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Cleveland Rocks!

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio
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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio

Whether you’re looking for fine arts or pop culture, history or innovation, ice wine or wax lips, the Cleveland area has it all. It’s a center of internationally renowned arts and sciences with entertainment for all ages. Cleveland is along the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail, a 293-mile national scenic byway.

Robin Williams’ cardiac surgery drew attention to this city’s internationally renowned Cleveland Clinic. It was also here that the first successful coronary bypass surgery was performed.

Cleveland has undergone many new transformations and, like Williams, has been given a revitalized heart.

If You Believed They Put a Man on the Moon…

Twenty-four astronauts called Ohio home, including John Glenn, first American to orbit the earth, and Neil Armstrong, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”,
the first man to walk on the moon. In 1998, at age 77, Glenn made history again as the oldest person to travel in space. You can test your skills in the flight simulator cockpit at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, the only NASA facility north of the Mason-Dixon line.

But when folks say Cleveland Rocks, it it’s not just about the Center’s lunar samples …

Reminisce About the Days of Old With That Old Time Rock and Roll…

Stevie Wonder exhibit, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio
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Stevie Wonder exhibit, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio

Bruce Springsteen’s Electric Guitar, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio
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Bruce Springsteen’s Electric Guitar, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio

Bruce Springsteen's motorcycle, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio
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Bruce Springsteen’s motorcycle, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio

Great Balls of Fire! Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s iconic I.M Pei glass pyramid is the largest collection of rock and roll memorabilia in the world. Where ease can you see things like the suit Elvis wore on the Ed Sullivan Show, Bruce Springsteen’s motorcycle, and the John Lennon’s jacket from the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover? The exhibit “From Asbury Park to the Promised Land” is the first major artifact-driven exhibit about Springsteen’s legendary career. A memorial wall is dedicated to Michael Jackson.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

With 455 consecutive sellouts, Sports Illustrated’s poll ranked Cleveland’s Progressive Field as Major League Baseball’s best ballpark. Babe Ruth hit his 500th career home run in Cleveland.

Born to Be Wild

Walk on the wild side at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo + RainForest, where you’ll find the largest collection of primates in North America. Experience a tropical rain storm in a two-story rain forest. Ooh-la-la! A charming male koala from France is the latest attraction. They say folks should be watching for joeys.

I Found a Million Dollar Baby…

Feel like a kid again amidst the largest variety of confections anywhere—worth a cool million. Atomic fireballs, chocolate cigars, wax lips, a Million Dollar Candy Bar and more are at Sweetie Candy Company.

Steve Presser, Big Fun, Cleveland, Ohio
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Steve Presser, Big Fun, Cleveland, Ohio

From classic childhood to gag gifts and novelties you’ll love Big Fun. A top seller is a remote controlled whoopee cushion, a blast at the theater, according to zany owner Steve Presser, who admittedly grew up as a prankster. He also reports that he sells only the finest quality rubber chickens and that “when you leave you feel better.”

Fly Me To the Moon…

Spacewalk or explore a steamer and Great Lakes freighter at the Great Lakes Science Center. Build a spacecraft or operate a remote controlled lunar rover at NASA’s brand new Constellation Program commemorating the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11’s landing on the moon.

All I Want for Christmas…

Christmas Story House, Cleveland, Ohio
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Christmas Story House, Cleveland, Ohio

Relive the holiday classes, A Christmas Story, complete with decoder rings, Red Ryder BB guns, and the signature leg lamp at the actual house where much of the movie was filmed in the 1980s. Original artifacts are in the museum and replicas are available in the gift shop, both across the street.

Christmas Story leg lamp, Cleveland, Ohio
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Christmas Story leg lamp, Cleveland, Ohio

That’s Entertainment!

The theaters of Playhouse Square Center, the country’s largest performing arts center outside New York City, host more than 1,000 Broadway shows, concerts and special events a year.

University Circle has over 20 entertainment and cultural venues. It is the most concentrated square mile of arts, cultural and education institutions in the country. A few highlights:

Severance Hall, one of America’s most beautiful concert halls, has undergone a $36 million renovation. From September to June it is home to the Cleveland Orchestra, consistently ranked one of the top ten orchestras in the world. John and Elisabeth Severance pledged $1 million to construct the hall, and when Elisabeth died shortly thereafter, Mr. Severance devoted his fortune and energy to this memorial to wife, incorporating her favorite flower, the lotus blossom throughout.

The newly renovated and expanded Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the United States’ most important art museums and the only major museum in the country to offer free admission to its permanent collection. The first of the three new wings, the East Wing, opened in June, 2009, masterfully uniting the original Beaux Arts building with the modern light and dark granite striped structure from the 1970s.

