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A Cleveland travel guide for budget travelers

Cleveland skyline Cleveland travel guideThe Budget Travel Guides are travel tips to help you save money and enrich your travel experiences.  Rock n’ Roll, sports, and food come alive in Ohio!  In this Cleveland Travel Guide, Dale Cooper shares his travel tips for one of Ohio’s top cities.

If you’re looking for a city whose cultural and culinary offerings rival Portland, Austin and Chicago, while being one of the most affordable places to live in the country, Cleveland is hard to beat.

You may be surprised at how far your money will stretch in Cleveland if you’re used to visiting large cities. For this reason, a budget travel guide to Cleveland almost writes itself; here are a just a few affordable Cleveland activities and attractions.

A Cleveland travel guide – what to see and do

Cleveland is home to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, some great sports teams, and some great food and activities.  If you want to know what to do and how to get around, these Cleveland travel tips are just what you need.

Things to see

  • Greater Cleveland Aquarium – Recently opened on the West Bank of the Flats district, the
    Greater Cleveland Aquarium has 35 tanks of different sizes filled with species that range from native brook trout to sand tiger sharks. Although visitors of all ages will enjoy the aquatic displays, this is a great place to stop if you’re traveling with children.
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – This is a must-see location for music fans. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame features rotating and permanent exhibits that include the Beatles, Grateful Dead, U2 and The Roots of Rock and Roll. While the Rock Hall may not be the best place to bring young children, the teenagers in your family will enjoy learning about the history of the rock genre.
  • West Side Market – The historic West Side Market provides an experience that is unique to Cleveland. More than 100 vendors sell meats, cheeses, produce, imported goods and more from stalls in the main markethouse and bordering produce stands. Stop in for a gyro, do some grocery shopping or just to experience the large market atmosphere that has become increasingly rare.

Places to eat

  • Ohio City and Tremont – These adjacent districts located on the near-West Side offer some of the best dining in the city. Try Cleveland’s favorite brewery, the Great Lakes Brewing Company for dinner in Ohio City, or celebrity chef Michael Symon’s restaurant, Lolita, in Tremont.
  • Little Italy – If you have a taste for pasta or pizza, head to Cleveland’s Little Italy district on the East Side. With more than 20 restaurants to choose from, you’re sure to find something the whole family will enjoy.
  • Downtown – Downtown is home to dozens of restaurants, including award-winning chef and restaurateur Zach Bruell’s Chianto Chinato and Cowell & Hubbard. Also, check out East 4th Street for Mexican, Vietnamese, gourmet American and Irish pub food.

Transportation

  • RTA – Cleveland has robust public transportation that can efficiently take you across the greater Cleveland area. Regularly running buses and trains shuttle you to all of the city’s major attractions. There are also a few green buses downtown that offer free rides along heavily traveled routes.
  • Walk – With the possible exception of the winter months, much of Cleveland can be explored on foot. From downtown, walk across the Detroit-Superior Bridge to Ohio City, or head to the Lakefront to see the Great Lakes Science Center, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or Browns Stadium.
  • Drive – Unlike many large cities, Cleveland is easy to navigate by car, and parking is abundant. Whether you’re renting a car or driving your own, make sure it’s protected by an insurance company. If you need coverage for your car before your trip to Cleveland, compare
    online insurance quotes
    to find a provider.

Where to stay

  • Cleveland Hostel – International travelers are probably familiar with the low cost accommodations offered by hostels, which rent out beds in shared or private rooms. And while hostels are much less common in the United States than in Europe and Latin America, Cleveland’s first hostel opened in 2012. Beds start at $25 per night.
  • Stay in a home – Another way to save money on accommodations while traveling is to use hospitality exchange communities like hospitalityclub.org. Members of these communities offer travelers a free place to stay for a few nights. All that’s expected in return is that you consider joining the community and hosting travelers who visit your city. Safety first of course – make sure you take appropriate precautions, like reading reviews of your host, when using these services.

Connect with locals

  • Cleveland Scene – The free Cleveland-based newspaper features local concerts, events, movies, comedy acts and anything else that might be worth checking out. Pick up a copy of the Cleveland Scene and work a couple events into your trip.
  • Local reviews – Sites like yelp.com, urbanspoon.com and Google Places collect reviews of businesses, and are a great place to start when looking for local hangouts. Pick a few well-reviewed places in your price range and stop in for a bite to eat.

These are just a few places you should visit if you’re in Cleveland, several of which offer discounted prices and tickets throughout the year. But even at full price, most Cleveland attractions and activities can be enjoyed on a budget, so explore the area and take advantage of this affordable vacation opportunity.

Check out more Budget Travel Guides for destinations in the US, like Columbus and Santa Fe, as well as other destinations around the world!

Dale Cooper has been blogging about financial services, insurance and education for more than three years. He holds a B.A. in English and lives in Cleveland. In his spare time, Dale enjoys cooking and traveling.

Note: Sponsored content was created and provided by Nationwide Insurance.

Photo credit: Flickr

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  1. Steve Whitty says:

    Never really considered Cleveland as a place to visit. However, this post has made me change my mind. Sports and music that’s reason enough.
    Steve Whitty recently posted..Photo of the Week – Venus de MiloMy Profile

    • Cleveland is a big sports town. Unfortunately, they don’t ever have much success. It has to KILL them to watch the Baltimore Ravens. Since the Ravens moved from Cleveland in the 90s, Baltimore has won the Super Bowl twice. As for the music, the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame is a huge draw for many people.

  2. I’m actually just beginning to plot out a long term, multi-continent trip, so this post comes at an incredibly helpful time for me. I’m trying my best to budget for the trip, but since I’m in the service industry I know I won’t be able to save nearly enough to sustain me for as long as I want to be away for.
    World Adventure Travel recently posted..Spending The Christmas Season In The UK On A BudgetMy Profile

  3. Beautiful! I’m browsing Travelrepublic right now for cheap deals; I’m planning to have a vacation in Cleveland. Your blog will definitely help me save money and plan my itinerary.

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