Ohio Vacation Planner

2021 Ohio Visitors Guide

Ohio is so diverse that it has something for every traveler. The northern side of Ohio borders onto Lake Erie, and with the great Ohio River and many other rivers flowing through the state, water recreation is abundant. The three Cs—Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus—are highly industrialized urban centers, while the family farms and small towns of Middle America offer a contrast to Ohio’s big-city life. All over the state visitors discover amusement parks renowned for their bigger-than-life roller coasters, like Sandusky’s Cedar Point in the Greater Cleveland area and Paramount’s Kings Island near Cincinnati.

Ohio’s innumerable aviation contributions are documented and celebrated in Dayton, home of the United States Air Force Museum, one of the oldest and largest aviation museums in the world. Amish Country in north Ohio is home to the Amish and Mennonites who have shunned modern conveniences to maintain simpler times. In Appalachian Ohio, exotic animals roam free at the Wilds, a 10,000-acre endangered species reserve.

Great Things to Do in Ohio

There are so many things to do in Ohio; it’s difficult to find a place to start. Ohio, home of the Pro Football and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is also known as the Buckeye State. It’s the place where electricity first lit an entire city (Cleveland) and the town where Thomas Edison developed the light bulb, the phonograph, and the earliest model of a motion picture camera.

Ohio is a land of heritage, history and invention; so naturally, there are plenty of things to do here. Some of the best shopping in the country can be found in the historic Terminal Tower in Cleveland, as well as the Museum of Art and the Great Lakes Science Center, where visitors learn about environmental issues. Or stroll the shopping attraction at West Side Market in Columbus, where outlet stores beckon bargain hunters year-round.

Ohio Parks

For those interested more in the great outdoors, Ohio boasts over 70 State Parks, forests, lakes, rivers, and wilderness areas that provide entertainment year-round. In the summertime, Mohican State Park, Hocking Hills State Park or Hueston Woods State Park guarantees a good time whether you’re fishing, hunting, camping, hiking or horseback riding. In winter, try your hand (or feet) at downhill skiing, snowboarding, and ice-skating or cross-country skiing.


Canton offers tourists the Football Hall of Fame, while Sandusky offers tourists of all ages one of the greatest (and one of the oldest) American amusement parks at Cedar Point. Cleveland hosts the Metroparks Zoo and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Visit Akron, the “rubber capital of the world” or the birthplace of the Wright Brothers in Dayton. Did you know that Ohio was the birthplace of the great American hotdog? Or that it was the first city to use police cars? There’s a lot that people don’t know about the rich and interesting history of this great state, which also offers visitors and residents plenty of things to do in Ohio. After all, what more can you expect from a state that employs, “Hang On Sloopy” as its state rock song? Ohio is a fun, friendly, invigorating travel destination for millions of Americans every year. Native Ohioans are friendly and would love to show you around their state if you allow them to.

Though ranked 34th in size of all the states, Ohio has a very big heart – and a very large population, especially around Columbus, where 50% of the U.S. lives (within a 500-mile radius)! From museums to festivals, from rock climbing to touring Perkins Observatory, there are so many things to do in Ohio that you may need to book your entire vacation here just to explore a small portion of what the state has to offer.

Ohio State Tourism

Ohio, named after the Iroquois word for “Great River” is one of the most beautiful states in America, and one of the most visited because of its reputation for hospitality and its wealth of great things to do and see. When it comes to Ohio state tourism, the Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism knows how to promote its attractions. In 1984, they came up with the slogan – Ohio, The Heart of it All. However, in 2000, the board decided that they needed to ‘kick it up a notch’. Today, the state’s very apt slogan is “Ohio, So Much to Discover”.

How apt is this slogan, for Ohio is literally one of the few places in the U.S. where visitors and residents alike can find something different to do or see with every changing season. Ohio offers a plethora of attractions – art and historical museums to the Pro Football and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame. Forts, tombs, and cabins and homes of famous Ohio natives can be found throughout the state, including the McKinley National Memorial and the Harding and Harrison tombs, as well as President Grant’s birthplace, home and school. The state offers a wealth of national treasures, including the Zane Grey Museum, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and Serpent Mound.

Ohio state tourism attracts travelers and visitors from around the country hoping to enjoy some of her best entertainments, from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to one of the oldest functioning amusement parks in the country at Cedar Point.

Ohio’s got a great sense of humor as well, and residents voted for ‘Hang On Sloopy’ as their very own State Rock song, though yes, their ‘traditional’ state song is ‘Beautiful Ohio’. Known as the Buckeye state, residents also have their very own groundhog aptly named ‘Buckeye Chuck’, and a favorite drink (tomato juice).

