I love Canton, it’s where I grew up and where I currently live and play.
I also realize the area is grossly underestimated.
There is always something happening around these parts, and it’s worth the quick trip down I-77 to see for yourself. Here are five local favorites to experience Canton the right way.
Stark Parks is massive, and we’re pretty proud of that. Canton/Stark County boasts over 80 miles of walking/bike trails and 13 parks. If that’s not enough “room” for you to roam, then let’s not forget Stark’s 25 miles of Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, which starts in New Philadelphia and winds its way into Lake Erie.
Canal Fulton, just a 10 minute drive from Canton has a sizable share of local outdoor activities as well. One of the most notable “things to do” is the horse-drawn canal boat ride, talk about historic and one of a kind. If you feel like you want more of a physical challenge, opt to canoe down the Tuscarawas River from the Canal Fulton Canoe Livery.
Speaking of outdoor activities, we have 20 public golf courses in Stark County, a majority of them with a Canton address. Whether you’re looking to play the front 9, the full 18 holes, or make a day of it with 27 holes there’s a golf course for your skill level.
Canton has numerous restaurants that speak to individual tastes and funky styles, and one of the most optimal ways to explore like a local is to take a Canton Food Tour. Learn more about the area and the culinary innovations throughout the downtown area as you sample your way through the locals’ favorite restaurants.
Tours can be super catered to your taste and your group, but I urge you to sign up for the classic Hall of Fame City Food Tour to get a real feel for each of the iconic Canton food spots.
Have you heard of Gervasi Vineyards yet? It’s right here in Canton. And believe it or not, although some of us residents have been here more times than we should admit, we still find ourselves in awe of the atmosphere. The food and drinks are great, but what is really out of this world is the amazing view and thoughtful design.
In addition to the major player in our midst, we also have Maize Valley and Perennial Vineyards. Each with its own down-home charm, and take on wine, we have some great choices when we want to enjoy a glass of vino in a cozy atmosphere. If you’re more of a Napa Valley kind of wine drinker we have some fantastic wine bars too like Vinoteca, The Barrel Room and Grapes in a Glass.
Who hasn’t experienced the brewery-boom sweeping Ohio? Well, don’t count us out. Not only do we have the name-sake Canton Brewing Company, we also have numerous smaller craft breweries popping up around the area like Hall of Fame Brewing, Scenic Brewing and Royal Docks Brewing.
We’re really excited about this; because not only do the breweries create a fantastic hang out spot for us locals, but they also create a destination for beer lovers. With numerous spots within a close proximity to one another, and tasty restaurants in-between, the options make for a fun, easy food and beverage tour.
When an NFL player breaks a record, he yells, “I’m going to Canton!”
That’s because the Pro Football Hall of Fame resides right here. Why? Because the birthplace of the NFL is in downtown Canton. The sport that has a stronghold on our entire nation was founded here, and that’s a huge part of history that commands recognition.
What’s more, under the leadership of David Baker, the community and The Hall will become the center of excellence when the over $400 million Pro Football Hall of Fame Village comes to fruition by 2019. That’s kind of a big deal.
Though, our claim to historical fame spans further than that; Canton is also home to the National First Ladies’ Library, MAPS Museum, McKinley Library and Museum, Canton Classic Car Museum and a plethora of historical homes.
The Canton Arts District has been helping revive our downtown for some time now. You’ll find lots of exciting places to pop in like seven art galleries, 22 artist studios, five live music venues, and tons of specialty shops.
Canton First Friday is the time to come explore the area and see what it has to offer. During the first Friday of each month (year round), all of the downtown vendors open their doors and invite the public to see what they have to offer. There’s always live music, street vendors and a theme to tie the night together.
The Canton Arts District and Canton Chamber also work together to bring the community a summer farmers’ market, numerous food events and music festivals, like the wildly popular Canton Blues Fest.