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#CMWorld Attendee Level 4: What to See in Cleveland

One of the best things about CMWorld for us CMI staffers is that we actually get to stay downtown all week, just like most of our attendees! Except for the whole working 15 hours a day thing, it means no laundry to fold, no dishes to do, no kids to wrangle to get out the door in the morning! YAY- one of my favorite weeks of the year! I don’t have to travel far, I get to hang with my CMWorld peeps AND I get to explore and enjoy everything Cleveland has to offer as if I’m a tourist.

Over the years, we’ve shared with attendees some of our favorite places to see and favorite things to do while in Cleveland. This year I’ve included some of our favorites as well as some thoughts from our CMWorld community and speakers.

Cleveland Museums & Landmarks

  • West Side Market– For an authentic Cleveland experience take time to stroll through the city’s oldest public market. More than 100 vendors sell fruit, vegetables, meat, baked goods, flowers, fresh spices, nuts, seafood, ethnic cuisine, sausages and meats, among many other delicacies. It’s a short ten-minute drive from downtown.
  • Playhouse Square & “The Chandelier”– Did you know Cleveland is home to the largest performing arts center outside of New York City? If you’re extending your stay, you could get a tour of the theaters, more info at the very least, it’s worth a stroll down Euclid Avenue to check out the tallest outdoor chandelier in the world, hanging high above the street outside Playhouse Square.
  • Cleveland Museum of Art – A world-renowned art museum that’s totally FREE. And its featured exhibit is Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, a must-see if you can score tickets (this exhibit is not free.) It’s about a 20-minute drive from downtown.
  • Cleveland Botanical Garden– Located in the same University Circle area as the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Botanical Garden features 10 acres of beautiful outdoor gardens and an 18,000 square foot glasshouse.
  • Cleveland Natural History Museum– Besides the giant dinosaur skeletons inside, the museum also features real-animals in brand new wildlife center and garden. This is also in University Circle.
  • Great Lakes Science Center– If you’re a science or NASA buff then this is the place for you! Also, on site is the William G. Mather Steamship, a 618-foot historic Great Lakes freighter that offers daily tours. The GLSC is located right next to the Rock Hall.
  • USS COD Submarine Museum– The real-life World War II submarine is open for tours right on the banks of Lake Erie.
  • Women’s Air & Space Museum– Just the down the street from the Rock Hall, the IWASM at Burke Lakefront Airport includes artifacts, photos, artwork and more on the history of women in aviation and space.
  • Cleveland Public Square– If you haven’t had a chance to walk through or take a rest in the greenspace at the newly renovated Public Square, the heart of Downtown Cleveland, it’s worth the walk.
  • Christmas Story House– If you’re a fan of the 1983 cult Christmas classic A Christmas Story, then a tour of Ralphie’s house is a must see! It’s just a short drive away in the Tremont neighborhood.
  • Rock & Roll Hall of Fame– Of course you’ll get to check it out at the opening night reception. But in case that’s not enough time, feel free to head back for a visit!


  • North Coast Harbor– Every year I talk to at least one attendee (usually several) who says they never realized Cleveland was on a Great Lake! If you get a chance, it’s worth walking down to Voinovich Park, right past the Rock Hall. The greenspace offers picturesque views of Downtown Cleveland. You can also find a Cleveland script sign that’s great for a photo-op.
  • Cleveland Mall B & C– If your brain gets overloaded from all the awesome CMWorld sessions, take a breather by heading out of the convention center for a quick walk on the Cleveland Mall. That’s all the green space around and on top of the convention center, offering great views of Lake Erie.
  • East 4th Street– Now one of the hottest spots in Downtown Cleveland, it’s worth taking a stroll down this closed off street in the heart of the city. You’ll find world-class restaurants from some of Cleveland’s most famous chefs, including Michael Symon. You’ll also find entertainment & shopping.
  • Edgewater Beach– If you want to take a break and check out a Lake Erie beach, this is the closest one to Downtown.
  • Cleveland Metroparks– If you’ve got some extra time in town, it’s worth checking out our award-winning park system, which also runs the Cleveland Zoo.
  • Lakewood Park Solstice Steps– Another short drive from downtown but worth checking out! The brand new Solstice Steps offer a truly breathtaking view of Lake Erie.


  • Progressive Field– If you’re a baseball fan, the Indians are in town the week of CMWorld playing against the Kansas City Royals Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday that week, and Tampa Bay the previous Saturday and Sunday if you want to plan an earlier trip to catch a game!
  • Cedar Point– Rollercoaster enthusiasts, this is your chance to take a ride on some of the tallest, fastest coasters in the world! Located in Sandusky, Ohio, it’s about an hour drive from Cleveland.
  • Jack Casino– Gamblers might want to make a stop at Cleveland’s casino located in the historic Tower City right downtown.
  • Hilarities at Pickwick & Frolic– If you come into town a little early and you’re looking for a few laughs, then you may want to catch a comedian at the Pickwick!
  • Goodtime III– Again, If you hit town early and are looking for something unique to do, take a cruise of the Cuyahoga River & the Lake Erie shoreline on Cleveland’s largest sight-seeing vessel.


  • University Circle– This is where you’ll find many of our museums, like the Cleveland Art Museum & Natural History Museum as well as the Botanical Gardens. It’s also home to eclectic restaurants as well as beautiful parks.
  • Little Italy– Not only will you find some of the city’s most authentic Italian food here, but an array of unique boutique shops and galleries.
  • Tremont– Yet another great place to eat at award-winning restaurants and browse boutiques is this popular Cleveland hot spot located a short drive from downtown.
  • Warehouse District– If you don’t feel like venturing out of Downtown Cleveland, then there are plenty of restaurants and bars worth visiting on West 6thStreet, a short walk from the convention center and most hotels.
  • Gordon Square Arts District– This is another eclectic Cleveland neighborhood, that offers great dining and shopping options, as well as art galleries and theaters.
  • Ohio City– Another short drive 10 minute drive from downtown is the home to The West Side Market, the Great Lakes Brewery and many other craft breweries and great restaurants.

Labor Day

If you get in town early, don’t be alarmed by the planes buzzing downtown. The Cleveland National Air Show is in town for the weekend, including Monday, when the US Navy Blue Angels will be putting on a show. You can see the air show from pretty much anywhere downtown, but if you are interested in checking out the planes, it’s just a short walk to Burke Lakefront Airport to get into the show.

We hope you enjoy your time here in Cleveland during CMWorld and we hope you get a chance to explore the city and see why we think it’s such a great place to live and work! If you have any questions about any of these suggestions, please let me know! And if you’re from Cleveland or are a seasoned CMWorld attendee with a suggestion, please add your comments below.  See you in September!

Looking for even more? Dig into the posts our team wrote for CMWorld 2014 highlighting some of their favorite things about Cleveland:

Cathy McPhillips
Pam Kozelka
Joseph Kalinowski
Amanda Subler
Laura Kozak
Angela Vannucci
Joe Pulizzi

There’s still time to attend the largest marketing event on the planet! If you’re ready to invest in your career – and are dying to get to Cleveland after reading this post, join us at Content Marketing World 2018, September 4-7. Code BLOG100 saves $100 off your registration, so sign up today!