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Did You Know…?

  • The Cincinnati Red Stockings were the world’s first all-pro baseball team (1869).
  • Astronauts John Glenn (first to orbit Earth) and Neil Armstrong (first on the moon) were Ohio born.
  • Eight U.S. presidents were born or reared in Ohio; four died in office.
  • Orville and Wilbur Wright were bicycle makers by profession, in Dayton.
  • Oberlin was America’s first college to offer interracial education (1835).

Quintessentially midwestern

At one time, Ohio was considered the western frontier. Now it’s the quintessential Midwest, with a balance of metropolitan areas and small towns, significant industrial centers and rolling farmlands. A drive through the state reveals stereotypical rural settings, plus a colorful array of wild flowers in the spring.

Few people think of Ohio when planning leisure trips, but this state offers all the recreational facilities to be found anywhere, and in Ohio’s case, that includes a Lake Eire shoreline. The state also has the cultural and sports advantages of Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus — and it has one magnet like no other, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

The Buckeye State boasts its share of distinguished sons. In addition to U.S. presidents, Ohio produced the inventors of the airplane and two of the best-known space pioneers — as well as General Sherman (as in Sherman’s march to the sea) and General Custer (as in Custer’s last stand).

This is a good place to shop for antiques, often at prices well below those in big cities. Part of the state is Amish country, which offers its unique rural vistas as well as another opportunity to shop for furniture, meaning new furniture made by Amish manufacturers. There are other Amish goods to buy, as well.

Ohio, located in the industrial region of the U.S. Northeast called the Rust Belt, also is a center for the manufacture of aircraft parts, machine tools, steel and other goods. Its most important mined product is coal.

People interested in Ohio history should read “And Ladies of the Club” by Helen Santmyer for insights into the state and its people. Visitors will enjoy getting to know their hosts in Ohio, who in many ways manifest the best traits of Americans: friendly, but not pushy; smart, but not cocky; solid, but not dull.

Not enough tourists visit this state, based on the possibilities. Late spring, summer and early fall are the best times to enjoy the parks, forests, river life and even the cities. Skiing is available, too, but — to be frank — there are better places for that.

Things to do for Venturers

  • Ride one of the really big roller coasters at the Cedar Point amusement park. Some are taller than the Statue of Liberty.
  • Try a tandem skydive in Xenia.
  • Take blacksmithing classes at a working blacksmith shop — Simply Smithing Blacksmith Shop — in Duncan Falls. Or, attend demonstrations to learn how things were done in the 19th century, and buy products made at the shop as gifts, or for yourself.
  • Camp (using tents or teepees) and canoe along the Mohican River. Or, choose kayaks, rafts or tubes to travel the river. Time this fun to attend the Great Mohican Indian Pow Wow at the Mohican Reservation in Loudonville. It is staged in July and again in September.
  • For quirky times, attend the Circleville Pumpkin Show to see truly huge pumpkins and the world’s largest pumpkin pie; watch or even join egg tossing, hog calling, pie eating and pumpkin tossing contests.
  • Or, for something else quite different, attend the National Lawn Mower Racing Championships in Mansfield.

Things to do for Centrics

  • Take a spinning class, or just drop in to relax and knit, at the Olde Yarn Loft, a yarn store in a cabin, in Somerset.
  • Take a guided horseback trail ride through Amish country, offered by Guggisberg Swiss Inn in Millersburg; in winter, ride a horse-drawn sleigh.
  • Try your skills at candle dipping, stamp printing, tin punching or weaving in a visit to Roscoe Village, a restored 19th century canal village.
  • See “Tecumseh!” the outdoor drama that tells the story of the legendary Shawnee leader. The show is presented in the summer at the Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre in Chillicothe.
  • Rock on over to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. The address is 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd.
  • Plan a driving trip along the Clermont County Ohio Freedom Trail which contains 33 sites associated with the Underground Railroad.

Things to do for Authentics

  • Visit Ridgeview Farm, a working Amish farm where tourists are welcomed, in northeast Ohio. See an Amish farmhouse replica on site and the farm’s petting barn.
  • Tour the Twin City Opera House in McConnelsville, then attend one of the monthly Ohio Valley Opry country, gospel and bluegrass variety shows on site. Also, see the movies at the opera house.
  • Attend a workshop on herbs at the Ohio Herb Education Center in Gahanna, then buy take-home herbs in its gift shop. Also in Gahanna, see the Geroux Herb Gardens, which feature appropriate herbs in themed areas, such as Biblical, culinary, medicinal and meditation.
  • Take a self-guided walking tour of Delaware’s historic downtown; Delaware is one of only eight communities recognized by the White House as a Preserve America Community.
  • Visit at least one museum or memorial associated with a U.S. president. Eight were Ohio-born or -reared, and seven are represented (William Henry Harrison, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, William H. Taft and Warren G. Harding, but not Benjamin Harrison).
  • Be a bird-watcher (songbirds, waterfowl and an occasional bald eagle) and wildlife observer (beaver, deer) in Crooked Run Nature Preserve.

Additional Resources

For more information, consult TourismOhio at