Cleveland Ohio Visitors Guide

The Cleveland Ohio Skyline.

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Cleveland, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie, is filled with a wealth of cultural attractions, fine dining, ethnic restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and exciting sports teams. It's a fun—and affordable town to visit. Whether you're visiting for business or pleasure, there's plenty to see and do along the "North Coast."

01 of 08

Cleveland Hopkins Airport

Cleveland Hopkins Airport

News 5 Cleveland

Cleveland Hopkins Airport is located about 30 minutes outside of downtown Cleveland, on the city's southwest side.

Established in 1925, Cleveland's airport was the first municipally-owned airport in the United States. Still owned by the city, it is the 34th busiest airport in the country and serves over 12 million passengers each year with 320 flights to 80 destinations.


Among the airlines serving Cleveland Hopkins Airport are:

  • Continental Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Northwest Airlines
  • US Airways
  • United Airlines


Cleveland Hopkins Airport operates short-term and long-term parking lots on the airport grounds. In addition, there are several parking companies located within a couple miles of the airport, which operate 24-hour shuttles to and from the airport. Learn more about Cleveland airport parking.

Airport Security

All passengers departing Cleveland Hopkins Airport must be screened by security personnel. The function is handled by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The airport advises passengers to leave their luggage unlocked (so it may be searched) and to arrive at least 90 minutes in advance of their flight. Extra time may be needed for passengers using a wheelchair or those with small children.

Customs Information

All passengers arriving from outside of the United States must pass through US Customs and Border Patrol.

Ground Transportation

Taxis, limousines, airport hotel shuttles, and shuttles to rental car agencies are located outside of the baggage claim area in the lower level of Cleveland Hopkins Airport. Rental car agencies include Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty, and Dollar.
In addition, Cleveland Hopkins Airport is connected to the red line of the RTA mass transit system, which connects the airport with downtown and University Circle.

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02 of 08

Where to Stay

Cleveland hotels

Lightvision, LLC/Getty Images 

Cleveland offers visitors a diverse collection of places to stay -- from affordable airport hotels to charming one-of-a-kind bed and breakfasts.

Cleveland has several distinct concentrations of hotels: downtown, around Cleveland Hopkins Airport, and conveniently located at the Rockside Road/I-77 interchange, about 15 minutes south of downtown. In addition, the area offers a charming collection of bed and breakfast inns, each offering its own style and ambiance.

Downtown Hotels

Downtown Cleveland Hotels include the following:

  • Ritz Carlton Hotel - Located adjacent to the Avenue at Tower City, this 206-room luxury hotel is the place to stay in Cleveland. It's also just a short walk from Jacob's Field and the Quicken Loans Arena.
  • Cleveland Renaissance Hotel - Located right at Public Square, this historic hotel was opened in 1918, a part of the Terminal Tower complex. The 491-room hotel's magnificent lobby and grand staircase still harken back to that gracious era.
  • Wyndham Cleveland Playhouse Square - Located in the heart of Cleveland's theater district, the Wyndham is the perfect place to stay while enjoying Cleveland theater, opera, or other Playhouse Square events.
  • Hyatt Regency - A block away from Public Square, the Hyatt combines modern elegance with historic charm.
  • Marriott Key Center -- Also at Public Square, this modern hotel combines a sleek tower with an historic sandstone structure. It's convenient to the Cleveland Justice Center and the Cuyahoga County Courthouse.
  • Holiday Inn Lakeside - Within walking distance of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center, this convenient and affordable hotel also offers scenic Lake Erie view from its upper rooms.

Cleveland Airport Hotels

Among the many hotels located just minutes from Cleveland Hopkins Airport, are:

  • Marriott Airport Hotel
  • Sheraton Cleveland Airport

Cleveland Bed and Breakfast Inns

Bed and breakfast inns give visitors a chance to see a more personal side of Cleveland. This unique bunch of hostelries range from simple to luxurious, but all offer a singular charm. Among the best of Greater Cleveland's bed and breakfast inns are:

  • Baricelli Inn
  • Fitzgerald's Irish Bed and Breakfast Inn
  • Brownstone Inn Cleveland
  • Glidden House

Rockside Road Hotels

The I-77/Rockside Road interchange, located about 15 minutes south of downtown Cleveland and about 40 minutes from Akron, is a convenient -- and affordable -- place to stay. The area is loaded with hotels, chain restaurants, and shopping, all within minutes of the highway. The hotels there include the Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Holiday Inn, and Days Inn Independence.

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03 of 08

Where to Eat

Fish market in Cleveland


Douglas Sacha/Getty Images

Cleveland Ohio was settled by a mixture of ethnic groups and their influence is felt most richly in the city's many interesting -- and delicious -- restaurants.

Below is just a sampling of the many ethnic, casual, and fine dining restaurants the city and its suburbs have to offer (sorted by neighborhood). Click on the restaurant name for a review of the eatery.

