Because Oberlin is not too far from Cleveland, people frequently ask me how often students go into the city. Obies typically stay on campus since there is so much to do, but there are some who venture into the city for internships, winter term projects, and research, as well as a fun day out. While I preferred to stay in Oberlin, my fellow Oberlin alum and admissions counselor Julian Ireland ‘19 not only visited Cleveland as a student, but now lives there! Julian was kind enough to share some insight into fun things to do in Cleveland.
How often did you visit Cleveland when you were a student?
I made trips to Cleveland more and more as I progressed throughout my four years at Oberlin. My first two years, I would go maybe once a month to see a concert or go on a trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art with one of my classes. By my fourth year, I had close friends who had graduated from Oberlin and moved to Cleveland (and I got my first car), so I would go almost weekly.
What were some of your favorite places to visit/things to do as a student?
Now that you live there, what are some new places you’ve learned about?
There are so many to choose from! The biggest one I’d say is discovering the Metroparks system, which is so much more extensive than I had realized. I love spending time at Edgewater Park, which will soon be connected to the greater Towpath Trail, a bike path that spans all the way from Cleveland to Akron. The Towpath is my go-to spot if I want to go running or biking, and it passes right through Cuyahoga Valley National Park which opens up hiking as an option too. Another one of my favorite discoveries is Mahall’s, a multi-purpose performance space with a bowling alley inside. Before Covid, I would go to Mahall’s almost every other week to see concerts, attend fundraisers, and I even got to see some Obies perform improv there once! Some other awesome places I’ve come across are Brittany’s Record Shop, the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Cinematheque, Frank’s Falafel House, and Corner 11.
What do you like/not like about living in Cleveland?
Being a mid-sized city, I feel like Cleveland is very digestible and easy to navigate. At the same time, there’s enough throughout the city that I feel like I’m always finding new parks and new neighborhoods. My only big complaint is that people in Cleveland seem to think that July 4th is a whole month. Seriously, if you’re living in Cleveland, expect to hear fireworks almost every night from mid-June to mid-July.
What are some unexpected things that outsiders don’t know about the Cleveland area?
I don’t think people realize how extensive Cleveland’s art scene is. There are so many awesome galleries across the west side neighborhoods, as well as 78th street studios, which is a large complex that houses a bunch of galleries along with some cool shops. There’s also Playhouse Square in Downtown, which is one of the biggest theatre districts in the country.
When it comes to Cleveland, there is so much to do and so many things to discover. I hope this has given you a bit of an introduction and you’ll soon start finding your own places!