Things to do in Ohio: From the top Ohio State Reformatory, Kalahari Indoor Water Park, Worden’s Ledges, Hocking Hills, Leaning Tower of Pizza.
Last updated 7/21/2016.
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 and most people have no idea of all that Ohio has to offer.
My goal for the past couple years has been 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 of things to do in Ohio ” to help me stay on track. As I discover new reasons to love my home state, I’ll write a post about it and share it here. Simply click on the link – or sentence that is blue or purplish- to go to that blog post to see what I have to say about that attraction or destination.
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 visit more Ohio attractions and add them to my list of things to do in Ohio. So make sure you bookmark this page, Pin it, or share it so you’ll have it to refer back to when you’re looking for more ideas.
Things to do in Ohio
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
Annin Flag Company in Coshocton
The Old Stone Fort: Shrouded in Mystery in Coshocton County
A Touch of Nostalgia at the Unusual Junction and Lava Rock Grill
Gospel Hill Lighthouse in Warsaw, Ohio
Step Back in Time to Historic Roscoe Village
- 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
- 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
Field of Corn: An Amazing and Quirky Roadside Attraction
The Topiary Park in Columbus, Ohio
Tour a Lustron Home in Columbus
A Weekend in Columbus Exploring the Arts
- Guernsey County
Dickens Victorian Village
Hopalong Cassidy Museum
Salt Fork State Park
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
The Rush Resort: Ohio Luxury Lodging in Hocking Hills
- Huron County
- Licking County
A Behind the Scenes Glimpse of Velvet Ice Cream Factory
Velvet Ice Cream: a Delicious Tradition
- Lorain County
The World’s Largest Eagle’s Nest Replica
- Lucas County
Why you don’t want to Miss an Early Morning Walk at Maumee Bay State Park
- Medina County
Hidden Art of Worden’s Ledges at Hinckley’s Reservation Cleveland Metroparks
- 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
Oak Hill Cottage
Mansfield Memorial Museum
Coney Island Diner
A Photo Tour of the East Cell Block in the Mansfield Reformatory
Ohio’s Best Donuts: Buckeye Bakery
- 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
3 Unique Shopping Experiences in Wayne County
- Vinton County
Ohio’s Covered Bridges in Vinton County
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 (Review coming)
- 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
- Handless Jacques: a Roadside Attraction in Marblehead
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 National Historic Landmarks.
- The Garfield Memorial in Lake View Cemetery
- Rockefeller Park Greenhouse
- The Historic Ohio State Reformatory
10. Take 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 cultural attractions or events.
12. Hike at 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 the Ohio Historical Sites.
- Adena Mansion and Gardens in Chillicothe
- Hayes Presidential Museum
- Inscription Rock Petroglyphs
- Glacier Grooves Geological Preserve
- The Ohio History Center
14. Visit 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
- Handless Jacques: a Roadside Attraction in Marblehead
- The Giant Dancing Hares in Dublin
- The Field of Corn (with Osage Oranges)
15. Visit festivals that I’ve never been too.
16. Eat at 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
- The Rail- Canton
- Saffron in Mansfield (Review Coming Soon)
- 6 Pizza Places you must try in North Central Ohio
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
- I went in Search of a Sunrise and found Cows at Mt. Jeez
3. Mohican State Park
4. Salt Fork State Park
5. Maumee Bay State Park
18. Visit 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
- 3 Unique Shopping Experiences in Wayne County
19. Visit 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 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 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 bucket list of things to do in Ohio?
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