If you’re looking for things to do in Cleveland, Ohio, you’ve come to the right place.
This city has a lot to offer, from its world-famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to its vibrant nightlife scene. The fun Ohio city is also home to family-friendly activities, outdoor recreation, parks, gardens, aquariums, museums, and so much more.
Ready to learn more? Here are 21+ things to do in Cleveland that we know you and your crew are going to love.
CLEVELAND SCRIPT SIGNS SELFIES
Cleveland is quickly becoming the selfie capital of the world. And we’re not just talking about any old selfies, we’re talking about Cleveland Script Signs Selfies.
If you’re not familiar with the trend, let us explain. Clevelanders are taking photos of themselves in front of the various Cleveland Script signs around town. All of the Cleveland Script signs have fantastic backdrops that really show off the beauty of the city.
The trend started in 2016, when the first three signs were installed, and it’s been picking up steam ever since. Clevelanders are constantly coming up with new and creative ways to take Script Signs Selfies. There’s no end to the possibilities!
Whether you’re a tourist or a local, we urge you to check out the Script Signs Selfies trend for yourself. Here are a few of our favorite spots to snap some photos:
- North Coast Harbor – East 9th Street Pier
- Euclid Beach – 16301 Lakeshore Blvd
- The Foundry – 1831 Columbus Rd
- Edgewater Beach at Edgewater Park – 6500 Cleveland Memorial Shoreway
- The CLE Airport – Look for it near baggage claim
- Tremont – 1502 Abbey Avenue
ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame opened in Cleveland in 1995. Although the Hall of Fame began inducting artists in 1986, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation had no actual home at first. Cleveland was chosen as the home for the Hall of Fame after an extensive search, thanks in part, to public support.
The first inductees were Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Buddy Holly. The museum is dedicated to the history of rock and roll music, and it contains exhibits on the pioneers of rock and roll, the instruments used in rock music, and the fashion of rock stars. There is also a theater where concerts are held, along with a gift shop.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has hosted many famous musicians over the years, including Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and The Who. The museum has also held many special exhibitions, including a presentation on the Beatles, and Bob Dylan.
Read more: 40+ Things to do in Cleveland with Teens
The Cleveland Orchestra is one of the leading orchestras in the United States, and is well-known for its innovative programming and strong community engagement. It was founded in 1918 by Adella Prentiss Hughes, who was the first woman to head a major American orchestra.
The Cleveland Orchestra has won numerous awards, including two Grammy Awards, and has been acclaimed by critics around the world. In addition to its regular concert season, the orchestra also offers educational programs for students of all ages, and free concerts throughout northeastern Ohio.
GREATER CLEVELAND AQUARIUM
The Greater Cleveland Aquarium is a place where you can explore the exciting world of aquatic life. The aquarium has a variety of exhibits that allow you to see different types of fish, coral, and other creatures from all over the world. There are also interactive exhibits that let you touch and learn about some of the animals on display.
The aquarium is open every day of the week, and there is always something new to see. It’s a great place for families or anyone who wants to learn more about marine life. Admission is affordable, and parking is free. So if you’re looking for a fun, educational activity in Cleveland, be sure to check out the Greater Cleveland Aquarium!
TERMINAL TOWER OBSERVATION DECK
The Terminal Tower Observation Deck is a great place to take in panoramic views of Cleveland. The deck is located on the 42nd floor of the Terminal Tower and offers visitors stunning views of the cityscape and surrounding area.
The deck is usually open on weekends in the summer, and tickets are just $5.
Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities while on the deck, including sightseeing, taking photographs, and simply relaxing and enjoying the view. The Terminal Tower Observation Deck is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Cleveland!
The Tremont neighborhood is a historic district that is known for its beautiful architecture and rich history. The neighborhood was once a thriving industrial area, but has since been revitalized and is now a popular tourist destination.
One of the Tremont neighborhood highlights is the A Christmas Story House. The home that was featured in the popular holiday movie, A Christmas Story, is now open year-round for tours. You can even stay overnight in the home! How fun would it be to wake up in Ralphie and Randy’s room?
Across the street from the house, you’ll find a museum that features props, memorabilia, and costumes from the film. You’ll also find a gift shop here, so you can take home your very own “major award.”
While you’re visiting the Tremont neighborhood, make sure to stop by the Tremont Farmer’s Market, held every Tuesday afternoon from mid-May through mid-October. Here you’ll find fresh produce and food, and it’s a great way to support the area.
CEDAR POINT AMUSEMENT PARK
Located about an hour’s drive from Cleveland, Cedar Point Amusement Park is one of the largest amusement parks in the United States. It features over 70 rides, including 17 roller coasters, as well as a water park.
