Uncover Hidden Gems in Akron: Your Guide to the City’s Best-Kept Secrets

Hidden gems in Akron

Are you looking for a unique and exciting adventure in Akron? Look no further than the city’s best-kept secrets. While Akron is well-known for its famous landmarks and popular attractions, there are hidden gems waiting to be discovered by visitors and locals alike.

In this guide, we will take you on a tour of Akron’s hidden treasures that are just waiting to be explored. From historical landmarks to outdoor escapes, culinary delights to family-friendly activities, we have something for everyone.

So pack your bags and get ready to uncover the hidden gems in Akron. Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Akron has a variety of hidden gems that are yet to be discovered by many visitors and locals alike.
  • Exploring beyond the well-known attractions can reveal unique experiences and adventures.
  • This guide will showcase Akron’s best-kept secrets, including historical landmarks, outdoor escapes, culinary delights, family-friendly activities, music and nightlife venues, and annual events and festivals.

Exploring Akron’s Rich History

Akron, Ohio has a rich and diverse history that has been preserved through numerous landmarks and museums. Beyond the popular tourist attractions lies a wealth of hidden gems that offer unique insights into the city’s past.

Historical Landmarks

Landmark Description
Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens This 65-room mansion was once home to F.A. Seiberling, one of the co-founders of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. The 70-acre estate also includes beautiful gardens and a conservatory.
Perkins Stone Mansion Built in the mid-1800s, this Greek Revival mansion was home to Colonel Simon Perkins, one of the co-founders of Akron. Visitors can explore the house and learn about the history of the Perkins family.
Dr. Bob’s Home This modest house was once home to Dr. Bob, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Visitors can take a guided tour and learn about the early days of the AA movement.

Museums and Historical Sites

Akron also boasts several museums and historical sites that offer unique insights into the city’s past.

  • The Akron Art Museum, which houses over 5,000 works of art, including pieces by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein
  • The National Museum of Psychology, which explores the history of psychology and its impact on society
  • The Hower House Museum, which offers a glimpse into the life of a prominent Akron family in the late 19th century
  • The MAPS Air Museum, which houses a collection of aircraft and aviation artifacts, including military planes and helicopters

“Akron has a rich history that is often overlooked by visitors. Taking the time to explore the lesser-known historical landmarks and museums can provide a deeper understanding of the city’s past.”

Natural Escapes: Akron’s Hidden Outdoor Treasures

Akron may be known for its industrial heritage, but the city has plenty of natural beauty to offer as well. In fact, Akron has a variety of hidden outdoor treasures that make it a great destination for nature lovers!

One must-visit spot is the Gorge Metro Park, a 155-acre park that features a scenic gorge and hiking trails. The park offers a unique opportunity to explore the Cuyahoga River and see the stunning waterfall that cascades into it.

Location Hours Admission
Gorge Metro Park Dawn to dusk Free

Another great option is the Furnace Run Metro Park, which boasts over 800 acres of lush forest, meadows, and wetlands. Visitors can hike, bike, or horseback ride on the park’s extensive trail network and enjoy the colorful flora and fauna in each season.

Location Hours Admission
Furnace Run Metro Park Dawn to dusk Free

If you’re looking for a more urban escape, the Akron Art Museum’s Bud and Susie Rogers Garden is a hidden gem worth discovering. This outdoor sculpture garden features contemporary art installations, lush gardens, and a beautiful view of downtown Akron.

Location Hours Admission
Akron Art Museum’s Bud and Susie Rogers Garden Open during museum hours Free

No matter what kind of outdoor experience you’re looking for, Akron’s hidden natural gems won’t disappoint. So, grab your walking shoes and explore the diverse natural beauty that awaits!

Unforgettable Culinary Delights: Akron’s Hidden Foodie Finds

Akron’s food scene is full of hidden gems that will satisfy any foodie’s cravings. Beyond the popular tourist spots, there are unique dining experiences and local food markets that offer a taste of Akron’s diverse flavors.

Hidden Restaurants

For those willing to venture off the beaten path, Akron offers a range of hidden restaurants waiting to be discovered. The South Main Historic District boasts some of the best and most unique dining options in the city, including Crave Cantina and Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar. If you’re looking for something outside of downtown, check out Kenmore’s Diamond Deli or North Hill’s Nepali Kitchen for international flavors that will leave your taste buds wanting more.

Local Food Markets

Akron is home to various local food markets that offer fresh produce, meats, and specialty ingredients. Visit the Countryside Farmers’ Market or Northside Marketplace for locally sourced goods and unique finds. For a sweet treat, don’t miss out on Norka Soda, a local soda brand that has been revived in Akron.

