Before You Move to Cleveland, OH in 2024: 13 Eye-Opening Facts You Can’t Miss


As I sit here, reflecting on my journey to visit Cleveland, I’m reminded of the crisp breeze coming off Lake Erie, the kind that’s both invigorating and a stark reminder of the city’s untamed spirit. 

I remember the first time I drove through the city, the skyline a mix of modernity and historical architecture, a visual testament to the city’s resilience and its embrace of the future. It was in that moment, with the hum of the city around me, that I felt a connection to Cleveland’s heartbeat.

Trust me when I say, Cleveland is not just a place you move to — it’s a place you grow with. It’s where I’ve honed my expertise, sharing my knowledge with newcomers and old-timers alike, ensuring that the narrative of our city is not just told, but felt. As a trusted voice in the community, I’ve had the honor of guiding many through the transition to life here, offering advice rooted in genuine care and understanding of what it means to make Cleveland your home.

Table of Contents

Key Takeways

  • Diverse Weather and Seasonal Experiences: Cleveland offers a unique experience in each season, from snowy winters to warm summers, making it essential to be prepared for varying weather conditions.
  • Cost of Living and Budgeting: The city is notable for its affordability, especially in housing and utilities, compared to other major cities, with practical budgeting tips for residents.
  • Evolving Job Market: Cleveland has transitioned from traditional industries to becoming a growing hub for healthcare, technology, and education, offering a range of career opportunities.
  • Educational Opportunities: The city boasts a strong educational system, including public and private options, and renowned higher education institutions, catering to diverse educational needs.
  • Vibrant Cultural and Culinary Scene: Cleveland is rich in cultural offerings, including music, art, and a diverse culinary scene, reflecting its cultural diversity and history.
  • Outdoor and Recreational Activities: The city offers ample green spaces and recreational activities, particularly with its proximity to Lake Erie, providing residents with various options for outdoor enjoyment.

1. Weather Can Be Unpredictive: My Year-Round Dance with Snowflakes and Sunshine

Winter Storm in Cleveland, Ohio

As a long-time lover of Cleveland, I’ve come to embrace the unique beauty and challenges of each season. Here’s a snapshot of what you can expect, based on my own experiences:

  • Spring: It starts warming up in late March, but don’t be fooled – we can still get snow showers! By May, temperatures average around 60°F.
  • Summer: July is the hottest month, with temperatures often hitting 80°F. It’s humid, but perfect for evenings by Lake Erie.
  • Fall: My favorite time in Cleveland. The foliage in October is breathtaking, with temperatures around 55°F.
  • Winter: Brace yourself! January averages 20°F, and we can get up to 68 inches of snow annually, thanks to lake-effect snow also stated by Cleveland19.com.

Surviving the Winter

  • Snow Gear: A sturdy snow shovel and a 50 lb bag of salt (around $10) are must-haves.
  • Clothing: Invest in a good winter coat (I spent about $150 on mine) and waterproof boots.

2. City Offers Some Great House Prices

House prices in Cleveland

Living in Cleveland for years, I’ve seen how affordable it can be, especially compared to other major cities. Here’s a breakdown based on my own expenses:

  • Housing: The median home price in Cleveland is around $75,000 as stated by Cleveland.com, significantly lower than the national average. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center averages about $1,200 per month.
  • Utilities: For a 915 sq ft apartment, expect to pay around $150 monthly for basic utilities.
  • Groceries: A weekly grocery bill for one person averages about $50-60, depending on your diet. 

Cleveland Home Prices

Budgeting Essentials:

  • Property Taxes: These can vary, but I pay around $2,000 annually.
  • Transportation: A monthly public transit pass costs $95.

3. Need a Job? From Rust Belt to Tech and Healthcare Hub

healthcare - job - cleveland - oh

Having navigated Cleveland’s job market for several years, I’ve witnessed its remarkable transformation firsthand. Here’s my take on the current state of employment opportunities in the city:

  • Healthcare Dominance: The Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals aren’t just local healthcare providers; they’re innovation leaders. I’ve seen friends and colleagues thrive in diverse roles, from research to healthcare IT.
  • Tech Growth: There’s a budding tech scene here. I’ve attended several startup events and seen a surge in tech job postings, especially in software development and data analytics.
  • Construction and Finance: These sectors are steadily growing according to Bank Of Cleveland. Case Western Reserve University, for example, is not just an education hub but also a significant employer.

