1. Students Owe Akron
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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...
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.