Cleveland Attractions May 04, 2021
The Ultimate Cleveland Hidden Gem Road Trip Will Take You To 11 Incredible Little-Known Spots In The State
Cleveland is the Best Location in the Nation. It’s the home of Rock & Roll. There are a handful of things locals and visitors alike know about this magnificent city, but many have yet to explore the magnificent hidden gems in Cleveland that truly add a degree of interest to the community. Believe it or not, Cleveland is filled to the brim with places you wouldn’t expect to find in an old rustbelt city… yet they await visitors like you and me every day. Are you ready to embrace your sense of adventure? Take a road trip to these awesome spots in and around the city:
1. Cultural Gardens
As you twist and turn down MLK Jr. Drive, you might notice a handful of unusual features just off the main road. Along this stretch of road leading into University Circle are
Cleveland's Cultural Gardens
, magnificent examples of landscaping that include gardening specimens and stonework inspired by cultures around the world. There are more than 30 such gardens in Rockefeller Park! Pictured here is the Italian Cultural Garden, which you can visit at 990 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44108.
2. Rockefeller Park Greenhouse
While you're in the Rockefeller Park area, you have to swing by its incredible greenhouse. The
Rockefeller Park Greenhouse
is free and open to the public, and it's always warm and verdant inside. While Rockefeller Park is over 200 acres in size, the City of Cleveland is even bigger... and it's here that plants for landscaping endeavors in both are lovingly maintained. Plus, there are a few unique exhibits just for funsies. You can find this awesome spot at 750 E 88th St, Cleveland, OH 44108.
3. b.a. Sweetie Candy Company
Got a sweet tooth? Indulge it at the city's biggest and best candy shop:
b.a. Sweetie Candy Company
! From wall to wall, thousands of square feet of space are jam-packed with millions of dollars worth of candy. Sweetie's specializes in oddity treats like vintage and hard-to-find candies, plus novelties like candies that come with toys. This wonderland is a real treat for visitors of all ages! Find it at 6770 Brookpark Rd, Cleveland, OH 44129.
4. The Sanctuary Museum
The Sanctuary Museum
is truly a hidden gem, and it blends in with Greater Cleveland's superabundance of holy places. Though it looks like a church from the outside (and arguably from the inside, too), this museum has set out to restore and save religious artwork. The end result is a vast collection of lovingly crafted statues, stained glass, altars, and so much more. Visit it at 12905 Madison Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107.
5. Lake View Cemetery
In addition to being the loveliest cemetery in Cleveland,
is also filled to the brim with monuments that could be considered hidden gems. Some of Greater Cleveland's most prominent residents are eternally resting here, from a former president to the local figure that coined the term "rock 'n roll". Pictured here is
, an edifice with a magnificent interior stylized with an abundance of Tiffany glass. Visit it at 12316 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106.
6. Mill Creek Falls
waterfall is a hidden gem in its purest sense. As you are driving down Broadway Avenue in Cleveland, you would never guess that the
county's tallest waterfall
is hiding off the main road in Garfield Park Reservation. Interestingly enough, this spot is man-made. The naturally occurring stream that fuels the falls was diverted by railroad companies over a century ago, and it made the Mill Creek Falls we marvel over today. Find it at Mill Creek Trail, Cleveland, OH 44105.
7. USS COD
"Gee, that looks like something like a submarine... in Lake Erie?" That's exactly right. The
is a Gato-class submarine that was ordered back in 1940. She was retired in 1954, and she spent a few years on the Great Lakes serving as a training vessel before the sub was ultimately declared a National Historic Landmark and was permanently moored in Cleveland. Nowadays, the
is open to the public for tours. Visit it at 1201 N Marginal Rd, Cleveland, OH 44114.
8. International Women's Air & Space Museum
If you ever find yourself in Burke Lakefront Airport, you have to swing by the International Women's Air & Space Museum. This fascinating collection of aviation memorabilia is free to access, and it is unlike any other museum in The Land. Here, the history of women in aviation comes to life through clothing, planes, and more. You'll spot contributions from familiar figures like Amelia Earhart and Katharine Wright amidst the exhibits! Look for the museum at 1501 N Marginal Rd Ste. 165, Cleveland, OH 44114.
9. Dittrick Museum of Medical History
Here's a spot that's not for the faint of heart. The
Dittrick Museum of Medical History
is filled to the brim with mementos of past medical treatments... yes, that includes all of the cherished go-to remedies like leeches, amputation kits, and more. The building has been undergoing renovation lately, so you'll want to
check that they are open
before you plan your visit. However, if you have a strong stomach and a preference for the macabre, then this place absolutely belongs on your Cleveland hidden gems bucket list. Look for it at 11000 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106.
Time has taken its toll on Cleveland's dining scene, claiming restaurants that were once considered long-standing. However,
has been serving locals and out-of-towners alike since 1918. Now the oldest restaurant in the city, this former speakeasy has a reputation for catering to those from every walk of life... including yesteryear's biggest names, as even Frank Sinatra was once a regular here. Dig into old-school favorites like spaghetti at 12309 Mayfield Rd, Cleveland, OH 44106.
11. Solstice Steps
Over in Lakewood is a hidden gem that's a true treat for lovers of sunsets: the
! Wrapping around nearly 500 feet of shoreline, these giant concrete steps were designed to face the spot where the sun sets on the summer solstice. However, they're magnificent to visit all year round, especially if visitors are hoping to see a bit of color in the sky over Lake Erie. Find them at 14532 Lake Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107.
These lovely local landmarks are often overlooked by locals and visitors alike but, truth be told, they’re more incredible than some of the more “touristy” spots in the city. There’s just something about the quiet charms of these pretty places that make them irresistible. Are there any other gems you’d add to this list? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Love learning surprising things about Cleveland? Check out our list of
moments in Cleveland history that you’ve probably never heard about for more fun. Address: Cleveland Cultural Gardens, 10823 Magnolia Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA Address: Rockefeller Park & Greenhouse, 750 E 88th St, Cleveland, OH 44108, USA Address: b.a. Sweetie Candy Company, 6770 Brookpark Rd, Cleveland, OH 44129, USA Address: THE SANCTUARY MUSEUM (Formerly Museum of Divine Statues), 12905 Madison Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107, USA Address: Wade Memorial Chapel, 12316 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA Address: Mill Creek Falls, Mill Creek Trail, Cleveland, OH 44105, USA Address: USS COD, 1201 N Marginal Rd, Cleveland, OH 44114, USA Address: International Women’s Air & Space Museum, 1501 N Marginal Rd Ste. 165, Cleveland, OH 44114, USA Address: Dittrick Medical History Center, The Allen Memorial Medical Library, 11000 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA Address: Guarino's Restaurant, 12309 Mayfield Rd, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA Address: Solstice Steps, 14532 Lake Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107, USA
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