Ohio also boasts over nine thousand square miles of forested land and over 44,000 miles of rivers and streams, offering outdoor adventurers plenty of hunting, fishing, skiing, hiking, and backpacking excursions year-round. The Ohio state tourism board invites you to come to visit and see for yourself the wonderful opportunities that Ohio has to offer, whether you’re traveling alone, as a couple or with a family (and your dog).

Ohio Restaurants Guide

Going on vacation in Ohio means having a great time, sitting back, relaxing, and taking advantage of traveling, dining out and trying different kinds of foods that are not usually prepared and eaten at home. Since there are so many restaurants in other cities that serve different cuisines, finding a great place to eat every day might seem like a daunting task. With an Ohio restaurant guide to help, vacationers are able to select cuisines and ethnic foods as well as locations that fit any budget.

Looking for that perfect seafood restaurant? The Oceanaire Seafood Room in Cincinnati is an elegantly designed dining experience with a full menu comprised of various fresh seafood dishes. Interested in a traditional German-American meal while dining at a nationally registered historic site? Schmidt’s Restaurant and Sausage Haus specializes in traditional German and American dishes, complete with German and microbrews to wash it all down.

Ohio is home to many ethnic foods such as French, Mexican, Italian, and German cuisines, so there’s something to please everyone in the family. Using an Ohio restaurant guide helps natives and visitors to narrow down restaurant searches, which saves time, money, and gas. While Ohio enjoys a variety of restaurants utilizing the talent of world-renowned chefs, there are also plenty of intimate dining locations for that quiet dinner or a romantic night out.

For many, a great steak is a perfect way to end a day of sightseeing and adventure. While in Cleveland, steakhouses such as the Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse in Downtown are ideal when looking for fine aged beef and chops. This restaurant is conveniently located near major attractions in Cleveland including the Tower City Shopping Complex and Progressive Field, home to the Cleveland Indians, Ohio’s major league baseball team.

Of course, there are the usual fast-food restaurants to be found on practically every street, so saving money and eating cheap during the day allows for a little splurging during the evening. Many locations also take reservations and are extremely helpful at planning events, so be sure to ask.

An Ohio restaurant guide is a valuable tool that offers information on virtually every restaurant in the Ohio state, narrowed down by region for easy access. As a tourist in town for only a few days, checking with the guide provides the information you need every time. Trying new foods adds to the overall experience of a great vacation, and many memories are made when visiting any of the countless food destinations in the state of Ohio. Whether you’re in the mood for Hungarian hot dog in Toledo or Thai cuisine in Columbus or that bowl of Skyline Chili on Cincinnati’s Riverfront, Ohio has something to please every palate.

Vacation Destinations in Ohio

Visitors to Ohio can stay in one of her more populated cities, like Cincinnati, Columbus, or Cleveland, or find some elbow room in thousands of smaller cities and towns that offer down-home charm, lodging, and cooking. Whether visitors are in the mood for gourmet dining or Hungarian hot dogs, Ohio’s got it. From the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati to the rustic campgrounds in the Wayne National Forest, natives and visitors can expect and receive, only the best from the great state of Ohio.

Appalachian Ohio Visitors Guide

Covering the southeastern portion of the state, Appalachian Ohio is a land characterized by caves and vistas, expansive forests, and scenic waterways. With over 30 state parks and over 20 state forests, the area plays host to a range of outdoor pursuits, including hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, biking and camping. Golf enthusiasts are sure to appreciate the many courses in the area, which number in excess of 100. But Appalachian Ohio’s excitement is not limited to recreation. The region’s lack of a major city has not impeded the development of a robust arts scene, which is bolstered by several major attractions, such as Stuart’s Opera House, Dairy Barn Arts Center and the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. Buffington Island pays homage to the only significant Civil War battle that took place in Ohio with a monument and interpretive signs. Another impressive historical attraction is Serpent Mound near Peebles, a quarter-mile-long serpent effigy that dates back hundreds of years.

Cleveland Visitors Guide

The Greater Cleveland area covers the northeastern corner of Ohio and includes the vibrant centers of Akron and Cleveland. Offering a wide range of recreational areas, cultural attractions and annual events, this region attracts visitors throughout the year. Akron is an important commercial city, as it is home to nearly 1,500 corporate headquarters of the nation’s leading manufacturing companies. Besides business, the city boasts cultural attractions such as the Akron Zoological Park and the Akron Art Museum. Those wishing to experience the excitement of a big city enjoy visiting Cleveland, which boasts four professional sports teams and countless attractions, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Located approximately 40 minutes east of both Akron and Cleveland lies the small city of Aurora, which is home to the popular Six Flags World of Adventure theme park. Outdoor enthusiasts appreciate Mosquito Lake State Park, located near Cortland, as it is an ideal place to camp, hike and fish.

