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The 100 Best Things About Lakewood

To mark the city's 100th birthday, we've come up with a comprehensive list of the best things we've got to offer.

To honor Lakewood's first , we thought we'd share our list of the 100 best things about this city. Some of them are destinations — some are institutions. Some are intangibles. 

All of these are a part of what makes our city so incredible — in no particular order.

Happy birthday, Lakewood.

Lake Erie •  • beautiful, historic homes •   • Metro Parks •  • walkability •  • view of Cleveland skyline •  • diversity •  •  safe neighborhoods •  • • block parties •  Lakewood Skate Park •  • Birdtown •  • amazing public schools •  • LakewoodAlive •  • community gardens •  • 15 incredible parks and pocket parks •  •  one of the highest recycling rates in the state •  • scenic Clifton Boulevard •  • Lakewood Earth and Food Community (LEAF) • bike friendly •  • front porches •  • vibrant shopping districts • bela dubby • Spooky Pooch Parade •  • city services •  • summer concerts at the Bandstand • Play It Again Sam • Zombie Walk •  • the artists’ enclave at the Screw Factory •  •  • Ohio Chautauqua event • •  • 70 Lewis •  • yoga studios •  • easy highway access •  • 100 restaurants • architecture •  • inclusive community •  •  •  • lots of beautiful trees •  • Lakewood Arts Festival •  • civic engagement • • Madison Pool •  • LightUp Lakewood • The Bonne Bell Company • nightlife • Lakewood Patch • baseball fields • Lakewood Family Room •  • art galleries • Stitch Cleveland • antique stores • Gold Coast • • Fourth of July celebration • • Keep Lakewood Beautiful • Lakewood Animal Shelter • 36 homes in Lakewood valued at more than $1 million • The Lakewood Project • Travel and Leisure saying Lakewood is among the Top 10 coolest suburbs in the US • Business Week says we're the best place in Ohio to raise your kids •  is based in Lakewood • large population of vegans/vegetarians • Lakewood Recreation Department • public transportation •  • 54,765* awesome people (based on the most-recent Census figures)

Did we miss something? Tell us in the comments.

