Last updated: 09:28 AM ET, Mon July 18 2016

Guide To Republican National Convention In Cleveland: 5 Attractions You Absolutely Have to See

Business Travel | Rich Thomaselli | July 17, 2016

Guide To Republican National Convention In Cleveland: 5 Attractions You Absolutely Have to See

PHOTO: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Photo courtesy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Trust us – the Republican National Convention in Cleveland from July 18-21 is an important event with worldwide implications.

But you can’t possibly spend every waking moment inside Quicken Loans Arena.

So here are a few cool places to see in the city, not far from the political action.

(In no particular order)

ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME: Right on the banks of Lake Erie, giving you a spectacular view even before entering the building, is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They might have the induction ceremonies in New York every year – a tradition started when the Hall of Fame was still under construction – but this is where the memorabilia and the magic are. See the guitars and all the instruments, see hand-written lyrics, pieces of clothing, watch videos, and learn all about where ‘rock and roll’ first started – in Cleveland.

CLEVELAND METROPARKS ZOO: With all due respect to the zoos in San Diego and the Bronx, New York, this is one of the best zoos in the country. Whatever kind of animal you can possibly imagine is here, including a new tiger exhibit. In fact, speaking of cats, if you go online during the Convention and up until July 28, you can help name a brand new baby snow leopard by casting your vote for either Bashi, Tuya, Korla or Sameera. Please note: like most major zoos, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is humongous. Wear good walking shoes.

CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART: The CMA is marking its centennial year, and what a time to visit. While there are no special events taking place during the Convention, every day is special at the museum. Current exhibits include Muhammad Shah's Royal Persian Tent; Ji Yun-Fei: Last Days of Village Wen; Lynn Hershman Leeson: Cyborgs and Self-Promotion; and, one of our favorites, Stag at Sharkey’s: George Bellows and the Art of Sports, featuring the work from a hundred years ago of the former Ohio State University football player.

WEST SIDE MARKET: Beef tongue, anyone? Even if you never bought a thing here – and trust us, you will be bringing something back to your hotel room – the West Side Market is an experience unto itself. Actually, you don’t even have to wait until going back to your hotel. Buy it and eat it on the great balcony overlooking all the action below at a place where Food Network Magazine recently named it America's "Best Food Lover's Market.” Meats, cheeses, breads and produce abound, but keep in mind the Market is only open Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and is closed Tuesdays and Thursdays.

CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA AT SEVERANCE HALL: This isn’t just one of the best venues in the country. Severance Hall is widely regarded as one of the best concert halls in the world. Opened in 1931 as the home of The Cleveland Orchestra, Severance Hall now houses other concerts and musical guests. Unfortunately, there are no performances during the four days of the Republican National Convention but the Hall is available to rent out for gala events and occasions, so perhaps you will be lucky enough to have been invited to one.

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