Case Western Reserve University is located in the heart of beautiful Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland is a “Small Big City,” ripe for someone who wants to connect with business organizations and entrepreneurs. Exciting yet intimate, Cleveland is a mid-sized city that boomed in the early 20th century and is experiencing a renaissance that began with sports venues downtown and continues with revitalized historic neighborhoods on the west side and a burgeoning corridor between the city’s center and the east side.
General Moses Cleaveland founded the city in 1796. The name changed to its current spelling in 1831 when the “a” was dropped in order to fit the city’s name on a newspaper masthead. Originally a frontier village, Cleveland grew into a manufacturing and business center for Northern Ohio. Today, the city is headquarters for manufacturing and service industries, as well as a growing tourism and convention destination.
While the district took its name in the late 18th century from the trolley turnaround between campus and downtown, today the RTA’s HealthLine bullets passengers between University Circle and Cleveland’s Public Square in 20 minutes. The city is easy to navigate and offers plenty to explore.
It was built as a model American city—businesses at the core, homes on the skirts—so it isn’t your typical metropolis. It’s better. Cleveland features a patchwork of neighborhoods whose cultural fare and architecture are as diverse as the people. From African-American theatre at Karamu House and indie concerts at the Beachland Ballroom to Friday-night polka-rock in Gordon Square to Saturday-morning shopping at the West Side Market, opportunities abound for the busy life.
The worldwide food press has hailed Cleveland as the “hot new dining city,” with top nods for new restaurants, farm-to-table operations, ethnic foods and neighborhood eateries, while a number of the city’s arts communities, including Tremont, Ohio City, and Collinwood, have garnered national attention.
Ranked as one of the country’s most livable cities, Cleveland gets high marks for thriving healthcare and biotechnology industries, the lively arts scene, cost of living and four-seasons climate, not to mention a wealth of natural resources. Lake Erie and the “Emerald Necklace,” a system of nature preserves, comprise Cleveland’s big backyard and make for optimal outdoor living. The Cleveland Metroparks feature miles of running and hiking trails, bridle paths, ball fields and nature centers. The parks dot and span much of Northeast Ohio, so a trip from the city to nature is only a few minutes away.
Alongside being home to one of the nation’s top universities and the best college in Ohio, Cleveland is a big sports fan. The Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, Cleveland Browns football team, and the Cleveland Indians baseball team play in venues downtown. And each year during commencement, graduates and their families can see the Cleveland Marathon racing through the city.
Numerous other professional, amateur, and leisure sports activities—from minor-league baseball and arena football to corporate softball and triathlons—are in play around Northeast Ohio at any moment, offering countless opportunities to watch, play, win, or just catch some of the city’s energy.
Did you know?
- Northeast Ohio is the 12th largest economic market in the United States.
- Cleveland is the 16th largest metro area in the U.S.
- Cleveland is the 15th largest consumer market in the U.S.
- 70% of Fortune 500 companies have a presence in Northeast Ohio.
- With central location to US and Canadian markets, strong transportation, logistics, plus two commercial airports, Northeast Ohio offers a significant advantage in supply chain and market access.
- Greater Cleveland metro area is home to 2.9 million residents.
- Cleveland is one of the Top 5 medical communities in the U.S., and home of the world-famous Cleveland Clinic.
- Cleveland is nicknamed “The Forest City” because it has more parks per square mile than any other major U.S. city.
- Invented here: the first gasoline powered automobile (1898), the modern golf ball (1899), the automatic windshield wiper, the traffic light, and the gas mask (the last two invented by African American inventor Garrett Morgan).
- Birthplace of John D. Rockefeller and Superman (created by Clevelander Jerry Siegel).
And that’s just the start.
One of the many features that make our city unique is Cleveland’s vibrant neighborhoods where you can live, network, or just have a good time. Each area has distinct personalities and architectural styles. Cleveland’s Little Italy bustles just off campus and leads to various food, shopping, and nightlife spots—Coventry, Shaker Square, and Cedar-Lee, to name a few—in the nearby Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights communities.
Some of our favorite nearby neighborhoods include:
University Circle (The Circle)
The Circle is home to Case Western Reserve University and is considered a world-class center for education, medicine and the arts. In approximately one square mile of space, The Circle includes not only our campus, but the Cleveland Museum of Art, Severance Hall, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Botanical Garden, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, and Cleveland Institute of Art. The Circle is the fastest growing region in Cleveland. Some Weatherhead students live in The Triangle Apartments or rent homes in the area.
This historic neighborhood features great restaurants and art galleries. Little Italy was started in the mid-1800s by an Italian sculptor. To this day, the neighborhood holds a strong cultural heritage. Now more than 20 galleries, 15 restaurants, and much more line Mayfield Road and connecting streets. Among the favorite places to visit are Mama Santa’s, which has served tasty pizza for over 50 years, and Presti’s Bakery, where you can buy fresh bread and choose from a variety of homemade sandwiches, pastries, and various lunch and dinner specials. Many students live in Little Italy because it is just a ten-minute walk to campus and features affordable housing options.
This area is a destination and home for many of our students, faculty and staff. Here you can find eclectic eateries and shops less than a couple of miles from campus. Coventry is filled with affordable apartments where many of our students live, and below those apartments are several different types of retail shops and restaurants. Some of our frequented spots include Tommy’s Restaurant (great for vegetarians and the health-conscious), Winking Lizard Tavern (a popular place to enjoy a beer and watch a game), and La Cave du Vin (a wine bar and store featuring a great selection of wines and beers from around the world). Another unique place to visit in this area is Big Fun Toy Store, which sells childhood memorabilia spanning several generations. You’ll be amazed at what you can find!
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Here are some of our favorite “things to see and do in CLE” … and best of all, they’re free!
Spend the day at the Cleveland Museum of Art
The founding mantra of the Cleveland Museum of Art was “for the benefit of all the people forever.” In keeping with this philosophy, the museum offers free admission to its permanent collection. The museum is currently being renovated and expanded. Another great feature of the Cleveland Museum of Art is that it is just a couple of blocks from Weatherhead!
Explore the Emerald Necklace
Whether you like to golf, hike, kayak, rock climb, camp, bike, swim, or relax outdoors, the Cleveland Metroparks will surely impress you. Known as the Emerald Necklace, the Cleveland Metroparks covers over 22,000 acres in 17 reservations around the city of Cleveland. Various events, outdoor excursions, and educational programs take place every day. Be sure to check their website for a listing of these events.
Experience the sights and smells of the West Side Market
More than 100 vendors providing everything from fine meats to fresh seafood, vegetables, tasty baked goods and much more line the West Side Market and make it an experience you cannot miss. The market is about a 20-minute drive from campus, but many RTA routes will get you there as well.
Tip: While one can enjoy the West Side Market by just walking through it, we encourage you to bring cash (not all vendors accept credit/debit cards). The apple fritters, fresh fruit and specialty spices are always a great buy and a sure bet!
Visit the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on Free Mondays
Our zoo is widely considered one of the finest in the region and opens its doors for free to Cuyahoga County residents every Monday (Cleveland and most nearby suburbs are located in Cuyahoga County). The zoo is home to nearly 3,000 exotic animals representing 600 species from six continents. Top attractions include the African Elephant Crossing, the RainForest, and the Australian Adventure.
Marvel at Lake Erie
Lake Erie is the 10th largest lake in the world by surface area. In Cleveland, you’ll find lots of ways to access this Great Lake. Picnic at Edgewater Park or any of the many lakefront parks, take in a sunset out on Whiskey Island, or drive 30 minutes east to Mentor Headlands Beach to walk on the longest natural sand beach in the state.