Canton Ohio enjoys a fascinating spot in the state. At the intersection of nature preserves, wine country, Amish Country, and the Great Lakes, it offers a wide variety of things to do and see. If you’re looking for the best things to do in Canton Ohio, don’t miss these top attractions!
Must-See Attractions & Things to Do in Canton Ohio
To say that Canton Ohio is full of things to do and see is an understatement. There are so many options that we’ve narrowed them down to places and activities that you don’t want to miss.
The Canton Museum of Art is one of the best cultural offerings that you’ll find in Northeast Ohio. The museum began in 1935 and was dedicated to exhibiting the artwork of artists local to the Canton area. These days, it’s still focused on American art with an emphasis on Ohio artists.
You’ll see visual arts of every kind in the exhibits here, from paintings to sculptures, photography, and more. The museum has roughly 12 special exhibits every year, offering the chance to enjoy a wide variety of subjects and media.
Additionally, there are many educational programs at the museum! Education is central to the museum’s mission, with 3,000 people receiving instruction there every year.
The programs teach students from preschool through adulthood and range in topics from watercolor painting to art history. Many of the programs and exhibits are displayed in partnership with theaters around Canton.
Gervasi Vineyard is one of the most stunning upscale wineries in Ohio. It styles itself as more than just a winery — it’s a winery resort. The name is accurate because Gervasi is a place to not only enjoy a glass of locally made wine but also dine and stay.
The 55-acre estate features a vineyard, winery, distillery, cigar house, and three eateries, each specializing in a different cuisine.
- The Bistro features a menu of gourmet Italian cuisine.
- The Crush House Winery, Wine Bar, and Eatery is a place to enjoy a more relaxed meal.
- The Still House features a cocktail and coffee bar.
Also, Gervasi offers three distinct hotel experiences to those staying the night.
- The Villas are award-winning luxury Italian suites that have received accolades from publications across the country.
- The Casa is a gorgeous “boutique inn.”
- The 19th-century Farmhouse offers an upscale rustic experience.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is one of Canton’s biggest claims to fame. The museum features exhibits from all the most influential figures in the world of American football, from professional football players to coaches and other personnel.
The facility was opened in 1963 and has undergone many expansions since then — the most recent in 2013. The halls now feature fascinating artifacts from football history, starting in the early 1920s when the NFL was founded.
Special exhibits include recent moments in American football history, Hall of Fame lockers, and the Black College Football Hall of Fame.
Additionally, the museum features several high-tech exhibits designed to offer an immersive and interactive experience. These include “A Game for Life,” a holographic presentation that lets you have a sensory experience of some of the most dynamic moments in the history of the game.
The Canton Brewing Company has a long history in Northeast Ohio, starting back in 1883. The brewery endured many historical events, including Prohibition, to become one of the best locations in the state.
These days, you’ll find Canton Brewing Company in full swing at any time of year. The main restaurant, Haus of Giessen, was established in 1870. It maintains its German heritage and advertises itself as “Oktoberfest every day of the year.” You can enjoy award-winning German food and beer!
The brewery also features a speak-easy, where you’ll find all its signature beers on tap alongside pub fare. Many of the beers remain unchanged from the original recipes from more than a century ago. Favorites include the Tuscora Pilsner, Carpe Noctem, and Cascade Pale Ale.
Many seasonal beers are on offer too.
Jackson Bog State Nature Preserve is a stunning 60-acre green space comprising a stream and surrounding valleys and wetlands. It’s an extremely popular place for outdoor sports in Canton, including hiking, biking, and jogging.
The area was created by the movement of glaciers during the Ice Age more than 1 million years ago and still maintains some of the characteristics of the shift. These days, the preserve features 1.5 miles of walking trails, making it the perfect spot for a gentle hike.
The preserve’s unique wetland climate makes it an ideal spot for plants and wildlife. It has a boardwalk, which occasionally floats when the bog is full after it rains!
Kids will enjoy the on-site playground, picnic area, and sand volleyball pit, as well as the wildflowers and fascinating animal life throughout the preserve. The boardwalk features signs with interesting information about the area as well.
The National First Ladies’ Library is dedicated to preserving the legacies of the First Ladies of the United States. The museum is located in the historic home of 25th president William McKinley and his wife Ida Saxton McKinley.
Here, visitors are welcome to tour and learn about the lives and contributions of the First Ladies. The exhibits change regularly but aim to educate about the women who helped lead the country, often in unknown or hidden ways.
Past exhibits have included hobbies of the First Ladies, First Ladies and the Suffrage movement, and First Ladies in times of crisis. These offer the chance to see some of the personal effects of women who have lived in the White House and learn about their unique stories and contributions.
