Hello My Fellow Crew Members!!!!
Hope all is well in the friendly skies. For those of us in the Regional side of the industry, we spend a lot of time traveling the continental USA and our cities can change at a moment’s notice. My crews know me as someone who is always looking to infuse a bit of fun into the layovers. I know from experience that we’re always looking to find things to do on our layovers, so I thought I’d pass along some of my knowledge to make your layovers a bit more fun. In cities like ORD, IAD, and the New York airports, we always have a plan given their landmarks are world famous. However, I thought I’d focus on the secondary cities and give some pointers. Today, I choose Cleveland.
I know that Cleveland doesn’t have the best reputation out there. It’s known for The Browns and the river that once caught on fire, but the city does have some great assets that will make it fun if you have some time to kill on your layovers. I thought I’d share some with you. I haven’t layed over there, but I grew up 2 hours away from Cleveland and spent a lot of time there in my youth, so I like to think it gives me some insite that I can pass on to my fellow crew members.
If you’re a crew member, you’re probably staying near CLE. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The town nearest to Cleveland Hopkins is Parma. You’ll find that it’s an area that’s full of bars, restaurants and things to do. Check with your hotel staff and they’ll be helpful in easily finding something for you to do in the airport vacinity (especially in summer).
For those of you more adventurous, I suggest you rent a car and do some exploring. Downtown is a mere 20 minutes away. The first place to visit is the world famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s located in the heart of downtown and situated on the shores of Lake Erie. I don’t think I have to describe the place since it’s contents are well known. It’s a true must-see in the Cleveland area. I will advise you that if you visit there during the off-season, it closes at 5:30. However, if you visit in the summer, it’s open until 9:30 pm. An adult admission is $22 and well worth the price of admission.
If you’re looking for a place to eat, my favorite is a micro-brewery in the downtown area called Great Lakes Brewing Company. It’s located at 2516 Market Avenue. Not only is their food good, but they offer a vast array of home-brewed beers that (according to this discriminating beer lover) are really good. For some downtown night life, check out an area called The Flats. It’s an old warehouse district that was converted into a vibrant nightlife 2 decades ago.
If you have a really long layover, I suggest you take your rental about 30 minutes away to Cedar Point amusement park. The park is open from mid May to the end of October. It’s rated as one of the top 5 amusement parks in the world and has roller coasters that are rated by most coaster enthusiasts as some of the best ever created. During the summer months, it’s open from about 10 am to midnight. I’ll warn you that its reputation and popularity draw people from around the world in the summer and your wait to get on its most popular coasters can be up to 2 hours during peak season. However, if you go in the fall, they decorate the park in a cool Halloween theme and you’ll be able to ride its most popular rides in less than 30 minutes. It’s much colder at that season and the park has reduced hours, but you’ll be able to pack more riding into that period of time. And at $45 for admission, it’s one of the best deals around (lesser parks in Orlando and TPA charge as much as $80 for admission). I’ve been going there since 1977 and can’t stress enough how great the park is.
So there you have it. Some suggestions on making your layover in Cleveland more fun. There are many more things you can do, but this should give you a good starting point.
Good luck and have fun.