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5 Cities and Towns to Visit in Southeast Ohio

Posted by Brian Cicioni | Jun 25, 2019 | Midwest | 15 |

5 Cities and Towns to Visit in Southeast Ohio

Southeast Ohio

When it comes to The Buckeye State, the three Cs (Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus) tend to get most of the attention. Southeast Ohio is the most laid-back, rural part of the state. Interstate 70, Highway 33 and the border with West Virginia form an upside-down triangle shaped border around the region. Here are five cities and towns to visit in Southeast Ohio.

National Museum of Cambridge Glass

Sewah studios, miners memorial park, stockport inn, lafayette hotel, salt fork lodge, burr oak lodge, twin city opera house, mosser glass, ohio river museum, peoples mortuary museum, rufus putnam house, triple nickel diner, genealogical center.

Conveniently located near the junction of Interstates 70 and 77, Cambridge is a small city of roughly 10,000. Most of the attractions are north of the Muskingum River and within walking distance. Wheeling Avenue is the main drag in the picturesque downtown area. Between 6th and 12th Streets, you’ll find beautifully maintained red brick buildings which house quaint shops and welcoming eateries where everyone seems to know each other on a first-name basis.

The city’s claim to fame for many years was its glass. To get familiar with the local history, you can start your visit at either the Guernsey County History Museum or the National Museum of Cambridge Glass. In the latter, staff dress in turn of the 20th century period costumes and are there to answer any questions you may have about the displays, which features pieces from 1902-1958. The glass is encased behind glass. Perhaps the most interesting display for non-locals is the Hollywood one, which features glass from Happy Days as well as other sitcoms and films. Even the king himself had a Cambridge Beverage set inside the Lisa Marie (Elvis Presley’s private jet, named after his only daughter). To see how glass is made nowadays, head to Mosser Glass for a tour, where you can watch the process from molding and blowing to packaging and shipment. 

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Brian Cicioni (@brianmayroam) on May 16, 2019 at 9:52am PDT

Named in honor of Queen Marie Antoinette of France, Marietta was the first permanent European settlement in what is now the state of Ohio. The city of 14,000 is surrounded (counterclockwise) by the Muskingum River, The Ohio River, Duck Creek, and the Appalachian Plateau. You can see West Virginia from Ohio River Park. If you are looking to cross it off your bucket list, you can even walk there via the Williamstown-Marietta Bridge. 

The majority of those historical markers that you see along the streets and highways of America are made in Marietta by Sewah Studios. You can get a tour of their small plant, which is a truly fascinating insight into how a small company of fewer than 25 employees manages to make more than 1,200 markers for more than 40 states from 100% recycled material. If you have $1,000 or so, they can even make one for you.

There are more formal museums you can check out as well, including the Ohio River Museum and the quirky but informative Peoples Mortuary Museum. The latter possesses early funeral customs dating back to the 1850s. Marietta also boats some beautifully restored pre-Civil War homes like the Rufus Putnam House and the (Gothic Revivalist) Castle. Both are available for tours.Read more about Marietta here .

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Brian Cicioni (@brianmayroam) on May 17, 2019 at 12:44pm PDT


Check out Chesterhill for an authentic look into life in rural America. If Stephen King was from Ohio, he’d probably use this small village of fewer than 300 occupants as the setting for one of his stories. At less than one square mile, Chesterhill truly has all the basics. There may be two churches in town, but besides that, there is one of everything else. Cell phone reception is sketchy here, but you can get WiFi at the Chesterhill Branch Library. There’s one auto shop in town if you happen to have car trouble.

Roughly ten percent of the village is of African descent. You can learn about African American history in Southeast Ohio at the Genealogical Center. Keeping with the no more than one theme of this picturesque village, there’s one restaurant (the Triple Nickel Diner) and it’s worth visiting even if you just enjoy a slice of one of their famous pies. Although Chesterhill has fewer people than a subway car in NYC during rush hour, you can still get craft beer, fruit-infused wines, and pitchers of sangria at the Triple Nickel Diner. No avocado toast yet.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Brian Cicioni (@brianmayroam) on May 18, 2019 at 9:46am PDT


McConnelsville is in an idyllic village set along the Muskingum River in Southeast Ohio. It’s an ideal place for a relaxing dinner and an evening at the theater. The Twin City Opera House dates back to 1892 and is located in the heart of the downtown area. It’s a popular stop for touring country and bluegrass artists. You can catch a film there as well. The theater is also rumored to be haunted. Dozens of different paranormal investigators have applied their trade here. They host ghost hunts from time to time as well. 

Outside of town, check out Big Muskie’s Bucket, which is located inside Miners Memorial Park. Now located less than ten miles from downtown, Big Muskie was the largest single bucket digging machine ever created. The awe-inspiring bucket is large enough to hold two Greyhound buses and is on display inside the park. There’s also an information center about the history of mining of the region. The Central Ohio Coal Company once employed nearly 1,000 people and is still active today. The memorial inside the park honors those miners who lost their lives on the job.

Big Muskie Bucket Miners Memorial Park McConnelsville Morgan County Ohio

If you’re planning to visit all of the places in this list during one visit, Stockport is an ideal place to stay. It’s not only the closest thing Southeast Ohio has to a geographic center, but the small village of 500 also has an interesting history of its own. 

You can stay at the Stockport Mill Inn, which is the last remaining mill along the Muskingum River. The mill shut down in 1997, but a few years later, it was reopened as the Stockport Mill and Restaurant on the Dam. As the name indicates, you can dine in their restaurant with breathtaking views of the river lock and dam. River view rooms have balconies, which are perfect for a relaxing view of the sunset after a long day exploring Southeast Ohio. 

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This post was sponsored by the Cambridge Guernsey County Visitors & Convention Bureau .

  • During my stay in Cambridge, I stayed at the Salt Fork Lodge & Conference Center
  • During my stay in Marietta, I stay at the Lafayette Hotel
  • During my stay in Morgan County, I stayed at the Burr Oak Lodge

All pictures were shot with a Panasonic Lumix ZS100 4K Point and Shoot Camera with the exception of any Instagram  photos.

Have you been to Southeast Ohio? If so, what do you recommend? Leave a comment below! 

About The Author

Brian Cicioni

Brian Cicioni

Brian enjoys exploring different cities along public transit lines and writing about it on his blog, IMayRoam.com. He also writes about food tours, layovers, and exploring movie and musical landmarks. You can find some of his work on Fodor’s, Insider, InsideHook, Travel + Leisure, and USA Today. Brian has traveled to more than 50 countries as well as every state. On weekends, he leads music and film-focused tours of New York City. His five-star rated Goodfellas Tour of NYC has been featured in Airbnb Magazine. Always happy to offer tips to aspiring travel writers and tour guides, Brian has spoken at events, including the Travel & Adventure Show, TBEX, and the New York Times Travel Show.

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Even though I am originally from WI and Ohio isn’t too far away I have only been to Columbus. Loved the analogy you made about the number of people in Chesterhill compared to a NYC subway car! SE Ohio sounds like a fun place to visit that isn’t as well known 🙂

Liz Bayardelle

I’ve only ever been to Ohio for conferences, so I’ve never had a chance to sightsee. This list definitely made it seem like a fun place to explore!


Never been to Southeast Ohio but I’m hoping to go next year and this would be perfect place to start!


I love exploring interesting museums and the National Museum of Cambridge Glass sounds like the type of place I can spend hours learning interesting facts. And how fun that the staff dresses up in period costumes!

Nicole Hunter

Chester Hill sounds like the perfect place for me. The restaurant seems to have everything that I love, and i really enjoyed hearing about all of the other details about this town. The museum sounds really cool too.


Ohio is only a few hours away from me via car, and yet I’ve never gone to explore. I’ve noticed a few people posting about the different things to do in Ohio, so I probably need to head there one day and check out some of these attractions.

Anagha Paul

I have heard lot about Ohio but these things were new for me. I like the recycling plant work. I am gonna keep these things in mind.


I never thought about visiting Ohio as I thought there aren’t too many things to do over there. This article seems to prove otherwise. I would definitely want to visit some of these cities.


I love reading about the lesser known places in the US. On my road trip through the States, we often stopped by the smaller towns and cities , which was so very charming and often way more interesting than the bigger ones. I will have these on my list when I go by this way in the future


I would love to visit these places so much. I’m adding them to my bucket list

Shreya Saha

Wow, it is great to see Ohio has such interesting places to visit. I love visit museums and libraries, and I am sure I am going to love Cambridge and also Mcconneville (if I have spelled it right). I am adding them to my list. You must know your pictures have come out to be so good.

Medha Verma

Chesterhill sounds like the first of these towns that I’d to explore, to get an insight into the life in rural America! I’ve seen the skyscrapers, the big cities so this would be a great change. Also, McConnelsville sounds like another place I’d like to visit, idyllic villages are so my thing!

Mark W

Very nice article. One correction, though. Will’s Creek flows through Cambridge, not the Muskingum River. Will’s Creek is a tributary of the Muskingum. Nicely presented, though.


