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Fun Things to Do in Cleveland Ohio This Weekend

Located on the shores of Lake Erie in northeast Ohio, Cleveland is a vibrant city known for its great food, abundant urban greenery and great museums. In this article we write the whole fun things to do in Cleveland On your trip. It is one of the largest cities in the Midwest and therefore offers all visitors a wide variety of attractions and sights.

If you’re traveling to Cleveland and aren’t sure how to spend your time in the city, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll tell you all about the best things to do in Cleveland, from the city’s fascinating natural monuments to its most bizarre museums.

The best thing about this city is that it has something to offer for everyone, whether you are interested in historical sights or amusement parks. Cleveland and the surrounding area are home to war memorials, outstanding art museums, and breathtaking waterfalls that you can easily explore during your trip.

Cleveland Quick Guide

  • Must Visit: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Public Square, The Arcade, West Side Market, Little Italy
  • Where To Stay: Courtyard by Marriott, Hilton Cleveland Downtown, The Ritz-Carlton Cleveland
  • Fun To Do: Cedar Point, Brewery Hopping Tour, Rocky River Reservation, Edgewater Park
  • Day Trips: Niagara Falls, Cedar Point, Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • Must-Try Foods (And Drinks): Corned beef sandwiches, Buckeyes, Craft beer

Best Things To Do In Cleveland, Ohio

best things to do in cleveland

Cleveland’s attractions are as diverse as its culinary scene. The city has everything to offer from iconic 19th century buildings to sandy beaches, so there is something for everyone. Whether your idea of a fun trip to Cleveland involves taking in the traditions and culture or exploring the best bars and restaurants, I have plenty of suggestions for places to visit.

1. Cleveland Museum

Things to do in Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Located on the west side of Wade Oval, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History is one of the city’s best and most popular museums. Come here if you are interested in the flora and fauna of Cleveland and northern Ohio and how it has changed over the years.

The museum collection is extensive and includes everything from fossils to geological finds. It is an excellent museum to visit if you want to learn more about the history of the area. It’s also a very fun museum to visit, even with children, who are often impressed by the huge dinosaur skeletons.

This museum also houses the Perkins Wildlife Center in the museum gardens, where you can watch wild animals moving around the expansive enclosure. The Cleveland Museum also has a planetarium and an observatory.

Useful Information

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is located in University Circle, about half an hour from downtown Cleveland. The museum is open every day except Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and admission costs $10.

2. Cleveland Public Square

Things to do in Cleveland Public Square

Cleveland Public Square is a spacious public square in the city center. It offers statues, a small green park and beautiful views of the surrounding skyscrapers. Many of the city’s best hotels are located near the square. If you’re planning to stay in a mid-range or upscale hotel in the city, chances are you’ll stay in this area.

The square hosts many outdoor events in the city. In winter there is an ice skating rink and in the warmer months there is a paddling pool to keep locals and visitors cool. There’s not much to do here on a normal workday, but if you happen to be in Cleveland when there’s an event going on at Public Square, it’s worth coming here to see how drastically everything changes.

3. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Things to do in Cleveland Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Rock & Roll is my favorite genre of music, so I wasn’t surprised that this was my favorite thing to do in Cleveland. Come here to see the world’s best exhibition on the history of rock and roll music with some iconic memorabilia. From Michael Jackson’s Thriller jacket to Kurt Cobain’s guitar, the Hall of Fame is a must-see for any music lover.

The collection is spread over six floors and it will take at least 2-3 hours to see everything. The museum often has temporary exhibitions and it is best to check the website for up-to-date information as these change every few months.

Plus, the Hall of Fame exhibit doesn’t just focus on rock stars. Prominent artists from other genres are also represented in the exhibition, so it’s worth a visit even if you’re not a big fan of rock & roll but love music in general. A gift shop is available and offers all kinds of memorabilia and souvenirs, from basics like mugs to signed guitars.

