Ohio has tremendous possibilities for visitors looking for a cultured experience, a small-town refuge, or a full-on getaway to nature. Cleveland, Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus offer numerous cultural attractions, incredible shopping, and a vast repertoire of things to do in Ohio.
The rich countryside will give you the best of the industrious Amish Country. There are also summer fun communities, like Sandusky, with its amusement park.
The forests and lakes invite you for a vacay during spring until fall for amazing outdoor adventures. When winter comes, try your luck on the lake’s ice fishing or go skiing in any of the places in Ohio.
No matter the season, you will discover fascinating and fun experiences for everyone in your group. Explore the Buckeye State with our list of the leading attractions in Ohio.
Here are 50 things to do in Ohio that you’re not going to want to miss!
A CHRISTMAS STORY HOUSE
All lovers of the season of Christmas will enjoy their visit to A Christmas Story House and Museum. This famous house is found in Cleveland. It is the house used to film the celebrated holiday film, A Christmas Story.
The house has been renovated to look like the Parker’s house, and sends guests on a sentimental trip through the movie’s riveting scenes and unforgettable sites.
Amish Country gives you a respite from hectic city life by showing you a simple lifestyle. You will drive past quaint Amish buggies plying the scenic country roads while farmers labor in the fields.
You can take a detour and pick up something organic from small farms along the way. Purchase homemade goods like candy, locally made cheeses, ice cream, and more.
Details: 4843 Valley Dr. Box 222, Berlin, OH 44610 | Website
ARMSTRONG AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM
The Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum is found near a small town called Wapakoneta. This is where Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, grew up.
Learn more about his life and accomplishments in the displays in the museum and artifacts from Apollo 11. The museum also documents contributions Ohio has made to aeronautics and space exploration.
Details: 500 Apollo Dr., Wapakoneta, OH 45895 | Website
HOCKING HILLS STATE PARK
Hocking Hills State Park is found in Logan. The park is a rugged area filled with nature and great for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
You will find different hiking trails, caves, great camping facilities, and lovely cottages. Go rock climbing, zip-lining, or camping during your visit.
Go up a caved path to get to Ash Cave, found at the southern edge of Hocking Hills State Park. It is the biggest recess cave in the state of Ohio, spanning 700 feet across.
Your kids will love to dabble in the sand, climb rocks and get wet in the waterfall. A 1/2 mile rim trail goes around the gorge and gives a spectacular view.
Cantwell Cliffs are found in Hocking Hills State Park in southern Ohio. It is the most rugged and remote hiking trail in the park.
The scenery is breathtaking, with waterfalls and creeks, and pets on a leash permitted. Watch the world from the 150 feet tall cliffs, before squeezing through a walkway called Fat Woman’s Squeeze!
Details: 19852 OH-664, Logan, OH 43138 | Website
Ohio has something for ski lovers and lovers of snow. Boston Mills is a beautiful place for beginners as it has gentle and gracious terrain.
There is also a tubing park that promises an adrenaline rush for the whole family.
Details: 7100 Riverview Rd, Peninsula, OH 44264 | Website
BRANDYWINE SKI RESORT
Brandywine Ski Resort is just a mile away from Boston Mills and caters to the younger crowd of snowboarders and skiers.
Brandywine and Boston Mills have the biggest lift capacity in the state of Ohio. They have a capacity of 20,000 people per hour. You can also ski at night in illuminated tubes which is quite a sight.
Details: 1146 W Highland Rd, Northfield, OH 44067 | Website
BREITENBACH WINE CELLARS
Breitenbach Wine Cellars is found in Amish Country. Enjoy their amazing wine tours in a picturesque setting.
Visit the gift shop or just relax on the patio as you munch on fresh salads or wood-fired pizza. Outdoor concerts, barbecues, festivals, and cooking events happen here all year round.
Details: 5934 Old Rte 39 NW, Dover, OH 44622 | Website
Castle Noel transformed from an abandoned church to a Christmas museum in 2013. It was founded by Mark Klaus, and used his childhood memories of Christmas to inspire it.
You will enjoy yuletide toys from a lost era, old holiday movies, and themed window displays from famous department stores.
Squeeze through “Santa’s Chimney Squeeze” and gain first-hand knowledge of how Santa makes his deliveries.
Details: 260 S Court St, Medina, OH 44256 | Website
Cedar Point amusement park is found near Sandusky on Lake Erie. Cedar Point has 17 roller coasters, various kids’ areas, and more. There is a shallow pool for the younger crowds, a wave pool, a lazy river, and a water slide that drops for six stories! When too tired, head for the cabins, campsites, or suites.
CINCINNATI MUSEUM CENTER
The Cincinnati Museum Center is found inside Union Terminal. There are several museums in one building. Matters science, historical and scientific, is highlighted here in the 1.8 million artifacts.
