Whether you’re journeying to The Land for the first time or have lived here for decades, our city has so much to offer during the summer months that it can be hard to keep up. Luckily, we’ve already done the research, gone into the lab and compiled the data into a list of Cleveland summer essentials you just can’t miss. (You're welcome.)
Print out this article and draw on your own checkboxes for the perfect summer to-do list in The Land, or stop in to our Visitors Center and pick up an actual print version on your way to your next summer adventure.
Shop 'Til You Drop
Foodies, art enthusiasts and shopaholics will find their bliss at this monthly smorgasbord of creativity located in the heart of Cleveland’s largest arts complex. Whether you’re schmoozing through the vendor stands, being blown away by the visual displays, cramming your face with delicacies or admiring the four floors of diverse architecture, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more colorful place to spend a summer evening.
Dip into the Tremont neighborhood’s art-filled history at an event that’s been going on for a grand ole 30 years. The second Friday of each month finds a sample of the galleries, music, street entertainment, pop-up tents and culture that this little slice of The Land is known for. Hosted in an open-air tent space in the warmer months, themes like “American Classics” in July and “Let’s Luau” in August are sure to bring the heat.
If you’re more into the alternative scene, swing by one of Cleveland Bazaar’s “Meet the Makers” events and dive into Northeast Ohio’s longest-running indie craft show. With a focus on showcasing nontraditional venue spaces in addition to their artists, you can expect both a creative and historical experience at this quirky, uniquely Cleveland event series.
In The Land, we ask the tough important questions, like why have one market when you could have five? The CLE Market contingent features five different locations in the surrounding Cleveland suburbs. The goods being sold differs at each market, but the top-notch quality remains the same.
Rockin' Music Scene
Can you name a better place to celebrate music and listen to your favorite artists – both new and old – than the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? We can’t either. Their summer concert series returns this year with a bang as they feature artists like Fitz and the Tantrums, Grandmaster Flash and The Breeders. On Thursday evenings, they’ll offer beer gardens, food and beverage trucks, outdoor seating and pet-friendly areas as local artists perform while the summer sun sets.
For a family-friendly vibe on your summer nights, check out Wade Oval’s beloved slate of weekly events featuring live music of all different genres, local food, craft beer and wine while surrounded by the beauty of University Circle and amazing institutions like Cleveland Museum of Art and Severance Music Center. Wade Oval Wednesdays also features tons of activities for kids that’ll have them begging to come back every week.
What’s a Cleveland summer without an electrifying concert at Blossom Music Center, The Land’s renowned, open-air amphitheater? Lineups for the summer months include everything from Jason Aldean to 5 Seconds of Summer, Lil’ Durk to Foreigner’s farewell tour and everything in between. Whatever your preferred genre, enjoy the best concert experience of your summer in a gorgeous, pastoral setting.
For One (Or Eight) Night(s) Only
Blaze past your opponents in the race component of the Paddlefest on Cleveland’s beloved Cuyahoga River or enjoy more of a slow burn with the more leisurely option. Either way, this festival gives participants the opportunity to explore the Cuyahoga via kayak, paddleboard or canoe, followed by a celebration complete with live music, a beer fest and mouthwatering eats down by the river.
Take in the sights, smells, sounds and all-important tastes of The Land’s very own Little Italy as you celebrate a festival that’s been part of our city’s calendar for over a century. Feast on decadent cannoli, tasty pizza and to-die-for pasta, take in the traditional mass and procession, dance the night away to live entertainment, or load up on authentic Italian goods. It’s impossible to not fall in amore
with The Feast.
When it comes to women’s sports, there’s no match (get it?) for Cleveland’s largest women’s sporting event, Tennis In The Land, part of the WTA 250 and U.S. Open Series. From its home in the Flats West Bank, root for your favorite athletes holding court underneath a gorgeous skyline view and take advantage of the Women in Business Forum, which will be discussing the impact that sports have on business development. No matter how it shakes out, women take the “W” in this tournament.
Vampires might want to steer clear of this unique (daytime) Cleveland festival. A garlic-lover’s heaven comes to Shaker Square, with the opportunity to revel in everything from garlic fries to garlic ice cream. Miss Cleveland Garlic Festival and her garlic fairies reign over the proceedings along with the prestigious winner of the Top Chef Garlic Grill Off. Follow your nose to the most fantastically fragrant festival in The Land.
Grab your passport, walking shoes and camera for some world-wide traveling right in your own backyard. The Cleveland Cultural Gardens – featuring 35 gardens dedicated to a distinct culture or nationality – serve as the perfect stage for an event celebrating diverse ethnic groups and their music, history, dances, cuisine and longstanding contributions to our fair city.
It’s a bird! No, it’s the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds! This Labor Day tradition in The Land is sure to exceed your sky-high expectations, whether you’re spectating from the Burke Lakefront Airport, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame or from the waters of Lake Erie. Get into a patriotic mood with this demonstration of speed and agility.
Adventures, points and prizes – oh my! We’ve curated a sensational way to widen your Cleveland comfort zone that showcases tons of experiences for locals and visitors alike, all while earning points and prizes. Whether you’re a brews connoisseur, Black artistry appreciator, woodsy trailblazer or global foodie, our passports are the perfect way for you to find your new favorite spot in The Land (and cop some free CLE gear).