Is there anything more thrilling and exciting than going on a trip away from everything for a little while?
Whether you’ve been planning a weekend getaway with your special someone or you’ve got a friend’s trip coming up and Ohio is your destination of choice – there’s plenty of things that you can do during your time there!
Ohio is a super popular place for tourists to visit – and it’s easy to see why.
There’s a variety of different activities available for you to do in Ohio, so much so that it can certainly be hard to shortlist activities for your itinerary!
This is where we come in to lend you a helping hand.
In this guide, we are going to be providing you with a shortlist of the best activities that you can try during your stay in Ohio.
So, whether you want to live it up with your friends with an adrenaline rush activity or you want to enjoy activities that are a little on the calmer side – we’ve covered all bases here.
1. Cedar Point Amusement Park/Resort
Kicking this guide off, first up we have the Cedar Point Amusement Park and Resort!
This amusement park is full of fun, excitement and is the perfect place to visit if you’re in the mood to get your adrenaline pumping!
If you’ve never had the chance to visit Cedar Point Amusement Park and Resort before, then we’re almost certain that you will have heard of it.
This theme park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ohio, and is even rated as being one of the very best theme parks in the world.
Well, besides being located in a beautiful area with plenty of stunning views (especially if you’re daring enough to go on some of the rides) Cedar Point Amusement Park is also home to plenty of history – and even contains two of the world’s oldest wooden roller coasters that you will be able to go on if you’re feeling brave enough and adventurous.
Besides the two wooden roller coasters, there are also plenty of other awesome rides that you will be able to go on and enjoy, including 14 modernized roller coasters complete with turns, drops and sharp bends!
Keep in mind that this is one of the most popular theme parks in the country (not just in the state of Ohio) so if you’re planning to make a visit, we recommend that you plan ahead.
All year round, Cedar Point Amusement Park and Resort is full to the brim with visitors and people staying in the resort complex, which means that it can be pretty darn busy – all year long.
That being said, if you are thinking about paying a visit to this amusement park during your trip to Ohio, we recommend that you book online to avoid disappointment on the day.
2. Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Museum
If you’re going to be taking a trip down to Ohio and want to make sure that your stay is totally unforgettable for all the right reasons…you’ll be making a good choice to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum!
Regardless of whether you’re a rock and roll fan or not, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum is the place to be!
This museum is steeped in history and is one of the most respected rock and roll museums in the world.
If you’re planning on taking a visit there during your time in Ohio, you will be able to enjoy archives, instruments and original records from some of the most loved rock and roll artists and bands of all time.
In the mood for a sneak peak of what to expect from this museum?
Well, along with all the above, if you take a trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, you will be able to explore collections from major names such as the Beatles, Micheal Jackson, David Bowie and even Elvis Presley, aka “The King”.
Plus, it’s also worth noting that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum regularly features new collections and exhibitions – which means that no two visits to this museum are ever the same!
If you’re a fan of rock and roll (or simply want to explore some of the most celebrated rock and roll names in the world) you won’t regret taking a trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum during your time in Ohio.
3. Hocking Hills State Park
In the mood to go outdoors and experience the beautiful natural landscape of Ohio?
If you are, then trust us when we say that you aren’t going to want to miss out on the Hocking Hills State Park!
Offering some of the most stunning natural landscapes in Ohio, the Hocking Hills State Park is the perfect place to spend the day outside in nature.
An official state park, Hocking Hills has been around since 1924 and was created to protect the Hocking Hills region, as well as to preserve all of the natural beauty that surrounds it.
If you plan to visit Hocking Hills State Park – you’ll truly be in for a treat.
This park boasts stunning landscapes that you won’t be able to get enough of, including steep cliffs, bubbling waterfalls, stunning rock formations, interesting gorges and plenty more natural beauty that will take your breath away.
4. Franklin Park Conservatory And Botanical Gardens
Keeping in line with outdoor activities, next up we have selected the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens!