Some exhibits are dedicated exclusively to First Ladies from Ohio too, from Lucy Hayes to Florence Harding.
Canton is home to many fascinating museums, but the MAPS Air Museum might be one of the most unique! It’s dedicated to the history of aviation, especially aviation in Northeast Ohio.
History and aviation lovers alike will enjoy visiting the museum, which includes fascinating historical and technological displays. The exhibits are divided by era, starting in 1903 and leading up to the outbreak of the First World War.
In addition, there are exhibits dedicated to military honors, including the Medal of Honor and Fallen Feathers. More special exhibits are currently in development.
Visitors can also view collections of historical simulator trainers dating from the 1920s, which were used to train military pilots from around the globe, as well as other historical military tools and aviation artifacts.
With its proximity to several major waterways and lakes in Ohio, Canton was historically vital in the shipping industry. Today, the Blue Water Majesty Museum is an ode to that era.
At the museum, visitors can view an enormous collection of exact replicas of 18th-century ships. These ships are exactly like the ones that once sailed on the Mahoning and Tuscarawas Rivers and other waterways.
The models were built true to life by a master woodcarver. In this way, the Blue Water Majesty Museum is partially a historical exhibit, partially an art piece!
Each model is made from exotic wood, is free from paint or stain, and features authentic rigging and deck nails. Some of them have up to 150,000 pieces!
If you love boats, history, or sailing, the Blue Water Majesty Museum should be at the top of your list of things to do in Canton Ohio.
As if it wasn’t enough to have museums dedicated to water and air travel, Canton is home to the Canton Classic Car Museum. Here, visitors are welcome to tour 40 classic car models on display while stepping into a historic setting.
Even if you aren’t a car buff, the museum is worth visiting. It’s a fascinating slice of local history with many exhibits! You can even tour displays of historical photography, vintage toys, political pieces, old oddities, and advertisements dating back a century and more.
Of course, the cars are the main event, and they’re worth a tour. The museum features models dating back to a 1901 Oldsmobile.
Car lovers will also want a glimpse of the 1962 German Amphicar (which could drive into water), the 1937 Ahrens-Fox Quad fire engine, and the ‘37 Studebaker President Bulletproof Police Car.
Historic Zoar Village is one of the strangest and most fascinating sites in the state of Ohio. Located just a short drive from Canton, this 200-year-old village is the site of a one-of-a-kind pocket of state history.
It was founded in 1817 by a community of German separatists. The community lived independently for close to a century. But the most fascinating aspect might be that the village is nearly untouched. Some of the homes are even occupied by descendants of the original settlers!
The village is currently home to roughly 75 families. The remaining buildings serve as cultural and historical landmarks with information about the community that thrived there.
Visitors are welcome to tour the village and learn about its history while walking through 200-year-old homes, shops, schools, and churches. You can even attend educational programs with information about how life was in 19th-century Ohio.
More Indoor Things to Do in Canton
If the weather is less than enjoyable or simply want to experience indoor activities, there are certainly indoor things to do in Canton Ohio. Here are some highlights.
Escape Room Downtown is Canton’s premier spot to solve puzzles and overcome challenges with friends and family! The venue features three escape rooms, each with its own theme.
Choose from the Prohibition-themed Bootleggers’ Lair challenge, an art gallery heist puzzle, or race against the mob before the bomb goes off!
The McKinley Presidential Library & Museum is an ode to both history and science. The main buildings include historical artifacts about President William McKinley and his life and time in office.
The adjoining buildings include a planetarium, interactive science center, historic town replica, and exhibits about Stark County.
Hartville Marketplace is the king of all flea markets, and it’s located right in Canton. With both indoor and outdoor shops, you can enjoy browsing in all kinds of weather and at any time of the year.
The indoor shops in the marketplace include everything from pet boutiques to Amish furniture stores, bakeries, handmade gifts, and more.
The Canton Palace Theatre has been a community institution since 1926! It has come a long way since showing silent films but still retains the majestic architecture of the time. The theater hosts hundreds of events every year, from special film showings to concerts, comedy tours, and more.
Sports fans know Canton for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but the Greater Canton Amateur Sports Hall of Fame is worth visiting too.
The historic building features exhibits about amateur athletes local to the region. Some of them went on to have professional careers in football, basketball, and other sports.
More Outdoor Things to Do in Canton Ohio
When you’re itching to spend time outside, you won’t be disappointed with the array of outdoor things to do in Canton Ohio. Below are a few of our favorites.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is located just a short drive from Canton on the banks of the Cuyahoga River. The park is home to unique plant and animal life, as well as many miles of hiking trails. One of its best offerings is waterfalls galore, including 65-ft Brandywine Falls.
