Cleveland is a pretty big city in Ohio, one of the most beautiful states in the USA.
Whether you’re just there for a short weekend, you’re sure to want to visit all the greatest places you possibly can.
It’s the second-largest city in the state, after all – which means it is full of beautiful attractions to see, making it one of the best places to visit in the world.
It can be difficult to pick which ones to visit, and it can feel overwhelming when you’re confronted with all the cool options.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the most interesting and visit-worthy spots in Cleveland.
1. Playhouse Square
Playhouse Square is one of the most fun spots in Cleveland, whether you’re there for a day trip, a weekend, or longer.
It is part of the region’s theater district and is home to America’s second-largest center for performing arts.
A wide variety of touring Broadway shows stop by, so if you’re there at the right time, you might be able to catch a performance you’ve been dying to see.
There are also lots of local Cleveland productions that are shown most days of the week along with other options if you prefer them.
To add to that, the world’s largest outdoor chandelier rests in this Ohio location.
It contains 4,200 crystals that coat its 20-foot-tall exterior.
It waits on Euclid Avenue, a perfect photo opportunity that appears enchantingly clandestine in its glory!
Address: 1501 Euclid Ave #200, Cleveland, OH 44115, USA
2. Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art was first built in 1913 and officially opened in 1916.
Today, it is an extremely famous place to visit in Ohio, receiving more than half a million tourists from all across the world.
Within its classic and elegant Gregorian marble structure, a collection of near to 45,000 works of art sit, some dating back to 6,000 years prior.
Stunning exhibits are arranged neatly in a chronological fashion, allowing you to witness the true majesty of famed and brilliant artists in all their glory as you watch art evolve over the centuries.
Children can have a great time, too, in a special play studio full of great things to do.
While you’re here in the Cleveland Museum of Art, you may be able to catch some events or special exhibits.
Some annual events, such as the music festival of the Summer Solstice, or the Parade the Circle event, simply cannot be missed!
Address: 11150 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
3. Edgewater Park
No one really expects to find a little slice of heaven anywhere near Cleveland, but Edgewater Park is one of those points of interest in Ohio that really prove that idea wrong.
Spanning over 147 acres and home to 9,000 feet of relaxing and delightful shoreline, this park offers lots of things to do.
You can take a walk down the stunning sands of Edgewater Beach or Perkins Beach, look over Lake Erie, or enjoy some water sports.
You can go boating or cycling, enjoy some fishing, or go during certain times to catch various planned programs in action.
A homey beach house sells tasty local brews that you can enjoy in the lovely waterside location.
If you’re going to Cleveland with your pet, you’re in luck – dogs are allowed in this park, and there are plenty of designated areas for them as well as lots of space for them to explore.
It’s great for the whole family!
4. Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
The Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the top 10 must-see sights in Cleveland.
It houses some of the world’s best selection of modern art from a variety of artists, both local and international.
This includes over 2,000 artists’ work, a mix of permanent fixtures and traveling showcases, and plenty of enchanting and fresh pieces by newcomers to the scene.
This establishment is actually non-profit, and since its foundation in 1986, it has been a staple of the cultural realm of Cleveland.
Its architecture is equally astonishing, with its current building just been completed in 2012 in an imposing and fascinating new-age hexagonal shape.
There is much to see and enjoy in the unique, interesting, and spellbinding works that you can observe and interpret.
So if you’re looking for what to do in or around Ohio, the Museum of Contemporary Art is a great place to go!
Address: 11400 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
5. Franklin CastleFranklin Castle is an extremely unique and enchanting building that holds boundless amounts of history, making its exploration one of the most mysterious things to do in Cleveland, Ohio.
With Victorian architecture, this old palace was built back in the 1880s.
The owner, Hannes Tiedemann, was a banker who began his life as a grocer.
Though he had a good deal of wealth, he also dealt with his fair share of tragedy.
