Akron, Ohio, is a city in northeast Ohio, population 197,542 (U.S. Census 2015 estimate). It is located 40 miles south of Cleveland, in Summit County, along the Ohio-Erie Canal. Akron is the fifth-largest city in Ohio. Akron gained worldwide notoriety during the 20th century as a center for rubber manufacturing. Today, the city is recognized as a center for polymer research and development.
Akron’s history is closely associated with the building of the Ohio and Erie Canal connecting Akron with the Cuyahoga and Ohio Rivers. The town officially chartered in 1825, taking the name “Akron” from a Greek word meaning “high,” because it was situated on the highest point along the canal.
The climate in Akron is classified as humid continental, with four distinct seasons and an average annual rainfall of 36 inches. Summers are warm, with average high temperatures of 80-84-82°F (June-July-August) and winters are chilly with average low temperatures of 26-20-23°F (December-January-February).
Motoring to and around Akron is aided by interstate highways (I-76 and I-77) and a bypass (I-277), as well as U.S. Highway 224 and Ohio State Roads 8 and 59. The Akron Metro, a regional transit authority, provides bus service throughout the city and to local points beyond. Air travelers rely on the city-owned Akron Fulton International Airport and the Akron-Canton Airport (about 14 miles southwest of the city).
Akron Cost of Living
The cost of living in Akron overall is about 15 percent lower than the average for U.S. cities. Although you’ll pay more for groceries and transportation, housing is extremely affordable— about half the cost of the national average. See how far your salary can go in Akron using the resources below.
Akron Public Schools is Ohio’s fifth largest school district, serving about 22,000 students. It operates nine high schools, nine middle schools, and 30 elementary schools. More than 60 private schools serve about 13,500 students throughout Summit County. And, over a dozen colleges and universities are located within 20 miles of Akron; two of the larger ones are University of Akron and Kent State University.
According to U.S. Hospital Finder, there are 43 hospitals within 30 miles of Akron. Of these, Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Center is nationally ranked in two adult specialties. Akron Children’s Hospital is nationally ranked in six pediatric specialties. Cleveland Clinic, about 40 miles to the north, is rated by U.S. News & World Report as the best hospital in Ohio, nationally ranked in 23 specialties.
Akron Real Estate
According to U.S. Census FactFinder (2014), Akron has an estimated 97,163 housing units with an occupancy rate of 85.4 percent. About 70 percent of all homes were built before 1970. The median home value is $82,600, and the median monthly expense for homeownership without a mortgage is $389. The median monthly expense for renters is $682.
Akron’s hoteliers offer choices for any budget, from basic to luxury. Econo Lodges are a popular choice for minding the pocketbook. The highly rated Courtyard Downtown is more upscale and offers an indoor pool. For a tangible connection to the past, consider overnighting at O’Neil House Bed & Breakfast, a Tudor style home with antique furnishings and an accent on elegant comfort.
You’ll find plenty to please your palate in Akron’s many restaurants. For classic American burgers, fries, and shakes, it’s Swensons Drive-In. Just turn your lights on for service at any of seven locations. For an offbeat American menu and unique dessert drinks, check out the artfully appointed Crave on East Market Street. For fine dining in a modern setting, consider a reservation at Dante Boccuzzi on Furnace Street.
Akron Things to Do
While in Akron, take a trip to the zoo and observe more than 700 animals from around the world, including big cats (lion, jaguar, snow leopard), Komodo Dragon, Ring Tailed Lemur, and Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. It’s easy to spend hours immersed in the rich collection of contemporary art at the Akron Art Museum. Enjoy an easy-going wine-tasting and sightseeing excursion on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Or visit the trails and unique points of local interest along the 110 miles of the Ohio & Erie Canalway.