If you’re already familiar with Ohio, then we’re sure that you’ll already be well acquainted with the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
However, if you’d like a memory refresh – this stunning park open to the public is situated in the Columbus area of Ohio and is perfect for those interested in learning, natural beauty and enjoying intriguing exhibitions!
If you’re interested in paying a visit to Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens – you’ll be pleased to know that there’s plenty of things that you can do during your visit.
For starters, you will be able to find over one hundred species of plant (yes, you read that right) located all over the grounds, as well as the opportunity to explore different climate zones of the world thanks to the interactive climate exhibition that’s available all year round.
If you’re in the mood to enjoy beautiful flowers, then you should also make sure to stop by the main event: the conservatory, during your visit to the Franklin Park as you will be able to enjoy seasonal exhibitions ranging from thought-provoking art all the way to nature.
Oh, and did we mention that the conservatory is surrounded by over 90 acres of botanical gardens? Trust us, you won’t regret spending a day here!
5. Fountain Square
Dubbed as being the “Times Square” of Ohio – if you’re going to be paying a trip to this vibrant state, then it only makes sense that you should visit its most popular and centralized area – Fountain Square!
Otherwise referred to as simply “The Square ” by those who are local to the Ohio area, Fountain Square was first created in 1871 and is known as being the central district area of the city.
As you might have already been able to guess, Fountain Square is not only the perfect place to take a selfie worth of posting on your social media to mark your visit, but it’s also full to the brim with vibrant bars, beautiful shopping boutiques and plenty of delicious restaurants for you to enjoy!
Fountain Square is also recognized as being a public gathering space, which means that you’ll always find something happening at this spot.
From political debates all the way to street performers and exciting live concerts – Fountain Square is diverse, eclectic and full of life!
Make sure that you take a stroll through it during your visit to Ohio, you won’t regret it.
6. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Next up on our list, we have the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
This is a historical landmark that celebrates and explores the historic Underground Railroad and its significance for slaves seeking freedom.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is based in Cincinnati, and features a variety of art, literature and other thought-provoking pieces on the history of the Underground Railroad as well as the human rights movement, too.
If you take a trip to this museum, you will be invited to explore the darker side of the history of the USA through educational exhibitions, art pieces and more – all while providing you with a glimpse of the present day, and the notion of freedom – and what that means for everyone.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is also home to a Slave Pen, which is essentially a model of what slave jails looked like taken from the Museum of Kentucky.
If you visit this museum, you will have the opportunity to walk through the model in order to experience for yourself the way that slaves were once held captive.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center attracts over 180,000 visitors a year and has been open since 2004. We highly recommend that you pay a visit during your stay in Ohio.
7. Ohio State Reformatory
Next up? We have Ohio State Reformatory!
This was originally a formal civil war soldier training camp, but in the modern day this area is now a popular tourist attraction in Ohio that’s a must visit for anyone interested in learning a little more about Ohio history.
This prison is very popular because it is the location where the Shawshank Redemption movie was filmed!
Along with being the location where this beloved film was made, the Ohio State Reformatory is also a popular shooting location for plenty of popular TV shows, too.
Open all year round, the Ohio State Reformatory is located in Mansfield and will offer you a unique experience like no other.
You’ll be able to delve deep into the history of the prison, enjoy a guided tour of the jail and even learn about some of the pop culture significance that this prison holds, too.
Plus, if you’re in the mood to get spooked – Ohio State Reformatory is especially exciting to visit during the month of October!
There’s plenty of thrilling halloween activities going on, including ghostly tours of the prison after-hours that’s sure to get pulses racing!
8. West Side Market
In the mood to do a little bit of shopping while you’re in Ohio?
If you answered yes to that question, then trust us when we say that you simply need to make sure that you pay a trip to West Side Market at least once during your stay!
If you want to shop until you drop and enjoy plenty of great food while doing it, then you absolutely have to make sure that you place West Side Market on your Ohio travel itinerary!
The market is open daily throughout the week (with limited hours on Sunday, keep in mind) and offers an eclectic and vibrant shopping experience like no other.