His mother, his wife, and his 15-year-old daughter, as well as many other close family members, would pass away within the house’s walls – leading to the rumors of this Cleveland building being haunted.
Today, this house is packed with large and imposing iron gates, a huge number of turrets, and plenty of scary stories to enjoy.
It may not be the most popular spot for activities in Cleveland, but it’s a beautiful castle to marvel.
Address: 4308 Franklin Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44113, USA
Planning a vacation to Columbus? Check out our awesome list detailing the best things to do in Columbus!
6. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is one of the best places to visit if you love animals and wildlife.
A whopping 600 varying species of animals live and thrive within the grounds in Ohio, totaling up to 3,000 individuals mammals, reptiles, and creatures of all types.
Visitors particularly love the famous carousel and the Elephant Crossing, but there’s more than just that in this Cleveland zoo.
Information docents provide valuable and intriguing tidbits of knowledge for an educational, family-friendly experience, and lots of programs exist to keep you entertained.
You can feed certain animals, stay overnight in safari tents, or go on night hikes that involve riveting tours, interesting tales surrounding a fire while eating s’mores, and more.
Before you leave the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and are done viewing all the majestic animals, head over to the gift shops or stop for a meal at a dining establishment on site!
Address: 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, OH 44109, USA
7. Little Italy
Little Italy is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for cool stuff to do in Cleveland, Ohio over the weekend.
It is home to over 25 interesting galleries, 20 delicious restaurants, and rich, luscious culture await in this small space.
It’s definitely one of the most loved Little Italy locations in the whole country!
First created 130 years ago, this Cleveland location sprung to life from Mayfield Road, where Joseph Carrabelli, an Italian sculptor, began to create works of art made from marble and granite in the area.
It wasn’t long before families from Italy began to settle down in the area.
In addition to all the charming streets to explore, Little Italy hosts a number of interesting events at certain points in the year, such as the bocce tournaments, Art Walks, and more.
So if you go there at the right time, you’ll be able to check them out!
8. Historic Tremont Food Tour
Any foodie would absolutely love the Historic Tremont Food Tour of downtown Cleveland, Ohio.
Those who are patrons of true gastronomy will know all about the fame of Tremont for its food.
In this tour, a guide will take you on a journey through the riveting streets of Tremont, teeming with history and varying cultures.
You will get to stop by 4 different restaurants that will give you a true taste of famous cuisine tinged with remnants of yesteryears.
From soul food to authentic Thai meals, to pizzas fired over wood in an old-fashioned way, you will move from warm and inexpensive local Cleveland delights to fancy, upscale dining establishments, some of which have won awards.
While in Tremont, you can also view Lincoln Park and its surrounding buildings – churches preserved over time, and homes still built in the old Victorian fashion.
If you’re looking for activities to partake in near the bigger hubs of the region, this food tour is definitely among the activities in the top things to do in Cleveland today.
9. Superelectric Pinball Parlor
The Superelectric Pinball Parlor is a bit of a hidden gem in Cleveland, Ohio – but that doesn’t make it any less fun.
If you’re a fan of pinball games or just want to spice up your Ohio trip with a little something extra, this is the best place to go.
This pinball parlor offers more than 20 different games, some dating back several decades, and some loudly and proudly modern.
If you bring change, you can buy tokens to play at the machines, or you can just enjoy the geeky atmosphere and sit back in their restaurant area.
There are special nights planned by the establishment, many of which offer free tokens when you buy drinks, so take full advantage of this spot in Gordon Square, Cleveland.
Better yet, some of the machines are actually for sale, so who knows?
You could go home with a shiny new machine to add to your den at home tonight!
Address: 6500 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102, USA
10. A Christmas Story House & Museum
Many people across the planet love the seasonal, fantastical tale of A Christmas Story, especially due to its 1983 film based on the original book.
But little do many know that there’s a slice of that delightful story right in Cleveland, Ohio!
This house is where the film was originally set, chosen for rather unflattering reasons – its dated 1940s style was rather plain, making it the ideal setting for many scenes.
