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Florida Guy

Visiting Cleveland & Cedar Point – Need Recommendations

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I will be arriving in Cleveland on Friday October 25th with a group of Cleveland virgins. We will be staying at the Hyatt Regency downtown. I would prefer to be car free for the day. The following morning, we will need to pick up a rental car back at the airport and to drive to Cedar Point. Is the Red line a reliable source to get to/from downtown Friday/Saturday morning? I saw some postings that it has been problematic.

 

Where is the best place to have an adult beverage with a view? Is the bar at the Hilton open to the public? The bar at the 9? Some other place?

 

Any recommendations for dinner that does not require a reservation?

 

Where to go in the Flats for drinks with a view?

 

Best gay/gay friendly bar in Cleveland to have a drink? Twist?

 

I wanted to stay at the Breakers at Cedar Point but all of the hotels on the property require a two-night stay. Does anyone have a recommendation for a hotel near Cedar Point?

 

Thank you in advance for your recommendations!

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I think car free is fine.  The red line was down for construction and was replaced by buses but I think it’s been restored.

 

my recommendations:  I think for a group that you want to impress for dinner , I would take them to Luxe in Gordon square. The whole Detroit Shoreway is gay friendly.  Not a view, but great energy both in and outside the restaurant and a wonderful patio.  Toast or Spice great second options.  From there you can walk to the beach and get a drink with a view at either terrestrial brewing or the beach house at Edgewater (May want to confirm the bar is open in late October).  Actually you can spend an entire evening in Detroit Shoreway (Gordon square).  If you are looking for a drink downtown, yes the Hilton and 9 bars are open.  Collision Bend brewing is a neat spot on the water for a drink in the flats along with alley cat.

 

 

Edited by BelievelandD1
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Most bars in Cleveland are pretty gay-friendly at this point. Twist is too vapid for my taste - if you want a true "gay bar" (not just a gay-friendly space) and your fellow travelers are comfortable with more of an old-school dive bar atmospehere, I find Cocktails to be the better choice. Jukebox is still gay-ish, although all of Hingetown has gotten bro-ier recently. 

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“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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My suggestions/comments below:

 

I will be arriving in Cleveland on Friday October 25th with a group of Cleveland virgins. We will be staying at the Hyatt Regency downtown. I would prefer to be car free for the day. The following morning, we will need to pick up a rental car back at the airport and to drive to Cedar Point. Is the Red line a reliable source to get to/from downtown Friday/Saturday morning? I saw some postings that it has been problematic. Wherever you would want to go would also be easily accessible via rideshare (Lyft, etc.). Red line construction has wrapped up, I would recommend getting the 'Transit' app to track arrivals/departures.

 

Where is the best place to have an adult beverage with a view? Is the bar at the Hilton open to the public? The bar at the 9? Some other place? Bar 32 at the Hilton is indeed open to public; at the 9 the best view is from Azure Sky Lounge but may not be open at that point, call ahead to be sure.

 

Any recommendations for dinner that does not require a reservation? Depends on party size, preferences, budget - need more info before I can recommend.

 

Where to go in the Flats for drinks with a view? Collision Bend Brewing, plus they have a great menu of shareables.

 

Best gay/gay friendly bar in Cleveland to have a drink? Twist? Yes.

 

I wanted to stay at the Breakers at Cedar Point but all of the hotels on the property require a two-night stay. Does anyone have a recommendation for a hotel near Cedar Point? Would airbnb be an option? Looked like quite a few available around your travel dates.

 

Thank you in advance for your recommendations!

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Thank you for the suggestions!

 

@MayDay There will be 4 of us. I’m not too concerned with budget but I don’t want anything super high end/stuffy. Would you recommend the Mexican restaurant by the rock hall? I would like something that we could walk to like e4th, Flats, or WD. For the type of food I'm open, someplace that serves local dishes would be nice as well. Airbnb is a great suggestion, thank you.

Edited by Florida Guy

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You should also check out this boutique hotel in downtown Sandusky.  https://hotelkilbourne.com/  Downtown Sandusky has transformed a bit in the past few years, there are some neat spots. 

 

The Mexican restaurant is on a bit of an island, if you ask me.  Kind of separated from the rest of the city, no true neighborhood.  The water proximity is nice, but again i think the options will impress more

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Where to go in the Flats for drinks with a view? Collision Bend Brewing, plus they have a great menu of shareables.

