Akron, Ohio, is a bustling city that rests on the outskirts of Canton. This area has received a great deal of publicity on account of its affordable living prices, great jobs, and distinct four-seasons weather pattern. Akron is a wonderful place to raise a family, as the city boasts a profound sense of community and offers an abundance of activities for residents of all ages to enjoy. If you are planning a move to Akron, here are some hot spots that will allow you to mingle with the community as you begin to discover all that this great city has to offer.
Most people love animals. The Akron Zoo is the perfect place to take the kids and spend a day monkeying around. The 50-acre zoo has more than 700 animals to view. This not-for-profit zoo brings in over one million visitors annually. The zoo is so beloved that it has been ranked in the top 10 percent of zoos in the nation. This establishment opened in 1953, and it has 2,177,991 square feet of area to discover. It is a jungle in there, but it is something you have to see at least once. Even the big kids love watching the animals play.
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
This historical home is the largest in the area, and in fact, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens is the 6th largest historical home in the country. The 70-acre estate has some of the most beautiful gardens in the state, all of which are tirelessly maintained. The home was built in 1912 for F. A. Seiberling, the owner of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. From April 1 through December 30, you can visit this one-of-a-kind estate and tour its magnificent gardens. The small admission fee is worth the price due to the beautiful Tudor-inspired architecture. Allow yourself ample time to explore each room, as there is so much to see here.
After you have toured the zoo and science center, head out to Blu Jazz for some adult time. This place is upscale, and the hidden door seems to stump people every time. It is definitely not your average lounge; it is a place where the rich and famous like to hang. Do not come here in jeans and a tee; you will be out of your element. The music is lively and the art is exquisite. The venue is conveniently located in the famous Market Street area of town, so feel free to bring a group of friends and hang out. They offer a wide variety of seating options for your comfort. They often have live bands on the weekends, and the food is out of this world. No wonder people call this club a hidden gem.
Akron Art Museum
Exciting things are happening at the Akron Art Museum. The original establishment consisted of just two rooms in the basement of the public library. From 1922 until 2007, visitors flooded the library to see the art exhibits. Now, thanks to ample growth, they have a dedicated spot to call their own. They offer free music concerts in the park area, and anyone who attends the concerts can tour the museum for free. On Thursdays, they extend their hours and offer free admission. So if you are looking for something inexpensive to do, this is the place to go. This museum receives rave reviews from patrons, and it is a fabulous place to catch up on art, study some celebrated artists, and brush up on your culture.
Ohio Brewing Company
There is nothing quite like an ice-cold beer on a warm Ohio day. Located in the historic Selle Building in the downtown area, the Ohio Brewing Company makes popular state favorites like Cardinal Ale and their very own Verich Gold. In fact, their Verich Gold won the People’s Choice award at the Cleveland Octoberfest in 2010. The company has a long history in the area. They closed their doors during the recession when the economy was struggling. However, by 2010, things were up and rolling again. They now focus entirely on beer, having eliminated the restaurant aspect of their business. Now known as a micro-brewery, they are famous for holiday flavors like Jingle Bell Ale. If flavors like O'Hoppy Ale, Alt-ernative Amber, and Steel Valley Stout sound good to you, stop by their brewery tasting room for a sample of their rich lager.
If you love architecture and exploring the homes of yesteryear, the Hower House is sure to please. Built in 1871, this home is a perfect example of why older homes should be restored instead of torn down. It was built as a Second Empire Italianate structure with 28 spacious rooms. The style of this home was used in many churches throughout the country between 1870-1917. The Hower Family was quite well-to-do, and they traveled throughout the world. Their home is a masterpiece filled with collectibles from their travels. This home can be toured publicly or privately in any month of the year except for January. John Henry Hower and Susan Youngker Hower had exquisite tastes, and viewing their collection is an enthralling experience.
If you are a lover of music, you simply must visit the Akron Symphony. They have a large range of music productions covering a wealth of styles and influences not limited to traditional symphonic arrangements. They even have a beautiful dance series that features girls performing choreographed acrobatics while suspended from ribbons. Music has never been so fun and inviting. Their shows are constantly changing, so be sure to check out their website for the latest productions.
Swenson's Drive In
If you thought that drive-ins and car-hop-style restaurants were a thing of the past, stop by Swenson's Drive In for a real treat. Though there are several locations around the state, the original location was built right on this spot in Akron in 1934. It all started with a dream. Wesley Swenson made hamburgers and sold them out of his old station wagon, but he did not choose just any location. He went to local Burchell High School to find his customers. His burgers were such a hit that he was able to open his first restaurant within a year. It has long been a fan favorite in the Akron area. Why wouldn’t people want to experience the “Best Cheeseburger in America” winner? Their famous “salad boy” burger was invented in 1999, and people can’t get enough of it. If you love the old flavor of a car-side eatery with plenty of malts and shakes on the side, stop by Swenson's.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Akron is a fairly large city with plenty of traffic and people bustling about. However, if you want to escape the cityscape for just a moment, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is the place to go. This 32,950-acre park has plenty of green space to discover. Established in 1975, it was turned into a National Park in 2000. The park pays tribute to the Iroquois Native American tribes that used to inhabit the land. The beautiful Cuyahoga River is a hot spot for both fishing and boating. Come and explore the many caves, waterfalls, and ravines that are located throughout the massive green lands. Bird enthusiasts love the many species of birds that can be found here. Make sure to bring a camera and some good hiking shoes. It is a fabulous place to spend the day.