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Praised in song by native son Drew Carey, Cleveland still carries a tune as an evolving destination. From its underdog sports teams (keep at it, Browns and Indians), to a surge in brewing, to an old-meets-new school dining scene, and attractions catering to many interests, this Great Lakes city is bursting with surprises. Here is what to do on your next visit.

RELATED: 10 fun things to do in Denver for under $20

Cleveland, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame | Photo: Courtesy of This Is Cleveland

Rock on at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Why is this famed museum Cleveland based? It’s thanks to disc jockey Alan Freed who is credited with coining the term “rock and roll” during his time at the Cleveland radio station WJW. The museum honors Freed, and highlights rock and other musical genres via exhibitions like Legends of Rock, British Invasion and Rapper’s Delight. Stevie Nicks, Devo, Def Leppard, LL Cool J and the Cure are among the 2019 nominees. Keep your fingers crossed for your faves!

A Christmas Story, Cleveland, Ohio

A Christmas Story House | Photo: Courtesy of This Is Cleveland

Visit the house from “A Christmas Story”

Diehard fans of the 1983 holiday classic will delight in seeing this home whose exterior showed where the fictional Parker family lived. In December 2004, mega fan Brian Jones bought the house and turned it into a real-life movie replica. Tour the home and museum, pick up souvenirs from the gift shop, and perhaps book an overnight stay inside the home or next door at The Bumpus House.

Go Italian in Little Italy

Yep, Cleveland has a  Little Italy, and it’s got a great mix of restaurants, pizzerias and bakeries that are all steps away from each other. Since 1918, Guarino’s Restaurant has served traditional Italian cooking within its Victorian parlor interior. Family-run Mama Santa’s gets accolades for its pizzas. For dessert, stock up on Italian cookies, pastries or slices such as cassata cake (a Cleveland fave that’s Sicilian in origin) from Presti’s Bakery or Corbo’s Bakery.

Playhouse Square, Cleveland, Ohio

Playhouse Square | Photo: Cody York for This Is Cleveland

Marvel at the World’s Largest Outdoor Chandelier

The lights shine bright in Playhouse Square, Cleveland’s theater district, but its brightest star is a huge outdoor chandelier, said to be the world’s largest. Hung to honor the era when the Square’s theaters were built (the Roaring Twenties), this centerpiece is adorned with more than 4,200 crystals and suspended from a 44-foot-high steel structure. It’s placed at the intersection of East 14th Street and Euclid Avenue.

Look across the street, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… the Superman House

Drive past the house that Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel lived in as a teenager (but do remember that it’s a private residence). With his best friend Joe Shuster, Siegel would pen the comic book character known as the Man of Steel at his childhood home at 10622 Kimberly Avenue. The home is marked with a plaque dedicated to Siegel and adorned with a prominent S.

Sokolowski's, pierogi, Cleveland

Sokolowski’s University Inn | Photo by Cody York for This Is Cleveland

Nosh on pierogis

Learn more about Cleveland’s Eastern European heritage through a famed culinary tradition—the pierogi, a tasty stuffed-dough dumpling. Sokolowski’s University Inn in Tremont is known for its Polish menu and cafeteria-style layout, while the Prosperity Social Club prepares dry ricotta cheese pierogis along with traditional versions. Or go to Cleveland resident and celebrity chef Michael Symon’s Lola Bistro, for his Beef Cheek Pierogi, or get Rowley Inn’s saucy Buffalo pierogis.

West Side Market, Cleveland, Ohio

West Side Market | Photo: Cody York for This Is Cleveland

Go local—at local markets

Buy pierogis and other delicacies at the West Side Market, a more than century-old Cleveland institution. Located in the Ohio City neighborhood, this indoor and outdoor marketplace features more than 100 vendors hawking seafood, meats, veggies, baked goods and fresh-cut flowers. Flea market enthusiasts should head to the Cleveland Flea, a monthly gathering of Ohio small business owners and dealers bringing their products to Tyler Village.

Cleveland Art Museum, Ohio

Cleveland Art Museum | Photo by Cody York for This Is Cleveland

Get cultured

University Circle boasts many cultural institutions that aren’t far from each other. The Cleveland Art Museum offers free admission to its permanent collection with works by Dali, Monet and Warhol. The Cleveland History Center makes learning about Northeast Ohio’s history fun, while the Cleveland Botanical Garden has indoor exhibits and diverse outdoor gardens. On the grounds of Case Western Reserve University, the Dittrick Museum of Medical History shows how perceptions about health have been both challenged and changed overtime.

Listen up

Cleveland can jam. In the Waterloo Arts District, The Beachland Ballroom & Tavern is considered to be the best venue for catching up-and-coming indie rockers and schedules acts weekly. Since its opening in 2000, the playlist has included Akron’s The Black Keys, The Cramps, Guided by Voices and The White Stripes. In the West Bank of the Flats, Music Box boasts a downstairs supper club and an upstairs concert hall; Severance Hall in University Circle, meanwhile, is home to the Cleveland Orchestra, which puts on numerous performances.

