Akron Fun Facts & Points of Interest
Founded in 1825 and located approximately 40 miles south of Cleveland. Akron, Ohio was co-founded by Simon Perkins and Paul Williams, who chose the city’s location due to its strategic location near the Cuyahoga River. Also, foreseeing an opportunity for the city with the developing Ohio and Erie Canal. The city founders were correct, Akron became a major manufacturing center, mainly because of its location on the canal and its proximity to railroad lines. The Goodyear Company, First Energy, and Huntington Bank are among Akron’s major employers. In fact, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company was founded by Frank Seiberling in 1898, who based the company in Akron. The Goodyear Company not only manufactured tires for automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, airplanes, and race-cars, it also built blimps. The Goodyear Blimp was built in the early 1900s.
Fittingly, Akron had many nicknames, including “Rubber Capital of the World,” “Rubber City,” and the “City of Invention.”
Some Interesting Facts About Akron Include:
- Charles Menches invented the ice-cream cone and caramel corn in Akron.
- The largest structure with no interior supports is in Akron. The Goodyear company uses the building to build blimps.
- Akron is home to the first established toy company in America – The Akron Toy Company, they made marbles.
- Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in Akron in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith.
- Akron is the birthplace of America’s trucking industry.
- The city is home to the Quaker Oatmeal Cereal Company.
- The first police patrol wagon was founded in Akron in 1899.
- The idea of school superintendents was formed in Akron.
- Akron is the birthplace of active professional basketball players Lebron James and Stephen Curry.
- Unbeaten Yo-Yo champion, Linda Lorenz-Sengpiel is from Akron. She once offered to pay $100,000 to anyone who could beat her record. She remains undefeated.
Akron Points of Interest
Stan Hywet Hall
Stan Hywet Hall was built between 1912-1915 as the home for F.A. Seiberling (founder of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company) and his family. The 3,000-acre estate is a landscape of colorful and magnificent gardens, including an English garden that is a must see. Visitors can enjoy dramatic colors and blooms in the many gardens, providing outstanding photo opportunities. Enjoy a stroll down one of the many paths as the gardens virtually transport you to another place and time as you walk in the same footsteps as the original owners. Stan Hywet Hall is a favorite destination place and can accommodate your personal or corporate events.
The Akron Zoo is home to over 700 animals representing over 90 different species. Located just west of downtown Akron, the zoo hosts almost 400,000 visitors each year. The animal exhibits are divided into eight themed areas:
- Legends of the Wild – Penguins, lemurs, jaguars, snow leopards, flamingos.
- Komodo Kingdom – Komodo dragon, tortoises, and other rain-forest species.
- Curious Creatures – Animals and plants that exhibit unique survival abilities.
- Tiger Valley – Lions, tigers, red pandas, sloth bears.
- Farmland – Sheep, goats, interactive feeding exhibit, train ride.
- Wild Prairie – Barn and Frontier Town.
- Lehner Family Zoo Gardens – Nature’s View and Nature’s Theater.
- Grizzly Ridge - A 4.2-acre aviary home to grizzly bears, bald eagles, otters, wolves, and coyotes.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
This beautiful park is open year-round and is home to native plants and an abundance of wildlife. The winding Cuyahoga River leads to thick forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. Walk or ride the Towpath Trail to follow the historic route of the Ohio and Erie Canal. You can bike the trail or ride the rail. The scenic train ride is an outstanding way to see the beauty of the park while experiencing the adventure, romance, and nostalgia of a vintage train ride. Whether you explore the park in your car, train, by hiking, biking, or kayaking, there is something for everyone at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Akron Art Museum
Submerse yourself in both modern and contemporary art as you stroll through the halls of the Akron Art Museum. The collections span three centuries, impacting visitors both nationally and internationally. Round out your trip to the museum with a walk through the museum’s lush gardens and a bite to eat in the café. Don’t forget to purchase your souvenir in the gift shop.
Akron Children’s Museum
The museum was founded by a group of young parents who saw a need for a place where children could participate in unique, educational experiences. Children can learn through play and exploration in spaces created especially for them. Some of the fun areas to explore include the Farm to Table exhibit, Curtain Call Theater, Excavation Station, Wind & Air, Jumbo blocks, and Baby Zone, to name a few.
Akron Soap Box Derby
The Soap Box Derby is an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to build knowledge and character, and to create meaningful experiences through collaboration and fair and honest competition.
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