Content Marketing World Special Edition: In the run up to Content Marketing World, we invited Amanda Hicken, our Cleveland-based manager of media relations and the author of the Clue into Cleveland Blog to recommend her favorite must- see (and must-eat and must-shop) places near the Cleveland Convention Center, especially for Content Marketing World attendees.
I didn’t believe in love at first sight; then I met Cleveland. The Forest City, The Northcoast, The Rock and Roll Capital of the World.
When I moved here in 2007, I got the same questions you may be asking yourself: “Cleveland?!? The Mistake by the Lake?” “Have you seen the Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video?” “Didn’t your river set itself on fire once?”
Although Cleveland has had a tough past, I love that Clevelanders don’t know the meaning of quit and always look for new ways to adapt, innovate, and succeed.
A few years ago I started the blog Clue Into Cleveland, and with the world’s largest content marketing conference returning to Cleveland this month, I’m here to share my and my coworkers’ picks on where to go when you’re in town for Content Marketing World 2013. We’ve also summarized my picks into the infograpic you see at the top of this post, and have plotted them on an interactive map for you, too.
Where to Eat
Fun Food Fact: It was in Cleveland that Ettore “Hector” Boiardi – better known as Chef Boyardee – opened his first restaurant and started bottling the spaghetti and meatballs that would soon launch an empire.
Recently, Cleveland has been going through a dining renaissance. Fans of the Food Network and The Chew will want to head to Lola (downtown, East 4th Street) or Lolita (a short ride to the Tremont neighborhood) to eat at nearby restaurants of Cleveland-son-turned-foodie-celebrity Chef Michael Symon.
Other downtown dining recommendations include:
“Go Fourth” to East 4th Street for your pick of 14+ restaurants like Greenhouse Tavern (adventurous eaters should share the Roasted Pig Head with a friend), Chinato, and La Strada. Society Lounge is a must for cocktail lovers, where you can find well-crafted cocktails, tapas and sophisticated nostalgia. Erie Island Coffee, on the other hand, will give you that jolt of caffeine you need in the morning.
In addition to being the second largest theatre district in the U.S., PlayhouseSquare is a dining destination with Cowell and Hubbard, District, and Dynomite Burgers. After dinner, grab a pint at Parnell’s Pub.
Hodge’s is home to Food Network Star and Great Food Truck Race finalist Chris Hodgson, as well as 2-for-$40 Tuesdays featuring 1 starter, 2 entrees, and 1 bottle of wine for only $40.
Cleveland’s playful noodle house, Noodlecat, offers excellent happy hour specials on ramen, udon, and soba noodles, steam buns and exclusive sakes. (This writer is particularly fond of the Japanese Fried Chicken Steam Bun, College Ramen Noodles, and Spicy Octopus Udon Stir-Fry.)
Looking for an excellent sandwich? Try Cleveland Pickle at 850 Euclid Ave. or take a short drive down St. Clair for the biggest and best corned beef at Slyman’s. Flaming Ice Cube specializes in quality vegan cuisine, Blue Point Grille in fresh seafood, and Colossal Cupcakes in dessert (try a cupcake shake for something especially indulgent!).
If you’re short on time and need food on the go, check out Cleveland.com’s guide to 31 of the city’s food trucks. Weekly food truck gatherings like Walnut Wednesdays and Lunch by the Lake Thursdays are popular with the PR Newswire Cleveland office.
What to Do
Downtown Cleveland is more than just a foodie paradise. After you check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at CMWorld’s Opening Night Reception, squeeze in a little sightseeing.
At the lakefront, visit the Steamship William G. Mather, the Great Lakes Science Center, and the International Women’s Air and Space Museum.
Lolly the Trolley and Take a Hike offer weekday guided tours of the city, but if you’d prefer to sight see on your own, our picks include the Old Stone Church, Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, PlayhouseSquare, the Cleveland Arcade, and the Cleveland Public Library’s magnificent Main Library Building.
Just need a few moments of peace and quiet? Cleveland is called The Forest City for good reason. Escape to over a dozen parks and green spaces in Downtown Cleveland, including three spacious green malls and Voinovich Park on Lake Erie. You can also take a drive around the Cleveland Metroparks (nicknamed the Emerald Necklace) or the Cuyahoga Valley National Park for scenic running and nature trails.
Get Around with RTA: The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority makes it easy to get around downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods. RTA’s trolley lines are your answer for convenient downtown travel, and you can hop on a bus or train to visit nearby West Side Market or University Circle’s world-class museums.
Downtown Cleveland Alliance’s City Visitor Guides: While Positively Cleveland is your go-to resource for all of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance focuses specifically on the neighborhoods you’ll be spending most of your time in at CMWorld. Take a look at their Sensational Places, Historic Spaces guide or Downtown Navigator for more ideas.
Bring Home a Souvenir: When you get home from CMWorld, show off your love for Cleveland with a t-shirt, tote or other merchandise from CLE Clothing Co. Their store is a short walk to the corner of East 4th and Euclid or you can shop online.
We have one last recommendation for Content Marketing World attendees. Learn how to drive discovery of the content you’ve worked so hard to create in my c0lleague Sarah Skerik’s session. Sarah is our vice president of content marketing, and she’ll be giving data-driven tips and proven tactics for improving the results content generated in the session titled “10 Online Discovery Tips that will Get Your Content Promoted.”