Canton, Ohio is a northeast city (about 50 miles from Cleveland) that prides itself on paying tribute to the contributors of its culture. Its popularity was initially heightened because President William McKinley spent much of his life in Canton, so the area honors his legacy.

In addition to this connection to the 25th President of the United States, the city is known for its connections to football. As the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the birthplace of the NFL, the city has an important place in sports history. There are plenty of things to do in Canton, Ohio that highlight the area’s rich history and culture as the city offers ample experiences. So, whether visitors stay in the quaint countryside or metropolitan downtown areas, here are 12 things to do in Canton, Ohio. 

Things to do in Canton, Ohio for History Buffs 

Canton, Ohio has plenty of things to do for history buffs who want to enjoy the beautiful views and cultural spots.

McKinley National Monument 

The monument serves as a memorial to the late 25th President of the United States, William McKinley, and a significant landmark to the citizens of Canton. While technically born in Niles, Ohio, President McKinley made Canton his home, so it was only natural that he be buried there. After his death in the fall of 1901, the effort to create a monument in his honor was initiated by the McKinley National Memorial Association. The monument only took a few months to be constructed and laid in 1905. 

National First Ladies’ Library & Research Center

This center is the only facility dedicated to America’s First Ladies and can be found in downtown Canton. Visitors can find scholarly research and an array of knowledge concerning the lives and contributions of America’s First Ladies at the historic site. Thanks to the activism of Mary Regular, the founder of the National First Ladies’ Library, the public has access to research centered on female historical figures that seldom have been highlighted. 

Canton Museum of Art 

The museum offers hands-on art classes, workshops and summer camps for the surrounding community through its School of Art program. Visitors of all ages can take ceramics, illustration, painting and photography courses as the museum categorizes its offerings by groups of adults/teens and kids. For parents, whether visiting or native to the area, kids summer camp in June and July may be a perfect chance to enjoy the more mature offerings of the area. The museum shows varying exhibitions of contemporary art and historic collections that highlight the local culture. 

Canton’s Most Relaxing Activities 

Canton, Ohio is home to plenty of relaxing outdoor areas and things to do.

The Gervasi Vineyard 

This resort and spa is perfect for travelers that would like to submerge themselves into a luxurious and romantic experience during any season. The vineyard was founded in 2010 by the Gervasi family, whose roots go back to Italy. The family has restored buildings on the property built as far back as the 1830’s. The vineyard features two scenic lakes and an orchard on the spacious 55 acre estate. The resort offers Tuscan inspired villas, an award-winning winery and a high end spa. Visitors of the Gervasi Vineyard can also check the venue’s website to enjoy live performances and weather permitting, lawn games with flowing willow trees in the background.

The vineyard is well known for its beautiful rustic charm, so it is recommended that visitors make reservations for a table if stopping by during the busy season (commonly, the spring and summer time). 

Canton Parks and Recreation 

Canton is the home of over 800 acres of park land, so the parks and recreation facilities are well maintained. The public facilities generally open at dawn and close at dusk, so parks in Canton provide a meeting spot for groups (once a permit is obtained) or individuals seeking a peaceful refuge. Some sports leagues, youth sports courses and tournaments are held in Canton parks and recreational areas. The public facilities are also used for community building events like holiday celebrations. Any one of the over 64 individual parks in Canton can be a site for calming nature walks or yoga. 

Atwood Lake Park 

Atwood Lake Park is a family friendly park that is top rated in the state.  With over 500 camp lots, a beach, hiking trails and much more, the park would make a great day trip or weekend getaway. Although the park is technically 30 minutes away from Canton, it is still considered a popular site to visit by its locals. The scenery is ideal for nature lovers who would like to appreciate spacious and abundant green areas. 

Sports Attractions in Canton 

Football is a historic sport and a popular thing to do in Canton, Ohio.

Pro Football Hall of Fame 

The Hall of Fame in Canton is recognized worldwide as America’s premier sports hall. It has been based in Canton since 1963 because the NFL was founded there in 1920. Canton is the home of the first two time champions of the NFL. The attraction has a museum, a shop and offers guided tours to its guests. With regular museum admission tickets, guests can go on self-guided tours to view Football memorabilia and have access to the Hall’s shop, which sells team merchandise and collectibles.

Every year the Hall hosts special events for Enshrinement week (when the newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame are inducted annually). The hall highlights the legends of football history and has welcomed over 10 million visitors since its inception. 

Stadium Park

For sport’s fans who participate in their favorite recreational activities, Stadium Park is the best place to visit in Canton. The park has a track for walking and many different fields and courts for visitors to enjoy. It even has a playground for children to play in and is ADA accessible. The 85-acre park is suitable for an array of activities and is located near the Football Hall of Fame. 

Hall of Fame Village 

With sports being a big part of the culture of Canton, it is no surprise that the city has a village dedicated to it. The destination spans 100 acres and is a center for eight venues that feature legendary football moments. The Fan Engagement Zone and Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium are popular venues in the village that provide immersive entertainment experiences. 

Canton, Ohio’s Adventurous Stops  

All-American Axe Throwing

This venue is run by trained experts that provide a unique and exciting experience for both novice and experienced axe throwing enthusiasts. Guests will learn and practice axe throwing before squaring off with the rest of their group. Visitors are encouraged to reserve lanes, since trained staff are generally only available if a booking is made. The venue offers basic, gold and platinum experiences with differing targets and games for groups that last around two hours each. 

Escape Rooms 

While Escape Rooms are a popular team building activity, this Escape Room in downtown Canton offers location specific themes for its immersive games. This affordable game is a great way for groups of 2-8 people to bond and spend time together (for around an hour)!

K1 Speed (Indoor Go-Kart Racing)

Another family friendly activity is the K1 Speed venue that has an indoor and outdoor track and restaurant. Parties can be held at K1 speed and guests can book their experience depending on the amount of races they want to do. Reservations are not required, so indoor Go-Kart racing may be the perfect spontaneous activity for a visit to Canton. 

With so many activities available, Canton can be the perfect place for those with diverse interests to visit with or without family.