A city with an unusual place in American history, Akron in Ohio has a small town charm with a strong place in American history. The city’s love for jazz and soul music has drawn in famous singers throughout the years. Akron has also been credited as supposedly being the location for the invention of the “hamburger”! This has translated into a buzzing restaurant and dining scene across various neighborhoods. The city boasts of beautifully preserved historic sights, art galleries and museums, the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens and other points of interest for visitors. Be sure to check out our list of the top things to do when visiting Akron, Ohio.
1. Travel back in time at Glendale Cemetery
A history lesson of Akron’s past, the role important town citizens played and interesting aspects of the American Civil War can be enjoyed during a walkthrough of the Glendale Cemetery. Walk past family tombs and ancient headstones that have been around since 1839. Many of them have been modeled after Egyptian, Greek and Roman temples or Gothic churches. The Glendale Cemetery is ideal for a scenic walk over the area that was once called the Swan Lake.
Address: 150 Glendale Ave, Akron, OH 44302
Website: Glendale Cemetery
Opening hours: 8.30am - 5pm (daily)
2. Enjoy the lush greenery of Summit Metro Parks
Summit Metro Parks is based out of Akron and manages 16 parks - over 14,000 acres (5700 hectares), several conservation areas and more than 150 miles (240 km) of trails. Founded in 1921, Summit Metro Parks offers a family experience of enjoying the outdoors, from guided walks and tours to learn about native animals and plants, to the shelters and lodges that can be rented for overnight stays. Be sure to use their Park & Trail finder to plan your visit.
Summit Metro Parks
Website: Summit Metro Parks
Opening hours: Varies
3. Visit the historic Indian Signal Tree
Visit this landmark tree of a distinctive shape, that Native Americans used as a guiding marker while traveling up the Cuyahoga River. This 300-year-old bur oak tree can be found in the Cascade Valley Metro Park. Marvel at its unique structure during your visit. There are many tales on how the tree got its shape, including a strange accident and physical manipulation by American Indians.
Indian Signal Tree
Address: Peck Rd, Akron, OH 44310
4. Browse through confiscated weapons at Akron Police Museum
Those you are interested in police memorabilia will enjoy a visit to the Akron Police Museum. The collection of photos, weapons, uniforms, and artifacts will take you through 200 years of police history in Akron. Find artifacts such as old-school lie detectors dating from the 1960s and 1930s, gambling paraphernalia and details that include newspaper clippings chronicling the capture of bank robber Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd in Akron in 1930.
Akron Police Museum
Address: 217 South High Street, Mezzanine Level, Suite 402, Akron, OH 44308
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 3pm (by appointment only)
5. Unwind in the lap of nature at F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm
Step into another world, where green gardens, water features, and marvelous suspension bridges surround you at the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm. Choose one of the many paths and trails to explore the area, including the Cherry Lane Trail, Fernwood Loop, and the Seneca Trail. Look out for their nature classes conducted by knowledgeable naturalists as a great way to learn about local fauna and flora.
F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm
Address: 1828 Smith Rd, Akron, OH 44313, USA
Website: F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm
Opening hours: 6am - 11pm (daily)
6. Visit the beautiful Akron Civic Theatre
The Akron Civic Theatre is a throwback to the 1920s. It is a space where creativity flourished and talent exhibited for the past 90 years. Designed by the famous architect John Eberson, a Mediterranean-theme decor permeates the Theatre. The opulent theatre has even gained a nickname - “The Jewel on Main Street”. Recent performances have included a variety of shows from Sister Act, Aida the Opera to Incubus to Peppa Pig.
Akron Civic Theatre
Address: 182 S Main St, Akron, OH 44308
Website: Akron Civic Theatre
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 4pm
7. Check out the amazing collection at Akron-Summit County Public Library
Get acquainted with the town’s public library system, browse bestseller books, movies, and music options. Their events calendar is filled with great options for babies, toddlers, young adults, and working professionals. From children’s books to business research essentials, workshops, puzzling events that include anagrams, word scrambles, crosswords, classic puzzles, and a giant word search as well as the showing of popular movies, the events will cater to anyone looking to get to know the city a little better.
