Cleveland offers many romantic things to do including watching the sunset over Lake Erie, making a picnic dinner from purchases at the West Side Market, and exploring the Larchmere Boulevard antique district hand in hand. Even al fresco dining can be romantic on a balmy summer evening. These ideas for outings in the Cleveland, Ohio, area with someone special may just create the spark your relationship needs.
Whether you enjoy the view from Cleveland's Edgewater State Park, on the city's near west side, or Mentor Headlands Beach on the far east side with its mile-long sandy beach, the sunset over Lake Erie is one of the loveliest views in town.
In the warmer months, bring a picnic dinner and dine as you watch the sun sink unobstructed into the horizon. Or, stroll hand-in-hand along the beach and enjoy the view.
There's just something magical about the Cleveland Greenhouse. Built at the turn of the (20th) century, the structure houses a tropical garden with a large variety of colorful orchids, a desert garden with cacti and other succulents, and a rain forest with citrus trees and other exotic plants.
Located at the edge of University Circle, the greenhouse is rarely crowded. In the summer, you can explore the 270 acres of outdoor gardens, including the precisely manicured Japanese garden. During the holiday season, the indoor gardens are filled with red, white, and pink poinsettias.
During the warmer months, especially between Memorial Day and Labor Day, it seems that every Cleveland restaurants sports at least a small patio. Reserve a table outside and enjoy the sunny summer and fall days.
Places like the Forest City Brewery feels like a picnic area in the midst of a forest This is a secluded getaway in the Duck Island neighborhood serving up food and craft brews. Lola Bistro, serving up creative Mediterranean food in downtown Cleveland, has outdoor seating and is headed up by Michael Symon, Iron Chef American competitor.
Shop the Larchmere Antique District
Located one block north of Shaker Square on Cleveland's east side, Larchmere Boulevard is home to a fascinating mix of antique stores, bookstores, stores selling handcrafted items, and eclectic eateries. Marc Goodman Antiques has a variety of vendors selling everything from old books to antique furniture.
Make sure to have a burger at the historic and funky Academy Tavern.
The West Side Market, at the edge of Ohio City in Cleveland, is a cultural and culinary gem. Opened in 1912, the market combines graceful Neo-Classical/Byzantine architecture with local produce, and meat, poultry, and dairy products.
Pick up ingredients for a picnic to take to nearby Edgewater Park or buy the makings of a memorable dinner that the two of you create together.
The music is almost secondary to this concert stage's lovely setting along the Cuyahoga River. You'll share a view of the downtown Cleveland skyline, the ore boats moving down the river, and the bridges all festively lighted.
The Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica hosts a variety of musical entertainers from May through September each year. The outdoor venue is small and intimate, the perfect spot for romance.
Lake and Ashtabula Counties, just east of Cleveland, are home to dozens of unique and tasty wineries. Many have restaurants and tasting rooms where you can enjoy their wares. Most offer tours of the facility, and some, such as Debonne Vineyards in Madison, even host musical events throughout the year. Particularly romantic is the lakeside Lakehouse Inn and Winery in Geneva-on-the-Lake which would be a great place for a couples getaway.
Visit a Cleveland Wine Bar
Cleveland has a collection of unique, cozy, and sometimes quirky establishments that serve wine by the glass, or the bottle. Cuddle up to someone you love and share a bottle of wine, a plate of cheese and a romantic wine bar setting. Try the popular, Toast Wine Bar, offering comfort food grown on its own farm, plus house cocktails in a quaint brick-walled setting. Bin216, in downtown, is known for tapas along with an excellent wine list. They also serve craft cocktails and scrumptious desserts. You can go shopping for wine and craft beer at Rozi's Wine House after doing some wine tasting at Rozi's Front Porch Cafe.
The Greater Cleveland area is home to a delightful and romantic collection of Bed and Breakfast Inns. From stylish city retreats to country estates, there's something for every taste. There's the Irish-themed Fitzgeralds Irish Bed and Breakfast in Painesville's historic district and the luxurious Eagle Inn at Geneva-on-the-Lake. Clifford House in historic Ohio City is in a formal, elegant brick home, built in 1868 and expanded in 1890 to its present Queen Anne size.
Northeast Ohio offers a variety of places to ice skate both indoors and outside. The best of these is Serpentini Arena, the multi-rink facility in Lakewood. It is the haunt of former Olympians Carol Heiss Jenkins and Tonia Kwiatkowski and offers open skating, hockey, a pro shop, lessons, plus a game room, cafe, and bar.
Explore Modern Art at MOCA
Walk through the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland's sleek building and collections of modern art free on the first Saturday of the month. Drop-in adult tours introduce the art and MOCA's unique architecture to visitors while those with children will find some special events going on for the kiddos.
The regular exhibits are always free, but on one day a month, you can see the special art installations on your date night or afternoon.
Catch an Indie Film
Cleveland Cinematheque, located inside the Cleveland Institute of Art, specializes in independent and foreign films in an intimate yet technologically advanced setting. The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque is known as one of the country’s best repertory movie theaters, according to The New York Times. This alternative film theater shows vintage, foreign, and independent films 50 weekends of the year. Find a romantic film on the schedule and bring your date to the movies.