Cleveland Botanical Garden#5 in Best Things To Do in Cleveland
The Cleveland Botanical Garden offers a natural oasis located within the concrete jungle. Founded in 1930, the property features 10 acres of outdoor gardens and an 18,000-square-foot Glasshouse. Visitors can spend the day strolling through 11 different gardens, such as the Japanese Garden and Inspiration Garden, before grabbing a bite at the on-site cafe and heading indoors to the Glasshouse. The greenhouse features everything from butterfly-filled rainforests of Costa Rica to deserts reminiscent of Madagascar, as well as 350 species of exotic plants and 50 species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and more. Children will especially love running around the Hershey Children's Garden, which features a fountain and a treehouse. The gardens also offer a variety of adult, family and children's programs like arts and crafts, butterfly releases and yoga.
The gardens receive stellar reviews from past visitors, who said it's a great place to relax and enjoy the serene surroundings. Travelers particularly loved the variety of themed gardens, as well as the flowers inside the Glasshouse. Even those who weren't interested in plants said they had a fantastic time strolling the grounds, and many noted that the gardens are beautiful year-round.
The Cleveland Botanical Garden is located in University Circle, between the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, just 5 miles east of downtown. The garden is easily reachable by car, bike and public transportation. From the rail's Red Line, get off at the Cedar-University Station and hop on the free Circle Link shuttle to the garden entrance. The BRT's Healthline and a number of buses also stop nearby. The garden has its own parking garage that costs $6 per visit. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Wednesdays; Sunday hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tickets cost $11 for adults and $6 for children ages 2 to 12. Be sure to check out the garden's website before visiting to view the schedule of activities and programs.
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#1 Cleveland Metroparks
More than 21,000 acres of nature preserves make up Cleveland's extensive metropolitan park system. There are 18 parks and reservations throughout the Cleveland area that offer a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, fishing, boating, horseback riding and more. Visitors can learn about the reservations at any of the 10 nature visitors centers or partake in group programs like animal tracking and nature explorers. Bring lunch and rest your legs in the picnic areas located throughout the parks.
Although all the reservations provide endless amounts of outdoor fun and gorgeous scenery, the Rocky River Reservation and North Chagrin Reservation come highly recommended from past visitors who said the views were incredible and the nature sightings were aplenty. Many reported seeing a variety of ducks, frogs and birds. The thousands of trails are also great for walks, hikes and bike rides. The Lakefront, Brookside and Washington reservations are within the downtown Cleveland area, and are convenient alternatives if you don't feel like making the trek to the Rocky River and North Chagrin reservations.
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