Useful Information

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is situated in North Coast Harbor. It’s open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM, and tickets are $35 for adults. 

4.  Mill Creek Falls

Things to do in Cleveland Mill Creek Falls

Mill Creek Falls is one of the city of Cleveland’s most beautiful natural landmarks. The dramatic waterfall is located in a large park about 10 km from downtown.

At 48 feet, this is the tallest waterfall in Cuyahoga County, so it’s definitely worth the trip. There are several viewing platforms in the park, each offering beautiful views of the falls.

It’s best to visit the waterfall shortly after the rain to see it in its full glory. If you’re in Cleveland during a particularly dry time, you might be better off skipping this attraction, as the sight of the waterfall won’t be nearly as dramatic as it should be.

Insider Tip: To get to Mill Creek Falls you have to drive through a somewhat shady area. Don’t go there alone and try to visit earlier in the day rather than late afternoon for the best experience.

Useful Information

Mill Creek Falls is accessible by car and local bus from Cleveland city center. The bus ride is approximately half an hour long.

5. Explore Cleveland Botanical Garden

Things to do in Cleveland Cleveland Botanical Garden

The Cleveland Botanical Garden is a huge green space next to Wade Oval. It’s close to the Cleveland Natural History Museum and Lake View Cemetary, and you can visit it on the same day as the other attractions in this part of the city.

The Botanical Garden features a greenhouse, outdoor gardens and an education center. My favorite part of the outdoor gardens, especially the Japanese garden area with the statues.

Additionally, the Cleveland Botanical Garden hosts numerous temporary exhibitions throughout the year, offering the opportunity to admire stunning and unique flowers. Although the space is open year-round, parts of the exhibition are seasonal and change every few months. So it’s worth coming back even if you’ve visited it before.

Useful Information

The botanical garden is open year-round every day except Monday from 10 AM to 5 PM. Tickets are $20 for adults.

6. Brewery Hopping Tour

Things to do in Cleveland Brewery Hopping Tour

Beer lovers rejoice as Cleveland is home to a surprising number of breweries. Well, I was surprised to learn that the city’s craft beer scene has evolved so much and was excited for the opportunity to try out the best and tastiest local craft beer.

Some of the city’s most popular breweries include Great Lakes Brewing Company, Collision Bend Brewing Company, Noble Beast Brewing Co. and Masthead Brewing Co. But there are dozens of breweries in the city, and if you’re new to Cleveland,… es The best way to do this is to simply arrange a brewery tour.

Leave reserving tables and arranging transportation to someone else and focus on the craft beers! You can sample different types of beer at each brewery you visit and, if you book a good tour, have lunch at one of them.

Useful Information

There are many breweries in Cleveland and they’re scattered around the entire city. Some of the most popular breweries are in downtown Cleveland, but they’re certainly not the only ones.

7. Visit a President’s Grave at Lake View Cemetery

Visiting cemeteries is not for everyone. Feel free to skip this visit if you generally dislike graves and tombstones. But Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland is the resting place of several famous people, the most notable of which is President James A. Garfield. Come here to pay your respects and see the landmark grave of the 20th President of the United States.

Many other notable Ohio natives are buried in this Cleveland cemetery, including Alan Freed. The legendary radio host coined the term rock ‘n’ roll and remains one of the most important figures in the history of the genre.

Lake View Cemetery is also known for landscaped walking paths, ponds, and several other landmark statues. A visit to the place doesn’t have to be morbid at all; Come here to pay your respects to the former US president, see the famous statues and gravesites of famous people, then head to Little Italy for lunch.

Useful Information

Lake View Cemetery is close to the University Circle and Little Italy, and it’s best to visit all three places on the same day. Access to the cemetery is free of charge, and it takes about 30-40 minutes to travel there from Downtown Cleveland.

