Once known primarily for its fire-prone river and multiple sports failures, Cleveland has revamped its image and is no longer known as the “Mistake by the Lake.” Today, Ohio's largest city is an affordable, family-friendly destination and a great place to explore, dine, stay and play.
Cleveland rocks, and the city celebrates its musical heritage at the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. From its blues beginnings through its post-grunge days, the story of rock comes alive through multimedia exhibits, artifacts, films and archives. The Jimi Hendrix Theater and Exhibit is especially electrifying, featuring videos of the artist's most jaw-dropping performances and his handwritten lyrics, watercolor landscapes, guitars and flamboyant costumes.
Next door to the Rock Hall is the Great Lakes Science Center, featuring over 400 hands-on exhibits that delight both children and adults. There, visitors can virtually dissect frogs, walk through a recreated Egyptian tomb, touch a whirling cyclone, freeze their shadows and more. The on-site NASA Glenn Visitor Center includes over 50 exhibits and artifacts,, including rocket and shuttle models, actual moon rocks, the Skylab 3 Apollo Command Module and more.
Cleveland's University Circle is home to some of the country's most outstanding museums. The recently renovated Cleveland Museum of Art is home to masterpieces by internationally renowned artists, including Monet, Titian, Picasso and Van Gogh. The Cleveland Botanical Garden features nine gardens, a large glasshouse and a nature-inspired art gallery, the Natural History Museum is home to a full-size T-rex skeleton and the Western Reserve Historical Society has an impressive collection of classic cars. All these museums and more are located within walking distance from one another, making it easy to explore Cleveland's finest cultural institutions.
Severance Hall is another gem in University Circle. The stunning Art Deco building is home to the Cleveland Orchestra, widely regarded as one of the world's best orchestras.
In 1973, Cleveland's West Side Market was honored with a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Located in the Ohio City neighborhood, the market was built in 1840 and today is a favorite place for buying local produce and ethnic treats, including Irish, Slovenian, German and Polish foods.
Other notable places worth a visit in Cleveland include the award-winning Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, the grand Old Arcade building, the Old Stone Church, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Christmas Story House, where the 1983 holiday classic was filmed.