Fun fact: Ohio is the birth state of famous astronaut Neil Armstrong, AKA the first person to ever walk on the moon.
However, Ohio is not only famous for Neil Armstrong, but this mid-western state has a lot more to offer than you would assume on the surface. From modern cosmopolitan cities to lazy lakeside towns, and don't forget amazing BBQ, there is a little something for everyone in the Buckeye State.
If you're looking for adventure in Ohio, look no further. Here is an extensive "bucket list" to help kick-start your mid-west adventures.
Content disclaimer: We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit a potentially hazardous location, you check for the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. The locations listed below may or may not have changed their regulations in regards to what you can or cannot do on site since the article was last updated. Always consult with local authorities. If you do plan to visit a location, know the risks beforehand and respect the environment.
Check out the beautiful West Side Market
Where: 1979 W 25th St, Cleveland
This stunning historical building is home to Cleveland's oldest food market. This loud and colorful market not only has dozens of vendors selling fresh and artisanal products but also restaurants and counters that will whip up some incredible sandwiches. Everything is fresh, of course.
Admire some animals at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
Where: 4850 W Powell Rd, Powell
A trip to the zoo makes anyone feel like a kid again. It's a great idea for no-fail fun, especially if you're feeling particularly uninspired. Because every girl loves to go pet and admire cute exotic animals.
Take some Insta-worthy pics at the American Sign Museum
Where:1330 Monmouth Ave, Cincinnati
An entire room filled with retro neon signs? This totally unique museum is an Instagram dream! This offbeat museum is the perfect spot to retreat to if it's raining or you just feel like taking some cute photos with bae.
Visit the jaw-dropping Ash Cave at Hocking Hills State Park
Where: OH-56, Logan
This incredible natural wonder is absolutely breathtaking, and the best part — it's easy to access! It only takes a short walk along a well-paved trail to get there. Photos ops galore!
Spend a day playing in the water at Salt Fork State Park
Where: 14755 Cadiz Rd, Lore City
This park is the perfect place to escape into nature for the day without feeling like you're stuck in the deep woods. The park is known for its beautiful lakes and hiking trails. Bring you outdoorsy girl here for a day she'll really appreciate!
Relax on the scenic and rocky shores of Middle Bass Island
Where: Lake Erie
You have to hop on a ferry to get to this lazy summer vacation island — just getting there is an adventure. Once there, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery, wildlife, and charming small town vibe this island town has to offer.
Grab a quintessentially American burger at Kewpee Hamburgers
Where: 2111 Allentown Rd, Lima
Kewpie Burgers is a local chain and Ohio's equivalent of California's In and Out and Florida's Shake Shake. Basically, they make awesome classic American burgers that you will dream about for days to come. And the whole retro vibe on the inside of the restaurant will make you feel like you stepped back in time. Perfect.
Check out the butterflies at the Krohn Conservatory
Where: 1501 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati
This is a super secret hidden oasis in the middle of the city. Located in the beautiful Eden Park this spot showcases more than 3500 plant species from around the world. They also feature a unique butterfly house where you can really get in touch with nature. While you're in the area, check out the Cincinnati Art Museum next door.
Take a peaceful nature walk at Highbanks Metro Park
Where: 9466 Columbus Pike, Lewis Center
This park is a hikers dream! Located close to Columbus Ohio you'd be surprised by how close you feel to nature when you're out there. The varied terrain is perfect for all levels. You can go for a casual stroll, or a tough hike, and everything in between.
Go hiking on the trademark Ledged trail in Cuyahoga Valley
The entrance to this national park is totally free. The park is home to some beautiful cascades and unique hiking trails. Located in the northwest of Ohio, the park is also perfect for bike rides and just a quick escape into nature.
Visit the Amish and take a tour of Amish country at the Mennonite Heritage Center
Where: 5798 Co Rd 77, Berlin
This spot is not a tourist trap. It's a historical center and museum that showcases the rich history of the area through a wonderful collection of artifacts, books, photographs, art, and manuscripts informatively displayed.
Spend a day on the relaxing shores of Maumee Bay
Where: 1400 State Park Road, Oregon
Need a place to escape to while in Ohio, check out the stunning Maumee Bay State Park on the quiet banks of Lake Erie. This state park has modern facilities offering everything you need for a day of adventure. From boat rentals to fishing equipment, there's a ton to do in this beautiful park.
Get up close to some cute animals at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Where: 3400 Vine St, Cincinnati
The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is the second-oldest zoo in the United States and is considered to be one of the best in all of the U.S! One of the main points of attraction is how close you can get to the animals here. You can even feed the Giraffes!
Check out all the secrets spots at Hocking Hills State Park
Where: 19852 Ohio 664, Logan
This lesser-known park is known to be a "scenic wonderland" full of stunning trails and beautiful sights like Old Man's Cave and Ash Cave. You can also do other fun adventure activities like Zip Line in this fully equipped state park.
