Cleveland rocks! Really. The Rust Belt city has had its ups and downs, but it's been on a roll lately. New museums, revitalized entertainment districts, crafty street markets and shops selling beer-infused donuts are popping up – even LeBron James decided it was cool enough to return to.
Any Cleveland visit must start downtown at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to ogle Jimi Hendrix's Stratocaster and John Lennon's Sgt. Pepper suit. Kids go gaga next door at the Great Lakes Science Center. Other top sights cluster around University Circle – the massively expanded Cleveland Museum of Art houses rock star works from Impressionists, Picasso and surrealists, while the shiny new Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) shows edgy and far-out works.
You'll eat and drink well in Tremont's hipster bistros and Ohio City's West Side Market and brewpubs. Little Italy fills plates with pasta and stromboli. The Flats' East Bank has made a comeback with its waterfront restaurants. Gordon Square Arts District offers a fun pocket of theaters and sidewalk cafes.