For now though, and the few chilly months we have left in our calendar, experience one date night that will allow you to take in the scenery while remaining toasty indoors (mostly).
Stop one: High-end shopping
Whether on a mission to buy, or just browse, Furnace Street has a handful of one-of-a-kind artisan shops and high-end stores that spur inspiration and provides a different experience than your average shopping mall.
Zeber-Martell Gallery specializes in paintings, pottery and home furnishings. Each of the hand-crafted pieces within the gallery is for sale, and makes a wonderful gift, and possibly the finishing touch for your home. You’ll find tables, lamps, wall art and accessories, all local and all handmade.
Across the street, Akron Glass Works is a studio and gift shop that specializes in—you guessed it—glass. More specifically, blown glass. The gift shop has an array of pieces that vary in size and price. And a number of artists contribute to the store, so each glass piece and collection has its own style, very different from the next.
In addition to showcasing and selling glass art, workshops also are offered throughout the year. To create a more interactive date, sign up for one of the glassblowing or glass-fusing workshops.
For the active couple, there are two more shops that should pique your interest. First, stroll next door from the Akron Glass Works to Car Gear/Akron Bike Center to check out a selection of specialty bicycles, and accessories to get your active gear from here to there.
From there, cross the street to check out the lululemon athletica showroom. Here, you’ll find activewear for all sports and activities, especially yoga and pilates. Men, don’t feel left out, because it also stocks a great selection of clothes for you too! (Also check with the showroom to learn more about yoga classes offered, which can be a great stress reliever for couples.)
Stop two: Luigi’s
Luigi’s is an Italian restaurant with a whole lot of old-world charm and traditional, pizzeria flair. It has kept what has worked for it for years, including decor, operations and unbeatable food. The eatery is an Akron staple, and a frequent destination for out-of-towners.
The walls are adorned in murals of Italian countryside, the lighting is dim, and you won’t find white linen on the tables. Seating is first-come, first-served, and don’t expect credit cards to be accepted; this spot is cash only. But it works. A line often forms out the door, but these guys know how to make it work, and the wait goes by quickly.
Share one of its legendary pizzas with your honey, but make sure to get your own cheese salad with house dressing. You won’t regret it.
Continue on: Art Walk
February marks the resurgence of the Akron Art Walk, and these shops and eateries on Furnace Street are strong participants in the monthly event, held on the first Saturday of each month. The tour sprawls across downtown Akron, but start here before jumping on the free trolley to see what else the city has in store for two love birds.
Other participants in the Art Walk include the Akron Art Museum, Rubber City Clothing, Uncorked Wine Bar, Jilly’s music room, Palladian Palette and We Gallery, among many others. Couples are bound to find a common interest among the optional stops.
105 N Main St.
11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday
First Saturday of the month with trolley service beginning at 5 p.m. and running through 10 p.m. and destinations opening their doors between 5 and 6 p.m.
43 Furnace St.
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday
Akron Glass Works
106 N Main St.
noon to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and noon to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday