When planning out a vacation or road trip, you often want to make sure that you stop off at cities worth visiting.
Whether you’re there for a few days or a week, knowing what the city has to offer can help you plan your visit.
One city you may consider visiting is Cleveland.
With its close proximity to Lake Erie, you may wonder if it’s worth visiting.
Here are 10 reasons why you should visit Cleveland, Ohio.
Is Cleveland Worth Visiting? (10 Reasons It Is)
1. Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
One of the biggest draws to Cleveland is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Rock Hall has several concerts and live events throughout the year besides its big inductee celebration.
If you don’t happen to be in town when a concert is happening, then you can still visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum.
The museum boasts some of the most interesting facts about the musicians and bands that you love.
You can find old guitars, equipment, and even costumes that the musicians and bands wore back in the day.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened in 1995 and has continued to delight Cleveland residents since.
Its concert hall, the Rock Hall, caters to more than just rock and roll.
You can find bands and musicians of all different genres gracing its floors.
Many of the events are free and even those that aren’t often have tickets as cheap as $15.
It’s a place where you can also buy merchandise, sometimes even exclusive merchandise, from famous bands and artists.
Along with attending the museum, you can even rent out the Hall for your own private parties.
One of the most famous events is its annual high school rock off where high school rock bands compete against one another.
It’s a great way to support the youth and get a chance at seeing the upcoming artists of tomorrow.
If you want to visit Cleveland, then you need to make the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame one of your stops.
2. Great Lakes Science Center
The Great Lakes Science Center has something for everyone.
It boasts exhibits, a dome theater, and even several science camps that you can sign your child up for.
One of the best exhibits to visit is the NASA Glenn Visitor Center.
You’re able to see real NASA equipment and uniforms.
The Cleveland Creates Zone allows children to play with some toys and equipment to puzzle out scientific facts.
Many of the exhibits feature games or interactable exhibits that help engage children’s minds and entertain them.
They’ll have a great time learning without even realizing it.
You can then all relax for a time at the Cleveland Clinic Dome Theater.
The theater shows movies at scheduled times and its dome projection makes the show quite immersive.
Whether they’re showing dinosaurs or some other movie, the spectacle is a delight for children and gives you the chance to sit down and rest, too.
No matter when you visit Cleveland, there is always some sort of event or program going on at the science center.
You can sign your child up for an educational experience while you go explore some parts of the city that they may find boring.
That goes for the several different science camps that the science center offers, too.
If you want to visit a place where children can have a lot of fun, then the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland is the place to go.
3. The Velvet Dog
If you want to go to one of the go-to hangout spots in Cleveland, then you need to go to the Velvet Dog.
It’s a rooftop nightclub that serves drinks and top hits.
The nightclub features comfort and relaxation in a low-lit environment.
You can relax inside and out of the rain when it comes or hang out on the rooftop and overlook the downtown area.
The nightclub even offers bottle service that comes with a private cabana.
You can relax with your friends and make the most of your trip to Cleveland.
Once the music starts playing, you’ll want to be out on the roof and dancing with everyone else.
If you prefer to party with your friends, then you can also host your own event at the nightclub.
It’s a premier nightclub that caters to the local flair of its residents.
If you want to get a taste of Cleveland’s nightlife, then The Velvet Dog is a reason to visit.
4. The Agora
Another reason to visit Cleveland is the historic Agora theater.
There have been plenty of hot bands that have played on its stage.
There are constantly new events and shows playing at The Agora.
If you visit Cleveland, then there’s a good chance that something is going on there.
Like any other theater, you can expect a few restrictions.
You won’t be able to bring in your own food and beverages.
You’ll also have to go through a metal detector for safety purposes.
You can bring a purse with you, but it will need to pass through an inspection.
Once the doors open, you’re able to either find your seat or stand on the floor, depending on the show.
Most of the shows allow all members of the family to join.
However, there are also a few shows that are adult-oriented.
For example, some drag comedy shows sometimes hit the stage.
When it comes to the music, however, you’ll find both famous bands and up-and-coming artists playing on stage.
It’s a place where some bands get their start and where others return to pay homage to their roots.
If you want a taste of rock and roll history, then The Agora should be one of the places you visit in Cleveland.
5. Cleveland Metroparks
One problem you often have when visiting a city is that you lack a lot of greenery or a chance to go on some hikes.
That isn’t the case in Cleveland.
The city has several Metroparks that boast hundreds of miles of hiking.
The parks stretch over 24,000 acres.
There are several reservations in the area that the trails take you through.
You can see some historic sites like the Henry Church Rock carvings.
You can also catch sight of incredible vistas.
There are five nature centers scattered throughout the hiking trails.
At each one is a naturalist who can help you find a new trail or explain some of the nature that you’re seeing.
There are tons of trails to hike in Cleveland which makes it an ideal place to get your steps in.
If you want to enjoy both the city’s delights and get some fresh air, then the hiking trails of Cleveland are worth visiting.
6. Lake View Cemetery
You may not think that visiting a cemetery is at the top of your list when visiting a city, but in Cleveland, it should be.
That’s because this cemetery is far more than just a place to bury your loved ones.
For one, it has incredible walking trails that take you past daffodil-covered hills and tranquil scenery.
It’s also home to a few famous deceased individuals.
Some of the most famous include President Garfield and John D. Rockefeller.
If you’re visiting during Memorial Day Weekend or on any other military-focused holiday, you can find special events occurring in the cemetery.
Even if you want a moment to relax and collect your bearings, the cemetery has meditation meetings that you can attend in the morning.
The cemetery even has its own Blues festival.
Although it may be a place where families bury their loved ones, there’s always something lively occurring in the cemetery.