You cannot walk to West Virginia “via the Marietta-Williamsburg Bridge.” There is no WILLIAMSBURG Bridge in Marietta but there is a WILLIAMSTOWN Bridge! Idiot.

Brian Cicioni

Hi Bill. And thank you for your kind words! What about the two lanes plus a sidewalk?

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Discover Southeast Ohio

Home to Ohio’s only National Forest, Southeast Ohio is a wonderland of outdoor adventure and historic river towns. Sharing a border with West Virginia, much of Southeast Ohio lies in the Appalachian foothills, which makes for great hiking and mountain biking.

Marietta is Ohio’s oldest city and was the first capital of the Northwest Territory. Experience the history of this Ohio River town with a ghost tour or a riverboat cruise. Athens is a fun college town, as it’s home to Ohio University. The most famous place to visit in Southeast Ohio is the Hocking Hills region, known for spectacular rock formations, waterfalls and hiking trails. Hocking Hills is a very popular Ohio destination, with tons of unique lodging options like yurts, treehouses, B&Bs, state park cabins and more! The historic town of Cambridge is another fun Southeast Ohio destination, with a historic Main Street and local shops to peruse.

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Home » Travel Guides » United States » Ohio (OH) » 25 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Ohio (Updated 2023)

25 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Ohio (Updated 2023)

Ohio’s slogan is the “Heart of it All”, partly because the state looks a bit like a heart, but also because it sits within a one-day of half of North America’s entire population.

With the shore of Lake Erie in the north, glaciated plains in the west and the foothills of the Applachians in the east and southeast, it’s easy to see Ohio as a kind of crossroads.

There’s something beautiful to be discovered in every corner, from the picture-perfect tourist islands in Lake Erie to the striking river gorges around Hocking Hills, the Cuyahoga Valley and Yellow Springs.

My list of Ohio’s most beautiful places also features a lot of man-made entries, like an amusement park on a sandy peninsula, an opulent Gilded Age mansion, and a huge pre-Columbian earthwork effigy.

1. Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

My first pick is Ohio’s only national park, wrapped in suburbs between Cleveland and Akron , so it’s easy to dip in and out. If this all seems like an unlikely setting for a national park, you’ll understand when you’re on the park’s 125+ miles of trails.

Here the Cuyahoga River twists through rock-strewn forests, undulating hills and pastoral farmland.

You can stay close to the riverbank on the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail, along 20 miles of this historic 308-mile waterway, completed in the 1830s and easing transport between the Ohio River and Lake Erie.

There’s more to do in the park than I can fit into a whole article, including some of the best hiking in Ohio, scenic train rides, world-class leaf peeping in fall, kayaking, golfing, and cross-country skiing on groomed trails in winter.

If you’ve only got time for one hike, I’d opt for the Ledges Trail, a steep tour around a plateau encrusted with outcroppings composed of sharon conglomerate, and with wonderful vistas of the woods to the west.

2. Hocking Hills State Park

Hocking Hills State Park

In the same vein, I could ramble on for days about all the things you can see and do in the Hocking Hills Region in Southeastern Ohio.

A lot of the natural splendor is concentrated in this state park, brimming with waterfalls and gargantuan rock formations.

In the south of the park is the magnificent Ash Cave, where a narrow gorge cloaked in large beech and hemlock woods opens out on an immense rock shelter, 700 feet across and 100 feet deep. It’s no surprise that this is by far the largest formation of its kind in Ohio.

This is the headline but one of many extraordinary sights in the park, including Old Man’s Cave with its waterfalls, Cedar Falls, Cantwell Cliffs, the Devil’s Bathtub and another awesome rock shelter at Whispering Cave.

In a separate preserve nearby you’ve also got Conkles Hollow, a mysterious black hand sandstone gorge, 200 feet deep and with several waterfalls slipping over the edge.

3. Put-In-Bay


Island getaways don’t get much more convenient than the Bass Islands, a few short miles from the south shore of Lake Erie. The hub for tourism here is South Bass Island, which also goes by the name of the village on the north side, Put-In-Bay.

Things move at a different speed here, and it’s not just because golf carts and bicycles are the preferred modes of transport. Put-In-Bay has a sociable downtown area, right by the dock.

Approaching from the water, your eye will be drawn to the world’s tallest granite column. The 352-foot Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial commemorates the American victory in the Battle of Lake Erie (1813), a turning point in the War of 1812.

The island is traced by narrow gravel beaches, mostly with pool-like waters, and you can rent a kayak, or take a seat on the tour train to see the main sights.

4. Yellow Springs

Yellow Springs

A unique village with a tradition for progressive politics and a large LGBT population, Yellow Springs is edged by some of the most beautiful scenery in southwestern Ohio.

Established as a cooperative community in the 1820s and home to the famously liberal Antioch College since 1850, Yellow Springs’ sense of openness goes back a long way.

It’s easy to be won over by Xenia Avenue, with its assortment of independent stores, cafes and eateries, and the Little Art Theatre cinema.

The iron-rich springs in the village’s name rise in the adjoining Glen Helen Nature Preserve, a gorgeous space with waterfalls, interesting rock formations and lush deciduous forest.

The long-distance Little Miami Scenic Trail runs right through the town, while there’s yet more magical scenery close by at the Clifton Gorge.

5. John Bryan State Park/Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve

John Bryan State Park

Just east of Yellow Springs there’s a National Natural Monument where the Little Miami River flows through a picturesque canyon.

The Clifton Gorge is walled by resilient dolomite and shale, dating back around 400 million years, and is among the finest natural features of its kind in Ohio.

You can check out the gorge in these town neighboring properties, and there are some remarkable sights to see, such as a curiously narrow and deep channel formed by potholes joining together.

Elsewhere the rocky overhangs have collapsed to leave gigantic slabs on the riverbed. The state park is more geared towards recreation, with a campground, mountain biking, and a public rock climbing and rappelling area. My ideal time to be here is in spring when the wildflowers are a joy.

6. Mohican State Park/Mohican-Memorial State Forest

Mohican State Park

My idea of bliss, there’s more than 5,500 acres of restful nature at these two hilly properties in Ashland County.

With some 45 miles of hiking trails and perfect waters for paddling and tubing, the parks are on the Clear Fork of the Mohican River, on the edge of its confluence with the Black Fork.

The Clear Fork weaves through a narrow gorge and is fed by creeks with a pair of stunning waterfalls at Big Lyons Falls and Little Lyons Falls.

There’s a trail along the rim of the gorge, and a sequence of bridges crossing the river. You can scale an 80-foot fire tower from 1934 for an all-encompassing view of the area’s hills and forests, and track down a restored water-powered gristmill from 1831.

There’s a wide array of tree species growing here, but the stands of hemlock in the gorge are important for the abundance of rare breeding birds that they support.

7. Salt Fork State Park

Salt Fork State Park

There’s acres upon acres of wonderfully wild scenery at Ohio’s largest state park in the unglaciated part of the state.

Salt Fork State Park will capture the imaginations of intrepid people with its steep forested hills, misty valleys, and impressive formations like the rock shelter, Hosack’s Cave.

The man-made Salt Fork Lake bends around the park’s west and south sides, and is primed for boating, water-skiing and tubing, but also has the largest inland beach in Ohio at 2,500 feet.

And while you can be as outdoorsy as you want on 20 miles of trails, the park has all the comforts and amenities of a 21st-century destination. You’ve got two marinas, an acclaimed 18-hole golf course, a full-service resort lodge with indoor and outdoor pools.

Also read :  All 63 US National Parks by Popularity

8. Kelleys Island

Kelleys Island

A short ferry ride from Marblehead, Kelleys Island is another pocket-sized escape on just 677 acres. Until the mid-20th century this place was a hive of industrial activity, with limestone quarries, lime kilns, red cedar lumber and orchards.

Clues from these times are everywhere you look, and at a former quarry site on the north side of the island there’s a large section of exposed limestone with unique narrow grooves carved by glaciation.

The state park has observation points and interpretive boards to explain these processes better than I could. If you’re staying on Kelleys Island you’ll realize you have little use for a car, and can get around on a rentable bike or golf cart.

There’s a line of eateries, bars and stores by the dock, and you can spend your time relaxing on beaches, camping by the shore, hiking in forest, fishing on Lake Erie or checking out the coast in a kayak.

9. Cincinnati

Cincinnati Riverboat

Standing out in a list of quaint little towns and natural wonders, Ohio’s third-largest city has an impressive setting, on a bend in the wide Ohio River, surrounded by low rolling hills.

You have to cross over to Kentucky for the defining view of the Cincinnati skyline , with the stadiums for the Bengals and Reds in the foreground. North of downtown is one the largest and most complete historic districts in the United States.

Developed in the 19th century, when Cincinnati was one of the ten largest cities in the country, the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood looks like nowhere else in the Midwest, with its dense lattice of streets full of ornate brick buildings, now a canvas for upmarket shopping and dining.

Maybe the city’s single most beautiful building is the Cincinnati Union Terminal (1933) an Art Deco masterpiece, still an active Amtrak station, but also the home of the must-see Cincinnati Museum Center.

