15 Things to do in Cleveland at the 2016 Republican National Convention

By Scott Wilson

Jul 8, 2014 5:39pm
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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum stands on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, April 12, 2014 (Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Today the Republican National Committee recommended Cleveland as the site for the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Cleveland was chosen over Dallas as the convention’s host city in what was described by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus as a “business decision” for the GOP.

Read: Republicans Choose Cleveland as 2016 Convention Site

As is the case every four years, the convention is expected to bring an increase in tourism — and an influx of cash — to the host city. ABC News compiled a list of some of the top places to visit in the Ohio city that’s known as the “Rock and Roll Capital of the World”:

1. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Located in downtown Cleveland, the hall of fame features the “greatest stories and biggest names in rock and roll.” According to the museum’s website: “The experience includes 4 theaters, multiple interactive stations and 7 floors of exhibits that tell the story of the world’s most powerful art form.”

2. Little Italy: Experience Cleveland’s Italian-American heritage—”known for its Art Galleries and the finest Italian cuisine,” Little Italy’s website says it’s where “Thousands of visitors and loyal patrons come to dine, shop and be entertained.”

3. Cleveland Museum of Art: The museum’s houses paintings and sculptures from all over the world. Described as “one of the world’s most distinguished comprehensive art museums and one of northeastern Ohio’s principal civic and cultural institutions,” this is certainly not an attraction to be missed.

4. Cleveland Botanical Garden: Welcoming “close to 150,000 guests each year,” at the Botanical Garden visitors can “explore 10 acres of beautiful outdoor gardens and the 18,000-square-foot Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse.”

5. Cleveland Indians: You can also go see a baseball game at the Cleveland Indian’s Progressive Field. As the website explains, “this world-class facility was created expressly for baseball, specifically for Cleveland. This urban ballpark and Cleveland landmark offers a fan-friendly facility within an intimate environment.”

6. USS Cod Submarine Memorial: Visit the USS Cod–a fleet submarines active during WWII. “Cod is credited with sinking more than 12 enemy vessels totaling more than 37,000 tons, and damaging another 36,000 tons of enemy shipping.” According to USSCOD.org the 1,525 ton submarine is now located on Lake Erie and is “maintained and operated as a memorial to the more than 3,900 submariners who lost their lives during the 100 year history of the United States navy submarine force.”

7. Great Lakes Science Center: Described as an amusement park for the mind, the Great Lakes Science Center invites you to “Get hands-on, minds-on family fun at Great Lakes Science Center! See and touch hundreds of hands-on exhibits, visit the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, immerse yourself in our six-story Cleveland ClinicOMNIMAX® Theater, climb aboard a historic Great Lakes freighter and marvel at science demonstrations performed right before your eyes.”

8. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo: Experience the African savannah in Ohio! According to its website, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is “home to more than 3,000 animals representing 600 species.” Who knows–you might even run into Newt Gingrich.

9. Lola Bistro – Celebrity Chef and Cleveland-native Michael Symon opened up this award-winning restaurant in his hometown. Described as the “crown Jewel of Cleveland’s vibrant culinary scene,” the “inventive and creative menu offer diners the opportunity to experience a modern spin on their favorite dishes, while always showcasing the best of what local purveyors are producing just miles away.”

10. Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art: If you’re more interested in Cleveland’s modern art scene, this museum may be the place for you. According to their website, MOCA Cleveland, serves as a catalyst for creativity and growth in a cosmopolitan Cleveland neighborhood, which is home to one of the country’s largest concentrations of cultural and educational institutions.”

11. Playhouse Square Center: Claiming to be “the country’s largest performing arts center outside of New York,” Playhouse Square Center offers a variety of theaters and “utilizes the arts to engage individuals and attract over one million guests per year to its 1,000+ annual events.”

12. Cedar Point Amusement Park: Located outside the city on Lake Erie, Cedar Point offers a number of activities, including what the park calls “the best steel coaster on the planet.” The millennium Force roller coaster—with a “300′ drop at speeds reaching 93 mph”—certainly isn’t for the faint of heart.

13. A Christmas Story House: Travel back to your childhood and visit the original house used to film “A Christmas Story.” The Christmas Story House is “now restored to its movie splendor, is open year round to the public for tours. Directly across the street from the house is the official ”A Christmas Story House Museum,” which features original props, costumes and memorabilia from the film, as well as hundreds of rare behind-the-scenes photos.”

14. Cleveland Orchestra: While in Cleveland, you might want to take a visit to the city’s Orchestra, which, according to their website is “one of the most acclaimed performing ensembles in the world.  In concerts at home, in residencies from Miami to Vienna, and on tour around the world, The Cleveland Orchestra sets standards of artistic excellence, concert programming, and community engagement.”

15. West Side Market: Hungry for a Pierogi or a Kielbasa? “With its origins dating back to 1840, the West Side Market is Cleveland’s oldest publicly-owned market.” According to its website, “the market is home to over 100 vendors” and is estimated to have been visited by “over a million people” last year.

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