Canton, Ohio: What is there to Do? See? Eat? Read On!
Located in the northeastern part of the Buckeye State and founded in 1805 is the city of Canton, Ohio.
A mere 60 miles south of Cleveland and a part of Stark County, it sits firmly on the edge of Ohio’s Amish country and has an estimated population of around 73,000, making it the 8th largest city in Ohio.
Due to its many railroad lines Canton became a heavy manufacturing center. During the late 20th Century this status declined because of dramatic shifts occurring in the manufacturing industry. However, since 2010 the city has indeed experienced a bit of resurgence, if not a renaissance.
So what exactly is there to do, see, and eat in Canton, Ohio?
As a result of its art district boom, from around 2016 there are now multiple things to do, see, and eat in Canton: several buildings in Canton were rehabilitated and converted into upscale lofts, and the city became one of the first in Ohio to allow consumption of alcoholic beverages in areas that were designated for outdoor refreshments.
All of this matches up with a law that was enacted a year prior in 2015, which paved the way for all of this to be possible.
Now buckle-up, buckeye, because now I’m going to share with you where you can Stay, what you can Do, what you can See, and what you can Eat in Canton!
Where to Stay in Canton, Ohio
For starters there are plenty of dependable options when choosing which Canton hotels to stay in overnight. Some of the best hotels in the state of Ohio reside in Canton.
The Fairfield Inn & Suites
If you prefer to stay inside city limits, then consider the Fairfield Inn and Suites located in southern Canton on 4025 Greentree Avenue Southwest.
Not far from the site of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, this hotel facility features a wide variety of activities that will keep occupants busy, including free high-speed internet, an indoor swimming pool, free breakfast options, and a fitness center. Occupants will also be offered on-site laundry, a car rental program, a picnic and barbeque area, and local restaurant dinner delivery.
For golf enthusiasts they will have the luxury of choosing from 6 different golf courses that surround the area of this hotel.
The Comfort Suites
Another dependable option would be the Comfort Suites hotel in Hartville, located just outside of Canton on 953 Edison Street.
This Comfort Suites hotel features open access to the Hartville Kitchen and Marketplace as well as the Hartville Hardware and Collectibles Complex. The hotel also features an indoor swimming pool, a cafeteria and a lounge room. If you choose to stay overnight in this hotel you will be within reach of the David Fichtner Outdoor Educational State Park.
The Holiday Inn
If you are looking to be more active in the downtown area of Canton then going to a hotel like the Holiday Inn would be a good choice.
Located at 4520 Everhard Road Northwest, this Holiday Inn is a smoke-free facility with 3 floors, featuring 184 total rooms, 35 suites and 8 rooms for disabled occupants. Renovated in 2016 this Holiday Inn offers wireless internet service along with 7 Meeting Rooms for those that wish to conduct out of town business.
Children under the age of 18 get to stay at this hotel for free while kids under the age of 11 get to eat for free. What also helps is that there is no self-parking fee attached if you decide to stay the night.
What to Do in Canton, Ohio
Doing stuff in Canton is a bit different of an experience as its more of a country town than a fast, big-city life. Still, there is an array of fun things for you, your friends, family, or even lovers to do from table games to horse riding and even country-style weddings!
Although this place is just west of Canton, this compilation of farmland can serve as a wonderful entertainment option for the whole family.
Located on 2955 Manchester Avenue Northwest in North Lawrence is Nickajack Farms, which is owned by Joe and Debbie Sebolt. The Sebolts bought the property of 120 acres in 2002 and opened it to the public.
Nickajack Farms features several buildings, stables, indoor and outdoor arenas, and of course spacious farm land. School tours and group tours can make reservations to go to this farm at any time during the year.
Some unique features of Nickajack Farms include 50 acres worth of pumpkins being planted for the fall pumpkin patch, and the fall festival corn maze which has 15 acres in tall corn. Guided tours through this farm will include visitors getting to interact with farm animals, taking a hayride through the farm for 30 minutes and having an indoor or outdoor picnic.
Horseback riding lessons have also been offered by Nickajack for over 10 years and are available for both children and their parents to participate in. There will always be an instructor present to help guide students to a safe ride.
