in partnership withwjla.com

How to do Cleveland right, from a local, just in time for the RNC

*Editor's Note: With the Republican National Convention starting Monday, July 18, we figured a lot of Washingtonians would be making their inaugural trips to the Rock and Roll Capital of the World. Lucky for you, one of WJLA's reporters, Jamie Sullivan, was born and raised in Cleveland! She is guest posting for us today on DC Refined on what to do, where to stay and what to eat while you are in town -- and we aren't just talking what you'll find with a simple Google search!

When you say you’re from Cleveland, the first question you’re asked by a fellow Clevelander iseast side or west side? Heading to Cleveland for the RNC, you have many options including downtown Cleveland, east of town and west of town. Let’s break down some of the best options you have wherever you're going!

Downtown Cleveland...

Where to stay:

  • Aloft Cleveland Hotel: You’ll have some of the best views of the Lake along with seeing the west bank of the flats. We’re back to that east vs. west thing! East bank of the flats is new and fresh. Completely renovated! West bank is great with an amazing bar on the water called Shooters on the Flats. If you stay at this hotel, it’s probably about a $4.00 Uber ride to the other side.

Where to eat:

  • Barrio, in Tremont: Their tacos give any D.C. taco joints a run for their money. They have a few locations and it’s worth making a quick trip to at least one of them. Just note, they don’t open in most locations until after 4:00pm. They also have a food truck so be on the lookout!
  • Lola Bistro: Michael Symon’s restaurant is centrally located and quite the experience. If you want to spoil yourself after a hard day of work, do it at Lola!

What to do:

  • Tremont/Ohio City area: It’s only about a $6.00 Uber ride from downtown Cleveland and you’re dropped off in the heart of the trendiest area in Cleveland. You've got funky shops, modern architecture and the West Side Market, which is a landmark. I promise the photos you take inside will be the ones that get the highest amount of likes on Instagram! Oh, and you can also grab some of the best beer at Great Lakes Brewing Company. Go for the tour -- it’s worth the wait!
  • The Arcade: Okay, I take it back ... these are the photos that will get you the most likes on Instagram! It’s air conditioned with cute little shops that have close access to E. 4th Street(Lola Bistro). Comedy shows are nightly at Hilarities on E. 4th Street and it’s easy to grab a quick drink at Flannery’s Pub with live Irish music.
  • Playhouse Square District: Want to see the largest outdoor chandelier in the world? That’s only about a seven or eight-minute walk from public square. It’s worth taking the evening stroll just to see it light up the intersection. Also, Public Square is now pedestrian only and has great views of Cleveland’s finest and most well-known buildings.

East Side...

Where to stay:

  • Homestead House Bed & Breakfast: This is such a quaint B&B located in the heart of downtown Willoughby, and the breakfast is out of this world! Time and time again, you’ll ask Dee the innkeeper what she’ll have for breakfast and she doesn’t know. She makes it up as she goes, which is what makes breakfast so delicious. It’s truly a small gem and you'll feel lucky to stay there. It’s about a 20-minute drive from downtown Cleveland.

Where to eat:

  • Little Italy: Here you'll find a plethora of amazing Italian restaurants -- some of the best in the area for sure. Murray Hill is adorable with brick roads and locals sitting on their front stoops. If you’re staying in the Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights or University Heights areas, this is a really good option. Also, Tommy’s in Coventry has the best milkshakes and burgers. It's surprisingly very health conscious and the owners are locals.
  • Wild Goose and The Morehouse: McPat and Seamus Coyne own both of these delicious Irish bars. Not only can you grab a pint of Guinness, but they have stone oven pizzas and southern food at the Morehouse. Both are located in Downtown Willoughby on Erie Street and remind me of the restaurants/bars in Clarendon. It's definitely a nice area for young adults, and a gorgeous drive on I-90, which is right along the Lake

What to do:

  • North Chagrin Reservation: Pack your workout clothes -- this is a wonderful place for a run, jog or just a nice walk. Plus, Squire’s Castle is one of the most enchanting castles I've ever seen. There's no charge to get onto the reservation, but once you see how beautiful it is, you’d be willing to pay to go back again!

West Side...

Where to stay:

  • Crocker Park: You have many hotel options to choose from near this outdoor mall. You can stay right next to a movie theater, shops and many restaurants. It’s about a 20-minute drive.

Where to eat:

  • Angelo’s Pizza: This joint is rated #1 time and time again for a reason. Just know, it’s a thicker crust and it may be a bit of a wait, but it sure is delicious!
  • Luchita’s on W 117th St.: The. Best. Burritos. All that needs to be said.

What to do:

  • Whiskey Island and Wendy Park: It's less than a 5-minute ride from downtown Cleveland, and if you just need a break, this is your spot. Enjoy a fresh breeze, luscious green grass and one of the best skyline views. Most people who haven’t seen Lake Erie don’t realize how massive it is. Even if you only have a quick hour to get away, this is worth the break.
  • Cedar Point: It’s one of the best amusement parks in the world, and is continually rated #1 for its amazing roller coasters. It is just under an hour drive west of Cleveland, so it is a bit of a drive but you won’t regret it!
  • GV Art & Design: Cleveland T-shirt shops are the new craze! There are so many popping up all over the city, but this has to be one of the best. LeBron fan? Pick up the ‘No Place Like Home’ limited edition shirt only available in stores. They have a shop located in Lakewood and Willoughby, on the east side.

Jamie was born and raised in Cleveland (east side!) and is happy to help with any questions you have! Feel free to reach out to her anytime on social media or by email at jamiesullivan@sbgtv.com.

col1_vertical_list_trending