Nestled along the southern shoreline of Lake Erie and along the banks of the Cuyahoga River, which has famously caught fire on multiple occasions, you’ll find the City of Cleveland - and its 380,000 residents. The second largest city in Ohio, Cleveland was founded in 1796 in a New England style with a public square at its center - a traffic and pedestrian nightmare, but a great work of modern landscape architecture today. Given its location on the edge of the lake, Cleveland was a major port city, its growth fueled by industry, trade, and growing railroad connections - notable in its history is that it was the birthplace of Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. It may, however, be most well known as the birthplace of rock n roll where WJW DJ Alan Freed first spun the tracks over the airwaves in the 1950s.
Today, Cleveland is in a state of active and continual rebirth. The Cuyahoga River is recovering, and no longer catching fire, there’s a burgeoning arts scene and the population in the downtown area is trending younger and younger. With world class museums, including the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland offers a plethora of activities for any age group. For foodies, as we here at FTWS are, there is no shortage of creative concepts, excellent breweries, and fun spots to grab a snack and a drink. It’s also a city that’s surprisingly walkable, in pockets at least. From 4th Street Downtown to Ohio City and University Circle, there’s plenty of unique neighborhoods to explore.
The way that this trip came about is quite interesting, I know many of you are still thinking: Cleveland? And we certainly caught lots of questions on Instagram asking why as well, but the answer was simple. When our Los Angeles trip fell through, and West Coast COVID numbers soaring, we turned our attention closer to home and looked to cities in driving distance that we hadn’t been to. Cleveland popped to the top of our list - we were both intrigued by it’s grit, history, and lack of expectations we had for it. So, we snagged a rental car and were on our way, one speeding ticket later… I think I speak for us both when I say we were more than pleasantly surprised - read below for a glimpse of why!
As the slogan goes, Don’t F%#k With Cleveland. And I’ve gotta tell you, I stand by it. Often the butt of many jokes, it exceeded every expectation we could’ve had for it. An artsy rising up vibe with a midwestern can do attitude makes this a unique place. From food to architecture, and of course beer, I’d gladly take another trip back to Cleveland. There’s so much more to explore. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.