Cleveland Bucket List

A group of CWRU students visit the West Side Market as part of the Center for International Affairs' Cleveland Bucket List

A "bucket list" typically consists of goals you would like to accomplish in your lifetime. The Cleveland Bucket List is for Case Western Reserve University students and features interesting places to see and fun things to do off-campus before graduation.

The Center for International Affairs offers recommendations to help students experience Cleveland and U.S. culture.

Check out our Cleveland Bucket List and our Center for International Affairs staff recommendations below!

2022-2023 Cleveland Bucket List


Staff Recommendations

Recommended by Marielena Maggio, Director of International Student Services

Patterson Fruit Farm is beautiful!  It's a fun atmosphere and a great, low-cost experience to pick a variety of fresh apples right off the tree!  Their prepared snacks and desserts are also delicious! Apple picking is a seasonal activity that's very Cleveland and very American.

A bunch of baskets of honeycrisp apples freshly-picked from Patterson Fruit Farm

Cleveland can be beautiful during the Fall - all of the colorful foliage and the crisp, cool weather is very distinct to this part of the United States - and apple picking is a perfect way to spend the day outdoors!  Whether you pick apples to enjoy as a fresh snack or your plans are to bake a pie, hand-picked apples, straight from the tree are the best!

Recommended by Autumn Beechler Stebing, Director of Education Abroad

A picture of Autumn Beechler Stebing at Cedar Point standing outside in front of a roller coaster

What I love about Cedar Point the most are the rides! There is no better amusement park for the variety of record-breaking coasters--from fastest to steepest, to tallest, to the one with the most twists (or corkscrews)! Cedar Point has set and typically continues to hold the record for most existing coaster superlatives. I enjoy the adrenaline rush these rides give as you climb steadily up the first big hill, watching the trees getting smaller and smaller, and then suddenly and quickly plummet into turns and twists and upside down adventures, all while securely fastened into a lap belt and harness. It's sheer fun!  

Growing up in the midwest (Greater Detroit and Greater Cleveland areas), my family and I went to Cedar Point at least once every single summer. I loved the kiddie rides when I was younger and couldn't wait to be 48 inches tall so that I could ride the bigger rides and then 52 inches tall so I could ride the biggest thrill coasters in the world. As I got older, I also realized how many people come to work and play at Cedar Point from all over the world and how many more things there are than rides at Cedar Point: traditional American fair foods, a whole history section called the Frontier Trail, an extensive water park, carnival games and activities, a beach with its own parties and events, et. al. We are lucky that Cedar Point is only an hour away from campus!

CWRU Access Services provides discount tickets to various movie theaters and Cedar Point (when in season) to all employees, students, and CWRU ID Cardholders.

Recommended by Madi Hunt, Information Specialist

The Cleveland Botanical Garden and the Holden Arboretum are great to visit any season, providing a beautiful environment to relax and relieve stress! The Botanical Gardens are especially great in the winter when you just want to feel warm, and Holden Arboretum offers some really cool classes (in addition to being gorgeous during all four seasons).

Both of those have admission fees and limited accessibility, so the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse is another great option. It's a real hidden gem that's only a bit further from campus than the Botanical Gardens. It's open every day of the year (including holidays) from 10-4 with free parking and free admission.


Recommended by Alec Jokubaitis, Business Systems Analyst

There is a lot to enjoy at a Cavs game, whether or not you're a basketball fan! It's easy to get to the games from campus (you can use the RTA and not have to go outside!) the food is fun and the whole event is exciting - from the mascots to dancing to other entertainment provided during the games. 

A picture of students at a Cleveland Cavalier's game with their backs to the court

Americans are crazy about sports, and a live sporting event is an experience not to be missed. Clevelanders in particular rally around their sports teams, and attending a game gives a great glimpse into the sense of community in Cleveland. It also gives a chance to connect with the great basketball history that has passed through the team, to see new memories get made, and to see the best teams in the league visit Cleveland. Plus, it's a great time to yell, cheer and be a fan!

