Introduction to Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, located in northeast Ohio on Lake Erie, is the state's second-largest city (pop. approximately 500,000) and largest metropolitan area. It was founded in 1796 by and named after Moses Cleaveland, and incorporated as a city in 1836. The Ohio and Erie canals, railroad development and an abundance of natural resources (iron, oil), brought dramatic industrial growth to the new city; during the Civil war, Cleveland was an important supply center. The thriving factories of Cleveland attracted an influx of immigrants from Ireland, Germany and Eastern Europe. After World War I, Cleveland saw a rise in its African-American population; in 1967, Cleveland became the first major US city to elect an African-American mayor.
Like many of America's older industrial American cities, Cleveland withstood declining prosperity and loss of population in the second half of the 20th century. Recent re-investment in the downtown area (new stadiums for its sports teams, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, shopping arcades) has revitalized the city. Though still a manufacturing town, Cleveland's economy is now more diversified, with research firms, law firms and the health care industry among its leading employers. The city is a hub for two major airlines.
Cleveland's Severance Hall hosts concerts of the internationally-renowned Cleveland Orchestra. In Wade Park are the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Fine Arts Garden. The city is also home to the Cleveland Opera and the new Rock & Roll Museum. The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival is held each June through July. Other cultural attractions include the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum, the Western Reserve Historical Society Museum and the African American Museum. An hour away in Canton is the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Cleveland Sports and Leisure
Sports fans in Cleveland can root for 3 major league teams. Jacobs Field, considered one of the finest ballparks in baseball, is the downtown home of the Cleveland Indians. Adjacent is 20,000-seat Gund Arena, hosting home games of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, the WNBA's Rockers and the AHL's Barons. On the shores of Lake Erie, the Cleveland Browns play at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
There's plenty of outdoor recreation available within a short distance from Cleveland. More than 275 miles of bikeable trails traverse the northeast Ohio area. The 14 Cleveland Metroparks Reservations and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park offer a combined 52,000 acres for a wide array of activities. Some of the best walleye, perch and bass fishing in the world can be found right in Lake Erie. Steelhead trout, salmon and bass are abundant in the Chagrin, Rocky and Cuyahoga Rivers.
Ohio offers great golfing, with three courses within a 2-hour drive ranking among the top 100 according to Golfweek Magazine: the Golf Club (ranked #7) in New Albany, Muirfield Village Golf Club (#8) in Dublin and Double Eagle Club (#28) in Galena. In the winter, skiing is a short drive away: Alpine Valley, 16 miles from Cleveland in Chesterland, offers downhill skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing. Their XTreme Park has Ohio's largest half-pipe and many slopes just for snowboarders.
Cleveland at Night
Things are looking up in Cleveland. Once the butt of jokes, the city is now one of the most fun places in the country, ranking among Forbes Magazine's list of Best Cities For Singles. Cleveland's nightlife is centered in its downtown area. The Warehouse District is among the best places in the city to see live music.