Destination: Cleveland - Content Marketing World 2014


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What is better, when visiting a new town, than locals giving you information on the best places to visit? We're not talking tourist traps or obvious places - we're talking local finds, the best eats, real honest to goodness experiences that leave you feeling "WOW - that was amazing." While certainly biased, our Cleveland-based CMI team loves Cleveland and all it has to offer. Take advantage of some of our favorites on your trip to Cleveland for Content Marketing World in September 2014. (And there is still time to register at

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Destination: Cleveland - Content Marketing World 2014

  1. ClevelandThousands will join us in September for Content Marketing World, and we see it as our duty to introduce you to our beautiful city … our Cleveland. DESTINATION:
  2. ClevelandDESTINATION: One of the best ways to see Cleveland is by water. The Goodtime III is the self-proclaimed largest quadruple-deck 1,000-passenger luxury ship on the Great Lakes. It’s a great way to enjoy the lake and also see Cleveland from a different perspective. The Goodtime III gives you a tour along the Cleveland shoreline as well as the Cuyahoga River. The sight-seeing ship offers narrated lake tours as well as dance, dinner and Friday rush hour cruises. You board at the marina behind the Rock Hall. They have a limited schedule starting in September, running mostly on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you come in town early or stay late, you can check it out here. If a cruise isn’t possible, at least try to take a walk down to the lakefront. There are good spots to see Lake Erie at Voinovich Park behind the Rock Hall. You can also stroll along a walkway that goes behind the Rock Hall, Great Lakes Science Center and right next to the giant William G. Mather Steamship Museum. #CMWorld Goodtime III Submitted by Amanda Subler
  3. ClevelandDESTINATION: PlayhouseSquare & “The Chandelier” Submitted by Amanda Subler You may not know this but Cleveland is home to the largest performing arts center outside of New York City. Yep, you read that correctly. PlayhouseSquare consists of nine different theaters that host a variety of programs including Broadway shows, concerts, dance, plays, comedy, opera, speakers, family shows and much more. Unless you are coming in early or staying late, you likely won’t get the chance to catch a performance. They do offer a “Take a Hike” tour on Tuesday, September 9th. It’s a 90-minute guided tour of the PlayhouseSquare District that even features actors portraying historic Clevelanders from that neighborhood. You can find more info here. While you may not be able to take in a show, I strongly suggest you at least take a walk down to PlayhouseSquare on Euclid Avenue to see the “GE Chandelier.” This past May, the district flipped the switch on the giant, dazzling, outdoor chandelier. The 20-foot tall fixture was even officially named the tallest outdoor chandelier in the world by the Guinness World Book of Records. The 6,000-pound light is made up of 4,200 crystals and dangles 24 feet above Euclid Avenue. When it’s all lit up at night, it’s truly a sight to see! #CMWorld A JOE PULIZZI FAVORITE!
  4. ClevelandDESTINATION: Cleveland Museum of Art Submitted by Amanda Subler In January 2013, The Cleveland Museum of Art completed a $350 million renovation that included the opening of the groundbreaking “Gallery One.” The interactive gallery is so innovative, that representatives from museums around the world have come calling, wondering how Cleveland was able to pull it off. I can not say enough of this truly interactive, one-of-a- kind museum experience. Gallery One consists of ten interactives, but the most impressive is the Collection Wall, the largest multi-touch screen in the U.S. It’s 40 feet long and features more than 4,000 works of art from the museum. It’s like your little tablet or smartphone on steroids. I can’t even explain to you how crazy-cool this thing is, you just have to experience it. You can touch a picture and get detailed information on any piece of artwork in the collection. It updates every ten minutes and you can see how many people have “favorited” the item on the wall or museum app. Speaking of the app, the museum’s ArtLens app lets you truly customize your trip. You can bring your own tablet or rent an iPad at the museum. The interactive feature lets you scan pieces of artwork and find a plethora of information on it. You can also either create your own tour of the museum or choose from a museum-created or other visitor-created tours. The museum is free, but you will need to take a bus or cab to get there. It’s located in University Circle- where many of our other museums are located. The art museum is open late until 9pm on Wednesday, September 10th. There is also a great restaurant and cafe inside. (The museum is closed on Mondays!) #CMWorld A JOE PULIZZI FAVORITE!