Nickajack Farms also allows visitors to schedule parties on its property. Whether it’s a Tractor Party, a Farm Party, a Pony Party, a Fall Fest Party or a Teen Party the 120-acre farmland can accommodate visitors that want to create special events. For couples planning to get married Nickajack Farms has a special place catered for wedding events.
The Mane Barn
This is a newer barn that was made out of modern materials including stone, tin and pine wood. What couples will see in the Mane Barn will be a Sweetheart Table on the steps, areas for indoor wedding ceremonies, decorations that can be rented, a large balcony, and plenty of tables, dishes and silverware to have that festive mood for special wedding events.
There is also the option of wedded couples to have ceremonies outside of the Mane Barn as well.
Escape Room Downtown
If you are looking to be entertained in Canton, then look no further than 203 Market Avenue South, Suite 200, which is the home of Escape Room Downtown.
Scoring 90% in a rating of excellent on TripAdvisor, Canton’s Escape Room offers fun “quiet rooms” that can be reserved by guests. Fun for the whole family, players are challenged to work together as a team to solve puzzles, find noteworthy clues and complete assignments before time expires.
Aimed to being an immersive experience these escape games are designed for teams of 4 to 12 people. Escape Room Downtown is normally open from Thursdays to Sundays at varying times.
The Escape Room is open on Thursdays from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Fridays from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Saturdays from 1:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and Sundays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The Escape Room staff can be contacted via phone on any day from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, and special days and times can be scheduled for having Escape Room games.
Fiddlestix Billiards Cafe
Speaking of playing games Canton has a special location for those who want to sharpen their billiards skills. The Fiddlestix Billiards Cafe is an ideal hangout spot for friends and family that want to shoot some pool together. Located on 5350 Fulton Drive this billiards joint is open from 11:30 am to 2:00 am every day and it features the typical bar setting that one is used to seeing.
Fiddlestix features 18 pay tables that are 7 or 9 feet in length and 2 coin-operated tables. There is also a full service bar with 16 beers on tap, 1 big screen projector, 6 big screen TV sets, Wi-Fi connectivity and ATM machines.
This gaming place also has an outside outside patio, smoking deck, and is home to various pool leagues, ranging from in-house leagues to leagues connected with the American Pool Association. League play at Fiddlestix can be seen every day during late afternoon and night hours except on Fridays.
What to See in Canton, Ohio
If you’re also the curious type or just interested in politics, sports, cars, or the arts, then there are some diverse and even famous museums and performances available in Canton.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame
One of the first things people would think of when Canton is mentioned would be this particular site dedicated to some of the most gifted sports athletes in history.
Canton, Ohio is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a facility that serves as one big time capsule to preserve the memories of the greatest football players to ever set foot on the gridiron.
Located on 2121 George Halas Drive Northwest, a street name that is even dedicated to legendary football coach George “Papa Bear” Halas, the Pro Football Hall of Fame opened its doors in 1963 and has since inducted exceptional football figures, including players, coaches, team owners and front office staff.
Each year 4 to 8 inductees are chosen to receive the honor of entering the Hall of Fame as official members. The process of choosing new inductees is left to a 48-person committee mostly made up of media personalities, including 1 representative from the Pro Football Writers Association.
One of the main features people will see when visiting this facility will be the bronze bust statues of the Hall of Fame inductees as these busts will be displayed in a central room similar to how museums display artifacts or works of art.
The annual pre-season opening game that marks the unofficial start of every year for the NFL is played in Canton at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
Now, one would wonder why the Pro Football Hall of Fame would call Canton home, but there are very strong historical ties between this city and the NFL. In 1920 the NFL, then known as the All-Pro Football Association, was founded in the city of Canton. One of the league’s premier teams in those days were the Canton Bulldogs, who played in the APFA from 1920 to 1926. The Bulldogs won league championships in 1922 and 1923.
First Ladies National Historic Site
While not exactly a hall of fame in its own right, this other historic place which calls Canton, Ohio home was officially established as the 380th unit of the National Park Service, an act that was signed into law by then President Bill Clinton in October 2000. The First Ladies National Historic Site is located at 205 Market Avenue South and is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to protecting the long history of the First Lady, the wife of the President of the United States.