The Power of Networking

  • Community Connections: Cleveland’s community is indeed tight-knit. I landed my current job through a connection made at a local networking event. It’s common here to find opportunities through word-of-mouth.
  • Support for Entrepreneurs: The city’s entrepreneurial spirit is palpable. Resources like JumpStart and the Cleveland Business Center have been instrumental in helping locals, including myself, navigate the startup landscape.

Snapshot of Job Opportunities

  • Healthcare Jobs: Entry-level positions in healthcare administration offer salaries starting around $35,000 according to Ziprecruiter, while specialized roles like nurses or technicians can earn upwards of $60,000.
  • Tech Sector Salaries: For entry-level tech jobs, such as junior developers, the starting salary is typically around $50,000. Senior roles can exceed $100,000, depending on experience and specialization.
  • Education and Finance Roles: In education, starting salaries for administrative positions hover around $30,000, while finance roles like analysts start at about $55,000.

4. A Parent and Student’s Guide to Education in Cleveland

As a parent, I’ve experienced the city’s commitment to education from multiple perspectives. Here’s a closer look at what Cleveland offers:

K-12 Education: Choices for Every Child

  • Public Schools: The Cleveland Metropolitan School District has a diverse range of schools. My child attends a STEM-focused public school, and the level of dedication from teachers is impressive.
  • Private and Charter Schools: For those looking for alternatives, there are numerous private and charter schools. I’ve friends whose children attend Montessori schools and they rave about the personalized learning approach.

Higher Education

  • Case Western Reserve University: Known for its research programs, I’m currently pursuing a part-time Master’s here. The academic rigor and campus resources are top-notch.
  • Cleveland State University: A friend of mine graduated from CSU. It’s known for its business and engineering programs and has a vibrant campus life.

Lifelong Learning in the Heart of the City

  • Cleveland Public Library: More than just books, the library offers tech workshops which I’ve found invaluable for upskilling.
  • Community Centers: I’ve attended photography workshops at local community centers, a great way to learn new skills and meet people.

5. Architecture Is Something To Delight

Severance Hall

As an arts enthusiast living in Cleveland, I’ve been thrilled by the city’s cultural offerings:

World-Class Music and Theater

  • The Cleveland Orchestra: Their performances at Severance Hall are a treat. I’ve been a season ticket holder for years, and each concert is a memorable experience.
  • Playhouse Square: I’ve seen several Broadway shows here. The energy and quality of performances are always top-tier.

Art for Everyone

  • Cleveland Museum of Art: One of my favorite weekend spots. The collection is vast, and the fact that it’s free makes art accessible to everyone.

Festivals That Bring City to Life

  • Cleveland International Film Festival: A must-attend for movie buffs. I volunteer here annually, and the range of films is astounding.
  • Taste of Tremont: As a foodie, this is my favorite festival. It’s a celebration of local cuisine and a great way to sample what Cleveland’s chefs have to offer.

6. Foodie Corner On Each Step

As a self-proclaimed foodie who’s lived in Cleveland for years, I’ve had the pleasure of exploring its diverse and evolving culinary landscape. Here’s a taste of what this city has to offer:

A Melting Pot of Flavors

Food in Cleveland

Cleveland’s rich history of immigration is vividly reflected in its food. I’ve savored authentic pierogis in Slavic Village, reminiscent of Eastern Europe, and indulged in some of the best Asian fusion dishes downtown stated by Cleveland Traveler. Each neighborhood offers a window into different cultures through their unique culinary offerings.

The West Side Market: A Food Lover’s Dream

My regular visits to the West Side Market are always a highlight. This historic market is a bustling hub where I pick up everything from artisanal cheeses to freshly baked bread. It’s not just a market; it’s a vibrant community space where vendors share stories behind their produce, adding a personal touch to every purchase.

Breweries Are Social Fabric of the City

The brewery scene in Cleveland is another aspect of its culinary identity. I’ve enjoyed countless evenings on brewery tours, sampling craft beers, and soaking in the lively atmosphere. These breweries are not just about the beer; they’re gathering places where stories are shared, and friendships are made.

7. The Healthcare System 

Cleveland is a powerhouse in the healthcare sector, renowned for institutions like the Cleveland Clinic, which is consistently ranked as one of the top hospitals in the nation. Residents have access to world-class medical care, including specialized treatments and cutting-edge research. University Hospitals and MetroHealth System also contribute to a robust healthcare network, ensuring that residents have multiple options for quality care.

