Things to See on an Akron, Ohio to Columbus, Ohio Road Trip
Are you taking a road trip from Akron, Ohio to Columbus, Ohio? We have the best way to get there and things you need to see along the way!
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Road trips are always a great idea, no matter what time of year it is! You can choose to go out on the open road in the summer, with the windows down and the music up. Or you can choose to go on a trip in the fall and see how beautiful the trees are as they change colors. The winter snow can’t stop a fun road trip either! Ohio has all kinds of destinations that make ideal road trips, you just need to know where to look.
A popular Ohio road trip is to go from Akron to Columbus, and to really get a chance to see some of the sights as you travel from northern Ohio to more central Ohio. Traveling to the largest city in the state is bound to be filled with a lot of excitement, and we’ve got some places you’ll have to check out once you reach CBus. But before you arrive, you’ll have the chance to check out some smaller communities along the way. After all, a lot of the fun is in the road trip journey too!
In this article we’re going to cover:
- What to see in Akron, OH before you start your road trip
- Stops along the route to Columbus
- What to do once you reach Columbus
What to see in Akron, OH
Make sure to check out some of these places before you hit the road to Columbus
Before you leave on your road trip to Columbus, we think it’s a great idea to explore the city you’re starting in first. Akron, Ohio is the fifth largest city in the state, and is known as the Rubber Capital of the World, since Goodyear Tire is headquartered there. Located in Summit County, Akron has a population of around 197,375 people and is located in the northeastern part of the state. A road trip from Akron to Columbus should take you around one hour and 50 minutes, but that’s if you don’t stop along the way!
While you’re in and around Akron, there are a few sights you should make sure to check out.
8176 Brandywine Rd. | Akron | nps.gov
Before heading out of the city, you should definitely first make a stop at Cuyahoga Valley Park and check out the Brandywine Falls. These beautiful cascading falls are a sight to see, and visitors flock there at all times of the year. There’s also a 1.5 mile trail that wraps around the falls to give you great views of the creek and the waterfall. Get an up close and personal look at the Berea Sandstone that makes up the rock formations in and around the falls!
Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens
714 N Portage | Akron | stanhywet.org
This is another place in Akron that everyone should have a chance to see. Once the home of F.A. Seiberling, the co-founder of Goodyear Tire, this 65 room Tudor Revival Manor house is a fantastic way to see a little bit of living history. The estate also includes a Gothic Revival Conservatory, a Gate House, and 70 acres of grounds and gardens. Make sure you save time for a tour of this lovely estate!
“It's especially perfect if you love gardens and old houses! You can wander the multiple well-maintained gardens, which I can imagine are so much more impressive when flowers are in bloom.” -Yelp Review
Akron Art Museum
1 S High St. | Akron | akronartmuseum.org
Get in a little culture before hitting the road and stop in and see the Akron Art Museum. This place has art of all kinds, including modern, classical, historical, and international art. There are also many rotating exhibits throughout the year, and don’t forget to check out the outdoor garden, which is also full of art.
“The building itself is a work of art. Truly beautiful architecture. The collection was a joy.” -Yelp Review
207 S Main St. | Akron | thelockview.com
If you’re in Akron, you’ve got to try out their famous grilled cheese! And one of the best restaurants to do that is at the Lockview. There are all kinds of grilled cheese to choose from, along with appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and soups.
“Their grilled cheese are so delicious, with different variations you'll always find something you want. It's also good with their tomato soup on cold rainy days.” -Yelp Review
Must-see stops on your Akron to Columbus road trip
Where to stop and stretch your legs while on the road between Akron and Columbus
After checking out some of the sights we’ve suggested in Akron, it’s time to hit the road on your road trip to Columbus! The best way to see all the sights is to have a car, as opposed to taking a bus. So whether you need to rent one, or you have your own, we suggest making it a true road trip that allows you the freedom to stop whenever you want.
While it’s not a super long distance between the two cities when you’re on the interstate, we suggest taking the more scenic route that will take you through three areas, Wooster, Mansfield, and Fredericktown.
1680 Madison Ave. | Wooster, OH | secrest.osu.edu
When you’re in Wooster, we suggest you stop off and see the Secrest Arboretum. You’ll have the opportunity to view and learn about local tree and plant species that are important to the Ohio environment. The arboretum is designed to bring together plant researchers and the public, to both learn more about Ohio’s diverse population of plants.
100 Reformatory Road | Mansfield | mrps.org
After you stop in Wooster, it’s time to get your adventurer hat on and get ready to check out the Ohio State Reformatory. This was once an active prison that housed hardened criminals. It was abandoned in the 1990s, only to resurface as the backdrop to movies. The Shawshank Redemption was filmed on location in this hauntingly beautiful structure.
If you’re feeling brave, consider taking a tour. If you’re road tripping around spooky season, you may even get to take one of their paranormal tours as well!
“What a wonderfully cool place! This was once a prison that has been in famous movies. Now it's a museum you can tour. You can even stay the night to get the full experience.” -Yelp Review
10 S. Main St. | Fredericktown | thebrickhousegrind.com
After taking a tour of the Ohio State Reformatory, it’s time to head back to the car and get on the road. Your next stop is Fredericktown, and a cute little cafe known as the Brickhouse Grind. This is a great place to get a cup of hot or iced coffee and take in the sights of this small town. The coffee in your cup is all from small-plot farmers, which means it’s going to be exceptional. While you’re relaxing, make sure to try some of their fresh baked pastries like cookies, muffins, or scones.
Stroll around the main street or sit and enjoy the unique atmosphere of this artsy cafe.
“Ambience is great. From pulling up, to driving away they have a great eye for detail and have made this old brick house somewhere I would enjoy spending time.” -Yelp Review
What to do in Columbus, OH
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
1777 E. Broad St. | Columbus | fpconservatory.org
Once you’re in the big city, it’s time to check out the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. You can stroll around the grounds and take in the 88 acres of the beautifully landscaped area. There are butterflies and birds to watch as well, along with unique shows to match the seasons of the year!
“This place is beautiful and the staff are all very friendly. Nice place to go on a Sunday morning before brunch.” -Yelp Review
Short North Arts District
Short North | Columbus | shortnorth.org
If you want your fill of amazing culture, art, and food, you’ve got to make a stop at the Short North! You can stroll through galleries, or just check out some of the vibrant street art that’s available throughout the year. You can take art tours or food tours, and even walking tours of this popular Columbus area. If you want some great places to find something to eat, consider checking out these Short North favorites:
Columbus is also home to the German Village, which is a great place to find German-inspired food and shopping. You also can’t go wrong with a stop at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, or the Columbus Museum of Art on your trip.
We hope you have a wonderful time on your road trip from Akron, OH to Columbus, OH. What are your favorite places to stop along the way? Let us know in the comments!
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