The ABC’s of Cleveland, OH | The City’s Landmarks and Unique Features from A-Z
We all know our traditional ABC’s. We’ve spent years reading, writing and reciting them. But, can you say the same for the ABC’s of Cleveland? Today, we’re swapping apple for Arcade and frog for the Free Stamp — because it’s always fun to think about what makes Cleveland so great!
We rounded up the essential landmarks, foods, attractions and sports teams here in Cleveland to create our own localized version of the ABC’s. Enjoy!
The Arcade Cleveland opened in May of 1890 as the first indoor shopping center in America. It is now one of Cleveland’s most popular landmarks and premier destinations for shopping and dining. You can even stay in the luxurious Hyatt Regency Hotel that occupies the top three levels of the Arcade!
Cleveland may be home to some of the most passionate sports fans in the world, but even though we love the Ohio State Buckeyes — the delicious confections have an even bigger place in our hearts. The chocolate and peanut butter candies are a must-try treat made by the local Cleveland chocolate company; Malley’s Chocolates.
C: A Christmas Story
The exterior shots of the Parker Residence in the classic Christmas movie, “A Christmas Story”, were actually filmed right here in Cleveland! Located in the Tremont neighborhood, this modest 19th century Victorian home has been completely restored and is open year-round as a museum. For more information about this Cleveland landmark, check out our guide to Everything You Need to Know About Cleveland’s Famous “A Christmas Story” House.
Downtown Cleveland is home to eight incredible and unique districts full of art, music, great food and more. Here you’ll find one of the best art museums in the country: the Cleveland Museum of Art and the largest performing arts center in the United States outside of New York: Playhouse Square. From gorgeous historic structures to shiny modern skyscrapers, the city center is teeming with excitement and history.
Lake Erie is the eleventh largest lake in the world and also happens to be located right next to our beloved town of Cleveland. This Great Lake offers opportunities for fun year-round! Spend the day on the beach or fishing in the lake. In the cooler months, you can go ice boating or pay a visit to a picturesque snow-covered lighthouse.
F: Free Stamp
For those who love visiting “The World’s Largest…” landmarks throughout the United States, you’re in for a treat. The World’s Largest Rubber Stamp is located Downtown in Willard Park! This Cleveland landmark is 28 feet tall and 48 feet long and was originally commissioned by Standard Oil of Ohio (now Amoco) in 1985 before being donated to the City of Cleveland in 1991.
The Great Lakes Brewing Company was the first brewpub and microbrewery in Ohio and offers fantastic beers, grub along with daily tours of their facility. Since they opened in 1988, the Great Lakes Brewing Company has become an integral part of Cleveland’s identity and has been one of the forces behind the revival of the Ohio City neighborhood.
H: Hope Memorial Bridge
This unique 5,865 foot-long art deco inspired bridge crosses the Cuyahoga River and connects Lorain Avenue and Carnegie Avenue. While the bridge itself seems pretty normal, it’s the massive sculptures that have made this bridge both a must-see and controversial landmark. The pair of statues designed by sculptor Henry Hering and architect Frank Walker are titled the “Guardians of Traffic”, and symbolize the progress in transportation.
I: The Indians
Cleveland just happens to be home to one of the most famous baseball teams in the country: The Cleveland Indians. Since they were established in 1901, they’ve brought home two World Series championships!
Because of its strong publishing and artistic values, Cleveland has been the home of many talented graphic artists over the years including Willard Combes, Roy Groves, Jim Herron and Ray Osrin to name a few. And we can’t forget about Bill Watterson, creator of “Calvin and Hobbes”, who grew up in Chagrin Falls and went on to work for Sun Newspaper.
K: Key Tower
The Key Tower is the tallest skyscraper in Ohio and one of the most recognizable symbols of Cleveland. If you can convince security to let you visit the top floors, you’re in for a breathtaking view of Northeast Ohio.
Both tourists and locals alike can take tours of Cleveland on Lolly the Trolley, which showcases the different neighborhoods around Cleveland and allows you to experience them in a whole new light. They even offer packages for weddings, groups, and reunions so you can make your party one your guests won’t forget.
When most baseball fans order a hot dog during a game, they reach for the yellow mustard — unless they’re in Cleveland. Here we like our mustard brown and full of vinegar and we take it very seriously.
N: Natural History Museum
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is located right outside of Downtown Cleveland and offers an abundance of things to do. While the inside is definitely worth a visit, it’s the outdoor animal exhibits and dinosaur statues that are the most popular attractions.
The Cleveland Orchestra has been producing beautiful music for over 100 years and is known as one of the “Big Five” symphony orchestras in the United States. In 2012, Gramophone Magazine ranked the Cleveland Orchestra as number seven on its list of the world’s greatest orchestras and The New York Times referred to it as “America’s most understatedly amazing orchestra”.
P: Polish Boy
Before you can fully embrace the title of Clevelander, you have to try our most famous sandwich: the Polish Boy. A grilled kielbasa, tucked into a sturdy hotdog bun, topped with coleslaw, french fries and barbecue sauce — it doesn’t get any better than that. Grab one at Whitemore’s BBQ, The Rib Cage or Seti’s Polish Boys just to name a few.
Q: The Q
Home to the 2016 NBA National Champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Q, or the Quicken Loans Arena, is the go-to destination in Cleveland for basketball, hockey and other indoor sporting events. Last year, the Q underwent incredible renovations which have extended its lifespan by another 18 years.
R: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Birthplace of the term “Rock and Roll”, it isn’t a surprise that Cleveland was chosen as the home for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Visit the famous museum to see exhibits featuring famous rock and roll artists, rock and roll photography and art, publications and more.
One of the most successful literary creations of the 20th century was actually invented in Cleveland: Superman. Jerry Siegel, creator of the Man of Steel himself, first thought up the character when he was 18 and living in Cleveland.
T: Terminal Tower
While you might not be able to reach the top of the Key Tower, you can head up the Terminal Tower, the second tallest building in Ohio, and look out from their observation deck. On a clear day, you can see 30 beautiful miles of Northeast Ohio.
University Circle is a cultural hub in Cleveland home to institutions like the Natural History Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art and Case Western Reserve University along with dozens of shops and restaurants.
V: Very Important Figures
The list of famous Clevelanders includes celebrities such as Steve Harvey, Bob Hope, Paul Newman, Dr. Oz, Drew Carey, Halle Berry, Terrence Howard, Jim Brickman, Kid Cudi, Toni Morrison and so many others.
W: West Side Market
West Side Market is Cleveland’s oldest publicly owned market, originally opened in 1912. Today the market is home to over 100 vendors of all different cultures that sell the finest meats and vegetables, fresh seafood, baked goods, dairy and cheeses and even fresh flowers.
X: I-X Center
For more than 30 years, the International Exposition (I-X) Center has been a staple of Northeast Ohio. Their most popular events each year include an indoor amusement park, car shows and home and garden shows.
The 2009 Youtube video “HASTILY MADE CLEVELAND TOURISM VIDEO” by a user named bishopvids has garnered over eight million views. While a lot has changed in almost 10 years, the humor of Cleveland residents has stayed the same.
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Rainforest is a great way to spend a day! Not only can you traverse over 183-acres and meet wild animals, but you can also visit a unique rainforest attraction that offers dozens of more species to be wowed by.
Now you know your ABC’s!
Can you think of any others that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments!