Fangirl Friday: Cleveland. Yes, Really.

If you've been paying attention to current events this year, you've probably heard the word "Cleveland" tossed around once or twice. From the city hosting the RNC to the Cavs breaking a 56-year sports championship drought (as well as local minor league hockey and baseball teams) to the Indians earning runners-up honors in a World Series for the ages Cleveland has been in the spotlight for all the right reasons. 

A Northeast Ohio native, I pretty much always wish I was home, but never more so than this year. The world is seeing what I've always known: Cleveland is a jewel on the Lake Erie coast, inhabited with the best people you've ever met. There are a million things to do, no matter the season, and the place is gorgeous, from pristine National and Metro Parks to beaches and lighthouses, to a sparkling skyline perched on the Lake shores. 

Come with me through the jump and I'll tell you just a few reasons Cleveland is must-visit town and an amazing place to live. 

I mentioned that it's gorgeous right? Whether dappled in summer sunshine or blanketed in winter snow, Cleveland is no longer sitting under an industrial smog and the city center features architectural details as well as waterways and green spaces that are welcoming and picturesque. From I.M. Pei's Rock N Roll Hall of Fame to the historic Soldiers and Sailors Monument to the chandelier at Playhouse Square to the historic West Side Market, photo ops abound because there's no shortage of stunning details. And that's just in downtown! Travel to the suburbs, the parks, or the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and there is more to see and do at every turn! Be sure and bring your camera! I'm still dying to get a bird's eye view of the city from the observation deck at Terminal Tower. 

Besides the plethora of photo ops there are tons of things to do in Cleveland. The
aforementioned Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame is a must-see for music fans, for the rotating exhibits, permanent collections, and the Hall of Fame. While on the Lakeshore a visitor can also take in the Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland Browns Stadium, The William Mather Museum which was an iron ore freight ship, the USS Cod Submarine Museum, and watch the take-offs and landings at the Burke Lakefront Airport. Whew! That's a day in itself and I haven't even talked about Tower City, Fourth Street, The Flats, or Playhouse Square, all in downtown. 

Venture away from downtown a bit and there's still more to do! The Cleveland Museum of Art is a world-class art museum, considered one of the very best in the nation and housing priceless works from many eras, areas, and times. Nearby, in the University area, is the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, another world-class look at history, art, and the natural world. Did I mention that these museums have free admission? Amazing! There are too many other museums to list them all, but rest assured that if you have an interest, there's a good change there's a museum about it in the Cleveland area. 

Okay, this piece is getting long and I've barely scratched the surface. An amazing Zoo (plus
Mmmm pierogi...
another great smaller zoo just a short jaunt down the interstate in Akron!), the homes and monuments to several US Presidents, as well as the homes of Industrial Revolution magnates, Little Italy, a small but vibrant Asiatown, innumerable live music venues throughout the region, live theaters both large and small, and food. Oh my word, the food! Cleveland is an area flush with dozens of immigrant and migrant groups, so pretty much any kind of food you want can be found, but authentic Italian and Eastern European cuisine abounds. Needless to say, you will not go hungry in Cleveland. 

Again, this is just the tip of the iceberg of things to do in and around Cleveland. If you've got time and are visiting in the summer, include Cedar Point and Put-In-Bay on your itinerary. And I haven't even talked about sports! But add Cleveland to your list and be pleasantly surprised at how busy you'll be, how gorgeous it is, how great the food is, and wonderful the people. Cleveland is a surprising gem on the edge of the Midwest, overflowing with history, culture, and pride. Add Cleveland to your list of travel destinations. You can thank me later. 


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