Cleveland is Ohio’s center of culture and activity. Sitting on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland is about as Midwest as Midwest gets. Part of a megalopolis that includes Akron, Youngstown, Canton and Toledo, Home to three of Ohio’s six major professional sports teams, a world-famous orchestra and such new pearls as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Great Lakes Science Center, the city is keeping up with the world in terms of a modern City.
Ohio City If not Cleveland’s most charming and historical district. Birthplace of football legend John Heismann, Ohio City also hosts the Market Square District as well as the West Side Market, both in the range of a century old and both always crowded with visitors. Ohio City is barely five square miles. However, it is home to at least 15 ethnic groups among its 25,000 people. Ohio City is also home to Parker’s Restaurant, which is one of Cleveland’s finest eateries along with Traci’s Restaurant. The Great Lakes Brewing Co. features home brews and fine foods and is one of the more popular places for locals to gather. New constuction, and new age condos are popping up all over offering young professionals a location near both the flats, and Downtown night life.
The Flats Located down the hill from downtown on the very near-west side of the city. The clean up of the once-burning Cuyahoga River has coincided with the emergence of this entertainment district. The Flats has been reborn with the rest of the city. Now, highly desirable condos line the Cuyahoga River. Highlighted by such establishments as The Basement, Howl at the Moon Saloon, Shooters on the Water and The Powerhouse (home to several shops and dining establishments), the Flats is where you will find Cleveland’s most active nightlife. The recently built Nautica Stage offers outdoor concerts by popular national acts throughout the summer. The Flats is located near the mouth of the Cuyahoga, Taking a lunch cruise on the Goodtime will enable you to view the whole skyline along with the different outdoor establishments. The Cuyahoga River becomes a sidewalk to tourists and Cleveland’s own.
Downtown is a place you’ll grow to love. It’s hard to imagine many places in the world having undergone the type of facelift Cleveland has seen over the past 15 years or so. From it’s not so respectable reputation of the early 1980s Downtown has emerged a shiny new lakeside spectacle. A skyline once filled with smokestacks (and smoke) now boasts glowing towers, shiny stadiums, lit bridges, and a host of modern museums and shopping centers. Jacobs Field, Gund Arena and Cleveland Browns Stadium, along with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Great Lakes Science Center, are the architectural and cultural creations that define downtown’s rebirth. The Key Tower a skyscraper built since the mid-1980s, joins the 70-year-old Terminal Tower (Tower City, a marbled mall) to give Cleveland a skyline that reflects both its history and its future. With Playhouse Square and its multiple venues just a stone’s throw from Public Square, the downtown area will never leave visitors wanting something to do. The recently rehabbed warehouse district (Also known as West 6th.) is now Cleveland’s hottest location for night life. Local business owners have transformed the cities historical buildings into unique clubs and restaurants. Locals walk from establishment to establishment never finding the same thing at a new stop. Even in the middle of winter, the air is bubbly and the sounds of street musicians playing their saxophones and the distant aroma of the outdoor gyro stand, offer a feeling of warmth.
Little Italy is a neighborhood with much to offer. Also known as Murray Hill, most locals prefer the more quaint title, which reflects the area’s culture. Most of that, not surprisingly, revolves around the culinary. You do not have to look too hard to find a steaming plate of pasta. From Salvatore’s Restaurant to Trattoria Roman Gardens to Nido Italia, the Italian food lover will always have a place to satisfy his or her palate. The most popular tourist spot in Little Italy may be the Alta House, an activity center. New luxury condos mix perfectly with the old brick and stone homes. If you’re an apartment dweller, this may be the place for you. The Murray Hill Galleries is a shop housing artwork from around the world. The Mayfield District Council Little Italy Museum and Archives is an Italian historical museum, offering glimpses into the nation’s past. The yearly festival brings people from all over the country. Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights used to be a haven for the hippies of the 1960s and later the punks in the 1970s; in later days it was home to the Centrum (a grand theatre) and one of Cleveland’s important music venues. Cyclists, joggers, and families taking a stroll, are not unfamiliar sites along the flower filled sidewalks.