Downtown Cleveland Restaurants

Downtown Cleveland is home to many area attractions, shopping, and events. It's also home to some of the city's most interesting restaurants. Among them are:

  • Mallorca -- Cleveland's delicious Mediterranean restaurant, in the Warehouse District

Ohio City Restaurants

Located just west of downtown, Ohio City was one of Cleveland's first neighborhoods. Today, the area is filled with restored historic buildings and tasty eateries. Among them are:

  • Great Lakes Brewing Company
  • Heck's Cafe
  • Johnny Mango World Cafe
  • Flying Fig

University Circle Restaurants

Cleveland's cultural hub, University Circle is home to the Cleveland Museum of Art and several other popular museums as well as Case Western Reserve University and Severance Hall, the home of the Cleveland Orchestra.

Tremont Restaurants

Located just south of downtown, Tremont is home to dozens of trendy art galleries, coffee shops, and popular restaurants. Among these are:

  • Lola
  • Parallax
  • Fat Cats

Westside Restaurants

Cleveland west of the Cuyahoga River tends to be a little more casual than the other areas of town, but they still have their share of tasty restaurants. Among them are:

  • Georgetown
  • Pier W
  • Luchita's Mexican Restaurant

Eastside Restaurants

Cleveland's eastern suburbs are home to some of the city's finest restaurants as well as eclectic neighborhoods such as Little Italy and Shaker Square. Restaurants in the area include:

  • Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar
  • Nighttown
  • Trattoria Roman Gardens
  • Giovanni's
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04 of 08

Where to Shop

Summer haze over the Cleveland Tower City Center

Douglas Sacha/Getty Images

Clevelanders love to shop and the city and its suburbs offer a myriad of shopping malls, antique districts, and outlet stores for residents and visitors alike.

Below is a sampling of the many Cleveland area shopping malls, outlets, and shopping districts, divided by area of town.

Downtown Shopping

  • The Galleria at Erieview -- A glass building near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, filled with shops, restaurants, and even a museum.
  • Tower City Center -- This historic shopping center is located right at Public Square and offers restaurants, shops, hotels, and movies -- all without leaving the building.
  • The Arcade -- Built in 1890, this is one of the country's oldest indoor shopping malls. Plus, the architecture is breathtaking.
  • Steelyard Commons -- This new shopping center, just south of downtown combines history, shopping, and green spaces.

Eastside Shopping

  • Legacy Village -- A mixed use shopping, dining, and office center in Lyndhurst, Legacy Village boasts many restaurants and stylish shops, such as Restoration Hardware, Z Gallery, and Arhaus Furniture.
  • Beachwood Place Mall -- This stylish mall is "the" place to shop for fashion.
  • Eton Center -- This landscaped shopping center has restaurants; high-end retailers, such as Smith & Hawken and Barnes and Noble; and Trader Joe's Market.
  • Larchmere Blvd. Antiques District -- Located just off of Shaker Square, Larchmere Blvd. offers dozens of antique shops as well as a good selection of ethnic and bistro-style restaurants.
  • Great Lakes Mall -- All of the traditional mall stores, in Mentor, east of Cleveland.

Westside Shopping

  • Crocker Park -- The westside cousin to Legacy Village, this mixed-use complex has restaurants, apartments, shopping, and movies.
  • The Shoppes at Parma-- Located in Parma, southwest of Cleveland, this popular mall has all of the favorite stores.
  • Great Northern Mall -- A Cleveland area favorite, located in North Olmsted, about 30 minutes west of downtown.

South side Shopping

  • South Park Center Mall -- The favorite shopping spot of Cleveland readers, this modern up-scale mall has all of the favorite, plus movies and restaurants.
  • Summit Mall -- Fashion shopping and more on Akron's north side.

Outlet Shopping Malls

  • Aurora Farms Outlets -- Located southeast of town, Aurora Farms offers 70 outlet retailers, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Tommy Hilfiger, and Polo Ralph Lauren.
  • Prime Outlets at Lodi -- Located an hour south of downtown Cleveland, this outlet mall offers 70 retailers, including SAS Shoes, Gap Outlet, and Polo Ralph Lauren.
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05 of 08

What to See

Tiger at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo 

Cleveland Ohio has a plethora of sights -- from world-class museums to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to outdoor living museums and scenic gardens.

Below is a list of Greater Cleveland's most popular sights, sorted by part of town.

Downtown Attractions

  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- One of Cleveland's most popular attractions, the "Rock Hall" houses artifacts and music from the icons of Rock and Roll.
  • Great Lakes Science Center -- See exhibits on science, technology, and the environment, plus an IMAX theater.
  • William G. Mather Museum -- Climb aboard an authenic Lake Erie ore carrier.
  • USS Cod -- Tour a real US Navy submarine, right at the "North Coast."

University Circle Attractions

  • Cleveland Museum of Art -- One of the nation's best art museums -- and it's free. 
  • Cleveland Botanical Garden -- Explore the glasshouse, the Hershey children's garden, and the many outdoor spaces.
  • Western Reserve Historical Society -- Learn about Cleveland history, from the 18th century to the present.
  • Cleveland Museum of Natural History -- See Indian artifacts, dinosaurs, fossils, and more.
  • Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum -- See dozens of historic planes autos, many from the early Cleveland car manufacturers.
  • Cleveland Children's Museum -- A hands-on discovery museum that's fun for young and old.

