When you imagine a coast, Ohio likely isn’t the first state that pops into your mind. It’s true. The Buckeye State doesn’t offer salty seas and ocean air, but it does provide a stunning coastline filled with fantastic beaches and exciting stops along the way.
This coast, spanning the Great Lake Erie, offers an unforgettable road trip. Just make sure you know the rules of the road in Ohio before you head out. Once you’ve prepared yourself, you’re likely wondering where you should stop and visit along the way.
One of the most popular places bordering Lake Erie is the city of Cleveland, a thriving metropolis filled with everything you could desire. From incredible dining experiences to educational museums, you will surely not be left wanting after visiting this coastal city.
So what are the must-see spots to stop at when visiting Cleveland, Ohio? Let’s find out.
#1 – Visit Cleveland’s West Side Market
The West Side Market is the oldest public market in Cleveland, first opening its doors in 1840. Since then, the market has gone through many renovations and now holds over 100 vendors just waiting to be explored.
The market is open year-round and is located just minutes away from downtown Cleveland. You can find a variety of items such as meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, flowers, baked goods, and more.
Whether you’re just popping in for a treat or looking for some fresh ingredients for your next meal, the West Side Market will undoubtedly wow you.
#2 – Take a Stroll Through Ohio’s Little Italy
You don’t have to make the journey to New York City to enjoy a little slice of Italian food and entertainment. Though not as well known as its New England counterpart, Little Italy Cleveland offers much for visitors to explore — and plenty to eat.
With many authentic Italian eateries to choose from, you will find whatever food you’re craving, from gourmet pizza to fresh pastries. Once you’ve filled up on the food, take a walk down the road to hear opera singers performing and pop into one of the local art galleries.
Ohio’s Little Italy may not be on your radar yet, but after visiting, it will surely become a favorite on your Cleveland adventures.
#3 – Cool Off at Edgewater Beach in Cleveland
Just a quick drive down the road from downtown, you will find the beautiful Edgewater Beach, one of Cleveland’s most famous lake spots. It is a large beach with lots of activities, from live music events to food trucks. The beach also offers a pavilion perfect for relaxing, enjoying food or drinks, or chatting with friends.
Edgewater Park also borders this Cleveland coast, perfect for relaxing and enjoying some scenery or taking a nice walk. A bonus is a portion of the beach is dog-friendly if you are looking for an excellent spot to bring your furbaby and spend some time in the sun.
#4 – Learn Something New at the Cleveland Natural History Museum
If you are a history buff, look no further than Cleveland’s Natural History Museum. There are many unique exhibits to explore and over 5 million different items on display to view and learn about. The museum has been around for nearly 100 years and is one of the country’s top 10 natural history museums.
It’s not hard to see why once you have visited. Everything ranging from archaeology to zoology can be found here, along with exciting events like museum-led hikes through local Ohio marshes when weather permits.
Cleveland’s Natural History Museum is teeming with activities and fun-filled adventures no matter the time of year.
#5 – Check Out Cleveland’s Christmas Story House
Some would call it a Christmas tradition, as “A Christmas Story” is played every year on Christmas Day for 24 hours straight. It is one of the most well-known holiday movies ever made. What many may not know is that portions of the movie were filmed in Cleveland. If you are stopping in the area, you can visit the famous house in all its glory.
Today, the house is a museum open to visitors of all ages. You will notice, even before stepping through the front door, that the home looks exactly as it did in the movie – right down to the infamous leg lamp sitting on display in the front window.
If you are a movie buff or simply a massive fan of the Christmas classic, you won’t want to miss this unforgettable experience in Cleveland.
#6 – Shop and Eat at the Cleveland Arcade
First opened in 1890 and originally called “Cleveland’s Crystal Palace,” the Cleveland Arcade has much to offer visitors. It was the first building to be listed on Cleveland’s register of historical places, and its stunning architecture still leaves guests in awe when visiting.
Though the name may seem slightly misleading, the inside of this fantastic building does not house rooms filled with Pac-Man and Skee-Ball. Instead, you will find many retail shops and fabulous restaurants.
Whether you’re looking to fill an afternoon with shopping and food or looking for a romantic date night experience, the Cleveland Arcade has it all.
#7 – Soak Up Ohio’s Lake Views on Euclid Beach Pier
Once a local amusement park, this lake park now offers visitors a more laid-back experience. However, the park refuses to forget its roots. Keep an eye out for homages to the park’s former days intertwined within the architecture around the pier.
While visiting, you can enjoy stunning lake and city skyline views from the pier stretching 150 feet over Lake Erie. There are chairs available if you wish to sit and relax while soaking in the scenery. You can also spend some time enjoying the beach or have a nice lunch at the picnic shelter.
Whether you are just passing through or looking to spend a relaxing afternoon, you won’t want to miss the views Euclid Pier has to offer.
Cleveland, Ohio: An Unexpected Coastal Adventure
This exciting coastal city in Ohio may not be on your radar yet, but after a visit to any — or all — of these interesting places, it will undoubtedly be a staple in your list of road trip adventures.
With everything from stunning beaches to exciting experiences, there’s something for everyone to be found in Cleveland.
About the Author
Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsurance.org. She is an Ohio native who lives just a short road trip from Cleveland. She enjoys spending time exploring the city.