Things to do in Akron, OH
When you arrive in Greater Akron, get ready for a variety of exciting and engaging activities. The following themed experiences will introduce you to all there is to see and do. We encourage you to use these suggestions and our Visitors Guide to create a visit you can call your very own!
When you commune with nature, your daily stresses and strains will quickly fade. Explore the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio’s only national park and among the Top 10 Most Visited in the U.S.), featuring more than 33,000 acres to hike, bike, ski, sled and simply unwind. Metro Parks Serving Summit County offer 9,000 additional acres with 13 parks, 6 conservation areas and more than 120 miles of trails and 16 miles of the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail. Iconic attractions, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens and Hale Farm & Village extol their surroundings, offering manicured gardens and open vistas. The Akron Zoo also offers a glimpse into the habitats of creatures large and small.
Whether you enjoy the art of cooking or prefer to savor a delicious dish prepared just for you, Summit County has a menu sure to please. Find the freshest ingredients at the West Point Market or Mustard Seed Market & Café to make your favorite recipes exceptional. Want to avoid the kitchen? Enjoy nostalgic car-side service at Swenson’s Drive-In; or watch Akron-Canton Airport departures and arrivals at the runway-adjacent 356th Fighter Group Restaurant. Hundreds of eateries, diners, restaurants and grilles are located in every corner of Summit County, so pack a big appetite. Did we mention Harry London Chocolate Factory?
Visual, musical and theatrical — Greater Akron is the stage for sensational cultural pursuits. The expanded Akron Art Museum houses an eclectic modern collection. One block away, Summit Artspace is home to more than 40 arts organizations and features gallery space, studios and classrooms. Stunning spaces — Akron Civic Theatre, EJ Thomas Hall, Greystone Hall, Blossom Music Center and Lock 3/Lock 4 — provide year-round access to performances large and small. Greater Akron boasts seven community theaters with inspiring and entertaining seasons. The world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra makes Blossom Music Center its summer home, while the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Tuesday Musical Association, Summit Choral Society and Ballet Theatre of Ohio dazzle audiences during every season.
From novices to pros, from armchair quarterbacks to conditioned athletes, Greater Akron is the place for sports. Cheer on the Akron RubberDucks at Canal Park, catch The University of Akron Zips’ sports teams and take in the Akron Racers at Firestone Stadium. Roller Derby also takes Akron by storm with the Rubber City Roller Girls and NEO Roller Derby. If you have a need for speed, Barberton Speedway has the cars, while Northfield Park has the horses. Show your own speed during the Akron Marathon. Marvel at the world’s best golfers at the Bridgestone Invitational or gravity-defying races at the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby Championships. Two more suggestions: indoor rock climb at Kendall Cliffs and slice through the powder at Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resort.
The shopping forecast couldn’t be brighter. Akron and Summit County have fabulous and unique shops with special finds for everyone on your shopping list, including you! The only limit on your fun is that placed upon you by your credit card company. Summit Mall and Chapel Hill Mall are each anchored by top retailers. Specialty shopping is abundant throughout the county including: Highland Square, Hudson’s First & Main, Macedonia Commons, Downtown Akron, Northside District and Peninsula. Akron-centric must-sees are Don Drumm Studios & Gallery, Quaker Square, Stagecoach Antiques and West Point Market.
Greater Akron continues to play a proud and influential role in nurturing vibrant centers of commerce, education and culture in northeast Ohio. These initiatives rest upon our solid heritage. As early as Sojourner Truth’s 1851 “Ain’t I A Woman” speech, our community has been a melting pot for ideas, customs and forms of expression. Visit the birthplace of AA with a tour of Dr. Bob’s Home and the gatehouse at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. Travel back to the mid 1800s at Hale Farm & Village. Numerous sites, mansions and homes also underscore poignant stories from our rich and lustrous past, including the American Toy Marble Museum.
Students of all ages will encounter a number of entertaining and educational sites throughout the Greater Akron area. Begin your journey of learning at any one of these enlightening destinations.
Akron Police Museum 217 S. High St., Akron, 44308
Glendale Cemetery 150 Glendale Ave., Akron, 44302
Attractions & Points of Interest
Akron Area Arts Alliance/Summit Artspace
A non-profit organization devoted to promoting cultural and art activities throughout Portage, Summit and Medina counties, AAAA serves as an advocate for creative organizations and is in charge of the Summit Artspace gallery.
Akron Art Museum
Located downtown, the Akron Art Museum showcases regional, national and international art created since 1850. Particular areas of strength include contemporary painting and sculpture and 20th century photography.
Akron Fossils & Science Center
The center includes 3,500 square feet dedicated to hands-on learning that explores creation science and intelligent design models — specifically, the story of how we, and the earth, came to be. We are devoted to teaching creation science and intelligent design models on the origin and history of life (in contrast to teaching evolutionary models).
