Explore Ohio // Downtown Akron

April 16, 2017 in Akron,cleveland,food,giveaway,life,NEO,Ohio,review,sponsor

After graduating college ten years ago (eek!), I made the decision to move back from Upstate New York to Northeast Ohio, where I grew up in a tiny, country town. I had spent years away from my family and friends and I knew that Ohio was where I was supposed to be. After college I moved back into my childhood home with my parents and made an hour + commute to an office in Downtown Akron. It was manageable. I was young and fresh-faced — ready to take on the world!

And then I happened to begin dating my (would be) husband, who just so happened to live here in Akron. Fast-forward a year and I finally took the plunge and moved in with him — and we began exploring the city of Akron together!

My husband even proposed to me at the same restaurant where we had our first date — Crave!

Sure, after we had kids we considered moving elsewhere — in fact, after my sister moved to Columbus, Ohio and my parents moved to Louisville, Kentucky, we considered moving further south to be closer to them — we even looked at available listings in Dayton, Ohio! But Akron is our home. And we adore exploring our city!

Over the years so many amazing establishments have been added to Downtown Akron. Here are some of my favorite places:

Crave. Of course this place has a special place in our hearts. Not only is it special to us, but they have amazing food. From the Root Beer Braised Pulled Pork on a Pretzel Bun, to the Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese with Blackened Chicken, to my newest personal favorite — the Buttermilk Fried Chicken + Waffles. Ahhh-MAZING! (PS. Totally looking forward to Crave Cantina, opening up on Front Street in Cuyahoga Falls this Summer!

Sweet Mary’s Bakery. Mary and the crew make specialty, handmade, baked goods every single day. My personal faves? The pies, the macarons, and the biscuits! Give me ALL OF THE BISCUITS!

Apotheclaire. This salon, located on Mill Street across from the John S. Knight Center, uses all eco-friendly products and they recycle everything. Everything! Even your hair! Claire and her crew are the bomb dot com.

NOTO North. Pretty much the cutest boutique in all of Northeast Ohio. I’m absolutely digging their Feminist t-shirts! MUST get one, ASAP!

Diamond Deli. I was introduced to this deli my first week in Akron. It. is. GLORIOUS. And very much a traditional deli shop. The family that owns this restaurant has owned it from day one. And each of the sandwiches is named after a family member (my favorites are the “Where’s Jason?” (turkey, bacon, Colby cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, Mayo on wheat bread) and the “Mom – Come Get Me I’m Sick!” (Smoked turkey, bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, Mayo, Dijon mustard on grilled rye bread).

Akron Rubber DucksΒ at Canal Park. A double-A minor league baseball team located in the middle of Main Street. The park itself is gorgeous! There’s a kids area and a full bar, and every single seat is a fantastic view!

The Lockview. Gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches + an incredible craft beer selection = one of my go-to lunch and dinner destinations!

Do Good Yoga. My dearest friend Gretchen opened this amazing brand new yoga studio a couple of months ago. It combines two of my greatest loves — yoga and the raw parts of the city of Akron.

The Northside Speakeasy. Handcrafted cocktails in a traditional speakeasy setting. In fact, the door is a ‘secret’ entrance (I legit had to ask some random guy outside how to get in).

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. You can take the CVSR from Northside Akron and view of the natural scenery and wildlife of the national park and an opportunity to learn about the history of the railroad in valley all the way to the Independence station! It’s an awesome excursion and a great way to see a side of the land that is typically hidden! PS. They do a “Day Out With Thomas” in May! So get your tickets now! SO fun!

Akron Art Museum. If you’re local to Northeast Ohio and have never been to the Akron Art Museum, you are missing out. With free admission every Thursday, it’s easy to get in and see all of the temporary exhibits as well as get hands-on with my little ones at the kids workshops! Bonus? A live band plays outside every Thursday evening during the Summer!

Nuevo Mod Mex. It’s a tequila bar and upscale Mexican restaurant with a killer rooftop patio! What could be better? Chad and I went right after they opened and have kinda made it an anniversary dinner tradition ever since!

Akron Civic Theater. Ari and I just recently went to the Civic to see The Little Mermaid Ballet, but I’m constantly amazed by the beauty of this theater. There are always concerts and shows to attend — heck, even a Bernie Sanders rally in 2016!

Chill Ice Cream. I’ve long-searched for ice cream that rivals Jeni’s (in Columbus) and Mitchell’s (in Cleveland); but the search was over when I tried Chill. They have vegan AND savory flavors! PS. If you haven’t had savory ice cream flavors, you’re one-thousand percent missing out.