Offering something new each time that you visit, West Side Market features a variety of different vendors that each showcase some of the best cuisine that the Cleveland area of Ohio has to offer.
Not only that, but besides being able to tuck into some delicious dishes that will keep you coming back for more – you’ll also be able to do a little shopping!
Along with all of the delicious food vendors that we’re sure you’ll enjoy spending time exploring and taste-testing, there’s also plenty of shops dotted around the market that range from everything to cooking utensils all the way to candles.
It’s definitely worth checking out if you need to fill a morning or an afternoon!
9. American Sign Museum
We have the American Sign Museum!
If you’re in the mood to experience some vibrant neon lights and get a deeper insight into American history – you’ll love paying a visit to this popular tourist destination while in Ohio.
As you might have already been able to guess from the title, the American Sign Museum is home to the largest collection of USA signs in the country and the world.
It was founded in 2005 by a man named Tod Swormstedt, who just so happens to also be the owner of one of the largest publications in the signage sector.
At the time of writing this guide, the American Sign Museum currently houses more than 500 signs, and each one has been carefully selected due to their ability to represent style, history and technology throughout the decades within the United States of America.
Some of the most famous signs that you can expect to see at this museum include Las Vegas iconic signs, McDonalds and even Big Boy!
10. A Christmas Story House Location
Who doesn’t love the movie A Christmas Story?
When Christmas time rolls around each year, families, friends and loved ones everywhere come together to watch some of their favorite Holiday movies – and for many, A Christmas Story is at the top of their watch list.
That being said, if you’re a fan of the beloved Christmas movie and you’d like to experience the house where it was filmed in person – you’ll be able to do just that during your visit to Ohio!
No matter what time of year you happen to be visiting Ohio, this house is open all year round for visitors to enjoy, explore and experience what it would be like to live like Ralphie for the day.
The house itself is located in the Cleveland area of Ohio and the owners have carefully restored the house to make sure that it looks exactly the way that it did in the movie.
Fun fact: the house was originally built and filmed on a sound stage in Toronto, Canada!
If you’re interested in paying a visit to this house next time you’re in the Ohio area of the country, you will be able to enjoy a guided tour of the house where you will be able to enjoy a variety of notable decor, furniture and features that can be seen in the movie.
You’ll even be able to take a fun photo under the sink for memories!
Not only that, but along with being able to take a guided tour of the house where the movie was filmed in – you will also be able to walk across the street at the end of the tour and explore the gift shop that’s filled with memorabilia and souvenirs from the movie.
There’s also two other buildings in the neighborhood that have been turned into museums to honor the movie, and they are filled with props, memorabilia and much more for you to discover.
11. The German Village
If you’re going to be staying in the Columbus area of Ohio during your visit, then we highly recommend that you make sure to take a trip to the German Village for a day or two!
Located just south of the Columbus area, the German Village is super easy to get to by foot or public transportation, and gets its name from the German Settlers that populated this area of Ohio during the 1800s.
The German Settlers made up a large part of the population during the time, which is why this area still holds such huge importance to this very day.
At the time of writing this guide, the German Village is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also currently considered to be one of the very best examples of a traditionally preserved community stemming directly from the 1800s.
That being said, if you happen to pay a visit to this area of Ohio, you will be blown away by the original architecture taken directly from the 19th century, as well as the community’s efforts to make sure that the German Village retains its original appearance and atmosphere.
So much so, that just recently there was a huge restoration project throughout the area that members of the public helped to complete.
There’s a bustling German brewery district of this village if you’re in the mood for a drink, as well as plenty of restaurants, shops and businesses that, to this very day, are still owned by the families that first settled in this area of Ohio during the 1800s.
Over in Schiller Park, you’ll find a variety of statues and sculptures of historical significance including the Umbrella Girl.
12. The Greater Cleveland Aquarium
Do you love underwater life?
If you answered yes to that question, then we think that you might absolutely love paying a trip to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium during your trip to Ohio!
