Downtown Cleveland is the city's central business district and is currently undergoing a period of substantial residential growth, bringing with it new options for dining, nightlife, and other attractions. Downtown is bordered by the Cuyahoga River in the west, Lake Erie in the north, and extends east to include Cleveland State University. The Southern edge is less well-defined, but most visitors will not have a reason to go south of the baseball stadium.
Downtown contains several major neighborhoods of interest, including:
- E. 4th St. – A narrow street partially converted into a pedestrian walkway featuring some of the city's best restaurants and bars
- Warehouse District – 19th century warehouses and offices converted into retail and residences, home to many bars and nightclubs
- Playhouse Square – Cleveland's theater district, the largest in the US outside of New York. Featuring broadway shows, concerts, and other live events
- Flats East Bank – The east bank of the Cuyahoga river, completely redeveloped starting in 2013 with expansion expected to continue as of 2016. Restaurants, bars, an outdoor night club, and an Aloft hotel.
- Gateway District – Home to two of Cleveland's professional sports arenas, Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena
- North Coast – Home to most of the museums downtown, as well as FirstEnergy Stadium
- The Mall – A massive open air public space consisting of large open lawns and pavilions. Also includes the Cleveland Convention Center and Global Center for Health Innovation.
For information on getting to Cleveland, see Cleveland#Get in.
Downtown is easily accessible by car and transit. Most of Cleveland's freeways converge toward downtown. Traffic is usually relatively light for an urban area outside of typical weekday commuting hours and special events. Parking in garages and surface lots is plentiful and generally inexpensive compared to larger cities. Street parking is available on some streets. Many hotels and restaurants offer valet service.
By public transit, the RTA Red Line goes between the airport and downtown (Tower City) in approximately 30 minutes. Be sure to check the RTA website as frequent west side track maintenance often necessitates replacing part or all of the route with buses on weekends, which can add several minutes. Most of RTA's bus routes originate downtown, near Tower City, upstairs from the Red Line station.
Cleveland's Amtrak, Greyhound, and Megabus stations are all in the downtown area.
- 1 Public Square. A 10 acre plaza in the center of downtown Cleveland, completely rebuilt in 2016
- 2 Global Center for Health Innovation (Medical Mart), 1 St Clair Ave NE. M-F 8AM-5:30PM. Open to the public to showcase the state of the art in medical technology Free.
Historic buildings and architecture
- 3 [dead link] Terminal Tower Observation Deck, 50 Public Sq, ☎ . Sa noon-5PM, Su noon-4PM. Located on Public Square, the second tallest building in the world when it was built in 1929. Now it's the second tallest building in Cleveland. The building was constructed as the main railroad terminal in Cleveland and currently serves as the main hub of the RTA Rapid Lines (below the retail mall levels). Go to the Terminal Tower's observation deck on the 42nd floor to observe the surrounding environs (particularly, Lake Erie, the winding Cuyahoga River, and the juxtaposition of downtown against industrial uses to the south and west). The observation deck is only open on weekends. $5.
- 4 The Arcade, 401 Euclid Ave, ☎ . Built in 1890 and designed by John Eisenmann. The construction was financed by John D. Rockefeller, Marcus Hanna and several other wealthy Clevelanders of the day. The cost of the project was approximately $875,000 - today it would be impossible to replicate. The inspiration of the project is said to be the Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, Italy. Although pedestrian arcades exist in several North American cities, few - if any, compare to the grandeur of the Arcade in Cleveland. The Arcade was the first building in Cleveland to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The structure features a five-story atrium with extensive metal decorative work. The top floor features gargoyles which circle the entire atrium area. The structure includes the famous skylighted atrium as well as two nine-story towers, one each on Euclid Ave and Superior Ave. In the past decade, the structure was renovated as a Hyatt Regency Hotel.
- 5 Hope Memorial Bridge (Lorain-Carnegie Bridge). Named for Bob Hope's (the famous actor/comedian and native Clevelander) father, who worked on its construction. The bridge is framed by four art deco pylon sculptures portraying the evolution of forms of ground transportation. In addition to a large number of jack-knife and lift bridges along the Cuyahoga, one of the world's few remaining "Swing Bridges" is still in use, connecting the east and west banks of the Flats entertainment district.
- 6 Key Tower, 127 Public Sq (Rockwell Ave at E Roadway). The tallest building in Ohio, and second-tallest between New York City and Chicago for that matter, designed by Cesar Pelli.
- 7 Soldiers and Sailors Monument, 3 Public Square. 10AM-6PM. Designed by prominent Cleveland architect Levi Scofield, this 125 ft tall monument and sculptures honors Cleveland-area Civil War veterans. Free.
