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RVs and football go together like peanut butter and jelly. Following your favorite team, tailgating at the local game, or ensuring you’re never too far away from a TV and a couch on any given Sunday in autumn is all part of the RV lifestyle. But hey, even if you don’t care for the pigskin pastime, touring Northeast Ohio has plenty of thrills and chills for us all.
Let’s start in Cleveland, the Buckeye State’s second-largest city. Home of NBA basketball’s Cavaliers and their star forward LeBron James, as well as home to the historic Cleveland Browns NFL football team. Their new QB from Notre Dame, Brady Quinn, is sure to breathe new life into the franchise, in a town desperate for a winner. But there’s a heck of a lot more to Cleveland than (gasp!) football. The city boasts several waterfront parks – Euclid, Gordon, and Edgewater – that enliven the banks of Lake Erie year-round. A local favorite is Wade Park, home to the Cleveland Botanical Garden. One of the city’s most famous recent additions is the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, where you can catch up on the history of rock’s superstars, from Elvis Presley to Bruce Springsteen, and everyone in between.
From Cleveland, head south along I-77 until you reach Akron. Obviously, it would be almost rude to visit the “Tire Capital of the World” without touring the Goodyear World of Rubber. Don’t worry, you’ll definitely learn how rubber has changed the way we live. For something a bit more “green,” check out the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a 33,000-acre spread containing many historic sites and miles of trails for outdoor fun. Hop onboard the vintage railcars of Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which tours the park. Probably the most unique attraction in Akron is the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame Museum, where you can explore some of the remarkable hits (and misses) spawned by our ever-curious imagination.
From Akron let’s head further south on I-77 to the prize of our pigskin parade, Canton, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Second only to Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, no place in America houses more childhood heroes than the buildings at 2121 George Halas Drive. A must-visit destination for fans, the grounds house five buildings, all dedicated to the game and those who’ve shaped it. If you’re in the neighborhood in late July or August, stick around as football greats from today and years gone by flock to Canton for the annual Hall of Fame inductions. It’s a party!
East of Canton, on Hwy 62, turn north on Hwy 44 until you reach I-76 East. On your way to Youngstown, don’t miss a couple of chances to get back to nature at the West Branch State Park or the Lake Milton State Park. Youngstown is our final stop in the Buckeye State, just shy of the Pennsylvania border. This fine town of about 100,000 still embraces its industrial history while putting a spit shine on a surplus of new growth around town. Not to be missed is the 3,200-acre Mill Creek Park, which includes a working gristmill, botanical gardens, ravines, and miles of trails. Meanwhile, the Butler Institute for American Art boasts the first museum dedicated solely to the works of American artists.