Funtimes Fun Park is an all-inclusive outdoor entertainment and amusement park located just outside Canton in Alliance Ohio.
Attractions here include rides, miniature golf, batting cages, go-karts, bumper boats, a tilt-a-whirl, roller coasters, and more. With toddler rides too, everyone can have fun no matter their age.
Sippo Lake Park offers an amazing outdoor experience just outside of Canton. Visitors are welcome to swim in the lake, fish, or rent a boat. Alternatively, hit the trails to explore the surrounding wetlands for rare plants, birds, and animals.
The park is home to a playground and Wildlife Conservation Center as well.
Canton Airsports is your only destination in Canton to enjoy sky diving! The facility offers lessons and tandem sky diving, so you can enjoy the descent strapped safely to an instructor. During your adventure, you’ll ascend 14,000 feet before preparing to jump.
The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is one of the most famous hiking, biking, and walking trails in the Buckeye State! Connecting other foot trails throughout eastern Ohio, the Towpath Trail runs 87 miles from Cleveland to New Philadelphia.
You’ll find people enjoying outdoor activities here throughout the year!
Where to Eat in Canton Ohio
No matter when you’re hungry or what you’re craving, there are restaurants in Canton Ohio that will satisfy your belly. Here are five places that really stood out to us.
Fannie May & Harry London Candies in North Canton is a historical candy company that has been making sweets since 1922.
Today, visitors are welcome to browse the more than 500 chocolate and candy offerings, as well as gourmet pretzels and other treats at the largest candy factory in the Midwest!
There are several breweries in Canton, but Lockport Brewery in nearby Bolivar is one of the best. The locally-made craft beer has won quite a few awards since the brewery opened its doors in 2016. The food is also excellent, featuring gourmet burgers and high-end pub fare.
Taggart’s Ice Cream has been a Canton landmark since the 1920s and is considered some of the best ice cream in Ohio. The decor, and even some of the flavors, haven’t changed in almost a century!
The ice cream menu features samplers, sundaes, and splits of old-fashioned flavors that will bring back memories. There’s also an extensive food menu, so make sure you come hungry.
If you can’t choose one place to eat, why not embark on a Canton food tour? Foodies will love these fun walking tours that take you through all the best eateries in the downtown area and arts district. The stops change regularly, so look ahead at the calendar before booking.
Right at the edge of Ohio wine country, there are several vineyards and wineries in Canton. Cherry Road Winery is one of the best.
Here, you can sample locally made, award-winning wines with options for every palate. Though the venue doesn’t serve food, customers may order from several nearby restaurants while they enjoy their wine!
Where to Stay in Canton Ohio
With so many things to do in Canton Ohio, it will take several days (probably multiple visits) to do everything. Fortunately, there are plenty of hotels, vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts, and campgrounds in Canton for you to call home.
The Hambleton House Bed & Breakfast is a charming historic building located in the center of Canton. There are two rooms available, as well as a third-floor suite with private bathrooms for all. Visitors are welcome to enjoy a delicious breakfast in the historic dining room too.
Mainstay Bed and Breakfast is a historic home built by a veteran of the Civil War. In its modern form, it features a luxurious inn with every comfort and amenity, from Wi-Fi to whirlpool tubs. Guests are invited to the historic dining room each morning for breakfast.
Poggio Amorelli Bed and Breakfast isn’t just any bed and breakfast — it’s owned by an award-winning chef! After you stay in a beautiful room in the historic home, adjourn to the dining room for a meal cooked to order or even take a cooking lesson with the executive chef.
Gervasi Vineyard is known around Canton for its wine, but it also has three separate facilities in which to stay the night. One is The Villas, an award-winning series of suites designed like an old Italian home. Luxury is absolutely the name of the game in these stunning suites.
Frequently Asked Questions About Things to Do in Canton Ohio
What is Canton Ohio Famous for?
Historically, Canton was known as the home of 25th President William McKinley. Then, it became home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
While it still has many cultural and historical attractions, Canton is increasingly known for its growing arts scene.
How far is Canton from Cleveland?
Canton is almost exactly one hour from Cleveland by car. At 59.4 miles apart, the two cities are within an easy afternoon drive from one another.
Start Planning Your Trip to Canton Ohio
If you’re looking for things to do in Canton Ohio, let this guide be your planning aid. The historic town is continuing to revitalize, adding more attractions every year. Whether you’re looking for a stunning weekend getaway or a fun family outing, you can find it in Canton.