Last week the Brightspark office was lucky enough to be hosted by the city of Cleveland to show us what they have to offer for our student groups. We were totally impressed. Personally, the only things I connected with Cleveland were: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, LeBron James, and the Drew Carey Show. I have definitely come back from this trip with a different perspective on this Great Lakes city.
Here are a few highlights of our trip:
The people of Cleveland are incredibly welcoming to groups coming in. They even have a club who's entire purpose is to show up when tour groups arrive with colourful signs and t-shirts to let you know how happy they are you came.
University Circle - This east side neighbourhood is America's densest concentration of cultural attractions and performing arts venues. Here you'll find:
- Severance Hall - a beautiful building constructed in the 1920's that is home to the world renowned Cleveland Orchestra.
- Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland or MOCA - a free museum housing not only beautiful works of art but new and innovative ways to experience the pieces.
- Cleveland Museum of Natural History - The final home of the heroic Balto the dog.
- Cleveland Historical Society - This museum was built as an attachment to two 19th century mansions which groups can tour. Also housed here is an extensive classic car collection - including a Delorean - and a working 19th century carousel.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - This is the biggest draw for tourism in Cleveland and for good reason. The museum archives and exhibits the entire history of Rock and Roll and its influences. For music groups I can't imagine a better playground. They also have a beautiful rock stage set up in the lobby for visiting tour groups to perform for the public.
Night Town - This restaurant and performance space has been operating since the 1960's. Not only do they boast delicious cuisine but, if you're lucky, a visiting artist like John Legend or Stevie Wonder may stop by and play an impromptu set.
Playhouse Square - Cleveland's theater district has 10 theaters in one small area, most built in the 1920's.They have everything from regional performances to touring Broadway shows. The best part is students tickets are available for a very low price and can get you a seat anywhere in the house- not just the nosebleed section. In this area of the city you will also encounter the worlds largest outdoor chandelier.
West side Market - for group lunches this is a great spot to hit.
With casual cuisine from all over the world there is something for everyone. If you're looking to eat something famous stop by Steve's Gyro's which has been featured multiple times on The Food Network. For desert or a snack for the road it doesn't get much better than specialty popcorn which you can find at Campbell's Popcorn Shop.
If I wrote about all the amazing things we experienced in Cleveland this blog post would quickly turn into a novel. I will finish by repeating that Cleveland is an amazing student tour destination. The drive is short so you won't waste a day getting there, the people of Cleveland love visitors and go out of their way to be accommodating, and there is so much to see and do within a small area that itineraries can be packed with fun. Basically, to quote The Drew Carey Show: "Cleveland, Rocks!"
So talk to your Brightspark Sales Rep about creating a unique, educational and fun student trip to Cleavland.