Travel Guide: Cleveland, Ohio

Why Cleveland, Ohio?

So many people don’t have any idea about how great of a city Cleveland is, and this is where I show up to tell you all about it. This city is booming with character and excitement and GREAT food! Cleveland is all about the arts and I had no idea until stepping foot into the city, from museums to a phenomenal Orchestra – they pride themselves on making the arts accessible to both the locals and tourists alike. With their own NBA and baseball team, the people of Cleveland are proud and lively for great reasons. I travelled to Cleveland for a surgery in December (more on that at a later date) and so I planned to stay there for about a week. I stayed at the Ritz Carlton Cleveland during my entire stay there and ventured around the area and explored before my surgery and while I was healing. I am so excited to have this travel guide for you!

Where to Stay

Ritz Carlton Cleveland – 1515 West Third Street, Cleveland, OH 44113

HANDS DOWN The Ritz Carlton in Cleveland. Where do I even begin about the phenomenal hotel? I cannot say enough about this property and it’s staff! We were so thankful for the experience of featuring this hotel, it is located in the heart of downtown Cleveland and so beautifully designed. The Ritz Cleveland hooked us up with a beautiful suite overlooking downtown Cleveland and Lake Erie, including the waterfront. The decor is a beautiful soft palette of greys and blues (totally my style), grasscloth wallpaper and high end washroom finishes (marble galore). This hotel was designed for modern travelers as they say and those that appreciate great customer service and attention to detail, this is a luxury hotel I would recommend. Our suite gave us access to the Club Lounge which meant continuous food & beverages daily – we were able to have a light morning breakfast in the lounge as well as snacks at lunch time and before dinner, including delicious glasses of wine! “Guests who reserve a room or suite with Club Lounge access are invited to enjoy unique amenities and offerings, including a dedicated Concierge, complimentary Internet within the Club Lounge, and multiple culinary presentations throughout the day – all presented with the hotel’s compliments.”

This is especially wonderful when traveling with kiddos that enjoy their snacks and keep in mind about the wonderful perks of the Ritz Kids Program too!  

Their new, 4,500-sq.-ft. fitness center with membership options and group classes was Craig’s favourite part about the hotel, I spent more time eating and lounging than working out! 

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Cleveland NBA athletes train at their gym? Yep, so cool! 

How to Get There

This of course truly depends on where you live, we are north of Toronto, Ontario so we opted to drive after a bunch of airline drama. It worked out SO much better and truly takes less time – we only originally decided to fly due to potentially snow storms (I had no interest in driving through a blizzard), however after our flight wasn’t possible we drove in a beautiful new 2020 Chevrolet Traverse that was gifted to us for the road trip. I felt SO safe driving in it and I was beyond excited to be reunited with a Traverse – you guys know my love for this vehicle. It handled the rough terrain and blizzard filled highways like a champ!

There are so many wonderful features about this SUV, I could list them all but it would be easier for you guys to click {HERE} to learn all about it!

Where to Eat

The food scene is equally exciting for vegans and carnivores with price points for any budget! 

TURN Bar + Kitchen1515 West Third Street, Cleveland, OH 44113 

My first recommendation is actually the restaurant within the Cleveland Ritz Carlton we stayed at, their TURN Bar + Kitchen has an awesome ambience all day and night with great music, the staff is awesome and the food is SO GOOD. You may even spot some celebrities while enjoying your drink! They have live entertainment on Saturday’s from 7-10 too, this spot is great if you want to enjoy a great dining atmosphere without leaving the comfort of the hotel. 

“Cleveland’s steel-working industry lives on through TURN Bar + Kitchen, the all-day dining restaurant at this luxury hotel. Fire, light, mirrors and metals create a modern setting for smoked cocktails and dishes drawing from local ingredients.”
My favourite foods here (we ate their 3 times during our stay): 

  • Best snack: The Westside Olive Bowl
  • 2 favourite sides: The Waffle Fries & Wild Mushrooms 
  • Best Falafel Ever 
  • Grilled 60 degree salmon or rainbow trout if you eat fish

They have a great wine list and make a solid moscow mule too! 

The Marble Room – 623 Euclid Ave. , Cleveland, OH 44114

The marble room is a must visit, make sure you make a reservation though as they book up quickly, especially on evenings with live music! This gorgeous space is full of history that begins over 100 years ago, it was one an old bank and it has been restored into one of the hottest restaurants in Cleveland. Every detail is magic and this restaurant even has lower level faults , some of the largest in the country that have been updated and can be rented for private parties – we were given a tour by the manager and I was in such disbelief. You know I love antiques and restoration, the vibes in here cannot be beat! I ordered a delicious alcohol free cocktail named the “Rejuvenator”, it contains carrot juice, coconut water, blackberry purée, blueberry purée, lemon juice and sparkling voss…delicious. They also made me delicious vegan sushi rolls and some yummy pasta for Craig.

