5 Great Neighborhoods in Cleveland

Cleveland is an old city with a wide range of diverse neighborhoods. Deciding on a place to call home is as simple as defining one’s priorities.

Cleveland is an old city with a wide range of diverse neighborhoods. Deciding on a place to call home is as simple as defining one’s priorities.

1. Rocky River

Great schools, little crime, beautiful old houses and a short commute; if that doesn’t add up to an ideal neighborhood, we don’t know what does.

Flagship Neighborhood: Lake Road

River, as it is often referred to, is located 10 miles west of downtown, but this tranquil lakeside community can feel like a far-flung suburb. Median home prices fall in the range of $215,000, though lakefront homes can soar above $1.5 million. In addition to top-notch services and amenities, the city is home to one of the nicest parklands in the county. A sprinkling of upscale wine bars, restaurants and shops rounds out the assets of this charming burg.

The Neighbors: A homogenous mix of affluent families with two or three children. Wealthy empty-nesters call River home, too.

Also Consider: Avon Lake

The Neighbors: Very similar to those in River, only more new money than old.

2. Tremont

Tremont is not the location for everybody, that's for sure. But if you are independent of spirit (and children) and enjoy the vibrancy of an urban community on the fringes of downtown, Tremont may be just what the broker ordered.

Flagship Address: Literary Road

One of Cleveland’s oldest neighborhoods is now dotted with some of its most contemporary townhouses as young couples and progressive empty-nesters choose to put down roots near the heart of town. The result is a landscape of contrasts, with stately old churches rubbing shoulders with sleek new condos and bustling bistros. Creative types who don’t already live here visit monthly for the popular ArtWalks, when local galleries keep their doors open late.

The Neighbors: A wildly diverse mix of young professionals, blue-collar workers, starving artists and bachelor architects.

Also Consider: Ohio City

The Neighbors: Equally diverse, but with slightly fewer yuppies and slightly more blue-collar workers. Historic Jay Avenue is a short street of beautiful restored 19th-century cottages.

3. Shaker Heights

The schools have dipped a bit in recent years and property taxes are the highest around, but living in lovely Shaker Heights somehow makes it all worthwhile.

Flagship Neighborhood: Malvern

Areas of Shaker Heights are storybook beautiful, with tree-lined boulevards, stately old homes and children skipping down sidewalks to elementary school. This 1920s-era neighborhood was designed around a pair of light rail lines that still zip commuters back and forth to work. Homes range from million-dollar Tudor Revivals to affordable, but still finely built, Colonials. For those who prefer little to no maintenance, well-appointed new condos are springing up on reclaimed lots of land.

With both tranquil parklands and bustling Main Streets, Shaker is a self-sufficient community for families of every stripe. The largest farmers market in the region is held on Saturdays at nearby Shaker Square.

The Neighbors: Open-minded middle-class families, university professors, doctors and CEOs.

Also Consider: Cleveland Heights

The Neighbors: Liberal, Democratic and well-read. Residents here pay slightly less in property taxes than in bordering Shaker, but sacrifice some of the services and education.

4. Chagrin Falls

For many well-to-do parents, Chagrin Falls is the dream ZIP code in northeast Ohio. Routinely placed at the top of state school rankings, this school district sets the standard in public education. Median home values are inching near $300,000.

Flagship Neighborhood: Historic Downtown

For those familiar with New England, this quaint burg 20 miles east of downtown Cleveland will surely look familiar. Well-preserved 19th-century homes are arranged around an old-time village square complete with hardware store and popcorn shop. Couples stroll with ice cream cones and gaze at the namesake waterfalls. Parades, community festivals and Halloween pumpkin rolls are the sort family-friendly entertainment potential residents can look forward to.

A good education and wholesome family values are here, diversity is not: Chagrin Falls is roughly 98 percent white.

The Neighbors: Soccer moms, commuter dads and, on the outskirts of town, middle-class parents struggling to get their kids a great education.

Also Consider: Brecksville

The Neighbors: Slightly more diverse. Residents choose to live here for the great schools, beautiful parklike setting and comparatively affordable homes.

5. Detroit Shoreway

This up-and-coming neighborhood has become a magnet for young creative types in search of affordable fixer-uppers. Anchored by the long-standing Cleveland Public Theatre, and augmented by an influx of designers, artists and entrepreneurs, Detroit Shoreway is a neighborhood with it brightest days ahead.

Flagship Neighborhood: EcoVillage

In addition to a sizable stock of modest turn-of-the-century homes, Detroit Shoreway boasts a newly constructed cluster of green homes (EcoVillage) and a soon-to-be-completed $100 million development. Attracted by this critical mass is a whole new wave of bars, restaurants, galleries and boutiques. The Gordon Square Arts District, located within the borders, will soon house an art-house cinema, community theater and attractive streetscaping.

Urban and slightly edgy, Detroit Shoreway is for people who want to live sustainability, crave excitement and enjoy a good bargain. Close to downtown Cleveland, Lake Erie and public transportation, this neighborhood is ideal for industrious young couples in search of a starter home.

The Neighbors: Tattooed musicians, artists, graphic designers, service-industry employees, blue-collar families, hip do-it-yourselfers.

Also Consider: Lakewood

The Neighbors: More upwardly mobile West Siders who desire good schools, more plentiful green space and homes that require less work to bring them up to code. Young professionals, unpretentious families and a large contingent of renters call Lakewood home.

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