- 8 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, 751 Erieside Ave (Drive north on East 9th St exit until you reach the Hall of Fame. If you drive into Lake Erie, you've gone too far.), ☎ . Located at North Coast Harbor, this distinctive building was designed by noted architect I.M. Pei and houses a massive collection of rock and roll memorabilia. Cleveland was home to the first Rock concert, the term "Rock and Roll" was coined by a Cleveland DJ and many of the music genre's icons used Cleveland as their springboards. As Rock Inductee, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, has been paraphrased - to become a rock star in the U.S., first, you have to be loved in Cleveland. Admission: Adults: $23.50, Seniors (60+): $21.25, Children (ages 9-12): $13.75, Children (8 & under): Free.
- 9 Great Lakes Science Center, 601 Erieside Ave, ☎ . Summer: M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su Noon-5PM, Winter: T-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su Noon-5PM. An interactive science museum with exhibits on topics including clean energy, aerospace engineering, and biomedical technology. Also includes the Steamship Mather, a Great Lakes freighter built in 1925, and an Omnimax domed cinema.
- 10 USS Cod, 1089 E 9th St. 10AM-5PM. A WWII-era submarine open for tours May through September $12.
- 11 Federal Reserve Bank and Money Museum, 1455 E Sixth St. M-Th 9:30AM-2:30PM. Exhibits about the history of economics and money in the historic Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. They have a 23ft money tree, tours, and many interactive exhibits. Free.
Cleveland was named a Top 25 Arts Destination by www.americanstyle.com in 2003. In addition to its museums of art, the city boasts a vibrant art community with galleries scattered throughout its trendiest neighborhoods.
- Cleveland Public Art. Headquartered in Ohio City, this non-profit organization sponsors art projects throughout the city, including the spires and vegetable wall near Progressive Field, the murals on Tremont School, and the Wade Oval gate at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.
- 12 Free Stamp. This controversial piece of pop art, located in Willard Park to the east of City Hall, was commissioned in 1982 and designed by artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.
- 13 ArtCraft Building, 2570 Superior Ave.
- 14 The Bonfoey Gallery, 1710 Euclid Ave, ☎ . M-Th 8:30AM-5:30PM, F 8:30AM-5PM, Sa 9AM-3PM (closes on Sa at noon during summer). A contemporary art gallery with rotating exhibits that has been in business since 1893.
- 1 Jack Casino Cleveland, ☎ . Located in the historic former Higbee's department store on Public Square in downtown Cleveland.
- 2 Playhouse Square Center. The second largest performing arts center in the U.S.
- 3 Tower City Cinemas, 230 Huron Rd, ☎ . Home to the Cleveland International Film Festival, held in March and April
- IngenuityFest. A public exhibition of Cleveland's up-and-coming makers and artists. Typically in September or October. Location varies.
With 4 stadiums downtown, chances are good that there will be at least one sporting event going on during your visit.
- 4 Cleveland Indians baseball (Progressive Field), 2401 Ontario St (downtown NE corner of Ontario St and Carnegie Ave), ☎ . Some consider Progressive Field the gem of the American League (per Travel World International Magazine). $8-$85.
- 5 Cleveland Browns football (FirstEnergy Stadium), 100 Alfred Lerner Way (W. 3rd St., north of the highway). While they haven't won a championship since 1964 and haven't even made the playoffs since 2002, most Browns fans remain loyal. Tailgating parties in the nearby parking lots may be more popular than the games themselves these days. Tickets for most games can be obtained cheaply on resale sites.
- 6 Cleveland Cavaliers basketball (Quicken Loans Arena) (SE corner of Huron and Ontario). Cleveland's most successful sports franchise as of late with five division titles since 2009 and a league championship in 2016.
- Cleveland Gladiators arena football.
- Cleveland Monsters Hockey (Lake Erie Monsters Hockey). AHL affiliate for the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Gladiators and Monsters both play in Quicken Loans Arena.
- 1 Tower City Center, 230 West Huron Rd, ☎ . Tower City has been struggling in recent years with the loss of many of its upscale tenants, but it remains one of the largest shopping areas downtown. Anyone arriving from the Rapid will walk through the mall.
- 2 5th Street Arcades, 530 Euclid Avenue. Historical buildings featuring a variety of mostly local shops.
- 3 Night Market (Rockwell Ave at E. 21st). 5PM-11PM. Based on traditional Asian night markets, features local craftsmen, food vendors, and bands. See website for dates.
- Tea House Noodles, 1900 East 6th Street. Offers healthy fast food, where you select noodles or rice, one of their unique and varied sauces, and chicken, beans, or tofu.
- Ontario Street Cafe, 2053 Ontario St. 10AM-1:30AM. Old school sandwich shop with a full bar. Cash only.
- Cleveland Pickle, 850 Euclid Ave. Sandwich shop that makes its own pickles.
- Heinen's Downtown, 900 Euclid Avenue. A grocery store in the rotunda of a historic bank building, also has a wide variety of prepared foods, an espresso bar, and a wine bar on the 2nd floor balcony.
- 1 [formerly dead link] Walnut Wednesdays (E 12th and Walnut). 11AM-1:30PM. A gathering of food trucks every Wednesday, May-September
- Mallorca, 1390 W 9th St, ☎ . Excellent Spanish and Portuguese food.