Spaces Gallery is a public outlet for artists to explore and respond to immediate issues. The art galleries are spacious and light-filled, and you’ll find sculptures, prints, ceramics, and paintings here.
Details: 2900 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113 | Website
CINCINNATI ZOO & BOTANICAL GARDEN
The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden houses reptiles, mammals, birds, invertebrates, and fish. You’ll also find behind the scenes events and other attractions here — like a train and a carousel. There are educational programs for different ages, overnight trips, and summer camps.
CLEVELAND BOTANICAL GARDEN / HERSHEY CHILDREN’S GARDEN
The Cleveland Botanical Garden showcases incredible flora and fauna collected worldwide. Just a leisurely stroll through any of the paths will have all your senses go on high alert. Smell the sweet smell, chase the butterflies, and watch all the colors and flowers pop.
Details: 1 Wade Oval Dr., Cleveland, OH 44106 | Website
Cleveland Metroparks is nicknamed the ’emerald necklace’ because of how it extensively encircles the city. You will enjoy stunning landscapes, picturesque panorama, and nature as you participate in outdoor activities. Try boating, fishing, hiking, biking, golfing, and more.
Details: 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, OH 44109 | Website
Redefine the meaning of sledding when you go down the Insane Toboggan Chute found in Northern Ohio. It is a 700-foot hair-raising drop like no other.
Details: 16200 Valley Pkwy, Strongsville, OH 44136 | Website
COLUMBUS ZOO AND AQUARIUM
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has more than 10,000 animals within its premises. The animals are drawn from different regions, like Asia, Africa, and North America. They offer stage performances and educational programs throughout the year.
Read More: 20 FANTASTIC THINGS TO DO IN COLUMBUS OHIO
CENTER OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY (COSI)
COSI combines learning science and industry in a fun way for everyone. You can visit the largest planetarium in Ohio here, and enjoy live shows. Many exhibits exist here, including a full-sized Tyrannosaurus rex, a fossilized amber that is 100 million years old, and an eight-foot titanosaur femur. After all the learning, cool down at the splash pad or play at the swings on the playground.
Details: 333 W Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215 | Website
Read More: 20 FANTASTIC THINGS TO DO IN COLUMBUS OHIO
CUYAHOGA VALLEY SCENIC RAILROAD
This is perfect for train enthusiasts of all ages! Spot wildlife along the scenic route that will take you along the Cuyahoga River and Cuyahoga National Park. For couples, consider a rail trip complete with a full course meal in their beautiful dining car.
Details: 6801 Brecksville Road, Suite 185 Independence, OH 44131 | Website
DAYTON AVIATION HERITAGE NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK
Aviation enthusiasts will not want to miss a visit to Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park. The museum honors aviation heavyweights, the Wright brothers. You will see where the dream of taking flight started in the brothers’ bicycle shop.
DUKE ENERGY CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
Duke Energy Children’s Museum provides hands-on educational space for children. Watch the kids explore the world around them as they climb and crawl their way through the different spaces.
Details: 1301 Western Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45203 | Website
FIVE RIVERS METROPARKS
Dayton’s Five Rivers MetroParks is a vast park system extending over 16,000 acres in 25 facilities. Take a bike ride in this bicycle-friendly community and discover many areas of interest. Take photos, go birdwatching or just enjoy the great outdoors.
Details: 8300 S Brown School Rd, Vandalia, OH 45377 | Website
FRANKLIN PARK CONSERVATORY AND BOTANICAL GARDENS
The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are found in Columbus. You will have access to many exhibits both indoors and outdoors. Discover exotic plant collections at its glass greenhouses at this horticultural institution.
Details: 1777 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43203 | Website
GREAT LAKES SCIENCE CENTER
The Great Lakes Science Center deals with fact-of-life questions like, “Why the sky is blue?” among other doozies. There are many firsts here, like a screen that is six stories high! Learn about nanotechnology, create rings of clouds or play music with your feet. Your curiosity will be piqued here at all times.
Details: 601 Erieside Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114 | Website
The pastures in Amish Country influence the texture and taste of cheese at Guggisberg. The cheese is creamy, with a distinct flavor making it a favorite of many. Visit the cheese shop for a tasting, local organic purchases and authentic handmade cuckoo clocks.
Details: 5060 OH-557, Millersburg, OH 44654 | Website
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S AIR & SPACE MUSEUM
The International Women’s Air & Space Museum (IWASM) celebrates women in a nation. There are over 20,000 intriguing artifacts and tales of more than 6,000 women aviators waiting to be told.
Details: 1501 N Marginal Rd Ste. 165, Cleveland, OH 44114 | Website
JAMES A. GARFIELD NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
James A. Garfield was the 20th President of the States of America. The James A. Garfield National Historic Site was his home in Mentor, Ohio. It was here that he launched his stellar political campaign.
