "Mollie" Garfield Stanley-Brown (1867–1947) and Joseph Stanley Brown).
The tomb was designed by architect George Keller utilizing Ohio sandstone, with reliefs depicting scenes from Garfield's life. The exterior sculptures were done by Caspar Buberl. Its construction began in 1885, and it was dedicated on May 30, 1890. Its cost, $135,000, was funded entirely through private donations. The round tower is 50ft in diameter and 180ft high. Around the exterior of the balcony are five terra cotta panels with over 110 life size figures depicting Garfield’s life and death. The interior features stained glass windows and window like panes representing the original 13 colonies, plus the state of Ohio, along with panels depicting War and Peace; mosaics; deep red granite columns; and a 12ft-tall white Carrara marble statue of President Garfield by Alexander Doyle. An observation deck provides views of downtown Cleveland and Lake Erie. The monument was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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