Healthcare Employment

For those in the healthcare profession, Cleveland offers abundant employment opportunities. The presence of large healthcare systems not only provides jobs but also supports a culture of innovation and continuous improvement in patient care. For newcomers, this means access to healthcare providers who are not only highly skilled but also deeply committed to their community’s well-being.

8. Cleveland is Living Green Life 

Cleveland Metroparks

Cleveland is surprisingly green for a city with such an industrial heritage. The Emerald Necklace, a network of parks and nature preserves that encircles the city, provides a lush, green retreat from urban life.

Residents enjoy a range of outdoor activities, from hiking and biking to picnicking and bird watching. The Cleveland Metroparks system offers over 23,000 acres of green space, making it easy to find a natural oasis in the city.

Lakefront Living

Lake Erie, one of Cleveland’s most beautiful natural assets, offers residents the chance to engage in various water-related activities.

From the sandy beaches of Edgewater Park to the bustling marinas and the tranquil waterside paths, the lakefront is a focal point for leisure and recreation. It’s a place where the community comes together to relax, play, and enjoy the stunning views.

9. Cleveland is Die-Hard Sport City


Cleveland is a city with a deep-seated passion for sports stated by . Home to the Browns (NFL), the Cavaliers (NBA), and the Guardians (MLB), the city lives and breathes its professional teams.

Game days are citywide events, with fans donning their team colors and filling the stadiums, bars, and living rooms to cheer on their favorite athletes.

The loyalty to Cleveland sports teams is fierce and unwavering, creating a strong sense of community among fans.

Recreational Sports and Activities

Beyond being spectators, Clevelanders are active participants in sports. The city’s recreational leagues, public sports facilities, and community programs offer everyone a chance to get involved, regardless of age or skill level.

From soccer to softball, from golf courses to ice rinks, the city encourages its residents to stay active and connected through sports.

10. How to Navigate Like a Local?

Having relied on Cleveland’s public transportation for my daily commute and city explorations, I’ve gained a deep appreciation for its efficiency and convenience. Here’s an overview of my experiences and insights:

Navigating the City with RTA

RTA System

  • Diverse Options: The RTA system, with its buses, rapid transit, and the HealthLine light rail, has been my go-to for getting around. It connects key areas of the city, making it easy to reach destinations like the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, and downtown shopping areas according to RideRTA.
  • Affordability and Convenience: I often use the all-day passes, which are a great deal. For just $5.50, you can travel unlimitedly throughout the day. This is especially handy for tourists or anyone planning to make multiple stops across the city.

RTA Fare Structure: A Quick Guide

  • Single Ride: $2.50 (Regular), $1.25 (Senior/Disabled)
  • All-Day Pass: $5.50 (Unlimited rides for one day)
  • Weekly Pass: $25.00 (Unlimited rides for seven days)
  • Monthly Pass: $95.00 (Unlimited rides for the entire month)

The Future of Transit in Cleveland

  • Investment in Infrastructure: The city’s plans to enhance the public transportation system are exciting. There’s talk of expanding routes and upgrading facilities, which will make commuting even more seamless.
  • Sustainable Urban Transit: Cleveland’s commitment to sustainable transit solutions is evident. The proposed expansions and improvements are not just about convenience; they’re about creating an eco-friendly and accessible city.

My Takeaway

Cleveland’s public transportation system has been a reliable and cost-effective way for me to navigate the city. The RTA’s efforts to improve and expand its services reflect a forward-thinking approach to urban transit. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, the RTA offers a practical and environmentally friendly way to explore Cleveland.

11. If You Are Into Business – This Is Your Hotspot

As a regular guy whose brother launched a small business, We experienced the city’s supportive business environment firsthand. Here’s a something  into what makes Cleveland a great place for business owners and professionals:

A Supportive Ecosystem for Startups

  • Resource-Rich Environment: Cleveland’s network of incubators and accelerators has been instrumental  business journey. Organizations like JumpStart provide with invaluable mentorship and access to funding opportunities according to their Website.
  • Co-Working Spaces: The city’s co-working spaces are not just about shared offices; they’re hubs of collaboration and innovation. We formed many strategic partnerships and gained insights from fellow entrepreneurs in these communal spaces.

Diverse Opportunities in a Growing Economy

  • Manufacturing Heritage: While Cleveland has a strong manufacturing legacy, it’s exciting to see how this sector is evolving with technology.
  • Healthcare and Biotech: The growth in healthcare and biotechnology is impressive. I’ve collaborated with healthcare startups that are doing groundbreaking work, which speaks volumes about the opportunities in these fields.
  • IT and Emerging Sectors: The IT sector is burgeoning. My business has benefited from the growing demand for tech solutions, and I’ve seen many IT professionals thrive in this environment.

