In anticipation for my journalism trip to Cleveland Ohio, I asked my buds what came to mind when they though of the city. The responses I got were: "Bone Thugs” and “LeBron”. Seeing how I know nothing of sports and listen primarily to Britney Spears and the like, I feared that this would be a tour to remember – that is, as one of the most boring trips I had ever taken.
|Feeding Trevor the Giraffe at The Cleveland Zoo!|
*girly-girl, as in someone who likes her bubble gum pop music and pearls, but still has an appetite for adventure.
Must SeeThe Women Who Rock special exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. This exhibit -- on display from now until Feb 26, 2012 -- details the contributions that women musicians have played in rock and roll throughout the years as well as their role in shaping music culture to as we know it today. What was my favorite part? Seeing all the fashions worn by these starlets at their various concerts, media appearances and album covers (included in the mix: Lady Gaga’s infamous and stomach-churning meat dress from the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards!).
Also don’t miss…A tour of Great Lakes Brewery, the 22nd largest craft brewery in the USA. This free to the public tour (reservations are a must though) gives visitors a first-hand look on how Great Lakes beer is made. Of course the best part comes after the tour – sampling all the beer at Great Lakes’ on-site pub! I recommend the Lorelei Dunkel Weizen – its nutty roasted notes and banana undertone is great for the non-manly beer drinker (like myself).
Any of the roller coasters and thrill rides at Cedar Point Amusement Park. One spin on the brand new 300 foot tall WindSeeker swing and my adrenaline was pumping like an 13 year girl going in for her first kiss. Did I mention Cedar Point was ranked the “Best Amusement Park in the World” for 13 consecutive years by Amusement Today? Well now that I did, there's no reason not to check this place out!
Must EatDinner at the Flying Fig (or “The Fig”, as per the locals’ affectionate nickname for the restaurant). Owner and Chef Karen Small’s restaurant is known in the community for being a pioneer in the locally grown movement and features fresh ingredients from farms just a few miles away. The menu varies seasonally (to keep things interesting), but I had the most delicious chicken fried pork belly during my visit. I nearly cried when the succulent and smooth pork belly marred with its crispy breading hit my tongue.
The Flying Fig, 2523 Market Ave, 216-241-4243, www.theflyingfig.com
Also don’t miss…
Happy Hour at the Ritz Carlton 6th Floor Lobby Lounge, home of Cleveland’s only “Rocktails”. Each Rocktail is inspired by a hit song from each year the hotel has been open and range from $10 to $150 (the latter aptly named for the Barenaked Ladies hit “If I Had a Million Dollars”). My favorite for feeling like a rockin’ roller? The REM “Everybody Hurts” blueberry and blackberry mojito, made using real fruit and 10 Cane Rum.
A make-your-own gourmet hot dog and tater tots at Happy Dog. Don’t let the dive bar-esq interior fool you – all these dogs and tots are created by 2010 James Beard Foundation semifinalist Chef Eric Williams. I enjoyed eating my marinated mushroom, kim chee, garlicky escarole, Coca-cola stir fry bok choy, and fried egg tater tots as much as I loved creating it!
Must StayThe InterContiental Hotel Cleveland is an all-suites hotel located right in the heart of the world famous Cleveland Clinic campus (so if you are prone to “injuries” after too many adult beverages with your gal pals, this is the place to be). This wellness focused hotel not only feels like a home away from home (all rooms include living rooms, microwave, refrigerator and wet bar), but also is home to the C2 restaurant, which offers healthy nutritionist-approved cuisine that’s a great body cleanser after a rough night out.
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