THE AKRON LOCAL: Mason
WHY YOU SHOULD TRUST HER: Mason grew up just outside of Atlanta, but has lived in many places-including Virginia, Vail, Costa Rica, and Stamford Connecticut. Love brought her to Akron last year, and she’s loving the people and places she now explores in her midwestern home. More on her favorite places below!
1. Best Akron brunch?
The Blue Door Cafe. Located on the cusp of Cuyahoga Falls, (just north of Akron), The Blue Door opened in 2009 as a bakery, and now offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can expect many delicious riffs off of classic breakfast dishes. Try the corned beef and hash!
2. Favorite walk or hike?
The Perkins Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Bring your dog! This is one of the only national parks in the US that allows dogs on all trails (which must stay on a leash). On your hike, expect to see wildlife like deer, eagles and . The park also has lots of great biking trails, which are part of the Towpath. Make sure to see the Everrett Covered Bridge, which allows passage across Furnace Run Creek and is one of the few remaining covered bridges in Ohio. CVNP is open year-round, 24 hours a day, and does not charge a fee for entrance. After your hike, stop into the Winking Lizard Tavern for a drink from their world-class beer list.
3. Best Place to Shop?
To inspire your next meal, head to Giant Eagle Market District, a gourmet specialties boutique made into a grand grocery store. Here you’ll find lots of fresh local produce, seafoods, meats, artisan cheeses and local specialties. They make grocery shopping an experience by serving beer and wine while you shop! Another place to try in Akron is Szalay’s Farm Market- you have to try their roasted corn!
4. Tourist Attraction Not to Miss?
The Football Hall of Fame. It’s actually in Canton, which is about 20 miles south of Akron. It’s currently under major renovation to add a hotel, an indoor and outdoor NFL activity center, nine youth fields, an assisted-living center, an athletic training and educational complex, and retail, restaurant and office spaces. The first renovations to the stadium and fan plaza are set to be completed in July 2016.
5. Essential Akron Tip?
Plan to rent a car, or at least have access to one. We have Uber, but some places can be about 10-15 minutes from each other, as the city is fairly spread out. If you’re spending time downtown, make sure to visit the Tasting Room at the Thirsty Dog Brewery for a beer- it’s definitely worth a stop!
TripAdvisor’s Top Five Akron Attractions
1. Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens– Thumbs up! The estate of the co-founder of Goodyear Tire Company and Akron’s oldest National Historic Landmark. It’s actually the seventh largest historic home in the U.S. The 65-room manor and beautifully landscaped gardens are open from April through December. They also host many events there throughout the year.
2. Akron Zoo– Thumbs Down. Nothing special, unless you’re very interested in zoos.
3. F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm– I’ve never even heard of it! Probably need to go check it out…
4. Akron Civic Theater– Same, never been, however I’ve heard it’s a great place to see a show or performance. A historic landmark in downtown Akron. If you’d rather celebrate the arts outside, check out Highland Square during Square Fest, a festival in September featuring local artists and musicians.
5. Art Museum– Thumbs up! This is right downtown and definitely worth a visit.
TripAdvisor’s Top Five Akron Restaurants
1. Swenson’s Drive-In– Thumbs sideways. Funny that this restaurant is number one. It’s a old drive-in/greasy spoon that serves burgers and other fast food. They bring the food out to your parking spot.
2. Luigi’s Restaurant– Never hear of it. I would put Burntwood Tavern at number one or two. I love their rustic tavern fare and outdoor seating right along the Cuyahoga River. Plus, happy hour from 3-6pm, seven days a week!
3. The Rail– Thumbs up! Another burger place. This one, however, is trendy; think grass-fed beef, truffle butter, fried eggs and Ohio thick-cut bacon.
4. Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar– Thumbs wayyy up! Upscale Mexican (not your typical taco/nacho place) and a gluten-friendly menu. Make sure to order one of their handcrafted margaritas. In the Gothic Building downtown. They also have a location in Cleveland.
5. Crave– Thumbs up! Small plate asian fusion. Perfect spot for a date night.
Are you an Akron local? Did we miss any can’t-miss spots? If so, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
All photos by M.Haer