Cleveland is often overlooked as a vacation spot, but this Midwestern city is actually an exciting hub of sports, music and food. I recently discovered that Cleveland, Ohio is much more than just the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – it’s actually a diverse city that has plenty to see and do. During my stay, I was able to get out and explore the city like a local, so I developed a newfound appreciation for Cleveland.
My recent trip to Cleveland was spur-of-the-moment, so I didn’t have a hotel room booked before arriving in “The Rock and Roll Capital of the World.” After just a few minutes on HotelTonight’s app, though, I had a great hotel room in the heart of the city. Thanks to HotelTonight, I was able to book a great last-minute hotel in Cleveland in just a few clicks on my computer. For someone like me who likes to make spontaneous travel plans, HotelTonight is a traveler’s best friend.
Located near downtown Cleveland, University Circle is a bustling neighborhood that is home to prestigious universities, gorgeous public parks, and a great selection of shops and restaurants. For people who claim Cleveland has no culture (which is something I’ve heard many times), they clearly haven’t been to University Circle. Not only does this neighborhood boast trendy coffee shops, bars and hotels, but it also offers some of the best museums in the city. So if you find yourself in Cleveland and you want to enjoy some of the city’s rich culture and history, you should head to University Circle to check out the modern arts and cultural district is located at Euclid and Mayfield.
Taking a trip to the West Side Market is a treat for the senses, as it brims with colorful produce and flowers as well as fragrant spices and freshly baked bread. As Cleveland’s oldest public market, the West Side Market is a great spot for foodies looking for some fresh, delicious local goods. There are more than 100 vendors at the West Side Market, so chances are you’ll find something you love at the West Side Market. I wandered through every aisle of this massive market, and I picked up a great selection of food for my next activity.
With my produce, bread and cheese in tow, I made my way to the Cleveland Cultural Gardens for a picnic. The Cleveland Cultural Gardens is composed of 31 distinct gardens, but these aren’t just any regular gardens. Each one of these 31 gardens commemorates a different ethnic group that has been integral to the heritage of this country, hence the name, “Cleveland Cultural Gardens.” Some of the gardens I wandered through during my brief visit include the Albanian Cultural Garden, the Polish Garden and the Czech Garden.
After a full day of exploring Cleveland, I headed to one of the locals’ favorite neighborhoods – Little Italy. While many major cities are home to “Little Italy” neighborhoods, Cleveland’s is certainly one of the most charming, most authentic ones I’ve visited. Even though Little Italy is small, it packs a big punch – in terms of character and flavor. This district boasts some of the best dining options in the city, so if you have a hankering for mouthwatering Italian food during your Cleveland getaway, be sure to spend an evening in Little Italy.
The next day, I decided to head out of the urban center of Cleveland and traveled to the North Chagrin Reservation, a huge wildlife sanctuary that brings a bit of the great outdoors to this big Midwest city. The 1,700-acre nature sanctuary is full of great walking and hiking trails, so I started my day with a nice long hike amidst the lush natural scenery. During my morning at the North Chagrin Reservation, I didn’t see any tourists. Rather, the only people I crossed paths with in this nature sanctuary were locals, as Cleveland’s residents love making use of this beautiful outdoor space.
Cleveland was full of surprises. Even though I was only able to spend a day and a half in Cleveland, I was still able to get a great taste of this Ohio city. I could see why Cleveland locals are such staunch defenders of this city – it has so much more to offer than people expect.
So the next time I find myself with a long layover in Cleveland or on a spontaneous road trip through the Midwest, I’ll be sure to make a quick pit stop in Cleveland to explore more of this lively city. To ensure my last-minute vacation goes smoothly, I will book my Cleveland hotel through HotelTonight again. Planning last-minute getaways has never been easier now that you can book hotels in minutes on HotelTonight’s website and mobile app.