Home / Travel Guides - Cleveland / From Port City To Cultural Center

From Port City to Cultural Center In 1796 surveyor Moses Cleaveland picked his townsite on Lake Erie. By 1832 the Ohio and Erie Canal was completed, and Cleaveland, the northern terminus, had doubled its population. Over the next 10 years it grew by almost 500 percent. It also acquired a trimmer name when The Cleaveland Gazette and Commercial Register had to drop a letter from its masthead.

During the 1800s Cleveland was an important stop on the Underground Railroad. The city's port provided a route to freedom across the Canadian border for slaves fleeing the South.

With the canal came Cleveland's first wave of immigrants, the backbone of its labor force. The city transformed from a bustling port to a shipping and industrial giant. The Civil War halted the city's progress, but the subsequent demand for iron spurred new growth.

From 1910-20 Cleveland was the country's second largest center for automobile production. Behind this growth were great industrialists like John D. Rockefeller, the world's first billionaire.

The Cleveland Union Terminal complex with its 52-story Terminal Tower was built in the 1920s. Tower City Center, a three-level mall, now fills the former railroad station. Key Tower on Public Square is Ohio's tallest building at 948 feet tall with 57 stories.

The city is headquarters for more than 20 major corporations—including American Greetings Corp. and The Sherwin-Williams Co.—and many smaller companies. Case Western Reserve and Cleveland State universities as well as The Cleveland Clinic, which administers some of the world's most advanced medical treatments, are other intellectual highlights.

Year-round recreation opportunities include more than 23,000 acres of metropolitan parks districts; surrounding rivers, streams and lakes; and nearby Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

For culture, you can't beat University Circle. This neighborhood's large cluster of cultural goodies includes the Cleveland History Center, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the Cleveland Museum of Art as well as the Cleveland Orchestra, which plays at the exquisite historic Severance Hall.

Visit some of Cleveland's neighborhoods. The Historic Warehouse District offers dining and entertainment with a backdrop of 19th-century architecture. Little Italy is a charming area with places to eat, bakeries and art galleries. The Flats East Bank, a riverfront area once known for heavy industry, is now a mixed-use district with office, dining, entertainment and residential space along with a public park and an extensive riverfront boardwalk.

Jacobs Field (now Progressive Field) and the adjacent Gund Arena (now Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse), homes of the Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Cavaliers, opened in 1994. The Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore in the late 1990s but returned in 1999 to play at the new state-of-the-art Cleveland Browns Stadium (now FirstEnergy Stadium), reenergizing the city's dedicated fans.

Last but not least, remember that Cleveland rocks! Rock stars of the past and present are immortalized in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which resides in a modern I.M. Pei-designed building on the shore of Lake Erie.

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Cleveland, OH

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

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Hampton Inn by Hilton Cleveland-Downtown

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4166 SR 306. Willoughby, OH 44094

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DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cleveland Downtown-Lakeside

1111 Lakeside Ave E. Cleveland, OH 44114

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Hyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade

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Travel Information

City Population

396,815

Elevation

865 ft.

Sales Tax

The local sales tax is 8 percent. The city lodging tax is 5.5 percent (less in suburbs).

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(216) 623-5000

Time and Temperature

(216) 931-1212

Hospitals

Cleveland Clinic, (216) 444-2200; St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, (216) 861-6200; University Hospitals Case Medical Center, (216) 844-8447.

Visitor Information

334 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, OH 44114. Phone:(216)875-6680 or (800)321-1001

Air Travel

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

Rental Cars

Hertz, which offers discounts to AAA members, has a counter at the airport and at 3663 Park East Dr., Beachwood; phone (216) 831-3836 (Beachwood), (216) 267-8900 (airport) or (800) 654-3080.

Rail Service

The Amtrak station is at E. Ninth Street and Cleveland Memorial Shoreway; phone (800) 872-7245.

Buses

Greyhound Lines Inc., (800) 231-2222, is at 1465 Chester Ave.

Taxis

Cabs are available at the Public Square taxi stands or they can be ordered by phone. Rates average $2.75 for the first one-eighth mile and 28c for each additional one-eighth mile. The average fee for waiting is $18-$20 an hour. A $1 fuel surcharge also is added to the fare. Companies include Ace Taxi, (216) 361-4700; Americab, (216) 881-1111; and Yellow Cab, (216) 623-1500.

Public Transportation

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) offers bus and train service. Rail service runs from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to the Tower City Rapid Transit Station on Public Square and continues to the Louis Stokes Station at Windermere in East Cleveland as well as from Tower City Center to points in Shaker Heights. The Waterfront Line transports visitors to popular attractions Mon.-Fri. 6:30 a.m.-midnight; weekends and holidays 9 a.m.-midnight.

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