Attractions and Culture
While Akron is a small city (pop. 212,000; metro area pop. 480,000), the greater Akron area is home to many outdoor recreational areas, cultural and sporting events, and other great attractions. Akronites who get the urge to visit larger cities can do so very easily – Cleveland is just a 30-40 minute drive to the north, Pittsburgh is just 90 minutes to the east, and Columbus is just 2 hours southwest of Akron. Plus, many affordable direct flights to New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., and other major cities are available daily from the Akron-Canton Airport and the Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport.
Below is a summary of some of the attractions Akron has to offer, but you may want to visit the Downtown Akron Partnership, the University Park Alliance, the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce, the Akron Beacon Journal, and Akron Life & Leisure for more information.
Downtown Akron is home to many fine eating and drinking establishments, performing arts venues, and sporting venues. Visit the Downtown Akron Partnership to learn all about downtown Akron.
Akron is home to numerous Summit County MetroParks, which are great places for hiking, biking, and nature-related activities. Northeast Ohio is also home to a national park – the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is just outside Akron, covering much of northern Summit and southern Cuyahoga counties. Both the Summit County MetroParks and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park surround parts of the Ohio and Erie Canalway, a historic corridor extending from Lake Erie to the Ohio River. The greater Akron area is also home to Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resort and the Portage Lakes, both of which are outstanding outdoor recreation areas.
The University of Akron’s E. J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall hosts many nationally-recognized speakers and performers each year and, along with the Akron Civic Theatre, is home to the Akron Symphony Orchestra. Blossom Music Center, located in nearby Cuyahoga Falls, hosts many major national acts and an annual Cleveland Symphony Orchestra summer concert series. Smaller acts also perform regularly at Lock 3 Park and Musica, both of which are in downtown Akron.
Attractions, Museums, and Historical Sites
Numerous attractions and historical sites are located in and near Akron. Stan Hywet Hall, former home of F.A. Seiberling (the founder of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company), is now maintained as a historical site and museum in West Akron. Stan Hywet’s grounds are open frequently for public functions, and tours of the estate are available on a regular basis.
Hale Farm and Village bills itself as the “premier outdoor, living history museum in Northeast Ohio.” It houses a craft shop and a working farm and hosts numerous public events, including an annual Civil War reenactment.
The Akron Art Museum, located in downtown Akron within walking distance of the School of Law, completed a renovation project in 2007 that more than tripled its original size. The museum’s permanent collection contains artwork dating back to 1850, and it frequently displays traveling exhibitions as well.
The Akron Zoo, located just southwest of downtown Akron, is home to more than 700 animals and hosts a number of public events year-round.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton, Ohio, about 20 minutes south of Akron on I-77. Thousands of tourists from all over the world visit the Hall of Fame each year to explore the history of professional football which, many say, got its start here in northeast Ohio.
The Akron Aeros, Akron’s minor-league baseball team, and The University of Akron’s sports teams all compete in downtown Akron or on campus at The University of Akron. The University’s new stadium, InfoCision Stadium, opened in the fall of 2009 and will serve as the home of The University of Akron’s football team. Akron’s Firestone Country Club is the home of the Bridgestone Invitational Golf Tournament, and thousands of runners from all over the world converge on Akron each September for the Akron Marathon.