Talk to Cleveland’s haters and they will say that the mistake on the lake is a grey-skied, cold city with awful sports and overzealous fans.
We beg to differ.
In case you haven’t been around, Cleveland is on the rise. Some call it a cultural and others call it a comeback.
Here are some updates:
In the last five years, we have added a casino, a convention center, an aquarium, the Museum of Contemporary Art, built eight new hotels, with expansions in the Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, and more. Chosen to host the 2016 Republican National Convention, Cleveland is excited to show off. With $3 billion coming in from visitor-relation infrastructure development and 19 downtown hotels, expect more transformation and flocking to the city.
The New York Times names Cleveland as one of the top 52 places to go in 2015. CNN Money calls Cleveland one of the top 10 most innovative cities in America. Oh and we’re also named among America’s best beer cities – more on that later.
Built on one of the five Great Lakes, with sand beaches and a national park, Cleveland is in prime location. Perched on Lake Erie, the waterfront is something to behold, with boats near the dock, old war ships anchored in, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at its perimeter. Cuyahoga Valley National Park has something for every outdoor junkie: hiking trails, bike paths, golf courses, fishing sports, marathons, toboggan chutes, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding. The Cleveland Metroparks, also known as the Emerald Necklace, claims over 21,000 acres of green – quite the rival to many of the favorited concrete jungles.
Increased capital is being pumped into this town. How? Young professionals and entrepreneurs are paving a way with a desire to invent and build up the community. Advances and expansion of healthcare, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, insurance, banking, and IT fields are adding to Cleveland’s job creation. The brain drain has ceased: larger numbers of those with college degrees are filling the city, resulting in a growing per capita income. As innovative and educated 20-30somethings move downtown, a new city life is emerging.
Diverse culture and community events.
Pockets of ethnic groups color Cleveland, bringing exotic foods, art, historic churches, and family events to the city. Home to the second largest theater district in the United States, second only to New York, we are proud of Playhouse Square. A 20-foot tall outdoor chandelier decorates Euclid Avenue and East 14th Street. For the art lovers, Cleveland’s art museum holds over 900 exhibits. Each year, the Cleveland International Film Festival is hosted at Tower City Cinemas. University Circle claims the most opportunities to fill the days with adventures with the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, Great Lakes Science Center, Western Reserve Historical Society, Natural History Museum, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and much more. Oh, and Cedar Point is just one hour away.
Still looking for more? Ralphie’s house from the holiday-movie favorite A Christmas Story stands in Cleveland its original movie grandeur, available for tours.
Wait, you wanted to know more? Festivals and fairs litter Cleveland: Cain Park Arts Festival, Boston Mills Art Fest, Hessler Street Fair, Tremont ArtWalk, Ingenuity Festival, Bedford Strawberry Festival, and the list goes on.
Remarkably affordable housing and low cost of living.
It doesn’t cost as much to live and do business here. The average housing cost in Cleveland is 249% less than in New York City, 226% less than in Washington DC, and 66% less than Chicago. Forbes recently announced the cost of living in Cleveland at 9.3% below the national average, with job growth on the rise (see the second point). Another plus, the average commute time from home to work is 23 minutes.
The weather. For real.
Cleveland is also home to all four seasons of the year. After all, who would want the same-old, boring, predictable thing all year round? We like it a bit more adventurous here. “Locals joke that Cleveland has two seasons—winter and construction. And while it’s true Cleveland experiences more than its fair share of snowy days (62.5 inches of snow per year), it also has the most snowball fights in the country, urban snowmobiling, and the opportunity to cross-country ski to work on really bad days. Also, shoveling snow is great exercise,” writes Cleveland-enthusiast Ryan Nickum.
Award-winning schools and universities.
Case Western Reserve is one of the nation’s top universities, pioneering a new way with independent and leading research. More program options are opening up at John Carroll University. Hometown pride of the Vikings, Cleveland State University. In addition, students with extraordinary talents exceed at the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Sports. We said it.
This town is home to three national sports teams and the most dedicated fans in the world. Who else but Clevelanders could love teams that haven’t brought home a trophy in any major professional sport since 1964? The passion is real.
Side note: unlike many large cities, access to tickets is a real thing.
And you’re a foodie? No problem. We’ve got you covered.
Cleveland boasts of its legendary West Side Market, an indoor and outdoor market filled with locally produced foods, such as vegetables, fruits, cheese, meats, baked goods, and more.
Did we mention that Iron Chef Michael Symon is from here? Hang around here and he will cook you something unforgettable at Lola, Lolita, or B Spot – winner of the title Best Burger in Cleveland for three consecutive years, let alone its reputation in America. The town is also home to Jonathan Sawyer of Greenhouse Tavern and an impressive display of upcoming chefs focused on local ingredients and food traditions.
Did you say you liked corned beef? Come check out Slyman’s award-winning sandwich. Chocolate addict? We have Malley’s Chocolates, Lily Handmade Chocolates, and Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates, which are truly fiiine. What about a half-foot tall grilled cheese with any topping thinkable? Yeah, we have that too. Melt does grilled cheese so well, that their faithful eaters get tattoos (and a discount). Hand-crafted pastas? Ohio City Pasta. Ever had a Polish Boy? Think juicy Kielbasa in a bun with French fries and coleslaw, drowned in barbeque sauce, created in CLE.
Here in Cleveland we know how to do beer right – because after all, we’re going to need a drink with the Brown’s game. Like we mentioned earlier, Cleveland is named Beertown, USA by Draft Magazine and among one of America’s best beer cities. Some breweries to consider: award-winning Great Lakes Brewing Company, Thirsty Dog, Willoughby Brewing Company, Platform Beer Company, Nano Brew, Market Garden Brewery and Tremont Tap House.
Did we mention the music scene?
Welcome to the heart of rock and roll. A Clevelander deejay first coined the term “rock and roll”, which inherited this town the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, built on the edge of Lake Erie. If that’s not impressive to you, then check out the Cleveland Orchestra, one of the “Big Five” nationally and ranked 7th internationally. They’ll save you a seat for only $10 if you’re still a student with your ID. The Cuyahoga Community College puts on the city’s Jazz Fest each summer, drawing modern jazz devotees and established musicians.
And if you’re wondering, 4th in the nation and internally renowned, the Cleveland Clinic is a lighthouse in the healthcare field for all needs. In addition, there is the MetroHealth System, University Hospitals, and more.
So there’s a lot to take in, we understand and agree. This is Cleveland.
“Grit meets sophistication in a town where you can browse modern art inside a turn-of-the-century transformer station, hear the orchestra perform live inside the local hot dog joint and chow down on pierogi stuffed with beef cheek.
We’ve got world-class experiences without the world-class ego. And for that, you’re welcome.”
Welcome to the Comeback City.