My Reflections

Cleveland’s business landscape is dynamic and diverse. For entrepreneurs and professionals, the city offers a stable economy with a range of opportunities. The support and resources available for startups are exceptional, making it an ideal place for anyone looking to start or grow their business. My experience here has been one of growth, learning, and community, and I believe Cleveland is poised to become an even more significant hub for business and innovation.

12. Safety and Community Initiatives

Like any urban area, Cleveland has neighborhoods with varying levels of safety. The city and community organizations are actively engaged in initiatives to improve safety and reduce crime. Neighborhood watch programs, community policing efforts, and investment in street lighting and public spaces are all part of the strategy to create a safer Cleveland for everyone.

Community Engagement

Community initiatives in Cleveland are strong and vibrant. There are numerous non-profit organizations and community groups working to enhance the quality of life in the city. From urban gardening projects to youth mentorship programs, these initiatives bring Clevelanders together to make a positive impact. Engaging with these efforts can provide a sense of belonging and an opportunity to contribute to the city’s well-being.

13. Heart Of Cleveland Are His Neighborhoods

Living in Cleveland has given me the opportunity to explore its diverse neighborhoods, each brimming with its own unique character and charm. Here’s a glimpse into some of the city’s most notable areas:

Ohio City

Ohio City is a hub of activity, known for its trendy bars, artisanal breweries, and unique boutiques. Walking down West 25th Street, you’re greeted with an array of dining options and lively patios. It’s a neighborhood that perfectly blends historic charm with modern urban living.

Shaker Heights

In contrast, Shaker Heights offers a more tranquil setting. Its tree-lined streets and stately homes speak of its historic elegance. As a family-friendly area, it boasts excellent schools and parks, making it ideal for those seeking a quieter, suburban feel within the city.

The Flats

The Flats area has undergone a remarkable transformation. Once an industrial hub, it’s now a bustling waterfront district with upscale apartments, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The revitalization here is a testament to Cleveland’s ability to reinvent itself while maintaining its historical roots.

Gordon Square Arts District

Gordon Square combines arts, culture, and community in a vibrant setting. It’s home to indie theaters, art galleries, and eclectic shops. The neighborhood’s creative energy is palpable, making it a haven for artists and those who appreciate the arts.



What are the best neighborhoods for young professionals?

Downtown Cleveland and Ohio City are popular among young professionals for their vibrant nightlife and proximity to work.

Are there any pet-friendly areas in Cleveland?

Many neighborhoods, including Tremont and Lakewood, are known for being pet-friendly with parks and pet-friendly establishments.

How is the public school system in Cleveland?

Cleveland Metropolitan School District offers a range of public schools, including specialized options. There are also numerous private and charter schools.

What are the healthcare facilities like in Cleveland?

Cleveland is home to world-class healthcare facilities like the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals, offering top-notch medical care.

Is Cleveland a good city for startups and entrepreneurs?

Yes, Cleveland has a supportive ecosystem for startups, with resources like incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces.

What is the cultural diversity like in Cleveland?

Cleveland is a melting pot of cultures, reflected in its food, festivals, and community events.

How is the commute in Cleveland?

The city offers a reliable public transportation system, and many neighborhoods are bike-friendly. Traffic is generally lighter compared to larger cities.

What are the outdoor recreational opportunities in Cleveland?

The Emerald Necklace, Lake Erie, and numerous parks offer outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and water sports.

How does Cleveland fare in terms of safety?

Like any city, safety varies by neighborhood. The city has initiatives to improve safety and reduce crime.

What is the cost of living compared to other major cities?

Cleveland is more affordable than many major U.S. cities, with lower housing costs and reasonable living expenses.

Final Words

Moving to Cleveland, OH, offers a unique blend of urban living, cultural diversity, and affordable lifestyle. Whether you’re a young professional, a family, or an entrepreneur, Cleveland has something to offer. Embrace the city’s rich history, vibrant community, and the promise of growth and innovation that awaits in 2024.


Please note that the content provided here is based on personal opinions, expertise, and experiences, as well as information gathered from various online sources. It reflects an individual perspective and should be considered as a subjective interpretation of life in Cleveland, OH. This narrative aims to share personal insights and experiences to offer a unique view of the city, rather than an exhaustive or universally applicable guide.

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