Be sure to read our guides on Cincinnati:

  • Best Things to Do in Cincinnati (Ohio)
  • 15 Best Day Trips from Cincinnati

10. Marblehead State Park

Marblehead State Park

One of the images most associated with Lake Erie is this historic lighthouse, aiding navigation from the tip of the Marblehead Peninsula since 1822.

This makes Marblehead Light the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the American side of the Great Lakes. The lighthouse and its grounds are a treat, with manicured lawns, a grove of hardwood trees and access to the rugged headland.

You can take a tour of the lighthouse in the summer, heading up to the parapet for a sweeping panorama of Sandusky Bay, Kelleys Island and Cedar Point to the southeast.

11. Ohio Caverns

Ohio Caverns

Near the highest point in Ohio is the largest cave system in the state, billed as ‘America’s Most Colorful Caverns’. More than two miles of caves have been surveyed here, with passageways descending as far as 103 feet.

It’s thrilling to think that the processes that created the stalagmites and stalactites here are ongoing, with around 90% of the formations still active.

The star of the show is The Crystal King, the largest stalactite in the state, weighing more than 400 lb and visible on the Natural Wonder Tour. I’d advise you to bring something with long sleeves in summer, as the caves have a year-round temperature of 54°.

12. Caesar Creek State Park

Caesar Creek State Park

I’d sum up this 7,350-acre state park as a giant playground for outdoor recreation, ready for boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, mountain biking and more.

Caesar Creek was dammed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1970s, forming a sprawling lake with a campground, marina, beach, several trailheads, and little visitor attractions on its wooded shores.

When the USACE blasted out the spillway they revealed an Ordovician reef system, so this is also an excellent place to do some fossil hunting, although strict rules do apply.

The Visitor Center is a handy first port of call to get oriented, while there’s a collection of 15 log cabins from the 18th and 19th century at Caesar’s Creek Pioneer Village.

13. Peninsula

Scenic train, Peninsula, Ohio

Embedded in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a delightful riverside village, settled by Euro-Americans in the 1810s and boosted by the canal not long after.

If you’re exploring the national park you could take a break in Peninsula, pausing for a bite and browsing the local stores.

And to explore the surrounding nature, I love how you can just hop on a bike or start walking, with easy access to the towpath, and a massive system of other trails disappearing into the woods.

There’s a sequence of preserved locks and an aqueduct on the canal, while Main Street is a wonderful timeline of 19th-century architecture, including Federal, Green Revival and Italianate.

Also read :  15 Best Small Towns to Visit in Ohio

14. Serpent Mound

Serpent Mound

One of the most captivating archeological sites in Ohio is a prehistoric effigy mound, almost 1,400 feet in length.

Never more than three feet high, the Serpent Mound is an earthwork depiction of a snake, sitting on a parcel of high ground next to Ohio Brush Creek.

The effigy is extraordinary in its own right, but there’s a veil of mystery around this monument, which adds to its allure in my opinion.

It was most likely built by the Fort Ancient culture around 1000 CE, and served as a venue for ceremonies dedicated to a serpent spirit.

Serpent Mound sits on the rim of a meteorite impact crater, created hundreds of millions of years ago and gradually eroded to its current height.

You can indulge your curiosity at the Serpent Mound Museum, which goes into detail on its form and construction, and conducts guided archeological walks on the second Friday of the month.

15. Cedar Point

Cedar Point, Ohio

Ohio’s Lake Erie shoreline is dotted with places that have been on the tourist map since the end of the Civil War.

Surely the most famous is Cedar Point, the second-oldest operating amusement park in the United States, posted at the tip of a narrow peninsula.

This place’s reputation is founded on its roller coasters, with every new addition smashing records for speed and dimensions. Take the hybrid coaster Steel Vengeance, which broke ten world records when it was unveiled in 2018.

Among these high tech modern wonders, Cedar Point hasn’t forgotten its roots, with a few structures on the National Register of Historic Places, including three carousels from 1912, 1921 and 1924.

There’s an indoor and outdoor water park, while the sandy beach is always there if you want some time out. From here, the mind-blowing view of Cedar Park’s epic roller coasters qualifies the park for my list.

16. Rockbridge State Nature Preserve

Rockbridge State Nature Preserve

Another of the striking geological formations to be found in the Hocking Hills region is a natural bridge, set within a small preserve and crossing a ravine. Rockbridge gives its name to a nearby community, and is the largest formation of its kind in Ohio.

Long-term, the forces of wind, rain and flowing groundwater have removed the softer layers of sandstone to render this peculiar structure, 100 feet long and up to 20 feet wide.

I recommend coming after a spell of rain, when a small waterfall pours into the ravine. There are two loops in the preserve, one to the natural bridge and another bringing you to a rock shelter.

17. Brandywine Falls

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Given its location between cities, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park lends itself to day trips, so I thought this would be a good place to bring up Brandywine Falls .

Starting out at a parking lot on Stanford Road, a 1.5-mile trail takes you along the edge of a steep forested valley.

At the east end, a long section of boardwalk with a staircase leads down to a platform with a perfect view of the 65-foot Brandywine Falls, the tallest waterfall in northeast Ohio.

This drops into a spectacular U-shaped gorge made up of striated rock, with massive chunks ripped away by and deposited downstream from the falls.

18. Brecksville Reservation

Brecksville Reservation

The 1,444-mile Buckeye Trail leads you into this vast urban park abutting Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Driving along the mostly flat roads that cross Brecksville Reservation, you get little indication of the amazing divergence in terrain here.

On just over 3,000 acres the landscape is sliced by seven different gorges, the most exciting of which is in the north along Chippewa Creek and scraped out by glaciers.

The reservation’s natural beauty is only revealed on its roller coaster trails, rising and sinking through hollows where varying soils and sunlight provide a habitat for a host of unusual and endangered plants.

19. Loveland


Folded into the wooded slopes of the Little Miami River Valley, Loveland is a bonny town that was first settled more than 200 years ago as a resort.

Later in the 19th century, Loveland became a railroad town at the junction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the defunct Little Miami Railroad.

The right-of-way of the latter is now a long paved rail trail, meandering through the valley for almost 80 miles, and giving you wonderful options for bike rides to the north or south.

Loveland has a sweet 19th-century downtown, with an assortment of bars, restaurants and shopping, and a lovely waterfront park where O’Bannon Creek meets the Little Miami River.

There’s something out of the ordinary on the riverbank in the north of the town. Here you’ll come across Château Laroche, a replica of a European Medieval castle, begun in 1927 by a local Medievalist and sitting in exquisite terraced gardens.

20. Maumee Bay State Park

Maumee Bay State Park

Awesome views of Lake Erie abound at this beautiful slice of coastline not far out of Toledo.

The five miles of bike path at Maumee Bay State Park connect with the City of Oregon Bike Trail, and there’s a two-mile interpretive boardwalk leading into a patch of swamp that once dominated the area.

The park and adjoining wilderness area and wildlife refuge are crucial for wildlife, with some 300 documented bird species and an astonishing array of wetland plants.

My pro tip is to set off on a stroll in the evening for wildlife encounters, namely the white-tailed deer, which are surprisingly bold.

For all its wilderness, the park is developed for tourism, with two sandy beaches, 256 campsites, cottages, an 18-hole golf course, and a lodge with 120 rooms and indoor and outdoor pools.

21. Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens

Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens

In the 1910s Frank Seiberling (1859-1955), co-founder of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, built himself one of the largest mansions in the United States in Akron, then the “Rubber Capital of the World”.

And while the 65-room Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens is most definitely huge, there’s a homeyness to the Tudor Revival design.

The Seiberlings traveled to England to source historic elements for the interiors, which combine a mix of authentic Tudor decor and 20th-century details designed in a Tudor style.

The grounds, including a conservatory and greenhouses, are possibly my favorite part, with restored contributions by noted landscape architects, Ellen Biddle Shipman and Warren Henry Manning.

On 70 acres, there’s a series of garden rooms, with sequestered Japanese and English gardens.

Frank’s daughter-in-law, Henrietta, was a member of the influential Christian fellowship, the Oxford Group—for an unexpected historic tidbit, the Gate Lodge is where the framework for Alcoholics Anonymous was thrashed out in the 1930s.

22. Sandusky


With Cedar Point, Marblehead and the Bass Islands all close by, it might be easy to bypass this endearing city on the shore. I think that would be a mistake, not least because Sandusky has recently been recognized as the Best Coastal Small Town in America.

With lots of elegant 19th-century architecture, downtown Sandusky is oriented to the water, where a succession of industrial piers have found new roles as marinas, and spectacular lakefront overlooks like Jackson Street Pier.

Things can be brisk during the winter in Sandusky, but that doesn’t deter visitors, as the city is noted for its lineup of indoor water parks, among them Kalahari Resorts, the largest in America.

23. Highbanks Metro Park

Highbanks Metro Park

For picturesque nature without straying far from Columbus, my bet is this property on the east bank of the Olentangy River.

The name is accurate, with bluffs along the river composed of limestone and shale and rising as high as 110 feet.

There are ten trails at Highbanks Metro Park, a couple looping close to the river’s edge for views that look like nowhere else in the Columbus area.