Four years after the President’s assassination, Mrs. Garfield set up the Memorial Library wing, the very first presidential library, and a precedent was set for all future presidents.
Details: 8095 Mentor Ave, Mentor, OH 44060 | Website
JOHN & ANNIE GLENN HOME & MUSEUM
Take a tour of astronaut and Senator John Glenn’s boyhood home at the John and Annie Glenn Home & Museum in New Concord, Ohio.
Experience firsthand how life was during the Great Depression and during WWII. Memorabilia from Glenns’ time in politics, military, and space travel are featured here. You will also see a detailed model of John’s Friendship 7 space capsule that orbited the Earth.
John Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. The jumpsuit he wore is found here, as are his military uniforms and more.
Details: 72 W Main St, New Concord, OH 43762 | Website
Kings Island is the biggest amusement park and waterpark in the grand Midwest. It stands tall on 364 acres. Inside are 15 roller coasters, more than 40 rides, and other carnival attractions. It is home to the world’s longest inverted roller coaster, the world’s largest animatronic dinosaur park, and the fastest and tallest wooden coaster on earth!!
There is no shortage of activities to be done here, no matter your threshold for heights or abilities. Fair Warning: You might not want to leave.
Details: 6300 Kings Island Dr., Mason, OH 45040 | Website
LOVELAND CASTLE MUSEUM
At Loveland Castle, tourists explore the footpaths and lawns surrounding the estate. You will encounter weaponry and armor used by knights of old that are proudly displayed inside of the castle. Be on the lookout for ghosts as you trudge along. Take a stroll to clear your mind along with the beautifully landscaped gardens, while you take in the clean countryside air.
Details: 12075 Shore Dr., Loveland, OH 45140 | Website
MA & PA’S
You will find Ma and Pa’s in the woods of Geauga County. Shop at this log cabin for items solely made in the United States. Ma and Pa’s takes you back to simpler times.
Try the homemade maple syrup and enjoy Maple Tours seasonally. Go on a winter adventure on a horse-drawn sleigh, then enjoy sweet home-baked goods. Ma and Pa’s promise wholesome fun and family-friendly adventures within the safety of the countryside.
Details: 15161 Main Market Rd, Burton, OH 44021 | Website
MAD RIVER MOUNTAIN
Grab your skis and head to Mad River Mountain, Ohio’s biggest ski resort. It is found just a short drive from Columbus, Dayton, and Lima in Zanesfield, Ohio. The resort sits on 144 acres and is the perfect winter playground for everyone. There are many family-friendly programs and excellent instructors.
Tube down 1000-feet long chutes when not skiing the slopes. Mad River Mountain is also home to Ohio’s largest snowmaking systems, guaranteeing 100 percent coverage.
Details: 1000 Snow Valley Rd, Zanesfield, OH 43360 | Website
NATIONAL AVIATION HERITAGE AREA
Discover the interesting history and fantastic progress of aviation on your visit to the NAHA National Aviation Heritage Area. It is found in Dayton and recognized by Congress as NAHA. Explore exciting historical sites, educational museums, or enjoy a jaw-dropping air show! There is no chance for boredom here.
The Dayton region was home to the Wright brothers, the pioneers of flying. It is also home to the first military airfield. The initial parachute jump happened here. Dayton is truly synonymous with aviation.
Details: 26 S Williams St, Dayton, OH 45402 | Website
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE U.S. AIR FORCE
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is found on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, and it’s a perfect stop for aviation fanatics. View more than 360 aerospace items, as you step into a time capsule of flight history. Learn about the high regard the whole world has for Dayton in aerospace matters.
Details: 1100 Spaatz St, Dayton, OH 45431 | Website
NATIONAL UNDERGROUND RAILROAD FREEDOM CENTER
Take a long hard look at America’s dark past at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. Aptly named the ‘museum of conscience,’ you will be enlightened on the history of slavery in the United States through well-kept artifacts, heartbreaking photos, and emotional films. You will leave the floors of this museum as a changed person.
Details: 50 E Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202 | Website
Oak Openings, or Oak O, is a whopping 5,000-acre nature preserve snuggled in Swanton and Whitehouse, Ohio. Explore more than 50 miles of natural trails, numerous campsite areas, a fantastic event center, a quaint cottage, and even a treehouse! Children and young adults are catered to here.
Spend your day walking, picnicking, running, biking, and camping out in the many habitats available. Spot as much wildlife as you can along your routes.
Details: 4139 Girdham Rd, Swanton, OH 43558 | Website
The famous Observatory Park is an 1,100-acre park located in Montville Township, and it’s the perfect getaway for budding astronomers. Explore nature from the ground beneath your feet to galaxies light-years away. There are two powerful telescopes at your disposal and astronomy-themed exhibits for your perusal.
