City Sophistication, Small Town Charm In Northeast Ohio

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There might be no space in all of Ohio more elegant than the new, light-filled atrium of the Cleveland Museum of Art.

The museum, founded in 1913, has just completed a stunning eight-year, $320-million expansion and renovation.

And though there is much to love about the entire museum, the atrium — the city’s newest gathering place — tops the list, with its dramatic skylights, marble walls and wood-and-steel accents.

Seeing Cleveland’s cultural grand dame updated with 21st-century style should top any traveler’s to-do list in northeastern Ohio this summer.

But there’s more — much more. From the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to the rolling hills of Amish country, this area of the state offers a diversity of attractions, from city sophistication to simple living.

Here are 10 can’t-miss sites:

Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd., Cleveland (Cuyahoga County)

If you haven’t been here lately, it’s definitely worth a return visit. The expansion — the museum is now one-third larger than it was — allows for the display of art in a more open and inviting atmosphere.

The collection hasn’t changed much: All the favorites, including the Egyptian galleries, the Armor Court and the Impressionist paintings, are still here. But don’t miss Gallery One, the new high-tech, family-friendly space that features playful interactions with top pieces of art.

For more information, call 216-421-7350, 1-888-262-0033 or visit www.clevelandart.org.

Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland (Cuyahoga County)

There are a dozen cool neighborhoods in Cleveland that are worth an afternoon (or more) of exploration. But Tremont, just southwest of downtown, is probably the coolest, with dozens of galleries, shops and terrific restaurants.

This is also where you’ll find the Christmas Story House (3159 W. 11th St.), a small museum devoted to the 1983 movie. Parts of the movie were filmed in the Victorian-era home. (www.tremontwest.org, www.achristmasstoryhouse.com)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., Cleveland (Cuyahoga County)

This is the attraction for which Cleveland is best-known — and with good reason. The hall, open since 1995, draws close to half-a-million music fans every year, who come to see Michael Jackson’s glove and Kurt Cobain’s electric guitar.

New this year: a special exhibit, Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience, which traces the evolution of the music festival, from swing performances in the late 1930s to Woodstock to Live Aid. For more information, visit www.rockhall.com.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Ohio’s only national park has something for everyone: 125 miles of hiking trails; a 20-mile stretch of the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail that’s terrific for biking; plus concerts, train rides, overnight inns and more. New this year: the Canal Exploration Center in Valley View, with interactive exhibits that explain the region's canal-era history.

Perhaps the park’s best feature is its accessibility — 33,000 acres between Cleveland and Akron, in Summit and Cuyahoga counties, easily reached from the Ohio Turnpike, I-77 and Ohio 8. (nps.gov/cuva)

Lake Erie beaches

What’s a summer vacation without some sand in your toes? Two of Lake Erie’s best beaches sit side by side in Lake County, east of Cleveland: mile-long Headlands Beach State Park, the biggest strand in the state, and Fairport Harbor Lakefront Beach Park, with kayaks and paddle boards to rent, plus a popular dog-swim area.

Alas, the two parks, although next to each other, are separated by the Grand River — so you can’t walk from one to the other. Note: During the summer, people should remain alert for potentially harmful algae blooms in Lake Erie. (parks.ohiodnr.gov/headlandsbeach; lakemetroparks.com/select-park/fairport.shtml)

Northeastern Ohio wine country

Just east of the family fun in Lake County, you’ll find a more adult activity in Ashtabula County: wine tasting. The far corner of Northeastern Ohio is the state’s best-known wine region, with two dozen wineries dotting the landscape just south of the Lake Erie shore.

Take a tour, try some samples, have dinner — you can even stay overnight at a winery. And coming in June: Pairings, a new wine-tasting and culinary center in Geneva. (www.ohiowines.org)

Amish country

There’s more to do in Holmes County than shopping and eating. (Although there’s nothing wrong with shopping and eating.) Begin your tour at the Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center in Berlin, which features the Behalt cyclorama, a mural in the round chronicling the centuries-long history of the church. Afterward, take a tour of the countryside, stopping for lunch at an Amish house, a buggy ride, or some browsing at an Amish-owned business.

