Who Wouldn’t Want to Spend a Day in Akron?
When you don’t have time for a full vacation but need a travel fix, consider Akron. It offers a detour from routine and is rich with day trip possibilities.
If you like sports … Cheer on the RubberDucks. The Cleveland Indians Double-A affiliate (formerly the Aeros) plays downtown in the comfortably cozy 7,630-seat Canal Park. Check the schedule ahead of time for promotions and giveaways. Make time to grab tacos or old-school Mexican food at El Gato Taqueria pre-game. For tickets, visit akronrubberducks.com or call 330-253-5151.
Train for one or two of the area’s best-known races. The 16th FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, & Team Relay will take off Sept. 29; akronmarathon.org. The Towpath Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K follows Towpath Trail between Akron and Cleveland on Oct. 7; towpathtrilogy.com/marathon.
If you like the outdoors … Look at the Cuyahoga National Valley Park from a different perspective. Paddle a kayak 2, 4.5 or 6.5 miles on the Cuyahoga River with Burning River Adventures. Choose either self-guided or guided kayak trips. You’ll be dropped at a starting point and paddle with the river flow. Remember your camera. For reservations, visit paddletheriver.com or call 330-969-BOAT.
Pack up your camera, lace your hiking boots and visit Brandywine Falls, a 65-foot waterfall accessed via boardwalk or more demanding trail, in Sagamore Hills Township; nps.gov/cuva/learn/historyculture/brandywine-falls.
If you like history … Flashback to the mid-1800s at Hale Farm & Village to see an average village. Double your fun with a visit June 9-10 to the Sow and Grow Farm Festival & Plant Sale. In addition to the usual demonstrations — glassblowing, blacksmithing, and spinning and weaving — learn about draft horses, beekeeping, sheep shearing, fiber dying and more. Shop historic and heirloom annuals, perennials and herbs. For schedules, visit wrhs.org/plan-your-visit-2 or call 330-666-3711.
Travel back about 100 years to see how industrial giants lived. Visit Stan Hywet, a 64,500 square foot manor house built between 1912 and 1915 by F.A. Seiberling, co-founder of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Some lists rank this house-turned-museum as one of the 25 largest in the United States. If you’re counting, the Tudor Revival boasts 21,455 panes of glass, 23 fireplaces and 95 percent of the estate’s original furnishings. Stanhywet.org.
If you like adult beverages … Ride the rails through Cuyahoga Valley National Park on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Buy tickets to a beer- or wine-tasting excursion where you’ll sample five adult beverages paired with hors-d’oeuvres. For schedule and tickets call 330-439-5708.
Or spend an afternoon at a winery, brewery, meadery or distillery. The Akron area is rich in artisan beverages. The Winery at Wolf Creek offers wine drinkers indoor and outdoor activities based on the season; wineryatwolfcreek.com or 330-666-9285. Get reservations for a Saturday tour at Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. at thirstydog.com or 330-252-BREW. Try fermented honey-based mead at Crafted Artisan Meadery’s taproom; craftedmead.com or 330-628-4444. Sample up to four spirits at Renaissance Artisan Distillery; renartisan.com or 330-633-7223.
If you like art … Appreciate creativity from 1850 forward at the Akron Art Museum. Schedule your visit to coincide with a special exhibit, artist talk or workshop. To learn more, visit akronartmuseum.org or call 330-376-9185.
Visit Don Drumm Studios & Gallery — 5,000 square feet — to shop more than 500 North American artists. The showroom displays jewelry, glass, sculpture, ceramics, metal and more, including Drumm’s iconic metal work. See what it’s about at dondrummstudios.com or call 330-253-6268.
Plan for the Annual Boston Mills Artfest on June 30 and July 1 or July 6 to 8. The juried, fine arts show brings artists from around the country and offers food, wine and craft beer. Make a date of it at a preview party June 29 or July 5. Learn more at bmbw.com/artfest.
If you’ve got the grandkids … Visit the animals at the Akron Zoo. Much smaller (and more easily walkable for little ones) than its counterpart up north, this little-kid-friendly zoo can be done in a couple of hours, and still meets the kid-to-animal ratio required for a successful zoo visit. Start your trip by visiting akronzoo.org or call 330-375-2550.
Paris Wolfe is a freelance writer who enjoys exploring places both far from home and right here in NEO.