Details: 10610 Clay St, Montville, OH 44064 | Website
Enjoy rich and wondrous nature on your way to Ohio’s largest caverns. You will see the biggest stalactite in Ohio, and other beautiful natural formations. After you are done exploring the caverns, let the kids play at the playground right above the caverns.
Details: 2210 OH-245 E, West Liberty, OH 43357 | Website
PUNDERSON MANOR LODGE
Punderson Manor is a charming, intimate Tudor-style resort surrounded by beautiful nature. The manor has a beautiful glacial lake in its background, offering a surreal experience. Explore the 150 acres following any of the beautiful trails.
Details: 11755 Kinsman Rd, Newbury Township, OH 44065 | Website
ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a pilgrimage territory for serious music aficionados and lovers of music. The museum features all the music legends from different periods. Different original memorabilia, like costumes and musical instruments, are also found here.
Details: 1100 E 9th St, Cleveland, OH 44114 | Website
SMALE RIVERFRONT PARK
Smale Riverfront Park boasts 45 acres of fun facilities for the entire family. Take a walk or go on a hike on the beautiful grounds. Try the giant foot piano, or the porch swings as you enjoy amazing river views.
Details: 166 W Mehring Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202 | Website
Visit Snow Trails in Mansfield for amazing winter joy and fun. Go skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. This one-of-a-kind resort is owned by a family, and is also home to the most comprehensive program in the Midwest for kids aged between 4 and 9 on snow. They are gently taken through the motions by award-winning instructors.
Details: 3100 Possum Run Rd, Mansfield, OH 44903 | Website
SUMMIT BREW PATH
Beer lovers will yell “bottoms up” as they do a brewery crawl around Ohio. The Summit Brew Path will cure all your cravings for craft beer. There are about 20 to 24 stops to be made and beer to be had. Tickets are booked online.
Details: 77 E. Mill Street Akron, OH 44308 | Website
THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART
The Cleveland Museum of Art was established in 1916, and is considered one of the world’s most distinguished comprehensive art museums. The building itself is a work of art with its neoclassical design. Inside are European, American, and Asian art collections for your discernment. You could go on a self-guided tour or go on a docent-led one.
Details: 11150 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106 | Website
THE OHIO STATE REFORMATORY
This castle-like prison was built in 1886 in Mansfield, OH to reform young offenders. Original cells and offices remain largely untouched, which is quite a few movies have been filmed here, including Shawshank Redemption. They offer many different types of tours — from self-guided tours to guided tours, like their Hollywood Meets History Tour.
Public ghost hunts, ghost hunts, and ghost hunt classes are also held here, for both first time investigators and veteran ghost hunters.
Details: 100 Reformatory Rd, Mansfield, OH 44905 | Website
TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART
The Toledo Museum of Art has accumulated an extensive collection of art over the 100 years it has existed. The museum straddles 32 acres and is in six buildings, all marvels of architecture. You have an eclectic mix of modern art, Roman, Greek, and Egyptian pieces, and an amazing glass collection that should not be missed.
VAN AKEN DISTRICT & MARKET HALL
The Van Aken District is an urban hub found in Downtown Shaker Heights, the first of its kind in the region. The district lures you in and invites you to stay longer. There are many shopping outlets, dining options, and entertainment spots in this locale. The market itself is a whopping 10,000-square feet!
Details: 3441 Tuttle Rd, Shaker Heights, OH 44122 | Website
WEST SIDE MARKET
Foodies rejoice! The West Side Market in Cleveland has the freshest ingredients for what your recipe demands. More than 100 local vendors bring everything and allow a few samples here and there. You’ll find delicious local produce, specialty items, baked goods, meats, and so much more. All the products here are organic and homemade.
Details: 1979 W 25th St, Cleveland, OH 44113 | Website
YOUNG’S JERSEY DAIRY
Young’s Jersey Dairy is a family-friendly, family-owned, family-operated farm and tourist attraction. Visit the working dairy farm and try their homemade ice cream and cheese. Play at the batting cages or try miniature golf, all found on-site.
Get lost in the corn mazes or pick your pumpkins in the fall. Pet some farm animals or try milking a cow! There is no shortage of ways to get your hands dirty here.
Details: 6880 Springfield Xenia Rd, Yellow Springs, OH 45387 | Website
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO OHIO
- SANDUSKY: 24 Things To Do In Sandusky, Ohio You Can’t Miss
- CINCINNATI: 27 Phenomenal Things To Do In Cincinnati, Ohio
- COLUMBUS: 20 Fantastic Things To Do In Columbus, Ohio
- CLEVELAND: 22 Outstanding Things To Do In Cleveland, Ohio
WHERE TO STAY IN OHIO
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