10 Unique Things to Do in Canton, Ohio

Did you know the Lincoln Highway runs through Downtown Canton, Ohio? Neither did I until a recent visit.

Think of Canton, Ohio (if you’re not a local) and there’s probably one place on your radar and it involves all-things football. Sure, fans flock to it in droves every year. Heck, even I had a great time on a recent visit. But, what else is there to do in Canton? You know, what makes Canton, Ohio unique? A visit to the city gave me so much insight into the fun that can be had and I’m excited to share the hot spots with you. Here are 10 unique things to do in Canton, Ohio!

Checking out Historic Ohio & Erie Canalway with a rental bike from Ernie's Bicycle Shop.
Checking out Historic Ohio & Erie Canalway with a rental bike from Ernie’s Bicycle Shop. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

So, why Canton, Ohio? For Mr. Locke & me, the choice is very clear. Not only is it close to several larger cities (Pittsburgh, PA, Cleveland, & Columbus), but it has a cool blend of modern and historical. And it’s that blend that intrigued me. Here are my top choices for where to go, what to see, and where to eat.

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Headed to Canton, Ohio, and looking for fun, affordable things to do? Here are our 10 favorite unique things to do in Canton, Ohio! #VisitCanton #OhioFindItHere #Miswest #MidwestTravel

1. Canton Food Tours

We’ve taken several food tours in other cities, so I kind of knew what to expect. Or so I thought, anyway. Owner, Barb Abbott, really steps up the food tour game with her passion for city history and restaurant choices. I like to think of it as a progressive dinner on steroids as we didn’t run from food stop to food stop but leisurely walked the city to learn about what makes the city unique.

I mean, did you know that the historic Lincoln Highway runs straight through Canton? Yep, you can drive from NYC to San Francisco and never have to switch roads.

Yes, the Turtle Soup at Bender's is made with real turtles. I asked on our Canton Food Tour.
Yes, the Turtle Soup at Bender’s is made with real turtles. I asked on our Canton Food Tour. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

During our tour we visited four places, but I have to write that the first stop’s offering was the unique part of the tour. Bender’s Tavern has a claim to fame in that it’s Canton’s oldest restaurant, but it’s the Turtle Soup that made me raise my eyebrows over my reading glasses. Made with, yes, Snapping Turtles caught in the area, Mr. Locke took the wheel to taste-test it. Part soup, part stew, Bender’s Turtle Soup is surprisingly sweet.

My favorite Pad Thai in the U.S., happily at Basil Asian Bistro in Downtown Canton. Fingers crossed it's on your tour, too.
My favorite Pad Thai in the U.S., happily at Basil Asian Bistro in Downtown Canton. Fingers crossed it’s on your tour, too. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

Now, let’s talk modern. Basil Asian Bistro was the last stop of our Canton Foodie Tour and I didn’t mind a bit. In fact, I’d been to its additional location in Wooster, Ohio, so I knew what I was in for: delicious Asian dishes with fun spins. Basil is also my favorite place for Pad Thai, so if you’re a fan, make a beeline.

So many things to buy at Hartville Marketplace!
So many things to buy at Hartville Marketplace! Photo Credit: Steven Locke

2. Hartville MarketPlace & Kitchen

You’ll have to drive about 15 minutes out of the city to visit Hartville MarketPlace, Hartville Collectibles, and Hartville Kitchen, but you’ll be happy you did. Part indoor market, part outdoor flea market, part giant hardware store, and part kitchen, there’s a common theme that ties it all together: spotlessness. I’m not kidding, even the parking lot is pristinely clean.

Hartville Collectibles is a fun spot to find things you never knew you always needed!
Hartville Collectibles is a fun spot to find things you never knew you always needed! Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

What’s unique about the Hartville Locations is this: I’ve never met a nicer staff. I see how much each loved the job they were doing, and that made me want to hang around even longer.

If I have to name shining stars, it’s these: Hartville Kitchen & Hartville Market.

Have you ever hear dof Broasted Chicken? A special way of preparing it at Hartville Kitchen, it locks in the juiciness and flavor. Yum!
Have you ever hear dof Broasted Chicken? A special way of preparing it at Hartville Kitchen, it locks in the juiciness and flavor. Yum! Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

At the Kitchen, everything is freshly-prepared, including its “broasted” chicken. No worries if you don’t know what broasted is, I had to ask myself. It’s a special way to prepare chicken using a pressure cooker to keep in the juiciness. What else surprised me were the prices. What I found was highly affordable, plentiful meals with side dishes that are delicious.