The Akron Zoo. I’ll admit it — we are members and have been for years. But I just love, love, love this zoo! Sure, we’ve been to others — Cleveland, Columbus, Buffalo, Louisville — but none compare to the ease and awesomeness of the Akron Zoo. We can get to it in, no joke, minutes. Parking is a cinch and making our way through the exhibits is easy peasy!

The Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail. I always hop on the trail behind Canal Place (near the Spaghetti Warehouse) and run behind Canal Park, over Route 59, and down past the Mustill Store. It’s such a gorgeous view of the Cuyahoga River!

Just going back through this amazing list of places makes my heart so happy. And with that, I’m excited to be able to host a $25 Giveaway to Nuevo Mod Mex (located in both Akron + Cleveland) so that you can check out one of my most favorite places in the whole world! Use the rafflecopter widget below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And tell me, what makes your city unique!?!



*Disclaimer:Β This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal. As always, all opinions herein are my own; I may have been compensated for this post and it may contain affiliate links.*Β 

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate April 16, 2017 at 11:49 pm

Whoa, this is exciting. I had no idea there were so many cool new places in downtown Akron. Looks like I need to make a day trip! My favorite restaurants downtown are Bricco & Crave, but I haven’t tried Nuevo Mod Mex yet.


Rachel April 16, 2017 at 11:50 pm

Girl! Come back to us! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜πŸ˜˜πŸ˜˜πŸ˜˜


Karen April 17, 2017 at 10:44 am

My and it’s from Cleveland but we’ve never gone to Akron! I think after this article it should be our next trip thanks for sharing!


Kayla Grise April 17, 2017 at 9:27 am

Nuevo is great! I’m looking to explore Akron more and this guide will DEFINITELY be helpful!


Kate April 17, 2017 at 10:35 am

Looks like such a cute city! I live right outside Nashville and I love playing tourist!


Savanna April 17, 2017 at 10:55 am

I’d love to visit it looks gorgeous!


Belle April 17, 2017 at 10:57 am

Loved looking at the pictures! I’d love to visit Ohio someday!

Belle | One Awesome Momma


Tammigirl April 17, 2017 at 11:27 am

I went to the Bernie Rally at the Civic with one of my daughters. The Civic is truly a gem.


Tammigirl April 17, 2017 at 11:31 am

My favorite restaurant in Akron? I like to hit up the Akron Family Diner, which is usually full of police officers. I feel like the place will be there forever. If I want lasagna and I don’t make it myself it has to be the great one from Spaghetti Warehouse.

I just sent my husband and one of the kids to Luigi’s and wish I had gone with them. They said the pizza was the best.


Melissa April 17, 2017 at 1:11 pm

Oooh I’ve never been to some of these places – admittedly I’ve only been to Nuevo so that would have to be my favorite restaurant!


Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms April 17, 2017 at 3:20 pm

We have friends who live near there who we have been meaning to visit! I will have to keep this post in mind when we do. You had me at gourmet grilled cheese!


Adree April 17, 2017 at 4:33 pm

Akron sounds so awesome, I need to plan a trip to visit sometime. The Diamond Deli sounds awesome! I love the creative names!


Angela Fry April 17, 2017 at 9:05 pm

I have never been to Akron. It seems like a super fun place. Maybe we’ll load up and go on a weekend getaway there this summer!


Corey | The Nostalgia Diaries April 17, 2017 at 9:16 pm

Wow – I’m from Toledo and it’s been a long time since I’ve been to Akron. It looks so different now! I’ll need to get back and visit again πŸ™‚


Rachel April 18, 2017 at 10:43 pm

Come visit us!! πŸ™‚


Kristin Houser April 17, 2017 at 10:55 pm

I have never been to Ohio, but it looks like a very family friendly place to visit! I loved all of the pictures!


Adrienna April 18, 2017 at 9:56 am

I’ve been in Akron for 12ish years, I guess. Always, always, always love The Lockview (and its sister restaurant next door, El Gato). But I think I might hit up Mr. Zubs more than anywhere else in Akron (and 90% of the time, I get the Ricky Vaughn), but I haven’t been to the new one yet.

Do you know that the Diamond Deli also serves out of R. Shea Brewing? To that end, I love all the beer going on in Akron.


Rachel April 18, 2017 at 5:40 pm

Ummm whaaaaat?!? I had NO idea! I haven’t been to RShea yet (for shame, I know). But now I want to go for TWO reasons! Well, and to get my Summit Brew Path stamp πŸ˜‰


Cristin Hinkelman April 18, 2017 at 12:50 pm

I love almost all the places you mention!! Crave is still our favorite but we haven’t been there in awhile.


val April 18, 2017 at 5:19 pm

Looks like such a fun city to explore!


