Cleveland is dripping with history. It’s a place that most people wouldn’t think has many weird places or hidden gems. Growing up I never wanted to go to the typical places in Cleveland. I always enjoyed going to the places that were out of the box and un-ordinary! It’s the fun part of the city and is essential to making the city unique. There are 10 places that I would consider to be the best hidden gems in the city of Cleveland.
1. Cleveland Arcade
The first indoor shopping center in America. The Arcade opened its doors in May of 1890. Nicknamed the Crystal Palace. Designed by John Eisemann and George Smith and was modeled after the Galleria in Milan, Italy. It was financed by some of the most influential billionaires of the 19th century. In 2001, the Arcade underwent a renovation and combined with the Hyatt Regency. Its the perfect wedding venues with its distinct rotunda and winding steps.
Welcome to the Carnival! Originally the Spitfire Saloon and owned by Stosh Burgess. Located on Cleveland’s West Side. With its optical illusions and a fun house feel. Opened daily at 4 pm this bar serves cheap drinks and allows its patrons to play board games.
3. The Haserot Angel
The angel that weeps black tears. Located in Cleveland’s Lakeview Cemetery. The original name for this grave marker was called the Angel of Death Victtourious. Marking the grave of entrepreneur Francis Haserot. The angel isn’t actually weeping. Its a combination of the aging bronze that the sculpture is made out of. Its a tourist favorite among visitor to the cemetery. I think its one of the best sculptures the is a unique representation of a religious part of Cleveland.
4. Mason’s Creamery
This Ohio City ice cream shop is one of the best ice cream places in America. Mason’s is often overshadowed by the other ice cream shop in Ohio City, Mitchell’s. This Asian-inspired ice cream parlor offers sweet treats in the summer and transforms into a ramen pop-up shop in the winter. Mason’s also makes its different ice cream flavors daily. This restaurant is also very pet-friendly. It’s the perfect first date spot and is within walking distance of various places in Ohio City.
Donuts & Beer. Brwenuts combines them both. Created by Shelley and John Pippin. They both worked for years in the city of Cleveland. One nigh t Shelley had an idea to make donuts out of craft beer. These donuts are handmade everyday from craft beers. The company offers various house, seasonal, and custom donuts as well as catering. The company also partners with worldwide brand Phoenix Coffee to bring the best coffee and donut experience. This donut shop is a favorite among Cleveland-natives who love unique foods and combinations.
6. Museum Of Divine Statues
A former Catholic church that is filled with statues of figures in Catholicism. The Museum of Divine Statues is located in Lakewood, Ohio. Lou McClung is the man that decided to refurbish all these statues. After he found out that several churches were shutting down, McClung decided to preserve the statues. The museum opened its doors in 2011 out of church from the 1970s. Its home to over 200 different statues from Catholic churches around Ohio.
7. Forest City Shuffleboard
Cleveland’s first shuffleboard arena. Forest City Shuffleboard houses regulation indoor and outdoor courts. You can enjoy a fun time as well as beer, wine and cocktails. You can rent the courts by the hour and anyone and everyone can play! Once a month various food trucks and some of the areas bests chefs come out and offer some of the best food in Cleveland. It only costs $7 an hour to have fun!
One of Cleveland’s most unique and hidden areas in Cleveland! Located in between Cleveland and Cleveland Heights. Coventry is the artsy part of Cleveland, Ohio. With vintage shops, unique restaurants and great atmosphere. During the summer you can enjoy the outdoor movies and during the fall and winter enjoy the various art festivals in the city. My favorite part of Coventry are the various bakeries and small coffee shops. A lot of the architecture in Coventry is also refurbished and redone to create this unique area.
9. B.A. Sweetie’s
Everyone love a sweet treat. B.A. Sweetie’s is a Cleveland delicacy. With three locations across the Cleveland-area. There’s the B.A. Sweetie company located on Brookpark Rd. in Cleveland, Ohio. This location is home to every type of candy known to man. This candy warehouse is sweets lovers dream. You can also enjoy a sweet treat at the Soda Shoppe and play mini golf at the neighboring Golf Land. There are also locations at the West Side Market in Ohio City. And the Sweetie’s company and Soda Shoppe in Orange, Ohio at the new outdoor shopping center Pinecrest. My favorite part of Sweeties is the feeling of being back in my childhood. Especially the soda shoppe, the soda shoppe is transports you back to a feeling of nostalgia.
10. Heinen’s Rotunda
A former bank….The Heinen’s Rotunda is located in the Ameriturst Rotunda. Located next to the Metropolitan 9. After the bank closed in the early 1990s, it was renovated and bought by Jeff and Tom Heinen the owners of the Heinen’s grocery store. Expanding to the downtown Cleveland area, the rotunda is a unique structure. Enjoy a wine tasting or shop at the grocery store. The rotunda has also been featured in films and TV that have been filmed in Cleveland. When going to Heinien’s, my favorite thing to eat is the chocolate chip cookies and pairing that with the various wines.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve embraced that Cleveland is a pretty weird place. At times it can seem like the center of so much happening in the country. Its a place that started trends that were picked up by bigger cities on both the east and west coast. I’m proud to be from a place that is so unique and embraces itself as one-of-a-kind!