7 Museums You Never Expected To Find In Cleveland

There’s more to see here than the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Explore the history of medicine through artifacts, books and images at the Dittrick Museum of Medical History. Photo Credit: Dittrick Medical History Center, CWRU


Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is front and center on most itineraries for this Ohio city. But if you’re planning a visit, don’t overlook some of these lesser known (but equally awesome) Cleveland museums located along the shores of Lake Erie.

Roar like a dinosaur

Five miles east of downtown Cleveland, you’ll spot dinosaurs and more at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

From dinosaurs to diamonds, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History is a memorable blend of traditional and interactive galleries commemorating history and the natural world. If you have little ones with you, they’ll love the hands-on learning in the Smead Discovery Center, where kids are welcome to touch any exhibit.

Uncover baseball’s rich history

Ever since Robert Zimmer stocked his downtown jewelry store shelves with artifacts from the Negro Baseball League during the 1997 All-Star game—and crowds couldn’t get enough—it became obvious the city could support a baseball museum. Showcasing the sport’s diverse history, multicultural heritage and impact on Cleveland, the Baseball Heritage Museum is home to troves of treasured collectibles. From its current location in the restored ticket booth of League Park, you can look through photographs, letters, uniforms and other memorabilia that showcases important contributions from the Latin and Caribbean leagues, the Industrial and Barnstormer leagues and the Negro and Women’s leagues.

Celebrate women who soar

Amelia Earhart was the first elected president of the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of women pilots formed in 1929. The committee’s original collection of memorabilia eventually morphed into the International Women's Air & Space Museum, which now invites you to discover the achievements of women in aviation and space through exhibits that include an aerobatic plane and a hands-on mission control console. The museum’s collection also includes artifacts, photographs, articles, textiles, artwork and paper items celebrating the history of women in aviation and space.

Walk in Ralphie’s footsteps

Did you know A Christmas Story was filmed in Cleveland? Today you can visit A Christmas Story House & Museum for tours and even spend the night. The setting for the holiday classic has been restored to its original glory, and right across the street is the museum where you can find original props, costumes and memorabilia from the film, as well as hundreds of rare behind-the-scenes photos.

Visit a 19th-century doctor

Housing more than 175,000 artifacts including iron lungs and birthing chairs, the Dittrick Museum of Medical History offers a window into the history of medicine—and will leave you with a newfound respect for modern health care. Medical professionals, history buffs and visitors with a love for all things curiously creepy can spend hours looking through the Cleveland museum’s comprehensive collection of surgical instruments and medical equipment, microscopes, nursing uniforms and turn-of-the-century X-ray equipment.

See where everyone hung out in 1824

Don’t miss a visit to the Dunham Tavern Museum, the 1824 home of Rufus and Jane Pratt Dunham. Positioned along a well-traveled stagecoach route between Buffalo, Cleveland and Detroit, the Dunhams’ home became an 18th-century party house of sorts, hosting gatherings of all kinds including turkey shoots and meetings of the Whig party. Get a glimpse into history and the lifestyles of early Ohio settlers and travelers at this unique spot, now a designated landmark on the National Register of Historic Places.

Celebrate Jewish heritage

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, opened in 2005, celebrates Jewish heritage, past and present. Stories of individuals and families come to life through state-of-the-art exhibitions, thought-provoking interactives and films, oral histories, photographs and artifacts. The museum also features The Temple-Tifereth Israel Gallery, an internationally recognized collection of Judaica, and a gallery featuring special exhibitions of national and international acclaim.

Ready to travel? Find hotels in Cleveland.


More to Explore

Things to do in Cleveland

Discover a thriving arts and music scene, museums, beautiful parks and more.

Read More

Cool Museums for Grownups

Take a trip to one of these these unique museums to learn something new.

Read More

Museums Kids Will Love

These museums offer engaging exhibits for kids of all ages.

Read More


Search Hotels