Art and Culture: Akron’s Hidden Treasures

Akron boasts a vibrant art and culture scene that extends beyond its mainstream attractions. If you’re looking to explore Akron’s creative side, be sure to check out these hidden gems:

  • Cycle Mosaic – This unique public art installation can be found on the Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Trail. Created by local artist John Comunale, the mosaic depicts bicycle riders and adds a pop of color to the natural surroundings.
  • Zeber-Martell Gallery – Tucked away in the Merriman Valley, this intimate gallery showcases the works of local and national artists. You’ll find an array of mediums, from paintings to pottery, and the selection is always changing.
  • The Nightlight Cinema – This nonprofit cinema is committed to showcasing independent, foreign, and classic films. Located in the heart of downtown Akron, it offers a unique movie-going experience.

“Akron boasts a vibrant art and culture scene that extends beyond its mainstream attractions.”

If you’re interested in exploring the city’s African American history, be sure to visit the African American Cultural Center. This community resource highlights the contributions of African Americans to Akron’s history and culture, and hosts events and exhibitions throughout the year.

More Hidden Art Galleries in Akron

If you’re an art lover seeking hidden galleries in Akron, be sure to check out these two options:

Gallery Description
The Box Gallery This contemporary art gallery is located in a converted shipping container in downtown Akron. It showcases works by emerging and established artists, and hosts exhibitions and events throughout the year.
Artisan Gallery This eclectic gallery showcases the works of local artists, including paintings, photographs, and jewelry. It’s located in the Highland Square neighborhood and is a great option for unique and affordable art pieces.

As you can see, Akron’s art scene is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Take some time to explore these lesser-known galleries and cultural attractions, and you’re sure to be impressed by the city’s creative spirit.

Shops and Boutiques: Akron’s Hidden Retail Therapy

Akron offers a plethora of shopping options for those seeking unique finds. Beyond the mainstream malls and stores, Akron has a vibrant collection of quirky boutiques, local shops, and specialty stores that offer a one-of-a-kind retail experience.

The Bomb Shelter

Location: 923 Bank St, Akron, OH 44305

If vintage is your passion, then The Bomb Shelter is your paradise. This hidden gem features an eclectic mix of retro clothing, vinyl records, and collectibles that you won’t find anywhere else. From Star Wars figurines to classic rock vinyl, The Bomb Shelter has it all.

Blu Boutique

Location: 1706 W Market St, Akron, OH 44313

For fashionistas looking for unique pieces, Blu Boutique is the place to be. This hidden gem offers a carefully curated selection of clothing, jewelry, and accessories that are both stylish and affordable. Whether you’re looking for a statement piece or everyday wear, Blu Boutique has you covered.

The Social Dept.

Location: 980 Kenmore Blvd, Akron, OH 44314

If you’re an Akron enthusiast, The Social Dept. is a must-visit. This hidden gem offers a range of Akron-themed apparel and accessories, from T-shirts to hats, mugs to stickers. For a truly unique souvenir or gift, The Social Dept. has got you covered.

Other notable hidden shopping gems in Akron include Goodwill Industries (570 E Waterloo Rd, Akron, OH 44319) for thrift store finds and The Market Path (155 S Main St, Akron, OH 44308) for artisanal goods and local crafts.

Hidden Gems for Families: Akron’s Best-Kept Secrets

Akron is full of family-friendly activities that go beyond the typical tourist attractions. If you’re looking for something unique and off the beaten path, explore some of these hidden gems:

The Akron Zoo

Description The Akron Zoo is a 50-acre facility that houses over 700 animals. It offers several exhibits, including a Grizzly Ridge, Penguin Point, and Tiger Valley.
Location 500 Edgewood Ave, Akron, OH 44307
Website https://www.akronzoo.org/

The Akron Zoo is a great spot for families to spend a day exploring the animal kingdom. With a variety of exhibits and educational programs, it’s a great place for kids of all ages to learn about animals and conservation.

Perkins Stone Mansion

Description The Perkins Stone Mansion is a historic house museum that dates back to the 1830s. It offers tours and educational programs, showcasing the life and times of one of Akron’s founding families.
Location 550 Copley Rd, Akron, OH 44320
Website http://www.summithistory.org/perkins-stone-mansion

If you’re interested in history and architecture, the Perkins Stone Mansion is a must-see. Kids will enjoy learning about life in the 1800s while parents can appreciate the beauty of this historic estate.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

Description The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad offers train rides through the scenic Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It offers several themed rides, including the Polar Express and Bike Aboard.
Location 1630 W Mill St, Peninsula, OH 44264
Website http://www.cvsr.com/

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is a unique way for families to explore the stunning natural beauty of the area. Kids will love the excitement of riding a train, while parents can sit back and relax while taking in the view.

