At Boardman Lanes, bowling balls thunder down 24 gleaming, waxed lanes. Automatic pin setters and scoring computers allow customers to focus on their games, with little downtime between throws. On Friday and Saturday nights, black lights cast an otherworldly glow during cosmic bowling. The facility also features video games to provide breaks from bowling action and a snack bar to keep players fueled throughout the day.
Beach volleyball and bowling lanes seldom come in the same package—unless you happen to be at Kent Lanes. The indoor and outdoor facility pairs two regulation-size silica-sand beach-volleyball courts with an expansive arena of polished lanes, letting competitors hammer spikes and orchestrate strikes like 19th century railroad workers.
A full-service tiki bar stands beside the sandy courts, setting the tone with cold drinks and tropical tunes as spectators kick back at picnic tables and enjoy the live action of a game on a 50-inch flatscreen TV. Inside, guests can unwind at the 11th Frame, which serves pizza, traditional grill fare, and daily drink specials. Kent Lanes also hosts volleyball and bowling leagues for those looking for team camaraderie without having to endure a series of trust falls.
Sto-Kent has been wearing the CityVoter Best Bowling Facility badge of honor in Akron-Canton for the last three years. Strap on a pair of freshly sanitized bowling stilettos, find your favorite three-fingered pin-seeker, and shuffle to the greased-up lane for 20+ frames of bowling shenanigans. Once the pins have been pinsploded, head outside for a round of mini golf Sto-Kent style. Use the game to practice putting, challenge coworkers for microwave rights, or test AstroTurf's resistance to hot, steamy tears.
After 25 years as a loyal employee at North Woods Lanes, Mike Trachsel joined forces with his wife, Sandy, to buy the lanes he’d come to love. Together, they work hard to ensure that the place maintains the timeless charm it has cultivated over its 50-year-plus history. The years have not been without modern upgrades, however; these include automatic scoring, flat-screen TVs, and cosmic bowling. The alley also features a snack bar and a pro shop where players can purchase a new ball or a bowling bag.
Home to more than 50 bowling leagues, Wickliffe Lanes' synthetic alleyways accommodate sphere hurlers of all skill levels seven days a week, which is one of the many reasons it earned Fox 8's Best Bowling award in 2010. Between frames, bowlers seek nourishment at two full-service bars or at the in-house grill; 12 billiard tables, an arcade, and 20 high-definition TVs also keep minds off high-stakes frames. The smoke-free bowling mecca hosts family-friendly open bowling and provides retractable bumpers, which eliminate gutter balls much like bicycle helmets eliminate bad hair days.