Students note other academic institutions playing a minor role in the local atmosphere, but students tend to venture most often to Coventry, the traditional local college town and to other local hubs of entertainment in the city (the Flats club district). The local atmosphere on and around campus varies depending upon which direction you go, and dramatically so. Students usually see the less wealthy neighborhoods as highly dangerous and rumors are abundant regarding the bad things that can happen once you “set foot past” certain streets. The ‘better’ areas literally border these neighborhoods; the contrast of local atmospheres is remarkable.
The campus itself and the outlying areas are jammed with cultural institutions. Northeast of campus is not a very safe place and there are not many student attractions located there. Southeast of campus are wealthier neighborhoods of Cleveland Heights, Little Italy and Coventry. If you travel 20 or so minutes West, you hit downtown Cleveland, more museums, arenas, shopping and dining. Southwest for about thirty minutes takes you to Cuyahoga National Park and plenty of outdoor possibilities. North is the lake, the beach, and more fun outdoor possibilities—though, it is not advisable to swim in the lake due to high coliform count warnings during most of the year. In the warmer months free festivals and concerts abound. In general, not all activities and attractions in Cleveland are easily accessible, but if students devote a little effort to exploring the city, they won’t be disappointed.