20 Famous Cleveland Landmarks That You Have to See

8 min read
A city skyline with greenery in front of it under a blue sky with clouds
Cleveland is an exciting destination with many landmarks to see

Found on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland is a must-see city in the United States. Cleveland features numerous attractions, with something to do here for all types of travelers.

There are also an array of amazing neighborhoods to explore in Cleveland, from bustling and trendy Ohio City to charming Little Italy. Best of all, you can find a multitude of famous Cleveland landmarks to see. These include museums, parks, libraries, and multiple National Historic Landmarks.

If you're planning an exciting visit to this Ohio city, read on to discover 20 Cleveland landmarks you have to see!

  • 20 Cleveland landmarks

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20 Famous Landmarks in Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland Landmarks Map

A map of Cleveland landmarks. Use the map to explore all of the points of interest.

A bridge over a river with a reflection in the water and trees surrounding
One of the East Coast's best parks, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, is near Cleveland

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Ohio is home to one of the best parks on the East Coast, Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The park is conveniently located two hours from Columbus and is a great place to visit for those that love hiking and being in nature.

One of the must-see natural features in Cuyahoga Valley National Park is Brandywine Falls. The spectacular 65-foot falls can be reached by following a range of trails that take you through scenic forests.

Cleveland Botanical Garden

If you’re looking for a relaxing way to unwind, wandering around the pretty Cleveland Botanical Garden is recommended. This spectacular 10-acre collection of gardens features both indoor and outdoor displays.

Plants and flowers to see come from across the globe, with flora from locations including Costa Rica, Japan, and Madagascar on display. If traveling with kids, there’s also a fun children’s garden to explore.

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A stone church with a tower and other buildings surrounding it
Old Stone Church is one of Cleveland's oldest buildings

Old Stone Church

Another of the historic Cleveland buildings that you can’t miss is the Old Stone Church. Constructed in 1855, the church is built in a Romanesque style and is the oldest building in Cleveland’s Public Square.

If interested in visiting, you can explore alone or take a guided tour. On a tour, you’ll learn more about the construction of the structure and the church’s history. You can also participate in mass here with service times posted on the church website.

Cleveland Grays Armory Museum

Cleveland Grays Armory was constructed in 1894 by Cleveland Grays military company. Today, the Romanesque-style armory is the oldest building in downtown Cleveland and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

If interested in visiting, the armory now houses a museum. Exhibits to discover here cover the background of the building, its uses, and Cleveland military history.

A white and glass museum building with grass in front of it under blue sky
A fun educational landmark in Cleveland is the Great Lakes Science Center

Great Lakes Science Center

One of the great Cleveland points of interest for families to visit is the Great Lakes Science Center. This educational attraction features various science, math, and engineering exhibits

Just some of the fun topics covered include space travel, recycling, and biomedical technology. There’s also a unique dome theater where you can watch informative movies on a six-story high screen.

Cleveland Cultural Gardens

Another of the points of interest in Cleveland, Ohio, which also features stunning floral displays, is Cleveland Cultural Gardens. This attraction, that’s on the National Register of Historic Places, is located in Rockefeller Park and has been in the city since 1916.

Cleveland Cultural Gardens features 33 different themed gardens which are intended to represent different ethnic groups that have contributed to Cleveland’s development.

Gardens to see include Russian, Chinese, and Colombian gardens. Exploring each of the unique and beautifully cultivated gardens is a fun and laid-back activity to enjoy in Cleveland.

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Two caskets, one covered in a US flag, in a stone room with iron gates
Lake View Cemetery is the location of James A. Garfield's tomb and memorial

Lake View Cemetery

Lake View Cemetery is a cemetery that serves Cuyahoga County and runs along Euclid Avenue. It’s technically located in three areas: Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, and East Cleveland.

The cemetery opened in 1869 and covers 285 acres. An extremely notable feature here is the tomb and memorial of president James A. Garfield. You can view the president's final resting place here along with memorial statues and monuments dedicated to Garfield.

Cleveland Public Library

Founded in 1869, the Cleveland Public Library system includes 27 branches throughout the city. The most notable is the Main Library, located in downtown Cleveland.

At the library, you can admire the architecture and explore the endless shelves of books, featuring classics, non-fiction, and more. You’ll also discover special collections that feature rare publications.

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An urban square with trees and a tower and statue in the background
Cleveland Public Square was developed in the late 1700s

Cleveland Public Square

Cleveland Public Square is one of the great outdoor historical sites in Cleveland, Ohio. The square was developed between 1857 and 1861, but the original plans were drawn out as early as 1796.

Today, Cleveland Public Square is a much-loved venue featuring green space and other attractions. Some of the many things to do here include walking around scenic gardens, jogging, sharing a picnic, or taking your kids to the splash pad. In the winter, there’s also a fun ice-skating rink to enjoy.

Christmas Story House and Museum

The Christmas Story House and Museum is one of the renowned places to visit in Ohio. This 19th-century Victorian home was featured in A Christmas Story as Ralphie Parker’s home.