In the evening, check out the entertainment: Amish Country Theater, 3149 Rt. 39, Walnut Creek, home of the variety shows Buggy Fever and Funny Side Up; or Theater at Carlisle Inn, 4949 Walnut St., Walnut Creek, where The Confession will be playing this summer. (www.visitamishcountry.com)


For small-town charm with big-city sophistication, you can’t beat Wooster, population 26,000 and the Wayne County seat. There are more great restaurants here than you’ll be able to (comfortably) sample in a weekend, a quaint downtown square with numerous shops to browse, several terrific places to stay overnight, plus the Ohio Light Opera, which will launch its 36th season on June 14 with My Fair Lady. (www.mainstreetwooster.org)

Mohican State Park/Mohican River Valley

For stunning natural beauty, Ohio doesn’t offer much better than the Mohican region, which stretches through Ashland and Knox counties. Known as the canoe capital of Ohio, Mohican not only offers great paddling — but also hiking, horseback riding, zip-line riding, mountain biking and more.

The center of the region is 1,100-acre Mohican State Park, with 186 campsites, or, for more creature comforts, a 96-room state park lodge. (parks.ohiodnr.gov/Mohican, www.visitmohican.com)

Pro Football Hall of Fame, 2121 George Halas Dr. N.W., Canton (Stark County)

It’s always football season at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, by completing a $27 million expansion. Included in the new and redesigned space: more interactive exhibits, a new lobby area, a research and preservation center, and an expanded gift shop.

What isn’t new: more than 200 former players immortalized in bronze in the Hall of Fame Gallery, a must-see for any fan of the sport. For more information, visit www.profootballhof.com.


A sampling of popular summertime activities, compiled by Dispatch staff members:



Wildwater Kingdom

Description: The park includes a wet playground, a 100-foot-tall water slide, four inner-tube slides and a 1,100-foot-long lazy river.

Location: 1100 Squires Rd., Aurora (Portage County)

Open: operating hours vary May 24-26 and May 31-June 1, daily June6 through Aug. 17, Aug.23-24, Aug. 30-Sept. 1

Admission: $31.99 for those 3 and older 48 inches or taller in bare feet, or $15.99 for children 3 and older less than 48 inches tall in bare feet and those 62 and older, free for children 2 and younger

Parking: $10

Where to buy tickets/information: at the park and online; 330-562-8303, www.wildwaterfun.com

Pioneer Waterland & Dry Fun Park

Description: The park offers six-story water slides, a lazy inner-tube ride, paddleboats on a natural lake and a sportsland fun area.

Location: 10661 Kile Rd., Chardon (Geauga County)

Open: 10:30 a.m. to 7p.m. weekdays, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekends June 14 through Aug. 24. Call to confirm schedule.

Admission: $19.95, or free for children less than 40 inches tall; go-cart admission, $13.95, includes all dry attractions; Grand Prix Go-Karts: $4 a ride

Parking: $4

Least-busy day: Mondays

Where to buy tickets/information: at the park; 440-285-0909 to confirm operation in the event of inclement weather, www.pioneerwaterland.com



Blossom Music Center

Description: With a pavilion that seats 5,700 and a large lawn area that can seat 13,500 people, the venue allows visitors to picnic, enjoy tunes and stargaze.

