Alright, so you’ve set your sights on Cleveland, Ohio—land of the “almost there” sports teams, killer polka jams, and a river that once took the phrase “lit” a little too literally. But hold your pierogi, good people, there’s more to Cleveland than meets the Rust Belt. If you’re preparing to explore the Paris of the Midwest—wait, is that just us saying that?—here’s your cheeky rundown.
1. “Paris of the Midwest” is Absolutely a Thing (In Our Heads)
Let’s be clear: Paris probably isn’t losing sleep over us. But Cleveland does have its own Louvre, thank you very much. Ever heard of the Cleveland Museum of Art? It’s free and fabulous. Try spending a day there and not feeling cultured. I dare you.
2. Our River Has a Spicy History
Yes, the Cuyahoga River caught fire. Multiple times. But hey, we like to think of it as nature’s way of telling us we’re hot stuff. Plus, it ignited (see what I did there?) an environmental movement but every major city in the United States had this issue at the time and Cleveland was the one to take the heat for it. You’re welcome, Earth.
3. We’re Not Detroit
Don’t lump us together with our Great Lakes neighbor. Sure, we share a penchant for industry and die-hard sports fans, but we’re like siblings: similar but oh-so-different. For example, we have the Rock Hall; they have Motown. Tomato, to-mah-to.
4. Yes, We Have a Beach. No, You Can’t Surf
Okay, you could surf on Lake Erie, but let’s just say it won’t make you the next Kelly Slater. However, we guarantee it’s the largest beach you’ll find that’s miles away from an ocean.
5. “Guardians” is Not a Marvel Spin-Off
It might sound like a superhero team, but it’s actually our newly rebranded baseball team. Get with the program and don’t call them the Indians, unless you want a history lesson from a local.
6. We’ve Got Our Own Little Italy
And you thought you had to go to New York for authentic cannoli. Well, think again. Our Little Italy is full of authentic eateries and art galleries. It’s a slice of the Old World in the New.
7. West Side Market: Hipster Before It Was Cool
Farm-to-table? Please, we invented that (kinda). Established in 1912, the West Side Market has been offering fresh produce, artisanal fare, and meats you can’t pronounce long before it was trendy.
8. It’s Not That Cold
Despite being next to Lake Erie, Cleveland’s weather is not a year-round snowfest. We get a lovely dose of all four seasons. But yes, bringing a jacket might be wise.
9. Breweries for Days
You could say we’re “buzzing” with excitement over our burgeoning brewery scene. With unique spots like Platform Beer Co. and Great Lakes Brewing, your craft beer itch will be more than scratched.
So there you have it, 10 deliciously odd and somewhat enlightening facts to prep you for your Cleveland escapade. Pack your bags, ready your taste buds, and prepare to have all your Midwest stereotypes deliciously shattered. Welcome to the Land!