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Top Tourist Attractions of Cleveland

Cleveland is one of the major cities and popular tourist destinations in the northern US state of Ohio. It is situated on the southern banks of Lake Erie at its confluence with the Cuyahoga River. The city was founded in 1796 and became a major manufacturing hub for its abundance of waterways and railroads. The city remains a major manufacturing, financial, and cultural hub along the Great Lakes region. For the visiting tourists Cleveland has several attractions ranging from museums, historic landmarks, public gardens, shopping centers, art galleries, and a zoo. It is also home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. A visit to Cleveland means an ideal urban vacation for the whole family.

 

  1. West Side Market
West Side Market
West Side Market

Located on the south western end of downtown Cleveland is one of its most popular shopping centers, the West Side Market. It started operations in 1840, making it the oldest indoor/outdoor market in the city. However, the present building was constructed in 1912. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the West Side Market is so popular as a tourist attraction that it even offers guided tours. Vendors of various descents – German, Hungarian, Irish, Polish, Greek, Middle Eastern, Italian, and Russian – reflect the cultural diversity that they city has nurtured over the decades.

 

  1. Great Lakes Science Center
Great Lakes Science Center
Great Lakes Science Center

The Great Lakes Science Center is not just an attraction for the kids but for adults alike. It is located on the waterfront beside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. The center was opened in 1996 with a focus on STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math. Exhibits like the Apollo command module, a World War II submarine, and  the 618-feet long Steamship Mather from 1925 are very popular with the visiting public. Another major attraction of the center is the 6-story high 300-seat IMAX theater which projects non-fiction films.

 

  1. Lake View Cemetery
Lake View Cemetery
Lake View Cemetery

It is not often that you would find a cemetery in a list of tourist attractions. But the Lake View Cemetery makes the cut for its historic significance as well as for its aesthetic beauty. It is modeled after English and French garden cemeteries. It was founded in 1869 and spreads over 285 acres. There are about 104,000 graves inside this cemetery, including some of the biggest names of American history. Notable names include James Garfield, the 20th President of the USA; Garrett Morgan,  inventor of the gas mask; and John D Rockefeller, famous billionaire and philanthropist. The cemetery was featured in the Hollywood movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

 

  1. Museum of Contemporary Art – MOCA
Museum of Contemporary Art – MOCA
Museum of Contemporary Art – MOCA

The Museum of Contemporary Art, or simply MOCA, is a gallery dedicated to temporary exhibits by various national as well as international artists, with an emphasis on local artists from the Greater Cleveland area. It is located in the Wade District, just a block east of the Cleveland Museum of Art. It is housed in a state-of-the-art building that was completed in 2012. This mirror-covered building, designed by renowned architect Farshid Moussavi, is an attraction in itself, starting off as a hexagon and rising to a square!

 

  1. Cleveland Botanical Garden
Cleveland Botanical Garden
Cleveland Botanical Garden

The Cleveland Botanical Garden is one of the several tourist attractions in Wade District, about 5 miles east of downtown. It started as the Garden Center of Greater Cleveland in 1930, focusing on a horticultural library and organizing workshops for gardeners. It was set up in a converted boathouse in a neighboring lagoon. It moved to its present location in 1966 and has since expanded in both its area and mission. Stunning gardens like the award-winning Hershey Children’s Garden, Japanese garden, Topiary Garden, Rose Garden, and the Western Reserve Herb Society Garden make it one of the must-visit attractions for nature lovers in Cleveland.

 

  1. Playhouse Square
Playhouse Square
Playhouse Square

Playhouse Square is a historic theater district located in downtown Cleveland. It was constructed between 1920 and 1921 and was one of the largest theater districts in the US. However, by 1969, with the growth of television, all but one theater had closed down. In a massive grassroots effort, the theaters were restored and have since been a delight for theater lovers in the city. The restored theaters include Hanna, Allen, Connor, Helen Rosenfield, Key Bank State, Kennedy’s Cabaret, Outcalt, Ohio, and Westfield Insurance Studio Theater.

 

  1. Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Cleveland Museum of Natural History

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is located in the Wade District, about 5 miles east of downtown. This natural history museum was founded in 1920. The 550-acre facility has a stunning collection of over 4 million specimens from paleontology, anthropology, zoology, geology, botany, mineralogy, and archaeology. One of the highlights of the museum is Lucy, the skeletal remains of a female human ancestor dating back over 3 million years. Another popular exhibit is the model skeleton of a Stegosaurus which towers over visitors.

 

  1. USS Cod Submarine Memorial
USS Cod Submarine Memorial
USS Cod Submarine Memorial

The USS Cod Submarine Memorial is located on the waterfront in downtown Cleveland. This Gato-class diesel engine submarine was launched and commissioned in 1943 and served in the US Navy until 1954. It earned 7 battle stars during its 11 years of service and is credited with sinking 12 enemy vessels. It was designated a US National Historic Landmark. It was struck off the list in 1971 and was transformed to a museum in 1976. It is a seasonal attraction that is open to the general public from May 1 to September 30 of every year.

 

  1. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is located about 6 miles southwest of downtown Cleveland. With over 1.2 million annual visitors, this is one of the most popular attractions of the city. The zoo was founded in 1882. It was originally located at the site where we presently see the Cleveland Museum of Art. It moved to its present location in 1907. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is spread over 183 acres and is home to over 3000 animals belonging to 300 different species. It has the largest collection of primate species in the country. There are a number of exhibits in the zoo like the African Savanna, Monkey Island, Rainforest, Australian Adventure, and Wolf Wilderness, to name a few.

 

  1. Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art

With its collection of over 45,000 artworks, the Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the most prominent art museums in the country. It is particularly renowned for having a substantial collection of Egyptian and Asian art. The museum was open to the public in 1916, and according to wishes of its founders, has free entry for the visitors. With a footfall of over 700,000 every year, the Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the most-visited art museums in the world. Artists featured in the museum include masters like Botticelli, Rubens, Rubens, Goya, Dali, Monet, van Gogh, Picasso, and Warhol, to name just a few.

 

  1. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Located right on the waterfront of downtown Cleveland is its most popular tourist attraction, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. The museum, as the name, suggests is dedicated to rock and roll music. It not only has a stunning collection of artifacts associated with rock and roll, but is also famous for honoring and listing the top entertainers in this genre. Although the Foundation was set up in 1983, the museum was established in 1995 and has since attracted a footfall of over 10 million. The 7-level state of the art building is also an attraction in itself. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is not just a museum but a Mecca for those who love the rock and roll genre of music.

Originally posted 2017-09-11 11:06:49.

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