Chris February 22, 2011 at 12:30 PM
Love Lakewood! Thanks for including Lakewood Earth and Food (LEAF). If you would like more info. www.leafcommunity.org. or visit us at our open house March 20th 2:00 to 4:00 at the library!
Karen Morris February 22, 2011 at 01:39 PM
one of my favorite places, "the Place to be" the food is great and served super fast!
Colin McEwen February 22, 2011 at 01:39 PM
LoveLakewood.com! I totally agree. Let's get 'em a plug.
Alan R. February 22, 2011 at 02:13 PM
Taco Tuesdays at Deagans
Holly February 22, 2011 at 02:38 PM
Lakewood is so cool! I love it here and it is really easy to get to a lot of places! Let's Go Lakewood Rangers!
Wm. Fraunfelder February 22, 2011 at 02:59 PM
The list includes many secular organizations that have existed for less than 10 years of this city's history - not one mention of any of the great churches in this community that have woven the fabric and built the foundation of Lakewood, without which many of these "pastime" organizations could not even exist. Shameful. I guess everyone who put this list together doesn't concern themselves with anything that takes place in Lakewood before Noon on Sundays.
Colin McEwen February 22, 2011 at 03:49 PM
Thanks for your comment, Mr. Fraunfelder! All of our churches our wonderful — it's difficult to single one out... Not sure if I'd call it "shameful." But I certainly appreciate the dialogue... Which church would you like to plug?
Wm. Fraunfelder February 22, 2011 at 05:34 PM
Mr. McEwen, the fact that you'd have me single-out one faith over another underscores my point. Your list is made up of "plugs." How about you cover the news and deliver timely, apt editorial content, and leave the list-making up to the experts at Forbes and USNWR?
Drew February 22, 2011 at 08:57 PM
Gaspipe, that was one of the best comments ever!
Chris February 22, 2011 at 09:06 PM
I agree with Drew.. That comment made me laugh out loud. :)
LAURA February 25, 2011 at 12:23 AM
LOCAL GIRL GALLERY, PUMA YOGA, THE BEER ENGINE AND HOW ABOUT THE DAYSTAR BOUTIQUE??? LAVEG
Holly February 25, 2011 at 04:35 PM
The Beer Engine, and Dr. Greg DeVor, DDS, the best dentist in Lakewood!
norma March 01, 2011 at 04:31 PM
Could we expand the list? Live Well Lakewood is working towards a healthier community and has a walking challenge based in Lakewood Park starting in March.
Judy Towner April 18, 2011 at 09:45 PM
What about Blue Onion Takeout and Catering 14404 Detroit ave? My goto place for fast, ready to go lunch for under 6.00 and dinner to go for 5.00. Been to many a party they catered and it is AWESOME!
Janine Dainis April 25, 2011 at 10:00 PM
I would have agreed with Lakewood being a fabulous place place to live, until that dreadful day when the city decided to pass Breed Specific Legislation criminalizing the ownership of certain breeds of dogs. Banning the type of dogs people share their homes with is counter-productive and prejudice, and is causing A LOT of us educated, professional people to leave the city for other cities and states where all of our family is welcome. I am one of many who just sold their beloved Lakewood home because of this intrusion. I'm still dying to know...how does banning dogs stop drug deals, kidnappings, robberies, or violence?
The original Bill April 26, 2011 at 12:20 PM
Well Janine it worked. It got you to leave our city. Thank you for making our city a better place by moving
The original Bill April 26, 2011 at 12:22 PM
And I am wondering why you waited 2 1/2 years after the law was enacted to leave?
Janine Dainis April 26, 2011 at 01:32 PM
So let me get this straight. Tax paying, educated, quiet, law abiding young professionals who painstaking restored and up kept a classic Lakewood colonial, who shopped and dined locally, who volunteered and donated to make Lakewood a better place, who encouraged other young professionals to make Lakewood home...that's what you were trying to chase out? Thanks for the clarity. Now I understand. I loved Lakewood and all they have to offer, as clearly noted in this article. Just saying their priorities are screwed up on how to make it more sustainable and attractive to the people who once sang it's praises.
Alex Vandehoff April 26, 2011 at 02:47 PM
Janine - unfortunately, your breed of choice is capable of causing much more severe damage than others. Perhaps you are a responsible owner and a good trainer of the animal. The fact remains that it is an animal and not capable of rational thought, as are you and I. Sadly, this makes it more dangerous than the other animals that are less capable of causing as much damage. I'm sorry you decided to move. I'm also sorry that you allowed the type of pet you wanted to have dictate where you live. As I'm sure you are aware, if you had your dog prior to the law being in place, you were allowed to keep it so long as you registered with the city and muzzled the dog in public. I love animals, but human safety is ALWAYS a priority over animal safety.
Janine Dainis April 26, 2011 at 05:49 PM
Everyone is entitled to their own option and I respect that. I do not own a dog that is banned in the city. I just am vehemently against the legislation and the way in which it was enacted. I was at every city council meeting about this topic and local government clearly was not open to what residents really wanted. Possibly you were aware of the city's own records that were presented that all the banned breeds combined weren't even close to the top of the list in Lakewood for dangerous bites. Beside the inherent and unconstitutional revocation of our rights, Breed Sprecific Legislation has been proven in every single community across the the country, and in the world, to be an epic failure. Compounded with the cost of enforcement (in Lakewood alone its estimated at over $88,000 annually - money I personally feel would be better spent elsewhere in the city) it seems wasteful. Additionally, with the suit filed recently in Federal Court challenging this legislation, its just more money Lakewood has to spend defending its racial profiling of dogs. And nobody can argue that Lakewood is rolling in the surplus cash! Its a shame that the amazing resources that made Lakewood once so attractive are taking a back seat to the short-sightedness of local government. The big question is always what's next. What is going to be the next thing Big Brother tells me I can and can't do. Reactive, controlling behavior by city council is quite unbecoming, IMHO.
Victoria April 27, 2011 at 02:14 AM
You know I find it very strange that these dogs are mostly ALL STILL AROUND however you don't see anything about them in the papers any more ... if they are indeed so vicious why are we not still reading articles about them? Point of fact ... the media blew things up to sell newspapers before and disregarded a lot of facts and information in order to sell papers. Almost every vet wrote in about the BSL and they all had the same story to tell ... it is not the dogs ... it is the people who own them. They recommended tougher legislation and control of those adopting the dogs but the gov't was more interested in the hype and paranoia ... and not facts. All animals can be deemed dangerous ... house cats, poodles, guinea pigs, etc. ... they all have teeth and they all bite ... their behaviour depends on who looks after them and how they are handled. Do you not realize what so called 'humans' have done to these dogs in order to get them to be mean and fight? They are not born that way. The miscreants that own them torture them (beatings and fire), starve them, rape them (you heard me), and violate them in a number of ways and when the dog loses a fight they toss them aside like garbage to slowly die ... or set them on fire and burn them alive. Point of fact ... cats are actually more dangerous than dogs in many ways and we barely have any laws governing them including leash laws, muzzle control or declawing.

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