The main mission of this historic site is to preserve, promote and educate people about the role of First Ladies in America and the contributions they made while in the White House. The origins of the National First Ladies’ Library goes back to 1994 when Mary Regula asked 13 local activist women to help her start this organization, and in January 1995 the library was founded.
The Canton Museum of Art
Located on 1001 Market Avenue North, the Canton Museum of Art is a community arts organization made to encourage and promote the fine arts of the Canton area. This museum was officially founded in 1935 and mainly served as an exhibition and meeting place for local artists in its early days. Art collections were soon donated to the museum by artists and sponsors, successfully giving Canton public exposure to the world of art.
The roots of this museum trace back to the Canton Public Library’s Little Civic Art Gallery section. All of Canton’s arts would be centralized in 1970 when the Cultural Center for the Arts was created. The staff of the CMA and the Board of Trustees would clarify the goals of the museum in the 1980’s, and starting in 1989 the focus for the Permanent Collection of the museum would mainly involve 19th and 20th Century American works on paper and American ceramics dating back from the 1950’s.
What you will see when exploring through this museum will be an art collection containing various types like drawings, paintings, watercolors, prints, ceramics and sculptures. However, there are also things to do in the museum as there is a School of Art where people can go to learn how to create works of art.
The Canton Classic Car Museum
Located on Market Avenue North and 6th Street Northeast, the Canton Classic Car Museum was officially established in 1978 by the late Marshall Belden, Sr. Currently 40 rare and unusual automobiles that are either classic or special interest are being showcased in this museum.
When entering this museum visitors will be treated to unique sights such as various kinds of automobile memorabilia, vintage car toys, oriental rugs, movie posters and steam engines. Visitors will also see historic photographs of classic model cars. The Canton Classic Car Museum is open all 7 days of the week from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and the facility is accessible to those who are handicapped.
The state of Ohio played a major part in automobile manufacturing in the early 1900’s and 7 popular brands of car models were built in Canton. One unique car model was named after its creator Arthur Holmes. From 1917 to 1922 the Holmes car was advertised as the world’s only full-sized air-cooled car and America’s most comfortable car. The Holmes car was eventually considered to be America’s ugliest car at the time.
There is a wide variety of vintage car models for mechanics and enthusiasts to observe as the Canton Classic Car Museum features models like the 1937 Arhens-Fox Quad fire truck, the 1937 Studebaker President Bullet-Proof Police Car, and the 1962 Amphicar, which was built in Germany. This museum will also occasionally sell vintage automobiles and car parts as it will sell a beautiful vintage car like the 1937 Lincoln K Limousine and parts like that off a 1994 Saturn vehicle.
Canton Palace Theater
If you would like to treat yourself to an entertaining experience where you just sit back and watch the show, then Canton Palace Theatre has got you covered.
Located on 605 Market Avenue North this theatre has stood the test of time, having been active since the day it opened on November 22, 1926. Harry Harper Ink gifted the Canton community a million-dollar vaudeville and movie house. This theatre was designed by John Eberson of Chicago, an architect born in Austria. Eberson became a popular name in architecture in the 1920’s due to his creations of spacious theatres all throughout America.
One special feature in the Canton Palace Theatre is the Kilgen Wonder Organ, which was first played on opening night in 1926 by Banks Kennedy. The wall of the organ’s left pipe is signed by Kennedy, who wrote that “Valencia” was the first piece ever heard by the community. There are 11 ranks of pipes in the Kilgen Organ and a total of 767 pipes. This instrument includes sounds like the kinura, saxophone, post horn, xylophone, orchestra bells and chimes.
Among all the unique features in this theatre there is the 21’ x 46’ silver screen, which is considered to be the largest cinema screen in Canton. Over 300 shows are regularly scheduled throughout the year in this theatre, and some of the events that you can see include ballet performances, music concerts, dance competitions, and the Author Series where award-winning book authors interact with the public via Q&A sessions and have book signings.
What to Eat in Canton, Ohio
Canton undoubtedly has one of the most delicious combination of down-home and foreign-style restaurants and cafes, especially for its size. Rest assured that when traveling to Canton you will be able to find enough restaurants that will have appetizing menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Napoli’s Italian Eatery
If you happen to be a fan of pizza then you should stop by Napoli’s Italian Eatery which is located at 221 Market Avenue North.