Akron Police Museum
Fans of police memorabilia will enjoy the Akron Police Museum, located within the Harold K. Stubbs Justice
The Akron Zoo has achieved both AZA and World Conservation Zoo accreditation — a distinction given to only 10 percent of the nation’s zoos. Penguins, Galapagos turtles, jaguars, Sumatran tigers and more exotic creatures await. The Zoo's new exhibit, Grizzly Ridge, opens in July.
Akron-Summit County Public Library
The Akron-Summit County Public Library provides resources for learning and leisure, information services, meeting spaces, and programs for all ages that support, improve, and enrich individual, family and community life.
American Toy Marble Museum
This museum is located at Lock 3 Park, which is the site of the former American Marble & Toy Manufacturing Company. Today, the museum welcomes guests to browse interactive exhibits, collections and figurines. Children's programs and tournaments take place regularly — call for details.
Bath and Hudson
Make a day of it in Bath, which is home of the historical Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Hale Farm & Village and the Bath Nature Preserve; move on to Hudson, where the First & Main District offers shopping and dining along the charming streets.
Bethlehem Cave and Nativity Museum
Visit a replica of the cave where Jesus was born at Nativity of the Lord Jesus Catholic Church. The Nativity Museum features the Altar of the Nativity, Altar of the Magi, and Manger, as well as collection of Nativities from around the world.
Center for the History of Psychology
Discover a museum of psychology that highlights artifacts, documents, films, and photographs from the history of the human sciences. It is also home to the Archives of the History of American Psychology.
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Ride the rails through Cuyahoga Valley National Park aboard one of the oldest and most scenic tourist excursion railways in the U.S. Board at the Akron Northside Station, Peninsula Depot or Rockside Station in Independence. Learn about the area’s history from the “Voices of the Valley” audio tour during a regular round trip. CVSR offers year-round special events, including the "Ales on Rails" beer tasting train or Grape Escape wine tasting train, Day Out With Thomas, the Polar Express, Bike Aboard! and numerous other family-friendly theme rides during the year.
Dr. Bob’s Home
International sobriety support group Alcoholics Anonymous originated at the home of Dr. Bob Smith, who founded AA in the 1930s. The haven that once welcomed suffering alcoholics now welcomes visitors, who can see exhibits dedicated to Dr. Bob's life and studies.
Dr. Shirla R. McClain Gallery of Akron Black History and Culture
Get an in-depth look at the history and experiences of African Americans who have helped develop and shape Akron. The gallery serves as a showplace for the research activities of The University of Akron Pan African Center for Community Studies. Mon. - Fri., 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Free.
Nestled in the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley, adjacent to the Towpath Trail and the train station, Elements Gallery showcases the work of many fine contemporary American artists and craftsmen. It is also the home of the studios of Bures Pottery.
Emily Davis Gallery
The Myers School of Art's galleries provide an environment of encouragement and inspiration for students, faculty and the community. Visit the website for current exhibits.
Fun Makers/Heaven Bound Ascensions
Soar the skies of Cleveland, Akron and Canton from the basket of a hot air balloon at dawn or dusk. Experience the free feeling of drifting through the valleys over pristine lakes and streams, or pick leaves while skimming over treetops.
With picturesque trees and monuments, this park-like cemetery is the burial spot of some of Akron’s famous residents. Founded in 1839, the Cemetery is now listed on the National Register of Historic Landscapes. Unique features, such as architectural elements of the memorial chapel and bell tower, make for a historical visit to the grounds, while the stillness and serenity of the site encourages reflection.
Hale Farm & Village
Return to life in Ohio during the 19th-century in this living history village, owned by the Western Reserve Historical Society. See blacksmiths, candlestick makers and cooks at work in their respective dwellings, or visit with furry farm animals.
Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park
The $275-million Hard Rock and Northfield Park joint venture brings a Hard Rock-branded gaming center to the grounds of harness-racing mainstay Northfield Park, with more than 2,200 slot machines. Features include: Kosar's Wood-Fired Grill, Hard Rock Cafe, Fresh Harvest Buffet, Hard Rock Live, Club Velvet, Comedy Zone and the signature Center Bar!
Harry London Gourmet Chocolates
Ever wonder how caramels, Buckeyes, truffles and everything else chocolate-covered are made? Find out during a factory tour of Harry London’s operation, which has churned out sweet confections since 1922. Call for seasonal hours and factory tour reservations.
Completed in 1871 this Second Empire Italianate home was built by John Henry and Susan Youngker Hower. It remains one of the finest and best preserved examples of its style in the country. This 28-room mansion is filled with treasures and furnishings collected from around the world by three generations of the Hower family who occupied the House. It was deeded to The University of Akron in 1970. Open for tours, events, and programs eleven months each year.