Since then, though, the house owner has really capitalized on this unique Cleveland wonder.
They’ve put up Christmas decor, and they even sell furniture replicas! It’s a true homage to the heartwarming narrative.
The inside of the house looks just like it did in the movies, and plenty of “exhibits” are interactive, so you can enjoy doing some things you saw in the movies!
It might be a bit unusual, but it’s one of the best things to do in Cleveland!
Address: 3159 W 11th St, Cleveland, OH 44109, USA
Planning to visit the whole of Ohio? Be sure to check out our list detailing the best things to do in Ohio!
11. Western Reserve Historical Society
The Western Reserve Historical Society stands out among the many other most fascinating points of interest you can find – especially if you really enjoy history!
It is a cultural institution that is the oldest in all of Cleveland, and it offers a number of different things to do, from seasonal programs, tours, and more.
First established in 1867, this society works on chronicling the history and culture of Northeast Ohio.
It features a number of wonderful exhibits.
This includes the Cleveland History Center Museum, which is home to numerous interesting artifacts and documents, and the Hale Farm & Village, which is a history museum that is completely interactive and gives you a taste of 19th-century life.
If you’re in the area for the weekend, you simply must stop by the Western Reserve Historical Society!
Do note that certain tours will require advanced requests.
Address: 10825 East Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA
12. West Side Market
One of the best things to do in Cleveland has got to be shopping in West Side Market.
This open-air establishment was first opened in 1840, and it went through a number of renovations over the years.
It boasts a clock tower reaching 137 feet in height, which is now one of the more iconic landmarks of Cleveland, Ohio.
Right now, the West Side Market has a delightful and fun yellow brick appearance.
More than a hundred vendors, both local to Ohio and from across the planet, open up their stalls within it.
You can walk around and take in all the sights, smells, and sounds from a variety of products – like baked items, dairy, fish, spices, meat, nuts, flowers, candies, rice, and much, much more.
Everything is available at low prices at incredible levels of freshness.
This makes this the absolute best place to buy groceries in all of Cleveland.
Address: 1979 W 25th St, Cleveland, OH 44113, USA
13. Detroit-Superior Bridge
The Detroit-Superior Bridge was finished in 1917, and though it isn’t among the most popular tourist attractions in Ohio, it’s definitely a highly iconic and historic downtown Cleveland location.
It was the first bridge to allow people to travel across the Cuyahoga River easily by car.
Even more fascinating is the streetcar deck beneath the bridge’s topmost level.
Now abandoned since the 1950s, it lies unused and with no purpose, creating an eerie and atmospheric environment that seems quite out of place anywhere near Cleveland.
Occasionally, tours are conducted, and it was once used for the Ingenuity Fest of the region – but now it sits quietly, perfect for exploring if you’re there for a weekend.
14. Lake View Cemetery
The Lake View Cemetery is one of the most interesting places to visit in Cleveland.
It first opened its gates back in 1869 and houses over 100,000 different final resting places and gravestones.
This includes some famous names laid to rest in the humble Cleveland, Ohio location: 20th US President James Abram Garfield, for example, and Eliot Ness.
The cemetery spans 285 acres and is often called the Outdoor Museum of Cleveland.
You can spot plenty of monuments and gorgeous gardens, all near to the Wade Chapel that still boasts classic windows of Tiffany glass.
A number of creepy attractions await, including a sculpture called the Haserot Angel that seems to “cry” in tears of black.
This Ohio spot is great for those who appreciate antique architecture, want to explore final resting places, or are just interested in paying respects to John D. Rockefeller, Alan Freed, and other famous figures.
Address: 12316 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
15. World’s Largest Rubber Stamp
If you’re seeking for fun things to do in Cleveland, you really need to look no further than this singularly unique world-record-breaking, unusual item: a rubber stamp that measures 49 feet.
