Akron, Ohio is known to many as “The Rubber Capital of the World”, one of the disputed birthplaces of the hamburger, hometown of Lebron James, The Black Keys, James Ingram and so many others — but for us, it’s home.
With its population of nearly 200,000 people, Akron is perfect for those looking for a city with a small town feel. While we do have a great selection of high-quality tires, we’re much more than that. Akron is a hub for artists, musicians, poets and authors so you’ll feel at home no matter what your passion is. We love it here, so we’ve rounded up eight reasons why we’re thankful to live in Akron.
1. Living is Affordable
Akron is a great place to live whether you’re starting a family or emptying the nest. Forbes lists Akron as one of America’s Most Affordable Cities because our grocery, utility, transportation and health costs are a lot lower than the national averages. Housing is also pretty affordable, with a median home price of around $64,000, which is much lower than the U.S. average.
2. Our Location is Amazing
Only 40 minutes from Cleveland, 30 minutes from Canton and about two hours from both Columbus and Pittsburgh — Akron is in a prime location! We’re also close to an Amtrak station and the Akron Fulton International Airport so those with a passion for travel will have no issues.
Plus, our location gives us some really great weather year round! With an average high in the summer of 82 degrees and an average low in the winter of 25 degrees, it doesn’t get too hot or too cold here.
3. There’s an Abundance of Outdoor Activities
Photo courtesy of Robert George via the National Park Service
Akron also happens to be extremely close to the Cuyahoga National Park, which has more than 33,000 acres and draws nearly 2.5 million visitors a year! Cuyahoga offers a ton of outdoor activities such as camping, bird watching, canoeing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and so much more.
For bicyclists, the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, which is a trail that extends from Akron to Cleveland, offers 85+ miles to explore. The trail closely parallels the Cuyahoga River and the Tuscarawas River south of Akron. The terrain is smooth, perfect for those with families or for cyclist commuters, and passes through a variety of wooded environments and urban neighborhoods.
4. It’s Easy to be Green
With a nickname like “The Rubber Capital of the World”, environmentally friendly isn’t the first phrase to come to mind when you think of Akron. However; the people of Akron are completely committed to environmentally friendly practices, which makes it easy to be green.
In 2017, Akron premiered a new program called the Hands-On Sustainability 2025 Conference, which is a conference that will be held every year until 2025 and is open to the public. The goal of the conference is to allow citizens, officials and local companies to come together and help solve Akron’s unfriendly environmental practices.
5. It’s All About Vintage
Photo courtesy of The Bomb Shelter
In Akron, it’s all about retro and records. We’ve got plenty of vintage shops for you to get your thrift or vinyl fix!
For your vintage clothing needs — Highland Throwbacks is a great choice! They offer unique, high-quality resale items that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Retro furniture is a must in Akron, and we are particularly fond of The Bomb Shelter, which sells vintage kitchen appliances, furniture, clothing, toys and even TV sets. The Vintage Vault and 15 Broad Street Vintage are also fantastic choices for antiques. And, of course, Akron has some of the best record selections around. We’re home to Square Records and Time Traveler Records, just to name a few.
6. We Have a Thriving Cultural Scene
Akron has been the home to several famous artists, authors and musicians, so it’s no wonder that our cultural scene is diverse and thriving. One of our favorite events of the year is the annual Highland Square PorchRokr Festival, which features over 130 local musicians and artists who use both area residences and business establishments as their personal stage.
We also boast some incredible cultural attractions that bring thousands of people to the area each year. The Akron Civic Theatre is one of only five remaining atmospheric theaters in the country. While sitting inside the auditorium, you can experience a twinkling star-lit sky and clouds moving across the horizon as you enjoy a show. The Akron Symphony Orchestra has been a cultural mainstay in Akron for 60 years and often has guest conductors and soloists with national reputations. And, of course, the Akron Zoo is a local favorite, boasting over 50 acres of land and housing more than 700 animals. It’s also one of the only 218 accredited world conservation zoos by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
7. We’ve Got Some of the Best Food Around
Akron is like a little melting pot in Northeast Ohio. We’re not too far from the south to get great barbeque (check out the Old Carolina Barbecue Company), and we also have some fantastic Mexican food options (try Mi Casa) and mouth-watering pizza (you can’t go wrong with Luigi’s).
Though we have all different kinds of great food, we take our hamburgers seriously. The specific birthplace of the delectable meat patties has been disputed for years, but Akronites still have a deep affection for burgers. 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.
We also have some fantastic wineries, brunch spots and delectable ice cream shops that are essential Akron stops.
8. The People
Sure, we love all of the amazing parts of Akron, but it’s really the people that make this Ohio town such a great place to live.
In 2017, Huffington Post wrote a piece on Akron as a part of their Listen to America series, where they talked to local Akronites about what makes Akron great. The consensus of those interviews was that Akron is full of warm and welcoming people who love art and life — and we couldn’t agree more.
Why do you love Akron?
Did we miss your favorite part about living in Akron? Let us know in the comments! If you are now considering a move (we don’t blame you!) contact us or check out The Best Neighborhoods and Suburbs of Akron, Ohio to get a better lay of the land!