Cleveland Travel Guide

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Free Things To Do in Cleveland

If you have extra time, Cleveland Museum of Art is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Things to do in Cleveland
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    #1 in Cleveland
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    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.

  • #3
    West Side Market
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    #3 in Cleveland
    Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Dating all the way back to 1840, Cleveland's oldest publicly owned open-air market began on a simple tract of land. After undergoing intense renovations and repairs, the West Side Market reopened to the public in 1912, unveiling its indoor yellow brick markethouse and its iconic 137-foot-tall clock tower. Over the years it has continued to grow, and the market is now home to more than 100 different vendors selling items from all over the world. And you don't have to be a foodie to appreciate the wide array of fresh produce, baked goods, dairy and cheese products, meats and even fresh flowers sold here. This historic market also houses food stalls selling ready-to-eat items, candies and nuts. Having been featured on the Travel Channel and Food Network, West Side Market is an original must-see Cleveland attraction luring more than 1 million visitors each year.

    Both locals and visitors recommend strolling the market and enjoying the fresh samples before making any purchases — there's a lot to see, so try before you buy. Travelers also note the European-feel of the market is especially appealing. Many applaud the fresh produce and meat selections, as well as the low prices, while some say the architecture of the building alone is worth a visit. Just be careful if you plan on driving, because the parking lot fills up fast.

  • #4
    Cleveland Museum of Art
    View all Photos
    #4 in Cleveland
    Museums, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    This art museum may be small, but it competes with the best of them, drawing more than 550,000 visitors from around the world each year. Founded in 1913 "for the benefit of all the people forever," The Cleveland Museum of Art currently houses nearly 45,000 pieces of artwork spanning 6,000 years. The exhibits are arranged in chronological order and include photographs, paintings, sculptures, objects and installations by world-renowned artists, including Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso. There are also special exhibits and events, such as Parade the Circle and the Solstice summer music festival, hosted by the museum annually.    

    Past museumgoers have nothing but good things to say, with many lauding the museum for its extensive collection of world-class art. The majority praise the CMA's huge and impressive selection of modern and contemporary works, specifically the paintings, while others highly recommend visiting the museum restaurant and resting your legs in the atrium. What's more, kids will enjoy the hands-on art activities offered in Studio Play.

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