Destination Information - Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Cleveland sits on the southern banks of Lake Erie at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River – a city of green parks, lively neighbourhoods and historic buildings. Local residents are proud of its high quality of life and recent awards that attest to its liveability.
Miles of parkland encircle the city, while museums, sporting and cultural events and visitor-friendly attractions lure residents and visitors alike to Downtown areas. It is one of the few American cities with park access in the heart of the city. Visitors, especially, are often surprised to discover a vibrant Downtown with distinct neighbourhoods and a lively urban atmosphere. True, its roots are certainly more prosaic than those of New York, Los Angeles or Boston, but Cleveland has outgrown its industrial past. Once known as a ‘steel town’ during the Industrial Era of Ohio’s development, it is now a healthy mix of manufacturing and service industries.
Cleveland’s Public Square provides a skyline of skyscrapers now, but its origins go back to wilderness beginnings when Moses Cleaveland arrived from Connecticut to survey the region in 1796. It is difficult to imagine an old-time village green amid horse-drawn carriages and farm animals ready for market instead of the mass of traffic and one-way streets there today. Cleaveland drew up the plan for the town that would later bear his name (the ‘a’ was dropped in 1834 in order to fit the city’s name on a newspaper’s masthead).
Unlike many American cities, Cleveland’s Downtown is not only lively, it is the focal point around which the rest of the city nestles. In the middle of the Downtown area is the historic Public Square, a European-style square with statues and fountains. The lakefront, having benefited from committed renewal, is home to the stunningly designed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, which, when it opened in 1995, epitomized not only the renewal of Cleveland’s Downtown but the city’s growing cultural presence as well.
Cleveland is blessed with long, hot summer days, during which locals enjoy the many restaurants featuring alfresco dining, picnic in the surrounding state, national and municipal parks, or gather around the barbecue for casual entertaining. During the cold, sometimes snowy winters, the city’s cultural attractions, including theatre, symphony, opera and museums, thrive.
Cleveland offers all the trappings of any American city (shopping, sightseeing, excellent service) and, although it possesses a historic flavour popular with tourists and residents, it is most definitely a city that keeps moving forward.