Eastside Attractions

  • Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage -- One of Cleveland's newest attractions, the Maltz Museum chronicles the contributions of Cleveland's Jewish community.
  • Holden Arboretum -- A beautiful garden and learning center, east of Cleveland
  • Lake View Cemetery -- One of the country's most beautiful cemeteries, and the final resting place for many of Cleveland's most influential citizens.
  • Lake Farm Park -- See farm animals and crafts in a scenic park setting.

Westside Attractions

  • Cleveland Metroparks Zoo -- Animals, a rain forest, and more.
  • Christmas Story House - Where the movie, "A Christmas Story" was filmed.
  • NASA Glenn Visitors Center -- Learn about the US space program and Cleveland's contribution.

Summit and Stark County Attractions

  • Akron Zoo -- See the snow leopard and more.
  • Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens -- Tour the gracious early 20th century Tudor mansion of Goodyear founder, F.A. Seiberling.
  • Hale Farm and Village -- A living 19th-century history museum.
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame -- See memorabilia and exhibits about all of the inductees.
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06 of 08

What to Do

Hessler Street Fair

Vacation Cleveland 

The Greater Cleveland area offers a year-round schedule of exciting events, from the Cleveland Auto Show in February to December holiday events.

Each month in Cleveland offers something special. Below is a list of major events. Click on the event to read more about it or click on the month for a monthly event calendar.


  • Cleveland Boat and Waterfront Lifestyle Show


  • National City Home and Garden Show
  • Cleveland Auto Show


  • Cleveland Auto Show
  • Cleveland International Film Festival
  • Mardi Gras
  • St. Patrick's Day Parade
  • Buzzard Day
  • I-X Indoor Amusement Park


  • I-X Indoor Amusement Park
  • Tri-C Jazz Festival






  • Cleveland National Air Show
  • Ingenuity Fest


  • Sweetest Day
  • Boo at the Zoo and other Halloween Events


  • Lighting of the Square


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07 of 08

Sightseeing Tours

Nautica Queen Cruise Tours

 Rock the Lake

Sometimes sightseeing is more fun and more interesting with someone to tell you what you are seeing. Cleveland offers several sightseeing tours.

Among the best of Cleveland's sightseeing tours are:

  • Nautica Queen Cruise Tours -- Enjoy a cruise on the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie, accompanied by drinks and dinner.
  • Goodtime III Sightseeing Cruises -- Cleveland's favorite sightseeing cruise, the Goodtime III gives you a look at Cleveland's industrial Flats, the "Bend in the River," and the beautiful city skyline as seen from Lake Erie.
  • Lolly the Trolly -- These recreations of Cleveland's original trolley cars take visitors all over the city, accompanied by a narrator that tells all about Cleveland's landmarks and historic past.
  • Haunted Cleveland Tours -- Take one of several tours of Cleveland's "haunted" landmarks.
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08 of 08

Cleveland Nightlife

House of Blues Cleveland

Live Nation Special Events 

There's plenty to do in Cleveland after dark. Take in a movie; enjoy one of the city's many concert stages; dance the night away; and more.

These are just a few of the many nightime attractions in Greater Cleveland:

Concert Venues

  • House of Blues -- Downtown Cleveland's popular concert and dining venues.
  • The Agora -- Around for 40 years, the Agora has launched the career of many a rock legend.
  • The Grog Shop -- In Cleveland's eastside Coventry neighborhood, this small venue gets cutting edge rock bands.
  • Fat Fish Blue -- This Downtown Cajun restaurant is known for its live Blues music. It's "the" place to be in Cleveland for "mardi gras."
  • Cain Park -- A park-life summer concert and theater venue in Cleveland Heights, east of Cleveland.
  • Jacobs Pavilion -- Located in the Nautica Entertainment complex in downtown Cleveland, this concert stage comes with a spectacular view of downtown Cleveland and the bridges over the Cuyahoga River.
  • Blossom Music Center -- Located midway between Cleveland and Akron, this outdoor pavilion is the summer home of the Cleveland Orchestra as well as a favorite summer concert venue.


  • The Velvet Dog -- A popular dance club in downtown Cleveland's Warehouse District.
  • The Velvet Tango Room -- A sauve, 40s-style martini and cocktail spot, located just south of downtown.
  • Pickwick and Frolic -- This downtown entertainment complex has a martini bar, a comedy club, a cabaret, and a tasty restaurant.


  • Cleveland Movie Theaters -- Clevelanders love movies and every neighborhood has a theater.
  • Drive-in Movie Theaters -- Greater Cleveland still has a number of these classic outdoor theaters.
  • Cleveland International Film Festival -- If you're lucky enough to be in Cleveland during the end of March, be sure to take in a film at this independent film festival, held downtown in Tower City.


  • Parnell's -- In Cleveland Heights on Cleveland's east side, this authentic, friendly pub is a little slice of Ireland.
  • Flannery's -- In Cleveland's downtown Gateway neighborhood, an Irish favorite.

Gay Dance Clubs

  • Twist -- Non-stop action, just east of Lakewood.
  • The Grid -- Downtown Cleveland's dance favorite.