You can also discover thrilling evidence of human habitation here, going back as far as 2,000 years, at burial mounds and irrigation earthworks built by the Pre-Columbian Adena Culture.

24. Geneva-on-the-Lake


This lovable lakefront town in the northeast of Ohio has attracted vacationers since the 1860s, earning the moniker, Ohio’s First Summer Resort.

Among the more distinguished personalities to relax by Lake Erie here are John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford.

Geneva-on-the-Lake is a place for relaxing at the beach, camping, fishing, playing golf, boating, and touring nearby vineyards on Ohio Wine Country.

Parallel to the shore, Lake Road (The Strip) is full of nostalgic charm, with mini golf, fast food shacks, bars and quirky shops for beach supplies.

A bonus for me is how many of these businesses have stood the test of time, like Eddie’s Grill, a fast food spot, on the scene since 1950.

Further reading :  24 Amazing Hidden Gems in Ohio

25. Jacob’s Ladder – Christmas Rocks State Preserve

Christmas Rocks State Preserve

Footing my list is what may be the best short hike in all of Ohio. Creeping into Appalachia at the south end of Fairfield County, Christmas Rocks protects some rocky country with beautiful black hand sandstone formations.

Most impressive is Jacob’s Ladder, an outcropping that rises high over the Valley of Arney Run, for marvelous views of nothing but miles of hills.

Until recently the preserve could only be visited with a permit, and you can reach the lookout via a moderate to difficult loop, about a mile in length.

More on Ohio :  15 Best Places to Live in Ohio

25 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Ohio (Updated 2023):

  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • Hocking Hills State Park
  • Yellow Springs
  • John Bryan State Park/Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve
  • Mohican State Park/Mohican-Memorial State Forest
  • Salt Fork State Park
  • Kelleys Island
  • Marblehead State Park
  • Ohio Caverns
  • Caesar Creek State Park
  • Serpent Mound
  • Cedar Point
  • Rockbridge State Nature Preserve
  • Brandywine Falls
  • Brecksville Reservation
  • Maumee Bay State Park
  • Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens
  • Highbanks Metro Park
  • Geneva-on-the-Lake
  • Jacob’s Ladder - Christmas Rocks State Preserve

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Things To Do In Southeast Ohio: Morgan County

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  • Post last modified: December 3, 2020
  • Post author: Katie Seemann

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If you like small towns, then southeast Ohio should be on your radar. This rural section of Ohio is known for its beautiful scenery and small-town living. Morgan County offers lots of things to do in southeast Ohio that you’ll want to check out on your next road trip.

View of Muskingum River Morgan County Ohio

Legal Stuff (aka if I don’t write this the internet gods will not take kindly to me): This post was written in partnership with the Morgan County Ohio Visitor’s Bureau. This post may contain affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. I’m just a simple girl, trying to make a living off the internet…thanks for your support!!

Southeast Ohio and Morgan County: At A Glance

Southeast Ohio At A Glance: Southeast Ohio is a rural area of the state that includes counties that border West Virginia. The area lies in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains so it tends to have more hills than the rest of the state which is relatively flat.

Morgan County Location: Morgan County is located in southeast Ohio about 80 miles southeast of Columbus . It is one of the least populated counties in Ohio.

Main Towns in Morgan County: McConnellsville, Stockport, Chesterhill

Driving Distance to Morgan County from Nearby Cities:

  • Columbus, Ohio : 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cleveland, Ohio: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Cincinnati, Ohio: 3 hours
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Charleston, West Virginia: 2 hours

Morgan County Ohio Location

Morgan County Activities

You’ll find lots of wide-open space and a small-town feel in Morgan County, Ohio. There are plenty of outdoor activities in the area, so you’ll be able to keep a social distance while still getting out to explore. You’ll soon realize why Morgan County is called “The Front Porch To The Great Outdoors”.

Old Bridge Brewing Company

Location: 281 West Main Street, McConnelsville, Ohio 43756

Contact: 740-651-5042 | Old Bridge Brewing Company

Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 3 p.m.-10 p.m; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday Noon-9 p.m.

Old Bridge Brewing Company and Taproom Morgan County Ohio

Old Bridge Brewing Company, located in McConnelsville, is a cool brewery and taproom with a hip microbrewery vibe in a small town setting. They make all of the beer onsite. The kinds of beer on tap changes periodically and includes unique varieties like Dirty Girl Coffee Stout, Blood Orange IPA, Coconut Almond Stout, Raspberry Stout, and more.

If you prefer hard seltzer, they’ve got you covered too. You’ll want to try the rhubarb or raspberry seltzer — it’s better than White Claw!

They’ve got a great taproom plus a large outdoor patio to allow for social distancing. You can order food from 4 nearby restaurants, who will deliver right to your table.

Burr Oak State Park

Location: 10220 Burr Oak Lodge Road, Glouster, Ohio 45732

Contact: 740-767-3570 | [email protected] | Burr Oak State Park

Burr Oak State Park is an outdoor gem that offers plenty of things to do on over 2,500 acres in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. In addition to Burr Oak Lake and over 28 miles of hiking trails, you’ll find a swimming beach, marina, boat dock, and camping.

The Buckeye Trail, a 1,440+ mile trail that winds through Ohio passes through Burr Oak State Park. The trail also crosses through some other popular hiking areas in Ohio including Hocking Hills and Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

There are various types of overnight accommodations available in Burr Oak ranging from camping to lodges and cottages. One of the most popular options is Burr Oak Lodge and Conference Center. This rustic lodge, which overlooks Burr Oak Lake, makes a great home base while you’re experiencing all the park has to offer.

Big Muskie Bucket

Location: 4470 OH-78, McConnelsville, Ohio 43756

If you like unusual roadside attractions, be sure to stop at the Big Muskie Bucket in Miner’s Memorial Park . Big Muskie was a huge dragline excavator and was one of the world’s largest earth-moving machines ever created. The Big Muskie Bucket is all that remains, weighing in at 460,000 pounds with the capacity of a 12-car garage!

Big Muskie Bucket in Morgan County Ohio

The “Rim of the World” Motorcycle Route

The “Rim of the World” route along State Route 79 will take you through scenic spots in Morgan County including McConnellsville, Stockport, and the Muskingum River. It’s one of the best motorcycle rides in Ohio!

This part of Ohio is especially beautiful in the fall when the leaves change color. The best time to see fall colors varies each year, but it generally peaks sometime in October.

Muskingum River Morgan County Ohio

AEP ReCreation Land

Southeast Ohio is home to over 60,000 acres of reclaimed land that was once used for mining. This area, the AEP ReCreation Land, is now open to the public for recreational activities like fishing, hiking, hunting, horseback riding, bird watching, camping, and more.

Wayne National Forest

Welcome Center Location: 13700 US Highway 33, Nelsonville, Ohio 45764

Welcome Center Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Contact: 740-753-0101 | Wayne National Forest

Located in southeast Ohio, Wayne National Forest is the only National Forest in Ohio, covering over 240,000 acres of land. It includes over 300 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, ATVs, and horseback riding.

Twin City Opera House

Location: 15 West Main Street, McConnelsville, Ohio 43756

Contact: 740-962-3030 | Twin City Opera House

The Twin City Opera House has been open to the public since 1892. While the theater isn’t hosting any live events due to Covid-19, it is showing movies on the big screen with reduced capacity to allow for social distancing. These movies are free, but the theater could really use your support during this time, so please consider donating if you go see a movie (and even if you don’t)!

Twin City Opera House Zanesville

Pro Tip: If you’re driving through southeast Ohio on a road trip, don’t forget to add Cambridge/Guernsey County and Zanesville/Muskingum County to your itinerary.

Where to Stay in Morgan County

You won’t find many chain hotels or luxury accommodations in Morgan County, Ohio. What you will find is campgrounds and small, independent bed and breakfasts.

Burr Oak Lodge and Conference Center

Location and Contact: 10660 Burr Oak Lodge Road, Glouster, Ohio 45732 | 740-767-2112

Amenities: Dining room and bar, free Wi-Fi, indoor pool, beach, tennis courts, hiking trails, naturalist program, basketball, fishing, boating, mini-golf, geocaching

Burr Oak Lodge and Conference Center is a secluded property located in the heart of Burr Oak State Park. It offers 38 lodge guestrooms and 30 2-bedroom cottages.

places to visit in southeast ohio

Stockport Mill Inn

Location and Contact: 1995 Broadway Avenue, Stockport, Ohio 43787  | 740-559-2822

Amenities: Restaurant, free Wi-Fi

Stockport Mill Inn was originally a mill that was constructed in 1906. It’s now a bed and breakfast with 14 rooms. It comes with rustic charm and beautiful views of the Muskingum River. There are steep, uneven stairs leading to all but one guest room (with no elevator), so it may not be suitable for anyone with mobility issues or anyone who can’t carry luggage upstairs.

The dining room serves homemade comfort food — the rolls and peach/blueberry cobbler were especially delicious!

