10 amazing things about 2016 in Cleveland
A look back on 10 things that made 2016 a year to remember in Cleveland
By Noah Toumert, Photo Credit © Cody York
Last year the Cavs made it to the NBA finals, Cleveland held the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Heinen's opened a 27,000-square-foot downtown supermarket. Those achievements would signal a great year for any city, so anyone who thought 2015 was Cleveland's top year couldn't have guessed what 2016 had in store.
From national conventions to national championships, this was the year of Cleveland.
1. Flattered by the fans
The gem of the Midwest has been attracting eyes from across the country for years, and the trend of others taking noticed has continued in full force in 2016. The city has been getting shout outs from every corner of the nation, such as SmarterTravel.com naming Cleveland one of the "Places in America you have to Visit in 2016"; being included by FoxNews.com as one of the “10 Under the Radar Destinations for 2016”; and being voted the #1 Midwest destination for group travelers in Groups Today "2016 Readers’ Choice Awards." However, the best compliment may have been a Forbes article titled "Why Cleveland is America's Hottest City Right Now." The city no longer is up and coming, and the country has finally noticed.
2. Cleveland's Monstrous Championship
In 2016 the Cleveland Monsters lifted their first Calder Cup, the first time a Cleveland hockey team lifted this cup since the Barons in 1964. That was the same year the Browns were crowned NFL champions--the last year a team from our city raised a major trophy.
3. The King's Promise
With the Cleveland Monsters paving the way, the Cavaliers cemented Cleveland as the championship city with their 3-1 game deficit comeback against the Golden State Warriors. With a performance that not only provided memories for years to come, but also won the Best Moment Award at the ESPYs, LeBron James and the Cavs finally brought a major trophy back to The Land.
4. Tribe's Expectation-Shattering Surge
Continuing the trend of dominant Cleveland sports, the Indians put together a playoff run that no one expected. After sweeping the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS, the Tribe beat the Toronto Blue Jays in five games before falling to the Chicago Cubs in what will be remembered as one of the greatest World Series ever played. The future is bright as the Indians have most of the team signed for the years to come, and if there’s one thing Clevelanders know, it’s that there’s always next year.
5. The RNC in the CLE
Cleveland’s great year was put on a national stage by the success of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena. With politicians, journalists and passionate citizens flooding to the city, Cleveland had a moment to showcase its excellence. And the city delivered. The Convention went off without a hitch, with glowing reviews of the city coming from delegates and new sources throughout the country.
6. Flats and the Future
2015 was a big year for Cleveland’s riverside, but the rebirth of the Flats just can’t stop. This time next year there will be more than 20 different places to visit in the Flats, with restaurants Margaritaville and Rascal Flatts set to open in the coming months.
7. Public Square up and running
Public Square looks amazing. After the 15-month renovation, the heart of Downtown has evolved from a hub for public transportation to a neighborhood center everyone can enjoy. Don’t miss the community aspects like the water features, seasonal ice rink and the health-conscious restaurant, Rebol. Public Square will continue to be filled with events for all ages, so keep checking back for everything that’s going on here.
8. New Downtown Hilton
Finding a place to stay in Cleveland just got easier. With 600 rooms and more than 50,000 square feet of meeting space, this new hotel can accommodate everything from leisure visits to large-scale conferences. Situated right in the heart of the city, the Downtown Hilton connects the hotel, the Global Center for Health Innovation and the Cleveland Convention Center underground. If you're not out for business, check out Bar 32 for a drink and the best view in the city.
9. Award Winning Parks
Our beloved Cleveland Metroparks won the 2016 National Gold Medal Award for excellence in Park and Recreation Management, and it’s not hard to tell why. Whether it’s the new Fort Hill Stairs at Rocky River Reservation or the new trail in the Bedford Reservation, 2016 has been a banner year for improving our parks. And improvements aren’t stopping there, with the Cleveland Metroparks planning a new pier at Euclid Beach. And perhaps most impressive at all, the Cleveland Metroparks has been awarded an $850,000 grant from the 2016 Clean Ohio Trails Fund to build a one-mile all-purpose trail that connects Edgewater Park and Wendy Park, called the Whiskey Island Connector.
10. Eat and Drink for all
Cleveland is continuing its bid as a foodie’s dream destination. After more amazing restaurants were opened in 2015, this year has continued the trend of good eats. Cleveland's big-name chefs have continued peppering us with new hotspots, with Michael Symon opening a Cleveland-style barbecue restaurant, Mabel’s BBQ, located on E. 4th St.
For a little bit of everything, check out the new concept 811 Kitchen Bar Lounge on Prospect Ave., from the restaurant group that brought us Red, The Steakhouse and Moxie, The Restaurant. Or if you're in the mood for fun and games to go with a great meal, check out the Tabletop Board Game Cafe in Ohio City.
Cleveland Monsters, Cleveland Cavalier's, Cleveland Indians, Quicken Loans Arena, Downtown Hilton, Cleveland Metroparks, Edgewater Park, Parker's, Bar 32, Red the Steakhouse, Moxie the Restaurant, Tabletop Board Game Cafe, Michael Symon