1. The Cleveland Grays Armory Museum, 1234 Bolivar Road, Cleveland.
When the Cleveland Grays military company opened their doors in 1837, their goal was to protect the city from riots and violence. However, they would become a deep-rooted site of community celebration. This was the location of the first-ever Cleveland Orchestra performance, a 1916 speech by William Howard Taft, and countless weddings. Today, part of the armory celebrates this cultural significance. One if its most interesting exhibits showcases the first cannon captured by the Union in the Civil War. Public tours are offered on the first Wednesday of each month from 12 to 4 p.m.
2. Willard Park, East 9th and Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland.
Driving through Downtown Cleveland, the last thing one would expect to see is a giant rubber stamp. Yet, the Free Stamp is the crown jewel of this urban greenery. The word "free" was chosen as a nod to the nearby Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument. Pack a picnic for this trip and enjoy the sights and sounds of our beloved city.
3. Lakeview Cemetery, 12316 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland.
This outdoor museum is home to more than 100,000 people, and they sit across 285 acres in tombs dating back to 1869. This cemetery actually spurred the creation of Little Italy when stonemasons were brought in from Italy to work on its garden-like layout. At this charming cemetery, you can visit the James A. Garfield Memorial, the Wade Chapel, the resting place of Alan Freed (who coined the term "Rock ‘n Roll"), and the John D. Rockefeller monument.
4. Western Reserve Historical Society Cleveland History Center, 10825 East Boulevard, Cleveland.
The Cleveland History Center preserves and celebrates the history of Northeast Ohio through artifacts and exhibits. Some of their exhibits include the Crawford Auto-Avian Museum, the Chisholm Halle Costume Wing, and the Kizibits Family Hands-On Gallery.
5. Great Lakes Science Center, 601 Erieside Avenue, Cleveland.
The Great Lakes Science Center is a true urban gem. Once you step inside, you are engulfed in a futuristic world where science, technology, and entertainment meet. This day trip destination consists of countless exhibits, a mind-blowing theatre, and events that prove human innovation is limitless.
6. Northern Ohio Railway Museum, 5515 Seville Road, Seville.
Just south of Cleveland, this museum preserves and restores streetcars and other examples of railway equipment from Cleveland’s not-so-distant past. It is open for walking tours Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free.
7. Malley’s Chocolates, 14822 Madison Avenue, Lakewood.
Lakewood is a sleepy Cleveland suburb, and the laid-back lifestyle of its residents flows through its carefree streets. One store on Madison, Malley’s Chocolates, opened in 1935 and has changed very little over the years. That means it still has an old-fashioned ice cream parlour with more than 50 ice cream flavors, and each one is irresistible. You can enjoy their ice cream Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.
8. Big Fun Toy Store, 1814 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights.
Big Fun is undoubtedly one of the best toy stores in existence, and they feature a little bit of everything to bring out your inner child. Vintage toys, modern toys, gag gifts, video games, and a myriad of treats line the shelves, and new toys are added daily. Big Fun is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
9. Edgewater Beach, near 6500 Cleveland Memorial Parkway.
Just outside of the urban streets of Downtown Cleveland is this stunning natural gem - a beach, right on the coast of Lake Erie. Operated by the Cleveland Metroparks, this stunning location is open from sunrise to sunset and should be visited at least once this summer. Not only will you treat yourself to white sand and the music of the waves, but a stunning view of Downtown Cleveland awaits your presence.
10. Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Boulevard, Cleveland.
There is something undeniably romantic about a beautiful monument that stands "for the benefit of all the people forever." That is exactly what the Cleveland Museum of Art was founded to do, and it serves its community by showcasing hundreds of examples of historical and modern art that educate and enchant. Interestingly, Howard Carter, the famed Egyptologist that uncovered the tomb of Tutankhamen, procured a number of artifacts for the museum. You’ll love spending your day here, and with no charge for admission, your bank account will love it, too. Stop in Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. or Wednesdays and Fridays between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m.
11. The West Side Market, 1979 West 25th Street, Cleveland.
No matter how many times you have visited Cleveland’s oldest public market, it never gets old. That’s because it is always worth the trip! With over 100 vendors offering a wide variety of food including meat, spices, fruits, veggies, and pastries, you never know what you are going to find. Consider stopping in for lunch, as a number of vendors offer ready-to-eat meals. The West Side Market is open year-round. Stop in between the hours of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. through 6 p.m. Saturday and Friday, or 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday to see why Clevelanders cherish this market.
What is your favorite way to spend a day in Cleveland? Share in the comments below!