Recommended by Adolfo Franco, International Student Advisor

The Cleveland International Film Festival is an opportunity to get a view of the world without having to leave Cleveland! 

The festival is held during the spring semester and promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts to enrich the Cleveland community.

You can make a day of going downtown and exploring the area around Public Square while also enjoying a wide variety of movies from around the world!

Recommended by Elizabeth Miller, Assistant Director of International Student Services

There is so much to love about the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA)!  First, nearly every exhibit is free.  Their motto is "For the Benefit of All the People Forever," meaning the museum is meant to bring benefits to the entire Cleveland community and to achieve that goal, they have made general admission free for everyone! Occasionally there are special exhibits that cost a little bit to see, but even then the tickets are reasonably priced, and the exhibits are well worth seeing!

Another thing to love about CMA is the atmosphere. As much as possible, they use natural light to give visitors the feeling of being outside even while they are indoors.  There is a beautiful atrium with a bamboo garden, skylights, and a great cafeteria.  You can take homework or a good book to the museum, sit in the atrium, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

The exhibits are really incredible. Many people think that because Cleveland is a fairly small city, our museum will not be very impressive, but that's not the case at all.  They bring in internationally renown artists, for example in Fall 2019 they had exhibits from Nigerian artist Emeka Ogboh and Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang.  Additionally, the museum has an impressive collection of medieval armor, pieces from throughout Asia, and special events throughout the year. You can see many of their pieces online through Open Access.

Take the time to follow CMA on social media and learn about all the museum has to offer. It's just across the street from campus, so don't miss this great opportunity to see and experience artwork from around the world here in your own neighborhood.

One of the best things about studying at CWRU is living in University Circle. This unique blend of education, the arts, and culture is something you will not find in most other cities (if any others!). However, many CWRU students forget about CMA because it is right next door. It can feel like you always have time to do that "tomorrow," so you never go "today." However, if you put off visiting CMA, you will miss the special, short-term exhibits they have.

Visiting an art museum can help boost your mood, make you more innovative, and decrease stress. As a bonus, this one is free! I always recommend students take advantage of their time as a student to do things they may not get to do after they graduate, and visiting CMA at 2 pm on a Tuesday is definitely one of those things. Take time to relax and let your mind wander - it is one of the best things you can do for your brain!

Recommended by Cami Ross, Assistant Director for Education Abroad

Cami stands in front of a white sign that reads "Cleveland" at Edgewater Park

Within the view of the Cleveland skyline is an expansive beach with white sand.  Edgewater Park is a great location to have a picnic and it fills up on weekends with music, sailboats, the smells of a grill and lots of people! There is free parking available and it’s also free to walk the path or visit the beach! 

The park has a beautiful building that serves drinks and food (which is pretty good) on a huge patio, plus, if you're adventurous, you can walk under the Shoreway and grab dinner at Battery Park or over at Whiskey Island Marina where there is often live music!  

I also used to be on a women's sailing team so I still love watching sailboats race on weeknights and weekends!  The sunsets over the water are a real highlight!  As Clevelanders, we pride ourselves on Lake Erie, so Edgewater Park is a wonderful way to be by the lake and take in the sights of the city.  Lake Erie is the 11th largest freshwater lake in the world and it gets much of its water from Niagara Falls.  

At the top of the hill is a Cleveland sign with a view of the city skyline in the background - everyone should take the opportunity to get a photo by it!  

Recommended by Molly Watkins, Assistant Provost for International Affairs

Cleveland and Playhouse Square host the second-largest theater district in the United States. There is something happening every night for your entertainment. You can see Broadway shows, new theater, or be entertained by the latest comedic acts on tour. Cleveland has an amazing theater district with an outdoor chandelier, incredible restaurants, and fantastic theater options. It should not be missed!