When in the city, you can visit the house which has been restored to as it was in the 1983 movie. Across the street from the house is a fascinating museum. This attraction features exhibits with props and memorabilia from the film, plus lots of other interesting displays.

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A street at night with a neon sign saying "Playhouse Square" and a chandelier
Catching a show at Playhouse Square is highly recommended

Playhouse Square

Playhouse Square is a Broadway theater that has been in Cleveland since 1921. This attraction is the largest performing arts center in the US found outside of New York City.

Shows to watch here include musicals, comedy performances, and dance acts. Playhouse Square is a Cleveland landmark that must be visited while in the city!

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Kids and adults alike will enjoy a visit to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The conservation-based zoo is notable as it has the largest primate population in the United States.

Along with seeing various primates, you can spot koalas, lions, seals, and many other species. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo also hosts education seminars and fun events, such as informative tours and “keeper for the day” experiences.

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A glass pyramid building with a red "Long Live Rock" sign in front of it
Music-lovers will enjoy visiting the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Located on the shores of Lake Erie, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is one of the most famous landmarks in Ohio. The 150,000 square foot museum covers everything rock and roll and is an absolute must-visit for music enthusiasts.

Exhibits to discover cover the history of Rock & Roll, iconic musicians in the genre, and much more. There’s also a theater that shows music-themed films, and you can find an array of events happening throughout the year.

Cleveland Orchestra Building

Severance Hall, also known as the Cleveland Orchestra Building or Severance Music Center, is a stunning venue that notably serves as the home of the Cleveland Orchestra. This building was opened in 1931 and is another Cleveland structure on the National Register of Historic Places.

While in Cleveland, you can tour the building and spend an evening watching the orchestra perform. Along with taking in the incredible show, you’ll get to admire the building’s breathtaking architecture.

One of many famous Cleveland landmarks is the Cleveland Art Museum
The Cleveland Art Museum is one of many famous Cleveland landmarks

Cleveland Museum of Art

One of the famous places in Cleveland that arts and culture lovers will be excited to visit is the Cleveland Museum of Art. Founded in 1913, the gallery houses over 60,000 pieces of art, including pieces created up to 6,000 years ago!

Displays include works by international as well as American artists, with some pieces dating back to ancient Egypt and other ancient periods.

If this attraction appeals to you, be sure to check the Cleveland Museum of Art events calendar too, as the museum hosts many interesting and educational talks, presentations, and experiences.

Fenn Tower at Cleveland State University

Fenn Tower is found just off of Prospect Avenue on the Cleveland State University campus. The historic structure was built in 1930 and today acts as a university residence.

When in the city, stopping by the campus to see the building is highly recommended. However, do note that it’s unlikely you'll be able to see inside.

Greater Cleveland Aquarium

Opened in 2012, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium is one of the more modern attractions in the city. However, it’s housed in the FirstEnergy Powerhouse that was constructed in the 1880s.

A trip to the aquarium is ideal for those traveling with kids or those interested in marine life. Sea life animals you can see here include sharks, octopi, and lots of tropical fish.

A tower building with other buildings next to it and a path and greenery in front
Terminal Tower is an iconic Cleveland structure with an incredible observation deck

Terminal Tower

Terminal Tower is arguably one of the most well-known Cleveland monuments. The 235-meter high tower features 52 floors and has sat on the city skyline since 1930.

Today, the building houses luxury apartments and an observation deck on the 42nd floor. From the deck, you can enjoy 360-degree views of downtown Cleveland, with the ability to see 30 miles away on a clear day.

Western Reserve Historical Society

Located on East Boulevard, the Western Reserve Historical Society is an informative museum with exhibits on Cleveland culture and history. Topics to learn about include sports, industrial, and social history of the area.

As you explore each exhibit, you’ll also discover an array of local artifacts, some of which are over 100 hundred years old. Having looked around the museum, be sure to visit the pretty on-site gardens.

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An old-fashioned style mall with balconies and a US flag hanging
A fun place to shop in Cleveland us at the historical Old Arcade

The Old Arcade

Downtown Cleveland’s Arcade, also known as the Old Arcade, is a late 1800s Victorian-style building. Even in the 19th century, the building acted as a shopping mall. In fact, the Old Arcade is thought to be one of the first indoor malls in the US.

If you visit the arcade to shop, you’ll discover various stores to explore. These include independent shops and quaint cafes. Of course, you can also appreciate the stunning architecture while inside.

In Summary

One of the must-visit city destinations in the United States is Cleveland. This charming city has something for everyone, including outdoor spaces, fun attractions, and historical landmarks.

After reading this list, you should have a good idea of what the best Cleveland, Ohio, points of interest are. By seeing even a handful of these sights, you're sure to have a memorable vacation!

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Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell WRITER Currently based in Canada, I've also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and travelled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. I love finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever I go!


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