We’re continually on the hunt for experiences that add richness to our lives. In the spirit of the revival of road trips, we are proud to feature a monthly section featuring destinations within driving distance of Charleston. We feel that our smart and savvy readers will find these trips interesting and entertaining.

Canton & Hartville, Ohio

Beautiful architecture in downtown Canton.
Beautiful architecture in downtown Canton.  All photos by Melody Pitman

Driving 3 hours North of Charleston brings you to Canton, Ohio. Probably best-known for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton is a great place to visit with a Presidential library and burial site, art galleries, a classic car museum, and food tour, to name a few. The nearby town of Hartville is an awesome find, only 15 to 20 minutes away. The family-owned Hartville Kitchen, Marketplace & Flea Market, and Hardware store are enough to keep you busy for hours.

What to Do on Your Weekend Trip to Canton – Hartville

Friendly vendors selling unique items at the Hartville Marketplace & Flea Market.

Hartville has three businesses which you should include visiting in your itinerary. The Kitchen is a restaurant, market with fresh baked goods, candy, cheeses, and other tasty treats. It features a gift shop with souvenirs, Alex & Ani, Pandora, Vera Bradley, high-end ladies apparel, and much more. Peruse 260 vendors at the Marketplace & Flea Market. Dozens of other vendors gather on weekends to sell at the outdoor flea market. Hartville Hardware is a huge two-story 305,000 sq. ft. store with a model house inside, fully furnished with trendy decor. Women will love this store as much as men and its amazing selection of goods.

First ladies’ collection of elegant gowns, many 24” waist, are on display at the museum

Expand your history knowledge with a visit to the National First Ladies Library and Historic Site. Guided tours go through the home of William and Ida McKinley and finish up at a small museum with first ladies’ fashions, China, and other memorabilia. A short drive away is the stately McKinley National Memorial, the resting place of the 25th US President. Next door is McKinley’s Presidential Library and Museum, a facility that doubles as a science center and has several interesting exhibits. This is an excellent place to take kids.

If vintage automobiles are of interest, take in the Canton Classic Car Museum, open 7 days a week. Check out the Model T Ford and 1962 German-built Amphicar, 2 of the 45 vehicles on display.

Of course, you can’t visit Canton without going to the amazing Pro Football Hall of Fame (HOF). Exhibits include a vast collection of Super Bowl rings, Dynasties, an Instant Replay booth, bronze busts of HOF inductees, and a chance to have your picture made with next year’s Vince Lombardi Trophy. The museum is referred to as “The Cradle of Professional Football”. In September of 2020, the Hall of Fame will open a $799 million sports and entertainment “Smart City” and Hotel.

How cool is it to have your photo made with the most coveted football trophy ever?

Where to Dine in Canton – Hartville

For a unique meal, try Cultured Coffee & Waffles in downtown Canton, serving breakfast all day. Menu options range from typical Chicken & Waffles to Hell’s Chicken Waffle with buffalo chicken dip and blue cheese. Craft coffee and beer are available here. Order for the Bomb Coffee— it’s almost like dessert!

President McKinley and his family are enshrined in this memorial but visitors.

Indulge at Taggarts Ice Cream Parlor for lunch, serving Canton since 1926. Choose from salads or sandwiches, but be sure to save room for an ice cream dish. The Bittner, their signature item, is a sinfully delicious combination of vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup topped with roasted pecans.

My scrumptious savory buffalo chicken inspired waffle from Cultured Coffee & Waffles. Yum!

In Hartville, be sure to check out family-friendly Maize Valley Brewery. Not only does the brewery serve wine and beer, but it also has a market, live music, and a full menu of tasty meals. Go for the Reuben Sandwich or Cheese Platter. It is common to see all ages and walks of life here for a beer or glass of vino. Mad Cow and Big Red Pecker are two favorites.

One of the best Reuben sandwiches I’ve ever had paired with a cup of the Soup of the Day from Maize Valley.

On Fridays, the Hartville Kitchen serves Turkey and Dressing. The daily menu features every comfort food imaginable, plus excellent vegetable selections and side items. Don’t miss sinking your teeth into the yummy dinner rolls. Save room for the honkin’ big cakes and pies, all made onsite.

The Gervasi Vineyards is one of the best-hidden gems we’ve discovered to date. This massive winery features an upscale restaurant (The Bistro), a casual eatery offering wine tours(Crush House), a high-end retail shop, villas, and farmhouse.

Comfort food at its finest from the Hartville Kitchen.

Consider staying there for a romantic getaway or with a large group. Gervasi has delicious food! Try the Chopped Iceberg Salad, House Made Ravioli, or a gourmet pizza. Enjoy a glass of Fioretto (Sauv Blanc), Velluto (Pinot Noir), or pair a sweet glass of ice wine with your dessert.

Fluffy vegetarian raviolis bursting with cheese and vegetables from The Bistro at Gervasi Vineyards.

ou can purchase limited Hall of Fame wines at Gervasi Vineyards as well as their own labels.

Where to Stay in Canton – Hartville

In Hartville, stay at the friendliest and most stylish Comfort Suites you’ve ever seen. Prices run around $100 per night and include breakfast, Wi-Fi, and parking. Canton offers a comparable Hampton Inn & Suites and Home2 Suites by Hilton as well as Hambleton House, a tastefully decorated bed and breakfast option.

Canton & Hartville:  A Road Trip Full of Surprises

Canton and Hartville are quite the consummate hosts for your road trip. Explore history, be emerged in football, shop locally, dine, and play in these two neighboring Ohio destinations that are super affordable and family-friendly. Safe travels.