In the Cleveland Area

World-famous attractions like the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Orchestra, Playhouse Square, University Circle museums and Cleveland Metroparks Emerald Necklace get most of the attention in Cleveland, but they’re just the beginning. Every community is full of hidden—and not-so-hidden—gems. No matter where you find yourself, you’ll find things you love to do.

HIDDEN GEMS: Cleveland AreaAkron Area

ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS: Cleveland, Suburbs West, Suburbs East, Suburbs South



Gardenview Horticultural Park (Strongsville / Southern Suburb)
This sixteen-acre plot of land tucked away behind a stone wall along a busy thoroughfare is an oasis of natural beauty. The sign on the wall reads “Acres of English Cottage Gardens, Open to the Public,” and that’s what visitors will find here, in what used to be swampy farmland. Henry A. Ross purchased the land in 1949 and spent the rest of his life transforming the weeds and brambles into a vibrant, colorful landscape. It became a public park in 1961, featuring six acres of rare plantings and a ten-acre arboretum with over 2,000 trees. Gardenview is free and open to the public, April through October. (16711 Pearl Road, Strongsville 44136; 440.238.6653; gardenviewhp.org)

Lakeview Cemetery

Lake View Cemetery (Cleveland / East Side)
This historic landmark and final resting place of such notables as President James A. Garfield, business mogul John D. Rockefeller, the Untouchables’ Eliot Ness, inventor Garrett Morgan, philanthropist and opera singer Zelma George and comic book artist Harvey Pekar is more than just a beautiful burial ground. It’s a meandering network of landscaped walking paths, botanical gardens, architecturally significant monuments and interesting headstones. Nature lovers, history buffs, dog walkers and joggers take advantage of the peaceful grounds, which are free and open to the public daily all year round. The cemetery also offers educational programs, tours and trolley rides. (12316 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland 44106; 216.421.2665; lakeviewcemetery.com)

Museum of American Porcelain Art
Photo: Courtesy of Museum of American Porcelain Art

Museum of American Porcelain Art (South Euclid / Eastern Suburb)
This new museum, just opened in 2019, is considered to be the first of its kind, housing the world’s most extensive collection of American porcelain artists’ works. Exhibits showcase pieces with historical significance, such as works presented to or by US Presidents, Popes or foreign royalty. The museum occupies the 26-room Telling Mansion, noteworthy in its own right. Built in 1928, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated Ohio Landmark. (4645 Mayfield Road, South Euclid 44121; 216.223.7024; americanporcelainart.org)

The Museum of Divine Stautes (Lakewood / Western Suburb)
Since 2011, restoration artist Lou McClung has been rescuing and restoring religious statues and displaying them, along with other sacred artifacts, at this reflective and reverential museum inside a former church. Many of the statues come from parishes recently decommissioned by the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, helping to preserve the history of local churches and traditional Catholic art. (12905 Madison Avenue, Lakewood 44107; 216.712.7094;

Soldiers and Sailors Monument
Photo: Ascherman

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument (Downtown Cleveland)
Built in 1894, the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument is the focal point of Public Square, commemorating the American Civil War and the role Northeast Ohioans played in it. You can’t miss the 125-foot-high statue, which features the Goddess of Freedom defended by the Shield of Liberty, and the four battle scenes depicted in bronze around its base. But the Memorial Room inside the monument is just as impressive. Here you can view four bronze relief sculptures and 30 marble tablets listing the names of over 9,000 Cuyahoga County residents who fought in the war. You can also learn about the Women's Soldiers' and Sailors' Aid Society, the beginning of the war in Ohio, the emancipation of the slaves and the architect who sculpted the monument. (3 Public Square, Cleveland 44114; 216.621.3710; soldiersandsailors.com)

Photo: U.S.S. Cod Submarine Memorial

U.S.S. Cod Submarine Memorial (Downtown Cleveland)
This World War II-era submarine, docked at North Coast Harbor next to Burke Lakefront Airport, offers visitors a unique opportunity to “go below” on a self-guided tour, April through October. That includes entering and exiting through the original hatchways, climbing up and down ladders and experiencing the entire vessel as it existed when survival depended on silence, deep-water and well-aimed torpedoes. (1201 N. Marginal Road, Cleveland 44114; 440.832.9722; usscod.org)