Akron-Summit County Public Library
Address: 60 South High Street, Akron, Ohio 44326
Website: Akron-Summit County Public Library
Opening hours: Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 1pm - 5pm; Mon - Thu: 10am - 8pm; Fri: 10am - 6pm
8. Spot a wide variety of animals at Akron Zoo
Visit the Akron Zoo for an intimate experience with all of the animal kingdom. Walk through the Zoo Gardens, venture to Penguin Point, explore the Komodo Kingdom and be amazed by the Pride of Africa. Learn about the zoo’s animal conservation efforts and catch one of the regular shows they have ongoing daily. The Akron Zoo also has the perfect picnic areas which you can rest your feet and enjoy the afternoon.
Address: 505 Euclid Ave, Akron, Ohio 44307
Website: Akron Zoo
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily) (April - October); 11am - 4pm (daily) (November - March)
Price: 12 USD adults, 9 USD children (April - October); 7 USD (November - March)
9. Enjoy a game at the InfoCision Stadium–Summa Field
The InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field is part of the University of Akron. It is a football stadium and the home playing field of the Akron Zips football team. Within a well-designed space and state of the art facilities, the stadium hosts several sports, not just football, and would be a great option for visitors to entrench themselves in local culture by heading to a game during their visit.
InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field
Address: The University of Akron, 375 E Exchange St, Akron, OH 44304
10. Rekindle your love for history at Dr. Bob's Home
Robert Holbrook Smith a.k.a. Dr. Bob is behind the fundamental idea of the Alcoholics Anonymous group. Together with Bill Wilson, the New York businessman and entrepreneur who wrote the 1939 book ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’, Dr. Bob led discussions around spiritual help to those recovering from alcoholism. The home that you will visit is the location where many of the ideas essential to Alcoholics Anonymous were developed and discussed.
Dr. Bob's Home
Address: 855 Ardmore Ave, Akron, OH 44302
Website: Dr. Bob’s Home
Opening hours: 11am - 3pm (daily)
11. Visit the Japanese garden at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens is a scenic estate, filled with gardens and glamour. The home was previously owned by F. A. Seiberling, co-founder of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and is now considered one of the largest homes in the United States. Spanning over 28 hectares (69 acres), there are several guided tours that you could take as a visitor to understand the history and intricacies of such a magnificent estate. The Manor House offers tours to visit the Great Hall, the music room, the Plunge (indoor swimming pool), and the master bedroom or the Nooks & Crannies Tour takes you behind-the-scenes to the domestic and service areas of the home.
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
Address: 714 N Portage Path, Akron, OH 44303
Website: Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 4.30pm (closed on Mon)
Price: 6 USD
12. Enjoy a tour of Simon Perkins Stone Mansion
The Perkins Stone Mansion is a historic house museum, built by Colonel Simon Perkins, son of Akron’s founder General Simon Perkins. An icon that has been around since 1837, the Perkins Stone Mansion sits on 115 acres (47 hectares) of land, overlooking the city of Akron. More scenic views can be found at “Widow’s walk” on the roof of the mansion, which provides a vantage point for panoramic scenes of the Erie Canal. You can choose between guided or self-guided tours, though you are allowed to visit the grounds of the Perkins Stone Mansion and the John Brown House free of charge.
Simon Perkins Stone Mansion
Address: 550 Copley Rd, Akron, OH 44320
Website: Simon Perkins Stone Mansion
Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 1pm - 4pm (closed Sun - Tue)
Price: 10 USD
13. Catch an event at Lock 3
The highlight of any season in Akron are the events that take place at Lock 3. The outdoor park hosts seasonal concerts, with summer’s warm weather bringing out exciting musical acts, ice-skating during the winter, fireworks year round, regular farmer’s markets and holiday lights during the festive season. The 4th of July fireworks display and the Reindeer Run sledding hill are just some of the transformations the park goes through during the year.
