Headed to Cleveland for that big work conference? Lucky you. And, if your plane arrives hours before the event kicks off or you’ve got an oddly placed break in between sessions, all the better. Even half a day cruising The Land is enough time to make your friends back home a little jealous. After all, the days ahead will be packed with keynote speakers and networking. This is your chance to get to know your new favorite city.
Here’s a few suggestions on where to go, what to see and, of course, what to eat …
Board the RTA Healthline for a trip up Euclid Avenue that’ll land you in artsy University Circle. It’s the most concentrated square mile of arts and culture in the country, which means you’ll need to keep your eye on your watch. This place offers way more than a half day of to-dos.
Cleveland Museum of Art: The best deal in Cleveland. Gallery after gallery of world-class art ranging from Renaissance masters to modern photography. Did we mention it’s free?
Presti’s Bakery: The breakfasts served at the convention can be a little… conventional. Stock up on croissants, crostata and more at this Little Italy landmark. And, since traveling for work is vacation adjacent, the calories don’t count.
Cleveland History Center: The past comes alive with relics of sporting triumph, life-changing innovation and a seriously impressive auto collection. No visit is complete without a spin on the Euclid Beach Carousel.
Hop in a Lyft or take the red line RTA train one stop from the Terminal Tower to West 25th Street. Ohio City is where you can embark on a half-day journey that’ll fill your newsfeed with some seriously sweet ‘grams.
West Side Market: More than 100 vendors call this historic Euro-style market home. Graze the seemingly endless rows of booths owned by second and third generations of families as you munch on choice cuts of meat, fresh produce and the kind of baked goods that only grandmas seem to know how make.
Market Garden Brewery: Quench your thirst next door with a pint of MGB’s award-winning beer. Our fave? The Cleveland AF. When in Rome, after all.
Mitchell’s Ice Cream: Here’s an action item for the agenda. Sublime flavors, tasting tours and even an Ohio City flagship exclusive — Porter Chocolate Chunk — made in collaboration with Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Located southwest of Downtown Cleveland, Tremont is where you’ll find little art galleries, cute boutiques and more independent restaurants and bars than you could ever fit into a half day. Don’t let that stop you from hopping into a super-quick rideshare or cab to get there.
Prosperity Social Club: Tremont mixes a young, artistic vibe with old-school bones. Nothing embodies that more than Prosperity, which flashes a retro Art Deco aesthetic with top-notch food and drinks.
A Christmas Story House: Admit it, you binge watch the cult classic every Christmas on TBS. Tour the actual house — faithfully re-created down to the last cinematic detail. (Yep, including the leg lamp in the window.)
Lucky’s Cafe: Farm-to-table food with a legit commitment to fresh Ohio ingredients. Try Lucky’s Reuben, the sandwich made famous on the Food Network.
West of Downtown Cleveland, you’ll want to take a cab or rideshare over to this hot ‘hood, which swanks cool art, beaches and an indie vibe.
Edgewater Beach: Dig your feet in the sand while scoping a stunning vista of The Land. Edgewater’s laidback beach makes the office feel a million miles away.
Brewnuts: Hand-crafted donuts made with craft beer. We’ll just let that sink in for a sec. Brewnuts offers the regular faves, seasonal novelties and even letter donuts.
Happy Dog: If beer donuts sound off the wall, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Load up a hot dog with the craziest toppings imaginable. Like Cheetos, chunky peanut butter and Spaghetti O’s.
Rideshare it over to the West Bank or take a windy walk down to the East Bank to start your Flats half-day adventure. Need to navigate between the two sides of the river? Try the water taxi during warm-weather months.
Greater Cleveland Aquarium: Gawk at a colorful tropical reef, snap a selfie with a smiling stingray and brave the SeaTube — a 175-foot underwater tunnel — as sharks glide right overhead.
Collision Bend Brewing: Named “America’s Best Brewpub” in USA Today, Collision Bend mixes SoCal street food and craft beer. Grab a seat on the patio and enjoy a riverside rest. Or stay inside and watch ‘em as they pass from the window seats.
Punch Bowl Social: Jet lag, begone. Hit the lanes, or the shuffleboard court, or the classic arcade, or even the private karaoke booths. There's no shortage of fun to be had at Punch Bowl, including getting actual bowls full of boozy punch. That's right; it's not just a clever name.
Civic Center – Downtown Cleveland
Get to know Downtown Cleveland by starting at the center point – Cleveland’s civic center. Good news: it’s all walkable. Head to Public Square (check the skyline for that iconic Terminal Tower) and start your exploration from there.
Soldiers & Sailors Monument: Cleveland’s beacon of freedom. The monument — and its museum-like Memorial Room — honors those Cuyahoga County veterans who fought for justice in the Civil War.
JACK Cleveland Casino: Feeling lucky? Try your hand at slots, blackjack, roulette… JACK’s got it all. Who knows, maybe you’ll hit the jackpot. (If so, we want a cut.)
East Fourth Street: Bowl a few frames at The Corner Alley, chow down on some celeb chef Michael Symon’s Mabel's BBQ or select a souvenir from CLE Clothing Company. This is Cleveland’s hottest street.
North Coast Harbor – Downtown Cleveland
Some of Cleveland’s most well-known visitor attractions sit in the Downtown district known as North Coast Harbor – Lake Erie and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Walk north (if you go too far north, you’ll fall into the lake) and you’ll come face-to-face with some of the most iconic places in The Land.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Geek out over seven floors of rock ’n’ roll history like John Lennon’s guitar and Michael Jackson’s trademark glittery glove. And, don’t forget, new inductees join the show every year.
Nuevo Cleveland: This East 9th Pier spot offers up jaw-dropping views from the patio and casual, but upscale, Mexican cuisine from the kitchen.
Great Lakes Science Center: Bone up on fun scientific facts to make those networking icebreakers slightly more tolerable. Oh, and catch a nature film on the DOME Theater’s six-story screen.