Cleveland is full of rich history and culture that is just waiting to be discovered. From sports to arts to historical figures, you’re bound to find some interesting facts about The Land.
Cleveland History Center
What better place to start a deep-dive into local lore than the Cleveland History Center? The city’s past comes alive within these walls, where you’ll find artifacts spanning sports, industry and more. Brush up on the basics with the “Cleveland Starts Here” display, then go deep with empowering exhibits on women in politics and pioneering Black politicians Carl and Louis Stokes.
Cleveland Cultural Gardens
Just down the road (Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, to be exact), Cleveland Cultural Gardens provides an unexpectedly beautiful taste of local history. Each garden represents an individual ethnic group, and collectively, they celebrate the diverse peoples who helped build the city.
Stroll or bike through this ribbon of richly landscaped, sculpture-studded gardens winding through Rockefeller Park.
Polish American Cultural Center
The Polish American Cultural Center features a community hall, museum and library depicting Polish history and legacy. In the museum, you can find exhibits on the History of Cleveland Polonia, military history and more.
Italian American Museum of Cleveland
The Italian American Museum of Cleveland opened in 2021 in Little Italy with events and exhibits celebrating Cleveland’s Italian presence. Browse the historic exhibits on local history or venture on a walking tour of Little Italy.
Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage
To the east in Beachwood is the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. Living up to its subtitle, “The Museum of Diversity and Tolerance,” the Maltz welcomes all at its striking museum location. Take a self-guided tour of exhibits that expose dark episodes of the past and shine a light towards a brighter, kinder future.
Arts enthusiasts won’t want to miss Karamu House. Since 1915, this joyful gathering place (as its name translates from Swahili) has attracted an appreciative array of performing and visual arts enthusiasts. Grab a ticket for their production of Keith Hamilton Cobb’s “American Moor” (May 6-29) and you’ll see why the nation’s oldest African-American theater is still going strong.
Dunham Tavern Museum
You haven’t earned your history buff cred if you don’t visit Dunham Tavern Museum, the oldest building still standing on its original site in the city of Cleveland. A designated Cleveland Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 1824-built gem provides a firsthand look into the life of early settlers Rufus and Jane Pratt Dunham.
Hale Farm & Village
Hale Farm & Village also provides a glimpse into 19th-century life as an “outdoor living history museum” exploring Early American craft and trades in Bath Township. Your tour guide? Fully costumed in period-appropriate attire. The immersion is real.
Erie Street Cemetery
Finally, visit Erie Street Cemetery to gain even more appreciation for those who came before us. Protected behind imposing stone walls, this oasis of calm amid Downtown’s bustle invites exploration. Wander through, and you’ll find the final resting places of the city’s first permanent settler, Lorenzo Carter; Meskwaki resistance warrior, Chief Joc-o-Sot; and Civil War general James Barnett.