As everybody knows, in the time of Covid, travel is extremely hard when you’re trying to stay safe. On top of that, we’ve got a kitty with diabetes who takes insulin twice a day and it’s not exactly easy to find someone to come give him a shot at 6am. Needless to say, we haven’t traveled since last August. But wanted to celebrate our four-year dating anniversary with a little day trip to somewhere we’d never been before. And that’s how we decided on Akron!
First Stop: Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
So, it turns out, Stan Hywet is not actually a person’s name, it’s Old English for “stone quarry” and luckily, the nice docent at the door will not laugh when you ask who Stan is. I’m sure she’s heard it an infinite number of times.
This place was a totally random find when I was googling things to do in Akron and it’s honestly such a gem.
The house was built starting in 1912 by F.A. Seiberling, the founder of Goodyear Tire Company and his family lived there for forty years before bequeathing the home to a foundation to maintain it as a museum, featuring the 64,500 square-foot manor house that includes a gymnasium, an indoor pool, and a music room. Outside there are ten gardens and a conservatory. It’s easy to spend hours and hours both inside and out and is worth the $15 per person admission.
But what about Covid precautions?
Stan Hywet Hall requires that masks are worn inside the buildings, on tours, and in places where proper distancing can’t be kept. I can’t speak for every day, but we visited on a Friday morning and there was plenty of room for distancing and space outside to catch some fresh air. I’d give it an A.
Stop 2: The Akron Zoo
By comparison to the Cincinnati Zoo, it was considerably smaller, and unfortunately a lot of the indoor exhibits were closed. But one of the best benefits of smaller zoos is often that you get a closer feel to some of the animals — and our luck was that a lot of them were actually out and about! I wouldn’t drive all the way to Akron for the zoo alone, but it’s a great add-on to a day trip.
Covid Thoughts: The Akron Zoo had a great family-friendly, safe setup for Covid. Masks are required inside the zoo and they do a great job of directing the flow through the zoo so that you are always going the same direction as everybody else to limit your face-to-face interaction. Reservations are required for entry (but were plentiful), and tickets are only $8!
The Brewery Pitstops
- R Shea Brewing: We stopped by the original location and we’re really glad we did! We happened to chat with the manager for a long while about Ohio beer (and Asheville beer!) and he let us sample a few things. We shared a flight and I also got a sour, because I am forever predictable.
- Missing Falls Brewing: We stopped here after the zoo for a late lunch and a drink. I had the buffalo chicken pizza and a brown ale. The brewery is in a giant old warehouse without air conditioning and the food was typical bar food, but the beer was decent.
- Akronym Brewing: Last stop before heading home to Cincinnati, and somehow I took no photos there, so you’ll have to trust me! It was in what felt like a college area, with a modern industrial vibe. I had the Sublime Gose, because if there’s anything I love more than a sour it’s a keylime sour.
Where should we day trip next?
Drop your day-trip-from-Cincinnati suggestions in the comments!