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Summer in Cleveland

Make the most out of your summer in Cleveland

Written by Emma Smallwood

It’s the time of the year that all Clevelanders look forward to — the snowy skies clear, the ferocious winds become a soft spring breeze and we see the sun again for the first time in months. With classes ending and the outdoors becoming bearable again, Cleveland residents may be wondering how to spend the bright, sunny summer months before school and fall settle in again. Look no further: we have compiled a list of some of the best summer activities in Cleveland.

Edgewater Beach Park (FREE)

One of the crowning jewels of Cleveland summers, Edgewater Beach Park, is full of fun activities for the summer. Whether you want to just lounge on the beach with a good book, have a picnic on the grassy area overlooking the lake or wade through the waters with a gorgeous view of the skyline, Edgewater is a great place to spend a summer day. Edgewater Beach Park has an upper and lower section with walking paths connecting the two. The upper level of the park has spectacular panoramic views of the skyline, and the entire park is one of the best spots in Cleveland to watch the sunset over the lake. A portion of the beach is dog-friendly, so you can look forward to seeing a few furry friends as well.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo ($18)

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a great, family-friendly Cleveland spot to spend a summer day. A ticket to the zoo is $18, but on Mondays, the zoo is free for residents of Cuyahoga County or Hinckley County — as long as you bring along a driver’s license, state ID or current utility bill. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is known for housing one of the largest and most comprehensive collection of primates in the United States and for its fantastic rainforest. The hands-on, educational activities at the zoo are sure to keep visitors engaged for hours. The zoo is about a four to five mile walk in total, making it a great way to get some outdoor exercise. One of the most exciting zoo events over the summer is the Asian Lantern Festival, which will take place from July 6 to Sept. 4 this year.

Enjoy One of Cleveland's Fantastic Restaurants (PRICES RANGING)

Cleveland has been at the top of the food games for years, and summer is one of the best times to experience the culinary expertise of the city. Many of Cleveland’s finest restaurants open their patios during the summer months, offering a chance to enjoy some fantastic food paired with fantastic views. East Fourth Street comes alive during the summer, offering a fun and electric atmosphere. The patios at Collision Bend Brewing Company and Alley Cat Oyster Bar in The Flats offer gorgeous views of Lake Erie and the skyline, along with great food. There are countless other outdoor patios to enhance the dining experience across the Cleveland neighborhoods in the summer

Outdoor Music (PRICES RANGING)

What is more quintessentially summer than enjoying the warm breezes while listening to some beautiful music? Cleveland certainly has us covered on the outdoor music front. There are plenty of free options when it comes to outdoor music — some of the best include the Simple Summer Nights Concert Series in Chagrin Falls, Square Sounds at Public Square and the Sounds of Summer Concert Series at Cleveland Metroparks. My personal favorite free option is Wade Oval Wednesday, or WOW. This free event hosts a different band every Wednesday at Wade Oval,with food trucks and summer activities to enjoy while listening to fantastic tunes. If you’re willing to spend some money, Jacobs Pavilion in The Flats and Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls host incredible outdoor concerts. With a large variety of artists performing at these venues, you’re always sure to find someone you love playing in the summer months.

Get Outdoors (FREE)

Last, but certainly not least on our list, involves the beautiful nature and scenery of Cleveland that we only get to make the most out of a few times a year. Cleveland’s natural environment is not celebrated nearly as much as it should, especially over the lovely summer months. If you want to get outside this summer, one of the best options is to visit the Cleveland Metroparks. There are 18 reservations located across Cuyahoga and Hinckley Townships, with events including workshops and classes, archery and outdoor movies on the roster to keep you busy all summer long. Along with the scenic Metroparks, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is within a 25-minute drive of Downtown. CVNP is ripe with gorgeous scenery, amazing hiking trails, and historic routes to follow to experience a full immersion in nature, only a half hour away from the concrete city of Cleveland. If you wanted to stick closer to the city, Cleveland’s bike path stretches 18 miles from Euclid to Lakewood. This path stays along Lake Erie, providing breathtaking views of both the lake and the skyline.

As we finish finals and finally shed our sweaters and winter coats, make the most out of the nicest months that Cleveland has to offer. From music to restaurants to the great outdoors, Cleveland truly comes alive during the summer. Use this list to help explore the beauties and fun of Cleveland summers, and enjoy the summer breeze before classes and fall arrive at our doorstep once more.

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