Best Apartment Complex
First Place - The Province
For the second year in a row, The Province continues to be Kent’s best apartment complex.
With rent ranging from a lofty $699 all the way to a hefty $1,059, residents have access to amenities such as the theater, heated pool, on-site fitness center, study areas, tanning beds, clubhouse with a game room and computer lab with a printing station. There’s also a coffee bar available to students.
It also has a prime location on South Lincoln Street, which sits only a few feet from the business administration building.
“You have instant access to everything you could need but at the same time you get that warm fuzzy feeling,” said Community Manager Patty McNerney.
Each unit comes fully-furnished and has fully equipped kitchens, walk-in closets, double-hung windows, private bathrooms, hardwood floors and in-suite laundry. Residents also have community-wide Wi-Fi.
Next year, The Province will become pet-friendly, so residents will be able to have their furry friends with them off campus.
“We care about your future,” McNerney said. “It can still be effective but feel like somewhere you want to be. It’s still a great place to call home.”
Second Place - 345 Flats
Coming in second place, 345 Flats is the newest on the market, located closest to downtown Kent.
Rent is all-inclusive besides electric costs and ranges from $685 to $1,125. Floor plans include fully-furnished studio suites, or one-, two- or four-bedroom apartments.
Amenities include an on-site community lounge, seven study rooms, a computer lab with free printing and a fitness suite.
“I think we have really great residents this year,” said Property Manager Brittany Mullen.
Third Place - Eagle’s Landing
Eagle’s Landing is located across the street from campus and is part of the Kent Apartments community.
Rent ranges from $835 to $885 for two-bedroom apartments. Each unit has a fully equipped kitchen and central air conditioning.
Amenities include a fitness center, outdoor heated pool, student center with tanning bed, lounge area with cable TV, game area, computer lab with internet and three laundry facilities on property.
Eagle’s Landing also includes a 24/7 maintenance staff.
Best Place to Have Fun Under 21
First Place - Kent Lanes
Kent Lanes has something new to offer every night of the week with their themes, music and food. It’s always something different, but it’s always something fun.
Low prices and specials are geared toward all age groups, while the nightly bowling and music is more accommodating toward students.
“It’s a good physical activity to do, especially in the winter,” said owner Jim Palmer. “It’s very unique in regard to other entertainment in that way.”
Palmer said the moonrock bowling in the evenings where they only have black lights and disco lights illuminating the lanes, is very popular with Kent State students.
There are also food and drink specials every night of the week. The menu includes burgers, sandwiches, wings, salads and over 20 different appetizers to share with friends.
In addition, Kent Lanes has professional-grade outdoor beach volleyball courts for when the weather gets warmer. Known as SPIKERS Volleyball Complex, customers can play volleyball then visit the outdoor Tiki Bar for food and drinks.
“You can come with a group of people and it’s relatively inexpensive to have a good time,” Palmer said. “It’s definitely a fun atmosphere.”
Second Place - Brewhouse Pub
Located on N. Water Street, Brewhouse Pub is a hot spot for students.
Being the only bar in Kent to allow those 18 and older in, students under 21 can experience what college nightlife is like.
For a $5 cover fee, the Brewhouse offers DJ music, pool tables and plenty of room to dance. In addition, Thursdays are Ladies’ Nights at the Brewhouse as ladies can get in without a cover charge.
Brewhouse also has food in their pub area for students who want a bite to eat before hitting the dance floor.
Third Place - Kent Plaza Theater
This family-owned business is a great place for students to catch the latest box office hits.
With offers like $6.50 for any movie on Tuesday night if you show your student ID, the Kent Plaza Theater is a popular hangout.
In addition, the theater is currently being renovated to include reclining leather seats so customers can relax and enjoy their movie in comfort.
Manager Dillon Oliver said the family-owned aspect is what really sets Kent Plaza Theater apart from other destinations in the area.
“It makes it a little more down to earth,” Oliver said.
Best Place to Study
First Place – University Library
With 10 floors featuring computers, group study rooms and a Starbucks, it’s no surprise that the University Library is a student’s best place to study.
