Downtown Cleveland is home to nine incredible and unique neighborhoods full of art, music, great food and more. From gorgeous historic structures to shiny modern skyscrapers, the city center is teeming with excitement and history.
There is really no wrong choice when considering where to live or what to do in Downtown Cleveland, but we’ve created a complete guide to the nine different districts to make your exploration a little easier.
North Coast Harbor is home to Cleveland’s most notable attractions like the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center. This neighborhood is located on the shore of Lake Erie, bringing together the energy of the city and the tranquil waters of the lake. Plus, there is a ton to do in the area all year long, from summer food trucks and yoga events to the North Coast Harbor Ice Fest.
Neighborhood highlights: The Goodtime III, FirstEnergy Stadium, Steamship William G. Mather, the International Women’s Air & Space Museum and Voinovich Bicentennial Park.
“Arts, eds and meds” are what define the Campus District. Cleveland State University, Cuyahoga Community College and St. Vincent Charity Hospital anchor this eastern Cleveland neighborhood. With all of the great schools in the area, this is the perfect spot downtown if you’re interested in expanding your education, or even raising a family! Plus, with all of the incredible restaurants, shops, galleries, art and sporting events — you won’t ever run out of things to do!
Neighborhood highlights: Trinity Cathedral, Wolstein Center, Becky’s Bar and Grill, Aladdin’s Baking and Phoenix Coffee.
Photo courtesy of Orville McEachron Photography via The Flats.
No matter who you ask in the area, they’ll tell you that the Flats are back. Thanks to a multi-million dollar makeover to both its east and west banks, this waterfront neighborhood is thriving. Today, you’ll find fantastic restaurants, bars, shops and a boardwalk with a complimentary green space in the area. Make sure to take one of the area’s famous water taxis from one side to the other to get the true Flats experience!
Neighborhood highlights: Greater Cleveland Aquarium, Jacobs Pavilion, Punch Bowl Social, Shooters on the Water and Lago.
Formerly known as the Financial District, this neighborhood features office buildings mixed with stunning downtown residences and beautiful restaurants. In the summertime, Perk Plaza, the neighborhood’s funky urban greenspace, turns into a food truck hub — perfect for those on the 9-to-5 schedule downtown.
Neighborhood highlights: Heinen’s, the 9 Cleveland, the Swetland Building and Omeleggedon Smokehouse Cafe.
The Gateway District is a downtown hub for major concerts, professional baseball, basketball and hockey games. The area is home to many downtown hotels, retail stores and more than 60 restaurants and bars. This neighborhood is also home to the famous 5th Street Arcade, a century-old architectural landmark that is home to some incredible shops and a hotel.
Neighborhood highlights: Quicken Loans Arena, Progressive Field, Flannery’s Irish Pub, Greenhouse Tavern and the Chocolate Bar.
Photo courtesy of East 4th Street.
Pedestrian-friendly East 4th Street is the epitome of urban development. With strings of overhead light bulbs, an abundance of patio seating and ever-present street life, this up-and-coming downtown neighborhood is hard to ignore. This is all due to a tenacious developer, who was determined to put life into a block of vacant and struggling storefronts in the heart of our beloved city. If you’re not ready to buy a home, check out their amazing apartments!
Neighborhood highlights: The Corner Alley, CLE Clothing Company, Pickwick and Frolic, Zocalo Tequileria and Erie Island Coffee Company.
The Civic Center District is an essential Cleveland stop. This area is home to the city’s landmark skyscraper, Terminal Tower, as well as the Cleveland Mall, one of the city’s public parks that is a grassy oasis in the middle of downtown. Don’t miss the JACK Cleveland Casino, which used to be the Higbee Department Store featured in the famous “A Christmas Story” movie!
Neighborhood highlights: Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland, and the Cuyahoga County Courthouse.
Photo courtesy of Phoenix Coffee.
In the mid-19th century, the Warehouse District was home to warehouses for hardware, marine and garment businesses, as well as offices for the shipping industry. Today, the Victorian-era buildings are preserved on the outside but are now filled with fine dining eateries, wine bars, clubs and urban lofts.
Neighborhood highlights: Dive Bar, Blue Pointe Grille, Barley House, the Nauti Mermaid and Johnny’s Downtown.
You can’t miss the massive marquees and twinkling lights of Playhouse Square, Cleveland’s official theater district. This area’s collection of glamorous theaters draw well over a million visitors annually. Aside from New York’s Lincoln Center, this is one of the largest theater districts in the United States with staples like the Cleveland Play House and Great Lakes Theater.
Neighborhood highlights: DYNOMITE, Cowell & Hubbard and the plethora of venues.
What is your favorite Downtown Cleveland neighborhood? Let us know in the comments!