  5. ClevelandDESTINATION: One of the great things I love about Cleveland is its ethnic diversity. Growing up in small town Ohio I never had many opportunities to be exposed to other cultures. We were a “meat and potatoes” kind of family. So when I met my husband, who is Lebanese, I was exposed to a whole new world of food. Some of my favorite dishes now are Lebanese: hummus, tabouli, kibbie, fattoush, fatayer, and so much more. We have some great Lebanese restaurants here in Cleveland. If you get a chance, check out Aladdin’s Bakery on Carnegie Avenue (just off E.9th, down from Progressive Field). You can grab a pita pie, stuffed pita sandwich, grape leaves, kibbie, fattoush and more. They also sell excellent fresh pita bread (the big ones!) and you could take an 8 oz container of hummus or tabouli to go. It’s all very inexpensive as well. #CMWorld Aladdin’s Baking Company Submitted by Amanda Subler
  6. ClevelandDESTINATION: Big Fun Toys is another spot that I frequent to go and get a little pop-culture infusion. Big Fun carries toys, games, and pop-culture novelties that date back from the 40s all the way up to present day. Being an avid Star Wars fan they have all of the toys that I had when I was a child and subsequently blew up with firecrackers or shot with a BB gun. Looking at some of the prices of those retro toys, I regret my youthful foolishness. I love going in and reliving my past… and every now and again making a purchase to reclaim a piece of my childhood memories. The shop is for kids ages 1-100+ and you just can’t beat the epic Star Wars, GI Joe or He-Man battle scenes they build in their storefront window! #CMWorld Big Fun Toy Store Submitted by Joseph Kalinowski
  7. ClevelandDESTINATION: One of the coolest places that I visit weekly is Carol and John’s Comic Book Shop located in the Kamm’s Corners area of Cleveland’s West Park suburb. Carol and John’s has been in business for over 20 years and they supply the neighborhood (and beyond) with the coolest comics, graphic novels, magazines, action figures and pretty much anything else superhero related. Each May they hold a three-day event built around National Free Comic Book Day. During this time they focus on local artists, aspiring writers, local breweries, and anyone else with the love and passion for creativity and imagination. #CMWorld Carol and John’s Comic Book Shop Submitted by Joseph Kalinowski
  8. ClevelandDESTINATION: I am a huge fan of tattoos. I have a bit of an “ink addiction.” I promised my wife 15 years ago that I was only going to get one (in addition to the Pearl Jam logo from 1994… gimme a break, I was an art major in college). Well, that one has multiplied and for the past several years I have visited one shop – Voodoo Monkey. Voodoo Monkey Tattoos is located on the near west side of Cleveland, just down the street from the historical West Side Market that Cathy referenced in her recent post. There are a few reasons I love and prefer Voodoo Monkey beyond other tattoo parlors: One, they do not do piercings. They are dedicated to the art of tattooing. They do not have “flash art” on their walls–meaning they don’t have the art on the wall where a customer comes in, points at a drawing and says, “I want that.” They are dedicated to custom pieces, and my preferred artist, Eric, has tattooed some pieces on me that even made my Mom say “that looks nice.” #CMWorld Voodoo Monkey Submitted by Joseph Kalinowski
  9. ClevelandDESTINATION: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum Submitted by Joseph Kalinowski The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum is hands-down a must see while you are in Cleveland. Do I really need to say why? Having been there countless times over the years, I am still amazed by the exhibits and the new things I find there each time I go. Kristin bought me a membership for Christmas, and I really enjoy taking my daughters to experience the wonder of this museum. The museum hold exhibits from the early days of the Delta Blues through the modern era of rock and all stages in between. I recently took my youngest daughter, Ella, to the Rock Hall. We spent hours there; we danced to the music in the listening stations, we shared a big cookie underneath Pink Floyd’s The Wall stage prop and I must admit that I was a little emotional when Ella stared at the organ on which John Lennon recorded the opening lines to “Strawberry Fields Forever,” her favorite song. #CMWorld
  10. ClevelandDESTINATION: Finally, the one place that my family loves to visit is Lakewood Park. The park is located in Lakewood, just west of downtown Cleveland. The park sits on the shores of Lake Erie and has one of the best vantage points for the breathtaking Lake Erie sunsets. The park also holds a bit of history, as it was the last stop in Ohio for the Underground Railroad. It was a launching point for ships harboring escaped slaves fleeing to Canada. My family uses the park for many activities: running, dog walks, hiking, picnics, 4th of July fireworks, the list goes on. The main reason the park is held so dear to us is because of one particular statue. The Children’s World Peace Monument Sculpture was unveiled and dedicated last summer in observance of the United Nations International Day of Peace. My oldest daughter, Jane, won an essay contest held amongst all of the sixth grade classrooms in the Lakewood City School District. Her winning essay, “What Peace Means To Me” was awarded with a special role in the Peace Sculpture’s unveiling. In the lower right corner of the statue, there was a spot for Jane to place her handprint in wet cement, there for leaving her mark on the statue, the park and this Daddy-o’s proud heart forever. #CMWorld Lakewood Park Submitted by Joseph Kalinowski
  11. ClevelandDESTINATION: Velvet Tango Room Submitted by Pam Kozelka One of my favorite places to go to impress a friend or colleague is the Velvet Tango Room (known to the locals at VTR). This is no bar. This is a true old fashioned speakeasy where drinks are made from scratch and served the way they should be. Now that drink will cost you (on average around $15) but the experience, the detail and the environment are worth every cent. #CMWorld A JOE PULIZZI FAVORITE!