Location: 1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls (Summit County)

Performances: May 30 (7:30 p.m.): Jack Johnson, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros; May 31 (7 p.m.): Lady Antebellum, Kip Moore and Kacey Musgraves; June 8 (7 p.m.): Tim McGraw, Cassadee Pope; June 14 (7 p.m.): Zac Brown Band; June 21 (7:30 p.m.): Lionel Richie, CeeLo Green; June 24 (8 p.m.): Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band; June 27 (7 p.m.): Dave Matthews Band; June 29 (7 p.m.): Toby Keith, Colt Ford; July 8 (6:45 p.m.): Journey, Steve Miller Band; July 17 (noon): Vans Warped Tour; July 22 (7:30 p.m.): Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company; July 25 (8 p.m.): James Taylor; Aug. 1 (7 p.m.): Rewind Tour 2014: Rascal Flatts, Sheryl Crow; Aug. 6 (7 p.m.): OneRepublic; Aug. 8 (6 p.m.): Under the Influence of Music Tour with Wiz Khalifa, Tyga; Aug. 12 (7 p.m.): Motley Crue, Alice Cooper; Aug. 20 (7 p.m.): Kings of Leon, Young the Giant; Aug. 21-22 (7 p.m.): Luke Bryan, Lee Brice, Cole Swindell; Aug. 26 (7 p.m.): Kiss, Def Leppard

Parking: included with ticket; premium spots $15 to $35 in advance

Tickets/information: $28.50 to $185 at Ticketmaster outlets (1-800-745-3000) or at www.ticketmaster.com; 330-920-8040, 330-916-6068

Cain Park

Description: The park boasts an intimate outdoor covered theater (Alma) and an outdoor covered amphitheater (Evans).

Location: Between Lee and S. Taylor roads (bordered by Superior Road and Hyde Park Avenue), Cleveland Heights (Cuyahoga County)

Performances: June 12 (8 p.m.): Carolina Chocolate Drops; June 13 (8 p.m.): EH440; June 14 (8 p.m.): Judy Collins; June 19 (8 p.m.): David Francey; June 20 (8 p.m.): Average White Band, the Family Stone; June 22 (7 p.m.): Masters of Fiddle featuring Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy; June 28 (8 p.m.): Black Violin; July 17 (8 p.m.): Dianne Reeves; July 18 (8 p.m.): Nickel Creek; July 19 (8 p.m.): Jim Brickman; July 27 (7 p.m.): Arlo Guthrie; Aug. 7 (7:30 p.m.): Tori Amos; Aug. 8 (8 p.m.): the Ballroom Thieves; Aug. 9 (8 p.m.): Michael Stanley and the Resonators

Parking: area streets and lots

Tickets/information: $15 to $75; 216-371-3000, www.cainpark.com

Canton Blues Festival

Description: The two-day event draws 12,000 to 15,000 people annually.

Location: Downtown Canton (Market Avenue North between 3rd and 4th streets, Stark County)

Performances: June 20 (noon): Blues Jam; (2 p.m.): John Mosey Trio; (4 p.m.): Jeff Poulos Blues Revue; (6 p.m.): Anthony Gomes; (8:30 p.m.): Ana Popovic; June 21 (2 p.m.): Big Fat Dog; (4 p.m.): Long Tall Deb; (6 p.m.): Mississippi Heat; (8:30 p.m.): Shemekia Copeland

Parking: free

Tickets/information: free; one- and two-day VIP passes $45 to $75; 1-800-533-4302, www.cantonbluesfest.com

Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica

Description: The 5,000-seat outdoor amphitheater, formerly Nautica Pavilion, is located along the Cuyahoga River.

Location: 2014 Sycamore St., the Flats, near downtown Cleveland (Cuyahoga County)

Performances: May 19 (7:30 p.m.): Alice in Chains; May 22 (8 p.m.): Primus; May 24 (9:15 p.m.): Joan Jett & the Blackhearts; May 25 (9:15 p.m.): Taking Back Sunday; May 26 (6:15 p.m.): Blackberry Smoke; May 27 (6:30 p.m.): Skrillex; May 29 (8 p.m.): Santana; June 11 (7:30 p.m.): Ray LaMontagne; June 19 (7:30 p.m.): Widespread Panic; June 20 (6:45 p.m.): O.A.R., Phillip Phillips; June 22 (8 p.m.): Arctic Monkeys; June 25 (7:30 p.m.): Fifth Harmony; June 29 (8 p.m.): Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band; July 12 (8 p.m.): Little Big Town; July 18 (8 p.m.): Crosby, Stills & Nash; July 25 (7:30 p.m.): the Fray; July 30 (7:30 p.m.): Panic! At the Disco; Aug. 19 (8 p.m.): Boston

