Want to make the coldest days in Cleveland some of the coolest? Winter can be brutal here on the north coast (and aren’t we all a little tired of hanging at home?), but you can make the most of it by getting fully immersed in arts and culture, tipping back some warm drinks, and maybe building a snowman or two.
You've never had this much fun with so little mercury in the thermometer. Bundle up, because it’s time to make The Land your winter playground.
Start your morning in artsy Tremont with morning vibes from Loop Cafe. This coffee shop is smaller — but for good reason. It is one part coffee shop, one part (mostly indie) record shop and one part art gallery, three of Cleveland’s favorite things. And, if vinyl shop hopping is your thing, then check out some of these locations.
Sledding on a tiny plastic shield down a steep hill not really your thing? We agree. Let us recommend something exponentially better: tobogganing. We’re talking legit tobogganing down a bona fide toboggan chute. To be clear, that’s a 700-foot tobogganing chute that’ll have you going down at hill at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour (but who’s counting). It happens throughout the winter at the Chalet in the Cleveland Metroparks Mill Stream Run Reservation.
When you’re getting ready to leave, call in a pickup order from The Brew Kettle to enjoy on your drive down to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, about 20 miles south of Downtown. Warm (and fuel) up with comfort food off of their enormous menu, featuring convenient hand-helds like Buffalo Chicken Wraps, Smoked Cheese Steaks or one of their famous burgers.
Get your second dose of adrenaline at Boston Mills & Brandywine where you can ski, snowboard and snow tube on 18 trails. The two next-door resorts in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park feature lifts, rental equipment and lodges to warm your toes.
Or, if you’re over the downhill rush and want to enjoy the scenery, opt for the 125+ miles of nearby hiking trails for a crisp stroll through some of Ohio’s most dramatic scenery.
LockKeepers is the dining equivalent of your favorite winter scarf that takes the bite out of winter. Open for a spacious indoor dinner or to-go, this Cleveland-area staple is a true fine-dining establishment, offering piping-hot, Italian-inspired entrees and friendly service.
Head back Downtown to take a stroll along North Coast Harbor before closing out your day. Snap a selfie in front of one of the Cleveland Script Signs with a glittering skyline as your backdrop – one of the best views of the city as the sun sets.
Winter in Cleveland isn’t too bad when you’ve got a delicious, hot breakfast to start your day. Head to Betts on East 9th at the Schofield for your morning meal, where you can indulge in Carrot Cake Oatmeal, an AM Power Bowl, or eggs just about any way you want them. Grab-and-Go at this establishment is quick, easy, and available for any item on their food menu.
Want to know why we have the prettiest grocery store ever? Or where you can find the world’s largest outdoor chandelier? Take a Downtown Highlights Walking Tour from the Tours of Cleveland, during which you’ll get the inside scoop on Cleveland’s most famous buildings, residents and history from a knowledgeable, engaging guide. Pack your walking shoes – the tour is two hours long, but you’ll have plenty of opportunities along the way to sit and hear the tales of the town.
Yours Truly sits in the heart of Downtown just steps from Playhouse Square in the historic Halle Building. You’ve got your choice of homestyle entrees, wraps, sandwiches, soups, salads, or burgers on their extensive menu – and don’t forget the sweet stuff (we suggest a home baked apple pie for the real deal).
University Circle isn’t afraid to embrace its inner "Old Man Winter." In fact, centrally located in Wade Oval park during the wintertime, you’ll find the Rink at Wade Oval. This unique polymer-surfaced ice-skating rink attracts tens of thousands of visitors ever year. Skate, hold hands with your plus-one, share a hot chocolate and maybe even stroll along the lagoon afterward.
Need a little vacation from reality? Head over to the Cleveland Botanical Garden where you can spend some time walking the grounds, birdwatching, and getting in your steps surrounded by beauty. As twilight nears, take a twinkle treelight walk on select woodland paths, where trees of all shapes and sizes are lit with sparkling lights.
Treat yourself to one of the top restaurants in Cleveland, L’Albatros Brasserie and Bar. This upscale hot spot is located in an old carriage house on the campus of Case Western Reserve University. Gorgeous plates of French cuisine are served in a romantic setting or available for curbside pickup.