Sitting on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland is a city on the rise, growing with new attractions, hotels, developments, and restaurants. With more than $3.5 billion in visitor-related infrastructure completed or underway since 2011, Cleveland and Cuyahoga County are experiencing unprecedented growth in travel and tourism. With Lake Erie in its backyard, Cleveland gives boaters the chance to explore everything the city has to offer.

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North Coast Harbor
Located in Downtown Cleveland, the North Coast Harbor originally opened in 1985 and underwent a renovation to add a new transient marina in 2014. If boaters wish to spend just a few hours or the entire day in Cleveland, they have the luxury of docking at the Rock & Dock Marina, which offers 53 transient slips in a seven-acre basin. For water sports aficionados, the Rock & Dock provides rentals for paddleboats, jet skis, and kayaks, not to mention stunning views of the city’s skyline.

The Rock & Dock is located directly behind some of Cleveland’s top attractions like the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Great Lakes Science Center, and FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns. Boaters can check out new exhibits, like “Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics,” at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, blast into outer space at the Great Lakes Science Center’s NASA Glenn Visitor Center, or cheer on the Dawg Pound at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Boaters have more to look forward to at North Coast Harbor in the coming years. In late 2015, construction began on a 28-acre project that will include Nuevo Modern Mexican Restaurant on the East 9th Street Pier, which will feature a second floor of event space and patio space overlooking the marina. Three sand volleyball courts and public restrooms will be located north of the restaurant.

If boaters wish to spend more time in Cleveland, North Coast Harbor is within walking distance of Cleveland’s major attractions, including the second largest theater district outside of New York, Playhouse Square, JACK Cleveland Casino, and sporting venues Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field. There are also hotels like the new Hilton Cleveland Downtown, Drury Plaza, and The Westin Cleveland Downtown; and restaurants in the East Fourth Street Entertainment District and the Warehouse District on West 6th Street.

The Flats

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In 2015, The Flats East Bank, located on the Cuyahoga River, completed Phase II of its redevelopment with a 1,200 foot-long boardwalk, new dining options and entertainment venues, as well as apartments. The project continues to grow with announcements of a first-in-the-nation Rascal Flatts bar and restaurant, as well as an addition of Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville restaurant.

The boardwalk welcomes boaters to freely dock along the way from the Norfolk Southern Bridge to Coastal Taco Bar + Chill restaurant. Restaurants like Alley Cat Oyster Bar, Crop Sticks, Crop Rocks, Beerhead Bar & Eatery, On-Air Studio, and Coastal Taco Bar + Chill are all immediately accessible to the boardwalk, while venues like The Big Bang Dueling Piano Bar and Punch Bowl Social are just a short stroll away. Boaters just need to be aware of the river safety zone, which means they need to move their boat whenever a large freighter is transiting the river.

On the other end of the Flats, boaters can enjoy a meal at Merwin’s Wharf, a restaurant owned by the Cleveland Metroparks. In addition to delicious meals and drinks, Merwin’s Wharf provides beautiful views of the Cuyahoga River from its patio, and boaters can take a break and kayak along the river.

For more exploring, a mile away from the Flats is the growing Ohio City neighborhood. Boaters can meander through the 180 vendors at the West Side Market and sample dishes like pierogis and falafel, or they can take in the burgeoning craft beer scene at local joints like Great Lakes Brewing Company, Platform Beer Co., Market Garden Brewery, Nano Brew, and McNulty’s Bier Market.

West Side of Cleveland

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On Cleveland’s west side, boaters can dock at the Whiskey Island Marina on Lake Erie, a part of the Cleveland Metroparks Lakefront Reservation. Originally named for the distillery, which was built on the land in the 1800s, Whiskey Island now offers docking for residents and transient boaters alike. Boaters can walk through Wendy Park, the only public park in Cuyahoga County that provides direct access to Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River, or take a bite to eat at the new Whiskey Island Still & Eatery. Two miles west of Whiskey Island is Edgewater Marina. At Edgewater Marina, boaters can lie out on the beach or participate in events like Edgewater Live, an annual summer concert series on the water. Both Whiskey Island Marina and Edgewater Marina offer spectacular views of the Cleveland skyline.

While docking at Whiskey Island or Edgewater, boaters can travel to Cleveland’s west side neighborhoods. The Tremont neighborhood is a trendy hotspot where visitors can enjoy chocolates made with beer and wine at Lilly Handmade Chocolate or transport themselves to a tropical paradise at Porco Lounge & Tiki Bar. The Detroit Shoreway neighborhood is home to the Gordon Square Arts District and new dining options like Happy Dog, a gourmet hot dog/polka-loving restaurant, and Banter, which combines craft beer with house-made sausages and Québec-style poutine.

With other projects in the works, Cleveland is continuing to grow, offering visitors the chance to set sail on uncharted waters and explore new areas each time they visit.