Napoli’s has received great scores and reviews on TripAdvisor, being rated 58% as excellent and 23% as very good. Most notably customer reviews have stated that Napoli’s has a casual and relaxed environment with courteous servers. Napoli’s offers various styles of pizza, including Chicago deep dish and New York thin and long slices. There is also a pizza for meat lovers which contains sausage, meatballs, pepperoni, ham and bacon. You can also order stromboli on the side, and for both pizzas and strombolis there will be seasoning on the crust.
Jasmine Asian Bistro
If you regularly order pizza anyway but want a change of pace, then perhaps you would be interested in Asian cuisine. Jasmine Asian Bistro is a unique dining experience that specializes in various Asian cuisines such as Chinese, Japanese and Thai. Located at 1122 30th Street Northwest, Jasmine is considered to be one of the best restaurants in Canton, being rated 69% excellent and 26% very good on TripAdvisor.
This bistro has various different menus including lunch, dinner and to-go menus. For appetizers there is the Business Box, which is made up of either Jasmine Rice or fried rice along with broccoli and a choice of chicken or beef topped with Brown Sauce. If an order of shrimp is included with the box it will only cost $2 more. Signature sushi rolls in this bistro include the Alaska, California, Philadelphia and Boston Rolls as well as the Vegetarian, Avocado, Cucumber and Salmon Rolls. On the dinner menu you can order Wonton Soup or Chicken Coconut Soup, or you can have the Mango Tuna Salad, which is seared tuna with mango and baby romaine lettuce topped with the chef’s Special Sauce.
Mediterranean cuisine is also present in Canton as one of the city’s best restaurants pays tribute to Greek food. Located on 4760 Everhard Road Northwest in Belden Village and 2045 Cleveland Avenue Northwest in Canton, Papa Gyros has been rated 63% excellent and 31% very good on TripAdvisor. Staying true to its name this restaurant has its signature Gyros on the menu. There is the authentic original gyro but there is also the Supreme Gyro with Feta Cheese, the Buffalo Gyro, and other specialties like Barbecue, Cajun, and Philadelphia.
Papa Gyros also serves food that caters to the All-American style of eating as burgers are also on the menu. Along with the usual hamburger and cheeseburger you are also given the option of the Italian Burger, which contains Genoa Salami and provolone cheese, and the Greek Burger, which contains flame-broiled gyro meat and feta cheese with tzatzki sauce. Of course Papa Gyros offers desserts in ice cream sundaes, cheesecakes and various flavors of baklava.
Specializing in live entertainment late at night, George’s Lounge serves some of the best food seen in the Canton Arts District, located on 229 Cleveland Avenue Northwest. Established in 1959 George’s Lounge mainly features hand-crafted food and drinks and presents a laid back environment for friends and family. Open every day except for Sundays from 11:00 am to 2:00 am this burger joint offers a good variety of daily menu specials and events.
Along with the Burger of the Month feature where the kitchen staff creates artistic masterpieces out of classic burgers, there are daily themes to keep an eye on. Daily themes include 50% off food flights all day and 50% off beer flights until 9:00 pm on Mondays, $5 “Geormet” Burgers with drink purchases all day on Wednesdays, and $5 roast beef sandwiches with drink purchases all day on Thursdays.
One favorite custom burger among Canton residents would be George’s Big O’nesto Burger. This burger has crispy bacon strips, a fried egg and American cheese. Also on the menu is the King George Burger, which has blue cheese crumbles, jerk seasoning, crispy bacon and sauteed mushrooms. If you are really interested in trying something new, you could order the Tree Jumper Burger, which has a grilled mango slice, spicy Thai peanut sauce and Swiss cheese.
My Summary of Canton, Ohio
Northeastern Ohio is home to plenty of entertainment venues and options for going out to eat, though its rich history has been preserved in some of its attractions.
Canton is definitely one good example of a northeastern Ohio city that takes great care of its historical features while including a good mix of the new.
As a matter of point, one thing Canton specializes in would be the city’s ability to blend the more historic attractions in with the newer attractions and make everything equally unique. Visitors have plenty of things to do when they enter Canton and can treat themselves to a relaxing experience before they reach Lake Erie.