I couldn’t imagine that there was a place that could possibly combine the feel of a city and the feel of a small town all within its own city limits. I was wrong. So wrong. Cuyahoga Falls became my new home — and I’d say I adapted very quickly to its lifestyle.
Here are my Top 7 Reasons Cuyahoga Falls is Summit County’s Hottest City:
I have a bit of a confession — it took me years of living in Cuyahoga Falls to venture out to The Gorge. I had heard people talk about it for years and had driven past its entrance weekly, but I had just never made the trip. Well, everything changed a couple of years ago.
The Gorge is 155-acres of hiking trails, picnic areas, ice skating rinks, and adventure. Depending on which trail you take, your hike at the Gorge could range from moderate to difficult — with primitive trails leading to some of the coolest photo ops you could ask for!<
My two favorite spots at the Gorge are Mary Campbell Cave and the observation deck at the dam. The views are absolutely stunning!
If you like to be near a pool all Summer, then Water Works is for you. It boasts a huge outdoor pool area complete with lap lanes, a lazy river, water slides, and a zero-depth, kid-friendly area. We’ve been members of this park for years now! Yes, with this park there is a small, resident-based membership required, but it’s so worth it!
It’s open daily from 11am – 8pm throughout the Summer, so we just pop in right as they open, grab a set of loungers between the sand play-area and the pool, and hang out! It’s honestly the perfect spot for families — even teenagers love this place!
Even if you’re not a resident, stop in with a day pass and I promise that you won’t be disappointed!
3. Breweries, wineries, and more!
Over the last several years Cuyahoga Falls has seen a huge revival of craft beer and foodie culture. Between the lines at the Blue Door Café practically every day of the week, and the addition of new micro-breweries, like HiHo, young professionals and parents alike have been flocking to the area.
Newbies, like McArthur’s Brew House, have slowly been making their way onto the Ohio craft-brewery scene, but already have an amazing following of fans!
But the most exciting thing is that more breweries and wineries are planning to open soon in Cuyahoga Falls! This year, Ohio Brewing Company will be reopening at their new location which, you guessed it, is in Cuyahoga Falls! And a 4th brewery will be opening up on Front Street as well called Missing Mountain Brewing.
There are just so many exciting things happening with craft beer in this city, it’s hard to not be excited about it.
4. The new downtown area.
For those not familiar with our delightful little city, Front Street, the street running parallel to the river, was closed off to motor traffic almost 40 years ago. It was turned into a pedestrian mall which, over time, severely limited the traffic getting into the area. As you can imagine, this took a huge toll on local businesses. In my time living here, I’ve seen a huge turnover from places that just couldn’t keep their doors open. Heck, I had even decided not to go to certain places because that meant I had to find off-street parking and walk.
But a transformation has occurred over the last year! The mayor decided to reopen Front Street for vehicle traffic in hopes of revitalizing the area. The street has been open for just over a couple of months now and it has been amazing! New businesses have been setting up shop, vehicle and foot traffic have increased in the area, and things are just booming!
The official ‘opening’ festivities are set for the coming months, but I’m certain it’s going to continue rocking even before then.
5. Music, festivals, and food, OH MY!
Between the Italian Festival and Irish Festival, there’s always live music on the riverfront just in the heart of downtown. They are always both family and adult friendly (so activities for kids plus the opportunity to sip on an adult beverage). Live bands playing in the amphitheater, games for the kids, and all kinds of food are the makings of a perfect festival!
Additionally, one of my favorite events is the Keyser Park Food Truck Frenzy and Concert Series. Why? Because, food trucks! Also, because the concert series itself happens once a month on a Sunday afternoon throughout the Summer. It feels like the perfect opportunity to soak in some pre-dusk rays while the kiddos run around and I snack on whatever food truck catches my fancy that week.
6. Amazing city parks, playgrounds, and wading pools.
But others, such as Water Works Park, offer trails for hiking and biking, as well as covered picnic areas. And there are 6 city-run wading pools throughout the parks. The pools are about a foot and a half deep and are perfect for small kids to splash and play around during the Summer months!
7. Arts + Culture Education.
Upon moving to Cuyahoga Falls, I received a pamphlet in the mail from the City’s parks + recreation department. I call it a pamphlet, but I swear to you it’s more along the lines of a magazine. In it, I found not only the hours for critical items, but also pages upon pages of arts and culture education that were readily available to residents!
Want to take a pottery class? Sign up through the city! Want to sign your child up for tennis lessons? Sign up through the city! Additionally, the city hosts ‘movie nights’ at the riverfront in the amphitheater throughout the summer (there are currently 9 nights scheduled for the upcoming 2018 season!). Did I mention it’s free?? How cool is that!?
I can only imagine that my love for this city will grow as my family and I remain involved. I hope that you’ll take the trip down from Cleveland to check out some of exciting events and festivals that are coming up this Summer! And cheers!