01/17/2012 05:28 pm ET Updated Feb 01, 2012

Last Minute Cleveland Staycations

With the weekly stress from the work-a-day world, sometimes you just need to take a vacation day to relax. But what do you do when you only have one day to unwind? Fear not, there are plenty of places in, and around, Cleveland to explore.

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument

If you've ever visited Tower City or walked through Public Square, you've seen this towering edifice dedicated to the servicemen and women of the Civil War. What you may not have noticed is that this is more than a monument -- it also contains a miniature museum filled with stained glass and bronze reliefs that tell the story of the conflict. Tours are available on Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm, and admission is free. Once you're done, visit Tower City for some shopping or explore the restaurants downtown.

3 Public Square; 216-621-3710

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

This is one of Cleveland's most beloved landmarks, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out why. Visitors can observe exotic animals from across the world, learn about the importance of biodiversity or just drop in to say hello to their favorite creatures. New this year is African Elephant Crossing, a five acre exhibit dedicated to the massive and majestic animals.

3900 Wildlife Way; 216-661-6500

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Yellowstone and Yosemite may boast rugged mountains and wild creatures, but the Emerald Necklace has many a natural wonder to behold. Its many towpaths, forests and rolling hills give visitors a glimpse of Ohio before skyscrapers and strip malls. Highlights include questing, a simplified version of geocaching, and the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway.

15610 Vaughn Rd, Brecksville; 800-257-9477

The Children's Museum of Cleveland

Our fair city has plenty of museums, but most of them don't hold much interest to the toddler set. Enter the Children's Museum of Cleveland, whose exhibits are geared toward the tiny explorers among us. Kids can explore the Big Red Barn, explore space, splash around and learn more about their own community.

10730 Euclid Ave, 216-791-7114

Wildwater Kingdom

If you're looking to get wet this summer, take the plunge at Wildwater Kingdom. Slosh down the giant Liquid Lightning funnel, float along down Riptide Run, catch a wave at Tidal Wave Bay, hang with the family in Coral Cove or careen down Thunder Falls, the highest water slide in Ohio.

1100 Squires Rd, Aurora; 330-562-8303

Photo Courtesy of vladeb, flickr

Where do you go for that one-day staycation, Cleveland? Let us know in the comments!