Parking: various lots

Tickets/information: $20 to $135 at Ticketmaster outlets (1-800-745-3000) or www.ticketmaster.com; 440-247-2722, www.livenation.com



Cleveland Museum of Art

Description: The newly expanded museum is known for its extensive collections of pre-Columbian, medieval European, Asian and Indian art.

Location: 11150 East Blvd., Cleveland (Cuyahoga County)

Open: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays

Admission: free; a fee charged for some special exhibits

Parking: free for up to 30 minutes; then $8 to $14

Special exhibits: The Netherlandish Miniature, 1260–1550 — showcasing the development of Netherlandish manuscript painting during the late Middle Ages (through Dec. 7); Van Gogh Repetitions — insights into the art of Vincent van Gogh through a study of his “repetitions” (through May 25); Treasures on Paper from the Collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art — showcasing more than 70 of the museum’s finest prints and drawings (through June 8); Beijing: Contemporary and Imperial: Photographs by Lois Conner, — a visual tour of contemporary China (through June 29); Conservation in Focus: Caravaggio’s Crucifixion of Saint Andrew — visitors can watch the preservation of one of its treasures (June 3 through Sept. 14); Yoga: The Art of Transformation — exploring the history of yoga (June 22 to Sept. 7); Durer’s Women: Images of Devotion and Desire — featuring more than 50 of his works (June 22 through Sept. 28)

Information: 216-421-7350, 1-888-262-0033, www.clevelandart.org

Great Lakes Science Center

Description: The center features hundreds of hands-on exhibits, science shows and educational programs.

Location: 601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland (Cuyahoga County)

Open: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Admission: $14, or $13 for those 60 and older and students with valid ID, $12 for children 2 to 12; additional cost for the OMNIMAX theater, the Steamship William G. Mather

Parking: $7 in attached garage with a validated ticket

Special exhibits: LEGO Travel Adventure — using LEGO building materials, children can let their imaginations go as they create vehicles (May 24 through Sept. 7); Omnimax Theater: Journey to the South Pacific — Narrated by Cate Blanchett, the adventure travels to the tropical islands of West Papua.

Information: 216-694-2000, www.greatscience.com

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Description: The museum honors the players and history of professional football.

Location: 2121 George Halas Dr. N.W., Canton (Stark County)

Open: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, Memorial Day through Labor Day; until 5 p.m. year-round

Admission: $23, or $19 for those 62 and older, $16 for children 6 to 12, free for children 5 and younger

Parking: free

Special exhibits: The “Ernie Barnes” exhibit — featuring the original artwork of Ernie Barnes, who played in the American Football League from 1960-64, known for his painting titled Sugar Shack that was featured on the TV show Good Times.

Information: 330-456-8207, www.profootballhof.com

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Description: The 150,000-square-foot museum features interactive exhibits, costume displays and artifacts.

Location: 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., corner of E. 9th Street and Erieside Avenue, Cleveland (Cuyahoga County)

Open: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, until 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day

Admission: $22, or $17 for age 65 and older and those with military I.D., $13 for children 9 to 12, free for children 8 and younger

Parking: nearby lots, garages and on-street meters

Special exhibits: Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience — utilizing video of the iconic festivals of the past (Newport, Monterey, Woodstock, Wattstax and more), the exhibit will immerse visitors in the rock-festival experience (through Jan. 31)

Information: 216-781-ROCK, 1-800-493-ROLL, www.rockhall.com



Cleveland Indians

Description: An influx of young talent has invigorated a franchise that had fallen from its heights of the 1990s.

