People often forget about Ohio, but it has so many fun things to do! Despite popular belief, Ohio is actually the seventh most populated state in the U.S., so it makes sense that there would be plenty of tourist attractions to enjoy. From amusement parks to outdoor adventures to social areas, Ohio is a state that everyone can love. But like most Midwestern states, it’s best if visited during the summer. After all, most people don’t want to be shivering during their entire trip. So, here are 15 fun things that you can do in Ohio.
Fun Things to Do in Ohio
#1 – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
If you visit Ohio, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a must-see! It’s one of the best places to learn about the history of rock-and-roll, along with some of the most famous artists. It’s a museum that has exhibits by the decade, so you can go directly to the time periods you want to learn about. It first opened in Cleveland back in 1986, and it’s been one of the most well-known attractions ever since. Some of the items you’ll find at this museum are the cars Elvis owned and Michael Jackson’s famous glove. If you love music, then this is a place in Ohio that you won’t want to miss.
#2 – Cedar Point
A lot of people travel to Ohio just to go to Cedar Point. And it makes perfect sense considering that amusement parks are one of the most fun things to do in any state, whether it’s Ohio, Florida, or anything in between. Cedar Point is in Sandusky, and it’s home to over 17 popular roller coasters, along with kids areas and shows. It takes up 395 acres, and it has been around since 1870. Cedar Point is one of the most well-known amusement parks in the world because it’s the only one that has five roller coasters taller than 200 feet. The attraction also has a water park, which is perfect for hot summer days. The water park has a wave pool, lazy river, and several intense water slides. So, no matter what you like to do, there’s something for everyone at Cedar Point.
#3 – Cleveland Museum of Art
While there are several great art museums in Ohio, the Cleveland Museum of Art is one that you can’t miss. It first opened in 1916, and by the 1950s, it was known worldwide for its impressive collections. Tickets are often free to the public, which is incredible for a museum this diverse. You’ll find a wide range of art pieces, including paintings, sketches, sculptures, and photography. These pieces come from may different artists from all over the world. The museum also showcases rotating temporary exhibits. If you’re an art enthusiast, you won’t want to miss it!
#4 – Fountain Square
Fountain Square in Cincinnati is one of the best social places in all of Ohio. It’s located right in the downtown area, and it’s a great place to hang out on a sunny day. Hence the name, this space is most known for the Tyler Davidson Fountain, which is a beautiful work of art that’s 43 feet tall. Fountain Square is a fun place to walk around, and it’s nearby plenty of shops and restaurants. This space is also home to many concerts in the summer and an ice skating rink in the winter. It’s only a few blocks away from all the excitement of Cincinnati, so it’s worth a visit.
#5 – National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is one of the most fun things to do in Ohio, especially since it’s free. It’s found near Dayton, and it’s an excellent display of military and aircraft items. It’s home to over 360 different aircrafts and missiles, with both indoor and outdoor exhibits. It has everything from the Wright brothers’ first invention to displays on space travel. There’s also a gallery that showcases many of the aircrafts used by U.S. presidents. Even if you’re not a huge fan of history, you’ll still be in awe of the many incredible planes at this museum.
#6 – Hocking Hills State Park
Hocking Hills is a gorgeous state park that’s only an hour away from Columbus. It’s one of the most exciting outdoor places to explore in the state. It has miles of hiking trails, along with caves, waterfalls, and forest areas. If you want to spend your entire trip outdoors, you can stay at a campsite or cottage for the park’s full experience. If you’re looking for fun outdoor activities to do during your stay, you can go canoeing, ziplining, bird watching, or rock climbing. Even in the winter, there are still plenty of trails to hike on. If you don’t mind being outside, then you could even plan a whole vacation at this park.
#7 – Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens
If you love beautiful places, you won’t want to skip the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron. It has a lovely historic estate surrounded by many vibrant gardens. The structure was built by F. A. Seiberling, one of the founding members of the Goodyear Tire company. This space is open to the public, but you can also take a tour to learn more about the fascinating history. Inside, you’ll find elegant furnishings and architecture. But outside, there are tons of flowers for you to see. This is a relaxing getaway from some of the more intense attractions.