Dessert at Stockport Mill Inn Morgan County Ohio

Inns At 8th and Main

Location and Contact: 214 East Main Street, McConnelsville, Ohio 43756 | 740-651-5198

Amenities: In-room continental breakfast, in-room gourmet coffee and teas, free Wi-Fi, Netflix

The house was originally built in 1838 as a coach stop and tavern. The Inn features 2 guest rooms, each with a private bath, and a larger 3rd room with a living area and private bath.

Inns at 8th and Main bedroom

Final Thoughts

With so much going on in the world today, destinations like southeast Ohio, with plenty of outdoor space, are in high demand. If you haven’t ventured from home yet, try starting small with a road trip. Morgan County has lots of open space to allow for secluded outdoor activities. It’s a great way to travel safely and responsibly.

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Great Ohio Road Trips: Southeast

We head to southeast Ohio for an art-inspired road trip to The Dairy Barn Arts Center, JustAJar Design Press, stops along the Ohio Art Corridor and more.

BY Jim Vickers | Photos by Stephanie Park

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It’s our pleasure to bring you along on this art-inspired road trip through southeast Ohio, and this year we’ve teamed with Ohio. Find It Here. This month, we visit a restored dairy barn that showcases beautiful art, a shop in downtown Marietta that embraces vintage printing techniques and an Ohio Art Corridor that features nearly 150 miles of sculptures and other works. So, hop in, buckle up, and let’s hit the road.

Flight of the Hawk Park statue (photo by Stephanie Park)

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Ohio's Hill Country

If you've traveled almost anywhere in Ohio, you've probably noticed the gently rolling hills that cover much of the state, except for the northwest quadrant that is exceptionally flat. However, those gently rolling hills don't compare to the lower 1/3 southeast quadrant of the state. This area is special and known colloquially as Ohio's Hill Country, but in geologic terms it is called the Appalachian Plateau, an area defined by an elevation that rises abruptly on a line that is roughly diagonal across the lower third of the state. Although approaching glaciers towered over the hills, the massive ice sheets never covered this area.

Ohio's Hill Country is actually part of one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world today: the Appalachian Mountains. Which, when they were new, were as big or bigger than the European Alps and the Rocky Mountains. The difference in heights is simply a matter of age and erosion. The Appalachians are old, really old, something approaching 500 million years. Over those millions of years, Mother Nature wore them down. Regardless of what they used to be, the Appalachians have aged quite gracefully and can still turn a suitor's eye.

Part of the geologic process that formed these mountains, also formed what we call Ohio's Hill Country. At one time this land relatively flat and on the bottom of large ocean. As volcanic and plate tectonic activity began up-heaving the ocean floor, the sandy bottom turned to stone making these Appalachian foothills have large outcropping of sandstone, which in geologic terms is actually quite soft. When Canada's glaciers moved south over the flat lands of northern Ohio they sort of ran out of steam when they came up against the Appalachian Plateau. With global warming, came large glacial melting that formed rivers and streams that cut through the sandstone leaving behind odd shaped caves and cliffs that have fascinated visitors to the area for 1000s of years.

Over 1000s of years and multiple glaciers coming and going, the plateau lost its top soil making the land mostly unsuitable for farming except for a few river valleys that collected the silt washing off the hillsides. In some areas this turbulent erosion exposed rich iron, coal and oil deposits that were heavily exploited in the late 1800 and 1900s. In places the land was stripped of trees to fire the ovens used to produce iron ore. In other areas the land was stripped to reach shallow veins of coal that could be removed without digging dangerous coal mines.

The area we commonly refer to as Ohio's Hill Country offers multiple distinct attractions that appeal to a diverse group of people. Foremost is the natural attractions that can only be found here and no where else.

Ohio's Hill Country was the first area that early settlers from the east began to put down roots. The dense forests and massive trees were unlike anything they had ever seen before. The rich soils found in the river valleys were thought to be some of the best soils anywhere in the world. For those first settlers brave enough to establish a homestead north of the Ohio River, this land must have seemed like a paradise. And it was for a while.

In time these resources were used up and the industrialists moved on to new fields. The workers that supported the blast furnaces were left without employment or the hope of employment and most moved on. Those that could eke out an existence, remained. The state stepped in and bought much of the abandoned land that would later become state parks that preserved the natural beauty for generations to come.

Hocking Hills The Hocking Hills are one of Ohio's many shining stars. Natural rugged beauty that has developed a thriving tourist industry makes the area a natural spot worth exploring for visitors to Ohio. State parks are free for anyone to visit. For those looking for a longer stay in here in Ohio's beautiful hill country, numerous bed and breakfast, cabin rental, and other unique lodging are available. The area also provides a natural setting for destination weddings. Activities include hiking, biking, horseback riding, boating, and zip lines. A few of the state parks are wheelchair accessible (most are not however). Appalachian Country and Heritage Ohio's Appalachian Country encompasses eastern and southeastern Ohio. When it became clear that farming for much of the area could not provide much more than enough food for a single family, and dependence on developing natural resources like iron, coal, and oil began to falter, families either moved away, or increasingly learned to be even more self-sufficient. Maintaining a life in this area more often than not meant relying on homegrown food and homemade products necessary to maintain a household. These unique talents were once mandatory to live here. Today, many of those skills have been preserved and expanded in what today we refer to as the Appalachian Heritage. Appalachian Heritage includes a wealth of products, services and other cultural crafts that are now cherished by more than those that depended on them for their existence. Natural Resources Ohio is a state that has been blessed with plentiful natural resources that makes it one of America's truly unique places. Perhaps its most important resource is water, plenty of water thanks to its location, Ohio receives about 40" of rain every year, and that rain for the most part falls year round. Ohio's streams and rivers made it possible for early inhabitants to cover great distances quickly. In the southern half of the state, the water flows south to the Ohio River. In many places the headwaters of these streams are short distances from streams that flow north to Lake Erie. Flint is one of those rare minerals that is only created under specific geologic conditions. Ohio's early geology was ideal for creating flint, and the early inhabitants of these lands found this mineral and used it with great success. Flint has the property of being able to be shaped by hand into various shapes and sizes that have literally razor-sharp edges. In fact, in the hands of a true craftsmen, flint can be sharper than a razor blade. Early native Americans traveled great distances to certain spots, primarily in Ohio's foothills to quarry chunks of flint they could then shaped into knives and arrowheads. Wood was both a resource and a challenge for the early pioneers. In the late 1700s when settlers first began crossing over the Ohio River, they found massive stands of hardwood trees. Oak, hickory, sycamore and elm trees were commonly found growing here. These trees had been growing undisturbed for 100s of years. When settlers arrived here it wasn't uncommon to find trees that were 40, 50 even 60 feet in circumference. These massive trees covered most of Ohio's Hill Country. In later years, one tree could provide enough lumber to build a 2 story farm house and barn. Trees were first felled to clear lands deemed suitable for farming. Later, the trees were cut for fuel to keep the oven fires hot for producing iron iron. Even later, the trees were cut to build railroads and fuel the early steam engines. By the end of the 19th Century, most of Ohio's Hill Country was barren of any trees except for those areas that were impossible to cut. In an article and photo by John Switzer of The Columbus Dispatch , he shows the 2nd largest burr oak tree in Ohio that had to be cut down in 2012. It measured about 20' in circumference and was over 250 years of age. This gives readers a perspective of the size trees throughout Ohio's Hill Country that were up to 60' in diameter. Clay was another resource discovered in many parts of Ohio's Hill Country. The quality of this clay was ideal for ceramic making. Iron is what began the industrial revolution in America. Just prior to the Civil War, Ohio was seeing railroad construction growing faster than any other form of transportation. Railroads required massive amounts of iron to lay the 1000s of miles of track crisscrossing the state. This new transportation model also made it easier to ship and so the industrial revolution had begun. Coal became the fuel of choice for the railroads, industry and to heat America's homes. With the advent of the railroad, coal could be moved from one place to another quickly and cheaply. Oil has been one of Ohio's most valuable natural resources. Long before fracking made it possible to extract the black gold from areas once considered dried up, oil was known Oil was first discovered in Ohio's Hill Country back in the early 1800s. At that time, there was no known use for this smelly black substance. That changed quickly when it was discovered that P7_SMLop('p7SML_1',1,600,'Read more about Natural Resources...','...Show Less',0,0) Read more about Natural Resources...
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places to visit in southeast ohio

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Southeast Ohio Festivals & Events

places to visit in southeast ohio

Festival & Events Calendar for Southeast Ohio

Winter Hike at Hocking Hills (January) Contemporary Gunmakers Show (Feb) Ohio Valley Frontier Days (April) International Street Fair (May) Oak Hill Festival of Flags (May) Wild Turkey Festival (May) Lorena Sternwheeler (June) Railroad Festival (June) Rhythm on the River (June) County Fairs (July) Gallipolis River Fest (July) LilyFest (July) Y Bridge Arts Festival (July) County Fairs (Aug) Hocking Hills Bigfoot Festival (Aug) Parade of the Hills (Aug) River Trails & Ales Fest (Aug) Barnesville Pumpkin Festival (Sept) County Fairs (Sept) Glass Pumpkin Festival (Sept) Ohio Pawpaw Festival (Sept) Ohio River Sternwheel Festival (Sept) Bob Evans Farm Festival (Oct) Fall Festival of Leaves (Oct) Fall Foliage Trains (Oct)   Paul Bunyan Show (Oct) Portsmouth Oktoberfest (Oct) Christmas Trains (Dec) Dickens Victorian Village (Dec) Zanesville Storybook Christmas (Dec)

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  • Appalachian Ohio
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  • Yoder’s Bakery & Furniture

12 Fun Things To Do In Southeastern Ohio

  • Last updated May 07, 2023
  • Difficulty Beginner

Karli Trujillo

  • Category United States

things to do in southeastern ohio

Southeastern Ohio offers a wide range of activities for visitors, from outdoor adventure to cultural attractions. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a longer stay, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful corner of the Buckeye State. From hiking and camping to wineries and museums, here are 12 fun things to do in Southeastern Ohio.