Invent Now Museum
The Museum’s current exhibit, "Inventive Eats: Incredible Food Innovations," highlights delicious food-related patents, innovations and trademarks. Adjacent to the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) School. Free.
John Brown House
Abolitionist John Brown, who would come to fame after the Harper’s Ferry raid, moved to this cottage across the street from Perkins Mansion in 1844. The museum features a changing temporary exhibit and offers educational programming throughout the year.
John S. Knight Center
This convention center is Akron’s premier destination, offering flexible meeting space for small- and large-scale events throughout the year, from private gatherings to giant expositions and sporting competitions.
Kent State University Fashion Museum
The museum, located on the Kent State campus, features eight galleries of rotating exhibits by artists and designers. The Museum boasts a wonderful store as well.
Laser Quest Akron
Mixing the age-old games of hide-and-seek and tag with high-tech lasers, this fun-for-everyone venue is perfect for everything from birthday parties to corporate events. Group reservations are required.
Lockheed Martin Airdock
Goodyear built the Airdock in 1929 as a facility to manufacture its airships. At 1,175 feet long, 325 feet wide and 211 feet high, this is one of the largest buildings in the world without interior supports. Drive-by photo opportunities only.
MAPS Air Museum
Bombers, fighter jets, historical aircrafts and more are on display at the Military Aviation Preservation Society Museum, which showcases both vintage military and civilian aircrafts. While you’re there, also visit a number of interactive exhibits.
Mustill Store and Cascade Locks Park Association
The Mustill Store, circa 1850, is open to the public, weekends, April through October. Across the Towpath, up to 70 boats a day passed through Lock 15, stopping at the store for supplies. Cascade Locks Park Association protects this important history.
Northside District & High Street Area
In Downtown Akron, you will find the center of commerce and culture. Where history meets art, music meets fashion and food meets soul. The Northside District & High Street Area are the center of those findings.
Peanut Shoppe of Akron
The best nuts are the freshest nuts, and that’s what the Peanut Shoppe offers everyday to all who pass through its doors since the 1930s. The store sells a wide selection of healthy snacks, chocolate, candies, fresh peanut butter and even sugar-free treats.
Perkins Stone Mansion
The former home of Colonel Simon Perkins Jr. is one of Ohio’s finest and most treasured examples of Greek Revival architecture. Built in 1837 and home to three generations of Perkins’, the home now offers tours and educational programs.
Pro Football Hall of Fame
The Pro Football Hall of Fame services to honor, preserve, educate and promote football. Visit permanent exhibits such as the Superbowl Theater and the Pro Football Today Gallery, as well as the new Ralph Wilson, Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center, part of the HOF's "Future 50" Project celebrating the museum's 50th anniversary.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
"Rock history comes alive in Cleveland" -Rolling Stone magazine. Experience the modern music destination everyone's talking about! Visit the world's only museum devoted to celebrating popular music!
This pre-civil war farmhouse hosts a sustainable winery operation and art gallery. Spend some time tasting wines and simple food pairings in the tasting room, loft, garden, deck with fire-pit, or the outdoor pavilion opening this summer.
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
A 65-room Tudor Revival Manor House and historic gardens and grounds make up this estate, which once belonged to F.A. Seiberling, the co-founder of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. The Estate is open from April through December for tours.
Creativity runs rampant at Summit Artspace, a gallery that displays the art and performances of regional visual and performing artists. Located in the art deco building that was the original home of the Akron Beacon Journal. Featuring more than 30 exhibits a year, it also is the home of studio artists and regional arts organizations.
Summit County Fairgrounds
The much-anticipated annual Summit County Fair (July 23-28), presented by the Summit County Agricultural Society of Ohio, takes place here, as well as other events: flea markets, auctions, sporting events and antique shows.
The Summit County Historical Society of Akron, OH
Founded in 1924, Summit County Historical Society manages two house museums, the Perkins Stone Mansion and John Brown House. SCHS also owns Old Stone School, operated in collaboration with Akron Public Schools, and is a major partner with the City of Akron at the Akron History Exhibit at Lock 3.
The Winery at Wolf Creek
This family-owned winery offers wine tastings, cooking classes, tours, and other events. Ohio’s countryside is the perfect backdrop for an afternoon of tasting wine, either outside or while strolling the picturesque vineyards.
Western Reserve Historical Society
Inspiring people to discover the American experience by exploring the tangible history of Northeast Ohio. Hale Farm & Village,located in the Cuyahoga Valley near Bath, Ohio, is an outdoor living history museum and a premier collection and property of Western Reserve Historical Society.
Enjoy a day of splashy thrills at Wildwater Kingdom. Whether catching waves at the wave pool Tidal Wave Bay, careening down the 100-foot Thunder Falls water slides, or relaxing in an inner tube, you're bound to have a blast. Call or visit website for park hours.