#8 – Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
The Columbus Zoo is also worth a visit, but many Ohio residents prefer the Cincinnati Zoo above all else. It’s one of the most fun things to do in Ohio for all ages, especially if you love animals and nature. The Cincinnati Zoo first opened in 1875, making it the second oldest zoo in the United States after the Philadelphia Zoo. It has almost any animal imaginable, including apes, lions, elephants, and polar bears. The zoo has all types of learning experiences, which are great for kids. It has educational programs, summer camps, and overnight trips to expand your child’s education. It also has event spaces, which can be rented out for picnics, parties, or even weddings.
#9 – Loveland Castle
You might not expect to find something medieval in Ohio, but the Loveland Castle will prove you wrong. In fact, there are several castles found in this state, but this one is certainly the most impressive. It was built as an honor for the knights who fought during medieval times. Despite being less than 100 years old, it still looks fully authentic. The Loveland Castle is accessible to the public, so you can explore the many paths and gardens that surround the property. Inside, you’ll also find an impressive collection of weapons. This castle is often rented out for special events, such as school trips and small weddings. But visiting it is sure to take you back in time.
#10 – Cincinnati Museum Center
Not everyone goes on vacation to learn, but many people consider it an added bonus. The Cincinnati Museum Center in the Union Terminal displays a wide range of exhibits to help visitors learn about things like science and history. From the museum center, you can access three popular museums: the Museum of Natural History & Science, the Cincinnati History Museum, and the Duke Energy Children’s Museum. It also has an IMAX theater for even more learning opportunities. Even if you don’t plan to go in the museums, the building is still worth visiting just to see the artwork on the walls.
#11 – Kings Island
While Cedar Point is known for its intense roller coasters, Kings Island is known for being the largest amusement park in the Midwest. It was built in 1964, and today, it has over 364 acres of excitement. It has more than 47 rides, at least 15 of which are roller coasters. For those who are scared of big rides, there are also relaxing carnival rides and water rides. Kings Island is best known for its several achievements, including the longest inverted roller coaster in the world, a ride that’s known as the largest animatronic dinosaur attraction, and the world’s tallest wooden coaster. It’s one of the most fun things to do in Ohio if you’re looking for some thrilling adventures.
#12 – West Side Market
The West Side Market in Cleveland has been a popular attraction for over 100 years. It showcases a wide variety of foods from local businesses, making it a great place to grab a bite to eat. It’s known for having some of the best seafood, fresh produce, and dairy products in the state. With over 100 different vendors there at once, you’re sure to find something that appeals to your taste buds.
#13 – Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a beautiful attraction that’s open year-round. It’s a calming attraction where visitors can admire plants both indoors and outdoors. It first opened in 1895, and it takes up about 90 acres. The outdoor plants change throughout the year, depending on the season. But if you’re not willing to face the cold in the winter, then there are several greenhouses that you can visit too. The Palm House is full of palm trees from all over the world while The Conservatory has hundreds of plant species, which rotate throughout the year.
#14 – Center of Science and Industry
The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) is another one of the most fun things to do in Columbus, Ohio. It’s a great place for all ages to learn about science, while getting hands-on experiences with technology. Visitors can learn more about dinosaurs, the ocean, energy, and many other fascinating topics. In addition to the many exhibits, there’s also a theater, planetarium, and laboratory. It’s more than just your typical museum because you’ll get to experience science first-hand. This attraction even offers classes and programs for all ages.
#15 – The Wilds
The Wilds isn’t your typical zoo. Instead, it’s a preserve that gives you a special opportunity to see exotic animals. It has more than 9,000 acres, where it keeps some of the most endangered animals safe. Some of the creatures you’ll see include ostriches, rhinos, camels, and bison. It’s the perfect place to go on a safari, where you’ll feel like you’re in the animals’ natural habitats. On top of seeing lots of animals, there are also plenty of other activities to experience. You can go mountain biking, hiking, bird watching, and butterfly spotting if you’re looking for a little more adventure.
There are endless amounts of fun things to do in Ohio, no matter what part of the state you’re visiting. Consider these fifteen attractions to help you decide what you want your Ohio trip to be like. No matter what you settle on, you’re sure to have a great time!