What You'll Learn

Kayaking on the ohio river, exploring the hocking hills state park, visiting the serpent mound, wine tasting at local wineries, hiking at burr oak state park, rafting on the muskingum river, visiting the ancient mounds at flint ridge, partaking in the local amish culture, touring the ohio caverns, caving at conkles hollow, exploring the wayne national forest, visiting the rock and roll hall of fame in cleveland.


Kayaking on the Ohio River of southeastern Ohio is an unforgettable experience. The Ohio River offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, with its lush forests, rolling hills, and abundant wildlife. The Ohio River also has plenty of historical sites to explore along its route, making it an ideal destination for a kayaking adventure.

When planning your Ohio River kayaking trip, it’s important to consider the season. The spring and summer months offer the best conditions for kayaking, with the water temperature being relatively warm and the current relatively calm. The fall and winter months can also be enjoyable, but the water temperature will be colder and the current will be more turbulent.

No matter when you visit, the Ohio River offers plenty of things to do. Along the way, you’ll pass through small towns, historic sites, and natural areas. Stop to explore small towns like Marietta and Gallipolis, which offer plenty of shops, restaurants, and other attractions. Keep an eye out for historical sites like Indian mounds, which offer insight into the region’s long and colorful past. You might even spot some of the abundant wildlife in the area, including bald eagles, great blue herons, and beavers.

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, the Ohio River has plenty to offer. The river is home to some of the best whitewater rapids in the region, with rapids ranging from Class I (easy) to Class IV (very difficult). Be sure to check the river’s conditions before you embark on your kayaking adventure.

Before you set out on the river, be sure to brush up on your kayaking skills. The Ohio River is home to several kayaking clubs, which offer classes and other resources to help you hone your skills. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced kayaker, these clubs can help you become a better paddler.

The Ohio River is an ideal destination for kayakers of all levels. From its stunning scenery and abundant wildlife to its whitewater rapids and historical sites, the Ohio River has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing float down the river or an adrenaline-fueled whitewater adventure, the Ohio River has it all. So grab your kayak and hit the water - you won’t regret it!

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The Hocking Hills State Park of southeastern Ohio is an outdoor explorer’s paradise. With its deep gorges and towering cliffs, it offers breathtaking views, lush foliage, and plenty of activities. Located in the Appalachian foothills, the park is a popular destination for hikers, bikers, and campers.

The park offers over 25 miles of trails that are perfect for hiking and biking. Whether you are looking for a leisurely stroll or an intense trek, you can find a trail to suit your needs. The trails range in difficulty, from easy to strenuous, and will take you to some of the park’s most spectacular sights. Rockbridge State Nature Preserve, Old Man’s Cave, and Ash Cave are just a few of the breathtaking attractions you will find on your journey.

If you are looking for an outdoor adventure, the park also offers camping, fishing, and canoeing. There are numerous campsites available, as well as primitive camping areas if you prefer to rough it. Fishing is a popular pastime in the park, and the streams are stocked with bass, bluegill, and catfish. Canoeing is also a great way to explore the park, and you can rent canoes and kayaks right at the park.

The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, fox, and wild turkeys. Birdwatchers will also find plenty of species to observe, including hawks, owls, and a variety of songbirds.

The park offers a variety of events throughout the year. From nature walks to educational programs, there is something for everyone. The park also has a variety of interpretive programs, where you can learn about the park’s history and geology. There are also special programs for children, such as the Junior Ranger Program.

The Hocking Hills State Park of southeastern Ohio is a great place to explore and learn about nature. Whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway or an adrenaline-filled adventure, you can find it at the Hocking Hills State Park. So, grab your hiking boots and get ready to explore the great outdoors!

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Visiting the Serpent Mound of southeastern Ohio is an experience that every traveler should have. Located in Adams County, Ohio, the Serpent Mound is a National Historic Landmark and one of the largest earthen effigies in the world. It was built by the indigenous people of the area in the form of a giant serpent, stretching 1,348 feet long and three feet high.

Visiting the Serpent Mound is a great way to experience the rich history of the area. The site is open to the public for a nominal fee and guided tours are available, as well as self-guided tours. The mound is divided into two parts - the upper part is the effigy of the serpent and the lower part has a number of small mounds, which are believed to have been used for ceremonial purposes.

The Serpent Mound also has a rich cultural history. According to Native American legend, the mound was built to honor a great chief who was turned into a snake by the Great Spirit. The mound was also believed to have been built to protect the village from evil spirits. In addition, the mound has been associated with astronomical alignments, such as the movements of the sun and moon.

When visiting the Serpent Mound, there are a few things to keep in mind. Due to the sensitive nature of the site, visitors are asked to stay on the designated pathways and not to disturb any artifacts or ancient structures. Additionally, visitors are asked to be respectful of the site and to not engage in any activities that could damage the mound or its surroundings.

The Serpent Mound is a beautiful and fascinating place to visit, and a great way to experience the history and culture of the area. Visitors can learn more about the site by reading the interpretive signs and exploring the self-guided and guided tours. Whether you are a history buff or just looking for a fun day trip, the Serpent Mound should not be missed!

The Serpent Mound is located at 3850 State Route 73, Peebles, Ohio. The site is open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week, and admission is free. For more information, contact the Serpent Mound State Memorial at (937) 587-2796.

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Wine tasting at local wineries of southeastern Ohio is an experience you don’t want to miss. With a variety of wineries scattered throughout the area, you can enjoy a day or weekend sampling some of the best wines the region has to offer.

The wineries in southeastern Ohio provide a variety of experiences for visitors. From small family-run wineries to larger estates, you can find something that suits your taste. Most of the wineries offer tours and wine tastings for visitors, giving them the opportunity to learn about the wines and the winemaking process. In addition to wine tastings, many of the wineries also offer food, entertainment, and special events.

When visiting a winery, be sure to bring a friend or two with you. That way, you can share your experience, ask questions, and take notes on the different wines you sample. It’s also helpful to dress for the occasion and bring some snacks for a picnic.

When it comes to tips for wine tasting, it’s important to remember to appreciate the nuances of each wine. Swirl the glass and take a deep breath, noticing the aromas of the wine. Then take a sip, and let the flavor linger on your tongue as you note the different components of the wine.

The wineries of southeastern Ohio are a great way to explore the area and learn more about the local culture. From the beautiful scenery to the friendly locals, the wineries provide a unique experience that you won’t soon forget.

“Wine is a living liquid containing no preservatives. Its life cycle comprises youth, maturity, old age, and death. When not treated with reasonable respect it will sicken and die.” – Julia Child

If you’re looking for a unique experience, wine tasting at the local wineries of southeastern Ohio is an experience you won’t soon forget. With its scenic views, friendly locals, and wide range of wines, the wineries of southeastern Ohio are the perfect place to explore the region and learn more about the local culture.

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Burr Oak State Park is a pristine escape in southeastern Ohio. Located in Morgan County, this beautiful park is nestled among the rolling hills of the Appalachian Plateau and surrounded by breathtaking views of the Burr Oak Lake. Hikers of all levels, from the novice to the experienced, can enjoy the trails and amenities that Burr Oak State Park has to offer.

For the beginner, there are several easy trails that wind through the woods, providing a leisurely outdoor experience. The Millstone Trail, for example, is one of the park's most popular trails, and it takes hikers along a serene path of gentle hills, allowing them to take in the beauty of the lake and the surrounding forest. Other trails, such as the Salt Run Trail, offer more challenging terrain with steep hills and mountainside switchbacks.

For the more experienced hiker, Burr Oak State Park offers a number of trails with more of a challenge. The park boasts a 9-mile backpacking trail that winds through the park and is ideal for a longer hike. This trail is especially popular during the summer months, when the weather is perfect for an active day outdoors. There are also several trails that offer more intense elevation changes, making them ideal for those looking to get their heart rate up.

No matter what your hiking level, Burr Oak State Park has something for everyone. The park offers several amenities, including a campground, picnic areas, and various recreational activities. Campers can take advantage of the park's 50 sites and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding landscape. Picnic areas are scattered throughout the park, offering the perfect spot to stop for a rest or a snack. For those looking for an active day outdoors, there are plenty of recreational activities to choose from, such as fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.

Hiking at Burr Oak State Park is a great way to spend time outdoors. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced hiker, you will find something to enjoy here. The views are breathtaking, the trails are plentiful, and the amenities make it a great place to camp and picnic. So, don't miss out on the chance to explore the beauty of southeastern Ohio and enjoy the trails at Burr Oak State Park.