The stamp reads “Free” across its bottom in big red letters, a homage to the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument of Cleveland opposite the building it is housed in.
The rubber stamp was commissioned by Alton Whitehouse, the CEO of Standard Oil of Ohio, in 1985.
Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, a wife and husband pair who are also well-known sculptors, created the gigantic piece to add a pop of color to the greyscale appearance of the 659-foot tall Sohio Building.
It wasn’t until 1991 that this stamp was finally brought out of a warehouse and placed in downtown Cleveland, Ohio from a storage facility in Indiana.
It had waited there because Robert Horton, the CEO of British Petroleum – a company that bought over Sohio – did not approve of it.
Now, it waits in Willard Park, finally receiving the spotlight it deserves.
Address: Willard Park, Cleveland, OH 44114, USA
Exploring other parts of Ohio? Why not check out some of the things to do in Dayton, Ohio?
16. USS Cod Submarine Memorial
The USS Cod Submarine Memorial is located very near to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
In fact, it’s right next to that famous Cleveland, Ohio location.
This memorial is a National Landmark Memorial and was commissioned in 1943 by Commander James Dempsey.
Since its inception, this submarine maintains the exact appearance it had when it was first built – a true testament to World War II, right in Cleveland, Ohio.
In 1945, it pulled off an amazing success – it carried out the first international rescue from submarine to submarine.
There are plenty of things to do in the memorial, including climbing onto it through the real hatches and going on a guided tour.
Awesome features include a Mark 14 torpedo that is steam-driven, a search periscope, and more.
Address: 1201 N Marginal Rd, Cleveland, OH 44114, USA
17. The Cleveland Arcade
The Cleveland Arcade may just be the best indoor shopping mall in Cleveland.
It first welcomed visitors in the 1880s, financed by wealthy individuals who modeled it after the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan.
It consists of a five-story arcade beneath a glass skylight arching 300 feet into the air and two adjacent towers measuring nine stories in height.
Today, the Cleveland Arcade is an office complex and an indoor shopping mall, and it was among the first to ever open in the country.
Its interior is incredibly stunning, with an opulent and luxurious appearance that looks so ornate that you wouldn’t believe it’s a shopping center in Ohio!
If you’d like, you can stay in the Hyatt Regency hotel, which resides over the highest few floors of the large building.
You can also just explore the lowest two floors, which are full of restaurants and retail outlets.
If you want more of the same, you can go right across the street to visit the Euclid Arcade and the Colonial Arcade.
Address: 401 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114, USA
18. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is among the most interesting places to visit, whether you’re there for sightseeing purposes, as a music-lover, or simply to appreciate history.
It opened in 1995 and has welcomed over 9 million tourists, ranging from the average visitor to celebrities of all kinds.
There’s plenty to see inside the museum, ranging from temporary exhibits and permanent ones, all relating to some of the most incredible and iconic musicians of the rock and roll genre.
If you like, you can also watch films, listen to lectures, check out panel discussions, and be an audience member of live performances – all right here in Cleveland!
Almost everyone would consider this Cleveland, Ohio location to be among the most famous and most worth visiting!
That’s why it’s among the top things to do in Cleveland.
Address: 1100 E 9th St, Cleveland, OH 44114, USA
19. Progressive Field
Progressive Field is among the coolest Cleveland attractions if you’re a baseball fan.
It is home to the Cleveland Guardians, a popular Major League Baseball team, and it is an incredible ballpark that is simply one of the more contemporary, modern places to see that Cleveland, Ohio has to offer.
Whether you’re there to take a tour around this famed Ohio location or to watch a game, you’re sure to have a lot of fun.
Tours will let you see a wide variety of places, such as the party suits, the batting cages, the Club Lounge, the dugouts, and even the Heritage Park Guardians Hall of Fame.
Tickets to baseball games are pretty cheap in Progressive Field, with some only amounting to $10.
Better yet, regular patrons state that every single seat in the stadium is pretty great, no matter where you wind up sitting!
