Going Places: The 55
Take the easy way in
By Heather Tunstall
Getting Downtown from western neighborhoods and suburbs is easy on the RTA Cleveland State Line, also known as "The 55," bus. In fact, there are four buses dubbed "55"--55, 55A, 55B and 55C.
But don't let that confuse you; they all get you Downtown and back. The 55 gets you to and from Westgate Transit Center in Fairview Park. 55A swings you through Lakewood Park and Lakewood's Gold Coast. 55B's service is between Bay Village and Downtown, while 55C's is between Westlake (Crocker Park) and Downtown.
Need a breakdown? Here's your guide to the 55, starting west and heading eastbound (times are approximate).
Fairview Park-Downtown route
Service times: Mon.-Sat. | Weekdays: 4:45 a.m. (first pick-up at Westgate) to 10:45 p.m. (last drop-off at Westgate). Saturdays: 5:56 a.m. (first pick-up at Westgate) to 8:44 p.m. (last drop-off at Westgate). No service on holidays and Sundays.
Frequency: About every 10 minutes on weekdays during rush hour, every 30 minutes during off-peak. About every hour on Saturdays.
Westgate Transit Center--Shop and eat to your heart's content. The Westgate Transit Center is a hop, skip and a jump from Westgate Town Center (go figure). Splurge on clothes at dressbarn, Target, Kohl's or Marshall's; relax and unwind at facelogic, Massage Heights, or Fusions Salon & Day Spa; or get your fan gear at Rally House. Fuel up at favorites like Enso Rolls & Bowls, Pita Pit, Dolce Wraps or Jersey Mike's Subs. Don't worry, there's a Starbuck's, too.
If you head the other way out of the Westgate Transit Center, you'll find the ever-wonderful Rocky River Brewing Co.
Detroit Rd. & Linda St.--Get your fill at Market, Rocky River Wine Bar, Mitchell's Ice Cream or Bomba Tacos & Rum. If you're going for healthy, stop in Whole Foods instead.
Detroit Rd. & W. 192nd St.--You're in the heart of Downtown Rocky River. From here, you can walk to Burntwood Tavern, Heinen's Grocery Store, and the Old River Shopping Area, which includes Sacred Hour Spa, Tartine Bistro, Flip Side Rocky River, Salmon Dave's Pacific Grille, Stino Da Napoli, Rosso Gelato and so much more.
Clifton & W. 117th--You're at the doorstep of Twist Social Club, a favorite hotspot gay club known for its awesome happy hour and dance parties. Nearby, you'll find Tick Tock Tavern, or Papa Nick's Pizza & Pasta for some serious carb-loading.
Clifton & W. 104th--Sip a little somethin' special on the patio of Clifton Martini & Wine Bar.
Clifton & Lake Ave.--Don's Lighthouse Grille has your steak and seafood fix, complete with a killer happy hour.
W Shoreway & W. 73rd--On Saturdays only, you can hop off at this stop and walk over to Edgewater Park, where you can sink your toes in the sand, hang out in the new Beach House, fly a kite, walk the pier, or generally just enjoy one of the best spots in Cleveland.
Superior & West Roadway--Exit onto the beautiful, newly renovated Public Square. Catch a yoga class, eat at REBol, check out the Soldiers' & Sailors' Monument, or run through the splash pad in the summer or lace up your ice skates in the winter.
Superior & E. 3rd St.--Hop off here to check out the incredible Arcade with its 300-foot-high glass ceiling and Victorian-era decor. Right across the street is the Cleveland Public Library, and from this stop you're also easy walking distance to The Fountain of Eternal Life and the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland.
Stephanie Tubbs-Jones Transit Center--The end of this route (before looping back west) is a recently renovated transit center just next door to the Wolstein Center, home of concerts, shows, CSU sporting events, and more.
Service times: Mon.-Fri. rush hours only | 6:21 a.m. (first pick-up at Lakewood Park) to 8:51 a.m. (last pick-up at Lakewood Park); and 4:26 p.m. (first drop-off at Lakewood Park) to 6:29 p.m. (last drop-off at Lakewood Park).
Frequency: About every 30 minutes.
Lakewood Park--Lakewood Park is 31 acres of gorgeous public parkland overlooking Lake Erie. It's got it all: A pool, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, pavilions, volleyball courts, a giant playground for kids, picnic tables and grills, a bandstand, a skate park, a lakefront promenade with incredible Downtown skyline photo ops, and the brand new Solstice Steps, which give probably the best view of sunsets in all of Cleveland.
Lake Ave. & Gold Coast Ln.--The stop for seafood lovers. Pier W is known for its awesome brunches and happy hours, with a dining room with floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the lake. More of an al fresco diner? Head up to their outdoor rooftop patio with views of the Downtown Cleveland skyline.
The route continues through Lakewood's Gold Coast before connecting to the 55 main route with the same stops through Downtown.
Bay Village-Downtown route
Service times: Mon.-Fri. rush hours only | 5:48 a.m. (first pick-up at Wolf & Cahoon) to 7:44 a.m. (last pick-up at Wolf & Cahoon); and 4:10 p.m. (first drop-off at Wolf & Cahoon) to 7:18 p.m. (last drop-off at Wolf & Cahoon).
Frequency: About every 30 minutes.
Wolf Rd. & Cahoon Rd.--Home to the city's Bay Days festival, Cahoon Memorial Park is at the center of the Cleveland Metroparks' Huntington Reservation. From this stop, you can make your way to the baseball fields, lay a blanket for a picnic in the park, hang out at the skate park, or visit the Rose Hill Museum, among other highlights.
Lake Rd. & Longbeach Pkwy.--You're a short walk away from Huntington Beach, where you can swim with a view of the Downtown Cleveland skyline and indulge in Honey Hut ice cream.
Dover Center Rd. & W. Oviatt Rd.--Satisfy your sweet tooth at Malley's Chocolates or Fragapane Bakeries, both just a short walk from this stop.
Clague Rd. & Wolf Rd.--There's a park-and-ride here for easy commuting if you don't want to ride the route through residential Bay Village. You're also at the front door of Reese Park, where you've got a baseball field, basketball court and tennis courts.
Bradstreet's Landing Park (22401 Lake Rd.)--Cast a line at the Bradstreet's Landing Fishing Pier.
The route continues along Lake Rd. and connects with the 55 main route into Downtown.
Crocker Park-Downtown route
Service times: Mon.-Fri. limited service | 6:44 a.m. (first pick-up at Crocker Park) to 7:10 a.m. (last pick-up at Crocker Park); and 5:30 p.m. (first drop-off at Crocker Park) to 6:00 p.m. (last drop-off at Crocker Park).
Frequency: About every 30 minutes.
Crocker Park--There's more to do here than we can list succinctly. Crocker Park in Westlake is the de-facto west-side Cleveland hotspot. Calling it an outdoor mall doesn't quite cut it--it's packed with tons of great restaurants, shops and services. Fill your belly at Michael Symon's B Spot, Brio Tuscan Grille, Texas de Brazil, First Watch, Cheesecake Factory, or Jonathon Sawyer's Noodlecat. Sip a drink at Bar Louie, Eighty Seven West, or Yard House. Shop at LuluLemon, Nordstrom Rack, Dick's Sporting Goods, J Crew, Express, Urban Outfitters, Arhaus, or many others. Catch a flick at the Regal Cinemas Crocker Park IMAX movie theater or get your grocery shopping done at Trader Joe's. It's all here.
This route continues along Detroit Rd. through Westlake and Rocky River until it meets up with the main 55 line at Wagar Rd.