As most of you know, I was born and raised in Akron, OH. It's forty minutes south of Cleveland, the "bigger city". And other than the fact that it's LeBron James's hometown, Akron isn't super well known out of state. Everyone knows Cleveland though, which is why most of us Akron natives just say were from Cleveland.
I feel as if Cleveland is underrated, especially from people out of state. Obviously they don't get how awesome it really is because they haven't come to experience it themselves! Cleveland is a unique, friendly, and actually affordable! "The Land" is full of the most supportive and faithful sports fans in the world (even though the Browns fail us every damn year), the food is stupendous, and it's honestly a great place to grow up. So reconsider your opinion and come visit our city for yourself! We'll prove you wrong!
I figured since spring break is starting up for most people, it would be a great idea to share some of my favorite spots in the city for anyone who may be traveling here for vacation (because it's affordable!) Just trust me, it's all about finding the hidden treasures that make my home so unique and rememberable :)
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- If you live out of state, you might have not known that the very famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was located right here in Ohio. That's right, Cleveland is the home of rock and roll and we're sure proud of that! You can find numerous of legendary musicians (Michael Jackson, Prince, The Beatles, and Elvis Presley to name a few) costume and music prop collections in this museum. MJ's iconic glitter glove is on display in a spinning container, and I still get chills every time I see it!
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Ohio is known for having great hiking trails, and Cleveland just happens to be home to the ONLY national park in the entire state. It's ranked as a popular hiking trail with the most waterfalls. I love hiking there in the summer and fall. My recommended trails to hike on are the Ledges Overlook and Brandywine Falls. I also heard recently that the bald eagles are now back to habitat for the next few months of winter, so you should keep an eye out for them if you go soon!
- Cleveland Art Museum
- My high school best friend Julia and I went to one of the annual summer solstice celebrations a few years ago and it was one of the coolest experiences ever. And I'm so stoked for this summer because the widely popular "Infinity Mirrors" by Yayoi Kusama is going to be on exhibit from July to September. I can't wait to take a cool selfie with all the reflecting lights!
- Stan Hywett Hall & Gardens
- This is one of the largest houses in the USA and has been around for over a hundred years now. Now is a famous attraction where you can tour every room in the house and explore all the outdoor gardens. It's especially beautiful and worth seeing during the holiday season. They serve amazing gingerbread cookies!
- Public Square
- Did you know The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Solider both filmed a lot of big scenes in this location and other spots in Downtown Cleveland?! That's pretty damn cool, S/O to Marvel Studios for making Cleveland a Hollywood hotspot!
- Little Italy
- A little slice of heaven just east of University Circle. It's one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city, full of cute restaurants and shops that any Italian heart can dream of. Presti's Bakery has delicious cookies and gelato!
- The Flats
- The Flats is a favorite spot for many Cleveland locals. The nightlife is edgy yet super fun. You can hit up some funky bars and dance bars as well as go bowling and see comedy or drag shows!
- Blossom Music Center
- If you're a country music lover like me, this is the best place to be for a summer outdoor concert! I've attended some of the best concerts of my life at Blossom, including Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, and Zac Brown Band. It's also home to the Cleveland Orchestra and Carnival of Horrors, the #1 haunted house in the Midwest, in September-October. You may be into that, but I'm most certainly not ...
- Playhouse Square
- No joke, Playhouse Square is the largest performing arts center in the USA outside of New York City! I've seen a lot of huge musical productions such as Wicked, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, The Sound of Music, Rodgers and Hamerstein's Cinderella, and a few others. It's an amazing experience if you're a lover of theatre!
- Dusty Armadillo
- If you go to school at Kent State, University of Akron, Malone University, University of Mount Union or anywhere in the Cleveland area, you probably have heard of the famous Dusty Armadillo. It's the largest country line dancing club in Ohio and a very popular venue among lots of college kids like myself. If you're a country lover, you'll have the time of your life. Even if you don't like country music, you'll still have a great time dancing and drinking (not too much!) with your friends.
- West Side Market
- Oh my word, where do I even begin? If you come to visit Cleveland, you have to go to West Side Market. Not only is it the oldest (and biggest) indoor/outdoor market in Cleveland, but it holds 100 vendors. All the delicious foods that you can imagine are sold at West Side Market. FYI, the nutella strawberry and banana crepes are amazing!
- Crocker Park
- This outdoor shopping center is located Westlake (20 minutes west from Cleveland), and I don't go too often since I live far from there. But out of all shopping centers, Crocker Park has to be my ultimate favorite. It also has beautiful apartment complexes! Maybe I'll move there after I graduate if I make enough money, fingers crossed!
- Beachwood Place
- I've been going to Beachwood since I was a kid, and I still have memories from shopping in Limited Too and the kids' section at Nordstrom! Now I shop in the adults' sections at Nordstrom and other adult retail stores of course.
- Legacy Village
- It's just right across from Beachwood Place and a great place to walk around and shop. It's kind of like a smaller version of Easton Town Center, but without a movie theater. Make sure you stop by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and help yourself to some chocolate covered strawberries or caramel M&M apples!
- Szalay's Farm & Market
- Only like the sweetest corn farm in all of Northeast Ohio! It's only open from summer to fall seasons, but those are the best times of the year to pay a visit. They sell a variety of fresh plant food and homemade goodies such as corn, pumpkins, crisp apples, and even vanilla & chocolate soft serve ice cream topped with fruits!
