Ohio Discovery Guide

Overview

Whether you prefer to soak up the sights and sounds of the big cities, or spend your time hunting or observing wildlife in the great outdoors, a vacation in Ohio might be exactly what you’re looking for. A vacation in the Buckeye state is sure to leave you with memories you’ll want to relive again and again. The state of Ohio is divided into ten distinct geographical regions, each with its own special attractions and places to visit.

One of the main attractions in North Eastern Ohio is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Located in Cuyahoga County, this fantastic museum includes an enormous collection of music memorabilia as well as dynamic and interactive exhibits, an epic-sized video wall, and films to view as well. Other places to visit in Cuyahoga County include the Cleveland Museum of Art, in the city of Cleveland, which features over 30,000 works of both ancient and modern art from all over the world. Other attractions in this attractive city include the Great Lakes Science Museum, the West Side Market, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, with plenty of kid-oriented displays and exhibits that will enthrall children of all ages.

Thrill-seekers will love Geauga Lake in Portage County, with more than 100 exciting rides, including the Texas Twister, which spins and flips its adventurous riders up to 60 feet in the air. Visit Summit County and ride the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, or discover the inventor inside you at the Inventure Place, with dozens of interactive exhibits.

Northern Ohio, like many other regions of the state, includes some great hunting and fishing spots, and there are nine state parks and seven nature preserves here too. Sandusky County is a great place to visit for some historical background of the area, with the Mad River Railroad Society Museum, and the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center both located here.

North central Ohio includes the Big Island Wildlife Area, located in Marion County. This is an exceptionally popular seasonal destination for hunting-oriented vacationers, as is the Killdeer Wildlife Area located on the border of Marion County. Marion County is also home to one of the most unique annual events in America—the Annual Popcorn Festival. This three day event is part of the September calendar of events for everyone in the area, and features a parade, music, and entertainment and activities for the whole family to enjoy.

North western Ohio is another nature-lover’s paradise, with places such as Beaver Creek State Park, nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. This is a great place for hunting and fishing, and well as wildlife observation, hiking and other outdoor activities. Vanwert County is a great place to visit over the summer and fall months, with festivals aplenty—the Peony Festival in June, July Fourth Celebrations, Farm Focus and the Hot Air Affair in August, and the County Fair in September. Hot Air Affair is a particularly amazing sight to behold, with more than 40 hot air balloons gliding through the skies. Allen County is the ideal place to soak up some of the area’s history, with places such as the Allen County Museum and the MacDonnell house, which recreates life in the nineteenth century down to the last tiny detail.

The central region of Ohio, with its state parks, hunting grounds and nature preserves, is every bit the outdoors lover’s paradise as any location in the country. Even if you’re not a sportsperson, there is much to enjoy in the outdoors, from the beautiful woods of Blackhand Gorge, to the stunning Maple Trail and quiet forests of the Dawes Arboretum, in Licking County. Learn about the history of this region at the Moundbuilder’s State Memorial and Indian Art Museum, where displays and exhibits depict artistic achievements dating back more than 10,000 years. If you crave a little more excitement, stop by the National Trail Raceway, featuring drag racing competitions from April through October, with Championship competitions in June.

Guernsey County is a great place to visit in the eastern region of Ohio, with Seneca Lake providing gorgeous sandy beaches for swimming and basking in the sun, as well ass sailing, water-skiing and other aquatic sports. Other attractions here include the Hopalong Cassidy Museum and the Guernsey County Historical Museum, providing a glimpse into the lives of the area’s ancestors. For a unique taste of the outdoors, The Wilds is a 9,000 acre conservation park that includes a variety of endangered species living in natural, wide-open habitats—giraffes, rhinoceros and many other animals can be seen here, and The Wilds offers safari tours during the day and the evening, offering a fantastic opportunity for close viewing.

A visit to Western Ohio is the perfect place to soak up some history and have fun at the same time. The Piqua Heritage Festival in Miami County is a “must-see” in September, when more than 200,000 visitors gather to view this celebration of the area’s pioneer ancestors. The Piqua Historical Area offers year-round fun, with a guided tour of historic buildings and museums, and the chance to take a ride on a mule-drawn boat on the Eerie Canal. When in Miami County, be sure to visit Tipp City, a charming old-style town with a unique ambience and great shopping. Close by Tipp City is Charleston Falls Preserve, which features hiking trails which will take you past limestone caves and waterfalls in a picturesque display of natural beauty.

Southern Ohio is a great place to experience the excitement of the Old West, at places like the Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre. This unique open-air theater stages the dramatic Tecumseh show, enacting the life of the famous Shawnee leader with epic battle sequences that will never be forgotten. Visit the Smoke Rise Ranch in the south east, for horse-back riding in the spectacular Ohio countryside, go on a cattle drive and catch a glimpse of life as it was lived in the Old West.

Ohio is such a diverse landscape, from the shores of Lake Eerie in the north, to Cincinnati in the south, that there’s something for everyone. From water-sports to historical sites, big city fun to camping trips and outdoor activities at the many recreation areas around the state, an Ohio vacation will leave the traveler with plenty of great memories.
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