  12. ClevelandDESTINATION: If you are looking for dinner and a show be sure to check out Pickwick and Frolic. You may even meet Nick Kostis the owner, also known as the Mayor of E. 4th, the area where the restaurant is located. This is a very easy walk from any of the #CMWorld host hotels. It also has a beautiful Martini bar and a Champagne bar! #CMWorld Pickwick & Frolic Submitted by Pam Kozelka A JOE PULIZZI FAVORITE!
  13. ClevelandDESTINATION: If comedy is not your thing you may want to try the brand new Music Box Supper Club. It is located near the water, a nice walk from most of the host hotels for the event. The band X-4 Nights, 4 Albums will be playing the week of CMWorld! See the concert schedule here. #CMWorld Music Box Supper Club Submitted by Pam Kozelka
  14. ClevelandDESTINATION: If you do want to rent a bike to check out the town The Bike Rack is only $5 per hour or $20 per day. Great deal! #CMWorld The Bike Rack Submitted by Pam Kozelka
  15. ClevelandDESTINATION: I have no words for how fabulous this restaurant is. When I was in my 20s living in my hometown of Lakewood, my mom, sisters and other family members loved going to Chinese Village, a small, local, family-owned Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant owned by Van Nguyen. The food was fresh, inexpensive, and best of all delicious. For personal reasons, the restaurant closed years ago, leaving many devastated regulars. Fast forward 15 years, and Bac opened up in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, named after the owner, Bac Nguyen. The best news of all? Bac’s mother, Van, works in the kitchen. There are many members of my family and the Cleveland community happy to see this talented family back in business. The Vietnamese Noodle Salad, basil fried rice and their spring rolls are personal favorites, though I’ve never had anything that wasn’t incredible on their menu. #CMWorld Bac Submitted by Cathy McPhillips
  16. ClevelandDESTINATION: The West Side Market Submitted by Cathy McPhillips The West Side Market showcases the food, culture and diversity of this amazing city in which we live. Whether you are there doing your weekly grocery shopping for the freshest ingredients on a budget, or stopping in for a sausage sandwich or made-to-order crepes on your lunch break, this is one of the brightest gems in the city. The only thing that pales in comparison to the 100+ food stands comprised of fresh foods ranging from ethnic fare to fresh meats, cheeses, bakery, vegetables and fruits, is the beautiful architecture of the market. Coming off of the Centennial celebration, the building in itself is worth a visit. #CMWorld
  17. ClevelandDESTINATION: Cleveland Metroparks Submitted by Cathy McPhillips Cleveland is known as an industrial town to many, but one of the best parts of Cleveland is our Metroparks system. With over 21,000 acres of land, the Metroparks (or “the valley” known to locals) is our incredible, and dare I say better, version of Central Park. From running/biking paths to boat launches into Lake Erie, softball fields to golf courses, creeks and fishing spots, hiking spots t o open fields, the Metroparks are where Clevelanders go to take in the beauty. Personally, I’ve loved the paths for long bike rides, the creeks to skip rocks with the kids, or the grassy area to hang out and read a good book. If you have a couple hours, visiting the Metroparks will not disappoint! #CMWorld
  18. ClevelandDESTINATION: If any of you are Facebook friends with me, you know my love affair with Psycle, the best indoor cycling studio in Cleveland. Psycle provides an unpretentious, welcoming environment with instructors who will smile at you and likely give you a welcoming hug, then subsequently work your little legs – and entire body – to the bone. It’s where I love to spend really, really early mornings. If you’re up for a super early wake up during the event, a field trip might be in order! #CMWorld Psycle Submitted by Cathy McPhillips