When visiting Cleveland, it’s well worth the visit.
7. Cleveland Botanical Garden
If you like to mix history with the outdoors, then you should also visit Cleveland for its Cleveland Botanical Garden.
The city built it in 1930 and it was the first of its kind then.
It’s also grown a lot since its first inception.
It stretches over 3,500 acres and features sights like woodlands and 200 acres of gardens.
The gardens are all carefully cultivated by experts.
Because Cleveland is no stranger to rain, you may think that your trip to the Botanical Garden is short.
That isn’t the case, however, since it actually has several indoor gardens featuring rare plants.
Besides seeing the beautiful scenery, you can also learn a great deal about the local flora and rare species of plants from the experts.
You’ll even find two of the most fragile ecosystems inside of their glasshouse.
The Madagascar desert and the flush Costa Rican forest are both recreated at the Botanical Garden in stunning detail.
If you don’t think you’ll be able to visit those countries in the near future, then you can at least get a taste of them in Cleveland.
If you enjoy nature or just want to see something new, then the Botanical Garden in Cleveland is worth visiting.
8. The Western Reserve Historical Society
Cleveland wanted to make culture an important part of its society.
That’s why it created the Western Reserve Historical Society in 1867.
It’s the oldest cultural institution in the city.
Originally, the Western Reserve focused on preserving historical artifacts of the Cleveland area.
It’s since grown to preserve historical artifacts of Northeast Ohio.
Several wealthy benefactors supported the Historical Society including John D. Rockefeller.
That allowed it to have access to the funds the society needed to find and preserve historical items.
The museum has moved a few times in its history.
As its collection grew larger and larger, the need for more space grew.
It eventually settled in the Hay-McKinney mansion which is equally part of its collection as well.
In 1957, it also acquired the Jonathan Hale homestead in Bath, Ohio.
The Society transformed it into a living history museum where visitors can see how life transpired in the 18th century.
In particular, there are agricultural, craft, and trade reenactments every day that people can either witness or take part in.
When visiting the museum, you’re able to see everything from old fashion to old tools.
There are often exhibits depicting certain moments in time with artifacts to view, too.
Perhaps one of the biggest draws to the Historic Society is its collection of antique cars.
You can find everything from old everyday cars to luxury sports cars.
Whether you’re a car lover or just a fan of history, seeing the collection that the Historic Society has is fascinating.
The Western Reserve Historical Society’s large collection is one of the many reasons to visit Cleveland.
9. The Great Lakes Brewing Company
If you’re a fan of beer, then you should also head to Cleveland for the Great Lakes Brewing Company.
This is a restaurant and pub that serves excellent food and its own branded beer.
It also offers tours and even classes if you’ve ever had an interest in brewing, yourself.
You can even order some items online and have them delivered to your hotel room.
For those who want a more private event, the pub is open to private events and special events.
Most of the time, the pub opens up at noon.
It can be an ideal place to stop for lunch or dinner while exploring the rest of the city.
Its industrial theme also makes it an enjoyable and interesting place to eat or drink.
Since it also functions as a brewery, you’re able to get a fresh brew on tap.
For any pub expert or beer fan, you should visit Cleveland for The Great Lakes Brewing Company.
10. Lake Erie
A final reason that you should visit Cleveland is its close proximity to Lake Erie.
While there are a few other lakes and bodies of water in the state, nothing quite compares to Lake Erie.
It’s a huge lake that has some history behind it if you want to visit the Erie Canal or where it links up with the Ohio River.
Otherwise, you can find plenty of beaches to relax in the sun.
There are boat rentals, beachside restaurants, and other attractions that can make your visit to the lake even more memorable.
Now and then, you can even spot a tug boat or some other historical vessel making its way along the water.
Some of those vessels are also available for tours.
Otherwise, you can enjoy the beach as it is.
You can swim, drive a boat around, do some water skiing, or just take in the sun.
Cleveland is a great place to visit because it has a little of everything to offer.
Is Cleveland Expensive To Visit?
While there are plenty of reasons to visit, you may wonder about what type of budget you should consider having when visiting Cleveland.
Unlike some of the other cities in Ohio, Cleveland does tend to be on the more expensive side.
Because it leans heavily on its cultural attractions, it tends to have higher price tags associated with it.
Some places, like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, have free events from time to time.
You can also find other museums and galleries that might offer free events or exhibits.
In most cases, however, you should expect to spend a good amount of money in Cleveland.
In terms of cost of living, it’s more expensive than Columbus, Ohio’s capital.
Since you’ll be paying for food, which is already going to be more expensive, and attending exhibits, then you can expect to have to pay a good amount.
When you travel to Cleveland, you should plan to bring extra money just in case.
Is Cleveland Safe To Visit?
Cleveland doesn’t have the greatest safety rating.
Its crime rate tends to be higher than the national average.
However, you can avoid most crimes by simply staying in safe areas.
You shouldn’t travel down alleys alone, for example.
If you stay on the open sidewalk in the downtown area, then you’re sure to be fine.
Most of its cultural areas are completely safe.
What Grocery Stores Are In Cleveland?
If you plan on shopping for groceries in Cleveland during your visit, then you’ll need to know what grocery stores to expect.
One of the most popular grocery stores is Meijer.
It’s a one-stop grocery store that will have practically everything you need for your trip.
You can also find ALDI and Dave’s Supermarket in Cleveland.
Between all those choices, you should be able to buy what you need while you’re on vacation.
Cleveland is a great place to visit due to its hiking trails, museums, and even its rock and roll history.
There are always events happening in the city for visitors and locals to enjoy.
As with any trip, it’s a good idea to bring extra money to pay for the higher cost of living expenses in Cleveland like grocery store expenses.
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