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29 Things You Need To Know About Akron Before You Move There

Akron has more than enough mouthwatering food, scenic landscapes, and just plain weird culture to make it a must-see.
  • Alan Woods
  • 41,103 views
  • 29 comments
  • Alan Woods
  • 41,103 views, 29 comments

1. Students Owe Akron

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Source: Akron Public Schools via Facebook

Schools wouldn't be the way you know them without Akron. In 1847, The Akron School Law established the K-12 grade school system, which is now currently used in every single U.S. state.

2. It's Easy Being Green In Akron

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Source: Flickr user akroness

As of 2012, the National Arbor Day Foundation has designated Akron as a "Tree City" a whopping 17 times. Akronites have consistently shown commitment to urban forestry to increase property values, reduce energy usage and promote an overall healthier community.

3. Hoppin' Frog Brewery Is Beer Perfected

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Source: Hoppin' Frog Brewery via Facebook

This local brewery has no peer when it comes to crafting award-winning brews. Most recently Hoppin' Frog has taken home honors from Ratebeer.com as the top brewery in Ohio and the 17th best brewery in the world. Hoist a pint and celebrate in the best taproom in the state.

4. The One And Only (And Best) National Park

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Source: Cuyahoga Valley National Park via Facebook

The only National Park in Ohio, Cuyahoga Valley National Park covers more than 50 picturesque square miles between Akron and Cleveland in Northeast Ohio. Akronites are pretty confident it's the best one anywhere.

5. Nobody Knows Soapbox Derby Like Akronites

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Source: All American Soap Box Derby via Facebook

Akron has been the proving grounds for American soapbox racing since the 1930's. The Soap Box Derby youth racing program holds its World Championship finals each summer at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio.

6. You Can See The Night Sky Inside

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Source: Akron Civic Theatre via Facebook

The Akron Civic Theatre is one of only five atmospheric theaters left in the country, where patrons experience a twinkling star-lit sky and clouds gliding across the horizon, all while sitting inside the auditorium.

7. Akron Is The Home Of King James

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Source: LeBron James Family Foundation

LeBron James may have taken his talents to South Beach, but his loyalty to his hometown of Akron and the surrounding communities have played an important role the lives of children and young adults, through the LeBron James' Family Foundation's education and co-curricular initiatives.

8. You Can Get Your "Bear Necessities" At The Akron Zoo

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Source: Akron Zoo via Facebook

The bears in Akron have it made. The zoo's Grizzly Ridge has been recognized for excellence in design, engineering and construction, and features amenities like heated rocks and pools-enough to make Yogi jealous.

9. They Have Quality, Local Goods On Lock

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Source: Market at Lock 3 via Facebook

The Market at Lock 3, open Fridays June through September, features fresh produce, farm products, specialty food products and more. Enjoy all things local (plus live entertainment) each week under the warm Akron sun.

10. The Future Of Police Gear Is Here

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Source: Akron Police Department via Facebook

Robocop may be from Detroit, but the Akron Police Department (APD) has been on the forefront of crime-stopping technology. In 1899 the APD put the first police car into use, and the Corner Shot (shockingly, a firearm that can shoot around corners) was first tested by Akron police officers as well.

11. Akronites Take Their Hamburgers Seriously...

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Source: National Hamburger Festival via Facebook

The Menches Brothers' claim to the hamburger history books may be disputed, but Akron's affection for their delectable meat patties is undeniable. Every July Akron hosts the National Hamburger Festival, with a slew of original recipe hamburgers, an amateur eating contest and even a Miss Hamburger pageant.

12. And Rivalries Are No Joke

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Source: Flickr user stu_spivack

In a town full of burger love, there are two that have risen to the top. The rivalry between Swenson's and Skyway was even noticed by Iron Chef Michael Symon's "Food Feuds," and while the show did crown a winner, Akron's taste buds took home the real prize.

13. But Who Needs Hamburgers When You've Got Capri Pizza

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Source: Capri Pizza via Facebook

With more than five decades of pizza-perfecting experience and a menu that boasts specialty pies, sandwiches and chicken wings, it's a wonder Akron's burger joints actually stay afloat.

14. All Aboard The Scenic Train

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Source: Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad via Facebook

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is your ticket to the national park's scenic landscapes, from river floodplain and steep cut valley walls to ancient forests of evergreens. And you won't exhaust yourself trying to see it all on foot.

15. Oatmeal Isn't Just For Breakfast

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Source: The University of Akron The Pie Factory via Facebook

Akronite Ferdinand Schumacher created the first American oatmeal, and founded the companies that would eventually become the Quaker Oats Company. Oat enthusiasts should venture into historic Quaker Square to sink their teeth into The Pie Factory's take on the breakfast of champions.

