Although Ohio may sometimes be referred to as ‘the middle of nowhere’ by people unfamiliar with the area, I can assure you that The Buckeye State is a wonderful place to visit and has much more to offer than dreary skies and corn fields.
Our beautiful national parks and sporting teams are, of course, key attractions, but it’s also worth noting that many interesting historical events have taken place in Ohio as well, such as being the birthplace of an intriguing number of aviation and astronautics enthusiasts such as the Wright Brothers, John Glenn, the first U.S. astronaut to orbit earth, and even Neil Armstrong, who is famous for being the first man to walk on the moon.
The state of Ohio is also known for inventing the phrase “Rock and Roll”, which was coined in Cleveland, Ohio in 1972 by WMMS radio director Billy Bass and helped result in Ohio becoming the home of the iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit.
All that aside, there is great fishing up at Lake Erie, excellent camping opportunities, amusement parks, and numerous other popular attractions for tourists to experience.
I’d say there’s a lot more to Ohio than first meets the eye.
If you happen to be visiting and are looking for destinations to fill your itinerary, then consider my suggestions below!
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The Cleveland Botanical Garden
The Cleveland Botanical Garden has been a staple of the community since 1930 and was the first organization of its kind in the United States of America.
- The 18,000 square foot Eleanor Armstrong Smith glasshouse is one of the CBG’s feature attractions. This crystal-peaked conservatory is comprised of two parts, including a humid Madagascar desert section, as well as a dry Costa Rican rain forest section. Live insects such as whipscorpions and butterflies roam freely within the enclosure. These curious creatures are known to land on observers, so be sure to bring your camera!
- Outside of the conservatory, you can walk around and enjoy the various gardens growing on the property. The outdoor Hersey Children’s Garden was designed by children and is one of the more popular garden attractions.
- The Cleveland Botanical Garden has tried their best to make the place fun for kids by building family-oriented attractions, such as a large tree, winding garden mazes, and splash fountains.
If you’re looking for an attraction more on the relaxing side of the spectrum, this is definitely one that I would recommend. It’s a great place to unwind and get in touch with nature, which is something lot of people really appreciate.
Address: 11030 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106
You can visit their website to buy tickets or learn more about the Cleveland Botanical Garden.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
No matter where you’re from in the USA, you’ve most likely heard of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
This attraction is well-known throughout the USA and is comprised of 5 sections which are referred to as “levels”, each of which feature unique exhibits and are, of course, full of rock memorabilia.
- Level 1 – The Main Entrance: The first section is the entryway into the venue. After they scan your ticket, you are then free to roam around. Here you can find gift shops, cafes, or even watch a show on the Klipsch Stage. This is also where the Backstage Stories exhibit is located, which gives you an opportunity to “sneak backstage” and witness roadie life for yourself.
- Level 2 – The Garage: While visiting a place so deeply intertwined with Rock’s history, it wouldn’t be unusual to get strangely inspired and feel the need to immediately ‘rock out’. Luckily, that’s what “The Garage” is for. At this exhibit you can pick up your favorite instrument and play however you want to, either with your friends or by yourself. This is also where the Garage Gear, Les Paul and Brand Your Band exhibits are located.
- Level 3 – The Hall of Fame: The Hall of Fame is the main attraction. This is where you can view the Connor Theater, Inductee Signature Gallery, and the New Inductee exhibit.
- Level 4 – Pink Floyd’s The Wall: Here you can stand below a tour replica of The Wall, an exhibit which was intentionally designed to mimic Pink Floyd’s 1990 Berlin performance.
- Level 5 – Legends of Rock: This exhibit has played an important part of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s success for over 20 years. On display is an intense collection of instruments, performing outfits, and handwritten copies of hit singles by some of the most famous musicians to have ever existed.
Address: 1100 E 9th St, Cleveland, OH 44114
You can visit their website to buy tickets or learn more about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Cedar Point is a massive 364-acre amusement park located in Sandusky, Ohio. As the second-oldest operating amusement park in the United States, it has proven to be a popular tourist attraction over the years.
- Are you a fan of high-speed roller coasters? Cedar Point has over 15 roller coasters available for park-goers to choose from including the legendary Millennium Falcon.
- Some other notable rides and attractions include boat charters, Dodgem bumper cars, a golf course, kayaking and paddle-boarding, the MaXair the Scrambler, the Super Himalaya, Thunder Canyon, the Troika and the Wave Swinger.
- For the kids, they have less intense rides and attractions such as the Crystal Rock Rafts, the Highground park, Joe Cool’s Dodgem School, Kiddy Kingdom Carousel, the Kite Eating Tree, a petting zoo, pony rides and much more.
- The water-park was recently renovated in 2017 and is complete with water slides, a half-million gallon wave pool and a lazy river.
- Live shows are another popular attraction at Cedar Point and feature a variety of talented musicians, actors, acrobats and other entertainment acts.
- If you get a little tired from all the rides and thrills, you can always unwind a the mile-long Cedar Point beach.
- Traditional amusement park pop-ups and fast food is available, but they also have quite a few restaurants in the park or near the hotels, such as Bay Harbor, the Corral, TGI Friday’s, the Farmhouse Kitchen & Grill, Melt Bar & Grilled, the Trail Tavern and Quaker Steak & Lube.
Address: 1 Cedar Point Dr. Sandusky, OH 44870
You can visit their website to buy tickets or learn more about Cedar Point.
Ohio is home to the second largest Amish population in the United States of America, with only Pennsylvania beating us on that metric, and they don’t beat us by much.
If you’re looking to learn more about this wonderful and diligent group of people, then Ohio is one of the best places you could visit.
- You can learn about the rich history of the Amish people.
- The unique scenery gives you a glimpse into the unique culture of the Amish people, and you’ll see old-time equipment such as buggies.
- Visit local Amish farms. Some of these locations have been turned into full-featured exhibits, complete with bison, giraffes, lemurs, zebras and other exotic animals.
- Authentic Amish-made goods are widely available for sale here. They are particularly well-known for their traditional food products and quality woodworking.
Hey, I know I said earlier in this article that there was more to Ohio than dreary skies and corn fields, but the truth is that people love corn fields. They are a popular attraction in Ohio and I would be crazy not to mention them. Although I’m from the North, we have a lot of farms in Southern Ohio and if you’re into agriculture, then they are absolutely worth checking out. If you go at the right time, you can even buy fresh Ohio sweet corn directly from the farmer.
- Did I mention corn? (Ok – I’m half-joking)
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