Whether you thrill to the deafening roar of the crowd at Cleveland Stadium, or prefer to quietly watch a winding stream tumble over Blue Hen Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, northeast Ohio has attractions to suit all tastes and decibel levels.
The relaxed, friendly community of Akron, Ohio, is celebrated for its spirit of innovation and varied educational, recreational and cultural offerings. Just a short drive away from the shores of Lake Erie, it offers easy access to both Akron and Cleveland’s professional sports and nightlife, while providing all the comforts of an exceptional suburban lifestyle.
As a major U.S. hub for polymer research and development, Akron is home to some of today’s most important aerospace, metal, plastic and chemical manufacturers. Industrial global leaders and small-town retail operations coexist to create a mix of opportunities and economic stability. Akron is conveniently located between the cities of Cleveland, Canton and Youngstown, providing one’s spouse or significant other with plenty of job opportunities. There are two international airports that serve the region: the Akron-Canton Airport and Cleveland Hopkins Airport.
The University of Akron’s E. J. Thomas Hall and Akron Civic Theater, an old movie palace complete with Moorish Gothic décor, offer a variety of offerings to suit all interests: touring Broadway plays, interesting speakers, holiday programs, old movies, dance and other diverse programs.
Cleveland’s Playhouse Square, a 30-minute drive from Akron, has second-run Broadway plays, opera, musicals, ballet and contemporary performing arts.
There are also several small playhouses in the area where one can showcase their theatrical talents. For example, the Ballet Theatre of Ohio is known for its full-length classical ballets, including “The Nutcracker.”
Blossom Music Center has a variety of music ranging from rock, to country, to the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra. You can enjoy popular music concerts on the weekdays and Fridays. Acts from the 2010 summer season included Dave Matthews Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Brooks and Dunn, Bon Jovi, Toby Keith, Tom Petty, Foreigner and Styx, Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw and John Mayer. On weekends the Cleveland Orchestra performs classical and popular music. They also have family-oriented concerts on the holidays.
Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland (30 minutes from Akron),and occasionally the Cleveland Browns stadium, have touring big-name bands and performers.
Lock 3, the site of an old lock on the Ohio Canal and close to the hospital, offers mostly free outdoor concerts in the summer. They have tribute bands, local bands and a great zydeco band that has the audience dancing on the grass. (In the winter months, it’s the site of a public ice skating rink.)
Located midway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Covelli Centre is northeast Ohio's newest destination for family entertainment. Youngstown, an attractive 'in-between' city, now sees first-rate events such as chart-topping musicians, jaw-dropping sporting events, nationally-recognized circuses, and crowd-pleasing family shows like Disney On Ice and Sesame Street Live.
Spend a day exploring the treasures of the Butler Institute of American Art. Known worldwide as "America's Museum," The Butler is the first museum dedicated to housing works created solely by American artists. Constructed of Georgian marble, the original museum structure is considered an architectural masterpiece, and is listed as a landmark on the National Registry of Historic Places. Their ever-expanding collection now exceeds 20,000 works of art, spanning a full three centuries.
The Cleveland Indians’ Double A farm team Akron Aeros play within sight of the hospital. Tickets are reasonably priced, and you can enjoy “2 for 1” hot dogs one day a week as well as other specials. You get a chance to see baseball players before they become famous and there is entertainment between the innings. Friday games have fireworks.
The Cleveland Indians play in downtown Cleveland, at Progressive field, just off I-77. The team is one of the four Charter American League clubs that has played continuously in one city. The team premiered on April 24, 1901, with the nickname of the Blues. They have been known as the Indians since 1914.
The Indians’ single A farm team, the Lake County Captains, plays home games in Eastlake, a Cleveland suburb.
The Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Class A Affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, play at Eastwood Field in nearby Niles, Ohio. Season runs June through early September.
Youngstown State University's sports programs include a full range of NCAA athletics.
The Akron Racers, the Women’s Professional Fastpitch team, is home-based at Firestone Stadium in south Akron. In 2010, they were the third-seed in the National Pro Fastpitch Championship Series.
The Cleveland Cavaliers play in Quicken Loans arena (“the Q”) in downtown Cleveland. The Cleveland Browns play in Cleveland Browns Stadium on Lake Erie. Following an abrupt departure of the team in the late 1990s, the current team is heading to its rightful place at the top of American League standings.
The Lake Erie Monsters, a pro hockey team, also plays in the “Q”
Just south of Akron, football fans can tour the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Hear inspiring stories behind the artifacts and view memorabilia from recent NFL seasons.