Location: Progressive Field, 2401 Ontario St., Cleveland (Cuyahoga County)

Home games: May 18 vs. Athletics; May 19-21 vs. Tigers; May 30-June 1 vs. Rockies; June 2-4 vs. Red Sox; June 16-19 vs. Angels; June 20-22 vs. Tigers; July 4-6 vs. Royals; July 7-10 vs. Yankees; July 11-13 vs. White Sox; July 29-31 vs. Mariners; Aug. 1-3 vs. Rangers; Aug. 4-5 vs. Reds; Aug. 12-13 vs. Diamondbacks; Aug. 15-17 vs. Orioles; Aug. 22-24 vs. Astros; Sept. 1-4 vs. Tigers; Sept. 5-7 vs. White Sox; Sept. 9-11 vs. Twins; Sept. 22-24 vs. Royals; Sept. 26-28 vs. Rays
Admission: $10 to $200, free for children 3 and younger if sitting on an adult’s lap

Parking: nearby lots

Tickets/information: available through Ticketmaster, 1-866-48-TRIBE, team shop locations, at the park or online; 216-420-4200, www.indians.mlb.com

Akron Rubberducks

Description: The Cleveland Indians’ Class AA affiliate is a member of the Eastern League.

Location: Canal Park, 300 S. Main St., Akron (Summit County)

Home games: May 23-26 vs. Reading; May 30-June 1 vs. Harrisburg; June 9-12 vs. Binghamton; June 13-15 vs. Portland; June 23-25 vs. Erie; June 26-29 vs. Harrisburg; July 4-6 vs. Bowie; July 17-20 vs. Erie; July 21-23 vs. Richmond; July 28-30 vs. Bowie; Aug. 5-7 vs. New Britain; Aug. 8-10 vs. New Hampshire; Aug. 19-21 vs. Altoona; Aug. 25-28 vs. Trenton; Aug. 29-Sept. 1 vs. Erie

Admission: $5 to $9, or $8 for senior citizens and children younger than 12; free for children 3 and younger

Parking: nearby lots

Tickets/information: 330-253-5153; 330-253-5151, 1-800-972-3767, www.akronrubberducks.com

Lake County Captains

Description: The minor-league team is a Class A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.

Location: Classic Park, 35300 Vine St., Eastlake (Lake County)

Home games: May 19-21 vs. Fort Wayne; May 25-27 vs. Great Lakes; May 28-30 vs. South Bend; June 4-6 vs. Fort Wayne; June 7-9 vs. Dayton; June 19-22 vs. South Bend; July 1-3 vs. Bowling Green; July 8-10 vs. Lansing; July 11-14 vs. Great Lakes; July 23-25 vs. Wisconsin; July 26-28 vs. Beloit; Aug. 1-3 vs. Bowling Green; Aug. 4-6 vs. West Michigan; Aug. 12-14 vs. Dayton; Aug. 21-23 vs. Fort Wayne; Aug. 30-Sept. 1 vs. Dayton

Admission: advance tickets: $9, or $10 at gate

Parking: advance fee $6, $8 day of game on gold lots at stadium, private lots off Curtis Boulevard

Tickets/information: 440-954-9467; 440-975-8085, www.captainsbaseball.com

Lake Erie Crushers

Description: The Crushers are members of the independent Frontier League.

Location: All Pro Freight Stadium, 2009 Baseball Blvd., Avon (Lorain County)

Home games: May 18 vs. Schaumburg; May 27-29 vs. Traverse City; May 30-June 1 vs. Joliet; June 6-8 vs. Evansville; June 10-12 vs. Normal; June 17-19 vs. Washington; June 24-26 vs. Rockford; June 27-29 vs. Washington; July 4-6 vs. Frontier; July 18-20 vs. Florence; July 21-23 vs. Frontier; July 30-Aug. 1 vs. Windy City; Aug. 9-11 vs. Frontier; Aug. 19-21 vs. Gateway; Aug. 22-24 vs. River City; Sept. 2-4 vs. Southern Illinois

Admission: $6 to $14

Parking: $3 stadium parking

Tickets/information: 440-934-3636 or at stadium ticket office; www.lakeeriecrushers.com

Mahoning Valley Scrappers

Description: A short-season Class A team affiliated with the Cleveland Indians.