Yep, Coconut Cream Pie for dessert at Hartville Kitchen.
Yep, Coconut Cream Pie for dessert at Hartville Kitchen. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

Hartville Market offers everything from a deli to bulk cupboard staples to candy and craft sodas. We grabbed a cart outside and filled it up with several styles of flour, coffee, candy, cheese, and soda. Asian, the affordable prices will make you shake your head.

No photos allowed inside the rooms at Escape Room Downtown - sorry!
No photos allowed inside the rooms at Escape Room Downtown – sorry! Photo Credit: Steven Locke

3. Escape Room Downtown

I love the idea of a good escape room. Actually, I had been to one in Frankenmuth, Michigan, with a group of writers and we successfully escaped, so I went into the experience with a “no problem” attitude.

And then we actually attempted it. We attempted the most difficult of the rooms, The Bootlegger’s Lair. Attempted without success, honestly. That knocked me down a couple of pegs.

Escape Room Downtown has made it a point to make its rooms some of the most difficult so that they’re true challenges. What you will find is lower pricing (anywhere from $20-$25) and fun staff that will give you hints, although cryptic. As it’s only an hour-and-change drive from our house, I have to re-visit to try it again!

A tribute to an Ohio President in Canton, OH: McKinley Presidential Library & Museum.
A tribute to an Ohio President in Canton, OH: McKinley Presidential Library & Museum. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

4. McKinley Presidential Library & Museum

Did you know that Ohio has more U.S. Presidents than any other state? True story.

The McKinley Presidential Library & Museum is an area in the heart of Canton that honors William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States. It honors him with a beautiful memorial that steps in line with those in Washington D.C. But, what makes it unique is the fact that there’s plenty of other things to do when you visit.

The actual chair President McKinley used to campaign on a Canton, Ohio, front porch inside of the McKinley Museum.
The actual chair President McKinley used to campaign on a Canton, Ohio, front porch inside of the McKinley Museum. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

Using McKinley’s passions of science and astronomy, the Museum has both a science museum, as well as an onsite planetarium. There are also lovely grounds for walking and strolling or even to have a picnic.

Yep, I want to redecorate my entire house now. Finding inspiration at The Sexton McKinley House in Canton, Ohio.
Yep, I want to redecorate my entire house now. Finding inspiration at The Saxton McKinley House in Canton, Ohio. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

5. National First Ladies’ Library & First Ladies National Historic Site

Sure, President McKinley is Canton’s hometown hero, but the city pays homage to the First Ladies with its National Library and Historic Site. Guided tours will take you through the Saxton McKinley home (the spot where Ida & William lived with her sister and family), but it;s the history of the home that’s unique.

love everything about this table setting in the National First Ladies' Library & First Ladies National Historic Site.
love everything about this table setting in the National First Ladies’ Library & First Ladies National Historic Site. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

A quick timeline is this: beautiful Victorian home turned bar and boarding house turned restored museum. While that’s only a sentence, learning the history of the restoration through the staff’s passion is energizing. Truth? It makes me want to add Victorian touches to my own home.

Military planes have found a proper home at MAPS Air Museum in Canton.
Military planes have found a proper home at MAPS Air Museum in Canton. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

6. MAPS Air Museum

I enjoyed MAPS Air museum much more than I thought I would. What I thought was a walk around a hangar to check out military airplanes and uniforms. 20 minutes and done. What I got was so much more.

The staff of MAPS really made my visit. Why? Each of the planes truly means something to them. They know the names, who flew them, why they came to the museum. And they love questions. I found myself, two hours later, immersed in the history.

Checking out an actual military helicopter at MAPS.
Checking out an actual military helicopter at MAPS. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

There’s also the fact that many of the flying machines are hands on. By that, I mean you can actually climb inside. I sat in a plane that had a true ejector seat. Then I climbed into a helicopter that was used during a war. I walked inside of a blimp and sat in its seats. It’s the ability to look through the windows of the crafts and put yourself in the actual pilot seats that makes MAPS a must-visit.

A beautiful summer night at Gervasi Vineyard.
A beautiful summer night at Gervasi Vineyard. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

7. Gervasi Vineyard

A bit of Italy in Central Ohio? Indeed!  The attention to Italian details in Gervasi Vineyard is everywhere, and from the Villa Suites to its restaurants, I truly felt like I was spending my days in the beauty of an Italian winery- without ever having to pull my passport out of storage.

