One of Cleveland's original "streetcar suburbs," Lakewood was built and settled primarily in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Most of its existing housing stock was built in this timeframe, and is surprisingly well maintained. Lakewood has managed to retain many of the best features of a city, small town, and suburb, and scenes reminiscent of all three can easily be found within a few blocks of downtown Lakewood (Detroit Ave. between Cook and Bunts) as well as the Gold Coast neighborhood.
By car: from the airport, follow Ohio 237 north; from most parts of Cleveland proper, take I-90 or Ohio 2 west and follow the signs. RTA bus #26 serves both Lakewood and Cleveland along Detroit Avenue, and the Red Line features two stops just inside the Lakewood/Cleveland border, West 117 and Triskett Road, from which one can easily walk to the southeastern neighborhoods of Lakewood.
The areas of Lakewood of most interest to a visitor, notably the downtown area, are very walkable and bike-friendly neighborhoods. If coming from Cleveland, the #26 bus runs relatively frequently down Detroit Avenue and takes about 45 minutes between downtown Lakewood and downtown Cleveland. Driving in and around Lakewood is fairly easy as well. Please note that the speed limits are 20 in school zones and 25 on most other streets, and are vigorously enforced. Parking is limited in and near the downtown area, though paid garages and metered parking are available almost everywhere.
Malley's Chocolates 14822 Madison Ave. Some of the best chocolate in the world. Store features an old timey soda fountain with a multitude of ice cream treat options. Widely known for their fresh hot fudge.
Marc's Deep Discount Stores 14681 Detroit Ave. Seriously? That's the full name of the store? My God. Anyway, it's always busy, with tiny aisles, and cheap wares. Fox News is constantly on as well
The Mission Boutique 14625 Madison St. Sexy goth/punk clothing store
Nature's Bin 18120 Sloane Ave. Local, organic grocery store
Rozi's Wine House 14900 Detroit Ave. Family owned store with an incredibly wide selection of wine, beer, gourmet food, cheese, and gifts
Aladdin's Eatery 14536 Detroit Ave. Delicious Lebanese food and home of the chain's national headquarters.
Borderline Cafe 18510 Detroit Ave. Tiny tex-mex stlye breakfast nook. Almost always packed and closes at 2PM
Dianna's Deli & Restaurant 1332 W. 117th St. 24-hour, home-style diner, with a very colorful (sometimes not for the best) wait staff
Elmwood Home Bakery 15204 Madison Ave. Delicious cakes, breaks, and baked goods. As featured in the movie, American Splendor
Melt Bar and Grilled 14718 Detroit Ave. Incredibly long waits only matched by the amazing food. CHEESE!!!
Pacers 14600 Detroit Ave. Delicious ribs, wings, and Shirley Temples. Also a full bar. Tons of flat screens for sporting events
Szechwan Garden 13800 Detroit Ave. Yummy Chinese foods.
Tina's Deli & Restaurant 13411 Detroit Ave. The far better of Lakewood's two delis, Americana and Middle Eastern fare
Pier W,, 12700 Lake Ave. Winton Place, ☎ 216.228.2250, . Described as a ˝landmark Cleveland restaurant˝but is technically in Lakewood city limits. Serves delicious food, with a mostly seafood menu, and offers a bar and valet parking. Nice atmosphere and great view of the lake. Sunday mornings are their buffets - a nice time to bring the whole family. A bit priceyedit
Most parts of Lakewood are very safe, particularly by comparison to Cleveland proper. At night, use caution in the neighborhoods adjacent to West 117th Street south of Detroit, and Madison Avenue east of Madison Park.
Lakewood is well known an economically, culturally and ethnically diverse community. Prejudice in any form is not appreciated, but treat other people the way you wish to be treated, regardless of any differences, and you should be fine.