On Euclid Avenue for a Cleveland Weekend

 I visited Public Square, Playhouse Square, and the Ohio City Neighborhood.

Playhouse Square is an area of Cleveland that has numerous theaters.  An outdoor chandelier, which is associated with Playhouse Square, hangs above Euclid Avenue one evening in March 2024.

By Anna Krejci

Living in the greater Cleveland area, my husband and I sometimes seek recreation downtown.  The first weekend in March we had our chance to live it up in the city proper, which has become rather sophisticated on the tourism front.  We saw the theater, restaurants, shopping, and food markets all within a weekend; it was a wonderful time which included a ride on public transit to the Ohio City neighborhood.  I want to share this itinerary we created because we did enjoy the experience a lot this time – and we splurged on our budget. Usually more is paid for hotel rooms downtown.

On a Saturday . . .

Select A Hotel on Euclid Avenue Between Playhouse Square and Public Square

We stayed one overnight at the hotel in The Arcade, one of the most well-known sites in Cleveland.  The Arcade, 401 Euclid Ave., has a lot of history, but it is also beautiful inside.  An arcade in this sense is an indoor mall with a glass ceiling that lets in plenty of natural light.  The Arcade connects Superior Avenue to Euclid Avenue through its entrances on either end, and it is so close to Public Square and the theaters that walking to those places is convenient. For more information, visit https://www.theclevelandarcade.com/.

My husband and I parked the car using the hotel’s valet parking and relied on our walking feet and public transportation to get around.

Eat Lunch on East Fourth Street

East Fourth Street at the intersection of Euclid Avenue has been made into a pedestrian-only route that is bordered by restaurants on either side.  Some started opening at 11 a.m. on Saturday. At night, strings of white lights that span above the street are lit, which I think encourages the nightlife there and creates a street-party atmosphere that you’ll find on warm nights when dining outside.

Take a Tours of Cleveland, LLC Walking Tour

We reserved our spots on a 2-hour walking tour of downtown with Tours of Cleveland, LLC. Our tour on that Saturday began at 1 p.m. Given that March in Cleveland can still be cold, I wore my winter jacket, gloves, and hat.  We were fortunate that on the day we toured, it was overcast but was not raining and the temperature was in the low 50s.  Our tour guide provided a good historical overview of the creation of the city, Cleveland’s industries, its population changes, housing trends, architecture, monuments, and the Cuyahoga River.  We learned about where to find the best views of the city and Lake Erie – Cleveland is situated right on the shore.  Walking tours almost always make one of the best highlights of my trips.  I love the fresh air and being led on an organized walk.  Given my love of hiking in nature, hiking through urban areas also gives me a happiness boost. And the perspective of a tour guide is so interesting. I cannot say enough how much I enjoyed it. We took the Downtown Highlights Walking Tour. For more information, visit the website toursofcleveland.com.

Try German Fare at Hofbräuhaus

Hofbräuhaus, 1550 Chester Avenue, is a German restaurant with a large eating hall.  Long tables fill the space; they are set up in rows.  There is lots of German décor and beverages are served in glasses resembling steins. I tried potato and cheese pierogis with sausage and left with a satisfied stomach.  We made reservations ahead of time on the same day, and we still had to have an early dinner because spots filled up.  Eating there made me more eager to learn about German culture. There was live music, too.  We were able to walk there from our hotel, and we ate there prior to our show in Playhouse Square. Visit https://www.hofbrauhauscleveland.com/ for more information on the restaurant.

See a Show at Playhouse Square

On Saturday evening we saw a live play performed at the Hanna Theatre, 2067 E. 14th Street. We saw “Murder on the Orient Express,” based on the crime fiction novel by Agatha Christie.  It was easy to become immersed in the story, which was portrayed with convincing acting, and had a thought-provoking ending. The story is so famous that I knew the ending but had never seen the entire story told.  Agatha Christie’s books sell well; her work is well-known.  Seating for our Saturday evening performance seemed to have been almost full. This play’s run at Playhouse Square ended this past weekend, but all the shows I have seen in that district I have enjoyed.  Multiple theaters make up the area called Playhouse Square. You can find more information about the district at https://www.playhousesquare.org/ . We were a 15-minute walk away from our hotel room.


On a Sunday . . .

Catch an RTA Train to Ohio City from Tower City Center

This was my first time taking a public transit train in downtown Cleveland, and it was a success.  I am glad I did it. One of my friends who works downtown recommended we take the RTA to Ohio City. We walked from our hotel to Tower City Center, which faces Public Square.  There is a mall in Tower City, as well as the Jack Cleveland Casino, but in the lowest level, you find where the RTA departs and can buy train fares from a machine.  You need to have exact change for the machines.  We bought day passes and took the Red Line to Ohio City.  So, in March 2024, the price for a day pass was $5 per person.  Ohio City is the first stop west of Tower City Center, so we were there within minutes.  The train rumbles along on tracks high above the Cuyahoga River.  Cleveland has a very industrial feel in some parts, a lot of paved areas, and this stretch of train ride showcased this aspect of the city. Visit https://www.riderta.com/ for more information.

Visit the Ohio City Neighborhood

The Ohio City neighborhood is a fun environment.  It is probably still best known for having the West Side Market, 1979 W. 25th Street, where food vendors sell bread, meat, jams, baked goods, cheese, prepared foods and produce; this list of foods is not all-inclusive. Vendors apply to have a booth there and are selected based on their uniqueness.  Architecturally, the building is historic and beautiful; the city of Cleveland owns it.  On Sunday, it opened at 10 a.m.  We liked arriving there in the morning. The West Side Market does have a parking lot adjacent, so you needn’t come by train necessarily.  There is no admission to enter the market, although the vendors charge for the sale of their goods. You might need to pay for parking if you stay beyond a certain time limit. Visit https://westsidemarket.org/ for information.

Ohio City is also interesting in that it has a walkable geography and shows signs of environmental responsibility.  We entered a coffee shop called Edda Coffee Roasters, 2011 W. 25th Street, where we found water for sale packaged in boxes.  This left an impression on me since I believe the world has too much plastic waste in the environment that is not recyclable and does not biodegrade well.  I entered expecting to buy water in a plastic bottle and was pleased to find the water came in what seems to be a more sustainable, and better biodegradable box derived from paper. See Boxed Water Is Better, LLC. For more information visit https://boxedwaterisbetter.com/.

Our lunch stop in Ohio City was Great Lakes Brewing Company, 2516 Market Ave., which is very well-known in the Cleveland area. It has a good pub and offers tours of its business. My spouse and I tried the West Side Market Board, an appetizer that includes meats, cheeses, pickled vegetables, dried fruit, spreads, and crackers.  The crackers on this board were made from “spent grains” and were byproduct of the company’s beer brewing process, and I enjoyed them a lot.  Other items on the board are local foods, and some of the items are also sold at the nearby West Side Market. For information, visit https://www.greatlakesbrewing.com/.


Tower City Center houses Jack Cleveland Casino and a mall and serves as stops for the RTA’s public transit lines.  The building also faces Public Square in downtown Cleveland.

Visiting the West Side Market in the Ohio City neighborhood was a fun experience during the weekend.

Attractions on the To-See List

There are more sites in Cleveland, Ohio than what we could fit into two days, but I absolutely loved our weekend!

If you have a long stretch of available time, I recommend seeing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, https://www.rockhall.com/ or the Great Lakes Science Center, https://greatscience.com/.  Both are situated on the lakefront.  I have been to both in the past, although not recently.  The two museums are landmarks of Cleveland.

I have it on my list to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame coming up soon.