Whether you’re brand new to the area or simply trying to make the most of your time here, we wanted to bring you a list of The Things to Do in downtown Akron. We’ve got 13 recommendations for food, experiences, and shopping that are absolutely classic. Check ‘em out, then go be a tourist in your city!
1. Go to a Downtown Festival
There are plenty to choose from. From the Rib, White & Blue Festival, the African American Cultural Festival, and the Italian American Festival to Akron Pride Festival, Akron Pizza Fest, Akron Pickle Fest, the Gilmore Girls–inspired Smells Like Snow Coffee Festival and so much more, there’s a ton to experience. Keep an eye on our calendar to see what’s coming up.
2. See a RubberDucks Game
Have some nachos. Drink a beer. Watch the game. The RubberDucks are a spring and summer staple around here and provide tons of affordable family fun. For their schedule of games and to buy tickets for as little as $5, click here.
3. Catch a Show at the Civic
You’ll be dazzled by this atmospheric theater that’s designed to resemble a Moorish castle, right in the heart of downtown Akron. They host all kinds of big shows—tribute bands, dance troupes, nationally famous musicians and comedians, Broadway shows, and more. Click here to see their schedule and purchase your tickets.
4. Order a Reuben from Diamond Deli
With corned beef piled high on toasted rye bread, thousand island dressing, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut, this is The Classic Sandwich from Akron’s Favorite Deli (yeah, we said it). Get it with a side of chips and their famous carrot cake. Yeah, you can order online, but we highly recommend stopping into the restaurant to get the full feel.
5. Shop Handmade at Northside Marketplace
40+ local artisans and entrepreneurs, selling their goods under one roof. Plus, food, drinks, and a common space for coworking, meeting friends, eating, and lounging. If you want to sample some of the coolest wares Akron’s makers have to offer, the Northside Marketplace is the place to begin.
6. Eat a Salad with Cheese at Luigi's
It’s *chef’s kiss* amazing. You cannot possibly imagine how much mozzarella cheese is on this simple salad without experiencing it firsthand. You should definitely get some pizza, too, while you’re at it. Try both by ordering the Luigi’s Famous Pizza & Luncheon Salad with Cheese combo for just $5.35. They’re cash-only, so plan accordingly!
What can we say? We’ve got opportunities for skating in every season. Rent skates for $2 and roller skate with us on Cascade Plaza in the summer and fall, and head to Ohio’s largest outdoor ice rink in the winter for $5 ($3 if you bring your own skates). If you’re skating during the holiday season, be sure to check out the historic holiday window displays on Main Street, too.
8. See the Cherry Blossoms When They're in Full Bloom
Did you know you can walk beneath 472 cherry blossom trees along the Towpath Trail between downtown Akron and Summit Lake? It’s a positively dreamy sight. They only bloom for a handful of days in the spring, typically early to mid-April, so be sure to follow our social media so you don’t miss them! We’ll also share details on when the annual Downtown Akron Sakura Festival is happening.
9. Get Some Nuts & Chocolates from The Peanut Shoppe
The Peanut Shoppe has been an Akron staple for practically a century. They’ve got the tastiest candies, chocolate, nuts, popcorn, soda, and more. Stop by their store on Main Street to step back in time and pick out some goodies of your own.
10. Tour the Akron Art Museum
Nope, that’s not a spaceship you see on North High St. But you should check it out anyway, because the art inside will blow your mind. With over 7,000 works spanning the 1850s to the present, including sculpture, glass, paintings, photography, digital art, and more, it’s a major destination whether you’re a longtime Akronite, new resident, or visitor.
11. Drink a Hot Pour Over at Akron Coffee Roasters
Or an espresso drink or specialty cortado. Akron Coffee Roasters roasts specialty coffee right here in Akron and lets the freshness of the beans take center stage in their simple offerings. They also offer a selection of toast and granola, if you need to fuel up.
12. Have a Piece of Sweet Mary's Cheesecake
It’s creamy. It’s dreamy. And there are tons of gluten-free options, too, like berries & cream, lemon ginger snap, chocolate turtle, cranberry orange, and, for cheesecake traditionalists, vanilla. Sweet Mary’s may be a newer business, but it’s practically a downtown institution already. Visit their storefront on East Mill Street to try their decadent pastries for yourself.
13. See the Gospel Meets Symphony Choir Perform
Or join them, if you’re so inclined! This 200-voice choir is made exclusively of volunteer singers representing more than 70 churches in the Akron area. They join with the Akron Symphony Orchestra every year to perform uplifting gospel and classical music. It’s really spectacular—catch a performance and feel the energy for yourself.