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Cleveland Travel Guide

About Cleveland

Gritty, no-nonsense, and unassuming it may be, but Cleveland has grown beyond its blue-collar image as an industrial hub, to become a vibrant and ethnically diverse metropolis.

It may not have the glamorously hip image of some other American cities, and is widely seen as a place where people watch sports, drink beer, and listen to classic rock. But while there are touches of such character in this city on the southern shores of Lake Erie, look closer and you'll find surprising elements of art and natural beauty. Visitors are often taken aback to discover the vibrant downtown with its characterful neighbourhoods and lively atmosphere.

Cleveland has been rejuvenated in the past few decades, and become something of a model for modern urban planning. Downtown is the centre of things, with historic Public Square - a European-style plaza with statues and fountains - its focal point. The lakefront is home to the stunning Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, which epitomises the city's growing cultural presence.

One less obvious legacy of Cleveland's industrial wealth is the treasure trove of cultural establishments and institutions, from the Playhouse Square Center (the second-largest performing arts centre in the USA) and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Downtown areas such as the Theater District, the Historic Warehouse District, the Flats Entertainment District and the Historic Gateway District, are just a few of the trendy spots that continue to attract businesses and residents alike. And a more recent addition to Downtown is the Great Lakes Science Center and the Cleveland Clinic OMNIMAX Theater.

There are all the ethnic restaurants and shops you would expect to find in any big modern city, but Cleveland is especially blessed with a strong Polish community, and the Polish food served here is among the best in the country. There are also large Italian and Irish populations, as well as Czech and Slovenian communities, all of which add their own personal flavours into the culinary and cultural mixing bowl that makes up this proud city.

Key facts

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Featured Hotels


Hampton Inn Cleveland Downtown

It’s a budget hotel, but it’s as fresh as many above its station, and you can’t fault the location, which is within walking distance of many places you’re likely to want to visit. Rooms come with coffee makers and there’s even a small fitness room on site.

Embassy Suites Downtown Cleveland

A budget, all-suite option that puts you in the centre of things. Each room comes with a full-size sofa bed if you want to cram a small group in, and also HD TVs and complimentary tea and coffee. Again, you can walk to most of the city's main attractions.

Holiday Inn Express

This inn is constructed in a historic, refurbished bank building in the heart of the downtown theatre district. Centrally located and well priced, it is also popular with sports fans, being within easy walking distance of both Progressive Field and Quicken Loans (Q) Arena. Breakfast and wifi are included with your stay.

Renaissance Cleveland Hotel

A good value hotel on Public Square, the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel is housed in an elegant 1918 building with vaulted ceilings and high-arched windows, and it offers some of the finest accommodations in the city. Its Mediterranean-style restaurant Sans Souci is excellent, and the hotel is conveniently connected to Tower City Center, which offers other good restaurants and a cinema in addition to upscale shopping.

Ritz-Carlton Cleveland

Its spot on the top of the Tower City Center shopping mall is more romantic than it sounds, and the Ritz-Carlton is arguably the city’s most luxurious hotel. Midwest chic, if such a thing can be imagined, is the order of the day, with oversized desks, high-class toiletries and views over the city.

Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Cleveland Downtown - Lakeside

A former Holiday Inn, this property has undergone recent renovation (completed in 2011). For a good price, you’ll get flatscreen TVs and branded toiletries, as well as a smart location not far from Browns Stadium and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.