Ritz Carlton Hotel image

Planning Your Trip

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From an inventive local dining and libations scene to beautiful natural retreats, Cleveland can take you from the beach to the brewery in one day. Near the hotel, discover world-class museums, shopping, museums, sports and entertainment, and outdoor recreation.

Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Ritz Carlton Hotel image
What to Pack

Whether a weekend getaway or business trip brings you to Cleveland, it’s smart to be prepared. Pack for lots of walking along Lake Erie, a visit to Core Fitness Club, a locally sourced meal at TURN Bar + Kitchen and perhaps a sporting event.

Business Travel
  • Preparation is key to packing light. Know the weather and what you’ll be doing, then bring along your hardest-working items to do double or triple duty.


  • Wear your suit jacket on the plane to save room — the hotel can press it for you later. Roll up belts and ties and pack them in your shoes, then place them in a dust bag, for even more space.

  • For women, think multipurpose: a long scarf to wrap up in on the plane or dress up an evening look; chic mules you can slide into for a meeting or dash through the terminal.

  • Some devices to make your trip more pleasant: noise-canceling headphones or earbuds, a portable charger and a reliable, ergonomic suitcase to tote your essentials.
Exploring the City
  • A revitalized downtown, artsy former industrial areas, and new restaurants and breweries give Cleveland visitors more to explore than ever.


  • Cleveland is cold and snowy in winter and warm and humid in summer; fall and spring are lovely but can be unpredictable. A packable down jacket, like those from Canada Goose and Moncler, stands up to Cleveland’s cold while being ultra-lightweight and versatile for travel.

  • Bring at least one pair of comfortable, flat shoes for walking plus one pair of dressier shoes for the evening.

  • Finding the right daytime bag is worthy of your attention. Something that goes with everything and leaves your hands free, like a roomy leather tote or sleek backpack — is best for toting your essentials while you’re on the go.
Weekend Getaway
  • A pleasure escape of just two or three days still lets you see the ultimate sights of this iconic Midwestern city.


  • A light, organized weekend bag is the first step to an ideal trip. Bring a few basics (a white shirt, and jeans) that you can dress up or down with the right accessories and shoes (one flat and/or athletic, one dressy) for each activity.

  • Whether you’re exploring the Cleveland Metroparks Emerald Necklace or kayaking the Cuyahoga River, be sure to have your camera — perhaps even a GoPro or an aerial drone — along for the ride.

  • Bring sneakers and workout gear to squeeze in a gym session at the Core Fitness Club at The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland.
Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Ritz Carlton Hotel image
What to Reserve

Cleveland’s most coveted experiences may require advanced planning. If you're hoping to attend a local sporting event or theater performance, visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame or snag a table at the restaurant of the moment, our concierge will assist you with creating the perfect itinerary.

Cleveland may be rooted in meat and potatoes, but a slew of innovative chefs are flipping the culinary script. There’s still meat, but of a more creative ilk — like Mabel's BBQ, a Cleveland-style barbecue restaurant from native Michael Symon. There’s also phenomenal cuisine to be found at restaurants like TURN Bar + Kitchen, the new dining experience at The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland, where local flavors and handcrafted cocktails are served in a stunning ambiance.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the city’s cultural jewels; finish your tour of its world-class collection with a sunset stroll through the gardens. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tops many bucket lists, and not just for its outrageous pop artifacts: The mesmerizing, I.M. Pei-designed building leads visitors through rock history via truly immersive exhibits and kiosks. You can also book a performance at one of Playhouse Square’s nine theaters or reserve an evening at the acclaimed Cleveland Orchestra. For another only-in-Cleveland experience, enjoy the legendary music at House of Blues, accompanied by a lively bar scene and classic American fare.

There’s a lot for young travelers to explore in Cleveland, and the adventure starts on arrival at The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland, where the Ritz Kids program encourages them to delight in their new surroundings with fresh, fun activities highlighting nature and culture. The fun continues at Great Lakes Science Center, a museum and educational facility in downtown Cleveland that travelers of all ages will enjoy. Indulge your animal lovers with a trip to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, where they can hand-feed a 17-foot giraffe, ride a train or carousel, and even unlock their own adventure with a special “ZooKey” to secret locations throughout the zoo.

