Explore Ohio // Downtown Cleveland { AND A GIVEAWAY! }

June 5, 2017 in cleveland,Cleveland Flea,Cleveland Indians,events,explore locally,Explore Ohio,food,fun,giveaway,Ohio,restaurants + bars,sponsor

It’s a great time to be a Clevelander, friends! We’ve been in the spotlight a lot over the last year, thanks to a couple of championship games. But for those of us who’ve grown up here, we’ve long known that the city of Cleveland is a diamond in the rough!

Which is why I’m beyond excited to bring you my next chapter of my “Explore Ohio” series — Downtown Cleveland! If you’ve followed along with the last few chapters of this series, you’ll know that I grew up here in Northeast Ohio. I was born in East Cleveland, but grew up in the country, before moving to New York state. Then I debated moving further south (and even went so far as to look at real estate in Dayton), before settling into my home here just south of ‘the land.’

I’m almost ashamed to say how frequently I make the drive to downtown Cleveland. I mean, it’s close, but it’s still a bit of a drive from Akron (think 25-30 minutes). But when I visit, here are some of my absolutely favorite things to see and do:

The Cleveland Flea. Artisanal products, makers, and doers come together once a month for an amazing event. Think food trucks, the “Flea Bar” featuring incredible hand-crafted cocktails, and a DJ making sure everyone is having a blast. It’s seriously the most fun event of the month.

Barrio. Build your own tacos + crazy margaritas + out of this world guacamole = my idea of heaven, ya’ll. The original location is in Tremont, but the location downtown is huge and easily accessible before concerts and sporting events. They honestly have the best tacos and an awesome atmosphere.

Great Lakes Science Center. Located right next door to The Rock Hall, the GLSC features 3+ floors of hands-on learning and exploring for kids of all ages — and adults! Ari loves it and I’m certain that as soon as Miss Bea feels comfortable in crowds, she will push her way through the exhibits to get down and dirty with learning! My favorite part of the science center is the IMAX theater. It’s definitely a must-see if you’re in from out of town.

Hilarities. I feel like Clevelanders take for granted that we have this amazingly popular comedy club! Chad and I have gone to see Joe Machi (from Last Comic Standing) and we loved it! I’m so bummed that I recently had to miss Mike Birbiglia (we were out of town!). He’s my absolute fave! And seriously, every single seat in the venue is close! It’s such an intimate location.

The Greenhouse Tavern. James Beard award winner Jonathan Sawyer serves the most incredible poutine at the Greenhouse Tavern. Seriously. It’s heavenly. He’s a master at what he does for a reason and his menu at GHT shows it! Also? Rooftop patio, yo!

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sitting on the North Coast, this museum is home to so many great artists and exhibits! Everyone should visit at least once in their life! I’ll never forget walking in for the first time and seeing the division bell from Pink Floyd’s cover of the same name!

Heinen’s DowntownHeinen’s is a local grocer here in Ohio, but they fixed up an old building downtown and made the most beautiful grocery store ever! If you haven’t yet, you should check it out for the wine and dinner!

the Cleveland Arcade building. My mom still talks about this building from when she was growing up. But I have my first memories of the arcade building from when I was about 6. And since then I’ve been able to witness business booming and even a wedding inside of this incredible location!

E. 4th Street. This is, by far, the hottest street in all of Cleveland. For those unfamiliar, it’s a pedestrian-only brick road and home to amazing restaurants and shops. CLE Clothing flagship shop sits on the corner and so does Corner Alley, an iconic bowling alley and sports bar!

The Jake. Yes, it will forever be The Jake. But honestly, Progressive Field (it’s newest name) has had some incredible improvements. They even now offer special tickets to a place in the field called “the corner” (which is at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario). These tickets are standing room only and include a beverage of your choice! Not bad!

Jack Cleveland CasinoI’m not big on gambling. Heck, I spent a total of $20 on slots in Vegas; but this casino is exactly what downtown Cleveland needed. And, in it’s current location in the old Higby building, it’s absolutely gorgeous!

Hodges. Yet another incredible chef with an incredible restaurant on E.4th! Hodges has long been one of my favorite restaurants, featuring drinks in mason jars (before it became popular) and cornbread with every single meal (cornbread, ya’ll!). I absolutely love Chris Hodsgon and all of his restaurants, but Hodges forever has a place in my heart!

Playhouse Square. The largest performing arts center in the United States outside of NYC, has 9 individual theaters with productions year-round! It’s recently received a facelift with it’s new chandelier, which resides over the center of square itself. It’s absolutely beautiful!


I just have to stop. I have to. Because I could go on and on and on about this city. I would like to also mention Brew Boat CLE, the City Club of Cleveland, Walnut Wednesdays, and Lolly the Trolley. Cleveland is just such an incredible city. I know we may get shamed as being ‘the mistake on the lake,’ but we aren’t. I swear it; we aren’t!

And to celebrate the best city on the North Coast, I’m giving away a $25 gift card to Heinen’s — which can be used at any of their locations across Northeast Ohio, but I urge you to check out the downtown location anyway —  just enter using the rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal. As always, all opinions herein are my own.



{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen @ Why CLE? June 5, 2017 at 6:43 am

Tough one…probably a tie between East 4th Street and Playhouse Square. Ooh, and Public Square!


