What Is Cleveland's Nickname?

Night panorama of downtown Cleveland, Ohio

Henryk Sadura / Getty Images 

Cleveland has been called many things since Moses Cleveland, and his surveying team set foot there on July 22, 1796, but nowadays, you'll most often hear Cleveland referred to as the "Rock and Roll Capital of the World" or "The North Coast."

Originally, though, the city was part of the Connecticut Western Reserve, and later the city was referred to as the "Forest City." However, in the 1970s, city planners tried marketing the city to conventions and tourists as the "Plum City" in hopes of comparing itself to New York City's moniker "The Big Apple," but that never really caught on.

If you're traveling to Cleveland, you'll want to make sure you call it the right name when you're referring to the city colloquially. Read on to discover more about this city's rich history and why it went from being called "The New American City" to its current title of "Rock and Roll Capital of the World."

The Many Names of Cleveland

Over the years, and to this day, Cleveland has earned a plethora of nicknames from residents, visitors, and neighboring city folk, whether by the cultural phenomena occurring there or something about the city's unique geography, location, or climate.

Residents especially like to call Cleveland "The 216," based on the local area code for most phones in the city, for instance, and some like to call it "The CLE" or "CLE" based on the IATA code for the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Some others like to just call it "C-town" or "C-land" just because of the name itself.

In the 1970s, Cleveland earned the title of "The Best Location in the Nation" because of the influx of industry and people moving to the city. At the time, it was the seventh-largest in the nation. Afterward, though, when Cleveland continued to grow in size, it became known as "The Sixth City." Because of its high density of trees within the city limits, Cleveland has also been called "The Forest City."

It wasn't until the early 1970s, though, that Cleveland's "permanent" nickname of "The Rock and Roll Capital of the World" became solidified. As the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the stomping grounds of many famous rock and roll artists, it's no wonder the name stuck around so long—some of the greatest rock bands in America got their start in this northern city.

Visiting the Rock and Roll Capital of the World

No matter what you call it, Cleveland, Ohio is a wonderful city for casual or serious tourism—full of great restaurants, niche shops, live concerts (especially rock and roll), a rich history, and a vibrant nightlife scene.

If you're traveling to Cleveland on vacation, you'll definitely want to make sure you check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cuyahoga Valley and its waterfront parks, and the West Side Market or you can even check out the house from "A Christmas Story" if you're a movie buff!​

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