16. Don't Underestimate The Zips

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Source: Akron Zips via Facebook

The University of Akron Zips may not be on your radar, but they are a force to be reckoned with. The men's soccer team took home the 2010 National Championship, The women's basketball team won the 2014 MAC championship and Shawn Barber is the 2014 NCAA Indoor Pole Vault Champion. That's right, pole vault champion.

17. Even This Far From The Border, You'll Find Excellent Mexican

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Source: Nuevo Modern Mexican and Tequila Bar

Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar is new to Akron, but is already making a splash downtown with it scrumptious take on Mexican food. In fact, it's inspiring a Hispanic hysteria throughout all of Northeast Ohio.

18. Akron Is A High Tech Haven

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Source: Wikipedia commons user Rdikeman

The city that rubber built isn't just some tired old town. Akron is the center of "Polymer Valley," and boasts a thriving tech market anchored by the likes of the Goodyear Polymer Center. Yep, Goodyear like the tires.

19. Their Way Is The Fairway

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Source: Bridgestone Invitational via Facebook

The PGA World Golf Championships travel to Akron every year for the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club. Be prepared: The town is overrun with golf enthusiasts and the best players in the world as they compete for a piece of tour history.

20. See How The Other Half (Lived)

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Source: Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens via Facebook

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company giant F.A. Seiberling built his estate Stan Hywet in 1912. Since then the original 3,000 acres have been whittled down to just 70, but the historic significance of the grounds has grown immeasurably—and the house is the twelfth largest in the country!

21. You Can Thank Akron For All That Sunday School

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Source: Wikimedia user visitor7

Called the "Akron Plan," a new design for church buildings was first used in 1872 at the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Akron, Ohio. After its success, thousands of churches across the country mimicked the Akron building to help worshipers get to and from Sunday school easier.

22. Akron Is A Bit Weird

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Source: DevilStrip Dollys via Facebook

DevilStrip Dollys is Akron's self-proclaimed freaque boutique. They specialize in local, handmade oddities that range from greeting cards to collectors masks. Make no mistake; this is not an art gallery. You've been warned.

23. When The Weather Gets Hot, Akronites Get Strickland's

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Source: Flickr user Julie, Dave & Family

The Original Strickland's Frozen Custard has been cooling down Akron residents since 1936. Today there are 10 locations, but nothing tastes quite like the original. Try for yourself and you'll see why.

24. Ernie's Favorite Sports Team Is From Akron

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Source: Akron Rubber Ducks via Facebook

Sesame Street? Yeah? When they aren't making "bath time so much fun," the Akron RubberDucks are rounding the bases as the AA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.

25. You Aren't Too Far North For Good Barbecue

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Source: Old Carolina Barbecue Company via Facebook

Akron may be more than a stone's throw from the Mason Dixon, but that doesn't mean you have to go without Southern-style cooking. Old Carolina Barbecue Company serves up ribs, brisket and more inspired by the roadside shacks of the Carolinas.

26. ... Or Too Midwest For Good Coffee

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Source: Angel Falls Coffee Company via Facebook

Just because Akron is in the heart of the Midwest doesn't mean your only option for caffeinating is chain store joe or gas station slurry. Angel Falls Coffee Company has been roasting and serving premium coffee-to the delight of Akron's hipsters (yes, we do have them)-for over 10 years.

27. Akronites Are Friends Of Bill W.

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Source: Flickr user Chris Yarzab

In 1935 The Gate Lodge at Stan Hewyt Hall played host to the first meeting of Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, which led to the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous. Every year the Lodge commemorates that first step (that would lead to many other first steps) with a Founders Day Celebration.

28. The People Know Their Classics

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Source: Ohio Shakespeare Festival via Facebook

Akron has been home to the Ohio Shakespeare Festival for over a decade-meaning Northeast Ohio is a lot more cultured than most people assume.

29. The Music Scene Is Nothing To Sneeze At

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Source: Highland Square Porch Rokr Festival via Facebook

Local legends The Black Keys might be the band that people recognize, but Akron is full of talented artists that the city is eager to support, especially at events like the Highland Square Porch Rokr Festival.


Who is Movoto Real Estate, you might ask? Movoto is an online real estate brokerage based in San Mateo, CA. Our blog has been recognized for its unique approach to city-based research by major news organizations around the world such as Forbes and CBS News.
Posted on: March 25, 2014
41,103 views, 29 comments
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