Have you been trying to get your band up and running but are still trying to make your mark in history as one of the greatest? Yes? No? Regardless, you should visit Cleveland, Ohio, to check out some of your favorite rock & roll legends. As someone who grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania I get some confused looks when I tell people I went to Ohio for a weekend. We did all of these five activities in a day so if you are there for a short amount of time as well it is possible!
Ohio is kind of like Bigfoot for us as we have heard of it but haven’t seen it for ourselves, and only a few people in our lives claim it exists. So, I went out to see if this mystic land was real, and I was not disappointed.What I didn’t expect was for Cleveland to make one of my top cities in the United States.
Between the clean and spacious streets to the friendly people Cleveland instantly became one of my favorite United States cities.
Parking was easy too! We found a spot on the side of the road and stayed there until we left the city center.
Unfortunately, Gretel was not with me on this trip but I went with my buddy Eric instead. We grabbed some snacks, gas, snacks that wouldn’t give us gas, and hit the road.
Leaving on a Friday night gave us a full day on Saturday to figure out what to do and where to go, but the first thing we did was to go to our number one location.
#1 ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME
There is just something special about seeing your favorite musicians be in the rock & roll hall of fame, especially the legends like Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and The Father of Rock & Roll Chuck Berry.
There was also a dedication to the early influences of Rock & Roll as well as some of my favorite oldies like Sam Cooke, Dion, and Bobby Darin.
This museum took us a long time to get through, and might have even taken us all day if we read all of the little plaques around the artifacts!
There were four levels with the bottom floor/basement being the largest. It was cool to walk around the different time periods and special exhibits. After a few years I would definitely like to see new exhibits open up as well as possibly catch a band playing live in the museum.
Our next location was to stop and go grab lunch, and where else but to find some restaurants downtown! If you are looking for multiple options then I would recommend checking out East 4th Street which is a smaller pedestrian street where you can easily walk to either side! On the corner of this street is the House of Blues where you can grab some grub and catch a show!
Now for something I think was pretty cool. I heard a lot about arcades in Cleveland so I wanted to go check one out, but it was not what I was expecting at all. Eric and I walked into the The Arcade Cleveland and instead of seeing rows of lights and games we saw this instead:
What is it you may ask? A building that follows the old definition of an arcade, or what we now call a mall. Although none of the shops or restaurants interested us it was such a cool experience being in a building from the 1890’s. It had that old time look and we felt like time travelers as we explored the building.
#3 WEST 25TH STREET
After walking around we were ready to drive to West 25th street to grab a drink and dinner. This is another street that has a lot of breweries and restaurants to explore as well as the West Side Market. Unfortunately, the market was closed when we got there but we ended up finding two seats at the packed bar at the Market Garden Brewery, which had awesome food and awesome beer!
#4 PINBALL ARCADE
After sobering up we took a drive down to get started with our night out by playing some games, what else would two bachelors do? Gretel and I haven’t started talking yet at this time so no worries!
We spent a few hours here needing to try out all of the awesome looking pinball machines.
Being born in the 90’s it was a different experience as most of the arcades I have seen did not have a pinball machine, and if they did there were two or three way in the back and always being used.
Eric and I usually stuck to the ones we were good at one we tried out all of them, and let me tell you the Dungeons & Dragons one was difficult!
You could tell some were a lot older than others but they were just as fun as some of the “newer” ones!
If you want to check out the Superelectric Pinball Parlor it is a bit of a drive from center city but well worth it!
The flashing lights and increasing point score can definitely get someone hooked at the possibility that you could beat your score with the very next ball!
#5 16-BIT BAR ARCADE
For those of you from Philly you know about a bar that has an old school arcade in it, but let me introduce you to this awesome place. Not only is there an outside and inside drinking area (as well as playing N64 games outside), but as long as you purchase one drink all of the games are free to play! Technically, this place is in the suburb of Cleveland called Lakewood, but it was a close enough drive and well worth it!
No more carrying around tokens or fumbling with quarters from your pocket, if you have a drink then you are good to go!
Unfortunately, if you are under 21 they may not let you inside as we were carded at the door, but it is well worth the experience for those of legal age.
It was very crowded but when there wasn’t games to play there were people to talk with!
We both ordered a drink called “The Game Changer” which may get you tipsy with one drink as there are different types of liquor poured inside the cup that you get to keep!
Check out the website and you will not be disappointed in making this one of your stopping points.
If I ever make it back to Cleveland I would definitely want to revisit all of these places with Gretel, and hopefully you can make it here as well!
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