- Aurora Farms Premium Outlets
- It's described as "the world's finest outlet shopping", located only ten minutes away from where Geauga Lake Amusement Park and SeaWorld Ohio once stood (RIP). It's an adorable place to shop and walk around during the spring and summertime. Plus, big name fashion brands such as Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein are there!
- Cleveland Dining
- Barrio Tacos
- Oh my word, I don't even know where to begin. Barrio Tacos is amazing. There's four to five locations all around the Cleveland area, so you'll easily find one when you visit. Make sure you get guacamole and queso for your chips and some strawberry margaritas if you're 21 or older!
- Oh my word again, this is another huge favorite of mine and basically every Cleveland native. If you live in Northeast Ohio and don't like Swenson's, there must be something wrong with you. The best cheeseburgers and milkshakes in the world. It's also one of LeBron James's favorite food chains!
- Giuseppe's Italian Ristorante
- My family and I have been coming to this cute little family-owned restaurant for years. We absolutely love it. It's also where my sister's fiancé proposed to her!
- The Lockview
- Located in Downtown Akron (40 minutes south from Cleveland) right across from Lock 3. Sometimes my friends and I get a bite to eat here before we go to our weekly Delight Ministries meetings at the University of Akron. They're very well known for their grilled cheese, but you really can't go wrong with what you order. I recommend the grilled cheese bacon sandwich if you're a bacon lover. Plus, you can get Goldfish crackers on the side!
- 3 Palms Pizzeria
- Not only is it located in cute Downtown Hudson, they make amazing margarita pizzas and chocolate gelato. It feels like I'm walking into Italy every time I enter!
- Johnny's Bar on Fulton
- It's located in a sketchy area in Lakewood, but it's so worth it if you love mozzarella cheese balls with marinara.
- On Tap Grille & Bar
- There's a few different locations, I suggest going to the one in Medina because it's bigger and more energetic at dinnertime. I feel like it's a typical Ohio restaurant: traditional American food with craft beer and 80s rock music. I'm a sucker for their buffalo chicken wraps, but nothing beats the fresh buttered popcorn you can help yourself to right when you walk in!
- Blue Door Cafe & Bakery
- My CHAARG friends and I are obsessed with this breakfast diner. It's an original location and one of the best places for brunch in the Akron area. Their chocolate & hazelnut crepes are amazing, and so is their hot coca which my sister loves!
- Restore Cold Pressed
- Restore opened only a few years ago and almost everyone I know, including myself, can't stop raving about it (except for my dad because it's "too expensive"). Acai bowls are one of my favorite healthy dishes, and this place makes the best in the world. Their spinach peanut butter smoothies are also really good.
- Mitchell's Ice Cream
- I couldn't leave Mitchell's out, which is why I saved it best for life! I went for the first time two years ago and now it's my favorite ice cream place in the world. There's so many different flavors to choose from, but I always get cookie dough because it tastes amazing!
- Tree City Coffee & Pastry
- Ever since I transferred to Kent, this became my new favorite go-to coffee shop (not counting Starbucks). The coffee is absolutely delicious, and they're chocolate chip scones and breakfast bagels are really good, too. It's also a perfect place to study. That's a bonus!
- Compass Coffee
- This is where my Delight Ministries friends and I sometimes go before or after our meetings. They have so many unique choices for both coffee and other drinks. And what I love is that they serve their pastries on tiny wooden plates. So cute!
- Heartwood Roastery
- This is actually a hotspot for Cleveland bloggers like myself! What's not to love about it? The interior design is authentic, it's located in the safe little town Hudson, and they make delicious lattes.
- Nervous Dog Coffee Bar
- It's a comfortable and cool atmosphere, despite the name. They serve coffee that's roasted locally twice a week and have a variety of pastries, including gluten-free and vegan.
Cleveland Instagram Hot Spots
- Cleveland Arcade
- Words cannot describe how beautiful this place is, just go google pictures and see for yourself. My sister and her fiancé actually considered having their wedding reception here!
- Downtown Hudson
- My number one favorite place to take pictures for my fashion blog posts. It also reminds me of the small town sceneries featured in Hallmark Christmas movies!
- Fairport Harbor
- It looks picture perfect in the summer when the sun is shining along the clear water or in the winter with the frozen lake!
- Edgewater Park
- Show your Cleveland pride by taking a picture next to one of the many Cleveland signs by the beach with the city skyline in the background!
- Chargin Falls
- Downtown is so cute and the waterfall is so beautiful. Walk along the boardwalk and snap a picture of it!
- Hunting Valley
- My friend Pam helped me take great shots for my It's Fall, Y'all blog post at this village aka her home area. It's such a beautiful location!
- Quicken Loans Arena
- I feel like sports event pictures get the most likes because both girls and boys will like it. And if your audience mostly consists of basketball fans, you're in luck. Cavs games are very Insta worthy, and so much fun to attend!
- Progressive Field
- Again, sports are Insta worthy for everyone! A cool snap of a delicious hot dog, the fireworks, or the back of your Francisco Lindor jersey are all appealing to the eyes of social media users!
- Cedar Point
- Want to get a lot of likes? Get a perfect angled shot of a pretty sunset behind the Top Thrill Dragster! OR try getting a selfie when you reach the top while riding it! Although I don't actually recommend that unless you don't care about your phone ...
I hope you enjoyed my travel guide for Cleveland. Let me know if you want to see more Cleveland related posts by leaving a comment down below!