8. Rocky River Reservation

Things to do in Cleveland Rocky River Reservation

The ROcky River Reservation is a natural park near Cleveland Hopkins Airport. It is one of the best and largest forest areas near Cleveland and is by far the best destination for travelers looking to stay in the city and spend a day in nature.

The park offers hiking trails, fishing spots, observation decks, and even some historical landmarks. It is best known for the Fort Hill Stairs, which take visitors up to Fort Hill for beautiful panoramic views. There are a total of 155 steps from the visitor center in the valley to the viewing platform on the cliff. The view of the Rocky River and parkland is beautiful, especially in the fall when many treetops turn red and orange.

In addition to the panoramic views, the Rocky River Reservation is also popular for hiking, fishing, picnicking, and even cross-country skiing in the winter. For safety reasons, swimming in the river is not permitted.

Useful Information

Rocky River Reservation is close to the Cleveland Hopkins Airport, approximately 20 minutes from the city center. Entrance to the nature park is free of charge.

9. Arcade is a historic

Things to do in Cleveland Arcade

The Arcade is a historic building in Cleveland that’s worth a visit even if you have no interest in shopping at all. It was the first shopping center to open in the United States in 1890 and the first building in Cleveland to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Over the years, the building fell into disrepair and it cost $60 million to restore the national historic landmark to its former glory. The renovation was carried out by Hyatt in 2001 and the building was converted into the city’s first Hyatt Regency hotel.

The lower floors still contain retail stores and a food court, but the upper floors are reserved for the hotel. The Arcade is a popular wedding destination in Cleveland, and it should be, as it is one of the city’s oldest buildings.

Useful Information

The arcade is located near Cleveland Public Square in the city center. Entry to the building is free and possible daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

10. West Side Market

Things to do in Cleveland West Side Market

The West Side Market is where Cleveland locals pick up fresh produce and meat. The indoor market is one of the best places for grocery shopping in Cleveland and a must-see on any Cleveland food tour.

And it’s not just fresh food that’s sold here. The West Side Market Café features a full-service restaurant where you can enjoy excellent service and delicious food. There are also many bakeries in the market that sell pastries and desserts.

When you’re done exploring the local market, head out of Market Square Park. It offers a beautiful view of the market building and its murals, as well as plenty of benches where you can take a quick break before continuing your exploration of Cleveland.

Useful Information

West Side Market is in the Ohio City neighborhood, just 15 minutes away from Downtown Cleveland by public transport. It’s usually open from 8 AM to 5 PM and entrance is free of charge.

11. Christmas Story House

If you have seen the film “A Christmas Story” you will recognize the house in the pictures. It is the house that served as Ralphie Parker’s home in the film and has been converted into a museum dedicated to the film. The house has been renovated to look exactly like the movie inside and out, and visiting feels like you’re in the movie.

The yellow house is one of four buildings that make up the museum. Visit each house to see various props used in the film and relive some childhood memories.

If you haven’t seen the film yet, I hope you have enough time to see at least one film in the series before your trip to Cleveland. Aside from the dated 80s furniture, I don’t think there’s much else to admire in the museum for those unfamiliar with the legendary film.

Useful Information

A Christmas Story House is in Tremont, approximately half an hour from downtown Cleveland by public transport. The museum is open from 10 AM to 5 PM daily and tickets are $18.

12. North Chagrin Reservation

Things to do in Cleveland Squires Castle North Chagrin Reservation

North Chagrin Reservation is a sprawling green space about a half hour from downtown Cleveland. It’s a great place to visit if you want to spend a few hours in nature, exploring hiking trails and marveling at natural monuments.

The reserve is best known for Squire’s Castle, a 19th century chateau house. Although the castle is mostly empty, it is still interesting to tour the building and enjoy the picturesque views from its many windows.

In addition to the historic building, the reserve also has waterfalls, hiking trails, picnic areas and a nature reserve. It’s a peaceful place where you can feel at one with nature and is great for travelers looking to escape the city. North Chagrin Reservation has many facilities for children, making it popular with families in Cleveland.

