Adventures in Akron: Highland Square

Every city has a hip neighborhood. Highland Square is Akron’s.

Every city has a hip neighborhood. Highland Square is Akron’s.

Located in Akron’s West Hill region (it’s uphill and west of downtown), Highland Square is an eclectic, walkable neighborhood with lots to do and see.

akron_highland3Most of the action is in the business district, on astretch of West Market Street. The street has bars—from gay-owned nightclubs to dives with live music in the basement—a brewery, local eateries, cute indie shops and a movie theater, alongside an organic grocery store and a public library. Public art and parks can be found throughout the neighborhood and, on nice afternoons, it’s not uncommon for street musicians to set up shop (a drum circle forms every Friday).

The neighborhood is also the site of Akron history. Dr. Bob’s House (855 Ardmore Avenue), known as the Birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous, is open to the public as a museum and a mecca for followers.

If a day of shopping and imbibing isn’t your thing, Highland Square hosts events throughout the summer.

PorchRokr, a daylong arts and music festival, turns porches into stages. Homes and businesses host live music on the porch or front lawn throughout the day—last year, 130 bands played for thousands of festival goers—while artists, makers and food trucks offer their wares. The festival, run by the Highland Square Neighborhood Association, switches to a different quadrant of the neighborhood every year. The fourth annual festival will be held August 20. For more information, visit

akron_highland2Akron Square Fest blocks off a section of West Market Street for a family friendly festival highlighting local art, music and exhibitors. Plans for this year include street performances and children’s activities. The festival, put on by the city of Akron, is set for September 10.

Highland Square hosts the Countryside Farmers’ Market, an offshoot of the much larger market in Howes Meadow in Penninsula, every Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. through September 29.

If you like this, check out: The Downtown Akron Artwalk, held the first Saturday of the month, details and map at


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