How to Spend 48 Hours in the CLE
How to Spend 48 Hours in the CLE
By Erin Toohey Naso, Photo by Cody York
Only have a couple days to spend in Cleveland? That’s definitely not enough time to see all the city has to offer, but you can still get a great idea of what truly makes the city amazing. Here’s a sample itinerary for 48 hours in Cleveland that will give you a variety of sites and tastes.
Downtown and Ohio City
RISE & SHINE: SADDLE UP!
Carpe diem with a classy breakfast at Urban Farmer, located in the equally-elegant Westin Cleveland Downtown. An elaborated brunch menu (all local- and organic-sourced) is popular on the weekends and takes a tour of all things biscuits, hash, Benedicts, and carbs with a hip Bloody Mary bar to hydrate.
A.M.: ON THE WATERFRONT
Head on over to the West Bank of the Flats and take a cruise in the Cuyahoga River via jetski, boat, or kayak. Rental information can be found here. Take the water taxi for $2 over to the East Bank Flats and walk along the boardwalk.
Or, rent the same toys along with paddleboards and boats behind the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the North Coast Harbor, and snag your touristy CLE pic in front of the new Cleveland script sign with the perfect backdrop.
Tour Option 2: Explore CLE via segway on an hour ride through the city. Everyone loves a good tour when we're off our feet!
LUNCH: BEER ME
Ohio City is basically Cleveland’s brewery district for craft beer and pub grub. Great Lakes Brewing Co. is the originator, from its famed Edmund Fitzgerald Porter to beer school on Wednesdays. Totter across the street to Market Garden Brewery for any of their 14 beers on tap and farm-to-table comfort food. Don’t miss a visit to the famous West Side Market right next door. And, if looking to booze and cruise, check out Cleveland's first ever Brew Boat, where you can pedal your way through the river with killer views and your favorite brews.
P.M.: THE LIFE AQUATIC
There’s an ocean of fish in an old power station in The Flats at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. Its adventures include a 175-foot-long underwater Shark SeaTube and an 11,000-gallon Touch Pool (where you can gently poke horn sharks and stingrays). Optional: A 2.5-hour Lolly the Trolley tour departs at 2 p.m. from the Powerhouse.
DINNER: GO ON, GET HAPPY
East 4th Street is one alley you need to see. Some of Cleveland’s most celebrated restaurants and entertainment hubs pepper this pedestrian-only street, including Lola, The Greenhouse Tavern, and Pickwick and Frolic. Duck into The Butcher and The Brewer to imbibe hand-built beer, cocktails, oysters, cured meats, and cultured cheeses (the beef sliders are a must).
EVENING: PLAY BALL
Close with a classic Americana experience with the Cleveland Indians at the newly-renovated Progressive Field at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario. Optional: See a Broadway play or concert in Cleveland’s theater district, Playhouse Square, or grab a post-show beer at Hofbräuhaus Cleveland.
Coventry, Little Italy, University Circle, Chagrin Falls, and Beachwood
RISE & SHINE: BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS
Tommy’s Restaurant in Coventry Village is famous for its milkshakes, sandwiches, and American-Lebanese cuisine, but it also has a rad-tastic breakfast menu with Falafel omelets, 8-inch pancakes, tofu scrambles, and so much more. Walk off your food coma and prepare yourself for Cleveland's Little Italy, which lives up to the name. Stop into Presti's Bakery to cure your early morning sweet tooth and grab a mouth-watering cannoli or gelato.
A.M.: SMARTY PANTS
Make your brain bigger (figuratively, of course) by visiting Cleveland’s art and academic center, University Circle. Tour the Cleveland Museum of Art’s high-tech Gallery One — it’s free! Dinosaurs are the highlight at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Explore Madagascar and Costa Rica in the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Glasshouse. Then ride the Euclid Beach Grand Carousel at the Cleveland History Center.
LUNCH: BOWLED OVER
Roll into The Corner Alley, located in the Uptown District, in the heart of University Circle for its rustic Italian fare and choice bourbon and craft beers. After fueling up, fire up your game on any of its 17 alleys. Roll large, my friend.
P.M.: QUAINT AND DELISH
Slow your stroll in the picturesque Chagrin Falls. Don’t miss retail stops at Cuffs, The Little Monogram Shop, and Hedges. Linger on the patio at Gamekeeper’s or roll up your sleeves for treats at Rick’s Café, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, and the Chagrin Falls Popcorn Shop Factory. Field trip: Descend the steps next to the popcorn shop for a personal experience with the falls.
DINNER: ALL THINGS BEEF
Moxie, The Restaurant in Beachwood and its sister restaurant (located right next door), Red, The Steakhouse, dominate in all things beef. Come for the meat but be sure to take a twirl around the rest of the menu, being sure to admire their extensive wine list. Reservations highly suggested.
EVENING: ALL THAT JAZZ
Entering its 50th year, Nighttown in Cleveland Heights is one of Cleveland’s premier music venues. Hobnob with doctors, Cleveland elite, and a writer or two as swoozy jazz mixes with a soulful menu presented in six different dining rooms and three bars.