At the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, visit “Lucy”, the 3 million year old human ancestor, or the 72 foot long sauropod dinosaur just half her age.

Cleveland Institute of Music concert
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Students Drew Robertson, with viola, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Benjamin Malkevitch, pianist, of Long Island, NY, Concert Hall, Cleveland Institute of Music.

The Cleveland Institute of Music presents hundreds of concerts a year and most are free.

Catch the latest exhibition at the Cleveland Institute of Art or a flick at its Cinematheque.

Escape to the Cleveland Botanical Garden and watch the butterflies in the spectacular Glasshouse that features two ecosystems–the Costa Rica Rainforest and the Madagascar Spiny Desert.

Visit in June and you might catch the Parade the Circle festival, a day-long celebration with handmade floats and costumes, a live concert, and roving street performers.

Food, Glorious Food!

For old World charm, art galleries, and independently owned bakeries and restaurants head for Murray Hill’s Little Italy. Best bets are the fine dining at Gusto! or the more casual Guarino’s, Cleveland’s oldest restaurant, where, according to Rachel Ray “you’ll feel like family” and find “the best sauce on the Hill”.

The pick of the 4th Street food and entertainment district is Iron Chef Michael Symon’s Lola Bistro. Don’t miss the beef cheek pierogi or maple bacon ice cream. At the House of Blues you can feed the body and get some soul.

Across the Cuyahoga River in the Ohio City neighborhood is the landmark clock tower of the West Side Market. Browse nearly 200 booths with fresh foods and ethnic specialties from around the world. Among the local favorites are bratwurst and the spicy falafel.

While you’re in the neighborhood, head for the Tasting Room of the Great Lakes Brewing Company. Learn the story of Dortmunder Gold and sample Elliot Ness Amber Lager or Commodore Perry IPA. A bullet hole in the company’s restaurant is from an altercation when Ness was in the bar. Their eco-friendly “Fatty Wagon” runs on the restaurant’s vegetable oil and takes passengers to and from Progressive Field games for $1.

The historic Warehouse District was Cleveland’s first neighborhood and commercial center. This National Historic landmark has some of the country’s finest Victorian architecture and has become a trendy residential, dining, and entertainment area.

Clang, Clang, Clang, Went the Trolley

Lolly the Trolley offers 1 and 2 hour tours of the city. . Cleveland’s downtown trolleys operate Monday through Friday and are free with a smile.

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

Far from the days when its Cuyahoga became famous as the river so polluted that it caught fire, Cleveland has emerged with cutting –edge arts and sciences, history and culture, all with a touch of levity. Little wonder a city with public art that includes the world’s largest rubber stamp would have its tourism office in the former Higbee’s Department Store, the site of infamous slide scene in A Christmas Story.

Outside the City

There’s much more to the Buckeye State. Here are a few highlights.

Get a taste of Germany along Lake County’s Wines and Vines Trail, just east of Cleveland. Savor some award-winning Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Ice wine, or Riesling.

Eight U.S. Presidents were from Ohio, and the home of one is also in Lake County. Mentor. Reporters named President James Garfield’s house in Mentor, Lawnfield, and it was here that the first successful front porch campaign began. An outbuilding was his campaign office. After Garfield’s assassination, his widow added a memorial library wing to the home, setting the stage for future Presidential libraries.

For buggies, quilts, and quality furniture, visit the world’s largest Amish area. The hub is in Berlin about an hour and a half drive south of Cleveland. Just 25 miles away are the reconstructed log buildings of the Ohio’s oldest settlement, Schoenbrunn Village, in New Philadelphia. It was founded as a mission to the Delaware Indians by the Moravian Church.

Song Titles

If You Believed They Put a Man on the Moon… (R.E.M.)
Reminisce About the Days of Old With That Old Time Rock and Roll… (Bob Seger)
Take Me Out to the Ballgame  (Jack Norworth)
Born to Be Wild (Steppenwolf)
 I Found a Million Dollar Baby (sung by Bing Crosby, words by Mort Dixon and Billy Rose)
  Fly Me To the Moon (by Bart Howard, sung by Frank Sinatra)
 All I Want for Christmas ( Don Gardner)
 That’s Entertainment! (Howard Dietz, Arthur Schwartz)
Food, Glorious Food! (Oliver soundtrack)
 
 Clang, Clang, Clang, Went the Trolley  ( in Meet Me in St. Louis sung by Judy Garland)
  Downtown (Petula Clark)
 Outside the City (by Young Galaxy)

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