It’s the first day of summer and I couldn’t be more thrilled about the warmer temps and sunshine to come here in Cleveland! The nicer weather gives me a renewed motivation to get out and see more of our beautiful city and to go on more adventures with my girlfriends! Today I am sharing 35 fun BFF date ideas to do together in and around The Land this summer.
*Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post in the Spring of 2019 and before COVID-19 closures. Please check and make sure these locations are open before making plans to go out for post-isolation celebrations!
1. Lunch On The River
Grab a bite to eat at Lindey’s Lake House in The Flats. This restaurant is sitting right on the Cuyahoga River and boasts stunning waterfront views. Enjoy the sun on the patio and sip on one of their delicious cocktails.
2. Picnic At Wade Lagoon
After visiting Paris, I truly believe that we need to bring back the art of the picnic! Put on a cute outfit, grab a big blanket and pack up your basket with delicious treats and drinks. Enjoy sitting in the sunshine and looking out over the beautiful Wade Lagoon with a picnic lunch.
I suggest bringing a small cooler and stopping by Heinen’s on your way to pick up some Instagrammable eats. And don’t forget a bit of bug spray to ward off any unwelcome guests. I love this article by Marie Claire entitled The Millenial Guide To Packing The Perfect Picnic if you need some Picnicking tips!
3. Hang Out In The Gordon Square Arts District
Stop into Toast for an amazing brunch, or grab some delicious dones at Brewnuts before walking around and shopping the boutiques of the Gordon Square Arts District. Oceanne Jewelry and Fount are always fun to browse and shop.
4. You’re My Cup Of Tea
Get dressed up and head over to The Macaron Tea Room in Broadview Heights for a traditional English high tea! You’ll get a three-tier cake stand and pot of tea for $35.
5. Coffee And Cookies
Stop at Pour Cleveland* for an amazing cup of coffee and sit and catch up on life. Then explore Downtown Cleveland and stop into Destination Cleveland for a bit more info on our beautiful city. Next, give in to your sweet tooth and try Cathy’s Cookies…you won’t regret it!
*Pour is currently closed. Try Phoenix in the meantime!
6. Rainy Day Blues
Living in Northeast Ohio, you know we will have some rainy summer days. Brighten up the mood with a trip to The Cleveland Museum of Art and/or The Museum of Contemporary Art which both have FREE admission!
7. Visit The New Van Aken District
Head over to Shaker Heights and choose a place to eat in the new Van Aken Market Hall. You really can’t go wrong with any of the restaurants there. Shop around the new stores of the Van Aken District and end the night with some dessert from Mitchell’s Ice Cream.
8. Brewellas and Blooms
Order some coffee and crepes at Brewella’s from their new summer menu. It’s one of the prettiest little coffee shops you’ll ever visit as the decorations change with the seasons! Next, stop by Blossom Cleveland flower bar to arrange your own pretty floral bouquet to take and enjoy in your home!
9. Make A Custom Scented Candle
You’ll have so much fun making your own candle at The Cleveland Candle Company! They have over 200 scents and you can choose 2-4 of those to mix into your own custom scented candle! There are three locations to choose from: Coventry, Ohio City, and Mentor.
While the candle sets, walk around and have a bite to eat! My restaurant suggestions for Ohio City are Great Lakes Brewing Company and The Flying Fig. For Coventry, try Tommy’s. In Mentor, eat at Noosa Bistro or see a movie at Atlas Cinemas.
10. Girls Just Wanna Have Sun
You can never go wrong with a classic beach day at one of our beautiful beaches! (As long as you don’t forget your sunscreen!) If you’re on the East Side, relax at Headlands Beach State Park. West Siders, head over to Edgewater Beach.
11. But First, BRUNCH
One of my favorite brunch spots in Cleveland is Le Petit Triangle Cafe. Sit on the patio, order some french toast and a mimosa! When you’re done eating, walk through historic Ohio city to see some beautiful century homes and all the flower boxes you can handle. You’ll eventually end up on W. 25th St. so you should definitely take a walk through the West Side Market while you’re there!
12. Wine Tasting
13. Get Lost In Little Italy
Visit Cleveland’s historic Little Italy for a fancy dinner together at Mia Bella’s. After dinner, grab some dessert at Presti’s Bakery! Everything they make is delicious, but my favorites are the tiramisu and fruit tarts!
14. Shop The Cleveland Flea
Attend the Cleveland Flea (or Night Markets on the East Side) and shop all of your favorite Cleveland small businesses! They’re dog-friendly, so bring the pups along for the fun!