Useful Information

North Chagrin Reservation is approximately 30 minutes from the city center of Cleveland by car. Public transport is not available to the nature park, so Uber, Lyft, and taxis are the only ways to get there without a personal vehicle.

13. Contemporary Art Cleveland

If you are an art lover interested in modern art and all the quirky means of expression, you will have an excellent time at this museum. But if you’re not interested in bizarre art installations, I think you can skip this museum and visit one of the classic art museums instead.

This museum showcases various modern and contemporary works by established and emerging artists. There are also interesting art installations on the lawn in front of the building, so there is a lot to discover.

Useful Information

The Museum of Contemporary Art is in the University Circle, 30 minutes from the city center by bus. Admission to the museum is free.

14. Walking Tour of Little Italy

Little Italy is a small neighborhood in Cleveland between Lake View Cemetary and University Circle. It’s on the way if you’re heading to either of the other two areas and is the best place for lunch in this part of Cleveland.

Here you’ll find the best Italian restaurants in the city, so plenty of pizza and pasta. There is even the Italian American Museum of Cleveland, which explores the history of Italian immigrants in Cleveland and how they helped make the city the city it is today. It is a very small museum and viewing the exhibition should take 20 to 30 minutes.

In addition to great restaurants, Little Italy is also known for its fantastic bars serving delicious Italian wine and local art galleries. The neighborhood is lively and one of the best parts of Cleveland, at least for foodie tours!

Useful Information

Little Italy is just 20 minutes from downtown Cleveland by the Red Line train.

15. Unwind at Edgewater Park

Things to do in Cleveland Edgewater Park

Come to Edgewater Park if you want to escape the busy streets of downtown Cleveland but don’t necessarily want to go into the woods. Located just 10 minutes’ drive from central Cleveland, the public park features beaches, picnic areas, a fishing pier and a yacht club.

This is the only beach in Cleveland that is safe for swimming, so it’s by far the best place if you want to have fun on Lake Erie. Kayaking is also popular here and the westernmost part of the beach is even dog-friendly.

The Cleveland sign is also located in this park. It’s a popular destination for first-time visitors to Cleveland and a great place for photography. In the background you can see the skyline of downtown Cleveland, with beautiful Lake Erie between you and the skyscrapers.

Useful Information

Edgewater Park is approximately half an hour from central Cleveland by local bus.

16. Culinary Tour of Cleveland

Things to do in Cleveland Culinary Corned Beef Sandwich

I find it interesting that there are very few dishes that Cleveland is known for. Corned beef sandwiches are a dish the city is famous for, but nothing else comes to mind as typical of the city. But there is a reason for that.

Cleveland may not have its own version of a deep dish pizza or a bagel, but that’s the beauty of this city. The culinary scene is so incredibly diverse that you can enjoy practically every dish in the world here. From Polish pierogi to Turkish baklava, you can try many different cuisines and dishes in Cleveland on the same day.

French pastries for breakfast, Italian pastries for lunch and Chinese pastries for dinner sounds like a dream to me. When you book a food tour of Cleveland, you’ll visit the city’s best restaurants and learn how the diversity of the population has influenced the culinary scene.

Useful Information

Downtown Cleveland, Ohio City, and Little Italy are home to most of the city’s best restaurants.

17. Scenic Views at The Holden Arboretum

The Holden Arboretum is one of the largest botanical gardens in the United States and a great place to visit if you enjoy exploring nature. It covers 3,600 acres with hiking trails and overlooks that offer scenic views of endless treetops. The landscape in the arboretum is particularly beautiful in autumn, when many treetops turn red and orange.

Approximately 600 acres of Holden Arboretum are reserved for gardens and plant collections. You’ll see all sorts of beautiful plants here, many of which were imported from other countries and wouldn’t otherwise exist in the United States.

