Beaver Marsh
Travel | Cities

10 Summer Stops in Summit County

From nights on the town to adventures in nature, here are 10 reasons to visit Akron and the surrounding area this season.

Visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Beaver Marsh: Home to more than 200 species of birds, beavers, a new migration of river otters and a long, wooden boardwalk to overlook it all, Beaver Marsh is a quintessential summer stop while biking and hiking the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. “It’s a very short walk from the trailhead, and it’s nice because it is accessible for anybody,” says Pamela Barnes, community engagement supervisor for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. “It is a destination for those who want to see wildlife.” For those interested in learning more about Beaver Marsh, every Sunday and Wednesday through Aug. 29, rangers provide guided tours that start at the Ira Trailhead at 7 p.m. 3801 Riverview Rd., Peninsula 44264,

Take in a RubberDucks Game at Canal Park: Despite the fact that the Akron RubberDucks consistently sit near the top of the standings in Double-A baseball’s Eastern League, the on-field product comes as a cherry on top of the affordable fun off the diamond. “We have no control over the players who come through,” says general manager/chief operating officer Jim Pfander. “What we can control is the fun that happens outside those white lines.” After every Friday and Saturday home game at Canal Park, the RubberDucks shoot off fireworks. The ballpark also has $2 hot dogs every day, and each inning break features either a contest or promotion of some sort. “If you don’t remember the final score at the end of the game, we’ve done our job,” Pfander says. 300 S. Main St., Akron 44308, 330/253-5151,

Szalay's Market in Peninsula
Shop at Szalay’s Farm & Market: 
Located along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, Szalay’s Farm & Market is a must-visit stop during a summer trip to the Cuyahoga Valley. The fifth-generation family business has been operating since 1931, and, in addition to locally grown produce, Szalay’s offers hot meals and live music on Saturdays and Sundays. “On the weekends we have the three outdoor eateries,” says owner Paula Szalay. “Those have five different kinds of local meats that are fresh grilled.” There’s also roasted corn, fresh-squeezed lemonade, Southern-style sweet tea, ice cream cones and fresh fruit sundaes. “It’s all fresh that we cut ourselves continuously throughout the day,” Szalay says of the fruit sundaes. “It’s delicious.” 4563 Riverview Rd., Peninsula 44264, 330/657-2727,

Rent a Bike at Century Cycles in Peninsula: For $10 per hour, you can breeze along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail behind the handlebars of a bike from Century Cycles, located in the heart of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. “One of my favorite areas is the Beaver Marsh about four miles south of us, which also includes a trip by a wonderful little farm market called Szalay’s, which if you’ve never been to, you must check out,” says Doug Charnock, store manager at Century Cycles’ Peninsula shop. On top of bicycles, the store also rents bike trailers for young children and pets. Plus, the shop can take care of any repairs your own bike may need. 1621 Main St., Peninsula 44264, 330/657-2209,

Shop for Art at Don Drumm Studios & Gallery: In 1971, Don Drumm — a sculptor, designer and craftsman — and his wife, Lisa, opened a one-room gallery in Akron. Today, Don Drumm Studios & Gallery features works by more than 500 artists and spans eight buildings. Drumm’s iconic aluminum and pewter pieces are also showcased. A focal point of the space includes the Different Drummer room, devoted to art made of leather, paper, fiber and wood that specifically meet Drumm’s personal benchmark for creative design. “We’re one of the top American craft galleries in the country,” says Lisa. “Most people are quite excited when they walk in to find us.”437 Crouse St., Akron 44311, 330/253-6268,

Akron Art Museum garden
Enjoy a Summer Concert at the Akron Art Museum: Every Thursday evening through the end of July, music fills the air at The Bud & Susie Rogers Garden during Akron Art Museum’s Downtown at Dusk summer concert series. The audience experiences a new beat every week with different jazz, Americana, folk and rock musicians taking the stage. “The audience here really does enjoy coming over after work and just having a beer, enjoying the concert and hanging out with their friends,” says Jennifer Shipman, chief of staff & director of special projects at the museum. “They’re going to be seeing some great quality artwork along with great music.” The museum and concerts are both free on Thursdays. 1 S. High St., Akron 44308, 330/376-9185,

Hear the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center: Blossom Music Center’s location within Cuyahoga Valley National Park makes it a must-visit venue. Plus, the summer home of the Cleveland Orchestra is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018. This year’s 19-performance Blossom Music Festival features classical favorites, music from films, guest artists and more. “The beauty of the space set in the national park allows us to really be at one with nature,” says Ross Binnie, the Cleveland Orchestra’s chief brand officer. “There really isn’t anything as special as sitting out under the stars with your family, having a picnic and listening to us play music.” 1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls 44223, 800/686-1141,

Lift a Pint on the Summit Brew Path: Take a craft beer tour by sampling the 18 breweries on the 2018 Summit Brew Path (just not all in the same day, please). Participants receive a passport to record their visits, and those who hit all 18 stops receive a Summit Brew Path growler and the chance to win a Greater Akron Getaway Package. “It’s fun and we get a lot of exposure from people that would not normally come in,” says Cory Ross, co-founder of Hop Tree Brewing in Hudson. Visit website for locations.

Grilled cheese at The Lockview
Grab a Grilled Cheese at The Lockview: Located just down the street from Canal Park, you’ll find The Lockview, Akron’s downtown grilled cheese restaurant and craft beer bar. With a laid-back atmosphere that’s suitable for all ages, the casual restaurant offers a rotating assortment of craft beers and cocktails, as well as 13 gourmet grilled-cheese creations and other menu options, including burgers, veggie pitas and homemade macaroni and cheese. General manager JoAnne Richards recommends the popular Number Six featuring cheddar cheese, sweet grilled apple slices and applewood-smoked bacon on fresh and local butter-top bread. 207 S. Main St., Akron 44308, 330/252-5128,

Take a Shopping Trip to Hudson’s First & Main: Located in the heart of historic downtown Hudson, First & Main’s shopping experience is enhanced by great restaurants (including local chef Shawn Monday’s One Red Door, Flip Side burger joint and 3 Palms pizzeria) and locally owned boutiques. The shopping district’s Western Reserve-style architecture plays on the city’s rich history, while drawing shoppers and diners from throughout the region. Grab a blanket and chair and stake out a place on the First & Main green to check out the performers playing during Friday and Saturday nights in July and August. 43 Village Way, Hudson 44236,