Address: 2401 Ontario St, Cleveland, OH 44115, USA
20. Greater Cleveland Aquarium
If you’re in Cleveland, Ohio for the weekend, you’ll definitely want to take a trip to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium.
It is a relatively new tourist spot, only being opened in 2012.
It is an impressive location, with 70,000 feet of ground to its name and a huge number of interesting exhibition areas – including eight brand new ones!
The Greater Cleveland Aquarium’s most interesting feature is its 230,000-gallon tank, which has a shark tunnel that is completely acrylic and breathtaking to walk through.
It’s near to a huge number of other exhibits, too, which all showcase a wide range of vibrant and diverse species of fish.
This fantastic Ohio aquarium offers exhibitions that cover the coral reef, the rivers, and lakes across the globe, the discovery zone, and much, much more.
It’s a great place to go for a little education and a whole lot of awe!
Address: 2000 Sycamore St, Cleveland, OH 44113, USA
21. Cleveland Orchestra
It’s not one of the “attractions” in Ohio, per se, but the Cleveland Orchestra is definitely among the most wonderful things to see in the region.
The brilliant musicians perform in Severance Hall during the winter and have been gracing audiences with their astounding talent and skill for decades.
The Cleveland Orchestra is directed by Franz Welser-Möst and has been for approximately 13 years.
It is an integral part of Cleveland’s culture and, though its tickets don’t exactly come at a low price, it’s more than worth the expense.
Still, you don’t have to watch the orchestra tonight – you can just take a tour around Severance Hall, which is famous for being one of the most stunning, beautiful, and gorgeous of the world’s concert halls.
Address: 11001 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
22. Cleveland Botanical Gardens
The Cleveland Botanical Gardens are nothing short of spellbinding – a must-see if you’re in Ohio for the weekend.
It is packed with beautiful species of plants, many of which flower. It was first created in 1930 and spans over 10 acres.
There’s a Glasshouse that covers 18,000 square feet, near to plenty of outdoor gardens.
As far as activities go, you can tour the 11 varying gardens outside.
These include the stunning Butterfly Gardens which resemble Costa Rican rainforests, the delightful Japanese Garden, and the favorite Inspiration Area, which is where visitors can draw ideas for curating their own personal gardens.
Selections include 50 different bird species, 350 rare plant species, and additional creatures like amphibians and reptiles.
Even if you’re not much of a nature-lover, just strolling through these gardens can be invigorating.
Address: 11030 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
23. Cleveland Museum of Natural History
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is one of the points of interest around downtown Cleveland.
It is in the equally famous University Circle, which is packed with all sorts of interesting spots.
Over 4 million different items are on display, in all fields ranging from paleontology to botany.
There are plenty of unique exhibits to view.
You can look upon Balto, a loved Alaskan sled dog, see the first planetarium ever built in Ohio, and even experience what an earthquake might feel like.
Within the same property, you can also find other equally intriguing locations – all right here in Ohio!
There’s no shortage of things you’ll find to do in this surprisingly extensive place.
Address: 1 Wade Oval Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
24. Cedar Point
Cedar Point is an amusement park making it one of the fun things to do in Cleveland that you cannot miss.
It’s one of the most perfect places to visit in Ohio for anyone who loves to pump a little adrenaline in their bodies.
It is home to a whopping 17 roller coasters, including the Top Thrill Dragster, which reaches speeds of 120 mph.
Of course, if you’re not a big fan of absolutely terrifying, heart-stopping rides, other impressive ones await: Adventure Island, the Soak City waterpark, and some interesting rides with a Snoopy theme.
Covering 365 acres, this Cleveland, Ohio park has 70 rides to choose from, as well as live shows, hotels to stay overnight, and kids’ areas for family-friendly enjoyment!
Address: 1 Cedar Point Dr, Sandusky, OH 44870, USA
Planning to visit Sandusky? Why not check out some of the fun things to do in Sandusky, Ohio?