Location: Eastwood Field, 111 Eastwood Mall Blvd., Niles (Trumbull County)

Home games: June 17-19 vs. Auburn; June 24-25 vs. Batavia; June 26-29 vs. Jamestown; July 4-6 vs. Batavia; July 7-8 vs. Williamsport; July 16-18 vs. Connecticut; July 19-21 vs. Aberdeen; July 27-29 vs. State College

Admission: $8; $1 Thursday nights

Parking: $3, on-site

Tickets/information: 330-505-0000; www.mvscrappers.com



World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational

Description: The South Course at Firestone Country Club is a meticulously groomed test for some of the best golfers in the world.

Location: Firestone Country Club, 452 E. Warner Rd., Akron (Summit County)

Dates: July 31-Aug. 3

Admission: one-day ticket $40, Wednesday practice round $20 or $25 at gate, daily grounds ticket Thursday through Sunday $35 or $48 at gate

Parking: $5

Tickets/information: available by calling Ticketmaster (1-888-401-8000), or online; 330-644-2299, www.worldgolfchampionships.com/bridgestone-invitational.html



Cleveland Browns

Description: Since returning to the NFL in 1999, the team has been in the playoffs only once.

Location: FirstEnergy Stadium, 100 Alfred Lerner Way, Cleveland (Cuyahoga County)

Preseason home games: Aug. 23 vs. St. Louis Rams; Aug. 28 vs. Chicago Bears

Admission: to be determined

Parking: lots within walking distance of the stadium

Tickets/information: 440-824-3434, through Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000, or online; 440-891-5000, www.clevelandbrowns.com



Northfield Park

Description: One of America’s premier tracks features year-round, live harness racing.

Location: 10705 Northfield Rd., Northfield (Summit County)

Season: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays (post times 6 p.m.) through July 31; Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays Aug. 4 through September; featured racing events: Battle of Lake Erie, July 19; Carl Milstein Memorial, Aug. 15; simulcasting daily

Admission: free admission and parking

Information: 330-467-4101, www.northfieldpark.com



Thistledown Racino

Description: The track offers live thoroughbred racing from May to mid-November as well as simulcast racing.

Location: 21501 Emery Rd., North Randall (Cuyahoga County)

Season: Sundays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (post time 12:55 p.m.) through Nov. 16; simulcasting daily

Admission: free

Parking: free

Information: 216-662-8600, www.thistledown.com



Akron Zoo

Description: The accredited world-conservation zoo boasts 50 acres and more than 700 animals.

Location: 500 Edgewood Ave., Akron (Summit County)

Big attractions: The largest expansion in the history of the Akron Zoo, Grizzly Ridge features grizzly bears, bald eagles, river otters, red wolves, coyotes and a walk-in aviary.

Open: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, through October

Admission: $11, or $9 for those 62 and older, $8 for children 2 to 14, free for children younger than 2

Parking: $2

Information: 330-375-2550, www.akronzoo.org

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Description: The 183-acre zoo has nearly 2,000 animals — many in natural settings.

Location: 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland (Cuyahoga County)

Big attractions: The Circle of Wildlife Carousel and Nature Discovery Ridge play areas are scheduled to open May 30. The new carousel ride will feature 64 hand-carved exotic animals. The Nature Discovery Ridge will feature wild habitats and natural elements, allowing children to explore, climb and connect with nature. Carousel single-ride tickets cost $3, or $2.50 for Cleveland Zoological Society members; all-day ride tickets are $8, or $6 for Zoo Society members.

Open: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and until 7 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, Memorial Day through Labor Day

Admission: $12.25, or $8.25 for children 2 to 11, free for children younger than 2

Parking: free

Information: 216-661-6500, www.clevelandmetroparks/zoo.com