Editor’s note: TravelQ, a series that documents travel through the eyes of stylish queers, returns this week with a new feature by Caroline and Erin, web designers, freelance photographers and writers for the travel blog Authentic Asheville.
We recently kicked off a cross country road trip by photographing a wedding in the trendy Shaw Neighborhood of Washington, DC and then the very next day pushed off for Cleveland, Ohio. Below are our recommendations of the best things to do, see and eat if you only have 24 hours in Cleveland, Ohio. And trust us when we say you’ll want more than 24 hours in this Midwest city. We did.
BEST PLACE TO STAY IN CLEVELAND
The Westin | www.westincleveland.com | 777 Saint Clair Avenue NE
View from Westin room
Westins are always a solid pick for a place to stay but this one is a cut above the rest. Our room was spacious with huge windows that looked out onto a gorgeous view of Lake Erie. They gave us access to the Executive Club Lounge happy hour and it was awesome: free wine, beer, snacks and WiFi plus an excellent hot breakfast spread the next morning. When we finally fell into bed we slept soundly in the plush king sized bed and wanted for nothing in our home away from home. Plus, when we left our laptop there the next morning, they went out of their way to get it back to us.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN CLEVELAND
There are a lot of really great places in Cleveland to get a bite but if you’re short on time, we recommend the following:
The Greenhouse Tavern | www.thegreenhousetavern.com | 2038 East 4th Street
Jonathon Sawyer finally came back home to roost after soaking up all he needed in NYC. You really can’t go wrong at the Greenhouse Tavern. In fact, making a decision on what to order is a challenge because his menu only gets better with each option. May we suggest the bucatini and the fried chicken sandwich? Just go ahead and tuck that napkin in your collar; it’s gonna be delicious.
Butcher and the Brewer | www.butcherandthebrewer.com | 2043 E. 4th Street
If the sound of old world cuts and hand built brews sounds right up your alley then look no further than Butcher and the Brew. After a day of exploring we guarantee it’ll hit the spot. It’s unpretentious and the kind of place where rolled up sleeves are right at home. Grab a drink and a snack and then head next door to Society Lounge.
Society Lounge | www.societycleveland.com | 2063 E. 4th Street
A hop, skip and a jump from Butcher and the Brewer is the Society Lounge, Cleveland’s premier speakeasy. They open at 5pm and serve hand-crafted cocktails and tapas. Make time for both, you will regret it if you don’t. And then get an Uber and head over to Ushabu.
Ushabu | www.ushabu.com | 2173 Professor Ave.
Japanese fondue was a new concept to us but we were eager to try it out and wow, it did not disappoint. We ordered a round of drinks, a glass of Chardonnay for Caroline and the Drunken Whale sake for me as well the Karus, the roast mushroom appetizer made with uni and house cultured butter. This dish was delicate and yet robust all at the same time. Caroline’s always demonstrating her love for me but nothing said it more than when she offered me the last bite of this dish. And then dinner arrived. Make that the ingredients. We actually cooked the dish (Togarashi Miso broth with Ohio Wagyu Round) at our table over a hot plate and the experience was fun as well as delicious. The broth was salty and spicy and became even more so as it reduced down. The rice and noodles served on the side were perfect for ‘resting’ your veggies and tender beef, and the carrots, turnips, wild greens, sugar snap peas, and cabbage sang after cooking in the broth. Oh and save room for dessert!
BEST THINGS TO DO IN CLEVELAND
Cleveland Clothing Company | 342 Euclid Ave. | www.cleclothingco.com
Located on one of the coolest corners in downtown Cleveland, this is your one-stop place to grab cool Ohio-themed souvenirs. They have lots of t-shirts to choose from such as coffee cups, pint glasses, stickers and postcards and most of them are locally made.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame | www.rockhall.com | 1100 E 9th St
This is one of the biggest attractions in all of Cleveland. It’s open every single day except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. ABBA, Aretha and a whole bunch more are waiting for you.
Fifth Street Arcades | www.5thstreetarcades.com | 530 Euclid Avenue
Be sure to stop in at the 5th Street Arcades, a collection of unique and local retail shops where you can do some shopping. Built in 1898, the architecture alone is worth a visit.
The Glass Bubble Project | www.glassbubbleproject.com | 2421 Bridge Avenue
If you love to see how things are made, The Glass Bubble Project, is going to be up your alley. They are shaping molten silica (with an emphasis on recyclable materials) into glasses, lamps, and decorative objects. You can also sign up for a workshop or arrange a party for fun or team building. What are you waiting for?
Burning River Roller Girls | http://burningriverrollergirls.com
Who doesn’t love roller derby? Come on down to see the Burning River Roller Girls get it on.
Pride in Cleveland | http://clevelandpride.org/home |
This LGBTQ festival takes place in late May/early June and includes a parade, rally and a festival! Join 22,100 other attendees for a week-long celebration. Bonus: It’s pet-friendly and you can expect over 60 entertainers on two stages as well as tons of local vendors and food.
We found Cleveland to be a really fun city and are already looking forward to going back. If you visit, let us know what you think!
About the authors: Caroline and Erin are freelance web designers, photographers and writers for the travel blog Authentic Asheville. When they’re not on the road, they hang their hats in Asheville, North Carolina. Follow their adventures on Instagram at @e.mcgrady + @carolineperdue + @authenticasheville