Make No Mistake, It’s a Great Time in Ohio on the Lake
Looking for a great getaway? The Cleveland area and Lake Erie is a delightful destination. I know, the thought of a Pittsburgher heading there for anything other than a Steelers game may seem outrageous, but on August 25, 2016, my husband and I headed across the state line for a Getaway Weekend to celebrate a wedding anniversary. We had such a marvelous time, we wondered why we hadn’t gone sooner.
Our itinerary included something we’d been meaning to do for a number of years: a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We also extended our adventure in the Buckeye State, with a two-night stay at The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake and an excursion through Ohio’s Wine Country.
One of the best things about heading to this area is that it is only about a two-hour drive from Pittsburgh to Cleveland. It sounds appealing to jet off to the beach, but with the need to arrive several hours early to clear security before boarding a plane, you can be already be at the lake enjoying yourself before your plane even takes off.
We began our excursion on a Thursday morning and headed first to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Most of the driving is on the Ohio Turnpike, and if you follow the directions on the Rock Hall’s website, they steer you away from traffic bottlenecks and right to the hall. On the way, we stopped at the Glacier Hills Service Plaza on the Ohio Turnpike, which was immaculate and had a Panera. That was a nice change from the usual fast food establishments you find at most Pennsylvania Turnpike plazas.
***TIP*** General admission to the Hall of Fame is $23.50, but if you stop at the turnpike plaza, pick up the information card on the Hall of Fame from the kiosk in visitors’ bureau at the plaza because it has a coupon for $2 off the price of admission.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland. Since it was threatening to rain when we arrived, we parked in the lot closest to the hall for $15.
***TIP*** If you park at the adjacent Great Lakes Science Center, you can have your parking pass validated at the info desk for a $2 discount.
If the hall looks vaguely familiar, that’s because it bears a striking resemblance to the glass pyramid at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Both were designed by renowned architect I. M. Pei.
The six-story hall is crammed with rock memorabilia, rock history, and interactive exhibits. If you’ve been alive during the last 100 years (if you’re dead, you can stop reading because you’re already in Rock and Roll Heaven), you’ll identify with something in the hall. Where else can you see Jimi Hendrix’s handwritten lyrics to Purple Haze, Angus Young’s red velvet schoolboy suit, and early U2 artifacts?
We toured the Hall of Fame in four hours, but you could spend much longer than that reading all the information, playing with the interactive jukeboxes, and watching the many films.
There is a café and, of course, the obligatory gift shop. When we exited the hall (like good rock and rollers, we shut the place down), a band was setting up to entertain outside on the plaza. Unfortunately, a small monsoon was rolling in off the lake, and we dashed to our car before it hit. Had it not been teeming rain, it would have been nice to enjoy some music at the shrine to rock and roll or to eat at the Nuevo Modern Mexican and Tequila Bar, a modern high-rise restaurant right down the street on the lakefront. It has a beautiful view of the lake.
Also check their website because the hall often hosts special events and concerts.
***TIP*** Be sure to pick up the brochure on the hall called “Who’s In?” that details who is in the hall and when they were inducted. Discussing such pressing questions like How Did Iggy Popp and The Stooges make it into the hall before Deep Purple? Why isn’t Wolfman Jack in the hall? Who in the heck is Solomon Burke? will make the 50-mile drive east along the lake to the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake speed by.