 

I'm a fan of Alley Cat, with their second-floor seating and views. Honorable mention is the Lindey's Lake House Flats (they also have a Lakewood location). My wife didn't care for Collision Bend Brewing but my friends (50-70 year old guys) like it.

 

The Red Line is Rapid is again, following some $20 million worth of track improvements this summer on the West Side. When you take the Rapid to the airport, you have to catch a frequent and free shuttle bus to the rental car center which is just north of the airport.

 

While you've asked about restaurants that don't require reservations, most of the good ones do -- especially on weekends.  If you want to take them to a "quintessential Cleveland" bar/restaurant, I recommend The Flat Iron, Parkview Nite Club, Prosperity Social Club, Sokolowski's and of course, Slyman's.

 

Personally, I think the restaurant choices are better in Ohio City than they are in Detroit-Shoreway. My wife, son and I eat out a LOT!

 

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"Fascism begins the moment a ruling class, fearing the people may use their political democracy to gain economic democracy, begins to destroy political democracy in order to retain its power of exploitation and special privilege." -- Tommy Douglas, Scottish-born Canadian Baptist minister and the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan

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1 hour ago, KJP said:

 

I'm a fan of Alley Cat, with their second-floor seating and views. Honorable mention is the Lindey's Lake House Flats (they also have a Lakewood location). My wife didn't care for Collision Bend Brewing but my friends (50-70 year old guys) like it.

 

The Red Line is Rapid is again, following some $20 million worth of track improvements this summer on the West Side. When you take the Rapid to the airport, you have to catch a frequent and free shuttle bus to the rental car center which is just north of the airport.

 

While you've asked about restaurants that don't require reservations, most of the good ones do -- especially on weekends.  If you want to take them to a "quintessential Cleveland" bar/restaurant, I recommend The Flat Iron, Parkview Nite Club, Prosperity Social Club, Sokolowski's and of course, Slyman's.

 

Personally, I think the restaurant choices are better in Ohio City than they are in Detroit-Shoreway. My wife, son and I eat out a LOT!

 

Thank you. I was just looking at both Alley Cat & Lindey's last night they are both contenders. The waterfront line ends at 7 PM before the nightlife starts in the flats? 😕

http://www.riderta.com/routes/waterfrontline/schedules/current

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On 9/20/2019 at 11:37 PM, Florida Guy said:

Thank you so much that’s exactly the type of hotel I was looking for but it did not turn up on any of the sites that I was searching. 

 

 

Not sure how much time you'll have after getting back from CP, but Hotel Kilbourne also has a nice rooftop bar that is open until 1 hour after sunset. The owners of Kilbourne also own Volstead Bar, which is a small speakeasy cocktail bar just a few blocks away. There's also a gay bar a block south of Kilbourne called Crowbar. Other good spots downtown are Small City Taphouse, Crush Wine Bar, and Barra tacos. 

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34 minutes ago, Florida Guy said:

Thank you. I was just looking at both Alley Cat & Lindey's last night they are both contenders. The waterfront line ends at 7 PM before the nightlife starts in the flats? 😕

http://www.riderta.com/routes/waterfrontline/schedules/current

 

The C Line trolley serves the traffic circle at Main and West 10th, and runs from 7-11 pm weekdays as well as all-day on Saturdays and Sundays:

http://www.riderta.com/routes/c-line

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"Fascism begins the moment a ruling class, fearing the people may use their political democracy to gain economic democracy, begins to destroy political democracy in order to retain its power of exploitation and special privilege." -- Tommy Douglas, Scottish-born Canadian Baptist minister and the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan

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We’ve decided to fly in the night before to give us a full day in Cleveland. Therefore, I need some additional recommendations.

 

The West Side Market is first on our itinerary. Is there any place there that you would recommend for breakfast food?  Is there something that is better on the near west side or downtown?

 

We will be visiting the Garfield Monument and it is undergoing restorations; the observation deck is closed. The view from the observation desk is one of my favorite views of Cleveland. Is there anything nearby that offers a similar view?

 

We are considering purchasing the fast pass at Cedar Point to avoid long lines. Is it that crowded at the end of October that the fast pass would be worth purchasing?

 

Thank you!

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28 minutes ago, Florida Guy said:

The West Side Market is first on our itinerary. Is there any place there that you would recommend for breakfast food?  Is there something that is better on the near west side or downtown?


Okay, after realizing this is most likely Friday morning...the West Side Market Cafe is extremely close (obviously) if that’s the route you want to go.