  • Other family-friendly hidden gems in Akron include:
  • The Akron Children’s Museum
  • Blossom Music Center
  • Lock 3

Don’t limit your family’s Akron experience to just the popular attractions. By exploring these hidden gems, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime.

Music and Nightlife: Akron’s Hidden Entertainment Scene

Akron’s music and nightlife scene has a lot to offer beyond the typical bars and clubs. For those looking for a unique and vibrant experience, there are plenty of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

One such spot is Jilly’s Music Room, a cozy venue that showcases local artists and serves up delicious food and drinks. Their eclectic lineup features everything from jazz to indie rock, making it a perfect spot for music lovers of all genres.

If you’re looking for a speakeasy vibe, head over to Crave Cantina. Tucked away in the basement of a historic building, this hidden gem offers crafted cocktails and live music in an intimate setting.

For those who enjoy a good dive bar, Annabell’s Bar and Lounge is a must-visit. Known for its punk rock aesthetic and laid-back atmosphere, this hidden gem has been a staple of Akron’s music scene for over 30 years.

But the entertainment doesn’t stop there. Head over to Musica, a music venue that boasts some of the best acoustics in the city. Their diverse lineup features local and national artists, making it a go-to spot for live music lovers.

Akron also has a thriving comedy scene with plenty of hidden gems. The Funny Stop Comedy Club hosts top-notch comedians from across the country, while the Rialto Theatre’s Comedy Showcase features up-and-coming local talent.

Don’t Miss These Hidden Bars:

Bar Name Specialty Drink Location
The Lockview Grilled Cheese Martini 207 S Main St
The Whiskey Bar Old Fashioned 1261 W 9th St
Baxter’s Bar Manhattan 205 S Main St

Whether you’re a music enthusiast, comedy lover, or just looking for a unique nightlife experience, Akron’s hidden entertainment scene has a little something for everyone.

Akron’s Hidden Events and Festivals

While Akron may not be the most prominent city on the events and festivals circuit, it still has plenty to offer those seeking unique and lesser-known experiences. Here are some of Akron’s best-kept secrets when it comes to local celebrations:

Event Date Description
The National Hamburger Festival August Featuring burger cook-offs, eating contests, and live music, this festival pays tribute to Akron’s claim as the birthplace of the hamburger.
Akron Arts Expo July Visitors can explore local artists’ work, attend workshops, and enjoy live entertainment at this annual event.
Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival August Akron’s rich music scene is on full display during this free, two-day festival featuring live jazz and blues performances from local and national artists.

In addition to these annual events, Akron also hosts a range of smaller gatherings and celebrations throughout the year, including local fairs and markets, cultural festivals, and holiday-themed events. Keep an eye on the city’s events calendar to discover even more hidden gems!


There you have it, a comprehensive guide to uncovering Akron’s best-kept secrets. From historical landmarks to hidden nature spots, culinary delights, art and culture gems, unique shopping experiences, family-friendly attractions, and vibrant nightlife, Akron has something for everyone.

Exploring beyond the mainstream attractions is the key to discovering the city’s hidden treasures and experiencing Akron’s diverse and vibrant culture. So, next time you’re in the Rubber City, be sure to venture off the beaten path and explore the city’s many hidden gems.


Q: What can I expect from this guide to Akron’s hidden gems?

A: This guide will introduce you to the best-kept secrets of Akron. You can expect to uncover hidden historical landmarks, natural outdoor treasures, culinary delights, art and cultural gems, hidden shops and boutiques, family-friendly activities, the city’s hidden entertainment scene, and information about Akron’s hidden events and festivals.

Q: Why should I explore Akron’s hidden gems?

A: Exploring Akron’s hidden gems allows you to discover a side of the city that many visitors and even locals may not know about. By delving into these lesser-known attractions, you can uncover unique experiences, immerse yourself in the city’s rich history, enjoy tranquil natural escapes, indulge in culinary delights, appreciate the vibrant art and culture scene, find unique shopping opportunities, and create unforgettable memories.

Q: Are these hidden gems suitable for families?

A: Absolutely! Akron’s hidden gems offer a range of family-friendly activities and attractions. From parks and outdoor spaces to museums and events catered to children, there are plenty of options for families to enjoy together.

Q: Can you provide more information about Akron’s hidden nightlife scene?

A: Akron has a thriving hidden music and nightlife scene. From underground venues and live music spots to secret bars, there are plenty of options for those looking for unique entertainment experiences. This guide will give you insights into Akron’s lesser-known nightlife options.

Q: Where can I find more information about the annual festivals in Akron?

A: This guide will provide you with information about Akron’s hidden events and festivals. You can discover lesser-known annual celebrations, cultural gatherings, and unique happenings that add vibrancy to the city’s calendar. Plan your visit to coincide with these events and immerse yourself in Akron’s festive spirit.