  19. ClevelandDESTINATION: Great Lakes Brewery Submitted by Cathy McPhillips Long before gastropubs became all the rage, the Conway brothers opened Great Lakes Brewery in Cleveland. Their small-batch processing was soon replaced by a larger system to accommodate the growing demand for the award-winning beers, but Great Lakes has maintained the integrity of their beers. Most of the hotel bars and local establishments should carry Great Lakes beers on tap or in bottles, but there is also a restaurant and store right off of West 25th near the West Side Market. The food is outstanding – make sure to try their beer cheese soup! Not sure which beer to try? Dortmunder Gold is their classic lager, but if you’re lucky, their Octoberfest will be out by Content Marketing World (my favorite). Because many of the beers are seasonal, it’s always exciting to see what the Conways will come up with next. #CMWorld
  20. ClevelandDESTINATION: I’m an unapologetic Cleveland sports fan and a big baseball fan, which means I love my Cleveland Indians. The Tribe is in town the week of CMWorld, so knock off another stadium off of your stadium bucket list (I can’t be the only one who has one of these – let’s compare notes to see which ones we’ve both visited). Experience enthusiastic Cleveland sports fans firsthand, have a hot dog with some Cleveland stadium mustard, kick back and enjoy a nice fall night at the ballpark. How to get there: Straight up East 9th, follow the crowds! First pitch: 7:05. #CMWorld Progressive Field Submitted by Cathy McPhillips
  21. ClevelandDESTINATION: Tremont Tap House Submitted by Angela Vannucci Tremont Tap House is a corner bar that serves beer and liquor. But, if you love beer, you’ll love their selection. I don’t really even drink beer and they even have a beer for me. The food is great – try their burgers and fries. Every Monday night at dusk they play a throwback movie on their patio “drive-in”. #CMWorld
  22. ClevelandDESTINATION: Sokolowski’s University Inn is the essence of Cleveland ethnicity. It is nothing fancy, but if you like stuffed cabbage, chicken paprikash, or pierogies, you need to make the trip! #CMWorld Sokolowski’s University Inn Submitted by Angela Vannucci
  23. ClevelandDESTINATION: Lola Bistro is where Cleveland’s own chef Michael Symon got his start. I remember going in for dinner on a Friday night and seeing Michael working the line. If you know anything about Michael Symon you also know you hear his laugh before you see him. So, if you want a taste of Michael’s creations, stop by for their deal of a happy hour. #CMWorld Lola Bistro Submitted by Angela Vannucci A JOE PULIZZI FAVORITE!
  24. ClevelandDESTINATION: Tremont Art Walk is an art and food event that happens the second Friday of each month from 6 pm – 10 pm. You have the opportunity to see all the talented artists who have their work on display at a variety of galleries throughout Tremont. Lucky for anyone who is spending an extra day or two in Cleveland, their September event is the Friday after Content Marketing World. So, plan to stay and check it out! #CMWorld Tremont Art Walk Submitted by Angela Vannucci
  25. ClevelandDESTINATION: Banyan Tree is a great locally owned shop that has clothes, jewelry and all sorts of eclectic home goods and knick knacks. They also have a small, but wonderful card selection. If you are looking for a unique greeting card, stop here. #CMWorld Banyan Tree Submitted by Angela Vannucci
  26. ClevelandDESTINATION: Loop sells records. The old kind. There are not many places like this left. Plus, they have a great coffee and tea selection. It’s worth making a stop. #CMWorld LOOP Submitted by Angela Vannucci
  27. ClevelandDESTINATION: The University Circle area of Cleveland is 4 miles east of downtown along Euclid Road, easily accessible on the RTA Healthline. Home to Case Western Reserve University and both University Hospital and The Cleveland Clinic; this area is also the cultural hub of Cleveland with the Natural History Museum, Botanical Gardens, and the Cultural Gardens all in this area. My absolute favorite part of University Circle is the Cleveland Museum of Art. This gem was the site of my first date with my husband (I think he was trying to impress me and it appears to have worked). The Cleveland Museum of Art is world-renowned for its collection of more than 43,000 pieces, including works by Picasso, Botticelli, Matisse, Renoir, Warhol, Pollack, and Monet. The museum’s general collection is free to all; the special exhibits have a nominal charge. #CMWorld University Circle Submitted by Laura Kozak
