Akron, Ohio, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Cleveland, is a city with historic homes, great museums, and lovely green spaces. Whether you are a visitor or a resident, you'll discover places to go to dial up the romance in Akron, such as going on a hot-air balloon ride above local lakes and valleys, having a picnic at a winery, or strolling through a beautiful park. Akron also offers special restaurants and entertainment venues that will set you up for a romantic evening out with your loved one any time of year.
E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall on the University of Akron campus offers ample opportunities to get cozy with your honey while watching a show. Choose from a Broadway show, the Akron Symphony Orchestra, or the Tuesday Musical Club, which features a variety of musicians from violin and guitar duos to jazz and ballet. The hall has a variety of other entertainment options throughout the year such as ballet, comedies, and more.
Stroll in the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm
Experience the beauty of nature during a scenic walk at the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm, part of the Summit County Metroparks. The manicured gardens, abundant wildlife such as Male northern cardinals and chickadees, ponds, trails, and winding paths provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxing outing with your loved one. If you are feeling adventurous, walk on the suspension bridge above a 45-foot-deep ravine. The park is named after the Goodyear Tire & Rubber co-founder who played a leading role in developing Akron from a small town to the rubber and tire capital of the world.
Step Into the Grandeur of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
Steep yourself and your significant other in the gorgeousness and enormity of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. This 65-room, Tudor Revival-style manor house—the former estate of F.A. Seiberling—is filled with original treasures from around the world and is Akron’s first and largest National Historic Landmark. Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens lies on an estate of five historic buildings, surrounded by 70 acres of beautiful gardens so large you could get lost in them. During the holidays, the estate is transformed into a winter wonderland. The site is open from April through December on Tuesdays through Sundays.
Canal Park is conveniently located in downtown Akron, where you can enjoy dinner and drinks at one of many restaurants before or after taking in a game with the Akron RubberDucks. This Minor League Baseball team is a Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. You are close to the action no matter where you sit in this top-notch stadium; regulars can purchase the park's fireworks package to have guaranteed romantic seats with a fireworks show each time.
Create memories together in a colorful hot-air balloon ride over the verdant northeast Ohio countryside near Akron, Cleveland, Youngstown, and Canton. Enjoy spectacular views of hills, farms, lakes, and valleys, and feel free gliding over the treetops on a ride that ends with a champagne toast. The excursions take place May through October—just after the sunrise and about two hours before sunset—to take advantage of the most romantic setting and provide great photographic opportunities (or maybe a perfect time for a proposal). You can launch from sites in either Stow, Kent, or Ravenna, Ohio.
The small Akron Zoo gives you an up-close and personal experience as you interact with more than 700 diverse animals from the red wolf to the Chilean flamingo to some Komodo dragons. Create lasting memories with someone special as you discover about 50 acres of exhibits and guest amenities. Check out the train through Pride of Africa to see some lions, go on the carousel, and experience eight animal exhibits. It’s a relaxing, year-round venue for romantics of all ages.
Pack a picnic to go and add in a wine made with estate-grown grapes—try creative flavors like a blueberry wine called Blue, or Space Cowboy, made with ripe peaches—at Wolf Creek Winery in Norton, about a 10-minute drive from Akron. Stroll through acres of vineyards or take in the lush, green landscape on the winery deck, at a picnic table, or in the indoor sitting rooms. Occasional festivals and events are held at the winery throughout the year, such as live musical concerts, psychic readings, and more.
Explore the Tranquil Portage Lakes on a Pontoon Boat
Get your friends together and rent a flat-bottomed pontoon boat at Portage Lakes State Park, about a 20-minute drive south of Akron and the historic Ohio Canal. Glide along Portage Lakes in your 10- or 14-person pontoon boat, rented from Dusty’s Landing II. Explore the lush flora and abundant fauna on 2,000 acres of connecting lakes, enjoy the peaceful sound of the waves lapping the boat, or dive in for a swim. Add a picnic and you could have one perfect day.
Discover amazing works of art with your love at the Akron Art Museum, which opened in 1922. The museum moved into a historic 21,000-square-foot brick structure in 1981 after an award-winning major renovation. The former Treasury building, constructed in 1899, is an outstanding example of Italian Renaissance Revival style and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2007, the museum more than tripled in size with the opening of the spectacular new John S. and James L. Knight Building, which adjoins the 1899 building.
You'll see visual art—mainly paintings, photographs, and sculptures. Traveling art collections change throughout the year so there is always something new to see. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays. The Bud and Susie Rogers Garden, a lovely terraced outdoor space that holds events, is open daily and free to the public.
Dine on everything from filet mignon and calamari to pizza at Ken Stewart's Grille, one of Akron’s special-occasion restaurants offering fine dining that includes vegetarian options and homemade ice cream. Ken Stewart’s is the perfect place for a romantic dinner in an intimate ambiance under soft lighting. The service is accommodating and the food and wine are exceptional.
In Medina, about 30 minutes by car from Akron, It's Your Winery offers a fun way to let wine enthusiasts originate small batches of their own wine using the company’s modern equipment. After sampling from over 50 varieties, you'll choose your favorite and begin making your own wine—red or white, dry or sweet—by mixing the grape must (freshly pressed grape juice) and yeast. Create custom-designed labels for your bottles with your own images or photos. After some weeks when your wine has fermented, return to bottle, cork, and label the wine you've created. Each batch makes 28 to 30 bottles, so you may want to invite another couple to join you in the merriment.
Spend a Happy Night on the Town at the Tangier
Dazzle your special someone with a big night on the town at the Tangier, Akron’s leading event and entertainment venue. Musicians from all over the world showcase their talents at the Tangier: You'll find everything from the soulful rhythm and blues of Peabo Bryson to a tribute group for The Eagles rock band. Complete the evening with a delectable Mediterranean dinner or a prime rib and seafood buffet.
Cuyahoga Falls, named after the famed Cuyahoga River that courses through it and feeds into Lake Erie, is a bucolic small city just a 10-minute drive north of Akron. Spend a day in picturesque downtown Cuyahoga Falls, known as the Riverfront Square district, checking out its charming storefronts and antique shops conveniently located on Front Street. You'll find vintage clothing, decor, and furniture; sports memorabilia; collectors’ toys; designer formals; kitchen and other nostalgic goods; old vinyl record albums; and more.
While you're downtown, take in the scenic river views on the boardwalk, plus the art galleries, hobby shops, and restaurants. In the summer, enjoy festivals, canoeing, and kayaking at River Front Park; the winter brings ice skating.