Best Places to Shop in Cleveland

It seems that every big city has figured out that to make the locals and the tourists happy there has to be shopping, and lots of it. Cleveland has joined the fray and it can truly be considered a shopping destination with its high end clothiers, its eclectic boutiques, all-in-one shopping malls, antique stores and one-of-a-kind shops make it an incredible place to visit for the shopping fanatic.

The Arcade

The Arcade is not just a shopping center but it’s a historic building as its one of America’s first indoor shopping malls and Cleveland’s first skyscraper. Built in 1890 The Arcade is smack dab in the middle of downtown Cleveland and hard to miss. The architecture of this shopping center proves that they just don’t build them like they used to. Two 9 story towers connected by an atrium made of glass and metal are the highlights but the gargoyles atop attract quite a lot of attention on their own. But let’s get serious if you’re looking to shop then The Arcade is probably not where you want to go. There are few shops and not much selection at all. It’s a beautiful building though and worthy of a picture or two, but if you want to spend then keep moving.

Steelyard Commons

Steelyard Commons is not your typical shopping center but it’s perfect for families as there are a ton of stores and activities to keep everyone occupied. The stores are typical with well known names such as Target, Wal-Mart, Old Navy, Marshalls, Bath & Body Works, and more than a handful of fast food restaurants. Steelyard Commons is relatively new having opened to the public only in 2007 but there are already miles of hiking and biking trails surrounding the mall and leading to the Ohio Erie Canal towpath. A future playground and Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad stop is planned for the future so there will be even more reason to stop by Steelyard Commons.

Tower City Center

Tower City Center is one of those places downtown where you actually can spend the whole day shopping, eating and then stay overnight in a hotel within walking distance. It’s a great place for visitors as it has everything you could need or want in one compact location. There are dozens of stores you’re familiar with like Charlotte Russe, Foot Locker and Nine West in addition to more than 100 specialty stores where you can find things you never even imagined before. If you want to take a load off head over to the 11 screen theater for a quick afternoon flick or checkout an event at Time Warner Cable Amphitheater or Progressive Field or the Quicken Loans Arena, which all have convenient access through connected walkways. The whole center was really designed for the utmost in convenience for tourists to enjoy your getaway.

Larchmere Boulevard

Larchmere Boulevard takes out away from the mall and offers quaint boutiques, antiques, art stores and some incredible dining alternatives. This strip of independent stores is convenient and cute making it a little more pleasant than the hustle and bustle of the malls. The shops at Larchmere Boulevard are most likely ones you haven’t heard of before including Loganberry Books, Frog’s Legs, Inc., The Dancing Sheep American Crafts, Larchmere Oriental Rugs and many others. This is one of those shopping experiences you can’t find anywhere else so it’s a must stop for visitors.

Shaker Square

Shaker Square is an octagonal shopping district constructed in the 1920’s. The center is designed to resemble a European center and even features Georgian and Tudor architecture which matches the surrounding homes. Not to be confused with a shopping mall, Shaker Square is said to be the oldest shopping district in Ohio and the second oldest in the nation, but that seems doubtful to me, although it does hold a place on the National Register of Historic Places. The Square claims to be an upscale shopping district but it’s actually better suited for window shopping and having a bite to eat at one of the sidewalk cafes. Not the best shopping spot in town but it is a historic landmark.

Galleria at Erieview

The Galleria at Erieview has a little bit of everything from services to retail stores a full service restaurant and a food court. One of the best parts of the Galleria is the art galleries there is A.R.T. Showcase, The Frame Center Gallery, HeARTworks, and The Herndon Gallery. There are also a number of specialty shops which means this shopping locale is the perfect stop if you’re looking for something you just can’t find anywhere else, that unique memento of your trip to Cleveland.

Aurora Farms Premium Outlets

If it’s a bargain you’re looking for the Aurora Farms Premium Outlets outside of Cleveland is the best place to stop. It’s actually a pretty quaint setting for an outlet mall, much prettier than most. Like all large outlet malls these days, you’re not necessarily going to get any great deals by shopping there but there is always a chance and the variety and selection is worth the trip. Aurora Farms houses more than 70 outlet stores with such well known stores as Ann Taylor, Coach, DKNY Jeans, Michael Kors, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Liz Claiborne and more. This is where you’re most apt to find a great deal.

Crocker Park

Crocker Park is located about 30 minutes outside of Cleveland and is set up to resemble a park-like complex packed with retail stores, restaurants, business offices, and apartments. Built during the housing boom this created city is like a lot of them in suburbs across the United States, its dripping with modern charm from the cobblestone walkways, fountains and town square to the convenient stores and high end groceries and corner coffee shops.  Sure it’s contrived but there are a lot of good things about Crocker Park that make it worth a visit. The stores are plentiful and familiar such as Apple Computer, J. Jill, Hollister, Borders Books & Music, Smith & Hawken, Coach and loads more. The center is clean and attractive with numerous dining options and there are regular activities to keep residents and visitors amused.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Cleveland shopping, there are many more specialty stores, antique shops, and even shopping malls.  It’s impossible to visit them all in one vacation so stick to a few and give them your undivided attention.

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