Downtown Cleveland: A conference experience not to miss

Contributed by the Ohio Chapter of TWS

The Playhouse Square district of downtown Cleveland is considered the country’s top performing arts center outside of New York City, hosting over 1,000 Broadway shows, dance, comedy, musical concerts and special events annually. ©Michael (Miche) Spring

Registration for The Wildlife Society’s 25th Annual Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, is now open! Visit twsconference.org for details, or register now by logging in to Your Membership and clicking on the Conference tab.

Architecture; theater and art; nightlife and even a casino; downtown Cleveland offers just about any type of experience attendees looking for during their free time at TWS’ 25th Annual Conference. The convention center and host hotels of this year’s conference are perfectly situated for exploring.

For those looking for a more relaxed experience, stroll around the downtown area to take in some great architecture at places like St. John’s Cathedral or Terminal Tower. Both are located just a few blocks from the conference venues and also feature beautiful wall murals.

Tours of Cleveland offer narrated walking tours of the area, and University Hospital also has a great bike rental option if you prefer that route. Bikes can be picked up and dropped off at any number of stations around the city, including one right in front of the convention center! To rent, simply visit their website to download the app. Of course, as Clevelanders know, there is also Lolly the Trolley, which offers tourists one- or two-and-a-half-hour sightseeing tours.

After you’ve finished sightseeing, spend some time at Playhouse Square to get a Broadway-type atmosphere complete with bright lights and marquees. Just a 15-minute walk from the convention center, you’ll recognize Playhouse Square by the enormous chandelier hovering over the main intersection. Ten different theaters in this district offer plenty of entertainment options, including ballets, comedies, the world-famous Cleveland Orchestra and nationally acclaimed plays such as Mama Mia, which will be playing the week of the conference.

For the more adventurous attendee looking for great nightlife, the Flats East Bank is the place to be. Only a 10-minute walk from the conference venues, the riverfront district features nightclubs and great restaurants. Enjoy a night here hopping from one establishment to another.

Just across the Cuyahoga River is the West Bank of the Flats, with even more dining options and venues such as the Cleveland Keys dueling piano bar.

Looking to try your luck? The Jack Cleveland Casino is located at Terminal Tower, a few short blocks from our host hotels. Opened in 2012, the casino offers over 1,600 slot machines and over 100 table games. You might recognize this historic venue as Higbee’s department store, which operated from 1860 through the 1980s and was seen in the iconic movie A Christmas Story.

Before packing your bags for the conference, make sure to download the Destination Cleveland App for more information about these and many other destinations in downtown Cleveland. See you soon!


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