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Help! - Weekend in Cleveland with 13 yr old daughter

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Ok - I am taking my 13 yr old to the Hall of Fame this weekend, and need a little guidance. Please excuse if some of this is outside the "scope," but some advice from locals is always a good thing.

1. Car - We are staying at the Intercontinental, which is supposed to be walking distance from the Hall, and I have made a reservation for a car, but if I can avoid the hassle, it'd be good. How tough is it to get to downtown from the airport? Are there decent restaurants within walking distance, or should I just bite the bullet on the car?

2. Friday Dinner - Friday night, we were going to try and do a "nicer" dinner. We watch Food tv all the time, so Lucy (daughter) knows who Symon is, and is a pretty good eater, but the menu at Lola looks too "adult" for her. Any other suggestions?

3. Saturday/SundayLunch - I thought about going to one of the deli places I read about on here, but didn't know about car. If I skip the car, is there another quick (but good) alternative that we can check out without straying too far from the Hall?

4. Saturday Dinner - I need another dinner option for Saturday. Thought we'd do something a bit more casual. Pizza is good, but I can get good pizza in Houston.

Thanks in advance for the input - Lucy and I appreciate it.

-Todd (Hungry Texan)

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  1. The Intercontinental is definitely not in walking distance of anything except the Cleveland Clinic. It is east of downtown several minutes by car. There are no restaurants in the immediate area except Table 45 in the hotel, which is kind of pricey. Can you stay downtown somewhere? The IC is not in downtown. There are dozens of hotels in downtown and those would all be within walking distance of the hall (but it is COLD here, very windy, so bundle up if you're walking). You could take public transit from the airport right into Tower City and stay at the Ritz or Renaissance and never have to go outside with your bags. Or, there are many hotels a very short walk from Tower City center that are less money - the Hyatt at the arcade, the Residence Inn on Prospect and the Holiday Inn Express on Euclid are the next closest, also the Marriott at Key Center but that should be the same price as the Renaissance. You could completely avoid the car if you bundle up and are ok walking in the cold. I think it's supposed to warm up a little this weekend but whatever the forecast says, subtract 10-15 degrees and add wind for downtown, as the "Cleveland" forecast is from the airport, which is 13 miles SW of downtown.

    Recommendations for meals downtown: Pura Vida, Greenhouse Tavern, House of Blues, Hodge's, Cleveland Pickle (informal and small sandwich shop), Saigon. These are all on or very near the intersection of Euclid and E 4th. For the nicer dinner, you could always take a cab to Lolita, which is only about 10 mins away (get the business card of the cab driver so you can call them when you want a ride back), and is also a Symon restaurant but more casual (you'll need reservations, it's small). They have fabulous wood fired pizzas and great food all around. A Cookie and a Cupcake is nearby and would be fun for dessert.

    On a side note, the rock hall is really a museum, so treat it as such - if you walk by everything too fast and don't look carefully at what's in the displays, you miss a lot of what makes it unique. The memorabilia they have is amazing but I'm not sure how much of it a 13 year old will "get."

    Have a fabulous time and please report back!

    8 Replies
    1. re: rockandroller1

      Thanks, rockandroller. I did the Priceline thing for the hotel, so I'm thinking that rent car is the way to go. Will report back after doing some research. The 13 yr old's favorite band is the Grateful Dead, so we are hopeful.

      1. re: rockandroller1

        DUDE!! Soooo glad I checked. We are at the Hyatt in the Arcade. Whew!! Ok, so...now...still rent a car?

        1. re: tmftex

          I don't think you need one, for reals. And the parking downtown at the hotels, the daily rate is like $23 and up. Seriously. Just bundle up.

          The rotating exhibits are at the top floor of the hall. Knowing the stamina and attention span of a 13 year old, I would suggest going through the costume hall on the lower level, which is where you start the tour, and then maybe just going right to the top floor where the Dead exhibit is. If she wants to see more, you can stop on each floor as you go down, but this way, you'll have been sure to see some of the more outstanding stuff straight away. The lowest level as you come down lets you out into the music store there and they have a lot of good rock hall memorabilia and music for sale that's not found in other stores, so be sure and check that out.

          1. re: tmftex

            Also, when you get to the airport, you want to go to the lower level where it will either say "RTA" or "rapid" (the "rapid" is what we colloquially call the train system here). It is a heavy rail line, the "red" line is what goes to the airport and the airport is the end of the line so there's nowhere to go but East. You want to go all the way to Tower City center. You'll see the downtown skyline as you approach it from the last stop before tower city, which is W. 25th., and it lets out in the lower level of Tower City center (which is nicely decorated for the holidays by the way). The escalator up from the train platform will take you to ground floor level and you just exit out towards the Caribou Coffee to get out to the street. Turn R out of Tower City and walk about half a block down the street (Euclid - cross over Ontario and keep going) and you'll see a big sign on your left that says THE ARCADE - go in there and down the gilded stairs and through the arcade to the other end, that's where the entrance to the Hyatt is.

            1. re: rockandroller1

              Cool! Thanks for the instructions. In terms of eating places - can I get to Slyman's from the hotel sans car?

              1. re: tmftex

                No, it is way, way too far to walk. I walked there once in the summer when I was in really good shape and it took me a half hour to get there and a half hour back. But I'm almost certain they are not open weekends anyway, so it's n/a.

                1. re: tmftex

                  I don't think Slyman's is worth the trouble, to be honest. R 'n' R, do you agree with me? There are plenty of places in the downtown area you can go to. I think it would be fun to go to the West Side Market for a couple of hours... that would require a taxi. But you won't need to rent a car if you're staying at the Hyatt/Arcade, which is a very cool hotel, btw. It DOES get loud if there's a wedding reception in the atrium, as most of the hotel rooms open up to the huge atrium, but very cool place to stay. If you want, you could take in a Cavs game. That's within walking distance. We are RnRHoF members & go twice a year, at least. LOVE the place. I enjoy the outfits, the report cards, the correspondance from Rolling Stones' J Wenner to Charles Manson, and the correspondance from Jim Morrison's father to the French authorities. John Lennon's report card is a hoot, too. BTW, there is a snack bar in the HoF for a quick little something-something to tide you over. The food's not the greatest, but it'll tide you until you go to Symon's. If she has an adventurous palate, go for Lola! Lots of fun.

                  1. re: janbo19

                    Disagree, I love Slyman's very much, but their site confirms they are closed on weekends and they close early in the afternoon so even if you are here friday night, they will be closed. The west side market is fun to visit and no car is necessary. One stop west on the redline is W. 25th and you come up the stairs and are directly across the street from the market. The surrounding Ohio City neighborhood has a lot of great restaurants and some shops as well.

          2. I just saw this online and wanted to update, as you may need to take a shuttle bus to the Brookpark rapid station, which is the first stop after the airport, due to RTA construction:

            RTA rail service to Cleveland Hopkins Airport is closed for repairs for six months. RTA is operating bus service between the bus stop area on the east side of the Brookpark Station and the limousine staging area near the Airport terminal. Buses will have destination signs that read "Red Line". Buses will operate every 20 minutes until Dec. 9, when they will begin operating every 15 minutes.

            3 Replies
            1. re: rockandroller1

              Honestly, I'd forget the rapid and just take a cab downtown. There is a dispatcher on the baggage claim level.

              1. re: gourmanda

                Was gonna say, "yikes! Taxi!!!"

                1. re: gourmanda

                  I agree. With this new wrinkle, it's not worth the cost savings.