Girls' Weekend Getaway
Your guide to planning the ultimate Cleveland-style girls' weekend
By Denise Koeth
Where my ladies at?? Gather your best girl squad and book your trip. We've got your ultimate guide to an epic weekend getaway in Cleveland.
Rise and Shine: Get your brunch on
Cleveland's food scene has given rise to a handful of legendary brunch spots. For two great options, head to Tremont and try Lucky’s Café or Grumpy’s Café. Go crazy -- and don’t forget the coffee, because it's going to be a busy day.
A.M.: Shop 'til you drop
Cocktails and shopping go together like sweatpants and Netflix. So head over to the Cleveland Flea, where you can grab a drink while you hunt for treasure from more than 170 vendors alongside roughly 35,000 other shoppers.
Held one Saturday per month from April through October in Cleveland’s AsiaTown neighborhood, the Flea welcomes vintage and salvage dealers, jewelers, artists, furniture makers, bakers, and more. Drool over vintage threads and snatch up some local, handmade souvenirs while jamming out to live music.
If you're in town when the Flea's not hoppin', don't fret. You can still get a taste of Cleveland's funky fun shopping at alternate hot spots like the Detroit Shoreway or Tremont neighborhoods, or the 5th Street Arcades downtown.
Lunch: Meal on Wheels
Chances are you're not starving after that hearty food foundation you built at brunch, so while you're at the Flea, grab a quick bite from the lineup of local food trucks. There are picnic tables aplenty to rest your feet, offering the perfect spot for your posse to take break and compare Flea finds.
If you opted for shopping in Detroit Shoreway, Tremont or 5th Street Arcades, fear not, as there are scores of restaurant options nearby both. We recommend Happy Dog, Dante Next Door or Barrio, respectively.
P.M.: Get blissed
During warm weather months, perfect your warrior pose while enjoying phenomenal views of the city and Lake Erie at one of Cleveland's rooftop yoga venues. Check out Touch the Sky Rooftop Yoga at Tremont Athletic Club or Rooftop Yoga at viBE at the 9. Raining? No worries. Head to Inner Bliss Yoga Studio downtown in Playhouse Square for a drop-in class instead.
Continue pampering yourself with a trip to Manifest, a swanky downtown salon located at 668 Prospect Ave. where you can sip some bubbly with your girls and put your feet up for some serious mani/pedi time before getting ready for your evening out.
Dinner: Sweet retreat
Have your cake and eat it, too, at Chocolate Bar, where a bevy of salads, sandwiches and entrees occupy space on the menu alongside trendy desserts and martinis, many of which feature--you guessed it--chocolate. With menu categories like "Chocolate," "More Chocolate," and "Even More Chocolate," be sure to save room for dessert, or at least a serving of one of the 16 different varieties of piping or frozen hot chocolate.
Evening: Flat out fun
Head to the Flats East Bank and start off at The Big Bang Dueling Piano Bar. You'll laugh 'til you cry as the performers build the night entirely on requests and audience participation. Pro tip: No cover charge before 8 p.m.! Also, if you have a big group, consider making reservations.
Afterward, put those stilettos to good use and dance like you're 22 again at Magnolia speakeasy. But do a little research on the front end--entrance into the posh club requires a password and a trip through the bakery that serves as its deceptive front (check the website or Facebook page for the weekend’s pastry-themed password). Bonus: the sweet storefront offers an optional sugar high upon your exit in the wee hours of the morning.
Rise and Shine: Farmhouse breakfast
After a late night out, grab a leisurely breakfast at the hotel--we suggest the Westin Cleveland Downtown for your stay, and the attached Urban Farmer restaurant as the perfect pairing. The menu boasts sustainable, Midwest ingredients and many locally-sourced and seasonal options, thanks to close relationships with local farms. Whether you dive into the thickest slab of French toast you've ever seen or go lighter with steel cut oatmeal, you’ll have a delicious start to your final day in CLE.
A.M.: Channel your inner rock star
Walk a few blocks toward the lake for a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum. From Billie Holiday to Madonna and many legends in between, learn how rocker chicks (and dudes) have helped shape music through the ages. Take this as an excuse to wear your sunglasses indoors after that night out. We don't judge.
Afterward, head out back to one of several Cleveland script signs for a souvenir selfie of your girls' weekend in front of a pretty phenom view of the Cleveland skyline.
Lunch: Lakeside fiesta
Hey, you're already there. The Cleveland script sign is right next to Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar, located in Northcoast Harbor in the shadow of the Rock Hall. Here, casual and upscale Mexican food is complemented by 360-degree views of the city and lake. Start your meal with a sampler of house made guacs or the salsa trio--you won't be sorry.
P.M.: The need for speed
Spend your afternoon driving like a boss with a trip to Boss Pro Karting, located in nearby Brookpark. Speed in during an Arrive & Drive session and top off your thrill meter. These aren't your standard kiddie go-karts, but rather high speed, electric karts that offer instant acceleration and incredible throttle control.
Evening: Dinner and a show--and win some dough
After your adrenaline returns to normal levels, fix your helmet hair and head out for your final evening downtown. Enjoy dinner at Pickwick & Frolic, followed by a comedy show at Hilarities 4th Street Theatre. Keep the evening rolling and add one more lady to your posse: Lady Luck. Finish your last night in town at the Jack Cleveland Casino. And hey, if you win, you could totally justify an extended stay.