Shaker Heights Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, things to do, food to try, and more in Shaker Heights! From cultural attractions to natural wonders, this guide has it all.

Introduction to Shaker Heights

Nestled in Cuyahoga County, in Greater Cleveland, Shaker Heights is a charming suburb in Northeast Ohio. Known for its tree-lined streets, impressive architecture, and cultural diversity, this city has something to offer every visitor. With easy access to nearby attractions and the big city amenities of Cleveland, Shaker Heights is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the best places to visit, things to do, food to try, and more in Shaker Heights.

List of Places to Visit in Shaker Heights

Shaker Heights has a variety of attractions to suit every interest. Whether you’re a history buff, art lover, or nature enthusiast, you’re sure to find something to enjoy in this charming city. Here’s a list of some of the top places to visit:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Shaker Historical Society and Museum: This museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the history and culture of Shaker Heights. Visitors can learn about the city’s founding, its iconic architecture, and its unique community spirit.

  • Hathaway Brown School Museum: This museum offers a glimpse into the history of Hathaway Brown School, one of the oldest and most prestigious all-girls schools in the country. The museum is housed in a historic building and features exhibits on the school’s founders, its architecture, and its traditions.

  • The Van Aken District: This mixed-use district is one of the most popular destinations in Shaker Heights. It features a variety of local businesses, outdoor seating, live music, and community events.

Natural Attractions of Shaker Heights: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Shaker Lakes Nature Center: This nature center offers visitors the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of Shaker Heights. With over 300 acres of wetlands, forests, and meadows, the center is a haven for nature lovers. Visitors can enjoy hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife spotting.

  • South Chagrin Reservation: This vast park features plenty of outdoor activities, including hiking and mountain biking trails, horseback riding, and fishing. The park has a variety of picnic areas and shelters, making it the perfect place for a family outing.

  • Rockefeller Park Greenhouse: This beautiful glass structure is home to a wide variety of exotic and rare plants. Visitors can wander through the many different rooms, learning about the different plants and their habitats.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Shaker Heights

Shaker Heights boasts a variety of trails for hiking and biking enthusiasts. Here are some of the top routes:

  • Shaker Lakes Nature Center Trail: This 2-mile trail takes visitors through the scenic wetlands of the Shaker Lakes Nature Center. With plenty of benches and viewing platforms along the way, this trail offers plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the natural beauty of the area.

  • Mill Creek Trail: This 1.5-mile trail winds through the woods of South Chagrin Reservation. The trail is popular with hikers and bikers alike, and offers plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife and take in the picturesque scenery.

  • Buckeye Trail: This 1,400-mile trail passes through Shaker Heights and is a popular destination for long-distance hikers and backpackers.

Best Things to Do in Shaker Heights: Activities and Tours

In addition to hiking and biking, there are plenty of other things to do in Shaker Heights. Here are a few ideas:

  • Take a tour of the historic mansions in the city, such as the Hathaway Brown School and the Van Sweringen brothers’ estate.

  • Visit the Shaker Heights Farmer’s Market, held weekly on Saturdays, to sample local produce and goods.

  • Take a cooking class at the Loretta Paganini School of Cooking to learn how to make local dishes.

Week-Long Itinerary for Shaker Heights

If you’re planning to spend a week in Shaker Heights, here’s a sample itinerary:

Day Activity
Day 1 Visit the Shaker Historical Museum and the Hathaway Brown School Museum
Day 2 Explore the Shaker Lakes Nature Center and the Mill Creek Trail
Day 3 Take a cooking class at the Loretta Paganini School of Cooking
Day 4 Spend a day in South Chagrin Reservation, hiking and picnicking
Day 5 Take a tour of the historic mansions of Shaker Heights
Day 6 Visit the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse and the Cleveland Botanical Garden
Day 7 Spend the day at the Van Aken District, shopping and eating at local businesses

Food and Drink Scene of Shaker Heights

Shaker Heights has plenty of options for food and drink. Here are some of the must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Pierogies: These Polish dumplings are a local favorite. They can be found at many restaurants in the area, including Yours Truly.

  • Sausage Sandwiches: A staple of the local fair, Shaker Heights residents combine European and Midwestern tastes to create delicious savory sausages.