From legendary music and sports to acclaimed dining, Cleveland will keep you busy for the length of your stay. But it’s also within easy reach of other unique adventures. At Put-in-Bay Island in Lake Erie, accessible via ferry from Sandusky (an hour’s drive from The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland), visitors can go boating on the lake, explore limestone Perry’s Cave or try the fine wines at Ohio’s oldest winery, Heineman’s. Speaking of wine, head to Geneva for a taste of Ohio’s scenic wine country just an hour outside Cleveland. Sample a European-style wine in the tasting room at M Cellars, then enjoy the farm-to-table fare on the relaxing back patio. Lovers of spirits can sample small-batch bourbon, vodka and rye in the 19th-century barn of Red Eagle Distillery.

A bridge with arches leads to a city at night
A bridge with arches leads to a city at night

A romantic getaway. A culinary tour. A 24-hour adventure. Our Ladies and Gentlemen have crafted the perfect itineraries for experiencing Cleveland, Ohio.

  • Healthy Start. Stroll over to Public Square, a 6.5-acre urban park in the heart of downtown, for breakfast at Rebol, an ultra-hip eatery with a people-watching patio and an obsession for local, organic and non-GMO foods (even the ice is purified). Try the Bulletproof Coffee, which claims to provide extra energy from coconut oil and butter, and Breakfast Bol, a power meal containing two fried eggs, goat cheese, sweet potato, mushroom, bok choy and onion.

  • Storybook Garden. Visit University Circle, a neighborhood 4 miles from downtown with one of the highest concentrations of arts and culture in the nation. Linger at Cleveland Botanical Garden, where you’ll find 10 acres of lush gardens and an 18,000-square-foot greenhouse supporting 350 species of plants, 50 species of animals and hundreds of butterflies.
  • Interactive Art. Also in University Circle, the Cleveland Museum of Art ranks among the best in the country with more than 45,000 pieces in its permanent collection, including Dali, Monet, Renoir and Warhol. Don’t miss the high-tech Gallery One and its interactive touch-screen lenses that enable visitors to paint and sculpt.

  • Market Munch. You’ve most likely never seen an urban market in the U.S. like Cleveland’s West Side Market. Founded in 1912, it’s one of the few European-style central markets left in the country, with more than 100 vendors selling food only (no arts and crafts). Literally, every ingredient you’ve ever needed is here, from the mundane to the gourmet, along with plenty of drool-worthy prepared foods for lunch on the go.


  • Christmas Forever. For fans of the 1983 cult classic “A Christmas Story,” there’s no Cleveland attraction more charming than the 19th-century Victorian that was used for the exterior scenes of Ralphie Parker’s house in the quirky comedy. A fan restored the house in the trendy Tremont neighborhood in 2006, and it’s open daily for tours.

  • Rock On. Cleveland’s hottest attraction is undoubtedly the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the world’s largest collection of rock-and-roll artifacts. It’s downtown on the shore of Lake Erie, with seven whopping levels to explore, where you’ll find storied items like Michael Jackson’s sparkly glove and Lady Gaga’s meat dress. But first, stop and admire the exterior — I. M. Pei’s dazzling architecture, a powerful pyramid-shaped design, mirrors Pei’s own work on the Louvre expansion.

  • The Latest Craft. Since the Great Lakes Brewing Company opened its doors in 1988, Cleveland has become one of the Midwest’s most influential craft beer hubs. For happy hour, visit the city’s newest, Collision Bend Brewing Company, on the east bank of the Cuyahoga River in the white-hot Flats District. Order a flight — a sampling of four Collision Bend beers — and make sure one of them is the Lake Erie Sunset, a blood-orange American wheat.


  • Cleveland’s Iron Chef. It’s no longer a secret that Cleveland’s dining scene rivals that of nearby Chicago. Chef Michael Symon — Cleveland native, James Beard Award winner, Iron Chef and co-host of ABC’s “The Chew” — first brought the city into the national spotlight with Lola, a New American eatery, in 2000. He has since opened other notable restaurants in Cleveland, including Mabel's BBQ, located on East 4th Street.

  • Top Theater. Playhouse Square, Cleveland’s theater district, hosts nine major live stages in a one-block radius, making it the largest performing arts center in the United States outside of New York City. It is one of the few venues in America that can support a three-week run of a Broadway performance. Check with the concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland for the latest performance recommendations and tickets.

