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Why Go to Cleveland

This 78-square-mile city is responsible for giving the world so much more than just LeBron James and Halle Berry. In fact, without Cleveland, the United States would be very different: Cleveland was once (and still is) an industrial powerhouse thanks to its booming steel industry and manufacturing plants. The city produced much of the raw material — specifically steel — used during the Industrial Revolution that contributed to the overall development of the country. And although Cleveland might not exactly come to mind when planning a city vacation, it should — for multiple reasons. Not only is it a culinary mecca and an outdoor adventurer's paradise, but this northeastern Ohio city, located on the shores of Lake Erie, is going through some monumental changes. Changes like cleaner streets and parks, and the introduction of new hotels and trendy restaurants, which only add to the already lengthy list of things to do and see.

Cleveland has all the hustle and bustle you'd expect of a big city, but still manages to maintain a small-town feel. Its 23,000 acres of parks and nature preserves provide an easy escape from the city while the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Cleveland Museum of Art pay homage to the city's rich history. Cleveland is a place that appeals to nature-lovers, sports fanatics and foodies alike. And who knows, you may even turn into what Clevelanders call a "Cleveland-gelical" by the end of your trip.

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What You Need to Know

  • It's a young city The median age of those who live in Cleveland is just 35 years old, making it a great place for young professionals to enjoy the sights as well as a fun night out.
  • It's made for outdoor enthusiasts You'll find a ton of outdoor adventures, such as biking and hiking trails, thanks to the city's location on the shores of Lake Erie among thousands of acres of greenery.
  • It's a HUGE sports city Cleveland loves its sports teams and chances are you're going to meet some die-hard Indians, Cavaliers and Browns fans. And if you're in town for a game, make sure you take the opportunity to go. 

How to Save Money in Cleveland

  • Buy a Cleveland Pass Instead of paying per ride for public transportation, consider buying a Cleveland Pass which offers one-, two- and four-day passes that include unlimited rides on the bus, rail, trolley and BRT.
  • Visit in off-season The summer is Cleveland's peak tourist season with hotel rates at an all-time high. Consider visiting either from September through November or April to May when room rates are lower and crowds are fewer.
  • Avoid taxis Cleveland has such a great public transportation system — thanks to its many buses, trains, trolleys and the BRT. Taxis will only end up costing you more and can often take longer.   

What to Eat

Foodies will delight in this city's offerings because Clevelanders sure love their food. Beyond the various breweries, wineries and food tours, the city is home to an array of top chefs and restaurants. Whether you're looking for fine dining, a hole-in-the-wall bar or a trendy club and restaurant, Cleveland has it all. Cleveland is known as an all-American city and, by default, serves up some of the best all-American classic cuisine, infused with a gastronomical twist. After grabbing a sandwich at long-time local favorite, Sylman's Deli, stop by Sweet Moses for homemade ice cream, pies, cookies and cake. But if you're looking for something a bit trendier and upbeat, head to Fire or Lola Bistro, both restaurants where you can indulge in the latest and greatest culinary fads.

If you're craving something more diverse, fear not: Cleveland has a large European population, which contributes to its wealth of eateries serving up international cuisine. Momocho offers classic Mexican dishes with a modern spin, while L'Abatros Brasserie serves French fare and features an extensive wine list. And we don't forget the city's famous Little Italy, with restaurants that almost make you forget you're in Cleveland and not somewhere in Italia. Presti's Bakery, Mia Bella and Flour are all known for serving delicious classic Italian dishes.

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Getting Around Cleveland

The best way to get around Cleveland is via public transportation. In fact, one of the greatest things about Cleveland is how easy and cheap it is to get around the city (in some cases, it's free). Thanks to Cleveland's extensive public transportation system (the Regional Transit Authority) — which includes rails, buses, trolleys and the bus rapid transit aka the BRT — visitors will have no problem navigating the city and reaching all major tourist attractions.  

To get to the city, you can fly into the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) located about 12 miles southwest of the city center. There is an RTA station inside of the airport on the lower level of the main terminal that provides service between the airport and downtown Cleveland. Hop on the RTA Red Line Rapid Train which will take you directly to Cleveland's Public Square. If you'd rather take a taxi, the airport has its own flat rate taxi service, as well as three partnering taxi companies with taxi stands located directly outside of the baggage claim, adjacent to carousel 11. 

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