Akron Skyline from Innerbelt Freeway
Akron is a medium sized city located in the Northeast Ohio region in Summit County in the State of Ohio in the United States.
Akron is called the City of Invention but was formerly known as the Rubber Capital of the World, and before that, as the original home of Quaker Oats, and before that, as a pottery works. Built right on the southern edge of the Connecticut Western Reserve, Akron really grew by selling gravity. It happens to be right on the shortest possible line drawn between the Cuyahoga River (connecting to the Great Lakes - Lake Erie), and the Tuscarawas River (connecting to the Ohio River and ultimately to the Gulf of Mexico.) The Ohio & Erie Canal (which can be seen downtown and throughout the Cuyahoga Valley National Park) connecting the two was inevitable, and is the primary reason Akron grew just where it did.
Among other things, Akron is home to:
- University of Akron and the Polymer Science Institute (science and engineering - top five nationally; polymer science - second in the U.S.)
- Inventure Place - The National Inventors Hall of Fame (almost everything modern humans use was invented or improved, at least in part, in Ohio or by its inhabitants - automotive, aerospace, aviation, shipping, electrical, polymers and rubber, biomedical, healthcare, gasoline, steel, paint, coatings and lubricants, etc.)
- Goodyear Tire and Rubber headquarters (though the Rubber Capital is now the Polymer Capital
- Fly into Akron-Canton Regional Airport, AKC if you can - small, easy to navigate, quick in-and-out.
- Alternatively, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, CLE - an approximately one hour drive to the northwest of Akron.
Akron lost its AMTRAK station in the last round of cuts, so you'll have to go into Cleveland.
Akron has wonderful interstate highway support. I-76 is an excellent way in from the East or West, and I-77 is an easy route to take between Cleveland and Akron. Further south on I-77 is Canton, home of the Football Hall of Fame. Once in the city, there are two other freeways Route 8 and Route 59 (Innerbelt), both of which serve the center of the city. There is very little in the city that is more than 10 minutes from an expressway. One nice by-product of this system - rush hour is less than an hour.
Akron METRO - Somewhat limited but adequate service to most Akron locations. It also has connectivity with Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority to the north and Stark County Regional Transit Authority to the south.
- Akron Art Museum, 70 E. Market St., +1 330 376-9185
- Akron Zoo
- Inventure Place The National Inventors Hall of Fame
- Goodyear World of Rubber Museum, 1144 E. Market St., +1 330 796-6546. Learn the history of tire production and one of its pioneers, Charles Goodyear.
- Well, you don't always see one, but the Goodyear blimps hang around there a lot.
- Also, near the Goodyear Tire and Rubber headquarters there is a trial race track use to test new products.
- Home of John Brown, 550 Copley Rd., +1 330 535-1120. The famous abolitionist called Akron his home from where he launched his fight to free slaves including the Harper’s Ferry raid in 1859.
Downtown Akron Partnership
Arts and Culture
- Akron Symphony Orchestra at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, 198 Hill St., +1 330 972-7570.
- Blossom Music Center - Outdoor Summer home of the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra, located 8 miles north of Akron in Cuyahoga Falls.
- Carousel Dinner Theatre, 1275 E. Waterloo Rd., +1 330 724-9855. The largest professional dinner theater in the U.S. Fine dining and Broadway musicals.
- Civic Theater.
- Ohio Ballet.
- Porthouse Theatre Company, adjacent to Blossom is a summer professional theater provided by Kent State University.
- Rubber Bowl for rock concerts and Univ. of Akron Zips football.
- Ohio & Erie Canalway and Towpath Trail (foot and bicycle, runs from Akron through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park)
- Portage Princess Tour Boat, Open May 15 - Oct. 16, Mo- Sa; closed Su. and all major holidays. Enclosed 54-paddle wheel boat tours the Portage Lakes (south of Akron) including a historic narration of the lakes carved by melting of glaciers at the end of the Ice Age.
- Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resort in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
- Cascade Locks Park Association.
- Clay's Park Resort, Canal Fulton.
- Lake Anna Park, Barberton.
- Metro Parks System, 8,600 acres of parkland through Summit County.
- Water Works Family Aquatic Center, Cuyahoga Falls.
- Akron Aeros - named for Northeast Ohio's prominent role in the aerospace and aviation industry. The Aeros are a champion Eastern League (AA minor league baseball) team that is part of the Major League Baseball Cleveland Indians farm system. Located just 45 minutes south of Jacobs Field, the Akron Aeros often receive Major Leaguers (like a AAA team) right before they are sent up to Cleveland.
- University of Akron Zips sports events - U of Akron is a member of the Mid-American Conference of NCAA College Sports.
- Kent State University Golden Flashes sport events - KSU is also a member of the MAC.
- Barberton Speedway auto racing, April through September.
- Northfield Park harness racing in Northfield.
- All-American Soap Box Derby
- Road Runner Akron Marathon & Team Relays
- World Golf Championships NEC Invitational at Firestone Country Club is an annual Professional Golf Association (PGA) event, hosting a competition of the winners of major international golf events.
- University of Akron - one of the best schools in the country for engineering and polymer science.
- Kent State University, home of the Liquid Crystal Institute (where liquid crystal displays were invented) is about 10 miles northeast of downtown Akron in Kent.