  28. ClevelandDESTINATION: Just around the corner from University Circle is Little Italy. This neighborhood of Cleveland was formed by many of the Italian immigrants who worked at artisan stoneworkers for the many headstones and monuments of Lake View Cemetery. Now, it is a community that still includes families that have lived in the area for generations, sprinkled in with students from Case Western, artists, and young professionals. It is home to many fabulous restaurants, my favorite of which is Mama Santas. After spending hours at the Art Museum, my husband finished our date at this Sicilian restaurant. This family-owned establishment has great pizza and is light on the wallet. A homemade large pizza will run you less than $8. Grab a slice and check out many of the art galleries in the area. #CMWorld Little Italy Submitted by Laura Kozak
  29. ClevelandDESTINATION: Slyman’s Restaurant Submitted by Laura Kozak You’ll find a Cleveland Institution at E. 31st and St. Clair. Presidents have eaten there. Rachael Ray raves about it. It IS a taste of Cleveland. Slyman’s restaurant is the home of the best corned beef sandwich in Cleveland. There are people that will tell you of other places with better sandwiches but they are wrong. Between my husband and I, we have tried just about every deli that claims to have the best, but Slyman’s still stands out. They have a great breakfast menu and the other sandwiches are fantastic as well. And while I love a good corned beef sandwich, I personally can’t pass up their tuna on rye. A couple of warnings to those that might venture out to Slymans: ● They are only open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday. ● Be prepared to wait in line at lunch if you want to carry out sandwiches (don’t worry the line moves quickly). ● Be hungry, if not starving. And be sure to ask for extra bread to make a second sandwich later. #CMWorld
  30. ClevelandDESTINATION: My grandparents, parents, brother and sister all worked at Cedar Point at one time. I did the briefest stint (at the Imax theatre for a month before I quit for a radio job). Nonetheless, Cedar Point is the best amusement park in the world. CP is probably best known for its thrilling roller coasters. 17 in all, Cedar Point has the best coasters in the world, including Millennium Force and Maverick (to just name two). Cedar Point is an hour drive west of Cleveland, and well worth the trip if you can stay in Cleveland an extra day or two. And don’t forget the CMWorld discount! #CMWorld Cedar Point Submitted by Joe Pulizzi
  31. ClevelandDESTINATION: If you are a fan of the movie, A Christmas Story, you’ll remember the beginning of the movie where they watch Santa sled by in the parade. Well, the corner where Ralphie looks at the Red Ryder, that was the Higbee Building in Cleveland. Today, that building is the Horseshoe Casino. Horseshoe is the only casino I’ve ever been to that’s been on multiple levels. It’s usually packed and hard to get to a table game, but it’s worth it to check out the inside and how they’ve been able to keep the historic nature of the original building intact. #CMWorld Horseshoe Casino Submitted by Joe Pulizzi
  32. ClevelandDESTINATION: Panini’s is located on the corner of E. 9th Street and Prospect. A Panini sandwich includes a generous helping of French fries and coleslaw inside the sandwiches themselves. It sounds a bit odd, but you’ll fall in love at first bite. #CMWorld Panini’s Submitted by Joe Pulizzi
  33. ClevelandDESTINATION: Wondering where I get those custom orange shirts and suits? Christophier’s is the place. Christophier’s is located just west off the shoreway from Downtown, on the heels of Lakewood. If you are looking for a deal on shirts, this is not the place for you. But if you are looking for the best custom shirts around, give it a try. #CMWorld Christophier Custom Clothiers Submitted by Joe Pulizzi
  34. ClevelandDESTINATION: Melt Bar and Grilled Submitted by Joe Pulizzi Just a few miles away from Downtown Cleveland in Lakewood, the original Melt is home of the best, and most odd, grilled cheese concoctions on the planet. The meatloaf grilled cheese is to die for, but don’t plan on eating it all in one sitting. #CMWorld
  35. ClevelandDESTINATION: #CMWorld Experience Cleveland and join us at Content Marketing World 2014 September 8-11, 2014 Cleveland, OH, USA Register today! Use code CMWSOCIAL for $100 off main event and all-access passes #CMWorld