Cleveland has long gotten a bad rap among the mid-sized cities in the United States, and sometimes for a good reason; in a way, misfortune can seem to plague the city. In 2017, the Cleveland Browns football team went the entire season without winning a game; in 1969, the Cuyahoga River that runs through the area managed to catch on fire, indicating that Cleveland was so dirty it managed to break the laws of the elements; and just a couple years ago the local pro baseball team got all the way to the World Series only to lose to the Chicago Cubs – who hadn’t won a championship in over 100 years!
On the bright side, though, things are starting to look up. The Browns and Indians are both competitive teams, there’s a budding sense of pride among the locals, and going way back, there’s even a silver lining to the river fire: it’s what first sparked interest in creating the Environmental Protection Agency! In 2018, Cleveland even landed a spot on National Geographic’s “Best in the World” list, establishing itself as a must-visit for people who enjoy travel. Things are quickly improving for this midwestern U.S. city, which is why we’ve put together a few specific reasons why you may want to check out flights to Cleveland (as crazy as it sounds).
Cleveland Is Very Wallet-Friendly
Really, the only bad thing about taking a vacation in general is the damage it can inflict on your wallet. Most vacation hotspots in the U.S. are seriously overpriced – think New York City, Los Angeles, most anywhere in Hawaii, etc. But luckily, Cleveland is occupying something of a happy middle ground, trendy among travelers but not yet at the point of costing an arm and a leg. Prices are starting to go up as the city becomes more popular, but it’s still relatively inexpensive compared to other cities of its size. This means that in Cleveland, you can do more fun things for less, which for many of us is all the convincing we need when planning a vacation.
Cleveland Has An Awesome Selection Of Museums
Every city has museums, but there are some particularly good options in the Cleveland area. First and foremost, you must visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame if you have even a slight interest in music. This might be the thing Cleveland is best known for, and for a good reason. The iconic pyramid-shaped museum is located right on the water (which is not on fire), and is home to endless exhibits about the rock musicians most loved by the world. You’ll also see the famous “long live rock” sign out front, which could be the perfect landmark if you’re one to document your vacations on social media.
The Cleveland Museum of Art has been ranked as one of the best in the country, and admission to all the regular exhibits is completely free. If you’d like to visit any of the special collections that aren’t always open for viewing, you may have to pay a small fee, but there is also more than enough to see without having to pay anything at all.
Although not necessarily a “museum” by definition, the Cleveland Botanical Gardens is another can’t-miss location for visual tourism, so to speak. Upon entering the indoor greenhouse spaces, you will be instantly transported into a tropical wonderland (where you’ll forget that the sky is almost always gray in Cleveland!). If you visit during the summer months, there is an impressive outdoor collection of plants as well, in addition to a fun playground at the edge of the park for any little ones who may be along on the trip. And if you visit during the holiday season, the gardens are entirely illuminated with string lights, and you can wander through the exhibits sipping hot chocolate and even admiring submissions for the annual gingerbread house decorating competition.
There Is Lots Of Live Entertainment In Cleveland
Believe it or not, many big-name artists like to perform in the Cleveland area. There are lots of great venues in town, both indoor and outdoor, and of varying sizes. As far as outdoor venues go, one popular favorite is Jacob’s Pavilion at Nautica, located in the scenic Flats district of downtown Cleveland. This is a pretty big venue, attracting hit artists such as The Killers and ZZ Top. If you enjoy a smaller, more intimate concert experience, however, we recommend heading up to Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights to visit the Grog Shop. The entire Coventry neighborhood is very artsy and a little bit edgy, and the Grog Shop embodies this vibe. There are also some amazing restaurants on this street, so you can easily spend an entire evening there.
While Cleveland sports teams have long been a running joke among pretty much anyone who watches national news, it’s still worthwhile to catch a game here if possible. The Cleveland Indians have been quite good for a few seasons now. Although the online baseball sportsbooks aren’t predicting anything monumental from the team this season, it’s still established itself as a strong, top-tier modern franchise. Plus, the Indians have Carlos Santana, who can put on a show by himself as one of the MLB’s best hitters. Meanwhile, the local NFL team, the Browns, is also on the rise. The 2018 season was the franchise’s most successful in many years, and a plethora of young, talented players has local fans and national analysts alike predicting big things. Either of these teams – the Indians or the Browns – can be a lot of fun to see in person.
The list of reasons why Cleveland is becoming a decent tourist destination could go on for pages and pages, but hopefully with the points and ideas listed above you’re giving some thought to an idea that would have been unthinkable a few years ago: planning a trip to Cleveland. Who knows? If the city keeps trending up, it may even need to make it onto an updated list of the best places to travel in the U.S.!