So — you want to come to Canton, Ohio?
Umm, you could…
This is a good summary of the conversation that happens when a friend comes to the area. You can usually chalk it up to the fact that at first glance Canton only appeals to two types of people: football fans and American history buffs. This is because Canton is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a great deal of history involving President William McKinley. This is due to the fact that he was born and buried in Canton. If you fit into these two categories you probably already want to come to Canton.
If these don’t interest you, you’re in luck. I set out to show you the back roads and hidden gems of Canton, the things that made me love my town.
If you find yourself downtown for McKinley history or the National First Ladies’ Library (Canton’s only other historical POI) you can visit Muggswiggz, my favorite coffee shop. My friends and I love getting together here. I personally recommend the Chai latte. And for the record, Muggzwiggz did win 3rd place in America’s Best Coffeehouse competition.
If you enjoy art you can wander around downtown and check out the Canton Museum of Art or some of the smaller art galleries, like Anderson Creative Studio or the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography, which have fairly good art . If you’re here the first Friday of every month, you can attend the Canton First Friday celebration, a hodgepodge of arts, music, and crafts, with a variety of monthly themes.
If you have young kids, visit the Mckinley Monument and Museum. The monument is situated on the top of a hill with a peaceful atmosphere, and when my brother and I were little, we thought climbing the many stairs was the best thing in the world. Of course, the Mckinley Museum, a mashup of history and science exhibits was another favorite haunt. Their exhibits let kids be kids and learn quite a lot along the way.
In the nooks and crannies of Canton there’s a lot of nature. Sippo Lake is a favorite in my neighborhood. It’s a serene location with hiking, fishing and boating.
The Towpath Biking Trail, a picturesque and rural route which runs along the canal, is one especially loved by locals.
And Canton has some pretty good food too. Taggerts, an ice cream shop which has been around since the early 1900s, looks the part. And, if you can down the famous kitchen sink (6 scoops!) you deserve applause.
A few of my other favorite eateries include
-the All-American Grinders
–Bombay Sitar, which helped give me my sense of adventure
Canton’s proximity to Amish country in Wayne and Holmes county and more great nature areas like Mohican State Park and Cuyahoga Valley National Park make it easy to take day trips, and get out of your comfort zone. There’s a lot to explore in the Canton area. You just need to know where to find it.
And that perhaps is my favorite thing about Canton . It has been a place of childhood loves , but it has also been a place to expand in many things. Canton has taught me that home is a precious place, but what lies out there – what’s left to explore – is just as precious. I hope it teaches you that too.
And I guess that’s all I have to tell you. Come to Canton and explore.
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