Great Lakes Brewery, Cleveland, Ohio

Great Lakes Brewery and Patio | Photo: Cody York for This Is Cleveland

Cure what “ales” you

Launched in 2018,  the Cleveland Brewery Passport program tapped into a partnership with 30 city breweries within a 25-mile radius of the downtown area. Trailblazer Great Lakes Brewing Company offers public brewery tours and produces the annual Burning River Fest, while Hofbräuhaus Cleveland is a German microbrewery and restaurant. Hansa Brewery also holds an Eastern European restaurant, and Forest City Brewery’s beer garden reflects Cleveland’s tree-centered nickname.

Brewnuts, Cleveland

Brewnuts | Photo by Cody York for This Is Cleveland

Get quirky

Looking for a Cleveland that’s a little off radar? No problem. Pair some seriously ‘grammable doughnuts with a frosty beer at Brewnuts; create your own hand-blown glass masterpiece under the watchful eye of a rooster at the Glass Bubble Project; chug a Slaughterhog or a Skull Crawler at Viking-themed cocktail bar LBM; rack up a high score on a vintage machine at Superelectric Pinball Parlor; and eat a frankfurter topped with Froot Loops and other wacky toppings at Happy Dog.

Cleveland, hotels, Hilton

Hilton Cleveland Downtown

Where to stay…

Hilton Cleveland Downtown has a Rock and Roll Suite, commissioned by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a Graffiti Suite, with a replica of a popular Cleveland graffiti mural. The hotel also has five on-site dining spots, a rooftop bar with skyline and Lake Erie views, an indoor pool and fitness center.

Tagged: City

Michele Herrmann

Michele Herrmann

Michele Herrmann

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Hotel Deals for Monterey Park
Baymont by Wyndham Monterey Park
May 21 - May 21, 2019
per night from
$ 849.15
$ 83.83

Before summer comes to a close, squeeze in one last feel-like-a-kid again experience. Here’s a roundup (pun intended) of America’s best carousel rides.

Carousel on the National Mall — Washington, DC

This 1940s carousel wore several hats—attraction at a Maryland amusement park and even a bargaining chip in the civil rights movement—before becoming the lighthearted tourist attraction it is today. Dubbed the Smithsonian Carousel, it sits in front of the he Arts and Industries Building in the nation’s capital.

The Carousel ride on the National Mall is an American icon. Credit Robert Lyle Bolton/Flickr Creative Commons.

The Carousel on the National Mall is an American icon | Credit: Robert Lyle Bolton/Flickr Creative Commons.

Jane’s Carousel ride — Brooklyn, NY

Take a break from the overstimulation of the Big Apple and head for this 1922 carousel inside Brooklyn Bridge Park. With typical New York swagger, its 48 horses and two chariots are housed inside a stunning glass pavilion designed by bigshot architect Jean Nouvel. Go for a ride, or reserve the entire thing for a birthday party, photo shoot or wedding.

New Yorkers are so cool, even their carousels come in chic packaging. Jane's Carousel photo courtesy of Kiah Ankoor/Flickr Creative Commons.

New Yorkers are so cool, even their carousels come in chic packaging | Credit: Kiah Ankoor/Flickr Creative Commons.

Flying Horses Carousel ride — Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Originally an attraction at New York’s Coney Island, this 1878 (!!!) landmark is the oldest platform carousel in the country. The antique attraction has been restored to its former glory, complete with an old-timey Wurlitzer organ and real horse hair on the manes and tails.

The Flying Horses Carousel ride is on the National Register of Historic Places. Credit N. Friedler/Flickr Creative Commons.

The Flying Horses Carousel is on the National Register of Historic Places | Credit: N. Friedler/Flickr Creative Commons.

The Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel ride — Los Angeles, CA

For a carousel with a cause, take a spin on this attraction at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens Zoo. The 64 wooden figures and two chariots showcase endangered California wildlife that the zoo is working to save. Rides are free with zoo admission ($15 for kids and $20 for adults).

Oaks Park Carousel ride — Portland, OR

If you’re bored with the usual carousel horses, then check out the menagerie of animals on this 1911 attraction inside Oaks Amusement Park. Gate admission is free; pay $3.25 to ride the carousel or buy a bracelet for all the park rides starting at $14.

Because carousel horses are a dime a dozen, this one has elk. Oaks Park Carousel ride photo by Randy Kashka/Flickr Creative Commons.

Because carousel horses are a dime a dozen. Oaks Park Carousel photo | Credit: Randy Kashka/Flickr Creative Commons.

Pleasure Pier Carousel ride — Galveston, TX

Sure, this amusement park has rides with flashy names like Iron Shark and Pirate’s Plunge, but the double-decker carousel remains a crowd favorite. The animal options range from lion to seahorse, so you can have a different ride every time. Single-ride tickets cost $4.

Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel ride — Cleveland, OH

Here’s one you can ride year-round. The carousel that once delighted beachgoers on the shores on Lake Erie has been restored and moved to the Western Reserve Historical Society’s Cleveland History Center. The merry-go-round depicts scenes from its heyday in the mid-20th century, so folks who were around to ride it outdoors can reminisce about the good old days. General museum admission ($10 adults, $5 kids) includes two rides.

