24 Best Places and Things To Do in Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio, known as “The Rock and Roll Capital of the World” and “The Land,” is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage, a thriving arts scene, and a passion for sports. Whether you’re a foodie, history buff, music lover, or outdoor enthusiast, Cleveland has something to offer. Here are some of the best places and things to do in Cleveland:

1. Cleveland Museum of Art

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Situated in the heart of Cleveland’s University Circle, the Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for its impressive collection of over 61,000 artworks spanning 6,000 years. From ancient Egyptian artifacts to modern masterpieces, the museum offers a diverse and enriching cultural experience.

2. Cleveland Metroparks

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Spanning over 23,000 acres, the Cleveland Metroparks offer a plethora of outdoor activities. Hike or bike along scenic trails, enjoy a picnic by the water, or go bird-watching in the extensive park system. The Metroparks also include the stunning Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, which is home to a wide range of animals.

3. Great Lakes Science Center

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Situated on the shores of Lake Erie, the Great Lakes Science Center is a fantastic destination for families. Engage in hands-on exhibits, explore the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, and marvel at the OMNIMAX Theater, which offers larger-than-life educational films.

4. Cleveland Botanical Garden

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Escape the city’s hustle and bustle at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. With diverse gardens, a glasshouse filled with exotic plants, and rotating art exhibits, this serene oasis offers a tranquil respite from urban life.

5. Cleveland Museum of Natural History

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Delve into the wonders of the natural world at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. From dinosaur exhibits to a planetarium, the museum provides educational and entertaining experiences for visitors of all ages.

6. The Cleveland Cultural Gardens

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Spanning over one and a half miles along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, the Cleveland Cultural Gardens represent various ethnic communities through beautifully landscaped gardens and statues. Each garden reflects the cultural heritage and contributions of different nationalities, creating a unique and picturesque experience.

7. The Cleveland Aqaurium

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Situated on the west bank of the Flats, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium showcases a diverse array of aquatic life from around the world. Explore exhibits featuring sharks, stingrays, tropical fish, and even walk through a transparent underwater tunnel for an immersive underwater adventure.

8. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

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The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a beloved attraction in Cleveland, Ohio, that offers a unique and immersive experience for visitors of all ages. Spanning over 180 acres, the zoo is home to a diverse array of animals from around the world and provides educational opportunities, conservation initiatives, and engaging exhibits.

9. Edgewater Park

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The park features a sandy beach where visitors can relax, swim, and soak up the sun during the summer months. The beach is staffed with lifeguards for added safety, making it a great spot for families and beachgoers of all ages.

10. Wade Memorial Chapel

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The Wade Chapel is a masterpiece of design and craftsmanship. Built in the Gothic Revival style, the chapel features intricate stone carvings, stained glass windows, and elaborate decorative details throughout. Tiffany’s innovative use of materials and colors creates a magical ambiance within the chapel.

11. Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail

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The trail follows the path of the Ohio and Erie Canal, which played a vital role in the transportation of goods and people during the 19th century. Along the trail, you can find remnants of the canal system, including lock structures, aqueducts, and historic towns that flourished during the canal era.

12. Rockefeller Park & Greenhouse

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The Rockefeller Park Greenhouse is a botanical haven that showcases a diverse collection of plant species from around the world. Inside the greenhouse, visitors can explore different rooms and themed displays, including tropical plants, succulents, ferns, and seasonal flower shows. The greenhouse is a serene and educational environment that allows visitors to appreciate the beauty and diversity of plant life.

13. International Women’s Air & Space Museum

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The museum features a variety of exhibits that highlight the achievements and stories of women in aviation and aerospace. The exhibits showcase artifacts, photographs, documents, and memorabilia that represent the accomplishments of female pilots, astronauts, engineers, and other influential women in these fields. Visitors can learn about the challenges these women faced and the impact they made on the industry.

14. Baseball Heritage Museum

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The museum pays special attention to the history of baseball in Cleveland, including the Cleveland Indians and other local teams. Visitors can explore the evolution of the sport in the city, learn about iconic players, relive memorable moments, and delve into the connection between baseball and the local community.

15. Italian Cultural Garden

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The Italian Cultural Garden is designed in the style of an Italian Renaissance garden, featuring elements that evoke the beauty and charm of Italy. The garden incorporates terraced pathways, formal flower beds, statues, fountains, and pergolas, creating a serene and elegant atmosphere reminiscent of Italian gardens.

16. Hope Memorial Bridge

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The Hope Memorial Bridge was designed by renowned architect Frank Walker and completed in 1932. It showcases an impressive Art Deco style, characterized by its geometric patterns, intricate detailing, and elegant ornamentation. The bridge’s design reflects the grandeur and sophistication of the era, making it a visually striking structure.

17. Nature Center at Shaker Lakes

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The Nature Center is dedicated to providing educational programs and experiences that promote environmental stewardship and appreciation for the natural world. They offer a variety of educational programs for all ages, including guided nature walks, workshops, summer camps, and school field trips. Visitors can learn about the local flora and fauna, ecological processes, and sustainable practices.

18. Dunham Tavern Museum

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Tavern Museum is a museum dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of early Cleveland and the Western Reserve region of Ohio. The museum showcases the tavern building, which is one of the oldest buildings still standing in Cleveland. It offers visitors a glimpse into the lifestyle, architecture, and daily life of the early settlers in the area.

19. Voinovich Bicentennial Park

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Voinovich Park features expansive green spaces, walking paths, and a promenade along the lakefront. The park is a popular spot for locals and visitors to enjoy outdoor activities such as picnicking, walking, jogging, and cycling. It offers a serene environment where people can relax, unwind, and take in the scenic beauty of Lake Erie.

20. Cleveland Police Historical Society, Inc. & Museum

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located in the Justice Center Complex in downtown Cleveland and features exhibits that chronicle the history of the police department from its early beginnings to the present day. It houses a collection of artifacts, photographs, documents, and memorabilia that highlight the evolution of law enforcement in Cleveland.

21. Wendy Park

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Wendy Park is its beach area along Lake Erie. The sandy beach is a great spot for sunbathing, picnicking, and enjoying the waterfront. Swimming is permitted in designated areas, and the park provides a refreshing escape during the summer months.

22. Fountain of Eternal Life

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the Fountain of Eternal Life was dedicated on May 30, 1964. The central feature of the memorial is a 46-foot-tall bronze statue depicting a figure reaching upward, symbolizing the eternal spirit of mankind. The statue is surrounded by a large reflecting pool and an amphitheater-style plaza.

23. Willard Park

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Willard Park is the Free Stamp sculpture. Originally commissioned for a corporate plaza, the oversized sculpture of a rubber stamp was relocated to the park in 1991 and has become an iconic symbol of the city. The Free Stamp represents the theme of freedom of expression and was created by artist Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

24. Tony Brush Park

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Tony Brush Park is located at the intersection of Random and Mayfield Roads. The park is named for champion boxer and Little Italy resident, Anthony Brescia (AKA Tony Brush). Tony Brush was one of the first presidents of the Mayfield-Murray Hill District Council and during his administration envisioned the creation of a baseball field and playground at this site. His dream became a reality in 1972 with the dedication of Random Road Park. In 1993 the park was rededicated as Tony Brush Park in his memory.

These are just a few more highlights of the best places and things to do in Cleveland, Ohio. The city is continually evolving and offers an array of attractions, cultural events, and hidden gems waiting to be discovered.