Cleveland - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Cleveland


Founded in 1796, Cleveland became an industrial town with the opening of the Erie-Ohio Canal that linked the Ohio River to Lake Erie, and the city's vast iron and coal supplies made it one of the most important steel and shipbuilding centres in the country, a sprawling mass of oil refineries, mills and warehouses along the shores of Lake Erie. Industrial success poured money into the city and wealthy tycoons built the downtown area that today has outgrown its 'steel town' image and is a bustling place, a city of green parklands and lively neighbourhoods with a vibrant atmosphere. Once the heavily-polluted victim of much mockery, its industrial character has moved beyond the city limits and the downtown warehouses and factories now house trendy clubs and restaurants, while museums, and sporting and cultural events attract many visitors to the city.

Located on the southern shore of Lake Erie at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, Cleveland has a growing cultural presence that has been enhanced by newly added attractions such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the enormous Great Lakes Science Center and six-storey OMNIMAX Theatre, and the professional sports arenas and stadiums of the Gateway District that host major sporting events as well as live entertainment. These are welcome additions to a city already boasting a world-class orchestra, a celebrated art museum, lively theatre district and the restored lakefront area. Neighbourhoods buzz with restaurants and shops, and the Flats, once the industrial heart of the city occupying both banks of the Cuyahoga River, is now the booming entertainment and nightlife district of Cleveland. The historic Warehouse District is downtown's oldest commercial quarter and is a national Historic Landmark with over 70 fine examples of Victorian architecture. Once housing merchants' and manufacturers' goods, the old warehouses are now home to music clubs, galleries and trendy dining spots.

Some miles out of the city centre are two theme parks with some of the world's tallest and fastest roller coaster rides at the Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, and the Six Flags Worlds of Adventure in Aurora.

Information & Facts


The weather in Cleveland follows the Midwest seasonal pattern, but is modified quite strongly by Lake Erie which counters the worst of the summer heat waves, and makes for a milder winter season than in other northern cities. Summers are warm and humid, and winters are cold and snowy. Rainfall in Cleveland is moderate and fairly constant through the year.

Getting Around

Cleveland's public transport system is currently being improved with the implementation of the Euclid Corridor Transportation Project that includes seven miles (11km) of bus lanes on arterial streets. This should be operational by the end of 2008. Electric trolley buses serve downtown and buses run to the suburbs. Most sights can be reached on foot or light rail. A car is not necessary downtown, but is more convenient for wider exploration of the city. To hire a car, drivers must be 21 years old (some require a 25-year minimum), and must have a valid driver's license and sometimes an international driving permit as well. A passport is required for non-US residents. Taxis are expensive and usually take a while once summoned.

English is the most common language but Spanish is often spoken in south-western states.

The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

Cedar Point Amusement Park, located in Sandusky Ohio just outside of Cleveland, is a paradise for roller coaster lovers. Named 'Best Amusement Park in the World' many times over, it is the only park to have four roller coasters taller than 200 feet (61m). If those are too much for you, though, there are 13 others to choose from, along with dozens of other rides and attractions for all ages. Cedar Point also boasts and indoor and outdoor waterpark, white sand beach, two marinas, and Challenge Park, which offers go-karts and miniature golf as well as several thrill rides. One of the oldest theme parks in the US, Cedar Point has been operating since 1870.

Located on the lakefront, the glass facade of the Great Lakes Science Center makes it a perfect match to the adjacent glass pyramid-shaped structure of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It is one of the largest science museums in the country with 375 exciting interactive exhibits that explain subjects such as planet earth, meteorology, sports, music, environment and technology through hands-on examples. The new Great Lakes Environment exhibition focuses specifically on the Great Lakes region. It also contains the region's only OMNIMAX Theatre.

Home to the Cleveland Indians baseball team, Progressive Field is a beautiful outdoor stadium in downtown Cleveland. Built in 1994, Progressive Field (formerly known as Jacobs Field) was voted the best major league ballpark by Sports Illustrated in 2008. Catching an Indians game is a great way to spend a warm summer evening in Cleveland, and true fanatics can take a tour of the stadium between May and September.

The term 'rock and roll' was coined by Cleveland DJ Alan Freed in the early 1950s, and it is partly for this reason that Cleveland won the fiercely contested honour of becoming home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei as an 'echo of the energy of rock and roll', the glass and porcelain pyramid-shaped structure is a celebration of the American institution of rock music in honour of those who have had an influential role on modern music. With a permanent collection drawing from the most impressive and iconic rock and roll artefacts and a wide-ranging roster of on-going and temporary exhibits, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is dedicated to exploring the past, present and future of the music. The Museum augments its own massive collection of thousands of artefacts with items on loan from artists and collectors from around the world. It includes exhibits dedicated to the museum's choice of all-time top artists, including Elvis Presley, the Beatles, U2 and the Rolling Stones. As one of the state's top attractions, it gets particularly crowded on weekends and advance booking is required, especially as new artists are being inducted.

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