A fun, and unique thing to do in Canton is a VIP Wine Tasting inside Gervasi Vineyard's Crush House. I was so surprised at how the flavors of each wine changed!
A fun, and unique thing to do in Canton is a VIP Wine Tasting inside Gervasi Vineyard’s Crush House. I was so surprised at how the flavors of each wine changed! Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

We checked out both restaurants, took an Exclusive Pairing Tour at The Crush House, and walked the property. I highly recommend the tasting. It’s only $19 per person and is absolutely worth it.

Some of the best Tomato Soup around is at The Bistro, a Gervasi Vineyard restaurant.
Some of the best Tomato Soup around is at The Bistro, a Gervasi Vineyard restaurant. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

Yes, the Villas are luxurious and are a place that I highly recommend to anyone looking for overnight accommodations. Both restaurants, The Crush House and The Bistro are top notch. But it’s the fact that, coming in the next few months, Gervasi Vineyard will be a true destination in Canton. This autumn, GV will be opening a luxury boutique hotel and distillery. Ambitious, no? I can’t wait to see the new additions!

Renting bikes at Ernie's Bicycle Shop is a fun way to see the Ohio & Erie Canalway!
Renting bikes at Ernie’s Bicycle Shop is a fun way to see the Ohio & Erie Canalway! Photo Credit: Steven Locke

8. Ernie’s Bike Shop

Up until a couple of months ago, I hadn’t been on a bicycle for years. And I mean years. Going with old adage “It’s just like riding a bike”, we visited Ernie’s Bike Shop and rented a couple for two hours.

Checking out Historic Canal Fulton with a rental bike from Ernie's Bicycle Shop.
Checking out Historic Canal Fulton with a rental bike from Ernie’s Bicycle Shop. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

What makes Ernie’s unique is the fact that one of its properties sits right on the Ohio & Erie Canalway. Taking the Lake Avenue Trailhead, we rode from Massilon to Canal Fulton and back, 15 miles round trip. Ernie’s rents bike by the day and hour, and it really is an affordable way to take in a piece of Ohio history.

A giant brownie sundae at Taggart's Ice Cream Shop in Canton, OH.
A giant brownie sundae at Taggart’s Ice Cream Shop in Canton, OH. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

9. Taggart’s Ice Cream

Only a few minutes’ drive from McKinley Presidential Library & Museum is Taggart’s a hometown favorite. Since 1926, Taggart’s has been the go-to spot for giant ice cream sundaes and milkshakes, but the lunch and dinner menu is just as classic. I loved the Club Sandwich and Brownie Sundae. Again, another affordable place to enjoy a meal when in Canton.

There's not just ice cream on the menu at Taggart's - it's got a great, classic food menu, too.
There’s not just ice cream on the menu at Taggart’s – it’s got a great, classic food menu, too. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

When you visit, keep an eye out for Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees – they love to visit when in town.

Tast-testing a freshly-made muffin and coco NUTS machiato at Tremont Coffee Co.
Tast-testing a freshly-made muffin and coco NUTS machiato at Tremont Coffee Co. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

10. Tremont Coffee Co.

Last, but definitely not least on this list, is Tremont Coffee Co. True, it officially calls Massillon, Ohio, home, but there’s plenty of love between the cities.

Tremont is a cool coffee shop. It’s cool in the fact that, when we walked up to the counter to order, it’s like we knew all of its staff already. They helped me to narrow down my order, no easy feat, and the vibe is hip without being pretentious.

The hardest part of visiting Tremont Coffee Co. is narrowing down what you'd like to order. It was for me, anyway.
The hardest part of visiting Tremont Coffee Co. is narrowing down what you’d like to order. It was for me, anyway. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

follow link What to try: A coco NUTS Macchiato and one of its giant muffins. If you’re a classic coffee drinker, ask for a single origin coffee – it’s its specialty.

A great lodging choice in Canton, OH: Springhill Suites.
A great lodging choice in Canton, OH: Springhill Suites. Photo Credit: Steven Locke

Where We Stayed in Canton, Ohio

Here’s the scoop on Springhill Suites by Marriott Canton. The beds, super comfy. The room, huge. And the freebies, plentiful. We had the pleasur eof free wifi, breakfast, and parking. Then there are the gym room and indoor pool to discuss. The pool is not giant, but it is roomy enough for swimming. The gym room is clean. Also, the hotel is close to just about everything including shopping and dining.

http://acrossaday.com/?search=getting-prescription-prednisone-from-online-pharmacy Disclosure: I was graciously hosted by the folks at Visit Canton to give to the scoop on what makes it unique. All opinions are my own!

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