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Rafting down the Muskingum River in southeastern Ohio is an incredible experience. This winding river offers an exciting and unique way to explore the area's stunning landscapes. Whether you're a novice or a veteran rafter, the Muskingum River is sure to provide a thrilling outdoor adventure.

The Muskingum River is one of the most popular rafting spots in Ohio, with plenty of rapids and rocks to navigate. The river is especially great for those looking for a challenge, as it is full of Class II and III rapids, which are perfect for those who want a bit of an adrenaline rush. The river winds through the stunning Ohio countryside, making it a great way to explore the area.

When deciding when to go rafting on the Muskingum River, it's best to plan your trip during the summer months, when the water is at its warmest and the rapids are at their most exciting. If you visit during the summer, you'll also have the opportunity to take part in some other activities such as camping, fishing, or hiking.

Before hitting the river, it's important to make sure you're properly prepared. Make sure to wear a life jacket, and bring plenty of water and snacks. It's also a good idea to bring a first aid kit, and make sure you have a map of the river.

If you're new to rafting, it's a good idea to take a guided tour. This will ensure that you stay safe on the river and learn the basics of rafting. There are plenty of experienced tour guides in the area who can provide you with an exciting and safe experience.

Once you're on the river, you'll be sure to have an unforgettable experience. The sights and sounds of the river will fill your senses and provide you with a memorable day. You'll get to experience the thrill of the rapids and take in the stunning scenery.

Rafting down the Muskingum River in southeastern Ohio is an experience like no other. With its thrilling rapids, stunning scenery, and plenty of outdoor activities, it's a great spot for those looking for an outdoor adventure. So, grab your gear and get ready for an unforgettable day on the river!

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The Ancient Mounds at Flint Ridge of southeastern Ohio are a historical wonder that is a must-see for any traveler. Located in the rolling hills of Licking County, the area is home to some of the most well-preserved Native American mounds in the country.

Visiting the mounds is a unique experience. In addition to the impressive mounds, there are also several trails that lead visitors through the surrounding woods. These trails offer an intimate view of the area's natural beauty, as well as a glimpse into the lives of its ancient inhabitants.

When visiting the mounds, visitors should take the time to learn about their history. According to archaeologists, the mounds were built by the Adena people between 1000 and 200 BC. They were likely used for ceremonial purposes, as well as for burial sites.

One of the best ways to experience the area is to take a guided tour. These tours are generally led by knowledgeable guides who can provide interesting information about the area's history, as well as tips on which trails to take.

In addition to the guided tours, visitors can also explore the area on their own. There are plenty of trails that offer excellent views of the mounds, as well as the surrounding countryside. Visitors should also be sure to take a moment to appreciate the area's natural beauty, as well as the many stories contained within the mounds.

No visit to the Ancient Mounds of Flint Ridge would be complete without experiencing some of the local culture. The nearby towns of Hebron, Brownsville and Newark are full of fascinating stories of the area's past, and are home to some wonderful restaurants and shops.

Visiting the Ancient Mounds at Flint Ridge of southeastern Ohio is a great way to experience the area's rich history. Whether you choose to take a guided tour or explore the area on your own, it's sure to be a memorable experience.

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Partaking in the local Amish culture of southeastern Ohio is an experience like no other. This area of the state is home to a thriving Amish population, and there are many ways to experience their unique culture. From visiting a traditional Amish farm to taking a buggy ride, visitors to southeastern Ohio can get a real feel for the Amish way of life.

If you’re looking for an authentic Amish experience, head to one of the local farms. You can take a tour of the farm and get an up close look at the animals, crops, and other aspects of the Amish lifestyle. These farms are also great places to purchase homemade Amish goods, such as furniture, quilts, and canned goods. Many of these farms offer buggy rides, allowing visitors to get an inside look at Amish life from the back of a horse-drawn buggy.

For a more interactive experience, visitors should head to one of the local Amish farmers’ markets. Here, you’ll find a variety of fresh produce, cheeses, baked goods, and other homemade goods. It’s a great way to get to know the locals and sample some of the best Amish cooking.

Storytelling is also a large part of Amish culture, and visitors can join in on a variety of storytelling events. These events often feature tales of the Amish people’s history, as well as stories of faith and family values. You can even take part in a traditional barn raising ceremony, where visitors join hands to raise a barn in a single day.

When visiting Amish country, be sure to dress appropriately. The Amish dress modestly and visitors should do the same out of respect. If you’re unsure what to wear, ask the locals for advice.

Visiting southeastern Ohio is a great way to experience the Amish culture. From visiting farms to attending storytelling events, there are plenty of ways to get an inside look at the Amish way of life. With its picturesque countryside, friendly locals, and unique culture, you’re sure to have a memorable experience.

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The Ohio Caverns in southeastern Ohio are a must-see destination for nature lovers. Located in West Liberty, Ohio, the caverns are home to some of the most stunning and unique geological features in the state. The caverns are known for their intricate and vibrant stalactites and stalagmites, as well as the beautiful underground river that winds its way through the deep chambers.

Visitors to the Ohio Caverns can take a guided tour that lasts about an hour and a half. The tour takes visitors through the various chambers of the caverns, where they can see the stalactites and stalagmites, as well as some of the unique rock formations that have been created over millions of years. Visitors also learn about the history of the caverns, as well as some of the folklore that surrounds them.

The Ohio Caverns also offer a variety of other activities for visitors. They offer a gift shop, where visitors can purchase souvenirs and other items related to the caverns. They also have a snack bar, where visitors can purchase refreshments to enjoy while they explore the caverns. The Ohio Caverns also offer a variety of educational programs, such as the Junior Ranger program, which allows children to learn about the caverns and the fascinating features within them.

For those interested in a more immersive experience, the Ohio Caverns also offer a night tour. During the night tour, visitors get to experience the caverns in a completely different light, as the caverns are illuminated by artificial lights. The tour also includes stories and legends of the caverns, as well as live musicians who play music throughout the tour.

Visitors should also take note of the Ohio Caverns’ strict safety guidelines. All visitors must wear appropriate clothing and footwear and must follow all instructions given by the tour guide. Additionally, visitors are not allowed to touch any of the caverns’ features, as this could damage them.

The Ohio Caverns are open from April through October. If you’re looking for a unique experience, the Ohio Caverns are a must-see destination. With its breathtaking views and fascinating history, the Ohio Caverns offer a truly unforgettable experience.

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Conkles Hollow, located in southeastern Ohio, is a great destination for caving. The hollow consists of two different sections: the upper and lower canyon. The upper canyon is a spectacular one-mile gorge, with sheer sandstone walls up to 100 feet high. The lower canyon is a quarter-mile of narrow sandstone walls and is a popular destination for cavers.

The area is filled with caves, and the most popular is the Conkles Hollow Cave, which is estimated to be nearly seven miles long. This cave is also the longest known cave in Ohio. The walls of the cave are lined with stunning formations, and the cave is filled with a variety of wildlife.

The best time to go caving at Conkles Hollow is during the summer and fall months. Summer temperatures can be quite hot, but the cool cave environment is the perfect place to escape the heat. During the fall, the foliage and the changing colors of the leaves make the area even more beautiful.

When exploring the caves of Conkles Hollow, safety is a priority. It is important to wear protective clothing and a helmet, and to bring a headlamp and other necessary gear. It is also important to check in with the local park service before entering any cave.

Caving at Conkles Hollow is an experience like no other. The area provides a unique adventure, with stunning views and wildlife. And, cavers can explore the caves and discover stories and legends of the past.

One such story is that of the Conkles Hollow Cave Monster. According to the legend, the monster was a giant creature that lurked in the depths of the cave, terrifying all who dared to enter. Whether or not the creature actually existed is unknown, but it remains a popular tale among those who explore the hollow.

Another interesting fact about Conkles Hollow is that it was once a popular destination for Native American tribes. According to archaeological evidence, the area was inhabited by tribes such as the Hopewell, who used the area for hunting and gathering.

Caving at Conkles Hollow is an exciting and rewarding experience. The area offers spectacular views and is filled with fascinating stories and legends. With the proper safety precautions, cavers can explore the area and enjoy the beauty and wonder of the caves.

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The Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio is the perfect place to explore the outdoors. With its lush forests, clear streams, and scenic rolling hills, it is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking, fishing, and camping, to bird watching and rock climbing, there’s something for everyone at the Wayne National Forest.

Visitors to the Wayne National Forest can take advantage of miles of trails and roads for exploring. Whether you’re looking for a short stroll in the woods or a challenging hike, there are plenty of options to choose from. There are also numerous campsites scattered throughout the forest, so campers can find a spot to rest and relax. Fishing is also a popular activity at the Wayne, with a number of streams and ponds offering great opportunities to catch bass, trout, and other fish.

The Wayne National Forest is also home to some of Ohio’s most beautiful and unique rock formations. From the Devil’s Bathtub to the Grandma Gatewood Trail, there are plenty of sites to explore. Climb to the top of Old Man’s Cave to get a spectacular view of the forest and its rolling hills. Or take a leisurely stroll along the Buckeye Trail, which winds its way through the forest.

