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More than nine million people a year visit this plucky city perched along the Lake Erie shoreline in northeastern Ohio. What's the draw? Professional sports, cutting-edge medical care, and world-class cultural institutions are part of the appeal. Perhaps less well known to outsiders are the array of charming neighborhoods -- Coventry Village, Little Italy, Tremont, and Shaker Heights -- filled with boutiques, galleries, and coffee shops. This underrated city's abundance of locally owned restaurants is also helping Cleveland burnish its reputation as the "epicenter of the Midwest food scene," in the words of the Chicago Tribune.
Cleveland has a rich history. George Washington once said that a great city would stand in the blessed spot where the Cuyahoga River met Lake Erie. Industrial success infused the city with money early on, as steel and oil barons built a monumental downtown and a cultural legacy that includes the world-renowned Cleveland Museum of Art, Case Western Reserve University, and the Cleveland Orchestra. These institutions provided a solid foundation for postindustrial urban development, which took a giant step forward in 1994 with the opening of Jacobs (now Progressive) Field, the first of the nation's new wave of retro-modern Major League ballparks. A year later came I. M. Pei's splendid Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which mirrors Pei's own Louvre expansion with its playful pyramid-shaped design.
Although Cleveland's industrial foundation is very much in evidence, downtown's steel warehouses and tool-and-die factories now house clubs and restaurants, and its many bridges lead to gentrified neighborhoods. The city still has some rough edges and bleak areas of poverty, but these days is striving for global recognition and focusing on spreading the word to attract both American and international visitors.
American Airlines flights to Cleveland make it easy to visit here and see why this city rocks. There are so many things to do in Cleveland, from visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to exploring a thriving arts and cultural scene, that will leave you wanting an encore.
One of the most popular activities in Cleveland is paying a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Its permanent collection includes artifacts from the world's most iconic artists and bands, along with an ongoing rotation of temporary exhibits that are equally fascinating. Permanent exhibits include one devoted to The Beatles that features almost 70 items, including Paul McCartney's handwritten arrangement for "Birthday" and John Lennon's Gibson J-160E acoustic guitar. Other exhibits cover every genre of rock, and the Treasures from the Vault exhibit features artifacts from a who's-who list of musical artists. See items from Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, R.E.M., Led Zeppelin, James Taylor, The Bee Gees, Sting, ZZ Top and so many more.
After you've caught up on rock history, head to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to continue your walk on the wild side. It's located about five minutes from downtown and it's one of our favorite (and most underrated) things to do in Cleveland. It's home to thousands of exotic animals, covering 600 species from six continents! Don't miss the African Elephant Crossing or The RainForest, which features thousands of plants and hundreds of animals from the jungles of Asia, Africa and the Americas -- complete with a 25-foot waterfall. You'll also love the Australian Adventure, eight acres of kangaroos, wallabies and more, and the Primate, Cat and Aquatics Building, where you can see one of the largest assemblies of primates in North America. Best of all, you can pack a lunch, making spending a day here both fun and affordable.
We also recommend that you add experiencing the city's artistic and cultural side to your list of activities in Cleveland. PlayhouseSquare is one of the nation's largest performing arts complexes, where you can hear the Cleveland Orchestra or watch a Broadway play on tour. Additionally, University Circle is a concentrated square mile of more arts and culture. It contains the Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland Institute of Music and more. The city also boasts several first-class art galleries.
Once you've visited, you'll know why Cleveland rocks. Browse our flights and make plans to fly to Cleveland today!
|Greek Heritage Festival||25 - 27 May 2013 (annual)||Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church|
|Great American Rib Off||May 2013 (annual)||Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica|
|Parade the Circle||Jun 2013 (annual)||University Circle|
|North Coast Harbor Boating and Fishing Fest||11 - 12 Jun 2013 (annual)||Voinovich Bicentennial Park|
|Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival||Jun 2013 (annual)||Veteran's Memorial Park|
|Taste of Tremont||Jul 2013 (annual)||Professor Street|
|Great Lakes Burning River Fest||Jul 2013 (annual)||Coast Guard Station|
|Cleveland's Irish Cultural Festival||Jul 2013 (annual)||Berea Fairgrounds|
|Cleveland Wine Festival||Jul 2013 (annual)||Voinovich Bicentennial Park|
|Vintage Ohio Wine Festival||Aug 2013 (annual)||Lake Metroparks Farmpark|
|Feast of the Assumption||Aug 2013 (annual)||Little Italy|
|Cleveland National Air Show||Sep 2013 (annual)||Burke Lakefront Airport|
|Sparx City Hop||Sep 2013 (annual)||Cleveland|
|Ingenuity Fest||Sep 2013 (annual)||Cleveland|
|Chalk Festival||Sep 2013 (annual)||Cleveland Museum of Art|
|Village Peddler Festival||Sep 2013 (annual)||Lake Metroparks Farmpark|
|Cleveland Indians - Major League Baseball||8 Apr - 25 Sep 2013 (annual)||Progressive Field|
|NFL: Cleveland Browns||Sep - Dec 2013 (annual)||Cleveland Browns Stadium|
|Martin Luther King Day in Cleveland||Jan 2014 (annual)||Cleveland|
|Cleveland Home & Garden Show||Feb 2014 (annual)||IX Center|
|The Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall||Sep 2013 - Mar 2014 (annual)||Severance Hall|
|Thyagaraja Aradhana||Mar - Apr 2014 (annual)||Waetjen Auditorium|
|Cleveland International Film Festival||Apr 2014 (annual)||Tower City Cinemas|
|NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers||Oct 2013 - Apr 2014 (annual)||Quicken Loans Arena|
|Tri-C JazzFest||Apr 2014 (annual)||Cleveland|
|Cleveland Indians - Major League Baseball||Apr - Sep 2014 (annual)||Progressive Field|
|Blue Point Grille||Seafood||Warehouse District||4||1|
|CROP Bistro and Bar||American||Around Town||3||1|
|Sans Souci||French||Tower City Center||3||1|
|Sarava||South American||Around Town||3||1|
|Table 45||Asian/Pac Rim||Around Town||3||1|
|XO Prime Steaks||American||Warehouse District||3||1|
|Cedar Point Amusement Park||Theme Park||3|
|Cleveland Botanical Garden||Park/Garden||1|
|Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and RainForest||Zoo/Aquarium||1|
|Cleveland Museum of Art||Museum||1|
|Cleveland Museum of Natural History||Museum||1|
|Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom||Theme Park||1|
|Great Lakes Science Center||Museum||1|
|Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum||Museum||2|
|WWII Submarine USS Cod||Historic Site||1|
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