 

Otherwise Grumpy’s in Tremont is a favorite, as well as Lucky’s (which is a little more fancy, been on food shows).

Edited by Enginerd
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What day are you going to CP? If it’s a Saturday, absolutely get the Fast Lane wristbands, as Halloweekends Saturday’s are the busiest days of the year outside of July. Friday nights or Sundays are manageable crowd-wise without them. Note that only the Fast Lane Plus, the more expensive option, includes the “big rides” like Steel Vengeance and Dragster.

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“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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^ agree with Grumpys for a great meal or Luckys for a more impressive experience.  Tremont is also really adorable to walk around it.  The mix of cute houses and new modern builds is a sight to see.

 

Not sure if your crew likes art or not, but i believe the Michaelangelo exhibit should still be around.  It typically lives in the Netherlands and Cleveland is the first time this collection of art has been on American soil.  The art museum in and of itself is a showstopper (and free!).  Add a neat exhibit and it makes for a great couple hours. If you are going to Garfield that is closeby and you can easily mix in lunch


 

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54 minutes ago, Enginerd said:


Okay, after realizing this is most likely Friday morning...the West Side Market Cafe is extremely close (obviously) if that’s the route you want to go.

 

Otherwise Grumpy’s in Tremont is a favorite, as well as Lucky’s (which is a little more fancy, been on food shows).

We will be taking the rapid so the WSM Cafe is a good option. Thank you.

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16 minutes ago, BigDipper 80 said:

What day are you going to CP? If it’s a Saturday, absolutely get the Fast Lane wristbands, as Halloweekends Saturday’s are the busiest days of the year outside of July. Friday nights or Sundays are manageable crowd-wise without them. Note that only the Fast Lane Plus, the more expensive option, includes the “big rides” like Steel Vengeance and Dragster.

Saturday. Thank you for pointing out the fast lane plus. I would have not been happy to spend $100 and still have to wait in lines for the coasters.

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17 minutes ago, BelievelandD1 said:

^ agree with Grumpys for a great meal or Luckys for a more impressive experience.  Tremont is also really adorable to walk around it.  The mix of cute houses and new modern builds is a sight to see.

 

Not sure if your crew likes art or not, but i believe the Michaelangelo exhibit should still be around.  It typically lives in the Netherlands and Cleveland is the first time this collection of art has been on American soil.  The art museum in and of itself is a showstopper (and free!).  Add a neat exhibit and it makes for a great couple hours. If you are going to Garfield that is closeby and you can easily mix in lunch


 

We like art but due to time constraints we will not be able to visit the CMA.  Slyman's is on the itinerary for lunch😋. Thank you for the suggestion.

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2 hours ago, Florida Guy said:

We will be taking the rapid so the WSM Cafe is a good option. Thank you.

 

I would also stop at Mitchells for ice cream if you have a chance. One of the best I've ever had.

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9 hours ago, Florida Guy said:

Is the Terminal Tower observation deck open? I can only find outdated information on-line.

 

Yes. They did a nice job with the observation deck. I went a couple months ago. You just show your event brite ticket to the security guard at the main info desk by the tower elevators. 

 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/terminal-tower-observation-deck-self-guided-tour-tickets-33127241471

 

 

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On 10/3/2019 at 10:05 AM, Florida Guy said:

Saturday. Thank you for pointing out the fast lane plus. I would have not been happy to spend $100 and still have to wait in lines for the coasters.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this is the last weekend that CP will be open.  There could be a few extra people there for that reason.  Also, CP released a $100 season pass for next year that included the remainder of this season.  Crowds have been way up in general due to that.

 

But more likely it will depend on the weather.  While Fall Saturday's are usually crazy busy, if the weather doesn't look good people will stay away.  At this point most of the park goers are local and not staying overnight (as much).   If you haven't already bough your fastlane pass it may be worth it to wait until you are in the park to see if it is truely needed.  Early in the day waits can be pretty low, also later as more people go into the Haunts.  

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On 10/7/2019 at 12:54 PM, Florida Guy said:

Is the Terminal Tower observation deck open? I can only find outdated information on-line.

 

Yes.   I was absolutely about to recommend it.   I took my daughter for the first time about a year ago, the pics just came up in my Facebook memories.