The Murch Canopy Walk is a popular trail in the Arboretum. Traverse an elevated trail 65 feet above the forest floor. The Kalberer Emergent Tower is known for its panoramic views that extend to Lake Erie.

Useful Information

The Holden Arboretum is approximately a 40-minute drive from Cleveland. The admission fee is $11.

18. See Something Bizzare at Buckland Museum of Witchcraft & Magick

The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft & Magick is located 6 miles outside of the city center, near the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Come here to see Raymon Buckland’s collection of bizarre objects, which he began collecting in 1966.

When the museum was founded, the collection was on display in Buckland’s basement and could only be viewed by appointment. As the collection grew, the museum was moved several times, at one point it was completely dismantled and all items were put into storage. But eventually it reopened in Cleveland and has since become one of the city’s most popular.

You don’t have to believe in witchcraft to enjoy this museum, you just have to have a penchant for the bizarre. The objects on display are strange and often morbid – for me they were fascinating.

Useful Information

The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft & Magick observes seasonal opening hours, usually from 12 PM to 5 PM. Tickets are $8.

19. Have a Fun Day At Cedar Point

If you really want to have fun on Lake Erie, head to Cedar Point. You’ll need a car, but the drive from Cleveland to North America’s second-oldest amusement park takes just an hour. Come here to ride roller coasters, lounge on the beach, and try parasailing.

Cedar Point is a very popular destination for fun vacations in Ohio. There is even a resort on the grounds of the amusement park, as well as many mobile homes and a large campsite. It is particularly popular with families due to the many rides that are particularly popular with children.

There are many different roller coasters and rides here, and you could spend the entire time just wandering around the park and exploring all the ways to have fun. The park also often hosts live entertainment, especially during the busiest times of the year.

Insider Tip: Food and drinks in Cedar Point are very expensive. Get the meal pass if you’re going to be in the park all day and eat at least two meals – it’s worth it.

Useful Information

Cedar Point is approximately 60 miles west of Cleveland. A day ticket for the amusement park is $50. The amusement park is closed in the winter.

20. Drive to Niagara Falls

Things to do in Cleveland Ohio Road Trip to Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls isn’t the easiest day trip you can take from Cleveland, but it’s certainly the most rewarding. Public transport is available but the journey takes forever (6-7 hours by bus). So only consider this day trip from Cleveland if you have access to a car and are willing to drive about three hours one way.

It will be worth it once you stand there and see the dramatic waterfalls. Horseshoe Falls is the highest of the three falls and is located on the Canada-US border. American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are smaller but are entirely on the US side. With more than 12 million visitors each year, this is one of North America’s most popular natural landmarks.

Useful Information

Niagara Falls State Park is approximately three and a half hours from Cleveland by car. Admission to the park is free.

21. See The Exhibit at the International Women’s Air & Space Museum

The International Women’s Air & Space Museum is located at Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport, near the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Submarine Memorial. It features an exhibit detailing the history of women in the space and aviation industry, and I found it fascinating.

I think the museum is a must-see for any ladies in Cleveland who want to see something inspiring. There’s an entire section of the museum dedicated to women who have been in space, and there’s even a Lego figure of Sally Ride that I absolutely loved. Other items on display in the museum include aircraft and flight simulators.

Useful Information

International Women’s Air & Space Museum is open daily from 8 AM to 8 PM. Admission to the museum is free.

22. Visit the USS COD Submarine Memorial

The USS COD Submarine Memorial is located in North Coast Harbor. You can visit it on the same day as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Air & Space Museum as the two landmarks are very close to each other.

The submarine dates from World War II and is a tribute to all submariners who died in the war. Visitors can enter the submarine, tour all areas and view some other statues in the harbor.

Useful Information

The Submarine Memorial is open for visits from May to September. The admission fee is $14.

23. Day Trip To Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Things to do in Cleveland Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park spans an area of 33,000 acres. It’s popular for hiking, cycling, waterfalls, and picturesque nature. In the winter, locals come to the national park for skiing and snowboarding.

