Note: This post will be continually updated to include links to the places I have visited so far. Last updated 1/05/2016. I’m hopelessy behind in updating so be sure to stop back often as I continue to mark things off my bucket list.
Ohio is one of the top wine producing states in the country, has the largest Amish population in the world and is known as the roller coaster capital, thanks to the thrill seekers paradise, Cedar Point. Ohio is pretty diverse.
My goal this year is to explore that diversity and uncover some of the places, attractions and events that make Ohio not only a great place to live, but also a great place to visit.
So I’ve compiled a list that I have dubbed “ The Ultimate Bucket List for those who want to Explore Ohio ” to help me stay on track. My goal is to begin checking items off my list this month. As I discover new reasons to love my home state, I’ll write a post about it and share it here.
Hopefully my experiences will help you as you plan outings with your own children, spouse or travel friends. I’ll also add a button to my sidebar so you can easily reference this post as I make updates.
1. Visit each of the 88 counties in Ohio.
- Athens County- The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway
- Clinton County- Discovering the Small Town Charm of Wilmington, Ohio, Down on the Farm Fun: Chuck Wagon Dinner Rides at Bonnybrook Farms
- Coshocton County- Coshocton County, Ohio in Pictures
- Crawford County- Bucyrus, Ohio: More than Meets the Eye, Step into the Past at D. Picking & Co., Bucyrus Murals: Where History and Art Combine, Bucyrus Celebrates its German Heritage
- Cuyahoga County- Seeking Adventure at Go Ape Zipline & Treetop Adventure in Cleveland
- Erie County- Take a Weekend to Explore Sandusky, Ohio, A Fall Walk Through Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve, It’s Okay to be Pampered: Relax at Spa Kalahari, Sawmill Creek Resort, The Milan Museum Complex, Inside the Newly Renovated Hotel Breakers at Cedar Point
- Franklin County- A Glimpse Inside Thirty-One Gifts Home Office and Distribution Center, 10 Things to do with the Family in Columbus
- Huron County-
- Knox County- The Centerburg Historical Mural in Pictures
- Lake County- Explore Lake County on the Instatour, Headlands Beach State Park
- Lorain County- The World’s Largest Eagle’s Nest Replica
- Muskingum County- The Wilds: Perfect for Multi-Generational Family Fun
- Pickaway County: Deer Creek State Park Lodge
- Richland County-The Ohio State Reformatory, Little Buckeye Children’s Museum, Richland County Carroussel, Malabar Farm State Park, Malabar Farm Inn Restaurant, Brumby’s Coffeehouse & Pizzeria, Ohio Bird Sanctuary, Biblewalk, Oak Hill Cottage, Kingwood Center, Mansfield Memorial Museum, Coney Island Diner, A Photo Tour of the East Cell Block in the Mansfield Reformatory, Ohio’s Best Donuts: Buckeye Bakery
- Knox County- The Dairy
- Guernsey County- Dickens Victorian Village, Hopalong Cassidy Museum, Salt Fork State Park, Guernsey Kitchen, McKenna’s Marketplace, Historic Downtown Walking Tour
- Hocking County- Glenlaurel: Romantic and Luxurious Accommodations in Hocking Hills, Three Fun & Quirky Roadside Attractions in Hocking Hills, A Stay at Laurel Run: Hocking Hills Luxury Cabins, Romantic Lodging Options in Hocking Hills
- Montgomery County- Breakout Escape Games offer Adventure for All Ages
- Ottawa County- Visiting Marblehead Lighthouse State Park, A Put-in-Bay Getaway, Best of the USA: Put-in-Bay, A Family Friendly Getaway to Put-in-Bay, Traveling to Put-in-Bay via Miller Boat Line, Bay Lodging Resort in Put-in-Bay, Take a Ride on the Put-in-Bay Tour Train, Educational Family Travel: Visit Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, Kayak the Bay for Active Family Fun, Things to do: Put-in-Bay, Ohio, A Delightfully Lazy Day on Put-in-Bay , Needle’s Eye: One of Ohio’s Natural Arches, Crystal Cave: World’s Largest Geode
- Pickaway County- Circleville, Ohio: a Unique Small Town Experience, Photo Essay: Deer Creek State Park, Ohio State Park Lodges: Deer Creek State Park Lodge
- Wayne County- Wooster, Ohio: a City Full of Surprises, St. Paul Hotel: a Boutique Hotel Experience in Wooster
2. Visit all of the National Park sites in Ohio that I’ve not already visited.
- Visit Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park
3. Go camping at least one time.
4. Stay overnight somewhere really unique.
- Queen for a Day at Landoll’s Mohican Castle in Loudonville
- Glenlaurel: Romantic and Luxurious Accommodations in Hocking Hills in Rockbridge
