The Allure of Akron’s Natural Beauty
Things to do in Akron, Ohio, often revolve around its stunning natural landscapes. The city is a haven for those who love the great outdoors, offering a variety of parks and nature reserves that allow you to escape the urban hustle.
One such sanctuary is the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm, a park confluence of nature, art, and history. The Nature Realm provides a tranquil setting where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of flora and fauna while offering educational exhibits that delve into the region’s natural history. It’s an ideal spot for hiking, bird-watching, or enjoying a peaceful afternoon.
A Journey Through Time: Akron’s Historical Sites
History fans will find themselves spoilt for choice regarding places to visit in Akron, Ohio. One of the most intriguing sites is Hale Farm and Village. This living history museum is set on expansive grounds that house 32 meticulously restored buildings, each echoing the architectural styles and living conditions of the 19th century.
As you stroll through the village, you’ll encounter gardens brimming with heirloom plants and a variety of farm animals that were typical of the era. The experience offers a tangible connection to the past, allowing you to understand life in a bygone era.
The Vibrancy of Akron’s Art Scene
Art enthusiasts will find Akron a city that celebrates creativity in all its forms. The Akron Art Museum, affiliated with Kent State University, is a must-visit. Housing an extensive collection that spans from 1850 to contemporary works, the museum offers a comprehensive look at the evolution of artistic styles and mediums.
The museum frequently rotates its exhibits, ensuring there’s always something new. Whether you opt for a guided tour or wander through the galleries at your own pace, you’ll leave with a deeper appreciation for the art world.
The Akron Zoo is a great place to take the family if you are in Akron, Ohio. This small zoo has over 1000 animals. It is a good option if you want a place to visit with fewer crowds than the Cleveland Zoo or the Cincinnati Zoo.
The zoo has several unique activities. They include animal encounters, a learning lab, and special zoo tours. There are also many play areas for the children.
A new addition to the zoo is the Pride of Africa exhibit. This area features an updated goat boma, white storks, and a new lion exhibit.
Legends of the Wild is another of the zoo’s exciting attractions. You will see various animals here, including a 25-foot waterfall, ring-tailed lemurs, Humboldt penguins, and snow leopards.
Portage Lakes State Park
Portage Lakes State Park is excellent for a family picnic or relaxing nearby. It has a swimming area, an 18-hole disc golf course, and a dog park. In addition, it has hiking and walking trails.
Visitors can also go kayaking or paddle boating on Turkeyfoot Lake. However, you must provide your fishing license to fish in the lake. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has a fishing license checklist that you can use to ensure you’re prepared before you go.
Portage Lakes State Park has an archery range that opens from early morning to late evening. You can choose between targets of 10 to 50 yards. Whether an expert or a beginner, this is a fun way to enjoy the outdoors.
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
The Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens is a National Historic Landmark in Akron, Ohio. Its name comes from Old English, which means “stone quarry.” This 65-room Tudor Revival Manor House was built in 1915 for F.A. Seiberling, co-founder of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.
The home is open to the public most of the year. It is a must-see destination for visitors to the Cleveland area during the holiday season. With Christmas decorations and a festive conservatory filled with poinsettias, the estate is a dreamy setting for holiday celebrations.
The home offers guided tours. In addition, several special events occur at the museum, including Father’s Day Car Show, Breakfast with Santa, and Easter Egg Hunt. Another popular activity is geocaching. Visitors can search for hidden clues throughout the house grounds and surrounding gardens. In addition, the grounds are illuminated with a unique light display during the holidays.
For Christmas, the estate grounds are illuminated with over one million lights. This includes more than 800,000 lights in the Great Garden. Additionally, there are animated shop windows in the courtyard.
F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm
The Seiberling Nature Realm is located at 1828 Smith Road in Akron, Ohio. It’s a 104-acre natural area with a bit of everything, including hiking trails, an arboretum, ponds, and more. It’s part of the Summit Metro Parks system, which offers many options for nature lovers.
There are many things to see and do in the nature area, but you’ll likely want to focus on the more pedestrian aspects. Several ponds are aplenty, as is the tall grass prairie. You may also spot a few creatures of the feather, namely chickadees. One of the best things to do is bring a picnic lunch to enjoy at a picnic table and then hit the trails for real nature time.
Gorge Metro Park
Gorge Metro Park has a unique history and is located on the Akron and Cuyahoga Falls border. It was once a popular tourist destination; today, it is a popular recreation area.
The park was initially built on land owned by the Northern Ohio Traction and Light Company. The company wanted to use the river as a source of hydroelectricity. So, they made a dam to help provide water for the power plant.
Today, it is no longer a functional dam. As a result, the pool significantly contributes to water quality issues in this section of the river.
Among the local attractions is the Gorge Trail, a blue singletrack that passes through stunning rock ledge formations. A 10-foot waterfall is a seasonal feature. An accessible fishing dock and picnic area are also available.
Best Things to Do in Akron, Ohio
Places to visit in Akron, OH:
- Akron Zoo
- Portage Lakes State Park
- Stan Hywet Hall Gardens
- F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm
- Gorge Metro Park