The University Library offers quiet areas to meet all the study needs of students.
While the fourth floor is to best way to hang out and study with friends, it’s not for everyone. If you’re a person who needs absolute silence while doing homework, then head for the eighth floor. It is one of the quietest floors in the library, and students know to not make a sound.
The library also features a writing commons help those in any stage of the writing and revising process for a paper, no matter your skill level.
It’s also the destination for group projects. The library has a presentation practice room, where students can practice their PowerPoints and any multimedia presentations, as well as multiple group study rooms.
With finals coming up, you can’t afford not to go.
Second Place – Tree City Coffee & Pastry
If you’re looking for a new place to study and some quality coffee, Tree City Coffee is the place for you.
Located in downtown Kent, the coffee shop has multiple tables where students can sit and get work done as they enjoy the warmth of the fireplace. The atmosphere is just as chill as it looks.
“We see students come in to grab a coffee and grind on homework every day, mostly around 11 in the morning and then about 7 or 8 at night when it starts to die down,” said Boo Beavers, an employee at Tree City Coffee.
Third Place – Scribbles Coffee Company
Laid-back and chill, Scribbles Coffee Company is a great place to open your books and get some studying done.
“When you walk in the door the atmosphere makes you feel like you’re at home, we’re very unique in our style unlike other coffee shops around here and I think that’s based on the friendliness of everybody that works here,” said Lindsay Parsons, a manager at Scribbles Coffee Company.
There are multiple areas of seating in the front of the coffee shop, as well as the back of the shop, where you can pull up a chair or ease into a comfy couch.
Best Tattoo/Piercing Parlor
First Place - Defiance
Defiance has been tattooing members of the Kent community for over 10 years.
The shop offers custom tattooing and piercings every day of the week, and they’re conveniently located right on Main Street.
The tattoo shop has been voted number one by students several years in a row.
From its urban-rock atmosphere and friendly staff, to its impressive, custom tattoo creations, it’s no wonder why students make up the majority of Defiance’s clients.
Second Place: South Water Studios
Down the road, South Water Studios was voted second-best tattoo and piercing parlor.
“We offer quality work at a fair price in an exceptionally clean and pleasant environment. Basically, it’s the place your mom would want you to go,” said Wendi Koontz, part-owner of South Water Studios.
Wendi Koontz and Carlos Gonzales opened their studio in 2014 focusing on custom artistic and cosmetic tattooing, such as permanent makeup and tattoo cover ups.
Third Place: War Horse Ink
War Horse Ink is a veteran-owned and operated tattoo shop located right outside downtown.
The shop offers custom ink, body piercings, tattoo cover-ups and more.
Best Retail Store
First Place - Off the Wagon
As soon as one steps foot inside Off the Wagon, they cannot help but look at the abundance of quirky toys and gifts.
With their catchphrase “for the young at heart,” Off the Wagon definitely caters to an audience with a sense of humor and youthfulness.
While searching their website by interest, you’re sure to find a gift that sparks your interest with categories such as “Candy,” “Crazy Cat Stuff,” “Bacon” and even “Unicorns & Narwhals.”
Second Place - Figleaf
If you’re looking for the perfect outfit, look no further than Figleaf Boutique.
Keeping a clean and classy interior aesthetic, Figleaf feels like a boutique out of Brooklyn. With the clothing arranged by color, you’re sure to find an outfit to fit your mood.
From the music to the customer service, Figleaf doesn’t disappoint. Not to mention, the store has a website where you can purchase items without getting out of your bed.
Third Place - Last Exit Books and Coffee House
Need a new quiet spot to crack open that book you’ve been meaning to read? You’ll definitely have to check out Last Exit Books and Coffee House.
With an impressive collection of new and used books, DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs, and records available for purchase, Last Exit is the perfect place at which to spend the afternoon, grab a coffee and peruse. Not to mention, the overall aesthetic is pretty much perfect for your social media needs.
Owner Jason Merlene has been in Kent for 15 years and says people enjoy coming to his establishment because, “We have roots in Kent — we were here before all the development happened and we have a great inventory.”