- A Stay at Laurel Run: Hocking Hills Luxury Lodging
- Inside a Newly Renovated Hotel Breakers
- Ravenwood Castle in New Plymouth
- St. Paul Hotel: a Boutique Hotel Experience in Wooster
5. Travel along the length of the Lake Erie Coastal Trail.
- Best of the USA Put-in-Bay
- Exploring Family Friendly Kelleys Island
- A Family Friendly Getaway to Put-in-Bay
- Follow the Fish
- Headlands Beach State Park
- Visiting Marblehead Lighthouse State Park
- A Fall Walk Through Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve
- Take a Weekend to Explore Sandusky, Ohio
- A Girl’s Day Out on Put-in-Bay
6. Follow a portion of the National Road, stopping at anything that piques my interest.
7. Take a train ride.
- Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
- Take a Ride on the Put-in-Bay Tour Train
- The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway
8. Go on a Lake Erie island excursion.
9. Visit 13 National Historic Landmarks.
- The Garfield Memorial in Lake View Cemetery
- Rockefeller Park Greenhouse
- The Historic Ohio State Reformatory
10. Take 13 factory tours.
- A Behind the Scenes Glimpse of the Velvet Ice Cream Factory
- Crossroads Original Designs Factory Store: a Scentsational Experience
- Cooper’s Mill
- Step into the Past at D. Picking & Co. in Bucyrus, Ohio
- Annin Flag Company
- A Glimpse Inside Thirty-One Gifts Home Office and Distribution Center
11. Visit 13 cultural attractions or events.
12. Hike at 13 places that I’ve never hiked before.
- Fowler Woods State Nature Preserve
- Hike the Pleasant Hill Trail at Ohio’s Mohican State Park
- Exploring the Butter Nut Trail and Cave at Malabar Farm State Park
- Brandywine Falls
- Enjoying Fall Colors at Gorman Nature Center
- Cantwell Cliffs in Hocking Hills
- A Fall Walk through Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve
- Ash Cave in Hocking Hills
13. Visit 13 of the Ohio Historical Sites.
- Adena Mansion and Gardens in Chillicothe
- Hayes Presidential Museum
- Inscription Rock Petroglyphs
- Glacier Grooves Geological Preserve
14. Visit 13 roadside attractions.
- World’s Largest Basket
- Giant Andirondack Chair Roadside Attraction
- The Big Muskie in Miner’s Memorial Park
- The Topiary Park in Columbus
- The Unusual Junction
- The World’s Largest Eagles Nest Replica in LaGrange
- Three Fun & Quirky Attractions in Hocking Hills
- The Ted Lewis Museum
- Lindsay’s Bakery: Home of the World’s Largest Pumpkin Pie
- A Photo Tour of the East Cell Block in the Mansfield Reformatory
- Gospel Hill Lighthouse in Warsaw
- Crystal Cave: the World’s Largest Geode
15. Visit 13 festivals that I’ve never been too.
16. Eat at 13 new restaurants.
- How to Eat a Hot Dog at Pink’s
- Malabar Farm Restaurant
- Coney Island Diner, Mansfield’s Oldest Restaurant
- Route 83 Restaurant in Ohio’s Amish Country
- Jane’s Hunger Paynes in Crestline, Ohio
- El Campestre Restaurant in Ontario, Ohio
- Carle’s in Bucyrus, Ohio
- Lava Rock Grill at The Unusual Junction in West Lafayette
- Medbery Marketplace in the Roscoe Village
- Lyn-Way Restaurant in Ashland
- Brumby’s Coffeehouse & Pizzeria in Bellville, Ohio
- Brick Oven Bistro in Sandusky, Ohio
- Rotuno’s BBQ in Amherst
- The Dairy in Mt. Vernon
- El Tacoriendo Food Truck in Columbus
- Besta Fasta Pizza in Ashland
- Ohio’s Best Donuts: Buckeye Bakery
1. Deer Creek State Park
2. Malabar Farm State Park
- 15 Things to do with the Family at Malabar Farm State Park
- Exploring the Butter Nut Trail at Malabar Farm State Park
3. Mohican State Park
4. Salt Fork State Park
5. Maumee Bay State Park
18. Visit 13 new thrift stores, antique stores, unique stores or boutiques.
- Lehman’s Hardware Store: it’s not just for Men
- Medina Antique Mall
- Hartville Marketplace and Flea Market
- The Olive Scene in Vermilion
- Olive & Vine in Sandusky
- Tre Sorrelle Cioccolato in Sandusky
19. Visit 13 places in my hometown.
- The Blockhouse in South Park: Icon of Mansfield
- Springmill Drive-in
- A Stroll through Kingwood Center
- The Historic Ohio State Reformatory
- The Blueberry Patch
- The Ohio Bird Sanctuary
20. Visit 13 museums that I’ve never been to before.
- Little Buckeye Children’s Museum
- Biblewalk in Mansfield
- The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum in Coshocton
- The Toledo Museum of Art
- The Great Lakes History Museum
- Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky
- Hopalong Cassidy Museum
21. Visit some great animal attractions.
- The Wilds: Perfect Multi-generational Family Fun
- Newport Aquarium
- The Toledo Zoo
22. Spend a weekend in each of the major metropolitan areas: Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo, Akron/Canton, Cincinnati, and Dayton.
23. And, because I’m a mom and an aunt, I can’t leave the kids out of this. I plan to visit 13 places that the kids will love.
- The Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky
- Castaway Bay Indoor Waterpark
- A First Time Visit to Cedar Point
- Cedar Point: the Weekend I Conquered my Fears
- Down on the Farm Fun: Chuck Wagon Dinner Rides at Bonnybrook Farms
- Seeking Adventure at Go Ape Zipline & Treetop Adventure in Cleveland
- Breakout Escape Games an Adventure for All Ages– my young adults LOVED this!
This may seem like a pretty ambitious list, but let me remind you, I love me some road trips. So what do you think? Can I mark off each of the items on “ The Ultimate Bucket List for those who want to Explore Ohio? ” Wish me luck!
Do you have a favorite state park in Ohio, know of a great place to eat in the Buckeye State, have gone on a really fun factory tour, or have a favorite festival that you enjoy year after year? Please leave a comment and share your suggestions.
- 12 Museums to Visit in Richland County
- 50 Field Trip Ideas for Richland County
- Family Friendly Staycation Ideas in Mansfield, Ohio
What attractions do you think I should add to my Ohio bucket list?
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