For many people, going to Canton means one thing: visiting the shrine to what many consider America’s true pastime — the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame honors the greats of the game but also serves as a museum that tells the story of the sport, which is woven into the story of America. It’s also a lot of fun, and a great destination even if you don’t know much about the old pigskin.
Clip and save or bookmark this webpage to help plan your visit to Canton and one of the most popular sports museums in the world, which has partnered with Instabet to offer sports betting in Ohio.
Planning a Trip to Canton and the Football Hall of Fame
The staff at the Hall of Fame is glad to assist with any questions during your visit. Contact them at 330-456-8207 or visit the website to find more information.
Driving to Canton
From any direction, getting to Canton is as easy as Tom Brady makes a nine-yard pass to his tight end look.
From the South: Take I-77 into the city from southern Ohio or other parts south.
From the East: Interstate 76 is probably your best bet from Youngstown and Pittsburgh, or other eastern cities in Pennsylvania or farther east.
From the North: I90 will take northerners to I-77 or HWY 277 to get into Canton from the north.
From the West: From the Columbus region you can take I-71, or farther north, I-90 can navigate you to Cleveland/Akron and then take I-77 south to Canton.
Flying to Canton to Visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame
The closest airport to Canton, OH is Akron Airport (CAK) less than 10 miles away. According to Google, popular airports nearby are also Cleveland (CLE), Pittsburgh (PIT), Columbus (CMH), and Columbus Rickenbacker Airport (LCK).
Cleveland Airport is 48 miles from Canton to the northwest. Pittsburgh Airport is 62 miles to the southeast.
Staying in Canton
According to Yelp, the highest-rated hotels in Canton are DoubleTree by Hilton, Fairfield Inn & Suites, and Hilton Garden Inn (Akron-Canton Airport)
- Places to eat:
We recommend Fronimo’s Downtown for a cozy American-style menu; Vincent’s Pastaria for a localized and much-better alternative to an Olive Garden; and Yelp rates Table 6 Kitchen + Bar as the best option in Canton.
Accessibility & COVID Safety
You are not required to wear a mask at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The facility does observe social distancing policies in the theater seating area, as of this writing.
Pro Football Hall of Fame Exhibits
The Museum has many exhibits that will appeal to the devoted fan of the game, as well as casual or new fans.
The Hall of Fame Gallery
This is where you’ll see the 350+ members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Each member is represented by a marble bust, which are very striking. The presentation is unique, as most other sports Hall of Fames honor members with plaques. You are free to take photos in the gallery, as well as almost everywhere in the venue.
Hall of Famer Lockers
The Locker exhibit shows off special artifacts from the latest enshrinees. Each locker has a helmet, jersey, cleats, football, or many other items that help tell the story of that member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Pro Football Today Gallery
This exhibit will delight your eyes and ears. It’s all about sights and sounds. This gallery features audio effects that bring you into an NFL game by sharing what it sounds like on the field and even in a tackle or a huddle. At various times, the gallery will update with recent video footage and photo exhibits of current players and NFL moments.
Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery
A stunning 4,000-square-foot space that pays tribute to the biggest event in the NFL (and U.S. sports) — the Super Bowl. You’ll see interactive and attractive exhibits and displays about the history of the big game, as well as highlights of the most iconic players and plays from the Super Bowl. You can also see every Super Bowl Championship ring.
Madden NFL Exhibit
This popular exhibit is more like a playroom, where you can see the latest Madden NFL video game on a large screen, as well as a history of the popular game named for one of the NFL’s best coaches and iconic personalities.
Black College Football Hall of Fame
Sure, it’s the “Pro” Football Hall of Fame, but there’s plenty of love for the college game too here in this exhibit. Learn about the famous black players who were pioneers in the sport at the collegiate level. Long before other sports were integrated, college football had a history of being accessible to players of color, at traditionally black colleges and elsewhere.
The NFL’s First Century
Did you know pro football was founded in Canton in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association? Did you know players competed wearing leather helmets for many decades? Did you know in the 1960s the NFL was challenged by the AFL, which led to the creation of the Super Bowl? How about this: did you know the first Super Bowl was televised simultaneously on two major networks, and there was no halftime show, except a modest marching band?
Learn those things and a lot more about the history of the NFL, in this exhibit.
James Allen Family Gold Jacket Lounge
Serves as an entryway and meeting space in the Hall of Fame, with examples of the famed yellow jackets that inductees receive lining the walls.
A Game For Life Theater
Enjoy a short film that celebrates the history of football, how football has mirrored the growth of America and sports in this country, and how the NFL connects to the communities it plays in.
Ralph Wilson Jr. Pro Football Research & Preservation Center
Are you an author working on a book about football? A family member of a former NFL player seeking to find information about your relative? Are you just a curious person interested in the history of professional football in the United States? Visit the Research & Preservation Center to see media files, newspaper clippings, important publications, and books regarding the game of football, and even access preserved audio and video oral histories from the players and coaches themselves. An appointment may be necessary.
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar