You might wonder why we are willing to drive an hour + for our dates, but to us, it’s a no brainer. Cleveland captured my heart years ago as a vibrant city full of culture, diversity, and perhaps most importantly – good food. I mean, really, really good food. Some of my all time favorite restaurants are in Cleveland. Some of my best memories with Mike took place in Cleveland. And now that we have children, Cleveland is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to do fun day trips with the whole family.
Last Friday, Mike and I headed into Cleveland to the Flats East to attend the Taste of Summer festival. It was a gorgeous, hot, summer evening. I put on one of my favorite H&M tanks and skirts, my new Born Concept espadrilles, waved goodbye to the kids and our sitter, and off we went. Footloose and fancy free.
It has been a horrible week with Theo’s tonsil and adenoid surgery, and Mike and I both were
ready desperate for some time away from the house.
We arrived at the Flats hungry and ready to relax. The Flats is as diverse as the city of Cleveland itself, with it’s mix of residential, industrial, and entertainment areas all along the Cuyahoga River.
We parked along the river across from the Flats East where the festival was held and hopped on board a ferry to cross. The ferry, which used to be in service years ago, was brought back into service for the first time that very night, as the Flats are enjoying a revival. The ferry is operated by the Cleveland Metroparks. The process of purchasing our all day pass (for $2 each!) from the kiosk outside of the docks and boarding the ferry was simple and soon enough we were on the ferry, chatting to the captain and enjoying a lovely boat ride to the other side.
The Taste of Summer was a fun festival with tents lining the river offering food from local bars and restaurants. Mike and I devoured some delicious tacos while sitting next to the river, enjoying the breeze from the lake and the warm evening sun.
I was so excited to finally get a chance to check out the Wandering Wardrobe, a Cleveland business that I’ve followed on Instagram for awhile now. The concept of a box truck turned clothing store that pops up in various locations around town for people to shop is just too cool for words. I loved getting to see the inside of “Wanda.”
The festival was super fun, but didn’t offer enough meatless options to fill up this hungry vegetarian, so we crossed the river once more and off to Ohio City we went, one of my favorite Cleveland neighborhoods.
I’ve wanted to check out Momocho since I first heard about it almost two years ago. Fortunately, we arrived late enough that they could squeeze us in without a reservation. Unfortunately, we were close to the time we needed to return home to relieve our baby-sitter. We didn’t let that deter us. We ordered guac: jicama, mint, and pineapple, and Camarones taquitos: garlic, sangrita sauteed shrimp, with avocado-basil crema, and enjoyed every glorious bite. I wish we could have stayed longer, but we will definitely be back. The rest of that guac menu calls to me.
Ok, so here is my pitch for getting out of whatever town you live in or typically stay in for dates: I’m all for supporting local businesses, but it’s just as great to support someone else’s local business. It’s amazing what a night out of your routine and normal surroundings can do for you. It’s refreshing. It’s inspiring. It’s, oh what is the word I’m looking for…oh yea – fun!
I love exploring a new city with Mike. I love trying new restaurants, walking down new streets, and visiting new neighborhoods. I love every dang second of it.
Ok, now the case for Cleveland. Cleveland is this wonderful, vibrant city with all the amazingness of a big city but the accessibility of a much smaller one. Parking is easy to navigate. Yes, you need reservations for most of the popular, non chain restaurants, but all that takes is a little planning. And the food, oh, the food! There are so many amazing restaurants in this city, with new ones popping up each month. My Cleveland restaurants bucket list is always growing. The people are friendly. The arts are supported and well represented. It’s just the best.
Go. To. Cleveland. Go for your next date. Go for your next family day-trip. Hit me up for fun sights to see and great places to eat. You won’t be disappointed.