Some of the most popular rides at Cedar Point include Millennium Force, a 310-foot-tall roller coaster that was voted the number one steel roller coaster in the world by enthusiasts, and Maverick, which is the only inverted roller coaster on the American side of Lake Erie.
The park has also been home to several record-breaking rides over the years. Magnum XL-200, which opened in 1989, was the world’s first roller coaster to break the 200-foot height barrier. It was also the first coaster in the world to feature a vertical loop. In 2002, Raptor became the world’s tallest and fastest inverted roller coaster.
Cedar Point Amusement Park is open from May through October.
CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF CLEVELAND
Children’s Museum Cleveland offers exhibits on science, culture, health, nutrition, and early childhood education. It also has an area for birthday parties and other private events. The mission of the museum is “to provide opportunities for all children to learn through play.”
Children’s Museum Cleveland was founded in 1970 by a group of parents who wanted to create a place where their children could learn. The first location was in the basement of the Cleveland Play House. In 1984, the museum moved to its current location on Euclid Avenue. In 2006, the museum underwent a $10 million renovation. The renovation included new exhibits and an expansion of the museum’s education program.
Playhouse Square is a theater district that is located in the heart of downtown Cleveland. With 11 performance spaces, it is one of the largest performing arts centers in the United States, second only to Lincoln Center in New York City.
You’ll find Broadway shows, concerts, dance performances, and so much more here.
Playhouse Square was founded in the early 1920s as a center for vaudeville and movie theaters. The district declined in the 1970s and 1980s, but was restored in the 1990s. Today, Playhouse Square is a popular tourist destination and is the perfect place to catch a performance or show!
One of Cleveland’s most popular green spaces, Wade Park, is a beautiful park situated on the city’s east side. The park is home to a number of attractions, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. (More on these attractions below.)
Also in Wade Park, you’ll find Wade Lagoon, a large, man-made lake in the center of the park. The lagoon is a popular spot for fishing, swimming, and boating. It’s also a great place to relax and take in the beauty of the park.
CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART
The Cleveland Museum of Art is a world-renowned art museum located in Cleveland. The museum features a diverse collection of more than 43,000 works of art from around the world, including paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, and decorative arts.
Founded in 1913, the Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the oldest and most respected art museums in the United States. The museum’s collection is particularly strong in European and American art from the 18th through 20th centuries.
CLEVELAND BOTANICAL GARDEN
The Cleveland Botanical Garden is a delightful place to visit, with a variety of gardens and collections on display. It’s located in the heart of University Circle, which is full of cultural attractions and amenities.
Tour the manicured gardens and the glasshouses to see the beauty of the flowers, plants, and trees here.
The gardens are open year-round, rain or shine.
CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is an amazing natural history museum that borders the Wade Oval. Perfect for both kids and adults, this museum is home to both permanent and traveling exhibits that help visitors learn and explore the scientific and natural world.
Permanent exhibits here include the Kirtland Hall of Prehistoric Life, the Reinberger Hall of Astronomy, along with exhibits on gems, archaeology, and more.
In addition to all the fun exhibits you’ll find inside, you’ll find even more excitement outside! At the Perkins Wildlife Center, you’ll find walkways that take you through the forest, while you get to admire the wildlife that calls the center home. All of the animals found here were rescued as part of a rehabilitation effort, and cannot be successfully released back into the wild.
You’ll find everything from coyotes and river otters to bald eagles and falcons.
Progressive Field is a professional baseball stadium in Downtown Cleveland. It is the home of the Cleveland Guardians (previously the Cleveland Indians). The stadium was built in 1994 and can hold over 43,000 spectators.
The stadium is also well-known for its fan-friendly atmosphere and great food options. In recent years, Progressive Field has undergone several renovations, which have made it one of the best baseball stadiums in the country. Go Guardians!
CLEVELAND HISTORY CENTER
The Cleveland History Center is a collection of museums operated by the Western Reserve Historical Sociecty (WRHS).
At the Cleveland History Center, you’ll find permanent and traveling exhibits that showcase the history of Ohio and the surrounding area.
One of the highlights of the center is the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum. You’ll find over 100 modes of transportation — from cars and motorcycles to aircraft and boats — on display in the 50,000 square foot space. Learn about the history of transportation, and see how transportation has advanced through the years. (Note: the lower level of the Crawford Gallery is undergoing renovations, and is expected to reopen in Summer 2022.)
Also on the property, the kids will love taking a spin on the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel, which was originally built in 1910! The center’s newest exhibit, Women & Politics, is a must-see.
The History Museum also includes the Hay-McKinney Mansion, a 1911 home designed by Abram Garfield, the son of James A. Garfield; The Bingham-Hanna House, built between 1916 and 1919, and the Chisholm Halle Costume Wing.