Akron and Summit County boast the headquarters location for the following Fortune 1000 Corporations:
- 112 Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Rubber Manufacturing
- 184 FirstEnergy, Utilities Company covering northern Ohio, various parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey
- 839 Jo Ann Stores, Hudson - Specialty Retailer
- 995 A. Shulman - Chemicals
- Quaker Square, 135 S. Broadway, +1 330 253-5970. Silos and factory utilized by the Quaker Oats Company have been converted into a mixed-use complex, including arts and craft mall, Depot Diner, featuring old passenger train cars inside the restaurant, Crowne Plaza Hotel and office space.
- Riverfront Centre 2100-2200 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls, +1 330 929-2068. A pedestrian mall with antiques and craft shops, riverfront boardwalk with view of the falls and restaurants.
- Orangerie Mall, 76 S. Main Street, +1 330-535-6400. Smaller enclosed mall on the first floor of Akron Center, a complex that houses the headquarters of Chase Bank Akron Branch and FirstEnergy Corporation.
- Don Drumm Studios & Gallery, 437 Crouse St., +1 330 253-6268, best known for Don's cast aluminum crafts. Awesome collection of art work by various artists. Walk through it as if its an overcrowded museum - you don't need to be looking to buy to enjoy this gallery. The small gift shop contains many reasonably priced items you won't find anywhere else in town from handmade jewelry and clothing to fancy soaps and creative greeting cards.
- Menches Brothers Restaurant, 300 S. Main St., +1 330 375-1717. Frank and Charles Menches of Akron invented two of America's favorite foods - the hamburger in 1885 and the cornucopia ice cream cone in 1904.
- Bricco serves a reasonably priced Italian-based menu and specialized in pizzas and pastas ranging from $9-18. On Monday and Tuesday nights they sell wine at state minimum retail prices. There is also a relatively lively bar scene for weeknights.
- Crave serves an eclectic range of food from gourmet sandwiches to rum and vanilla glazed halibut. Prices are also fairly reasonable, with entrees no more than $26 and averaging in the high teens. The decor is funky and contemporary.
- Spaghetti Warehouse at Canal Place, 510 S. Main St., phone: +1 330 374-0025, fax: +1 330 374-0804.
- Hyde Park Grille, Market Street and I-77, 15 miles northwest of downtown Akron, +1 330 670-6303, reservations recommended. Locations in Cleveland, too.
- Ken Stewart's Grill, 1970 W. Market St., +1 330 867-2555. Also, Ken Stewart's Lodge in Bath.
- Tangier Restaurant & Cabaret, 532 W. Market St., +1 330 376-7171.
- Inn at Turner's Mill, 36 E. Streetsboro St., Hudson, phone: +1 330 656-2949, fax: +1 330 656-0062, reservations recommended. Enjoy this quaint town, one of the best examples of town planning in the Connecticut Western Reserve.
- Highland Square, the "cultural" district, has a number of bars on West Market Street. Guidance about what location would suit your needs is best dispensed by (younger) locals.
- Downtown, between Exchange and Cedar Streets, there are a couple dozen different college oriented establishments, including bars, clubs, and lounges.
- Kenmore Boulevard, is accessible from I-76. Has a number of unique establishments.
- Jillians' Billiards, 363 S. Main St., +1 330 252-0085, across from Canal Park.
West of town in Fairlawn (near the intersection of I-77 and State Route 18,) there's almost any accommodation you could want.
- Comfort Inn Akron Hotel - 2873 S. Arlington Road; tel. (330) 645-1100 fax. (330) 645-1101 
- Comfort Inn West Akron Hotel - 130 Montrose West Avenue; tel. (330) 666-5050 fax. (330) 668-2550  - close to I-77 interstate and 25 miles from Cleveland International Airport, and surrounded by several area attractions including Six Flags, the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Pinnacle Sports, Akron University, etc.
Same thing, go west!
- Crowne Plaza Hotel, 135 South Broadway, +1 330 253-5970, . Connected to Quaker Square, this unique hotel is constructed from cylindrical grain bins from the former Quaker Oats plant.
Well, if you can't stay safe in Akron, I don't know where you could possibly be from. Given the size of the city, and diversity and activity there, it's really pretty safe. You can tell when things are "iffy" - pawn shops, temporary labor shops, quick loan places. Still, there's almost nowhere in Akron anyone shouldn't go in the daytime, and very few places at night.
Generally, the South side of the city (known locally as Kenmore) is regarded as the worst section of town. With a higher rate of violent crimes and theft, it is best avoided by outsiders. Some, but not all, housing projects - notably Elizabeth Park (under the "All-America" Bridge) - are also somewhat unsafe and should be bypassed altogether by foot and car.
If visiting the University of Akron, it's best to stay west of the Market / Buchtel intersection. The near-East neighborhood of which this is the "border" (Middlebury) is not necessarily unsafe, but does have a large amount of medium-scale drug activity and the occasional assault and non-violent robbery.
- Go north to Cleveland. There's a lot going on up there.
- Get a blended taste of the outdoors and American industrial history by touring the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Canal Byway extends from Lake Erie in Downtown Cleveland through Akron and south through Canton, New Philadelphia and into rural Bolivar and Historic Zoar.
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