While Cleveland often gets overlooked as a city with interesting landmarks, if you’re looking for fun places to explore, this city should definitely top your list. On your next trip to the city, make sure you check out the following places.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
While some think that Cleveland is an unlikely place for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the city actually has deep roots in music history. It was Alan Freed, a Cleveland disc jockey, who made the term “rock ‘n’ roll” popular and helped organize the first rock concert in the country. Book a cheap Cleveland flight to explore this iconic and easy to recognize building. You can see Michael Jackson’s sparkly glove, a leather jacket from Joey Ramone, Elvis Presley’s custom three-wheeled motorcycle, and much more.
Located just south of the South Collinwood neighborhood, Lakeview Cemetery is often described as Cleveland’s Outdoor Museum. At 285 acres, it’s the largest cemetery in Ohio, but it’s most notable for the James A. Garfield Monument. Here, the caskets of James Garfield, 20th President of the United States, and his wife, former First Lady Lucretia Garfield, are displayed in the 180-foot tall monument. The monument also has relics from his life and death. If you climb up to the outdoor balcony, you can enjoy views of the city and Lake Erie.
Cleveland Botanical Garden
Located in the vibrant University Circle neighborhood, Cleveland Botanical Garden has 10 acres of gardens including a Japanese garden, herb garden, rose garden, and topiary garden. You can also check out the two glasshouses on the property. One has a Costa Rican rainforest with papaya, coffee, chocolate, and avocado trees. The other replicates a spiny desert environment from Madagascar, where you can view unique trees like the baobab, and spot fascinating creatures such as a yellow-throated plated lizard, chameleons, and radiated tortoises.
A Christmas Story House
Even though the storyline of A Christmas Story revolves around a family in Indiana, most of movie was filmed in Cleveland, including the exterior shots of Ralphie’s house. A fan of the movie bought the house in 2004 and renovated it to look exactly like it did on the screen. The house is open to the public to tour, and two other homes across the street are now a museum and gift shop. At the museum, you can view original costumes, props from the movie, and behind-the-scenes pictures that were taken during filming.
Marveling at how designers were able to turn a late 19th century brick building that generated power into a beautiful aquarium is only part of the fun at Cleveland Aquarium. Here, large steel girders hold a touch pool for gliding stingrays and former smokestacks are now home to jellyfish and saltwater fish. Another popular exhibit is the 175-foot walk-through tunnel that lets you feel surrounded by sharks, eels, stingrays, and other saltwater fish.
Please share your favorite Cleveland landmarks in the comments below. Also, be sure to read more about staying in Cleveland on Hipmunk’s Cleveland Hotels page.