Cleveland Weekend Part 1:Places That Surprise

Cleveland Weekend

 Part 1: Places That Surprise 

By Giles Kennedy

Family and Travel Columnist

With recent travel restrictions lessen, we at Columbus Wired continue to give you great options for family travel.


Many people go to the Cleveland area for Indians baseball, Cuyahoga Valley National Park and other more known attractions.

Here’s some great ideas folks normally don’t consider.

Cleveland MetroParks Zoo

Sitting between Downtown and the Airport, southeast of Ohio City is the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo.

Although Columbus has one of the top ranked zoos in the world; Cleveland’s Zoo is not any less a great zoo. It is an excellent zoo and more.

With those who have a Columbus Zoo membership; you can get a discounted admission via the American Zoo Association.



The Zoo property; merely 10 minutes from Interstate 71, is nestled in the northern part of the Cuyahoga River Valley.

See website for admission information and directions.

The property winds along the hills and bluffs of the Cuyahoga off Fulton Road.

It used this diverse terrain to profile all continents on the Earth; animals included.

It also offers affordable dining, regionally known Pierre’s Ice Cream, and other treats on site. 

You are going to need the food to fuel your inland safari. 165 acres of winding trails and exhibits make you feel you’re not in Ohio at all.

Open most days of the year; please again visit the website for more details and special events.


West Side Market

Many people flock to foodie icons such as Columbus’ North Market and Cincinnati’s Findlay Market.

West Side Market; set in the Ohio City neighborhood; is worth a visit if you are in Cleveland for a few days.

Whether you are shopping for a grill out at a friend’s house or needing a picnic lunch to tackle the Cuyahoga Valley; West Side can be your destination.



A fair warning. If you don’t like fighting off crowds…go during in the early morning or late afternoon hours. It is busy.

If at a hotel property near the Cleveland RTA “Rapid” Light Rail lines….the RTA station is a short walk away from the station.

Otherwise; guide carefully to park. There is public parking. But be patient with the traffic around the area. It can get hectic.

The historic Public Market offers the produce wing and the main pavilion aka the Arcade.

Fresh produce from around Northeast Ohio is offered. The Arcade offers long time butchers, bakers and candy makers. Many food vendors give you a chance to get grilled goodies or a fresh lunch. It also offers the West Side Cafe and Johnny Dog’s.

Please refer to the website for market hours.


Cleveland is not short of micro breweries.

Fat Head’s Brewery and Brewpub-Middleburg Heights

Fat Head’s is not only well known, but extremely popular..

Just south of the Cleveland Airport; off Interstate 71, this popular brewpub has amazing food, service and great beer.


The brewpub just opened back up for the public. Top traffic times for brewpub guests is Friday nights.  Please check their website for more information. 

A lot of their brews are locally inspired.

They are named for local parks, landmarks and flavors. They also contribute to local causes such as Cleveland Metroparks, local animal shelters and other organizations.,

A self guided walk through window galleries of the brewery and a small gift shop are on site.

Photos are featured on Columbus Wired’s Facebook Page,


Please stay tuned to part 2 as we explore the Cleveland Lakeshore and a science museum.

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