Akron, the "Rubber Capital of the World", is located on the Cuyahoga River between Canton and Cleveland. The city grew up around the Ohio and Erie Canal at a staircase of locks. Once a manufacturing center famous for rubber production, Akron has diversified into financial, research, and high tech sectors. Akron is also well known because Alcoholics Anonymous was founded here.
Akron enjoys a humid continental climate, which offers cold winters and wet cool springs. Warm and humid summers delight gardeners and cool, rather dry autumns provide refreshing breezes.
The first rubber company in Akron was B.F. Goodrich. Firestone soon joined B.F. Goodrich in manufacturing rubber products. When the rubber industry went into a decline, airships, blimps, and airships were built in Akron. Dirigible research blossomed in the city.
Today, there are two Fortune 500 companies operating in Akron: Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and FirstEnergy. Several smaller companies also have facilities in Akron, including GOJO, Advanced Elastomer Systems, Roadway Express, FirstMerit Bank, Myers Industries, Acme Fresh Market, and Lockheed Martin. In 2008, thousands of jobs were created in Akron by mail processing centers. These centers sort and organize business reply mail and magazine subscriptions from postal marketers and colleges.
Akron also has an extensive health system. There are more hospitals in the city than one would expect from its size. Akron General Medical Center and Akron City Hospital were cited on the U.S. News and World Report magazine's list of "Best Hospitals" several times.
The University of Akron serves 23,000 students in the area. The school is a world leader in polymer research. Akron Public Schools are involved in an 800 million-dollar rebuilding project that will remodel some schools and replace others over the span of 15 years.
Akron has a variety of shopping centers, old restaurants, antique stores, and taverns to delight residents and visitors alike. A tribute to the city's role in the invention of the hamburger, the National Hamburger Festival is a popular event. Children from across the nation gather in Akron for the All-American Soap Box Derby, where gravity-powered racer cars glide down Derby Downs every summer. Next to Derby Downs, the Akron Skate Park offers 19,000 square feet of skating surface. As the birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous, the Founders Day Celebrations draw recovering alcoholics from all over the world to this event celebrating sobriety.
Highland Square is considered to be the cultural district in Akron. Centered on West Market Street, this entertainment district offers shops, restaurants and taverns. Firestone Park and Goodyear Heights were neighborhoods originally created for employees of the Firestone and Goodyear rubber companies. Northwest Akron is well-known for the large mansions that once housed executives from the rubber companies. North of downtown is the Northside neighborhood, where glassware shops and artist studios dot the area. Jazz and blues clubs offer entertainment and leisure for the residents.
Akron's housing costs vary by neighborhood and distance from downtown. Many houses for rent are reasonably priced, while those seeking "in-town living" can also find houses for rent or apartments closer to downtown. Akron is home to a wide variety of neighborhoods, and Rentals.com includes listings in most of them such that just about anyone can find a place they would like to live.