As a born and raised Clevelander, one of my favorite places to visit is The Cleveland Art Museum. Compared to Chicago and New York where admission prices are high, CAM is free to all visitors, with the exceptions of special exhibits.
Visitors enjoy world-class art dating from all eras and areas of the globe. Explore Monet, Renoir and Picasso paintings for free. Discover what medieval armor looked like for free. See what mummified Egyptian bodies look like, for yes once again, free! The museum underwent renovations several years ago and is one of the most renowned art museums in the United States.
âIf searching for more local and contemporary art, visit the Transformer Station, which is a historic Cleveland landmark that now features art exhibits throughout the year. The 1924 building was one of sixteen substations in Cleveland that operated until 1949. In 2011, it became an enlisted Process Creative Studio which evolved to what you see today, which is a minimalist contemporary art museum that features four different art exhibits annually.
Access to the museum is free for visitors and members.
This 285-acre cemetery is wroth visiting not only to explore old tombs, but to also see its public arboretum and manicured landscaping. The cemetery opened in 1869, and some refer this to "Cleveland's Outdoor Museum," due to its magnificent landscaping and decorative tombs.
The most popular site to visit is the James A. Garfield Memorial, which honors the 20th president of the United States and his beloved First Lady, Lucretia Garfield. Approximately 104,000 Clevelanders rest here, including some notables such as industrialist John D. Rockefeller, disc jockey Alan Freed, and Cleveland Mayor Carl B. Stokes, the first African-American mayor of a major American city.
Edgewater Park is a 147-acre waterfront park that is Cleveland's most western park. Rennovations over the last several years has recreated this into a beachside oasis featuring swim beaches alongside the Edgewater Beach house, a dog beach, fishing pier, picnic areas, rentable kayaks and plenty of trails for walkers and bikers. Some visit the park just to get a picture in front the notable Cleveland sculpture signs.
For those who love all things botanical, be sure to visit the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse, which is open 365 days per year. A portion of land was donated to the city by John D Rockefeller, which was part of the plans for the first city garden in 1902. Three years later the gardens and greenhouses were established with over 200 acres of flora and fauna. Speciality gardens include the Betty Ott Talking Garden, Latin American Garden, The Mall, Willott Iris Garden, Japanese Garden and the All-American Selections Garden.
Admission and parking is free. Donations are greatly appreciated.
Most locals don't even know the Cleveland Learning Center and Money Museum exists. Operated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, this museum has a variety of hands-on exhibits including a 23-foot money tree. Visitors can explore how to discover the difference between a real and a counterfeit bill.
For those who love books, art and architecture, visit the Cleveland Public Library's Main Branch. The Main Branch sits in the original 1925 building that underwent renovations in 1999; however, the Cleveland Public Library has been in operation since 1869. This is the one of the nation's largest libraries and features unique collections like 74,000 rare books, the Cleveland Theater Collection and the Mears and Murdock Collection.
The Louis Stokes Wing and the Eastman Reading Garden is worth visiting for those who admire art and quiet spaces. This was once an unkept park space between the branch's two buildings and now operates as an outdoor reaching garden decorated with public art and commemorative paving stones.
âWhat is your favorite free thing to do in Cleveland?