 

Be very careful if you decide to go to Cocktails.   It's not downtown, and the neighborhood isn't the best.  I can't speak to how authentic it is, I would not have a clue.   But if you go, Uber.   Don't drive/park, and by no means should you take RTA there, particularly in the evening.  There have been cases of patrons being harrassed and even beaten outside.

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On 10/9/2019 at 2:35 PM, E Rocc said:

 

Yes.   I was absolutely about to recommend it.   I took my daughter for the first time about a year ago, the pics just came up in my Facebook memories.

 

Be very careful if you decide to go to Cocktails.   It's not downtown, and the neighborhood isn't the best.  I can't speak to how authentic it is, I would not have a clue.   But if you go, Uber.   Don't drive/park, and by no means should you take RTA there, particularly in the evening.  There have been cases of patrons being harrassed and even beaten outside.

 

Have you patronized this establishment?  Yes or no? 

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23 hours ago, MyTwoSense said:

 

Have you patronized this establishment?  Yes or no? 

 

We talked about this at length, on these pages.   Not all that long ago.   Unless things have changed dramatically, which based on Google Maps images  I doubt, the place has any more secured parking than it did then.    That means people are crossing unsecured space to get there.

Of course I've never been there.   But bar security is a subject I know very well.  Were I not pretty tired of the whole thing, I could probably consult on the side.

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It just depends on what you’re looking for.
 

Cocktails is a dive; cheap drinks, sometimes drag shows and an....interesting basement. I’ve driven and parked there with no issues, just be aware of your surroundings as one should always be.

 

Hawk has sort of a dive/sports bar feel.

 

I like Vibe (W117/Lorain). Cheap drinks but I little livelier feel than the other two.

 

Then of course Twist, which is the most dance clubby (although not by other city standards) and popular of the gay bars in town. It’s gonna be Halloween week so I guarantee events will be happening.

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Every time I go to Cocktails I walk there. I've walked home multiple times around 2AM and have never had issues. Situational awareness (as mentioned above) is a thing to employ wherever you are. I think people have mentioned most of the explicitly LGBTQ bars, but since it'll be over Halloween you'll find some good stuff happening at Mahall's.

 

Re: breakfast. My favorite is the Flying Fig. If you want cheaper, the cafe at the market is indeed good.

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WSM, Slymans, Pier W, Lindey's Lake House, and Lucky's are on the agenda for food.

 

Looking at the Cedar Point cams the foliage still looks green with some changing color. When will fall colors be at peak? All I can find were "predictions" from September which predicted peak on October 26th. 

 

Thank you for the suggestions.

Edited by Florida Guy

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13 hours ago, Florida Guy said:

WSM, Slymans, Pier W, Lindey's Lake House, and Lucky's are on the agenda for food.

 

Looking at the Cedar Point cams the foliage still looks green with some changing color. When will fall colors be at peak? All I can find were "predictions" from September which predicted peak on October 26th. 

 

Thank you for the suggestions.

Make a stop on the Eastside.  Tommy's is good.

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I'm in need of an option for Saturday morning breakfast.  Lucky's & Grumpy's do not open until 8 AM. We want to get on the road to Cedar Point early in light of recent events. A friend from Columbus drove there on Saturday and was not able to get in. They closed the park because it reached capacity. Someplace in Tremont is preferred but downtown or Ohio City can work as well as long as they are open by 7:30 AM. 

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29 minutes ago, Florida Guy said:

I'm in need of an option for Saturday morning breakfast.  Lucky's & Grumpy's do not open until 8 AM. We want to get on the road to Cedar Point early in light of recent events. A friend from Columbus drove there on Saturday and was not able to get in. They closed the park because it reached capacity. Someplace in Tremont is preferred but downtown or Ohio City can work as well as long as they are open by 7:30 AM. 

 

Cleveland Bagel is open at 6:30 in Hingetown (Ohio City). They have a limited menu (bagels and bagel sandwiches), but it is in the area and the bagels are good. Yours Truly in playhouse square is a more traditional sit down breakfast option that is good. They open at 6:30 as well.

 

http://clebagelco.com/menu/

https://ytr.com/playhouse-square/

Edited by jc324
Added link to Cleveland Bagel
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Just a friendly FYI:

 

Cedar Point is having its busiest October Halloweekends *ever*. For the first time in its history, they had to turn guests away last weekend.

 

If you can, try to go Sunday instead of Saturday!

 

I just wanted to make sure you knew what to expect, but I hope you have a blast regardless!

 

Edited by Zyrokai
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