Each week, we'll be featuring a place of interest around Cleveland, site of Gay Games IX in 2014. Cleveland, Akron, and Northeast Ohio are great places to visit, and are also great places from which to experience some of the finest destinations in the USA and Canada.
Cuyahoga County Fair
The county fair is a great tradition of rural America. Rides for children, displays of the best farm animals, produce, arts and crafts, sports events, live music, all are part of this annual event.
Cleveland is a vibrant city in a rich agricultural region. It is the seat of Cuyahoga County, and the county fair takes place each August in nearby Berea, the venue for Gay Games VIII Track and Field.
More info HERE.
And if you like your fairs on a somewhat bigger scale, you can visit the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, also in late July/early August.
More info HERE.
Within 250 km of Cleveland:
Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan
"The Henry Ford" in Dearborn, just outside Detroit, includes the Henry Ford Automobile Museum, an IMAX theater, and Greenfield Park. It is the largest indoor-outdoor museum complex in America. Nearly one hundred historical buildings were moved to the property from their original locations and arranged in a "village" setting. The museum's intent is to show how Americans lived and worked since the founding of the country. The Village includes buildings from the 17th century to the present, many of which are staffed by costumed interpreters who conduct period tasks like farming, sewing and cooking. A collection of craft buildings such as pottery, glass-blowing, and tin shops provide demonstrations while producing materials used in the Village and for sale.
The transportation system provides rides by horse-drawn omnibus, steam locomotive, a 1931 Model AA bus (one of about 15 left known to exist), and authentic Ford Model Ts. The railroad, unusually for a heritage railway, has a direct connection to Amtrak.
Some of the most notable homes and buildings include:
- Noah Webster's Connecticut home.
- the Wright brothers' bicycle shop and home from Dayton, Ohio
- Thomas Edison's Menlo Park laboratory from New Jersey
- Henry Ford's birthplace
- Henry Ford's prototype garage where he built the Ford Quadricycle
- Harvey Firestone family farm
- the Logan County, Illinois courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law
- William Holmes McGuffey's birthplace
- Luther Burbank's office
Within 500 km of Cleveland:
Indianapolis is the capital of Indiana, and is perhaps best known for the annual Indianapolis 500 automobile race, which is the star of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, an automotive museum on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Museum houses the Auto Racing Hall of Fame. It is intrinsically linked to the Indianapolis 500, but it also includes exhibits reflecting other forms of motorsports, passenger cars and general automotive history. In 2006, it celebrated its 50th anniversary. Many Indy 500-winning cars are on display.
More info on visiting Indianopolis HERE.
The Eastern Shore of Maryland
The Eastern Shore of Maryland is part of the peninsula separating the Atlantic Ocean from Chesapeake Bay.
The Chesapeake Bay is likely the main attraction on the Eastern Shore. It is rich with activities, watermen culture, great seafood, and is simply beautiful. To learn more about Chesapeake culture, there are a number of good museums around the region, such as the J. Millard Tawes Historical Museum and seafood processing plant tour in Crisfield and the the Maritime Museum of St. Michaels. Smith Island is another great stop for Chesapeake watermen culture, where you'll find accents dating back to Victorian England, and a local sense of place and purpose inseparable from the Bay and its sea harvests. Hooper's Island is a bit less exotic than Smith Island, but still a great off-the-beaten-path locale for natural beauty and the historic Phillips Seafood Factory. The ever-popular resort town of Ocean City, in addition to the beach and boardwalk, has a couple offbeat museums, most notably the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum.
It is also right next door to the gorgeous barrier island of Assateague Island National Seashore. Assateague, with its natural beauty and wild ponies strolling the long, quiet, white sand beach, is not to be missed.
Other picturesque tourist destinations include the small historic towns around the region, particularly south of US-50. The town of St. Michaels on a neck surrounded by water, the colonial former port of Oxford, Chestertown, Stevensville on Kent Island, and Snow Hill are all great options for lazy strolls and historical sightseeing.
Ocean City has been a tourist destination for Baltimoreans and Marylanders from the Western Shore in general, thus rendering the flavor of Ocean City life unlike that of the rest of the Shore. The skyline, containing many tall hotels and condominiums, is in contrast to the rest of Delmarva. On the southern end of Ocean City is a recreational boardwalk spanning over thirty blocks and containing carnival rides and games, restaurants, bars, arcades, and clothing boutiques.
Other tourist destinations include the town of St. Michael's on a neck surrounded by water; the colonial former port of Oxford; Chestertown; and isolated Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay. North of Crisfield is Janes Island State Park, which has camping and kayaking trails through marshlands.
More info HERE.
Within (approx) 1000 km of Cleveland:
Quebec City, Quebec
Quebec City is one of the oldest European settlements in North America, founded in 1608. The former capital of New France remains the capital of the Province of Quebec. In a region of outstanding natural beauty, Quebec City is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Explore the Fortifications of Québec, which span close to 4.6 kilometers around Old Québec. They're one of a kind this side of Mexico! Then wander over to Artillery Park, where characters in period costume will welcome you to defensive buildings dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Round off your trip by learning all about Jacques Cartier's first winter in Québec City in 1535 and the history of the Jesuits at Cartier-Brébeuf Park.
A key part of the city's fortifications, the star-shaped Citadel showcases Québec's military history. The Royal 22e Régiment museum (housed in a 1750 powder magazine and a military prison dating back to 1842), the summer military ceremonies (changing of the guard, firing of the cannon), and the Governor General of Canada's official residence are all worth seeing.
Discover Québec City's military heritage!
Plains of Abraham Battlefields Park is not only one of the world's finest city parks, it is also a lasting reminder of the site's storied past. Visit Martello Tower 1 to learn all about feats of military engineering or take part in an exciting murder mystery dinner at Martello Tower 2.
Early August is the time to be whisked back to the days of New France in the authentic surroundings of Old Québec during the "New France Festival". Costumed parades, street entertainment, shows, plays, historical reenactments, and public markets provide a window onto bygone days at this exciting historic festival!
More info HERE.