West Side Market#3 in Best Things To Do in Cleveland
- 5.0Food Scene
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.
You'll find the market located in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland, less than 3 miles southwest of downtown. The rail's Red Line and multiple buses stop on the corner of West 25th Street, which is directly behind the market. There is also free customer parking available in Lot A. The market is free to visit and is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; it's closed Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Visit the market's website for more information and a list of vendors.
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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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