- Pickwick and Frolics, 2035 E 4th St. Classic American with comedy and dinner theater shows.
- Pura Vida, 170 Euclid Ave. A wide variety of cuisines with numerous vegetarian and vegan options.
- Hodge's, 668 Euclid Ave. Burgers and comfort foods.
- Mabel's BBQ, 2050 E 4th St. Michael Symon's "Cleveland style" BBQ.
- Barrio, 503 Prospect. Downtown taqueria with build-your-own tacos and margaritas.
- Butcher & The Brewer, 2043 E 4th St. As the name suggests, they brew their own beer and cut and cure their own meat.
- Blue Point Grille, 700 W St Clair Ave, ☎ . Classy seafood and a large wine list.
- Brasa Grill, 1300 W 9th St, ☎ . Brazilian churrascaria.
- Johnny's Downtown, 1406 W 6th St (Warehouse District), ☎ . Upscale Italian with live piano music.
- Lola Bistro, 2058 E 4th St. Michael Symon's flagship Cleveland restaurant.
- Sans Souci, 24 Public Square (Tower City). French and Mediterranean inspired food in the Renaissance Hotel
- Red: The Steakhouse, 417 Prospect Avenue. Classic white tablecloth steakhouse. Named one of the top 10 steakhouses in the US by Playboy.
- Alley Cat Oyster Bar, 1056 Old River Rd (Flats East Bank). Upscale seafood with a view of the riverfront.
- The Greenhouse Tavern, 2038 E 4th St. Upscale, modern American cuisine
- House of Blues, 308 Euclid Ave (E 4th St).
- Wilbert's, 812 Huron Rd E (Gateway district). Live blues music.
- Winking Lizard Taverns. Area chain known for its World Tour of Beer, as well as solid local food.
- Society Lounge, 2063 E 4th St. Speakeasy-style bar with craft cocktails and tapas
- Portside Distillery (Portside Distillery and Brewery), 983 Front Ave, ☎ . Tu-Th 4PM-10PM, F 3PM-1AM, Sa 1PM-1AM, Su 1PM-8PM. Brewery and rum distillery. Happy hour Tu-F until 7pm.
- Wild Eagle Saloon, 921 Huron Rd. Self-serve beer dispensers, live music, and games.
- Masthead Brewing Company, 1261 Superior Ave E, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Tu-Th 11AM-10PM, F 11AM-1AM, Sa 1PM-1AM. Restaurant/brewery in historic part of town. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
- 1 Comfort Inn - Downtown, 1800 Euclid Ave, ☎ .
- 2 Hampton Inn - Downtown, 1460 E 9th St (at Superior Ave), ☎ , fax: .
- 3 Holiday Inn Express, 629 Euclid Ave (located in the National City Bank Building, midway between Public Square and Playhouse Square), ☎ . In the renovated Historic National City Bank Building.
- 4 DoubleTree by Hilton, 1111 Lakeside Ave E (close to North Coast Harbor attractions and on northern end of Financial District), ☎ .
- Embassy Suites-Reserve Square, 1701 E 12th St (east side of Financial District), ☎ .
- Hilton Garden Inn-Gateway, 1100 Carnegie Ave, ☎ .
- Marriott at Key Center, 127 Public Square (located on Public Square, attached to Key Tower), ☎ .
- Radisson Hotel-Gateway, 651 Huron Rd, ☎ . In the Gateway neighborhood.
- Residence Inn by Marriott, ☎ . Part of the renovation of the Colonial and Euclid Arcade complex, originally built in 1898, which joins the Financial District to the Gateway Sports Complex.
- 5 Westin, 777 St Clair Ave NE, ☎ .
- Aloft Cleveland Downtown, 1111 West 10th Street. A modern hotel adjacent to the Flats East Bank.
- Hyatt Regency Cleveland at the Arcade, 420 Superior Ave. Occupies the two towers and the top three floors of the atrium area. The two lower floors of the atrium area remain open to the public with retail merchants and a food court. In addition, the lobby and offices are located near the Superior Avenue entrance.
- 6 Renaissance on Public Square, 24 Public Square (on Public Square in Tower City Center), ☎ .
- 7 Ritz Carlton, 1515 W 3rd St (on Public Square in Tower City Center), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Wyndham Hotel at Playhouse Square, 1260 Euclid Ave, ☎ , fax: . Numerous attractions nearby. (Note: Servers as the stand-in for the fictional store Drew Carrey works in, on sitcom of same name.)
- Hilton Cleveland Downtown, 100 Lakeside Avenue. New 32-story tower near the convention center
- 1 Cleveland Public Library, 325 Superior Avenue, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Offers public computers, WiFi, Cell Phone charging stations, and a makerspace.
- [dead link] FedEx Kinkos, 1801 East 9th St, ☎ . Su: Closed, M-F: 7:00 - 23:00, Sa.: 10:00 - 18:00.