By: Puja Mohan

Cleveland is the most city-like area I have encountered upon arriving in Kent. Not to despise the city status of Cleveland, but having been born and raised in Chicago, Cleveland is vastly different; city-wise that is. However, Cleveland radiates its own elegance. The overall ambience of the city, day or night, can be quite comforting and tranquilizing.

The fine dining Cleveland offers is far more compelling than Kent, but by no means extraordinary. For example, Chocolate Bar has overpriced items, too me anyways. However, I do appreciate the aesthetically plating of the dishes. Many of the portions, especially desserts, were much larger than I expected. I decided splitting a dish is the way to go.

If you’re looking for Mexican cuisine, Barrio offers flavorful options and is reasonably priced. They offer tasty Mexican food that you can customize through filling out a Build Your Own Tacos slip.

A comical encounter that I think of when related to Cleveland and dining was my experience at Chinanto. This is an Italian cuisine that I’ve spent maybe five minutes at. My friends and I walked into an elegant dining area with a separate coat check and elaborate designs and decor scattered about. While this should have raised suspicion among us college students, who desired a decent and affordable dining option, we were dumbfounded to discover the cost of the entrees. We immediately grabbed our coats and dashed out, but if you feel like splurging on Italian food, maybe this place is for you.

Aside from dining endeavors, Cleveland offers other fine attractions. The city itself, especially later in the day, has streets filled with bright lights and offers a sense of warmth and comfort. This adds a rather romantic vibe to the city, making it a great date night location.

Cleveland is also a great city for family and friends. My family and I visited the Cleveland Art Institute, where most collections are free admission. Though I am not an art fanatic, nor expert, I appreciated the beauty of the art as well as learning about the history and meaning behind many pieces. I would recommend a visit with family, friends or a significant other. You’ll be surprised to learn a thing or two, and the environment of this museum is serene, picturesque and inviting, especially in the summer time with the bright sunlight coming in.

Although at a limited expense, the Cleveland Botanical Gardens and the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are commonly recommended places to visit. I have yet to go to these two destination though. Likewise, many of my friends have seen the Cleveland Cavaliers play at the Quicken Loans Arena. Another option would be to grab some friends or a date and have a baller time.

The hour long journey from Kent to Cleveland is cumbersome, but rewarding nonetheless, especially if you want a change in scenery. A Friday or Saturday night adventure is highly recommended, and it’s definitely a great day trip with friends to simply hang out in the city, shop, eat and relax.