How To Spend One Weekend in Cleveland, Ohio

Our one weekend in Cleveland was so much fun! I am glad we got to do a lot even though we only had two days. The number one reason we made our way to Ohio was to visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Josiah and I have a goal to visit as many National Parks as possible, and it may be a long shot but we are hoping to see all of them together! 

It was also great to visit the hometown of one of my favorite musicians, Dave Grohl. Also, I had never seen any of the great lakes before so it was a special treat to spend an afternoon on South Bass Island in Lake Erie! 

Whatever your reasons are to visit Cleveland, here are some ideas for a weekend in the Rock and Roll Capital of the World . . .


Thanks to my dad and many older siblings I grew up on rock. I remember taking my dad's many CD's into my room to listen to The Beatles, Tom Petty, and The B52's ("Deadbeat Club" was my favorite). 

Then in college I took a class in History of Rock & Roll and the professor recommended that we all visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I never thought I would actually find my way there but, man, was it cool. 

This place features over 300 contributors to the music we love today: Nirvana, the Rolling Stones, Beastie Boys, Elton John, Buddy Holly! I could go on. I was a little overwhelmed by all there was to see. I wish I could have taken the time to listen to a song by every one of my favorite bands as I looked at their stuff. 

We got to see memorabilia of the best musicians of our time from Chuck Berry to Parliament Funkadelic. The Hall displays David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust outfits, Elvis's motorcycle, Michael Jackson's glove, and so much more!

Also, visitors can vote for whomever they think should be the next Hall of Fame inductees!

Honestly, though, the gift shop was a disappointment. I guess I shouldn't have expected more than mugs and T-shirts with "Rock & Roll Hall of Fame" written all over them. But I wish the souvenirs were more unique to each of the bands. They had some good stuff, but it was mostly generic.  

Still, it was great to walk through and see real life belongings of iconic modern musicians. 


This grilled cheese joint is the brain-child of a Cleveland musician who sought to dress up the common American sandwich. The food is so good that Melt appeared on "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives!" Whatever your tastes are you can find it here. They've got 27 different sandwiches plus burgers, salads, and soups. 

But Melt grilled cheese is not for the faint of heart. Everything was so rich! Delicious, but we didn't expect our sandwiches to be so big! Here's what we ordered:

Lake Erie Monster

Breaded fish filet combined with a sweet slaw, American cheese and jalapeno tartar sauce. I switched out the American cheese for smoked Gouda. The sauce went perfectly with the fried fish. Unfortunately, the fries were just okay, but maybe I would have liked them more if I hadn't discovered my all-time favorite fries just a few days before.  

Hot Italian

It's one of the most popular choices at Melt with honey ham, pepperoni, salami, basil marinara, roasted garlic, banana peppers, provolone & Romano. I only got a bite of this one just because it's not my type of sandwich. It was good, though my favorite was the Big Popper, but I will save that one for last. 

Bushwood Club

This is a great classic sandwich converted into an even better grilled cheese. Messy, though! It's made up if smoked turkey, hickory bacon, rosemary onion aioli, romaine lettuce, sliced tomato, and provolone. 

 Big Popper 

This step up from a Monte Cristo is loaded with jalapeno peppers, cheddar, and cream cheese. It's breaded, deep fried, and topped with powdered sugar then served with a raspberry sauce with bacon added for good measure. So much good all at once!


After lunch we headed to Cuyahoga Valley National Park which is only a 30 minutes drive from downtown Cleveland. We got to the park in the late afternoon on Friday when we mostly had the trails to ourselves. 

This was my favorite part of visiting Ohio because of all the time we spent in nature. Ever since I was a little girl I have craved the outdoors because it makes me feel so free and yet, so grounded.

It was all so pretty especially because it rained as we got there and later a mist rose as we hiked the Ledges trail! You can read more about great things to do in Cuyahoga in my post: 3 Things You Must See in Cuyahoga National Park.


 Late Saturday morning we took a ferry to Put-In Bay. It was a forty dollar ride there and back. It was chilly and windy on top of the boat but enabled us to see the islands of Lake Erie better. We went to the top of Perry's Victory & International Peace Memorial. Since the end of the War of 1812 the US has had continual peace with Canada and Great Britain. The flags of each of these countries flies side-by-side in front of that Memorial and was such a beautiful sight to see. 

The memorial was built 100 years later and stands at a height of 352 feet, about fifty-feet higher than the Statue of Liberty!

We had the opportunity to go to the top and lookout over the island of South Bass. Not far to the north we could see more islands that belong to Canada. Beyond that, there was water as far as the eye can see. Even looking at a map I didn't realize how big Lake Erie was, and it's one of the smaller Great Lakes! It's really no wonder they are nicknamed "the nation's fourth seacoast."

After descending from the memorial we rented bikes and rode them all around the island. There are at least half a dozen bike and golf cart rental shops at Put-In Bay. I had never seen so many golf carts at one time. Even the residents of the island drive them everywhere, and there are very few cars. 

I recommend getting bikes for an afternoon. Golf carts are leased for $17 an hour, but you can get a bike for $10 dollars for the whole day. Plus, with the bikes you can ride just as fast as the carts can go, and you can weave your way through traffic.

The island itself is mostly flat so it makes for easy riding. We zoomed past cute little shops and small vineyards which flourish thanks to the climate created by Lake Erie. We followed the roads along the shore where houses are built right against the water. Between these houses we peeked at sail boats gliding along the coastline. It was a cloudy day in the early fall: a perfect day for riding bikes for a couple hours without getting hot and sweaty. 

At the park near the harbor we saw preparations for a wedding and I thought, "What a gorgeous place to get married!" The village along the park is lined with bars brimming with delicious smells and live music. We stopped in at a shop called Country House where we bought a boat Christmas tree ornament to commemorate our day on the island. The owner was hilarious and her shop was so cute.  

Just before boarding the ferry, we ducked inside Dairy Isle to have ourselves some parmesan and basil fries, funnel cake fries, and smoothies. I had never had funnel cake fries before and they were wonderful! Mmm . . . love that deep fried sweetness. 

What would you like to do most in Cleveland, Ohio?

 Hi! My name is Kait. Follow this link to learn more about me and my blog. 


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