Sumer June 5, 2017 at 7:25 am

Cleveland looks really awesome! We actually used to live in Pittsburgh and made the drive out to Cleveland several times, but mainly just visited the zoo there (we love that zoo!). Never made it downtown though…bummer!


Deanna June 5, 2017 at 10:20 am

East 4th!!


Annette Dattilo June 5, 2017 at 11:14 am

Fun post! Fun to read about my hubby’s family home town. I remember having a blast at the Rick and Roll Hall of Fame. The restaurant we always go to is Mama Santas Pizza Parlor in the Little Italy part of Downtown of Cleveland. 😊


Sami | The Classic Brunette June 5, 2017 at 12:20 pm

Downtown Cleveland looks like a fun and engaging city! I have some family friends over there so I definitely want to visit the city in the near future!

The Classic Brunette


Kate @ GreatestEscapist.com June 5, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Wait, whaaaat?! I’ve never heard of Hodges! Adding it to the list… I can’t pick a favorite spot downtown because THERE ARE TOO MANY, duh. But my new favorite is Wonder Bar on East Fourth, which serves cocktails on draft!

We went to dinner at Greenhouse last week before Hilarities for the Mike Birbiglia show – both awesome. I am so obsessed with this city.

Will you be at the Flea this weekend? Holler at me!


Danielle @ A Sprinkle of Joy June 5, 2017 at 2:08 pm

So many fun places to check out! Cleveland isn’t too far from me, maybe we’ll have to take a trip!


Ayanna @ 21FlavorsofSplendor June 5, 2017 at 2:17 pm

I never know there was so much going on in Cleveland. We have family there and are planning to go visit them. So thanks for this!


alicia szemon June 5, 2017 at 5:49 pm

my favorite spot is jack casino! That place is so nice! never won anything big yet but i want one of those cars they are always giving away


Kate June 5, 2017 at 10:12 pm

Wow! So many fun things to do and places to go! E. 4th street sounds right up my alley!


Jenny June 5, 2017 at 10:26 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this…I have never been but now I think we might have to take a trip out there! I think the kids will love the science center.


Sarah June 6, 2017 at 2:34 am

This all look so fun!! Barrio looks like a place I could live.


Alyssa Funk June 6, 2017 at 8:16 am

Now I want to visit Cleveland! That flea market looks amazing!


Lacey June 6, 2017 at 9:42 am

I’ve never been to Ohio! I need to come make a visit!




Thirty30Courtney June 6, 2017 at 10:30 am

I have never been to Ohio as an adult. I can only imagine all the buzz that’s happening with the city right now. I also laughed a bit because a 25 minute drive will -still- have me driving in Dallas proper.


Nicole Banuelos June 6, 2017 at 10:51 am

Loving all these pics! If I ever make it out to Ohio I will definitely be referencing this post!


Rachel Ritlop June 6, 2017 at 11:14 am

Love these awesome pics! I definitely want to visit Cleveland now!


Ressa June 6, 2017 at 11:14 am

Wow, the Arcade building and Playhouse Square are so beautiful! Your city is so beautiful!



House Address Signs June 6, 2017 at 12:04 pm

Great pictures! Can’t wait to visit Cleveland, it’s been in my wishlist for a time now but never been there before. This a great post filled with so many recommendations!


Robin June 6, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Barrio sounds amaaaazing, as do these other spots! I’ve been hearing amazing things about the restaurant scene in Ohio cities lately!


Nancy at Miles For Family June 6, 2017 at 5:19 pm

Looks like a fun downtown! You had me at tacos and guacamole.


Amber Battishill June 6, 2017 at 5:24 pm

I’ve been wanting to visit Cleveland for awhile and this post makes me want to visit even more. I think a weekend road trip is gonna happen this summer!


Felicia June 6, 2017 at 6:36 pm

Hey fellow Clevelander! West Side Market is definitely one of my favorite spots in CLE, but have you been to the Flats lately!? They are super cool!


Steph June 6, 2017 at 10:39 pm

Cleveland has changed a lot since I last visited! These places look so fun! I need to plan a new trip!


Kristine June 7, 2017 at 9:26 am

This is awesome! My husband and I moved to Indianapolis last August and we are planning a weekend getaway to Cleveland. I’m saving all this information for our trip!


Cristin Hinkelman June 7, 2017 at 11:43 pm

I have been to the Jake and Playhouse Square the most downtown but I have to say my favorite spots are in other parts of the city!


Jenn June 8, 2017 at 8:19 am

My favorite spot downtown is definitely greenhouse tavern to eat BUT I spend a large chunk of time at heinens for fun! I get mad when my significant other goes grocery shopping without me!


Victoria with One Sharp Mama June 8, 2017 at 11:49 am

You already know that I love your posts! I’m always checking on them and getting a good laugh. But, I’m writing to let you know that I have nominated you for The Bloggers Recognition Award. If you want to see the post, it’s at http://www.onesharpmama.com/2017/06/08/blogger-recognition-award/
Keep up the awesome posts. I wanted everyone to know how awesome you are! Congrats


Lauren H June 9, 2017 at 3:05 am



Jenna June 9, 2017 at 10:35 am

I’ve never been to Ohio, but this post makes me want to plan a weekend getaway!


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