Visit Cleveland’s cultural heart to discover a wealth of museums, restaurants and cafes, fine botanical gardens and more.
Wherever you go in University Circle you will encounter beautiful buildings with rich histories such as Glidden House or Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra. Browse works by master painters at Cleveland Art gallery’s extensive European collection or learn about the area’s history in the Western Reserve Historical Society. Children will enjoy a visit to the Children’s Museum while adults may appreciate the chance to relax in the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.
The name University Circle came about in the 1880s when Western Reserve University relocated there. In the early 20th century several more grand institutions were added and it soon became Cleveland’s cultural center. Covering 550 acres (222 hectares) the area is where you will find almost all of Cleveland’s major museums, university buildings and medical institutions.
Admire the plants in the Botanical Gardens, which feature large glass domes containing a rainforest landscape filled with butterflies. Pay a visit to the Natural History Museum to learn about the flora, fauna and geological history of the area. See dinosaur skeletons and meet Lucy, one of the oldest human skeletons ever discovered. For more recent history, visit the 20th-century mansions of the Western Reserve Historical Society. Take your time to explore the Cleveland Museum of Art and its excellent collections of European Impressionists art and Asian pieces.
If you like music, visit to the Cleveland Institute of Music, which puts on over 500 concerts a year. Also visit Severance Hall for a tour or to listen to the Cleveland Orchestra.
Wade Oval, in the center of the Circle, is the center for many of Cleveland’s favorite festivals. If you visit between June and August, head along to Wade Oval Wednesdays to catch a free concert. The Circle is lined with cafés, restaurants and bars so grab a drink or something to eat at the end of the day.
University Circle is located east of Cleveland’s town center and is served by regular buses and a light rail. There is also a regular free bus that goes around the circle, shuttling you between attractions. You’ll find metered parking at several garages.