Board the train at Rockside Station in Independence. The leisurely ride winds through Cuyahoga Valley National Park and lets visitors sit back to watch bounding deer, graceful blue herons and busy beavers go about their day under a thick canopy of leaves. The tracks follow the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail (a great place to walk and bike) for about an hour until arriving in Akron.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park train
For dinner, savor family-style Italian food at reliable Luigi’s. You could spend the night at an Akron hotel, or if you rent a car, drive about 30 minutes south to Canton and stay at the lovely Villas at Gervasi Vineyard.
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, then if you're in Canton, consider a stop at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Not your thing? Head back up the road to the Akron Art Museum, which shows Warhols in a lovely 2007 addition.
Akron Glass Works sells glittering eye candy, while Don Drumm Studios and Gallery features works from more than 500 artists.
West Point Market entices guests to splurge on high-quality wine and groceries, then relax over a bowl of soup or a crab cake BLT in the cafe. Be sure to have a sundae at Mary Coyle Ice Cream Parlor before climbing on the train for a peaceful ride back to your car.