25 Things People From Akron Have To Explain To Out-Of-TownersSure, most people know LeBron James, but there’s so much more to this city.
1. Akron Knew LeBron Back When
Source: Flickr user Keith AllisonLeBron James was all over the local news when he was playing basketball at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. We remember when he got that Hummer as a senior and those jerseys, too. We know he’s a hometown boy no matter what professional team he’s on.
2. “Zippy” Isn’t Short For “Zipper”
Source: Akron Zips via FacebookZippy’s a kangaroo and she’s the mascot for The University of Akron’s sports teams. Zippy’s been around since 1953, so they’re fiercely attached.
3. And Rubber Ducks Aren’t Just For The Tub
Source: Flickr user Ash MarshallMinor league baseball is serious business here. The Akron RubberDucks have been a part of the city since 1997 and we’ve loved game days at Canal Park ever since – even if we do sometimes still call the team the Aeros.
4. Luigi’s Restaurant Has The Most Mind-Blowing Pizza Ever
Source: Luigi’s Restaurant via FacebookThis is cheesy, cheesy pizza and it generates a line out the door often. They don’t skimp on toppings and even the salad is covered in cheese. Luigi’s isn’t cheap, but it’s worth it, especially on Friday or Saturday nights when they’re open until 4 a.m.
5. And The National Hamburger Festival Is Just As Awesome As It Sounds
Source: Flickr user Mark PhillipsWho wouldn’t want a festival devoted to burgers to take place every summer in their town? Enjoying burgers from a variety of restaurants is great, but what’s even better is bobbing for burgers in a baby pool full of ketchup.
6. Akron Pride Is Ever-Present
Source: Instagram user 330hioIf you’re from Akron, you’re proud of that fact. It’s only the fifth largest city in the state but they don’t need lots of neighbors to know this city is where they want to be.
7. Proximity To Parks Is A Huge Draw
Source: Instagram user Steve SmithAkron is home to numerous parks and there are even more state parks within a short drive. Even though Ohio might not be thought of as a place where people love to get outdoors, this city does.
8. Winter Really Isn’t That Bad
Source: Flickr user Mark TurnauckasAlthough some winters are the exception, snow is usually manageable in Akron. While 47.4 average inches of snow per year might sound like a lot, it’s not the average 68.1 Cleveland gets per year, thanks to their lake-effect snow.
9. The Zoo’s Just The Right Size
Source: Flickr user Jem HologramThe Akron Zoo takes up 50 acres, which seems tiny compared with larger zoos in the area, but it’s actually the perfect size. Families are able to see every attraction in one day and not miss favorites like jaguars, seahorses or lemurs.
10. Wally Waffle Is The Place To Get Larger-Than-Life Waffles
Source: Flickr user Mark TurnauckasChain restaurants that serve waffles are unnecessary in Akron. Chocolate chip? Cinnamon sugar? Bacon IN your waffle? Whatever you’re craving, Wally’s Waffle probably has it.
11. Who Needs A Great Lake When You Have Portage Lakes?
Source: Portage Lakes, OH via FacebookSure, Lake Erie isn’t far, but Portage Lakes is even closer. Eight lakes equal a lot of room for boating, fishing and swimming. Winter isn’t left out either, with ice skating, ice boating and snowmobiling allowed when it’s cold enough for the lakes to be frozen.
12. Chrissie Hynde Immortalized Akron In Song
Source: Instagram user chrissiehyndemusicThe Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde graduated from Firestone High School in 1969 and left town shortly after. “My City Was Gone” was released in 1982 and focuses on the places Hynde enjoyed in her youth.
13. Akron Is Not Just A College Town
Source: Flickr user Erik DrostSome towns that house colleges or universities are filled with students and places students love to go, namely bars and pizza joints. Akron’s big enough that the University of Akron doesn’t take over the whole city, which means there’s a diverse population and every kind of restaurant you could imagine.
14. Everyone Goes To Concerts At Blossom Music Center
Source: Flickr user JupiterSSJ4Nothing beats hanging out with friends at a rock show… or a country show… or a pop show… this is a multi-genre venue, after all. Blossom usually has lawn seats cheap enough to make the 20-minute drive out of town worthwhile.
15. Chain Fast Food Places Don’t Hold A Candle To Swensons Drive In
Source: Flickr user stu_splvackIt starts with a car hop taking your order and ends with a classic meal like burgers and fries. Not just any burger, of course, but a Triple Cheeseburger or a Galley Boy, which is a double cheeseburger with two sauces. Remember to turn your lights on to get service!
16. No, Akronites Don’t All Get Free Blimp Rides
Source: Flickr user JoeAlthough it would be amazing if Goodyear gave Akron residents say, one free blimp ride per year, that’s not how it works. Most people lucky enough to take flight do so by having the winning bid in a charity auction or by being a member of the press. Akronties have to settle for catching a glimpse in the sky just like everyone else.
17. The Roo Express Won’t Take Just Anyone
Source: Flickr user Mark TurnauckasBesides its name, the Roo Express might look like just any other city bus, ready to transport you around town. The name might give it away though – it’s actually the bus system for the University of Akron and only students, faculty, staff and their guests are eligible to ride.
18. Soap Boxes Aren’t Just For Standing
Source: International Soap Box Derby via FacebookThe Soap Box Derby allows kids interested in racing to race motorless cars against other kids. Contestants descend upon Akron each summer at Derby Downs for the chance to be crowned a winner.
19. Food Trucks Are A Big Deal
Source: The Orange Truk via FacebookThere’s been more than a little conflict between the city and food truck owners, but these meals-on-wheels are finally gaining steam in Akron. Find them downtown of on The University of Akron’s campus.
20. Akron Has The Best Historic Home In Ohio
Source: Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens via FacebookStan Hywet Hall was originally the home of F.A. Seiberling, the found of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. These days it’s open to the public for walk-throughs and special events. The adjoining garden is just as big a draw.
21. Akronites Still Cheer For The Cleveland Cavaliers
Source: Flickr user Erik DrostThe Cavs might not be a hometown team but when it comes to rooting for an NBA team they’re who we choose. It doesn’t hurt that LeBron James was a pretty important player for a few years – and that he will be again soon.
22. Breakfast Should Always Be At Fred’s Diner
Source: Fred’s Diner via FacebookGreasy diner food never tastes as good when it isn’t at Fred’s Diner. This Akron institution serves all the breakfast basics – eggs, sausage, toast, bacon, French toast, homefries – for a reasonable price. You might drive past the building a few times before you realize it’s the one you’re looking for, but this is one instance that proves that what’s on the inside is all that matters.
23. The Arlington-Waterloo Intersection Can Be A Nightmare
Source: Flickr user Ken LundThe number of cars on the road make rush hour traffic nearly unmanageable. And whatever you do, try to avoid the Arlington-Waterloo intersection, which was found to be a top spot for car accidents in a study by the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority.
24. Mustard Seed Isn’t Just For Growing Plants
Source: Mustard Seed Market & Café via FacebookIf you want natural and organic products in Akron, Mustard Seed Market and Café is the place. They focus on offering foods without artificial colors, saccharin and aspartame, as well as meat without growth hormones.
25. Fall At The F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm Will Leave You In Awe
Source: F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm via FacebookNature can be pretty any time of year, but Fall in Ohio brings stunning colors to the trees. The best place to see these colors in Akron is at the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm, which even offers rewards to hikers who come to enjoy the views. Featured photo:
Source: Flickr user Jem HologramWhat have you had to explain to out-of-towners about Akron? Tell us in the comments below!
Zip Codes and Neighborhoods in Akron, OH
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