CLEVELAND METROPARKS ZOO
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a beautiful place to visit, with plenty of activities and exhibits to keep you entertained. There are several different areas of the zoo, each with its own unique focus.
The Primate, Cat & Aquatics area is home to many exciting animals, including gibbons, lemurs, and wolves. Looking for more? Head over to the African Savanna, where you can see lions, elephants, and giraffes up close. Be sure also to check out the Australian Outback exhibit, which features kangaroos and wallabies, and you’ll find tigers, reindeer, sea lions and more in the Wilderness Trek area.
In addition to seeing the animals, the zoo also has a 4D Theater, a carousel, a train ride, and you can even zipline above the zoo!
With so much to see and do, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is worth a visit.
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART CLEVELAND (MOCA)
The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, also known as moCa, was founded in 1968 and is housed in a building designed by Farshid Moussavi.
moCa is the only Cleveland museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art. Here, you’ll find a rotation of contemporary art from fresh creators, so you’ll always discover something new during a visit here.
moCa offers a range of educational programs, including tours, lectures, and family programs. The museum also has a research library that is open to the public. Daily admission to the museum is free.
CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a 33,000-acre park located in northeastern Ohio. The park was established in 1974 and is managed by the National Park Service.
The Cuyahoga River runs through the park, and it features a variety of landscapes, including forests, meadows, wetlands, and rolling hills. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, bobcats, beavers, and river otters. There are also more than 100 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
One of the most popular features of this national park is Brandywine Falls. The 60-foot falls are a must-see, no matter what time of year you’re visiting. You can see the falls via a boardwalk, that lets you see the waterfall head-on. Get there early, because parking fills up fast!
The visitor center offers exhibits about the history and ecology of the park, and visitors can also attend ranger-led programs or visit the farmer’s market. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a great place to enjoy nature and history.
The park is located about 30 minutes away from Cleveland, making it perfect for an easy day trip.
GREAT LAKES SCIENCE CENTER
The Great Lakes Science Center is a museum and learning center, located on the shore of Lake Erie, adjacent to the Cleveland Browns Stadium.
The Science Center has several exhibits, including the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Health Adventure, and an IMAX theater. It also has a planetarium and a research library.
The Science Center offers educational programs for students of all ages and hosts summer camps for children. It also oversees the restoration of the steamship William G. Mather (which is open to visitors).
PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
An hour away from Cleveland, you’ll find the Pro Football Hall of Fame located in Canton, Ohio. A visit to this museum makes a great day trip from Cleveland.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is home to the greatest players and coaches in NFL history. The museum was founded in 1963, and has since inducted over 280 members. To be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a player or coach must have been retired for at least five years and have exhibited outstanding achievement in professional football.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is more than just a museum; it’s a community of football fans who come together to celebrate their love of the game. The Hall of Fame is also a place where players and coaches can share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of football stars.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is a must-see destination for any football fan. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to stop by and check out this incredible museum.
WEST SIDE MARKET
The West Side Market is a historic market located in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland. The market was established in 1912, and is now the oldest continuously operated public market in Ohio.
The market features over 100 vendors selling fresh produce, meat, fish, flowers, and other items. It is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike and has been featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
LAKE VIEW CEMETERY
Located in eastern Cleveland, Lake View Cemetery was founded in 1869 and covers 285 acres. James Abram Garfield, the 20th president of the United States, is buried there. Other notable people who are buried at Lake View Cemetery include John D. Rockefeller and Eliot Ness.
The cemetery is open to the public every day from dawn until dusk. There is an admission fee for vehicles entering the cemetery and a separate fee for pedestrians. Lake View Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The James A. Garfield Monument is located in the James A. Garfield Memorial section of Lake View Cemetery. James Abram Garfield was born in 1831 and died in 1881. He was the 20th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1881, until his assassination on September 19, 1881.
Is Cleveland worth visiting?
Cleveland, Ohio, is definitely worth a visit! In addition to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you’ll find plenty of outdoor adventures, family friendly activities, great museums, and so much more.
What is Cleveland best known for?
Cleveland, Ohio, is best known for being home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, sports teams and their dedicated fans, its amazing neighborhoods, and beautiful city parks.
What was invented in Cleveland?
Some really great things have been invented in Cleveland, such as the first electric streetlight and streetcar (1879), the first gas mask (1914), and the first traffic signal (1923).
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO OHIO
- YOUR OHIO VACATION
- COLUMBUS: 20 Fantastic Things To Do In Columbus, Ohio
- CINCINNATI: 27 Phenomenal Things To Do In Cincinnati, Ohio
- SANDUSKY: 24 Things To Do In Sandusky, Ohio You Can’t Miss
- TOLEDO: 16 Things To Do In Toledo Ohio You’re Gonna Love
Where To Stay In Cleveland
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