First Place - PRIDE! Kent
PRIDE! Kent strives to create a safe space for all walks of life.
Founded in 1971, it serves as a hub for equality and liberation since it’s starting date.
“PRIDE” is an acronym for “People Respecting Identity, Diversity and Equality.” The group works hard together to represent the LGBTQ community and their allies here at Kent State.
The organization hosted several events ranging from educational sessions to fun socializing. They pride themselves on creating a safe space for members no matter what they’re doing.
Second Place: The Kent Clarks
Performing around campus since 2011, The Kent Clarks use music to bring Kent together.
“The one thing that ties us together is our love and passion to share the power of music with others,” said President Rachel Rudel.
The Kent Clarks have even made it to perform for former President Barack Obama in the White House and on NBC’s Today Show.
They are very proud to be Kent State’s first and premier contemporary a cappella group. Rudel describes the group as being a “big family.”
Third Place - KSU Pokemon League
Students in the KSU Pokemon League can become their own real-life Pokemon trainers.
Since 2014, the group has offered a fun environment for Pokemon lovers to play the card and virtual versions of the game.
Vice President Erin Moyers described the organization as having an open door policy where she has “gained many friends.”
The KSU Pokemon League meets weekly and they even host PokemonGo excursions since the app gained popularity in 2016.
Best Residence Halls
First Place - Centennial Courts
If you’re looking for a dorm that is close to apartment-style living, the Centennial Courts are your best bet.
“I think students enjoy living in the Centennial Courts, because it’s a nice balance between student engagement and millennial students’ desire to have privacy,” said David Haas, the residence hall director for Centennial Courts C and D.
With a private bathroom and air conditioned rooms, it definitely feels like luxury living for a college campus. Each Centennial Court includes study rooms and lounges on every floor as well as an quiet atmosphere that is perfect for students.
Second Place - Eastway
Most students fondly remember their times in Eastway because it is one of the most popular freshman dorms on campus.
Eastway is broken up into four residential halls including Fletcher, Manchester, Allyn and Clark. These halls include lounges equipped with pool tables, foosball tables and a television.
There’s even a bowling alley and arcade on the first floor right next to the common area, which features a fireplace and multiple televisions.
The best part? The dining hall upstairs and a marketplace downstairs, so one never has to leave the hall to get some food.
Third Place - Tri-Towers
Housing more than 1,000 students, Tri-Towers is a diverse living space that includes three residence halls including Leebrick, Koonce, and Wright.
With a popular hangout spot in the rotunda, students have the opportunity to have a social and interactive living environment.
Tri-Towers also holds the only 24-hour dining option on campus. At Rosie’s, you can enjoy some fries and a shake at any time of day — especially handy after a night out.
First Place - Fake Patty’s Day
Usually held about a week before St. Patrick’s Day, Fake Patty’s Day brings out an enormous crowd to the city of Kent for a day of fun and booze.
With students starting festivities as early as six in the morning, the fraternity houses and bars are full of students and Kent residents sporting green.
Dominic Morris, a bartender at Ray’s Place, said, “A lot of students come out all day, instead of just at night and it’s been really good for business- probably one of our busiest days all year."
Second Place - Halloween/Potterfest
Tying for second, Halloween and Potterfest both provide some spooky fun.
Halloween at Kent is usually celebrated whichever weekend that it falls on and is one of the city’s busiest holidays. With people of all ages dressed up in costumes and heading toward the bars, downtown is filled with interesting characters.
Potterfest, on the other hand, is an event hosted by Main Street Kent in July. Thousands show up to Acorn Alley dressed in their favorite Harry Potter costumes to celebrate the franchise. The event is kid friendly and includes live music, face painting and more.
Third Place - Homecoming
The best event to show off your blue and gold pride is at Homecoming. Each year Kent State students from the past and present show up to support their Golden Flashes.
Starting off homecoming in the morning at the Homecoming parade, you can enjoy entertainment from the Kent State marching band, cheerleaders, dance team and many other student organizations.
From tailgating to free t-shirts, there’s so many fun ways to celebrate your school. Not to mention, you’ll have plenty of pictures to post on Instagram.