8/20/18

Midwest Adventure 2018, Part 6: Akron, Ohio

This is my sixth post about our adventure traveling through Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana. You can find the first post from this trip here and links to all the other educational US travel our family has done here.

Because I blog about educational travel, I received free admission tickets, discounts, media rates, and other benefits for some of the hotels and attractions we visited throughout the trip. Many attractions we toured are free to everyone. I paid full price for the rest. This has no bearing on my reviews. Everything I'm sharing is something that I whole-heartedly recommend. If you notice any gaps in my narrative, it is because I didn't love a particular hotel, attraction, or restaurant enough to recommend it to you, regardless of how much I paid or didn't pay.


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Akron, Ohio


We left the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and drove 40 minutes before getting dinner at the Winking Lizard in Akron. It’s a local chain that Steve has enjoyed when he traveled to Akron for work. The food was great, as was the all-you-can-eat popcorn. Yum!


The next day (Saturday 7/28) was a somewhat relaxing day for us, as the only things on the schedule were dealing with our laundry, a visit to a museum, and attending Andy & Beth's wedding. Of course, back home we wouldn't normally plan a museum visit and do laundry on the same day we were attending a wedding, and if we did, I certainly wouldn't call it a relaxing day! But it wasn't much compared to the pace of the rest of the trip, so it's all relative. 

Laundry first. It wasn't reasonable for us to pack 17+ days' worth of clothes and lug them to 11 cities and 8 hotels, so I'd planned for us to do laundry around the midpoint. We each packed 9 days' worth of clothes, plus the dressy stuff we'd be wearing only for the wedding. Here you can see what we had at the beginning of the trip (I have my rolling backpack). 


Once we got our rental car, we left the large suitcase in the car rather than bringing it in and out of every hotel. We packed all our clothes in ziplock bags, so at each hotel we just pulled out enough packets for the number of nights we'll be staying. This system works well for us. 


We ended up doing laundry on Day 7. I did a Google search and found Downtown Laundromat, located just a few miles from our Akron hotel. We dropped off 12 lbs. of laundry (3 people, 7 days) and paid just $12 for the friendly, helpful employees to clean and fold it all. What a bargain! And a huge timesaver. We swung by later at our convenience to pick it up, then I just re-stuffed our ziplock bags for the rest of the trip. So easy!

So back to our day. The Akron Art Museum has a beautiful garden, so we started there (employing the 'tour the ship first' mentality we'd learned in Toledo). 




Then we entered the building. The architecture is very interesting.




We thoroughly enjoyed our visit. 



  

The museum has a heavy emphasis on local artists and local subjects, which I love. Here's a closeup of a painting of downtown Akron in the 1930's.


My favorite thing about the Akron Art Museum is that many of the works of art have these pink and blue cards next to them. The cards are two-sided and include information about the artwork and a challenge for kids to make or write something inspired by the piece. It's a great way to keep kids engaged and focused at an art museum. This activity was about drawing faces on everyday items.  


Trevor read each of the challenges and did the ones that interested him most. 


After the museum, we had lunch at The Lockview, a gourmet grilled cheese restaurant. 


I chose a Gouda, tomato, and basil grilled cheese. Trevor had a grilled cheese with mozzarella, marinara and pepperoni, and Steve’s was cheddar, bacon, and Granny Smith apples. All three were very tasty. I'd love to go back and try some of their other grilled cheese sandwiches. There were so many to choose from!


Look what we saw when we left the restaurant! There's a reason Akron is known the Rubber Capital of the World. Goodyear's global headquarters is in Akron. At one time, there were numerous rubber companies located in Akron. 



We headed back to the hotel, changed for the wedding, and arrived at the venue (their home). Everything was stunning.


  


We had a wonderful time. 


The wedding was catered by Bg's BBQ. The food was so delicious that I found the caterer and asked to take a picture of his t-shirt so I could recommend the food to you all!


The beer was by Missing Mountain Brewing Company. More about them later. 


We slept in the morning after the wedding, then headed to do some hiking at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Trevor got a Junior Ranger activity book at the Visitor Center, then we set off to explore. We started with a walk to the beautiful Brandywine Falls. The water has eroded the rock so that you can clearly see three distinct layers of rock from different eras.




Then we hiked along the towpath. The Erie-Ohio Canal went through here until the 1930’s, so there is a towpath that mules used back alongside the now-empty canal. Interpretive signs line the path, along with all sorts of ruins. Most interesting were the now-empty locks.






We left the national park and headed to Missing Mountain Brewing Company. We met up with our friends Dan and Amanda, who just happen to be co-owners of Missing Mountain! Steve used to work with Dan back when Dan was just a homebrewer dreaming of the day he'd open a brewpub. We've followed the journey from dream to concept to groundbreaking to opening closely and were thrilled to finally visit in person!


The wait was worth it. The place is beautiful, the food exceptional, and the beers amazing.




Dan gave us a tour of the entire facility. It was very interesting. The building was once a gas station and has been vacant for decades. They showed us photos of the before and after. The transformation was really something. Missing Mountain has a gorgeous view of the river, with a beautiful patio seating area. 


We loved our time in Akron. All too soon, it was time to move on. Next stop, Columbus!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like an amazing time!! I love the photos from the hiking trip!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete

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