Cycle alongside the winding river to enjoy the views of the park’s landscapes. And if you’re not really in the mood for hiking, you can still tour the park on a train that follows the Towpath Trail. The national park also offers several fishing spots and horseback riding.

Useful Information

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a 30-minute drive from Cleveland. Public transport is available but takes at least 2 hours.

Where To Stay In Cleveland

Things to do in Cleveland Where To Stay In Cleveland

It’s best to be in the heart of the action in Cleveland, and it doesn’t get more central than downtown. Ohio City is also close to the center and has good connections to public transport. Personally, I would probably choose to stay in Little Italy next time because I just can’t resist the promise of homemade pasta for dinner. Here are some of the best hotels in Cleveland to suit every budget.

  • Courtyard by Marriott is a three-star hotel that feels like a four-star hotel in Cleveland’s University Circle. Stay here to be close to the city’s best museums and Italian restaurants.
  • The Hilton Cleveland Downtown is a four-star hotel with a great city center location and an affordable nightly rate.
  • The Ritz-Carlton Cleveland is the top option for travelers seeking luxurious hotel stays.

Tips And Information For Visiting Cleveland

Things to do in Cleveland Tips And Information

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Cleveland is either spring or fall. In summer the city becomes unbearably hot and humid, while winters are harsh and cold. Therefore, spring and autumn are the best seasons for mild weather and a pleasant stay.

However, I also have to point out that the best time to visit Cleveland depends on what you want to do. If you’re traveling to the city just for the museums and attractions, this is a good choice any time of year. Spring and fall are the best times to explore Ohio’s wonderful outdoors, and summer is a great time for fun on Lake Erie.

Getting There

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is the closest airport to the city. Well, it is the nearest international airport; There is actually a smaller regional airport at the port in downtown Cleveland, but it is closed to commercial flights.

You have several options for traveling from the airport to downtown Cleveland. The RTA train is the cheapest option with $2.5 tickets. The train will take you to Tower City Center station in less than half an hour.

Car journeys are faster and more expensive. Uber, Lyft, taxi and shuttle services are available at Cleveland Airport. The standard cost of Uber and Lyft rides is $30 to $40 depending on traffic and time of day, while taxis and airport transfers are twice as expensive. Typically, the drive from the airport to downtown Cleveland takes about 15 minutes, provided traffic isn’t too heavy.

Getting Around

Most of downtown is walkable and much of central Cleveland can be explored on foot. This is primarily the area from Euclid Avenue to Lake Erie, where you’ll find many of the city’s best hotels, bars and restaurants.

Many attractions and sights are located outside of central Cleveland and you will need to get there either by car or by public transportation. Buses and trains can help you get around Cleveland. They are cheap, but significantly slower than driving. However, sometimes traffic jams can be so bad that the train is the fastest way to get around.

For day trips to nearby nature parks and destinations further out of the city, a rental car is the best option. It’s cheaper to simply rent a car and pay for parking than to Uber everywhere, not to mention how much more convenient it is to have access to a personal vehicle in a new city.

How Much Time Do You Need

You will need at least two days in Cleveland. Ideally, you’ll stay in the city for three days to see the main attractions, but if you sleep very little and walk very fast, this can be done in two days. Three days gives you plenty of time to see the best of Cleveland and take a day trip to popular nearby destinations.

Cleveland has many excellent museums that take up a lot of time. Even if you only want to visit one or two, they will take almost half a day. A lot of time is also spent in transit, whether walking from one downtown landmark to the next or taking the local bus to one of the nature parks outside the city center.

About author

Articles

Hayes, a travel writer, crafts tales that transport readers across the globe. His stories are more than descriptions; they’re experiences, filled with rich details and personal insights. With Hayes, every destination becomes an adventure. Join him, and see the world through his words, one journey at a time.
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