From vibrant cities like Cleveland and Cincinnati to tiny towns with lesser-known attractions, there’s a lot to do and see in the dynamic state of Ohio.
Ohio offers much more than you may see at first glance and is often overlooked for flashier destinations. From the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to the Roller Coaster Capital of the World, you’ll quickly discover that this mid-western oasis is filled with unique and thrilling experiences!
Find out what makes each location special, what amenities are offered, and what attractions will make your trip one to remember. Are you ready to experience the best of Ohio? Let’s get started!
15 of the Best Places to Visit in Ohio
From big-city energy to small-town vibes, we’ve rounded up the very best places to see in Ohio. Let us be your guide!
1. Hocking Hills
Southeast Ohio’s Hocking Hills is a haven for nature lovers. Among other beautiful sights, visitors can expect to see towering cliffs, gushing waterfalls, and deep canyons.
Ash Cave, Old Man’s Cave, and Cedar Falls are just a few of the authentic attractions in the area, which makes it a great place to go hiking, camping, and exploring.
Although Cleveland might not immediately spring to mind as a vacation spot, it’s a hidden treasure that is well worth exploring.
Due to Cleveland’s thriving art and music cultures, you can spend an afternoon visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or touring the local galleries and museums.
This vibrant metropolis offers something for every visitor. There’s always something to experience, whether it’s indulging your taste buds in its modern restaurants and pubs or taking in the antique architecture.
Don’t forget to see the Great American Ball Park or the renowned Over-the-Rhine district, or both.
Searching for a fun and distinctive weekend getaway? Don’t look any further than Put-in-Bay.
This picturesque island village, which can only be reached by ferry, offers a bustling pub scene, attractive bed & breakfasts, and a wide range of water sports, including kayaking and fishing.
5. Amish Country
Go back in time and discover the tranquil beauty of this region. This serene area is renowned for the Amish way of life, horse-drawn carriages, and home-baked products. Make sure to experience the Amish way of life by taking a tour of the nearby farms and marketplaces.
Being the state capital of Ohio, Columbus is the state’s epicenter of culture, cuisine, and art. Visit the Short North Arts District, the Ohio Theatre, or the Ohio Statehouse, where you can take in an authentic performance.
7. Cedar Point
This attraction is a must-visit for thrill-seekers. Cedar Point, which is dubbed the “Roller Coaster Capitol of the World,” contains a staggering 72 rides, including 18 roller coasters.
Among their rollercoasters are the illustrious Millennium Force and the record-breaking Steel Vengeance. Those add to other thrill attractions like the Top Thrill Dragster, which accelerates riders to 120 mph in less than 4 seconds.
Although it’s a small city, Dayton is full of surprises. You can visit the National Museum of the United States Air Force or take a tour of the Wright Brothers’ Bicycle Shop in this city, which is well-known for its aviation heritage.
For a taste of art, culture, and history, set your sights on Toledo. In the National Museum of the Great Lakes, you can discover the region’s fascinating history.
You can also visit the Toledo Museum of Art to see a stunning collection of international masterpieces.
10. Mohican State Park
For those looking for leisure and outdoor adventures, Mohican State Park offers a breathtaking natural hideaway. Take a canoe or kayak ride along the beautiful riverbanks, explore the miles of hiking and bike paths, or go fishing in the clear Mohican River.
You may spend a few days or perhaps a week exploring this lovely area because there are so many campgrounds, cabins, and lodges to pick from.
11. Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
Both animal and plant enthusiasts should visit the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Explore the breathtaking botanical gardens filled with exquisite flora and fauna.
Here, you can get up close and personal with exotic animals from all over the world, such as the lovely Fiona the hippo. There is constantly something fresh to learn about, thanks to the annual exhibits and seasonal events.
12. Lake Erie Islands
If you’re looking for some rest and relaxation, head out on a tranquil retreat to the Lake Erie Islands. Take a ferry to the lovely Kelleys Islands, Middle Bass, and South Bass to discover their breathtaking beaches, interesting landmarks, and charming lighthouses.
Don’t forget to indulge in some of the delectable regional fare, which includes fresh perch and walleye. And trust us — anywhere with great seafood is worth visiting!
The city of Canton is a fantastic vacation spot for history and sports enthusiasts. If you’re a sports fan, you’ll love walking through the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
If history is more your thing, the National First Ladies’ Library is a must-visit. This museum is fully dedicated to the remarkable ladies who have served as the First Ladies of the United States.
