Going Places: Red Line Rail (Eastbound)
Tri-C, University Circle, Cedar Hill and Little Italy
By Jennifer Kramer, Image by Cody York
Did you know that Cleveland was the first city in the Western Hemisphere to connect a city’s major airport to its Downtown by rapid transit service? Tuck that bit of trivia away for the next time you're competing on Jeopardy, and in the mean time, it can be a nugget of appreciation for our city's Red Line Rail.
While Cleveland’s claim to transit fame highlights the Red Line connection to Downtown, it’s important that residents know what lies beyond our urban limits into the East Side yonder. Hosting friends and family for a visit often brings its own set of stresses, but knowing the transit routes in and around the city can help you check one potentially stressful situation off your list. Treat yourself to low cost fares and beat the traffic: let the folks at RTA help you show others the hotspots of the city you love.
For eastbound Red Line travelers, here’s a guide that can lead you to some of Cleveland’s best.
Cuyahoga Community College (Metro Campus)
Stop location: East 34th and Campus
The east side’s slew of fine educational facilities begins just outside the confines of Downtown. A popular transit option for students, faculty and staff of the Tri-C community, the Red Line conveniently drops riders off a mile away from campus. As you travel to and fro, take note of the INTER|URUBAN: Art & Culture Connector that adorns the tracks, which touts a 13-mile gallery of large-scale, artist-designed murals, installations, and experiences.
University Circle and Cedar Hill
Stop location: Cedar-University
Just a 10-minute walk from the station, immerse yourself in an environment of education and medical phenomenon as you stroll through the campus of Case Western Reserve University or gaze upon the majesty of one of Cleveland’s medicinal marvels, University Hospitals of Cleveland.
If your day of adventure calls for art, history and gorgeous gardens, University Circle is just within your grasp. About 13 minutes after you step off the train, you can be in the heart of the country’s most concentrated square mile of art and culture institutions including Severance Hall, home of The Cleveland Orchestra; Cleveland Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA); Cleveland History Center; Cleveland Botanical Garden; and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
A day of exploring can sure work up an appetite, but have no fear as delicious dining options are within reach. As you head back to the Cedar-University stop, venture just 10 minutes east up Cedar Hill and treat yourself to a white-linen dinner and toe-tapping jazz tunes at Nighttown. If you have a hankering for some Mexican cuisine, Barrio, also located on Cedar Hill, does not disappoint when it comes tacos, tequila and whiskey (oh my)!
Little Italy and Uptown
Stop location: Little Italy-University Circle
This recently added Red Line stop gives residents and visitors alike the easiest of access to the Old World tastes and smells that abound in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood. Guests to this area can easily pass the time by exploring the various art galleries, restaurants and bakeries that line the street. No trip is complete without an authentic Italian feast of pasta and pizza at Mama Santa’s Pizzeria, a cannoli from Presti’s Bakery or Corbo’s and a glass of red vino at La Dolce Vita to top off the day. (Traveler’s Tip for The Feast of the Assumption attendees: this is the stop for you.)
If your adventure takes you to Little Italy earlier in the day and you’d like to get in a little exercise before you carb up, Lake View Cemetery is only a 10-minute walk. There you can surround yourself with the history of Cleveland’s greats, while taking in the breathtaking landscape and iconic views of the Cleveland skyline from the top of the Garfield monument.
As you head back to the Red Line station, dining options envelop you as you head into Uptown, where you can choose from an assortment of food to fill your belly. Asian street food from Ninja City or a famous Happy Dog hotdog adorned with any number of the 50 toppings that are offered are good places to start. But you better go big before you go home and stop at either Coquette Patisserie or Piccadilly Artisan Creamery for a sweet French-inspired treat or a cold creamy ice cream cone to finish off the evening.
Find My Ride
For a complete schedule for the Red Line Rail route, as well as the other light rail, bus and trolley options offered by RTA, click here. Don’t forget to download RTA’s free CLE mobile app, which can help you and your guests easily plan your trip and pay fares ahead of time.