Lapped by Lake Erie, shaped by the Ohio River, and dotted with wetlands, Ohio is a cupboard full of small boxes, each having a hidden treasure waiting to be opened. Allowing a four-season outdoor experience, the state greets with infectious eastern attitude and proud Midwest culture. From the hemlock-shaded gorges and fern-filled valleys to the Appalachian foothills, the ‘Buckeye State’ is a subject of endless fascination. It opens your senses to new tastes and weird celebrations beyond your wildest imagination.
Places to Visit in Ohio
Cuyahoga Valley National Park – Established in 1974, this national park covers an area of nearly 32 sq. miles. Although it’s in proximity to urban areas, this world of waterfalls, rolling hills, narrow ravines, and a winding river seems like a faraway land. Visitors can ride a bike on the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail, take a scenic round-trip ride on a vintage train, and in winters, glide down snowy ski slopes. A 20-m-tall waterfall, Brandywine Falls, is the main attraction of the park. Outdoor activities like camping, golfing, hiking, and picnicking engage visitors for days on end.
Amusement Parks – Cedar Point, the roller coaster capital of the world, is arguably the best amusement park in the world. This seasonal park, located in Sandusky, comprises 16 roller coasters and 72 rides. Opened in 1870, it is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the US. Kings Island, Wildwater Kingdom, and Coney Island are other amusement parks that push the limits of thrill rides.
Museums – Located on the shore of Lake Erie in Cleveland, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is dedicated to archiving the history of the most influential artists in music industry. While Cincinnati Museum Center houses history and science centers, children museums, theaters, and a library, the Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for its collection of artworks, drawings, paintings, and sculptures of modern and medieval eras. National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton has more than 350 historical aircraft and significant artifacts related to history of aviation.
Zoos and Aquariums – Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, a top-ranked zoo, houses over 7,000 animals representing over 800 species. Polar Frontier, Pachyderms, Asia Quest, and Discovery Reef are main regions, each exhibiting animals from a particular region. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo – besides having one of the largest collections of primates in North America – exhibits animals from African Savanna to Amazon Rainforest.
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park – Learn about the evolving story of Wright brothers (inventors of manned powered flight) and a great African-American poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar. The Wright Brothers Aviation Center houses world’s first practical airplane and Paul Laurence Dunbar House displays memorabilia relating to Dunbar’s life and work.
Franklin Park Conservatory – Built in 1895, it showcases collection of exotic plants, and artwork in glass. Its botanical gardens contain more than 400 plant species and 40 palm tree species.
Wright Brothers National Memorial, Great Lakes Science Center, Playhouse Square, Marblehead Lighthouse, LeVeque Tower, Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, Ohio State Reformatory, are other prominent tourist attractions in Ohio.
Things to Do in Ohio
Catch a Reds game at the Great American Ball Park, explore Amish history and customs in Holmes County, and go for wine tasting in Lake Erie region. Even after that, you will have lot to explore.
Parks and Recreation – Hocking Hills State Park with rugged cliffs, cascading waterfalls, mysterious gorges, and numerous campsites attract outdoor enthusiasts. Its undulating trails lead through forest to the spectacular Old Man’s Cave and Cedar Falls. Canoeing on the Mohican River, ziplining over Hocking Hills, and guided trail rides on horses are popular among park visitors; so is ice fishing and abseiling. Oak Openings Preserve Metropark, a rare ecosystem, has over 50 miles of trails and diverse flora and fauna.
Lake Erie Shores & Islands – With scenic wetlands, East Harbor State Park is a recreation area on the shores of Lake Erie. While in summers visitors can enjoy swimming, boating, sailing, and wildlife watching; winters allow snowmobiling, ice skating, and cross-country skiing. Soak up the sun and hop on a ferry or a cruise to discover the beauty of secluded islands. Put-in-Bay village (on South Bass Island) and Kelleys Island (which has public beaches) are popular summer destinations.
Hunting – Don’t forget to pack your hunting gear as hunting and trapping is permitted in the Wayne National Forest and some state parks.
Road Trips – If you need to get away from it all, a coastal or riverside drive might just do the trick. Travel along the Ohio River and visit charming towns on The Ohio River Scenic Byway and drive past quaint villages and verdant vineyards along the southern shore of Lake Erie. Another national scenic byway, Ohio & Erie Canalway, runs from Cleveland to New Philadelphia.
Shopping – Easton Town Center in Columbus, Tanger Outlets in Jeffersonville, and Dayton Mall offer the traditional shopping experience with options for dining and family entertainment. West Side Market, the oldest operating market space in Cleveland, features over 100 vendors selling fresh produce and seafood, baked goods, artisan herbs, and even dairy products.
Following are the major international airports in Ohio –
- Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)
- Port Columbus International Airport (CMH)
- Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
- Dayton International Airport (DAY)
Ohio is located in the Midwest region of the United States. It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the east, West Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the South, Indiana to the West, Michigan to the northwest, Canadian province Ontario to the North. While the southern border is defined by the Ohio River, much of the northern border is defined by Lake Erie.
How to Reach?
By Air – Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, nine miles (14 km) southwest of downtown Cleveland, is served by Air Canada Express, American Eagle, JetBlue Airways, Frontier Airlines, and such. Moreover, Port Columbus International Airport is the gateway to central Ohio.
By Train – Capitol Limited, Lake Shore Limited, and Cardinal are the Amtrak passenger trains passing through the state.
By Road – The state is accessible via Interstate Highways (I-71, I-90, I-80, I-70, I-75, and I-77) and U.S. Routes (US 62, US 20, US 6, US 30, US 22, and US 23). State Routes (SR 7, SR 3, SR 4, and SR 93) form a dense network of road system. Also, Greyhound and Megabus connect more than 25 major cities in the state.
Facts about Ohio
- It was the 17th state to enter the union on March 1, 1803.
- The state motto is “With God, All Things Are Possible.”
- The state takes its name from the Ohio River. The word ‘Ohio’ originated from an Iroquoian word ‘Ohi-yo’ which means “great river.”
- Fifty percent of the US population lives within 500-mile radius of Columbus.
- Glacial grooves on northern Kelleys Island are the largest and easily accessible great ice sheet grooves in the world.
- The state is known as “Mother of Presidents” as eight US presidents were born in this state.
- Fast foot chains like Wendys, Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby’s, and Bob Evans originated in Ohio.
- The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton.
- Oktoberfest Zinzinnati – an annual weekend festival in Cincinnati – is the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the US.
- Thomas Edison, Neil Armstrong, and Steven Spielberg are the famous Ohioans.