14. Wayne National Forest
The Wayne National Forest is a sizable wilderness region with more than 300 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding paths.
Fish in the rivers and streams, go cave exploring, or camp out beneath the stars in this park filled with unusual rock formations.
Wayne National Forest in Ohio is a must-see location since there is so much unspoiled beauty to discover there.
15. National Park in Cuyahoga Valley
Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a terrific vacation spot for those who love the outdoors, and it’s only a short drive from Cleveland and Akron.
The park is a great place for hiking, biking, and animal viewing because it has several waterfalls, thick forests, and pure wetlands.
Brandywine Falls, the Ledges, and the 20-mile Towpath Trail, which follows the old Ohio and Erie Canal, are some of the park’s most well-known attractions.
Things to Consider
Whether you’re seeking a cultural experience or an outdoor adventure, Ohio has it all. However, there are a few things to think about before making travel arrangements to the Buckeye State.
Top considerations include:
- Location: Make arrangements before traveling to popular locations like Cleveland and Cincinnati because they can fill up rapidly during the busiest times of the year.
- Weather: Winter weather can be chilly and snowy in northern towns like Toledo and Akron, while southern cities like Columbus typically enjoy milder year-round temperatures but more rain than other regions of the state.
- Costs: Hotels near popular attractions will usually cost more than those far away from city centers. Still, they provide convenience if that’s an important factor when deciding where to stay during your vacation!
- Safety: Double-check online reviews regarding safety measures taken by hotels, hostels, resorts, etc., especially if traveling alone or with children – ensure they understand how to behave appropriately while exploring new places!
- Vacancy: It may be helpful to plan ahead and get tickets in advance because several well-known tourist attractions in Ohio, like Cedar Point and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, can get crowded during busy travel times.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few answers to the most commonly asked questions about visiting Ohio:
What is the number one tourist attraction in Ohio?
Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is Ohio’s top tourist destination. This museum, which sits on the edge of Lake Erie, honors the history of music via interactive displays, live concerts, and educational initiatives.
It’s an unforgettable experience, whether you are a fan of rock or simply interested in its history.
What is the prettiest place in Ohio?
The Hocking Hills area of Ohio is frequently cited as the state’s most picturesque location. The region is a haven for nature enthusiasts thanks to its stunning sandstone cliffs, gushing waterfalls, and lush woods.
The hills are covered in hiking routes that provide breathtaking vistas of rock formations, including Old Man’s Cave and Ash Cave. For those who want to spend the night and explore even more of this breathtaking landscape, there are a ton of camping spaces readily available.
Hocking Hills offers something for everyone, whether you’re seeking an outdoor adventure or just some peace and quiet in the great outdoors.
What is the coolest place in Ohio?
Hocking Hills State Park is, without a doubt, the coolest place in Ohio. This park, which is located nearby Logan, attracts outdoor enthusiasts with its beautiful sandstone cliffs, abundant vegetation, and deep gorges.
In addition to several hiking paths, caverns, waterfalls, and rock formations to discover, the region also has camping grounds and cottages if you want to spend the night. Hocking Hills offers both tranquil retreats and exhilarating adventures, so there’s something for everyone.
What is the most visited city in Ohio?
Columbus is the city that receives the most tourists. The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, COSI (Center of Science & Industry), German Village historic area, and the Ohio State University are just a few of the attractions that call this city, the state capital, home.
The city’s vibrant downtown, which is packed with businesses, eateries, nightclubs, and entertainment venues, is a key magnet for the many tourists it attracts each year. A great weekend or day trip location, it is also close to other significant cities like Cleveland and Cincinnati.
Is Ohio safe for tourists?
Yes, tourists can feel secure when traveling to Ohio. Nevertheless, caution is always advised when moving around in big cities. Pay attention to your surroundings.
Follow the rules of the road when driving and be alert to any weather dangers, such as snow and ice, during the winter. An overall safe and pleasurable trip to Ohio can be ensured by using common sense and simple safety precautions.
So, Where Should You Visit in Ohio?
No matter what your travel style is, Ohio has something for everyone. From the bustling cities of Cleveland and Cincinnati to the smaller towns of Toledo and Dayton, you’ll find plenty of great places to explore in this Midwestern state.
Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities or a cultural experience, Ohio offers some of the best places to visit in the country. So, what are you waiting for — book your trip today!