This privately owned and operated aquarium is based in the Greater Cleveland area and is home to hundreds of species of exotic marine life ranging from colorful fish all the way to hair raising sharks!
The aquarium has been opened since 2012 and features a diverse range of fish and underwater life that you’re sure to never forget.
At the time of writing this, there are currently over 55 exhibitions being displayed at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium that display many different varieties of fish species hailing from all different parts of the world.
There’s even a “local” exhibition that features fish that come directly from the lakes and rivers that surround Ohio.
If you’re in the mood to get your adrenaline pumping, you’ll also have the opportunity to explore the shark tank, which features panoramic views of the sharks swimming directly above you and even right next to you as you stroll through the interior area of the tank.
Plus, this aquarium is also ideal for all the family, and features plenty of child-friendly areas such as interactive displays, a play-pen and smaller exhibitions featuring small and cute underwater life suitable for little ones.
13. Toledo Museum Of Art
Whether you love art or not, the Toledo Museum of Art is a must visit during your time spent in Ohio! Let’s take a closer look at why you should visit this museum below:
If you decide to go ahead and visit the Toledo Museum of Art during your visit to Ohio, you’ll be in for a treat!
The Toledo Museum of Art is full to the brim with thousands of artifacts, art pieces and exhibitions that you’ll easily be able to spend a whole day here without getting bored.
Ever since its grand opening way back in 1901, the Toledo Museum of Art boasts some of the most thought-provoking and stunning art exhibitions in the country, and displays art from all over the world including European art, American art and many other types of art including glass art.
Along with the stunning displays of art that you can enjoy during your visit to the Toledo Museum of Art, you will also be able to spend some time strolling through the beautiful sculpture garden that surrounds the museum.
As well as this, there’s also a concert hall in the grounds of this museum situated just on the eastern side of the building where plenty of recreational activities, live music and concerts take place throughout the year.
14. Stan Hywet Hall And Gardens
Well worth paying a visit to during your visit to Ohio, the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens is home to one of the most beautiful country estates in the country, and you will have the opportunity to walk around the entirety of it if you visit including the gardens!
The estate is steeped in history and dates all the way back to the early part of the 20th century.
If you pay a visit here during your time in Ohio, you will be able to explore the surrounding gardens as well as the home itself, not to mention also being able to enjoy various interactive displays that will tell you a little bit more about the estate’s history.
As well as this, it is also worth noting that there are many different events held all throughout the year that you will be able to enjoy including live music, performances and many other exciting events!
If you’re interested in watching one of them, then we recommend that you keep an eye on the live events timetable that you will be able to find on the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens official website.
15. Cleveland Museum Of Art
Keeping in line with the theme of art, the final activity that we have to recommend to you during your trip to Ohio is a visit to the Cleveland Museum of Art!
There’s plenty to love about this stunning museum, and the best part?
You don’t have to be a die hard art fan to be able to enjoy all of the stunning exhibitions and art pieces featured here, either.
So, what’s so special about the Cleveland Museum of Art?
Well, this museum features plenty of permanent displays and exhibitions that you will be able to enjoy all year round, including collections taken from European, Asian, Egyptian and Native American art as well as many others from cultures around the world.
Along with featured art pieces framed along each gallery and art exhibition offered at the Cleveland Museum of Art, visitors to this iconic museum will also be able to enjoy an immersive art viewing experience like no other, as this museum also features various other forms of art on display including textiles, sculptures, photography images and more.
For those with a keen interest and passion for art, we’re sure that you’ll be pleased to hear that there are many different iconic art pieces created by famous artists on display at the Cleveland Museum of Art, including pieces created by the likes of Renoir, Picasso, Monet and even Vincent van Gogh!
Olus, along with the vast array of art that you will be able to see during your trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art, this museum also features lots of live events throughout the year – so no two visits will be the same.
The Bottom Line
There we have it! You’ve made it to the end.
Now that you’ve read through our guide to Ohio, we hope that you’ve found a few places to add to your travel itinerary.
The only question left to ask is, where are you going to visit first? Thanks for reading – bye for now!
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