Cleveland weather can get dicey, so thank goodness this carousel ride's indoors. Credit KE Lewis/Wikimedia Commons.

Cleveland weather can get dicey, so thank goodness this carousel’s indoors. Credit KE Lewis/Wikimedia Commons.

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As the NBA season heats up this winter, some basketball fans are ready for a fast break. In the case of these b-ball getaways, traveling is actually a good thing. Here are 5 dream destinations for basketball fans.


Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, is home where King James holds court.

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MassachusettsLocated in the supposed birthplace of basketball, the Hoop Hall belongs on every fan’s bucket list (pun intended). Visitors can honor the more than 300 inductees and bone up on basketball history through interactive displays and memorabilia.

Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio: LeBron James, arguably the best basketball player today, leads the Cavs from this arena known to locals as “The Q.” Witness King James ruling in his home court, then make the pilgrimage 40 miles south to Akron for a photo op in front of LeBron’s old stomping grounds, St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.

Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada: This hotel’s Hardwood Suite doesn’t come cheap, but for serious ballers, there’s no better splurge than this two-story, 10,000-square-foot hoops haven. The suite’s larger-than-life amenities include a basketball court, professional locker room, extra-large beds and—why not?—a lounge with a dance floor.

Madison Square Garden in New York, New York: The Knicks may not have the best record in the NBA, but for people-watching there’s no better arena than the Garden. A-listers from director Spike Lee to actor Tom Hanks to supermodel Kate Upton have been spotted court side in Celebrity Row.

NBA Experience in Orlando, Florida: NBA City at Universal Orlando CityWalk closed in August 2015, but fans need not cry foul. Just down the road, Walt Disney World is preparing to open the NBA Experience at Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney). The attraction will feature hands-on activities, interactive exhibits, a restaurant, retail store and more.

Tagged: Florida, Las Vegas, Sports, Uncategorized

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Football season’s in full swing, and that means three things: beer, good food and tailgating. If you’re willing to go where the game takes you, here are the best NFL cities for enjoying all three without breaking the bank.

Tampa, Florida


If you love fishing and football, Tampa may be the NFL town for you. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers—and their massive pirate ship, complete with animatronic parrot—play at Raymond James Stadium, tucked in right next to Al Lopez Park and its fishing ponds. Old Tampa and Hillsborough Bays are also close, offering dolphin cruises and watersports galore—all with a hefty dose of Florida’s famously free vitamin D, which makes for some pretty pleasant tailgating.

Denver, Colorado


Ever heard of a little team called the Broncos? They hail from Denver’s Sports Authority Field at Mile High, where you can tailgate indoors at onsite bars like the Mile High Cross Bar and the 50 Yard Bar. Later, drop exactly zero dollars to take a brewery tour, explore the famous Red Rocks or pay tribute to your favorite locals at the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. Walking in the 100-million-year-old footsteps of dinosaurs at Dinosaur Ridge is also a very free, very worth-it option.

Indianapolis, Indiana


The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Monument Circle, the Dallara IndyCar Factory…all these attractions are great, but this town’s main draw is, and will always be, the Colts. But since you’ll need to do something after the game anyway, you can take a totally free stroll along Lockerbie Square’s historic cobblestone streets or browse the clever insights and turns of phrase found in the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.

Baltimore, Maryland


The city that brought us Billie Holiday, John Waters and the Star Spangled Banner is also home to the Ravens. Their M&T Bank Stadium is just a stone’s throw from one of Charm City’s darkest attractions—the house where Edgar Allen Poe grew up. Baltimore also offers heaps of free things to do, including the beautiful Basilica and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Once most businesses have closed up shop for the night, head to the historic Fell’s Point or Canton districts for some live music.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Pittsburgh nails the trifecta of American pastimes: gambling, sausage, and, of course, football. After working up an appetite by watching the Steelers dominate at the deliciously named Heinz Field, you can enjoy some cheap, German eats at Deutschtown or check out the Andy Warhol Museum and ToonSeum, dedicated to the art of cartoons. Best of all, the Rivers Casino is a few blocks from the stadium.

Cleveland, Ohio


 You can pick up your Cleveland Browns jerseys and hoodies at the FirstEnergy Stadium pro shop before the game, and show your love to the locals afterwards while digging into some cheap, satisfying eats and beer at the many bars and restaurants around the stadium. Once you’ve had your fill, hit up the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum or the always-free Cleveland Museum of Art to see works by Goya and Mondrian.

Green Bay, Wisconsin      


It doesn’t get more iconic than the Green Bay Packers, and their eponymous city dishes out as much competitive spirit as it does good, cheap fun. Scarf down some pork-belly tacos and venison sloppy joes at Lambeau Field’s onsite eatery before checking out the Packers Hall of Fame. Or head to New Zoo for some inexpensive thrills—here, you can feed friendly giraffes and play on an aerial adventure course.

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Tagged: City, Florida, Sports