POV urban river kayaking trip in Cleveland.
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It’s Great Outdoors Month—get out and enjoy Northeast Ohio

From the beaches of Lake Erie to running trails throughout the Emerald Necklace to scenic views from waterfront patios, Cleveland has plenty of natural beauty—and June, Great Outdoors Month, is the perfect time to explore all our city has to offer. The Case Western Reserve University campus boasts countless spots to enjoy fresh air and a break from work or studies. But if you’re looking to get out and experience more of Northeast Ohio, the options are seemingly endless. 

We’ve compiled a few suggestions to get you started.

Hear local musicians perform during outdoor concerts

No matter your preferred genre, there are plenty of ways to enjoy nature while taking in the tunes from local musicians.

Several free summer series are held throughout the city, including right here in University Circle. The Wade Oval Wednesdays series features weekly performances by local musicians with wide-ranging repertoires. Next up on the schedule is Carlos Jones and the P.L.U.S. Band, who will perform reggae music June 28.

Put the finishing touches on your weekends this summer with the Symphony at Sunset series, held at Voinovich Park or the Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport each Sunday and featuring the talents of OPUS 216. The next performance will be Sunday, July 9.

The Cleveland Metroparks also offers the Summer Concert Series with performances all around the system’s reservations. Next up is Country Honk, a performance of country and classic rock, at the E. 55th Marina Thursday, June 29.

Looking for even more? Check out a list of free summer concert series in the area.

Enjoy happy hour or a meal on a waterfront patio

Relax after a long day with a bite to eat, a beverage and a mesmerizing view. 

Establishments in The Flats on both the East and West Banks provide views of the Cuyahoga River. Try out Alley Cat Oyster Bar for seafood, Shooters on the Water for sandwiches and burgers, or Lindey’s Lake House for brunch and other classic fare.

For stellar views of the skyline, try out Nuevo Modern Mexican and Tequila Bar. Or, if you’re celebrating a special occasion, consider heading to Lakewood to try out Pier W.

See what other local eateries boast waterfront views.

Go trail running in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Ohio has its very own national park and it’s just a short drive from campus. Free to visit, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park has more than 125 miles of trails to add some variety to your next run.

One of the most popular trails in the park is the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail, which follows much of the historic canal that once connected Lake Erie and the Ohio River.

See all the Cuyahoga Valley National Park has to offer.

Gain tips for your garden at the University Farm

The 400-acre Squire Valleevue and Valley Ridge Farm is just 10 miles east of campus in Hunting Valley. Amongst the farm’s 200 acres of wooded land, eight ponds, meadows and creeks, there are several growing areas that produce fresh herbs, vegetables and more.

Want to find out how you can make the most of your own garden? The University Farm staff regularly hosts workshops and educational series. This summer, look forward to workshops on foraging and preparing your garden for the fall growing season. Find out more about these workshops and keep an eye out for future offerings.

Learn more about what you can do at the farm.

Kayak around local waterways  

Get out on the water—literally—by using one of the boat launches available in Northeast Ohio. If you have your own kayak, there are many spots to enter the water along the Cuyahoga River, Rocky River and even Lake Erie.

Need a kayak? Several companies offer rentals along the lake and local rivers. At 41 North Coastal Adventures, you can rent a single or tandem kayak to explore the Rocky River and see where it connects to Lake Erie.

Great Lakes Watersports in The Flats offers rentals that launch in the Cuyahoga River, with the option to check out Lake Erie and meander by the city’s skyscrapers.

Learn about other rental and boat launch options in Northeast Ohio.