Lock 3 Park
Address: 200 S Main St, Akron, OH 44308
Website: Lock 3 Park
Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 11am - 11pm; Sun: 11am - 6pm; Tues - Thu: 11am - 9pm (closed on Mon)
14. Learn something new at Cummings Center for the History of Psychology
The University of Akron hosts the Drs. Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology. It is a research institute. The Center houses a vast collection of documents and books on the subject of human sciences. Some of the highlights include personal belongings of Sigmund Freud, instruments from Stanley Milgram’s obedience studies, and artifacts from the Stanford Prison Experiment.
Cummings Center for the History of Psychology
Address: 73 South College Street, Akron, OH, 44325-4302
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 11am - 4pm; Thu: 11am - 8pm
Price: 10 USD
15. Pamper your taste buds in Crave
Wine and dine with friends and family at Crave, a contemporary space located in the historic Arts District of downtown Akron. With a menu that sends you around the world with just a few bites, the eccentric restaurant offers a colorful and vibrant setting for a meal. Enjoy delicious meals at affordable prices when you visit Crave on your evening off in Akron.
Address: 57 E. Market St. Akron, Ohio, 44308
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 10pm; Fri: 11am - 11pm; Sat: 5pm - 11pm (closed on Sun)
16. Spend an energetic afternoon at Akron Skate Park
Skating enthusiasts will enjoy this local skate park which covers 19,000 square feet (1765 square meters) of fiberglass reinforced concrete and caters to beginners, intermediates and advanced skaters. The skate park features a four-sided pyramid for stunts positioned in the middle, a large bowl sinking to a depth of 7 feet (2 meters), a snake roll leading into the bowl and a smaller bowl with a depth of 5.5 feet (1.6 meters). The skate park is open year round with no entry cost.
Akron Skate Park
Address: 166 S High St, Akron, OH 44308
Website: Akron Skate Park
Opening hours: Dawn - Dusk (daily)
17. Explore contemporary and vintage art collections at Summit Artspace Gallery
The Summit Artspace Gallery is a community space in downtown Akron near East Market. Visit the gallery to view art exhibitions, engage in art education programs and be part of the community that aims to provide a strong support system for artists at all levels. They even have business centers and conference halls to host corporate events. Check out their website for more details about their upcoming shows.
Summit Artspace Gallery
Address: 140 E Market St, Akron, OH 44308
Website: Summit Artspace Gallery
Opening hours: Thu - Fri: 12pm - 7pm; Sat: 12pm - 5pm (closed on Sun - Wed)
18. Explore the vintage Goodyear Airdock
The Goodyear Airdock has gone through several different uses throughout history. Constructed in 1929 at a cost of 2.2 million USD, it was the largest building in the world without any interior supports at the time. The Airdock provided a space in which technologically advanced airships (that is dirigibles, and blimps) could be constructed. In the 1980s, the Airdock was designated a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and is the ideal stop to or from the Akron airport. for anyone who would like to see the blimp hangar.
Address: S side of the Akron Fulton International Airport, Akron, Ohio
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 6pm (closed Sat & Sun)
19. Enjoy some good music at BLU Jazz
Enjoy live jazz, fine food, and spirits at Blu Jazz, the historic live music venue which has been designed solely with the intention and purpose of live jazz presentation in mind. A laidback and inviting atmosphere adds to the charm of the place. The bar holds in an important place in jazz history. Having attracting many great jazz talents in the past, including Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Blu Jazz is the place in Akron to check out for an evening of classic entertainment. Be sure to indulge in their modern food menu, which offers a contemporary take on Southern cuisine.
Address: 47 E Market St, Akron, OH 44308
Website: Blu Jazz
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 6.30pm - 1am (closed Sun & Mon)
20. Watch amazing concerts and shows at John S. Knight Center
An important landmark in Akron, the John S. Knight Center is a large convocation center which hosts a variety of business events, and an array of corporate conferences. On the leisure front, the Centre also hosts musical performances and live theatre productions. Check out the latest shows that you may like to catch during your stay in Akron.
John S. Knight Center
Address: 77 E Mill St, Akron, OH 44308
Website: John S. Knight Center
Enjoy the small-town charm of Akron
From history and art to a nationally renowned jazz corridor and a wide array of outdoor activities, visit Akron for its scenic countryside and artisanal food and beverage offerings. Akron is a city whose small-town charm has not been diluted in any way, making it the ideal destination on any travelers’ list.
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