Located on the east side of the city, University Circle is Cleveland’s cultural hub. It’s anchored by our two civic buildings, the Cleveland Museum of Art and Severance Hall (home of the world-famous Cleveland Orchestra) – both are mandatory stops, but once those obligations are fulfilled, try some mid-day stargazing at the Nathan and Fannye Shafran Planetarium and then find a student recital at the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Mixon Hall. It’s a chance to hear some of the most talented music students in the world playing their hearts out for free in an incredibly lovely space.
The West Side Market
Anyone who knows anything about Cleveland will tell you to go to the West Side Market, and with good reason; it is the heart of the city. Saturday mornings are the best time to go if you want to people-watch – a cross-section of the city turns out to shop and haggle with their favorite vendors. If you have sharp eyes and get there early, you can spot local chefs buying for their restaurants. As for me, I’d grab a snack (I’m partial to the soft pretzel in the shape of mice at Vera’s Bakery) and head to the upper deck, where you can watch the hustle and bustle below. Once you get good and hungry, head to the West Side Market Cafe – the Market Breakfast is only $2.50, and includes killer hash browns.
At the corner of W. 25th and Lorain
Monday & Wednesday: 7am – 4pm
Friday & Saturday: 7am – 6pm
I love catching a show here because it reminds me of the multipurpose gymnasium in my middle school. The ballroom is located in a re purposed workman’s hall, complete with wacky murals and a disco ball, and a steady stream of interesting punk, rock, indie, and Americana acts play there. Smaller bands play gigs in the attached tavern, and on Sundays, you can stop by for rock and roll brunch.