So You're Moving to Cleveland?

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Scott's grandmom takes a break from househunting and exploring the neighborhood

Scott’s grandmom takes a break from househunting and exploring the neighborhood

When I first started my blog, it was because I wanted to show my friends and family back home why I loved living in Cleveland so much.

I found myself going back to Philly and talking nonstop about Happy Dog or West Side Market and eventually decided it’d be better to show it through pictures and posts.

While we’ve had plenty of loved ones visit over my 3 years of blogging, I didn’t know we’d actually convince someone to move out here. Now I’m happy to say Scott’s parents and grandmom have decided to retire to Cleveland from the Philly area.

We spent this past Sunday looking at houses in our neighborhood and Scott’s mom and grandmom have been passing the time this week getting to know more of Avon Lake.

As they plan on moving to Cleveland, my in-laws' tour of Avon Lake this week included a stop at the aquatic rec center at Bleser Park

On my in-laws’ tour of Avon Lake, the aquatic rec center at Bleser Park

Which got me to thinking: I tend to blog a lot about upcoming events or where to take a guest when they visit. But what about if you knew someone who was moving to Cleveland – where would you tell them to go for their everyday things?

I’ve started to make a list of a few things I remember struggling with when I first moved here, but I want to hear your suggestions.

Check out my list below and then leave a comment. If your suggestion is tailored specifically for a eastside, westside, downtown or suburban resident, mention that in your comment. And a special thanks to Kimberly, Alicia and Kate for their suggestions.

Gallucci's in Cleveland

With Mama Gallucci at one of the tastiest specialty grocery shops in Cleveland

A Girl’s Gotta Eat

While Cleveland has some fantastic restaurants, you’re going to have to make a meal at home at some point. So where do you go for groceries?

My top picks are the West Side Market (of course!) and the Cleveland area’s large selection of local CSAs and farmers markets.

When I first moved here, I was spoiled by having the Shaker Square Farmers Market only two blocks away. However, no matter where you live, North Union Farmers Markets has other locations throughout the region. Tremont and Kamm’s Corners also feature two great local markets.

On the hunt for a particular item? There are specialty shops like Gallucci’s and Hansa Import Haus. And if you’re looking to pick up something quick after work, Nature’s BinHeinen’s and Whole Foods are my go-to.

CLE Clothing Co. tshirt

An oldie, but a goodie – my favorite CLE Clothing Co. tee

The Clothes on My Back

Although we moved here over 6 years ago, I still remember that first shopping trip in Cleveland. We had so much fun picking out shirts that showed off our love for our new home.

Whether it’s a tee or a fabulous, locally designed coat perfect for our winters, here are just a few great places to pick up some Cleveland gear:

And while they don’t exclusively feature Cleveland stuff, don’t miss out on the awesome treasure-hunting in Cleveland’s many vintage shops.

Hermes Cleveland Minigolf Corporate Challenge

Minigolf with Hermes Cleveland, which also hosts road races and intramural leagues in Cleveland

Fun and Fit

When you move somewhere new, you’re so busy that it can be easy to fall out of your workout routine. Whether you prefer running, yoga or hitting the gym, here are suggestions on staying active in the CLE:

Yoga Rocks the Park: Prana Bodhi, Vinyasa, Power Yoga – it’s hard to keep track of the different yoga options. However, Yelp has a list of local yoga studios to help you out. Now that it’s summer, take your practice outside with Yoga Rocks the Park. Enjoy music and yoga in Tremont’s Lincoln Park for only $12 per session when you pre-register.

Run Clubs: If you’d like some company when you strap on your shoes, check out a local running store like Vertical Runner in Brecksville and Second Sole Rocky River to see if they offer a running club. And if you run in a club, feel free to leave its name in the comments.

Hermes Road Racing and Sports & Social: I’ve run a few of Hermes Cleveland’s road races, competed in their Corporate Challenge, and played kickball in one of their intramural leagues. I found that it’s a good way to not just get active, but get out of your comfort zone and meet new people.

Cleveland Metroparks: However, my all-time favorite way to have fun while staying fit is visiting the Metroparks. Whether it’s running, hiking, biking or golfing, the Cleveland Metroparks will keep you busy! Besides all that, you can also try your hand at something more leisurely like archery, boating or geocaching.

Whether you spend the day strolling through the museum or sitting on a bench honing your drawing skills, the free Cleveland Museum of Art is a great place to take a break from your move.

Whether you spend the day strolling through the museum or sitting on a bench honing your drawing skills, the free Cleveland Museum of Art is a great place to take a break.

Take a Break for Less

Once you’ve unpacked, it’s time to “Treat. Yo. Self” for all that hard work. However, I get it – Moving is expensive and you don’t want to spend too much money. 

I’m a lover of all things thrifty and here’s a quick brainstorm of my favorites:

  • Cleveland Museum of Art: Free general admission!
  • Cleveland Cinemas: $6 Mondays, Happy Hour Wednesdays and more!
  • Happy Dog: Live music, comedy, talks on science and writing, Classical Revolution, polka, plus hot dogs loaded with incredible toppings for $5
  • Cinema at the Square: Classic movies in PlayhouseSquare’s beautiful Palace Theatre for only $5 each or six for $15.
  • Aut-O-Rama Drive-In: 2 movies for $9 ($3 for kids 4-11) – new movies every week and Tuesday is now Retro Movie Night.
  • Cleveland Public Theatre: Enjoy quality theatre for less at the Cleveland Public Theatre (Free Beer Fridays are the best!), as well as Beck Center, Near West, Theater Ninjas, and Dobama. There are also $10 Smart Seats for PlayhouseSquare.
  • Downtown Cleveland’s Pop Up Parties: Food, a beer garden and free music at Perk Plaza – 5-8pm on the third Thursday of every summer month.
$6 Mondays at the Capitol Theatre are one of Cleveland's best deals

$6 Mondays at the Capitol Theatre are one of the city’s best deals

There are a lot of great things out there for those new to Cleveland. And there is no way I could cover everything here. Because of that, my final suggestion is to pick up New to Cleveland, A Guide to (re)Discovering the City. I learned a lot even after living here a few years – plus, the illustrations are beautiful!

When you move to a new place, what are the first things you look for and where would you suggest new-to-CLEvelanders go? Leave a note below in the comments!

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  1. You covered this so beautifully with so many great ideas. I literally struggled to think of things you didn’t add. The only thing I could think of was to add a list of kid-friendly places for moms/dad and grandparents to take their little ones too like the Zoo, Prestons hope playground, the Childrens Museum and family friendly restaurants like Melt.

  2. Displays Positive Energy

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