Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More to Cleveland than Meets the Eye

When most people think of a relaxing family vacation, the streets of Cleveland usually aren’t the first thing that pops into their head. Most people think of beautiful sandy beaches, perhaps a concert or show, a romantic dinner out in a fabulous restaurant, a cultural day spent museum hopping, or a fun-filled day at a theme or water park with the family.

When POSITIVELY CLEVELAND asked if I would be interested in coming to town for a Family Familiarization Tour of the Greater Cleveland area, I had no idea what to expect, but accepted the offer. I have some family who live outside of the city and have always heard wonderful things about the area, but never had the chance to go and visit, or truly discover all that Greater Cleveland has to offer. I spent four days, (aka: almost 12 hours each day), being whisked around to all of the spots that families should visit on vacation. I hope you can experience how much fun I had by my posts and pictures.

The sense of community from the very first day truly overwhelmed me. From the stong art influence in the city and community, to hearing stories of camaraderie and brotherhood from the local businesses, to the warmth of a strangers smile on the streets of Coventry Heights--it really struck a chord that reminded me of the small town I grew up in. Shopping at Big Fun and grabbing something to eat at Tommy's really completes a busy day; whether you're vegetarian or not, you'll find something for every picky eater.
Typically, I wouldn’t be a museum hopper with my kids, on the mere fact that they like to touch everything. After experiencing the Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History, the Children’s Museum, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Great Lakes Science Center, I would have to say that the museums in Cleveland should be on the top of everybody’s “to-do” list. Spacious and clean, the artifacts, memoribilia and legends tucked into every nook and cranny seem to tell a story from the entrance all the way back to the exit. Inside and outside, children of any age can appreciate and learn about history.

The gorgeous Sandusky area is home to more than just the fabulous Cedar Point Amusement park. All year round get the ba-geezus scared out of you at the Ghostly Manor Thrill Center while the little ones cruise on the skating rink, enjoy a relaxing walk in the town of Sandusky, grab a little bit of heaven from The City Bake Shop, take the ferry and relax at Lake Erie Shores and Islands, or pop into the Merry-Go-Round Museum or Maritime Museum for a different experience, something you never thought you'd get from looking at the outside of either building.

Whether you're staying at the Doubletree, Kalahari Resort, Castaway Bay, The Great Wolf Lodge, or the Crowne Plaza you'll find the accomodations relaxing, clean rooms, friendly staff, and local events and attractions are just steps away. From apes to zebras, and everything between- including dinosaurs- the Cleveland Zoo is fun for kids of every age. No matter where you are staying, what you are seeing, fabulous restaurants are all over the Greater Cleveland area.
You'll find famous chefs, dive bars, the House of Blues, Grumpy's, or take a turn away from the city and visit Mapleside Farms for an amazing Waldorf salad and apples the size of softballs.

If you enjoy going to plays and need a relaxing and enjoyable time indoors, be sure to head to Playhouse Square to find a matinee or family friendly show. Cleveland really surprised me--I never expected to find the many family friendly attractions. I can't wait to start planning a family trip so that my little munchkins can enjoy all that the city has to offer! Be sure to keep an eye out over the next few days for more photos and information about all of the wonderful places I visited on my trip to Cleveland.


Lexi Hotchkiss,  May 26, 2010  

Thanks for visiting! Had a blast on our whirlwind tour. It was wonderful getting to know you. Come back soon! All the best to your little ones, too.

Jill Bauer May 26, 2010  

Great post! Hope you can bring your family up some time to enjoy!


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