Local Adventures: Cleveland’s West Side

IMG_0813You may recall I made a commitment to exploring my own backyard through a series of planned ‘local adventures.’ I would like to say I just had a great deal of initiative to learn more about Northeast Ohio (which has turned out to be much more interesting that you might think!), but in reality we’ve been saving for a year and a half for our wedding and honeymoon, which put a kabash on any extensive travels.

Luckily both our workplaces have sponsored travel during this year-and-a-half period of torture of reprieve from international dalliances, allowing me to pursue professional development conferences in New York and Washington D.C. and allowing the fiance to meet customers and international colleagues in Switzerland and France. I’ll take a mini vacation when I can get it!

In terms of other local adventures, I would say so far, so good. Here are a few I mentioned on the blog so far:

I thought it was only appropriate that since I kicked this off in June 2012 with a trip through Cleveland’s East Side we revisit the idea about a year later with a trip around Cleveland’s West Side. We didn’t cover nearly as much ground this time around, but we did see many things that have been on my list for some time.

It helped that it was the weekend of July fourth as there were several once-a-year elements we only caught because of our timing! Here’s the photo montage of our trek through part of the West Side.

We parked near the West Side Market, which we've visited a time or two, to begin our adventures.
We parked near the West Side Market, which we’ve visited a time or two, to begin our adventures.
We walked along West 25th for breakfast at Townhall. I've been waiting for it to open, and was not disappointed! They have a build-your-own-crepe station for goodness sakes! We also tried the homemade ginger ale (VERY gingery) and the Townhall mimosa, made from hard cider and orange juice. Yum!
We walked along West 25th for breakfast at Townhall. I’ve been waiting for it to open, and was not disappointed! They have a build-your-own-crepe station for goodness sakes! We also tried the homemade ginger ale (VERY ginger-y) and the Townhall mimosa, made from hard cider and orange juice. Yum!
Our first stop was the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. While I'm sad some of the other Powerhouse business had to go away for this to set up, it was very busy, and I would love to see more traffic in the Flats.
Our first stop was the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. While I’m sad some of the other Powerhouse business had to go away for this to set up, it was very busy, and I would love to see more traffic in the Flats.
We walked from the Aquarium along the Left Bank, watching some freighters go by, checking out the patriotic bridges and capturing some shots of downtown.
We walked from the Aquarium along the Left Bank, watching some freighters go by, checking out the patriotic bridges and capturing some shots of downtown.
We crossed over the the Right Bank and came across a number of things I didn't even know existed. Irish Famine Memorial? Bridge mosaic artwork? Log cabin manned by period-costumed man giving tours? Settler's Landing RTA stop? Anyone?
We crossed over to the Right Bank and came across a number of things I didn’t even know existed. Irish Famine Memorial? Bridge mosaic artwork? Log cabin manned by period-costumed man giving tours? Settler’s Landing RTA stop? Anyone?
We climbed up out of the Flats to the Veteran's Memorial Bridge, which ended up being one of the most facinating events of the day. Once a year, the city opens up the old Subway for visitors. Did you know Cleveland once had a subway?? I was blown away!
We climbed up out of the Flats to the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge, which ended up being one of the most fascinating events of the day. Once a year, the city opens up the old Subway for visitors. Did you know Cleveland once had a subway?? I was blown away!
We walked along under the bridge, following the old tracks to what used to be a station. There were several presentations going on and old directional signage and the actual cars were accessible for pictures. We could not have timed our adventure better if we had tried!
We walked along under the bridge, following the old tracks to what used to be a station. There were several presentations going on and old directional signage and the actual cars were accessible for pictures. We could not have timed our adventure better if we had tried!
We exited the old subway station at West 25th and walked back down to the Heil Block for lunch at the Black Pig, which I have also wanted to try for some time. We shared the pate and pickles, duck confit and pomme frites with garlic aioli. I loved the classic rock music and decor.
