Road Trip Series: How to Spend a Weekend in Cleveland, OH

Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly

Just a short 3 hour drive from Downtown Buffalo, NY, Cleveland, Ohio is well known for being home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and features places that believe beer and donuts are the actual power couple. With street art covering so many buildings and many unique places to eat, Cleveland definitely needs to be added to your bucket list and as part of our Step Out Road Trip Series (think Toronto, Ithaca, Niagara Falls)we have the perfect itinerary for first timers. Below you’ll find out where to eat and drink, shop, play, sight see, stay and more. 

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Brewnuts – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
BrewnutsCleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Brewnuts – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly

Day 1

When you arrive late morning, early afternoon, your first stop should most definitely be Gordon Square Arts District. With plenty of parking throughout the street, this is one of Cleveland’s most unique, and oldest neighborhoods. The roads are lined with plenty of boutique shops and restaurants along W. 65th St. and Detroit Shoreway. One place you’ll definitely want to swing into is Brewnuts.

 

Brewnuts

6501 Detroit Ave. Cleveland, OH 44102

brewnutscleveland.com

I started the morning right with a frozen rose beer. Yeah, you read that right! It was almost like a wine slushy. But beer. But also pink and kind of like wine because of the rose? I don’t really know, but to be honest it was amazing. Their strawberry sprinkle donut and maple bacon donut were out of this world. They almost tasted like the consistency of fried dough with the most flavorful frosting and glazes. An absolute must when you’re visiting the city!

Superelectric Pinball Parlor – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Superelectric Pinball Parlor – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Superelectric Pinball Parlor – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly

Superelectric Pinball Parlor

6500 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, OH 44102

superelectric.tv

For a unique experience, pop into Superelectric Pinball Parlor where the colorful venue has nearly 20 games, new and vintage, to play while you enjoy a drink from the bar.

 

Shopping

Work off that donut and beer with a day of shopping and sifting through the boutique stores. You can pick up a new beautiful leather handbag from Fount Leather, a unique piece of jewelry from Oceanne, and even some new lighting or decorations for your home from the Land of Plenty.

Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly

Larder Delicatessen***

1455 W 29th St., Cleveland, Ohio

larderdb.com

You’re going to work up an appetite from all that shopping, so some fuel is essential! Larder has a really industrial atmosphere, after being opened in the historic Ohio city firehouse. Their sandwiches are incredible! They have pastries, homemade root beer, locally sourced products, and delicious breads to pack their tender, flavorful pastrami in. Trust me when I say you will absolutely want pastrami sandwich while you’re there with coarse whole grain mustard. 

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Larder Delicatessen – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Larder Delicatessen – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Larder Delicatessen – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly

2:00 pm Explore the Ohio City neighborhood, street art and visit the West Side Market

After that, the afternoon can be yours! Explore the Ohio City neighborhood and hunt down intricate and colorful street art to take pictures with. And of course, there is the West side market.

This is also a great time to pop over to downtown to visit the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame to learn about the history of some of America’s classic rock ‘n’ roll stars or the Great Lakes Science Center right next door for a hands-on science experience (highly recommended if you have kiddos in tow!).

hingetownpublicart.com

Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly

West Side Market

1979 West 25th St., Cleveland, Ohio 44113

westsidemarket.org

The West Side Market, built in 1912, is actually known for being one of the biggest indoor and outdoor markets in the country. The market has nearly 100 booths with meats, sweets, popcorn, baked treats, produce, cheeses, and so much more. Rummaging through to try to find some hidden gems to take home with you is half the fun. Check out Campbell’s Popcorn Shop and Frank’s Bratwurst! 

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West Side Market – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
West Side Market – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly

Brewery Tour at Market Garden Brewery Production Facility

1849 West 24th Street 

marketgardenbrewery.com

The brewer, Andy Tveekrem, delivers delicious seasonal brews along with some classic staples. There’s some great fall beers on tap that are festive and flavorful. After getting a chance to take a tour of their facility, you’ll realize they really know what they’re doing. They not only have a passion for their beer, but they literally narrow it down to a science. They have a full lab and even a blind taste testing room to ensure that quality is consistent for their customers. They even had someone who was previously a doctor come to work for the facility, conducting experiments leading to them making the freshest, finest beer possible. Church pew ends decorate the cold cellar and there’s even a lab where they ferment they ferment their own yeast. There’s randomly placed chandeliers to indulge their bougie side because, why not? Needless to say there’s nothing average about this tour, including a tidbit of Cleveland history hidden behind the brewery art. In 1932, the city put up statues to protect transportation on the bridge and in the river. When there was talk of them being taken down, the city rallied together to keep them up because they are an icon in Cleveland. The brewery wanted to pay tribute to this icon by connecting them in a way and you can even purchase the pins in their gift shop that represent the statues. 