  • Nightcap With the Locals. Parnell’s Irish Pub in the Playhouse Square District is where Clevelanders go after the show for a fine whiskey or a perfectly poured pint. It’s also a favorite local haunt for live music, played until the wee hours of the morning.
  • Coffee and Culture. In 2015, Heinen’s, a Cleveland-based, family-owned grocery chain since 1929, opened a new flagship store in the Cleveland Trust Building, a historic downtown landmark. The architectural masterpiece was built in 1908, and features an 85-foot-high, leaded-glass ceiling and 13 murals depicting the exploration and settlement of Ohio. Heinen’s hip espresso bar opens at 8 a.m. on weekends.


  • Circle Walk. One of the jewels of Cleveland, scenic University Circle boasts the densest concentration of arts and culture in America. Get a feel for the area by following the interpretive signs along the Wade Oval, a large, grassy green space with winding paths linking the museums.

  • Lunch As Art. End your stroll at the Cleveland Museum of Art, one of America’s top museums and the site of Provenance, a sleek restaurant serving modern international cuisine under the direction of esteemed locavore Doug Katz. The menu is seasonal and will often parallel the culture of current exhibits.


  • Instagram It. No trip to Cleveland is complete without a visit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, home to rock’s greatest memorabilia. As of November 2016, when the museum installed 7-foot-high letters spelling out “Long Live Rock” in the entry plaza, it’s also become the hottest spot for Instagram photos.

  • Craft Beer Craving. Cleveland is a craft beer hotbed, and no neighborhood is as committed as Ohio City. Start with the grandfather, Great Lakes Brewing Company, which became the first craft brewer in the state in 1988. Hansa Brewery specializes in Eastern European beers, emphasizing Cleveland’s roots. Market Garden Brewery has 20 house beers on tap and offers tours of its new production facility. Nano Brew is an uber-cool, one-barrel brew house. Saucy Brew Works offers a dozen creative craft beers on tap like Save Room for Pie, a vanilla pumpkin porter


  • Best Date Night Spot. Basking in the 1893-built glory of Cleveland's first skyscraper, Marble Room Steak and Raw Bar is an upscale chophouse for steaks, seafood and cocktails in an opulent historic bank building.

  • Music Scene. Cleveland has always had a happening music scene with the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra and several iconic venues, including the Beachland Ballroom and the Agora. You’re guaranteed to find live music any night of the week at the Grog Shop in the funky Coventry neighborhood.

  • Late-Night Drinks. Beneath the Grog Shop, you’ll find La Cave du Vin. The cellar-like enclosure is quiet and atmospheric, with an extensive wine list from around the world.
  • Farm Fresh Brunch. Make your way to Cleveland’s Ohio City, where you’ll find Juneberry Table, Named after a North American indigenous berry that can be found in the Ohio River Valley, the city's newest brunch spot by farm-to-table pioneer Karen Small showcases a locally sourced menu that reflects regional influences.


  • Market Crawl. A gourmand paradise, West Side Market has been operating in its location since 1912. More than 180 food vendors occupy the sprawling indoor and outdoor space, selling everything from ethnic spices to whole-suckling pigs. Expect to rub shoulders with a fun cross-section of the local population, including celebrity chefs scoping out the freshest ingredients and grandmas in babushkas haggling over prices.


  • Shop the Arcades. Downtown hosts three elegant glass-topped malls, modeled after European shopping arcades like Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. Each is an ornate piece of history, stretching for a full block. One is now a hotel, but the other two, collectively known as the 5th Street Arcades, are part of Cleveland’s retail revival, with boutiques, eateries, jewelers and souvenir shops. And yes, the cupcakes at Colossal Cupcakes really are the size of softballs.

  • Hit the Beach. Just west of downtown Edgewater Park is 6,000 feet of Lake Erie shoreline, two beaches, a playground and pavilions. It’s also the best view of the Cleveland skyline looking back from the pier.


  • Savor Serious BBQ. Not only does Cleveland have a top-notch barbecue scene, it's being led by a James Beard award-winning chef. Michael Symon opened Mabel's BBQ in downtown Cleveland in 2016 and the rave reviews (and lines) haven't let up since. Symon's signature sauce incorporates Bertman's Ballpark Mustard, a local favorite, along with Eastern European spices. Other local favorites for barbecue include The Proper Pig and Boney Fingers BBQ.

  • One Last Toast. Cap off your day at TURN Bar , where fire, light, mirrors and metals create a modern setting for smoked cocktails and dishes drawing from local ingredients. Enjoy smoked infused cocktails, including the restaurant's signature Smoky Man.