Cleveland June 01, 2017
Here Are 8 Museums In Cleveland That You Absolutely Must Visit
As a culture, we develop grand institutions with the intention of preserving, maintaining, and celebrating our own story, and Clevelanders in particular do so with a spectacular flair. Like the wide variety of cultures and ethnic groups that call this great city home, the museums in Cleveland are all quite different and remarkable. We have an unusual and varied selection of museums — some of which will absolutely sweep you off of your feet and transport you to another world.
1. The Cleveland Police Museum, 1300 Ontario Street, Cleveland
This museum traces the history of the Cleveland PD back to the mid-1800s, commemorating the colorful history of Cleveland crime and the individuals on both sides of the law. See artifacts that allude to the creation of the canine and motorcycle units, learn about Cleveland streets during Prohibition, and uncover the role Eliot Ness played as the Cleveland Safety Director. Admission is always free, so stop in weekdays between 10 and 4 to indulge your curiosity and learn about an integral piece of local history.
2. The William G. Mather Steamship, 601 Erieside Avenue, Cleveland
This 618-foot ship was constructed in 1925 and spent its life working as a Great Lakes freighter brimming with first-time engineering feats. While on board, you can learn about The Great Lakes Story so far, as well as what its future may hold in a world where science and technology meet through preservation. During the summer, this beauty is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. with opportunities for self-guided and behind-the-scenes tours.
3. The Cleveland Hungarian Museum, 1301 East 9th Street, Cleveland
This museum prides itself on being the heartbeat of Hungarian culture in Northeast Ohio, a title that is both accurate and well-deserved. The museum was established in 1985, nearly one century after large-scale Hungarian immigration to Cleveland began, by a small and enthusiastic group of volunteers. It strives to present Hungarian history with special emphasis on the contributions of Cleveland Hungarians. Glimpse back in time at the Hungarian sections of Cleveland that no longer exist, get close to stunning examples of folk art, and admire a number of embroidered and ceramic goods. Stop in Tuesday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to check out its awesome displays, and consider making a donation toward the continued preservation of Cleveland Hungarian culture.
4. A Christmas Story House, 3159 West 11th Street, Cleveland
This quaint Victorian home is nestled in the Tremont neighborhood, where exterior filming for this timeless holiday classic actually took place. The museum opened just over a decade ago and features props from the movie, including the Higbee’s Window Toys and Randy’s snow suit. Stop in between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. for a behind-the-scenes look at the magic of this movie. When navigating to the museum, just keep your eyes peeled for the house with the leg lamp in the window.
5. Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art, 11400 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland
Better known as MOCA, this museum has nestled itself into the cultural landscape of Cleveland through ever-evolving exhibits that feature regional artists. The museum serves as a continuous stream of inspiration and ingenuity, offering a vibrant environment to learn, explore, and admire. Before you even enter, you can feel the artistic energy of the unusually shaped black stainless steel structure. The museum is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free the first Saturday of every month, so mark your calendars!
6. The International Women’s Air and Space Museum, 1501 North Marginal Road, Cleveland
In the Terminal of Burke Lakefront Airport is a testament to the women of aviation history. In 1998, many pieces of aviation memorabilia saved by the Ninety Nines (an international organization of women pilots, of which Amelia Earhart was the first elected president) were preserved and placed on display to document their continuous contribution to aviation. Stop in daily between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. to peruse articles, artifacts, artwork, and more.
7. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1100 East 9th Street, Cleveland
If you haven’t visited this great Cleveland location, you absolutely must. Here, get up close and personal with artifacts relating to the development of rock as a genre and the artists, producers, and other notable figures who made it what it is today. Hours vary seasonally, but this stunning building is a visual treat year-round, so it is perfect for a day trip any time of year.
8. USS Cod, 1201 North Marginal Street, Cleveland
This 1943 Gato-class submarine looks rather out of place in the waters of Lake Erie, but her engines were actually constructed at the General Motors Cleveland Diesel plant, so she is right at home. Learn about the role the USS Cod played in WWII, and drink in the unaltered wartime configuration of the mighty vessel. Stop in May through September between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily, and bring with you a sense of adventure and an imagination as you see the Cod’s history come to life.
We love our local history, and we also have a lot of love for the local institutions and groups that strive to preserve it. With such a rich history and cultural scene, Cleveland makes the perfect home to its many museums.
Though Cleveland already has much to offer, dreaming opens the door to inspiration and possibility. So, if you could, what kind of museum would you open in Cleveland, or what would you like to see further contribute to our cultural preservation? Let us know in the comments below!