Romance and Cleveland usually aren't in the same sentence together; but this former industrial city is slowly wiping away its rust, and has enough soft edges to warm the heart of any romantic. Located on the shore of Lake Erie, Cleveland turns into a welcoming retreat during the summer months with none of the hustle and bustle that is sure to be found at East Coast destinations. Here are some tips for getting the most romance out of your getaway to Cleveland.
1. Stay in a historic building, like the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel located in the downtown. This hotel originally opened in 1918 as The Cleveland Hotel. It changed hands many times throughout the years but now has been restored to its previous greatness. The grand lobby, adorned with large chandeliers will transport you back in time. Ask for a room with a city view. After your day of sight-seeing enjoy a drink in the welcoming hotel bar adorned with marble floors and a wooden mahogany bar.
2. While in the downtown, make sure to visit other historic buildings. The Renaissance Hotel is conveniently connected to the Tower City Building. This grand building is on the National Register of Historical Places and houses the Horseshoe Casino, the Ritz-Carlton and a shopping mall. Try your luck at the casino, then spend your winnings at the shops, or on dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. If you win big, Morton's might be a better way to celebrate! On weekends you can ascend to the observation deck at the top of the tower. The final tour begins at 4:30 pm on Saturdays and 3:30 pm on Sundays.
Head east on Euclid Avenue to visit another iconic building, The Arcade. Opened in 1890, The Arcade was one of the first indoor shopping malls in America. Today the Hyatt Regency occupies the top three floors, while shops and eateries comprise the lower two levels. Take a moment to marvel at the ornate balconies and overhead skylights. They don't make buildings like this anymore.
3. If downtown living isn't your thing, cross the Cuyahoga River to the west to visit the Cleveland neighborhood of Ohio City. This artisan neighborhood was founded in 1836 and is comprised of many small businesses. Stay at the J. Palen House Bed and Breakfast to begin your day in this charming neighborhood. From the J. Palen House it's just a short walk to West 25th Street, which is home to many restaurants, ice cream stands, coffee shops and the West Side Market.
4. While in Ohio City make sure to visit the West Side Market. This market is home to over one hundred vendors supplying fresh meats and fish, candy and nuts. The yellow brick markethouse, which includes a stunning interior concourse, was designed by architects Benjamin Hubbel and W. Dominick Benes, who also designed the Cleveland Museum of Art. Across the street from the West Side Market is the Market Square Park. Grab a seat on a bench or at a table, and enjoy your findings from the market. Bubble tea, anyone? This is a great location for people watching. The market is open on Monday and Wednesday from 7 am to 4 pm and Friday and Saturday from 7 am to 6 pm.
5. The Great Lakes Brewing Company Brew Pub is also found in Ohio City on Market Avenue. The iconic brewery opened in 1988 in this historic neighborhood. Ask for an outdoor table on the patio and order the beer sampler to share with your significant other. Discuss your favorite beer as you relax on the tree-lined brick patio. Be sure to venture inside to get a glimpse of the beautiful Victorian era wooden bar.
6. Even if you're not a fan of baseball, there's much to love about a Major League Baseball game in the summer. Progressive Field has been home to the Cleveland Indians since 1994 and makes great use of the downtown skyline as a backdrop to a baseball game. The stadium sells a wide selection of beer from many local breweries and offers an array of Tribe Town merchandise. After rooting for the home team (long time fans in the bleachers bang on drums!) take a walk to the upper deck of the stadium for unique views overlooking the City of Cleveland.
7. Take a stroll on East 4th Street. This pedestrian-only street showcases many restaurants and a coffee shop. Try the upscale, renowned Lola. Or for something less formal go for a burger at The Corner Alley. Eat inside to the sound of falling bowling pins, or outside under the lights. Buy a cool, vintage inspired t-shirt at the CLE Clothing Company. 4th Street is just a couple blocks away from the Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field, making it the perfect location to recharge before or after a game.
8. Last but certainly not least, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an obvious choice for visitors to Cleveland; especially if this is your first visit. The building architecture is intriguing; just like you would expect from the building housing Rock and Roll artifacts. Discuss your favorite Rock and Roll bands with your partner while strolling this unique and one of a kind museum. Before making your trip to the museum overlooking Lake Erie, visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website for details on upcoming events.
There's no doubt that Cleveland has struggled for many years, yet it seems poised for a grand comeback. The magnificent downtown buildings are being restored. Construction of new hotels is being seen and heard. Retailers and breweries are popping up, and a basketball player named LeBron just decided it was time to move back here too. The backdrop of old, framed with the promise of a new era creates a romantic adventure. Maybe it's time for you to go see what all the fuss is about.
Author: Sarah Warman
I like to run, take pictures and write. I've combined all three in this blog.