Jenny April 18, 2017 at 7:53 pm

I have never been, now I think I have to go! The food alone looks amazing!


Rachel April 18, 2017 at 10:44 pm

And SO many GF options! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰


Jocelyn April 18, 2017 at 8:29 pm

I’m in Cleveland, but this makes me want to explore Akron more!


Rachel April 18, 2017 at 10:42 pm

You SO SHOULD! πŸ™‚ Akron is a pretty fun place and it’s super easy to get around down here — which is part of the allure, I suppose! Parking is cheap (and free after 6pm/and on weekends!) and it has some really great restaurants and attractions! πŸ™‚


jessica April 18, 2017 at 9:32 pm

Well now i have to visit. Everything looks so cool


Anna April 18, 2017 at 10:17 pm

Wow never been to this place but definitely adding this to my bucketlist. Thank you for sharing .


susie liberatore April 19, 2017 at 9:03 am

I live in this area and never knew about all these places, I am running to check them out!! Its great too for when family comes in town for sure! Thanks for this great post.


Deanna April 19, 2017 at 10:46 am

My favorite is good old Swenson’s! Galley Boy!!!


Annette Dattilo April 19, 2017 at 10:48 am

What a fun review of your hometown. Love those kind of posts!! My husband is from ohio (Cleveland) and his mom is from Akron so it was interesting to see a piece of his territory. πŸ˜‰ I’m not much of a sweets person so I am intrigued by the savory ice-cream!! Thank you for sharing. πŸ™‚


Julie I Aloha Lovely April 19, 2017 at 11:38 am

You had me at Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese! Seems like there’s lots of fun to be had in Akron! Pinning your post.


Krysten April 19, 2017 at 12:56 pm

That’s it, I’m moving. This town looks darling. Perfect for a family!
Crave looks like my kind of food. πŸ˜›


Danielle April 19, 2017 at 1:26 pm

So many fun things to do your city! I love the look of awe about the icecream!


Lisa Clark April 19, 2017 at 6:24 pm

LOVE the pics so much! I feel like I’m actually there. I have two friends who live in the area and I hope I get to actually visit some time soon.


Silvia April 19, 2017 at 7:11 pm

Sweet Mary’s and the museum sound like my kind of days! Thank for sharing all these wonderful places!


Robin April 19, 2017 at 7:48 pm

I’ve never been to Ohio, but I love seeing a town from the perspective of someone who truly loves it and knows it like the back of their hand. I just did a series of posts on Boston, where I moved for college and never left, so I love seeing similar tours of the places close to other people’s hearts. If I’m ever in Ohio, now I know where to find some really cool restaurants – thanks!


Dawn P Darnell April 19, 2017 at 8:52 pm

I have never been here but it sounds like there is so much to do!


Charissa | thenotsobusymom April 20, 2017 at 8:32 am

We have family in the Akron area, but I haven’t been there since I was a child. Fun to see what is available now!!


Joanna April 20, 2017 at 3:20 pm

All of that food looks so yummy! I am dying for some of that ice cream now.


Alissa April 20, 2017 at 8:37 pm

Gosh, how can I pick?!?! I do love me some grilled cheese from The Lockview.


Sara@runultrainspired April 20, 2017 at 8:57 pm

So many great things in Akron!! I love exploring, especially new restaurants! Thanks for giving me a few ideas for some Akron adventures!!


Rebecca Hicks April 20, 2017 at 9:19 pm

Wow I had no idea that Akron had so many cool things to do! I would love to explore that city… The restaurants and boutiques sound amazing.


Katie Baer April 20, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Love the Lockview! <3


Jennifer Corter April 21, 2017 at 6:10 am

Wow, it looks AMAZING there! I’d like to visit Ohio someday!


Melissa April 21, 2017 at 10:51 am

I have never been to Ohio but would love to visit sometime! Thanks for sharing these great places I will add them to the list if I ever make it out there.


Heydy April 21, 2017 at 1:19 pm

oh my goodness! Love seeing photos from other cities πŸ™‚

What I love about my city is the cityscape ! We live in Vancouver, BC and Rocky Mountains are GORG to look at <3


Living in Color April 21, 2017 at 5:54 pm

Looks like so much fun!


Danielle Magee April 25, 2017 at 9:57 am

I love to visit Swensons when we drive through Akron.


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