Anthony has a lot of family, particularly that live in Cleveland, Ohio. We had the chance to go visit them when one of his cousin’s tied the knot and basically called for a family reunion. I must say, not knowing much about Ohio besides what my brother told me during his brief stint there for a job, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot. But Cleveland really is a cool city. And by cool, I mean cold!
We arrived as the weather started really get chilly, and I actually got my first experience with snow (and I mean real snow, as in Anthony, his parents and I had a snow ball fight outside of the hotel we were all staying in). But it’s actually a really cool city aside from allowing me to cross off my bucket list item of playing in the snow. Here are my top three things to do if you find yourself in the Cleveland area.
3 things you shouldn't miss while you're in Cleveland, Ohio
1. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
In case you didn’t know, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s home is in Cleveland. And it is a must see. And it is the first thing that comes up when you search things to do in Cleveland.
Right in the heart of the city, just off Lake Eerie, in a gorgeous glass pyramid building lies the greatest collection of rock and roll in the world. Three floors of music, videos and even a digital concert will keep you entertained for hours.
There is a cafe as well, but it was pretty mediocre. I recommend, either before or after your visit, walking around the back and going to the Mexican restaurant that is on the lake shore called Nuevo. The drinks are delicious. We only had the guac, but it was really good, so I’m sure the food is right on par.
2. A Christmas Story House
Right on good old Cleveland Street, you’ll find the house that was used as the exterior for one of the most iconic (and my favorite) Christmas movies, A Christmas Story. While you can simply take photos of (and with) the exterior, then skip on over to Rowley Inn for your own boozy Ovaltine (which was also a popular hangout for the cast while the movie was being filmed), they do offer tours that will let you inside the house. It’s eight bucks a pop, but the tour has a lot of fun information, and the memorabilia inside the house as well as the museum across the street was worth it imo.
The stairs inside the house were used in the movie where Ralphie comes down looking like a pink nightmare. And it is staged in such a way that you feel like you are actually in the Parker house, leg lamp in the window and all (before it was broken, and Mrs. Parker used all the glue on purpose so it couldn’t be fixed, of course). You can wander upstairs and downstairs to take your own photos (and re-enact scenes from the movie) before heading out back to pretend robbers are invading the house and you have to shoot them with your red rider bb gun to scare them off.
If you appreciate the movie as much as I do, it’s definitely a worth checking out. Just be prepared, if you go around Christmas time the lines get really long. But you’ll be entertained as people show up dressed in costume! We didn’t personally experience this, but our Uber driver said it’s quite the ordeal.
3. Grab A Roman Burger From Mr. Hero
Cleveland loves their Italian luncheon meats, and Mr. Hero is no exception to that. If you stop in (probably while you have a buzz going… or maybe that was just us), make sure to try the Roman Burger. This sandwich contains two burger patties, swiss american cheese, grilled salami and lunch meats piled on a sub roll. Finished with lettuce, tomato, onion, house dressing and signature mayo, your taste buds will be singing while your arteries are begging you for a juice cleanse immediately. I had never heard of this before arriving in Cleveland, and let me tell you, I feel like I had been missing out on something great. I mean, a burger on essentially an Italian sub. What sweet, sweet sorcery! I can’t wait to get back to Cleveland for another one… this time I will gladly sacrifice all of the calories and not split it with Anthony.
So tell me, have you explored Cleveland? What were your favorite parts? Have you tried the Mr. Hero? Leave me a comment and tell me how you liked it!
And feel free to follow my adventures on instagram.
Looking for more long weekend journeys, check out my blog post on Boston below.