Cleveland – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Situated on the banks of Lake Erie, visitors to Cleveland marvel at the city’s diverse array of attractions. Whether taking in a professional sporting event, strolling along the funky downtown streets or visiting one of the city’s many museums, there is always something happening in Cleveland. Those looking for stimulating nightlife flock to the Flats Entertainment and the Historic Warehouse Districts, as both areas are booming with live musical entertainment, nightclubs, and trendy restaurants. Spectator sports are another popular Cleveland pastime, as the city is home to four professional sports teams, including the Cleveland Indians baseball team and the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team. Music enthusiasts are drawn to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, which features thousands of rare artifacts that once belonged to rock music icons. Every April Cleveland is abuzz during the Tri-C JazzFest, an 11-day event that features some of the best jazz musicians found in the United States and beyond.

Cincinnati Visitors Guide

Situated in southwestern Ohio, at the doorstep of Indiana to the west and Kentucky to the south, the Greater Cincinnati area is known for its aesthetic appeal, the robust business community, and vibrant cultural scene. Cincinnati affords a range of activities for visitors, from touring the Cincinnati Art Museum and the American Classical Music Hall of Fame to attending a Cincinnati Reds Major League Baseball game. Located just outside the city limits, Paramount’s Kings Island and Coney Island amusement parks are great destinations for family fun and excitement. Another attraction not to be missed is the Beach Waterpark in Mason, which features over 30 waterslides and rides. Sharonville is home to the Heritage Village Museum, where a bounty of historic buildings and artifacts take visitors back to the 19th century. Opportunities for recreation are also abundant. The extensive trail corridor at Little Miami State Park stretches over 50 mi and attracts scores of biking, hiking and horseback riding enthusiasts.

Cincinnati Guide

Visitors to Cincinnati are often astounded by the range of attractions and cultural events the city has to offer. With a prime location on the north shore of the Ohio River, downtown Cincinnati is in a basin surrounded by hills. The 43-ft-tall Tyler Davidson Fountain stands in Fountain Square as downtown Cincinnati’s symbolic centerpiece. Music lovers enjoy the American Classical Music Hall of Fame, where American contributions to classical music are honored and celebrated. Cincinnati’s passion for the arts is evident at the Cincinnati Art Museum, which displays over 88,000 art pieces in its permanent collection. Learn about the city’s past at the Cincinnati History Museum, which boasts a 94-ft (28.6-m) side-wheel steamboat, vintage automobiles and a World War II exhibit. A great place to spend a sunny afternoon in Cincinnati, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum is an outdoor attraction that covers 265 acres (107 ha) and features sculptures, horticulture, hiking trails, and environmental programs.

Columbus, OH Visitors Guide

Columbus is not only the capital of Ohio, but it is also renowned as the capital of technology. The term state-of-the-art comes to life in this city, which is home to more than 150 high-tech companies. The sciences can be explored at COSI Columbus, an interactive science learning center. Visitors interested in politics should be sure to tour Capitol Square and the Ohio Statehouse. Travel to the past by taking a stroll around German Village, a restored 19th-century German neighborhood filled with unique houses, shops, and restaurants.

Columbus Oh
downtown Columbus Ohio

Art enthusiasts delight in the array of Modernist, Impressionist and Expressionist work on display at Columbus Museum of Art, which also features a sculpture garden and traveling exhibitions. The performing arts are well represented in Columbus, with concerts, plays and opera events dotting the calendar throughout the year. Titillate the senses with a tour through simulated habitats of the world at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden.

Dayton, OH Visitors Guide

The city of Dayton is known as the birthplace of aviation since the inventors of powered flight—Wilbur and Orville Wright—once lived there. Dayton has a great deal to offer visitors, as it is home to appealing museums, countless shops and an attractive parks system, not to mention immense historic charm. Visitors enjoy the United States Air Force Museum, one of the world’s largest aviation museums. Featuring more than 300 aircraft and missiles, the museum presents displays that depict everything visitors yearn to know about the Air Force. Shopping enthusiasts flock to the Dayton Mall, which houses over 180 specialty shops, restaurants, and department stores. Dayton is also home to the Five Rivers MetroParks, an extensive park system that features 24 public facilities in and around the city. Nearby Carriage Hill MetroPark is an ideal place to embark on a hike, cross-country ski trip or horseback ride.

Sandusky Visitors Guide

Sandusky lies on the south shore of Lake Erie, the fourth largest of the Great Lakes. The Cedar Point Amusement Park is one of the jewels in Sandusky’s crown, featuring 16 roller coasters and live entertainment alongside accommodations and shopping. There are also several indoor and outdoor waterparks in the area that provide amusement for the whole family. Fishing trips for perch, steelhead and rainbow trout are available from a variety of charter companies in the area. Sandusky’s German heritage is celebrated every year at Oktoberfest, a festival that features music, food and more. For arts and culture, the Sandusky State Theatre provides a venue for concerts and live performances in addition to offering an assortment of instructional programs in acting.