Market Garden Brewery – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Market Garden Brewery – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Market Garden Brewery – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly

Check-in at Kimpton Schofield Hotel 

2000 East Ninth Street, Cleveland, OH 44115

theschofieldhotel.com

After a fun filled day of shopping, popping in and out of restaurants, and exploring the museum you’re probably ready to take a load off for a little bit before dinner. Check into the Kimpton in the heart of downtown Cleveland. The hotel was built inside of the Schofield, which tied in the areas history and the architect Levi Schofield. 

Kimpton Schofield Hotel  – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Kimpton Schofield Hotel  – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly

Dinner at Spice Kitchen and Bar

5800 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44102

spicekitchenandbar.com

Spice is a true farm to table project that sources 80% of their menu locally are using produce grown on Spice acres. Things are constantly changing at Spice because they use freshly picked ingredients as often as possible for their food and drinks. My drink was black and sparkly, shimmering in the light. We split a bunch of appetizers and my pork chop was absolutely delicious and juicy.

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The center cut Burkeshire pork chop was paired with seasonal fruits and vegetables. They make savory beignets which are always changing to accommodate seasonal ingredients. Mine were tomato basil, I believe this week is mushroom honey and goat cheese. The cocktails were delicious. I tried the black magic woman with green chai rum, Montenegro, all spice, drambuie, brown sugar simple, and OJ. You truly can’t go wrong with anything you order. On my radar for next time is definitely the braised beef short rib! Oh, and the pickle board.

Spice Kitchen and Bar – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Spice Kitchen and Bar – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Spice Kitchen and Bar – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Spice Kitchen and Bar – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Spice Kitchen and Bar – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Spice Kitchen and Bar – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Spice Kitchen and Bar – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly

Grab a treat at Mason’s Creamery

4401 Bridge Ave., Cleveland OH 44113

masonscreamery.com

At Mason’s, LA transplants turned Clevelanders, Jess Mason and Helen Qin, create small batch ice cream using unusual flavor inspiration like avocado, sweet potato, Mexican chocolate, and black sea salt to name a few. During the colder winter months, Mason’s actually turns into a Ramen place! Two totally different things, but hey, they make it work and people are really a fan!

Mason’s Creamery – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly

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Day 2

After a good nights sleep, enjoy breakfast at the hotel or head across the street to Heinen’s Fine Foods Downtown Equal Exchange Espresso Bar.

 

Heinen’s Fine Foods Downtown Equal Exchange Espresso Bar

900 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115

heinens.com

The store was built inside the century-old, iconic Cleveland Trust rotunda. The stain glass round ceiling gives the uniquely shaped building a lot of character. The espresso bar offers specialty coffee, tea, and big kids to enjoy, as well.

 

Visit the Christmas Story House

3159 W. 11th St., Cleveland, OH 44109

achristmasstoryhouse.com

Tours run every hour starting at 10:15 am.

Learn about the scenes from the classic Christmas movie a Christmas Story which was partially filmed at this very house. You can take your picture with the leg lamp, hide in the cabinets, and explore the backyard all while learning fun facts about the movie from your energetic tour guide. Just don’t shoot your eye out!

Christmas Story House – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Christmas Story House – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Christmas Story House – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly

Lunch on the East Bank of the Flats

Alley Cat Oyster Bar

1056 Old River Road, Cleveland, OH 44113

alleycatoysterbar.com

Zack Bruell’s Alley Cat Oyster Bar definitely didn’t disappoint. There’s plenty of seafood, chicken, soups, steaks, and more on the menu, but this is ultimately an amazing place to indulge in seafood. We split the lobster roll, fresh oysters, oyster shooters, calamari, and stuffed oyster. The lobster meat was tender and juicy while the oysters were extremely fresh with a strong salty, briny flavor like I love. The shooter was strong, but packed with flavors of Bloody Mary and citrus. The stuffed oysters were loaded with fontina, crispy bread crumbs, watercress, and Chicharrones ties in the delicious flavors. The calamari with pickles banana peppers, carrots, cilantro, malt vinegar aïoli had a lot of flavor and was the perfect dish to split. 

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Alley Cat Oyster Bar – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Alley Cat Oyster Bar – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Alley Cat Oyster Bar – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Alley Cat Oyster Bar – Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Alley Cat Oyster Bar- Cleveland Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
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