Our first stop in Ohio was between Cleveland and Akron in a small town called Streetsboro. We stayed at a KOA this time, and it turned out to be a nice campground. We visited Cleveland and Akron during a couple of daytrips. I enjoyed Cleveland very much during the two times we explored the city. It had a small town feel with all the big city amenities. It seemed to be clean, safe, and friendly. We also tried to look around downtown Akron, but we were there on a rainy Saturday, and really only got a glimpse from inside the moving car. From this location we drove in one direction to see to see Kent State, and in the opposite direction to see Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It was a good stop and a good introduction into The Buckeye State.
The large tent beside the food court at the Cleveland Octoberfest (in August) featured a large oompah band that played non-stop. I think they could have used a slightly larger stage.
What was the primary attraction of the Octoberfest event? Why, Dachshund races of course! No losers, only wieners.
The Cayahoga Valley National Park features a scenic hike and bike path that runs along the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail, between Cleveland and Akron. It was one of the nation’s first ‘urban’ national parks. We took the dogs for a scenic walk one Friday afternoon. This spot was only about 15 minutes from our KOA location.
While we were at the West Side Market, we bought some authentic Cleveland Brats from one of the meat vendors. (The flavoring and spices were different than a traditional brat). I also bought some peppers and onions from one of the produce vendors. It all tasted delicious when dinner was served!
Here is a view from the back of our spot. The sites were fairly large and spacious at this KOA. They had a nice pool and a general store that sold ice cream! I think it was certainly one of the cleanest and well maintained KOA’s that we have stayed in thus far.
I saw a show about the West Side Market in Cleveland on Food Network just before we arrived at the Streetsboro KOA. It opened to the public in 1912, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places back in 1973. In 2008, the American Planning Association designated it as one of the “10 Greatest Public Spaces in America”. The vendors were fabulous. There was an open-air produce section on one side. On the opposite side was a climate controlled section with vendors specializing in baked goods, spices, meats, dairy products, pasta, olives, tamales, and every other thing you could imagine.
I honestly wandered through the market in a slow daze – probably drooling a bit.
Mike got to go dove hunting when we were in Ohio. He got a three-day license and hunted on public fields that were located about 45 minutes from our camp. He had sold all of his camo gear in our estate sale, so we had to go to Walmart and get some new duds.
Downtown Cleveland sits directly on Lake Erie. We had planned to wander around the waterfront for a little bit after we visited the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but rain was coming. Instead we got back in our car and drove to a great restaurant called Melt Bar & Grilled. The menu featured gargantuan grilled cheese sandwiches of all varieties. I got meatloaf, Mike got pulled pork. We shared a bowl of buffalo chicken soup while it poured down rain outside. Life was good on that lunch date.
The current rotating exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was about the outdoor music festival. They played a continuous -feed, 18-minute video with various performances of about 25 singers and bands from festivals all over the country.
It was fun to see an exhibit of Jerry Lee Lewis and remember how lucky we were that we recently got to see him perform live at the Memphis Blues Festival.
It would be extremely easy to spend a full 8 or 10 hours inside the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – because of all the videos and concert recordings playing on dozens of screens and in several theaters within the building.
The actual Hall of Fame section is a spiraling ramp with signatures of all the inductees flanking the wall. I thought Robert Plant and Phil Spector’s signatures were two of the most bizarre. I was also surprised at the neatness and legibility of Stevie Wonder’s signature.
A row of kiosks within a hallway of the museum had this touch screen with thousands of songs available with one tap. The speakers were in the ceiling of the circular shaped cubbies. I wanted to stand there indefinitely and tap the screen until I had played every song. Mike was not interested in waiting for me to get to the end.