We exited the old subway station at West 25th and walked back down to the Heil Block for lunch at the Black Pig, which I have also wanted to try for some time. We shared the pate and pickles, duck confit and pomme frites with garlic aioli. I loved the classic rock music and decor.
We exited the Black Pig, passed Nano Brew and walked right into the Glass Bubble Project! This little shop was fantastic with all kinds of vases, home decor, etc. hand-blown in the shop. I bought a pretty shamrock ornament while the fiance chased around the front door man/rooster!
We exited the Black Pig, passed Nano Brew and walked right into the Glass Bubble Project! This little shop was fantastic with all kinds of vases, home decor, etc. hand-blown in the shop. I bought a pretty shamrock ornament while the fiance chased around the front door man/rooster!
We wrapped up in Ohio City and decided to nix everything else we had planned for Tremont, Lakewood and Rocky River and instead just head to Whiskey Island and Wendy Park. We walked past the volleyball courts and through the woods and trails to the pier to get some nice views of the city. I decided to lose my sandals and go barefoot at one point, and we saw a lovely mom and baby ducks swimming around. I didn't realize the pier ended with an old Coast Guard station--we couldn't believe they hadn't repurposed the property as a lakeside restaurant, etc. Cleveland's shoreline has so much potential. It kills me.
We wrapped up in Ohio City and decided to nix everything else we had planned for Tremont, Lakewood and Rocky River and instead just head to Whiskey Island and Wendy Park. We walked past the volleyball courts and through the woods and trails to the pier to get some nice views of the city. I decided to lose my sandals and go barefoot at one point, and we saw a lovely mom and baby ducks swimming around. I didn’t realize the pier ended with an old Coast Guard station–we couldn’t believe they hadn’t repurposed the property as a lakeside restaurant, etc. Cleveland’s shoreline has so much potential. It kills me.
We headed back to the car, but I was distracted by what I was sure was live music. Sure enough the 'Cats on Holiday' band was performing so we grabbed some beverages, found a spot in the shade and just relaxed and listened to the music and watched people dance.
We headed back to the car, but I was distracted by what I was sure was live music. Sure enough the ‘Cats on Holiday’ band was performing so we grabbed some beverages, found a spot in the shade and just relaxed and listened to the music and watched people dance.
We wrapped up the day with a 8 p.m. reservation at Chex Francois in Vermillion. We changed into dress clothes (sport coats required for the gents), but unfortunately didn't make it through dinner. We had a lovely wine, gazpacho appetizer, lobster blossom appetizer, and salad, and I suddenly didn't feel well. It definitely wasn't the restaurant, which was magnificent. I am attributing it to way too much sun and walking around and not nearly enough water. The entrees were phenomenal, but I had them box mine and went outside for some air until the fiance could close things out and take me home. I fell into my bed and didn't move until late the next morning. I wish it had been a slightly happier ending, but I wouldn't have traded any of our day for the world!
We wrapped up the day with a 8 p.m. reservation at Chez Francois in Vermillion. We changed into dress clothes (sport coats required for the gents), but unfortunately didn’t make it through dinner. We had a lovely wine, gazpacho appetizer, lobster blossom appetizer, and salad, and I suddenly didn’t feel well. It definitely wasn’t the restaurant, which was magnificent. I am attributing it to way too much sun and walking around and not nearly enough water. The entrees were phenomenal, but I had them box mine and went outside for some air until the fiance could close things out and take me home. I fell into my bed and didn’t move until late the next morning.

I wish it had been a slightly happier ending to our West Side crawl, but I wouldn’t have traded any of our day for the world! I can’t wait to go back for part two and explore more of Tremont, Lakewood, Rocky River, and even a bit south near Parma and the Ukranian Village.

There is so much to see and do in Cleveland, and you never know what random things are there unless you go!

3 thoughts on “Local Adventures: Cleveland’s West Side

  1. Pingback: New Cleveland Breweries in the Flats – Heather's Compass

  2. Pingback: Belated Birthday | Heather's Compass

  3. Pingback: Mid-Year Review: New Year’s Resolutions | Heather's Compass

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