University Circle Centered around the prestigious Case Western Reserve University, this enclave about 4 miles east of downtown is a haven for museum-goers, as well as those looking for quaint shops and cozy eateries. Home to no fewer than nine museums, including Cleveland Museum of Art, the Children’s Museum of Cleveland, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Society Western Reserve Historical Society, the neighborhood has an almost Smithsonian feel. Culture seekers are not limited to museums. Visitors to University Circle will find Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra, Lyrica Opera Cleveland, the Cleveland Play House and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Those not taking in a show can rest their feet at the like of the Chicago Deli and Restaurant, Phoenix’s University Circle Café, the Severance Restaurant and the Uptowne Grille, among others.
Western Suburbs such as Rocky River, Lakewood, and Bay Village are a stone’s throw from Cleveland proper. Good school systems and more of a suburban feel make these highly desirable areas to call home. Lake Erie, always in the distance, gives you the feel of an open area in a small town. Booming areas such as Strongsville, Middleburg Hts, and Avon Lake, offer new construction and upper scale living. One of the most popular suburbs of the last 10 years is Westlake. The new addition of Crocker Park, (An outdoor strip of fine clothing stores, restaurants, Movie theaters, and condo living.) has added to Westlake’s already dominant presence. Million dollar homes are just moments away from major highways and fine shopping.
Lorain Road travels throughout the inner City and into the Suburbs. Fairview Park a west-side suburb with a fabulous fifties feel: neighborhoods of bungalows and ranches built on grid-style streets, designed around little parks for families with children. Not only the homes, but there are a lot of mid-century modern commercial buildings here, especially along Lorain Road which cuts through the heart of this city, from Cleveland’s West Park on the east to North Olmstead on the west. As they say, “If it’s not on Lorain Road, they don’t make it!”Westpark is an area inside of Cleveland. Called Westpark due to the fact that it is on the most western part of Cleveland. Lovely Brick tudors, Colonials, and bungalows fill each street uniquely. A neighborhood of well-kept and historic mid-century homes that presents the best parts of both city living and suburban style. Kamm’s Corner, is a legitimate Main Street strip of old-fashioned storefronts and business. It’s extremely walkable and the bus line runs right through it. There’s plenty of useful and hard to find stuff including thrift stores and of course bars and restaurants. Further down Lorain around W130th to W117th house what’s considered to be “Little Arabia” Wonderful Arab restaurants, bakeries, Clothing stores, boutiques, and some of the most beautiful gold in the city.
North Olmsted a west side suburb has a lot of early-sixties split levels with slanted ski roofs, and other period housing stock. Go there to shop: this strip of Lorain Road includes dozens of note worthies, including thrifts, longtime locals Cord Camera, Royal Garden Records, and Nuevo Acapulco Mexican restaurant to name a few.
Parma In the 1980s was famous for metal heads, but its reputation goes back further to the 1950s for being a super suburb. It always had an all-American neighborhood feel, even though it is so large — it was the biggest suburb in America, until the sprawl decade of the 1990s. Noted for its great housing stock. well-kept homes, many still available with the original decor and fixtures — and lots of local-business strips on main roads that you can easily walk to from residential side streets. You’ll find plenty of great shops in this city, including Cleveland Restaurant Supply.
Parma Heights just west of Parma, was built and designed in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and was a bold space-age wonderland. Streets of futuristic ranches, Southland Shopping Center which is as space age as they come, with a Sears that looks like a moon base, and plenty of giant signs and neon.
The East Side and West Side of Cleveland has often been referred to as a rival among locals. It’s said that you’re either a Westsider, or an Eastsider. Due to the differences, including parallel streets vs. curves, hills and one ways. Even driving the two cities allows you a taste of the two *Different worlds* as they say. Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, Newburg Heights, Maple Heights, Cuyahoga Heights and Garfield Heights highlight an area of ethnically diverse communities. Newer “burbs” such as Solon, Brecksville and Sagamore Hills bridge the gap between Cleveland and Akron, which sits about 25 miles to the south. Travel east or west from downtown and you will find the signs of urban flight: strip malls, fast food stores and every other chain retailer imaginable.
No matter what your lifestyle, Cleveland has an area already designed for you. No matter if you chose the Westside or the Eastside, you’re always within a 20-minute drive to Downtown.