Running/hiking/biking: If you're a runner, you will want to live near the jogging trail in Sand Run Metro Park, one of the Summit County Metro Parks. It is a 3 mile (6 miles out and back) stone-dust walking/running trail that winds through the park with only one intersection. It is a great place for a walk or run, and a terrific place to take your dog or your child in a jogging stroller. For those who like hills, there's also a 3-mile hike through the woods up and down the hills. The hiking trail crosses the jogging trail twice so you can combine the two.
Another great place to run is the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail. The trail runs from downtown Akron to downtown Cleveland, mostly through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This park is the 6th most visited park in the country. The trail is mostly through the woods, but there are some farm fields and a boardwalk over a marsh. As the path follows the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal, you'll see remnants of many locks along the way. Walkers, runners and dog aficionados share the trail with bicyclists. The stone-dust paved trail winds through the park along the old Ohio canal. There is an intersection every 1-3 miles.
The Summit County Metroparks has a fall hiking spree that is adult- and kid-friendly. After you do 8 hikes in 3 months, you receive a hiking staff. In subsequent years, you receive a small plaque to put on your staff. Kids love earning these and are impressed by the older hikers that have plaques all the way down their staffs.
Fellows Riverside Gardens is a free public garden located at the northern end of Mill Creek MetroParks. This twelve-acre display garden features a landscape of remarkable beauty with diverse and colorful plant displays, roses of all classes, seasonal displays of annuals, perennials, and flowering bulbs, and scenic vistas. Fellows Riverside Gardens is one of Ohio's finest public gardens and attracts over 400,000 visitors a year. The Davis Visitors Center includes a cafe, gift shop, art gallery, horticultural library, and observation tower.
The favorite place for biking is the Towpath Trail and the roads in the national park. There are at least 26 miles one-way of the Towpath trail (they keep adding to it). If you like, you can take the park train one way and bike home.
There are other bike/hike trails in the area, mostly on old railroad beds.
Skiing: Boston Mills and Brandywine Ski Resorts are located between Cleveland and Akron, within the national park, and feature a variety of slopes. The resorts also offer snowboarding and snow tubing.
Fishing and other island activities: The Lake Erie Islands is a getaway with something for everyone. Kelleys Island has been named one of America’s healthiest lakefront and beach getaways where you can explore the island by bike or golf cart or simply take walks along the shore. The island is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial can be found on South Bass Island/Put-In-Bay. In addition to charter fishing, watercraft rentals, kayaking and parasailing, two wineries and a microbrewery are located on the well-visited Lake Erie Island.
Lake Erie’s southern shore is well-known for its walleye, perch and smallmouth bass. During the winter, when the lake is frozen, anglers venture onto the surface to ice fish inside a protective shanty.
OH WOW!, the Roger and Gloria Jones Children's Center for Science & Technology, is a welcoming place where children and adults can explore and play in an environment that fosters learning skills and knowledge through hands-on interactive exhibits rooted in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Head to the African Safari Wildlife Park near Port Clinton on Lake Erie. It’s a drive-through safari with exotic animals, pony rides and educational animal shows.
Sandusky also hosts America’s largest indoor waterpark, Kalahari.
While on the shores of Lake Erie, enjoy at day at Cedar Point. The amusement park features the world’s largest collection of roller coasters. The newest ride, Shoot the Rapids, sends riders through 2,100 feet of rushing water and two huge drops.
Art museums are located in Akron, which includes works by Andy Warhol and Margaret Bourke-White, and Canton, focusing on American watercolors and ceramics. Cleveland museums include the Cleveland Museum of Art, featuring works of art from ancient Egypt to the present; the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, featuring the 3 million-year-old human ancestor Australopithecus afarensis, known as “Lucy;” the Great Lakes Science Center, featuring space-themed activities and hands-on workshops; and Healthspace Cleveland, where one can learn about the body and its five senses.
Stan Hywet Hall is worth a visit as a legacy of Akron’s days as the rubber/tire capital of the world. It is a 65-room Tudor mansion built by the founder of Goodyear and has a great tour and wonderful gardens. They welcome dogs on the grounds on Sundays.
Hale Farm & Village, part of the Western Reserve Historical Society, offers an opportunity to experience the past through costumed interpreters and artisans in candle making, glassblowing, spinning, carpentry and blacksmithing.
Ohio & Erie National Heritage Canalway provides opportunities to bike, hike, bird watch, horseback ride, fish and canoe along the first inland link between the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico.
Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame contains 7 floors of exhibits, celebrating the energy, passion and spirit of music.
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