Visit the scenic flora at the Holden Arboretum
Where:9550 Sperry Rd, Kirtland
Time for a nature photo op! Check out the Holden Arboretum, which is actually one of the oldest in all the United States. The spot boasts tons of walking grounds and beautiful paths, you can even pay a little extra to climb to the top of the emergent tower and get a great view of the grounds.
Spend a day camping at breathtaking South Bass Island
Where:1523 Catawba Ave, Put-In-Bay
The bass islands are three American islands in the western half of Lake Erie. South Bass, sometimes known as Put-In-Bay, is the largest and attracts a wide range of tourist each summer. South Bass State Park is particularly beautiful for camping and is known for its scenic views of Lake Erie.
Watch the wild animals roam at this huge Safari park
Where: The Wilds, 14000 International Rd, Cumberland
This is a place where you can go admire some beautiful animals but I wouldn't call it a zoo, it's an animals conservation center and safari park where animals get to roam around freely on the massive 9,154 acres land. Like a real safari park, you can even stay overnight!
Catch an exhibit at the Toledo Museum of Art
Where: 2445 Monroe St, Toledo
This beautiful art museum is internationally recognized museum and houses works from across time periods. The admission to the museum will cost you 0$ so it's a great spot to escape to on a rainy day.
Visit the historic lighthouse at Marblehead
Where: 110 Lighthouse Dr, Marblehead
This historic lighthouse sits at the tip of the scenic Marble Head Peninsula, an area that is known to attract summer tourist because of its beautiful shorelines and aquatic activities. This quaint waterfront village boasts picture-perfect sunrises, hometown restaurants, friendly pubs, basically, it's the perfect romantic getaway.
Take in the sun on the sandy beach of Lake Erie at East Harbor
Where:1169 N Buck Rd, Lakeside Marblehead
East Harbor State Park is a great place to escape to if you just want to laze the day away on the beach or just spend the day enjoying the natural surroundings. The even have a nature reserve in the area which is totally open to the public.
Take a stroll down the charming Put-In-Bay Boardwalk
Where: 341 Bayview Ave, Put-In-Bay
Put-in-bay is the main town in South Bass Island and is a popular summer destination for tourists looking from an escape from the big city. The boardwalk at put-in-bay is all about lake-side charm. Stop at one of the many restaurants for a drink and a bite while you enjoy the view.
Chow down on the best ribs in the mid-west at Hot Sauce Williams
Where: 3770 Lee Rd, Cleveland
This local Cleveland restaurant kick-started the barbecue scene in 1934 and is now boasts two locations in the Cleveland area. The late Anthony Bourdain even paid a visit to this spot when he was passing through town. If you're looking for BBQ in the area, then this is the spot.
Catch a ball game at Progressive Field
Where: 2401 Ontario St, Cleveland
They say when in Rome, do like the Romans do. So you can't really visit Clevland without watching a good old fashion bass ball game. Put on your themed t-shirts, grab a beer and a hot dog, and call it a date!
Check out the Crystal Caves at Put-In-Bay
Where: 978 Catawba Ave, Put-In-Bay
Crystal Caves is one of the most unique attractions in the Put-In-Bay area and is definitely a must-visit for that couple that is looking to do something a little more offbeat. 40 feet below to earth surface you will be able to admire the worlds largest geode. And for only 6$!
Visit the unique Troll Hole Museum
Where:228 E Main St, Alliance
Is your girlfriend a fan 90s memorabilia, then take her to a museum that boasts the worlds largest troll collection. It'll turn any Branch into a Poppy. This is one of the cities most unusual and lesser-known attraction, but will definitely be appreciated by those 90s kids out there.
Take in the beautiful view from Mount Adams
This spot is located in a residential area of Cincinnati and is surrounded by the cities most beautiful park, Eden Park. This geographic landmark is known to be the greatest spot in the city to take in the best view of the Cincinnati skyline.
Spend an afternoon at Findlay's Farmer's Market
Where:1801 Race St, Cincinnati
Every girl loves a classic trip to the farmers market. This particular market has a lot of history and charm, it's the state's oldest continuously operated public market and is home to dozens of vendors selling all kinds of artisanal goodies. It's located in a historic neighborhood called Over-the-Rhine, which is known for its dense concentration of architecture.
Spend an afternoon shopping and eating at the Cleveland Flea Market
Where: 3615 Superior Ave, Cleveland
Last but not least, this is not a spot you will find in a guidebook. This local flea market is where all the local Cleveland hipsters and foodies flock for their dose of artisanal food and vintage finds. It's just one dollar to get in and you will find tons of vendors selling kinds of clothing, art, plants, home-made beauty products, and all types of knick-knacks. Basically, you will find something unique to take home with you.