*Cleveland Flea is currently on pause
15. Go Kayaking
This one is on the top of my to-do list this summer! Pick a spot and go kayaking together! Check out this article by Fitt Cleveland about the best places to Kayak in the Cleveland area for more inspiration.
16. Edgewater Live
Go to one of the free Edgewater Live events on Thursday nights throughout the summer. Different bands will play live music on the Dollar Bank Stage while you enjoy food and drinks from local food trucks. Don’t forget your lawn chairs!
17. Flat Out Fridays
Flat Out Fridays happen every second Friday between May and August in The Flats East Bank! You’ll find live music, food, drinks, and a pretty waterfront view. Admission is always FREE!
18. Let’s Shellabrate
Speaking of the Flats…Y’all should definitely head on over to Alley Cat Oyster Bar for champagne and oysters this summer! Enjoy some delicious seafood and bubbly while taking in the amazing view of the Cuyahoga River.
19. East Side Fun
Explore historic Downtown Willoughby! There’s plenty of restaurants, bars, and shopping to keep you occupied all day! Some of my favorite spots are Brim Kitchen + Brewery, Barrio, Fiona’s Coffee Bar & Bakery. Don’t forget to stop by the amazing Aware Marketplace for some shopping too!
20. Go To a Baseball Game
21. Classic Mani-Pedi Date
Schedule some self-care time at Stella & Shay Beauty Bar. Between their two locations, in Lakewood and Westlake, there’s an incredible team who all do amazing work and make you feel right at home as soon as you walk in.
23. We Go Together Like Burgers and Fries
Wander through the stores at Eton plaza and enjoy some burgers and fries at B-Spot, one of Michael Symon’s restaurants. We like to go during happy hour for a little discount, which runs from 3pm-5pm Monday-Friday.
24. Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate
Hit up your local Malley’s Chocolates and treat yo’ self to some ice cream and chocolates. You deserve it! 😉
25. Donut Mess With Cleveland
Donuts are ALWAYS a good idea! And no matter where you are in Cleveland, there’s always an amazing donut shop nearby! Here’s Cleveland Scene’s list of 22 local Donut shops that “absolutely crush Dunkin’.”
26. Spend a Day in Chagrin Falls
Chagrin Falls is the perfect spot to spend a sunny day in Cleveland! The possibilities are endless here, from a caffeine buzz at Heartwood Coffee, a meal at Bell & Flower or Lemon Falls, sweet treats at Jeni’s Ice-cream and Chagrin Falls Popcorn, to shopping at White Magnolia and Fireside Book Shop, there’s something for everyone here. Not to mention the beautiful waterfall that gives the town its name!
27. Plan a Movie Night
Do a little grocery shopping at Heinen’s to stock up on some rosé and snacks, and have a good old fashioned movie night…cheesy chick flick and PJ’s required!
28. Play Shuffleboard
Make a reservation at Forest City Shuffleboard and play a couple of rounds of the game that’s making a serious comeback in our city!
29. Get Fit!
30. Happy Hour
Go to Happy Hour at The Plum (4-7 T-F) and take some photos in front of their Insta-famous wall.
31. Downtown Views
For $5 you can go up to the Terminal Tower Observation Deck and see Cleveland from a different perspective! The only way to purchase tickets is through this link. Afterward, hang out in Public Square and check out the Soldiers and Sailor’s Museum.
32. Outdoor Adventures
Get out into nature for a hiking and photography adventure at, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, or Rocky River Reservation (or any of the other beautiful Cleveland Metroparks) for some fresh air and sunshine!
34. See a Play
Get dressed up and see a show at Playhouse Square!
33. Final Fridays on Coventry
The Final Friday of every month you will find fun events, music, and special deals at the stores and restaurants on Coventry Rd in Cleveland Heights.
35. Just Girly Things
Last, but certainly not least…Stop into Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes for some macarons and admire all the beautifully decorated baked goods! Next head over to Lovely Paperie and Gifts for a little shopping, and end the day at Wine Bar Rocky River where you’ll find the most adorable outdoor patio set-up! (If you go on a Wednesday, there are deals on rosé too!)
Which Activities Will You Choose?!
I really could keep going all day because there are so many cute spots and fun things to do around every corner in Cleveland, but I’ll stop at 35 for now! So what are your favorite activities to do with your girlfriends in Cleveland? Leave me a comment and let me know!
If you do any of these activities, tag me a photo! I’d love to see you guys out there enjoying this beautiful city of Cleveland that we call home.