  • Burnt Ends: These bite-size morsels of crispy, smoky beef are popular in Shaker Heights barbecue joints.

Local Beverages

  • Mitchell’s Ice Cream: This Cleveland-based ice cream shop has flavors inspired by local seasonal ingredients. You can find the Mitchell’s Ice Cream flagship store in the Van Aken District.

  • Great Lakes Brewing Company: Founded in 1988, Great Lakes Brewing Company has become a Cleveland institution, and serves unique, seasonal brews that help you enjoy the fall season like any good Ohioan would!

Where to Stay in Shaker Heights: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Shaker Heights has a variety of accommodation options to suit every budget. Here are a few suggestions:

  • The Tudor Arms Hotel Cleveland: This historic hotel offers both luxury amenities and authentic old-world charm. It is located just a short drive from many of the top attractions in Shaker Heights.

  • The Inn at Brandywine Falls: This cozy bed and breakfast is located in nearby Sagamore Hills. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, along with easy access to nearby hiking trails and natural attractions.

What to Buy in Shaker Heights: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

If you’re looking for souvenirs or local products to bring home, here are a few suggestions:

  • Shaker Heights-themed items like T-shirts, magnets, and keychains are available at many local shops in the Van Aken District.

  • Mitchell’s Ice Cream pints make great gifts for folks back home or just as a souvenir of their vacation memories.

Local Culture and Customs of Shaker Heights

Shaker Heights is known for its historic architecture and cultural diversity. Visitors are encouraged to respect the local customs and traditions, and to learn about the history and culture of the area.

Best Time to Visit Shaker Heights

The best time to visit Shaker Heights is during the summer months, when the weather is mild and outdoor activities are plentiful. The fall season is also popular, with the changing leaves adding to the scenic beauty of the area.

Do’s and Don’ts of Shaker Heights

Here are some important do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when visiting Shaker Heights:


  • Respect local customs and traditions.

  • Explore the natural beauty of the area.

  • Try the local food and drink.

  • Support local businesses.


  • Litter or damage natural areas.

  • Disrespect historic landmarks or buildings.

  • Ignore pedestrian and cyclist traffic rules.

  • Leave your pet alone outside.

Safety and Health

Safety in Shaker Heights

Shaker Heights is a safe city to visit, with a relatively low crime rate. Visitors are still encouraged to take common sense safety precautions such as locking their vehicles and securing their valuables.

Health in Shaker Heights

Shaker Heights residents have access to several hospitals and medical facilities. If you need medical attention while in the area, there are several urgent care centers and pharmacies available.

Getting to Shaker Heights: Transportation Options and Logistics

Shaker Heights is easily accessible by car, bus, and train. Here are a few transportation options:

Airports Near Shaker Heights

  • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport: This airport is located approximately 30 minutes from Shaker Heights and is served by several major airlines.

Bus Stations Near Shaker Heights

  • Greyhound Bus Station: This station is located in downtown Cleveland, just a short train ride from Shaker Heights.

  • Eastside Cleveland Bus Station: This station is located in the neighboring city of Euclid, Ohio.

Other Options

  • Amtrak Train Station: Amtrak offers daily services from cities such as Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C.

How to Get Around in Shaker Heights

The best way to get around Shaker Heights is by car or bicycle. The city is also served by a public transportation system called the Rapid, which offers train and bus services to many parts of the Greater Cleveland area.

Where to Go Next from Shaker Heights: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you have time to explore the surrounding area, here are a few nearby destinations and excursions to consider:

  • Cleveland Museum of Art: Located in nearby Cleveland, this museum features a vast collection of art from around the world.

  • Cedar Point Amusement Park: Located in nearby Sandusky, Ohio, Cedar Point is a popular destination for thrill-seekers.

  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Located just a short drive from Shaker Heights, this national park offers visitors the chance to explore pristine forests, rivers, and waterfalls.


Shaker Heights is a hidden gem that offers something for every visitor. With its rich history and culture, natural beauty, and diverse dining scene, it’s no wonder why Shaker Heights is an increasingly popular destination for travelers from around the world. Whether you’re planning a short getaway or a longer vacation, be sure to add Shaker Heights to your travel itinerary and discover a charming and unique community in the heart of Northeast Ohio.