Rising Star Coffee Roasters412 W Superior Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114

This coffee shop is literally a 5 minute walk from the Ritz Carlton Cleveland, we visited 3 times during our stay for some delicious oat milk lattes! They sometimes have some vegan baked goodies but I would suggest going in earlier in the day before they are all sold out. 

Pour Cleveland530 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115

Another really awesome coffee shop, very much my aesthetic with the white subway tiles, shiplap and the raw wood accents. The coffee was as great as the decor!

Town Hall1909 West 25th St. Cleveland, OH 44113

During our stay we ordered uber eats twice from the Town Hall ‘late night’ menu, vegan dishes too! We were super happy with everything and highly recommend. 

Beet Jar – 1432 W. 29th St. Cleveland, OHIO

Can you tell we are on a vegan kick? This restaurant came highly recommended by vegan and non vegans alike that we asked in the area. Here you can find raw cold pressed juices, smoothies and a great avocado toast. 

Brewnuts Cleveland – 6501 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, OH, 44102

Craving some doughnuts? This is your spot. The Ritz surprised us with delicious vegan donuts upon arrival written as #rcmemories and I am still craving more of them!

Whole Foods Market 

There are a few whole foods locations in Cleveland and this is where we stocked up on healthy snacks to have on hand in our room to enjoy while renting a movie or to have on the go while driving around, they even had vegan croissants for me to indulge in! Be careful though, you may spend way too much time in there since they have a great organic skincare section too. 

Feng Fit Foods

This is another great option if you want to order in vegan food! We had their Feng Fit burger bowl, Chocolate PB Protein Smoothie and Wild Mushroom & Quinoa Soup, they were all DELICIOUS! 

What To Do

The Cleveland Orchestra – Severance Hall, 11001 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, Ohio 44106

I cried at the orchestra, need I say more? It was such a moving experience and it was my very first time at the Orchestra! Well, I believe I have attended many ballets with orchestras but this was a focus on the music and instruments without dance. It was so moving for the soul!!!

The Cleveland Orchestra was founded in 1918, and the build of the Severance Hall was in 1929-1931. The Severance Hall is the permanent home of the Cleveland Orchestra. 

On December 5th we were treated to an evening with the Cleveland Orchestra in the Severance Hall for the Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty Concert. Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider was the conductor and Jean-Yves Thibaudet was the pianist. I was brought to tears many times, completely without control – the music took over. I cannot wait to bring the kids back here, I highly recommend this experience! There is so much beautiful history in the decor of this building, so much love & romance. While building the Hall, the main founder’s wife Elixabeth passed away so you will find many details within the hall with design elements of the Lotus flour, his wife’s favourite flower. The decor is absolutely breathtaking, towering Italian marble columns and gorgeous ceiling details will capture your heart even before the music begins! In the summer they have outdoor shows at the Blossom Music Centre, we can’t wait for the kiddos to experience this. I bet it would make an amazing date night too! 

The Cleveland Museum of Art – 11150 East Boulevard Cleveland, Ohio 44106

Did you know that the Cleveland Art Museum is free admission? The museum of art is a must see for any age, there is so much to be appreciated! In May they are launching a Picasso and Paper Exhibition, it will run into late August and we plan to head back as a family to see it. “Featuring nearly 300 works spanning the artist’s entire career, Picasso and Paper offers new insights into Picasso’s creative spirit and working methods. Nowhere is Picasso’s protean spirit more evident than in his relentless exploration of working on and with paper.”

I genuinely had no idea that the Cleveland Museum of Art existed, what a pleasant surprise during our visit! They have a lovely restaurant ‘Provenance’ at the Museum, I suggest visiting for lunch and walk it off around the museum and feed your soul with the beautiful art. Their Ohio City Gnocchi is delicious!

“The Cleveland Museum of Art offers dynamic experiences that illuminate the power and enduring relevance of art in today’s global society. The museum builds, preserves, studies, and shares its outstanding collections of art from all periods and parts of the world, generating new scholarship and understanding, while serving as a social and intellectual hub for its community.”

NBA Cleveland Cavaliers 

Did you know that the Cavaliers franchise has been around for 50 years? Yep! 

Cleveland is the home to a great NBA team, if you want to attend a game I highly suggest buying your tickets early! 

The Westside Market1979 West 25th Street Cleveland, Ohio 44113

This was highly recommended by every one we spoke to as a must see while in Cleveland. The Westside Market is Cleveland’s oldest publicly owned market with over 100 vendors. Here you will find vendors with such ethnic diversity and an awesome vibe, but make sure you go early in the day! You’ll find fresh baked goodies, vegetables and fruits, fresh seafood and even beautiful fresh flowers! 

Lolly The

This tour touches over 20 miles of fun facts and sightseeing, the trolley is probably my favourite part. This trolley has been running since 1985, such a vintage gem! Depending on the time of year, the trolley runs 7 days a week with 1 or 2.5 hour tour options. There are no tours in January though so plan ahead! 

Cleveland Cycle

This wasn’t an option for us since we visited in December but I would check it out if you are into cycling! There is a downtown Cleveland tour and an Ohio City one.