25. Velvet Tango Room
No one can deny that Cleveland has some great restaurants and bars.
The Velvet Tango Room is just one of the many sites of this variety.
It is a cocktail bar and a jazz lounge all in one, and it is located near some of the most pretty, trendy neighborhoods in Cleveland.
When you walk in, you’ll be immediately impressed by its setting: low lighting that basks over ornate decor.
A grand piano sits in a corner, and its ceiling is made from tin.
You can sit at the expertly crafted wooden bar to drink your pick of beer, wine, and, of course, cocktails.
You can nibble as you drink, too, on a wide range of cuisine picks from more places than just Ohio!
If you head down there, do know that t-shirts and hats are not allowed!
Address: 2095 Columbus Rd, Cleveland, OH 44113, USA
26. Cleveland Cultural Gardens
The Cleveland Cultural Gardens are a must-see if you’re in Ohio for the weekend.
They were made by Cleveland State University alumni who designed it to be what they refer to as a “peace garden”.
It’s one of the fun things to do in Cleveland and is packed with 33 different gardens, providing activities that serve as a homage to American history.
Each garden tells a unique story relating to some of the most crucial historical events in the 20th century.
The Cold War, as well as the first and second World Wars, are all catered to, and they creatively illustrate the influencing factors in the nation.
Right in Cleveland, Ohio, you’ll get a slice of varying cultures in the Polish, Czech, and Slovenian Gardens!
Address: 10823 Magnolia Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
27. International Women’s Air & Space Museum
The International Women’s Air & Space Museum can be found around the same area as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – another one of the top things to do in Cleveland we’ve covered!
Specifically, it is based in Burke’s terminal and, while it doesn’t exactly seem like the most stereotypical-looking of museums, it’s still one of the cooler things to see in Cleveland, Ohio.
Glass cases line the interior of this building, containing a wide variety of interesting historical artifacts – like stewardess uniforms from back in the day, and the Ruby Wine Sheldon’s helmet.
It may not be the largest museum in Cleveland, but the International Women’s Air & Space Museum is still a great place to go – just proving that size does not matter when it comes to history!
Address: 1501 N Marginal Rd, Cleveland, OH 44114, USA
28. Frozen Cleveland Lighthouse
The Frozen Cleveland Lighthouse is one of the most underrated tourist attractions that you can see in Ohio.
It can be seen not far from Lake Erie, and this phenomenon first started in 2010.
The lake water rushed upwards in the winter, and the incessant splattering caused the lighthouse to freeze over.
Now, the Frozen Cleveland Lighthouse – which is also tilted a bit to the right – is entirely encased in snow during the colder months.
It’s a special sculpture made by Mother Nature herself, and it’s a true wonder to behold!
Though the original lighthouse was built in 1911, this new phenomenon makes it more than worth the visit.
Address: 2800 Whiskey Island Drive, Cleveland, OH 44102, USA
29. Slovenian National HomeSlovenes have been settling in Cleveland, Ohio, for hundreds of years.
The Slovenian National Home is a product of all the migration, and it’s one of the more unique things to do in Cleveland if you’re looking for what to see and experience while you’re in Ohio.
Of course, this home is not always open to public tourists and visitors.
But during Social Nights, or throughout the Lent period where fish fry events occur, you’ll be able to walk right into this Cleveland spot, known as a St. Clair-Superior institution.
Its structure is old and dated, but that only adds to its charm.
Address: 6417 St Clair Ave, Cleveland, OH 44103, USA
Start Planning Your Trip To Cleveland
If you’ve been looking for what to do in Cleveland, you’ll know that there’s no end to the wonderful things to experience.
From beaches to amusement parks and from museums to theaters, there’s no end to the excitement.
With all these fun options, there’s no reason not to make the most of your Cleveland trip.
No matter how long you’ll be in the area, you’ll find ways to keep yourself happy and entertained.
So, what are you waiting for?