For those looking for a more adventurous experience, the Wayne National Forest offers a variety of activities. Ziplining and mountain biking are just two of the activities that can be enjoyed. There are also a number of group activities, such as kayaking and canoeing, that can be enjoyed with family and friends.

The Wayne National Forest also offers a variety of educational programs and events throughout the year. From bird watching and nature hikes to educational programs about the history and ecology of the forest, there’s something for everyone. If you’re looking for a unique way to learn about the Wayne National Forest, consider signing up for one of their ranger-led programs.

No matter what you choose to do, the Wayne National Forest is a great place to explore and enjoy the outdoors. With its diverse terrain and abundance of activities, the Wayne is sure to provide a memorable experience. So, the next time you’re looking for a place to get away and explore, consider the Wayne National Forest.

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland of southeastern Ohio is a must-visit destination for music lovers and history buffs alike. Located on the shores of Lake Erie, the museum pays tribute to the greats of the music industry who have shaped the sound of modern music and left an indelible mark on popular culture. From rock legends like The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, and Led Zeppelin to icons of jazz, blues, and rap, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a living testament to the power and influence of music.

Visitors to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can explore the museum's five floors, each dedicated to a different musical genre and featuring interactive exhibits, multimedia presentations, and artifacts from some of the most influential musicians of all time. The museum also boasts a number of special events throughout the year, such as live performances and educational programs, that give visitors a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with their favorite musicians.

When visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there are a few things to bear in mind. First, it’s important to plan your visit ahead of time, as the museum can get quite crowded on weekends. It’s also wise to bring comfortable shoes, as the museum spans five floors and there’s a lot of ground to cover. The museum is open seven days a week, with extended hours in the summer.

It’s easy to get lost in the sheer magnitude of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s exhibits and interactive displays. To get the most out of your visit, it’s a good idea to focus on one or two specific genres. That way, you can learn about the history of the music and explore the artifacts and interactive displays at your own pace.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a must-see for anyone who loves music. As legendary musician and Hall of Fame inductee Bruce Springsteen put it, "It's the closest thing music has to a cathedral." And as an added bonus, the museum is located in one of the most vibrant cities in the country, so visitors can explore all that Cleveland has to offer while they’re in town.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an experience like no other, and it’s the perfect place to explore the history and influence of music on the world. From the rock and roll greats of yesteryear to the hip-hop and rap stars of today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

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Frequently asked questions.

Southeastern Ohio offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, fishing, boating, kayaking, and bird watching.

Yes, there are many cultural attractions in Southeastern Ohio. These include historical sites, museums, art galleries, music venues, and more.

Yes, there are several wineries and breweries in Southeastern Ohio, offering a variety of wines, beers, and ciders.

Yes, there are many festivals and events in Southeastern Ohio throughout the year. These include music festivals, art festivals, food festivals, and more.

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places to visit in southeast ohio

14 Beautiful Towns In Ohio You Should Visit

  • Ohio's small towns are filled with history, natural beauty, and Midwest charm, making them perfect for a peaceful and visually captivating getaway.
  • Chagrin Falls, Hudson, and Oxford are among the most beautiful Ohio towns, offering a mix of stunning landscapes, cultural attractions, and outdoor activities for all ages.
  • From water fun at Geneva-on-the-Lake to exploring history in Marietta, there is something for everyone in Ohio's most beautiful towns, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and history buffs.

When Ohio comes to mind, people think of famous places such as Cleveland , one of the state's standout cities, and the bustling city of Columbus, which features many interesting spots to see. However, the state also has numerous small towns with hidden travel gems to explore. Plenty of Ohio's small towns are brimming with history, gorgeous landscapes, and the Midwest charm for which the entire stated is loved.

These lesser-visited towns in Ohio have distinct cultural scenes, modern and historic attractions, and lots of family-friendly outdoor activities. So, for those looking for a slice of Midwest hospitality in a laid-back setting, these are some of the most beautiful towns Ohio has in store that every discerning traveler should visit.


There are even more of the most beautiful places in Ohio to visit, each combining nature and history!

Ohio is the perfect destination for nature enthusiasts and history buffs. Home to many incredible towns, the state is the perfect destination for a road trip or a weekend getaway to discover everything it has to offer. Therefore, this list has been expanded to include more of the most beautiful Ohio towns that travelers should include on their itinerary.

RELATED: 10 Unique Summer Family Vacations In The U.S. You Probably Haven't Even Thought Of

Chagrin Falls

Witness the town's namesake waterfall and historic boutique-lined streets.

Chagrin Falls is among the prettiest towns in Ohio to visit; it's located in Cuyahoga County and was built along the Chagrin River. The village's highlight is its namesake waterfall, an impressive cascade enhancing the historic ambiance. The best spot to admire the falls is from the iconic Main Street Bridge.

Beyond the natural beauty, Chagrin Falls offers charming boutiques, cafes, and historic architecture lining the streets, creating a welcoming atmosphere. Chagrin Falls offers a blend of nature and small-town charisma, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a tranquil and visually captivating experience in Ohio.

  • Attractions: Fireside Book Shop Inc. , The Glass Asylum , GHill Art
  • Best time to visit: June to September for nice weather, but winter is also pretty for wintry scenery

This beautiful Ohio town offers superb boating and fishing

Hudson is considered one of Ohio's gems, and its beauty lies in well-preserved historic homes, tree-lined streets, and a vibrant downtown, where travelers can find many restaurants and shops.

Hudson also offers a perfect blend of outdoor recreation, such as fishing and boating . The town's commitment to green spaces and parks is an additional charm. From historic landmarks to contemporary amenities, Hudson provides a delightful backdrop for those seeking a harmonious blend of tradition and progress in a small-town setting.

  • Attractions: Barlow Farm Park , Wood Hollow Metro Park (around 20 minutes from Hudson town center)
  • Best time to visit: From mid-June to mid-September for nice weather

This historic college town is the base of Ohio's Miami University

Oxford is the perfect destination for those seeking a getaway in Ohio with a college atmosphere. Home to Miami University , this is one of the many fun college towns in Ohio that combines academic energy, vibrant nature, and small-town warmth. When exploring Oxford, travelers will discover its historic architecture, tree-lined streets, and a lively campus atmosphere.

The Uptown district offers eclectic shops, diverse dining, and cultural events. The Hueston Woods State Park, just outside town, is a spot for travelers seeking hiking trails and a lake.

  • Attractions: Oxford Museum Association Dewitt Log Home , Hueston Woods Beach , The Hueston Woods State Park
  • Best time to visit: February to April and September to November for the full college ambiance

Little Miami scenic river and a majestic castle make Loveland a must

Loveland is located along the Little Miami Scenic River, one of the town's main attractions. Locals and visitors can take advantage of many activities along the river, including canoeing and hiking. This serene scape also features the Little Miami Bike Trail , which offers picturesque views.

However, Loveland isn't only a destination for nature enthusiasts, as it features a vibrant downtown with charming boutiques, cozy cafes, and community events, creating a lively social hub. Also, the town is famous for the Château Laroche, which is also known as the Loveland Castle. This enchanting structure is a museum on the banks of the Little Miami River, located just north of Loveland, and looks like something out of a fairytale novel or medieval Europe.

  • Attractions: Kings Island , Narrow Path Brewing Co. , Lake Isabella , Loveland Castle
  • Best time to visit: Between September and November for fall foliage or June to August for nice weather

Related: These Are The 10 Most Beautiful Towns In New Mexico You Should Visit

Yellow Springs

Home to antioch college, state parks, and a historic downtown area.

Yellow Springs is one of the most beautiful and unique small towns in Ohio. Visiting this place takes vacationers a while back, as most of its local buildings look like they date back to the 1960s. It is known for being the home to Antioch College and a bustling downtown with gorgeous streets lined with restaurants, colorful shops, and beautiful art galleries, as well as the historic Little Art Theatre.

There are several outdoor spots to explore, including John Bryan State Park and Glen Helen Nature Reserve. Nature and photography lovers would love spending time in these spots, thanks to their spectacular natural scenery.

  • Attractions: Glen Helen Association , The Yellow Spring , Village Artisans Co-Op , John Bryan State Park , Glen Helen Nature Reserve , Little Art Theatre
  • Best time to visit: Summer and early autumn for nice weather and foliage

Fort Meigs is the standout star of this historic Ohio town

Perrysburg is a magnificent old-fashioned small town with iconic historical attractions, parks, and beautiful natural spots. One of the town's highlights is Fort Meigs , one of the battlefields from the 1812 War. The fort is the largest reconstructed fortification in North America.

Perrysburg's historic downtown has an open-air market where travelers can explore some of the best shopping and live entertainment from musicians and artisans. Other spots to check include Riverside Park and the Perrysburg Area Historic Museum.

  • Attractions: Fort Meigs Historic Site , Six Fifths Distilling , Orleans Park , Perrysburg Area Historic Museum , Riverside Park
  • Best time to visit: Late April to October for good weather


Enjoy lake erie beaches in this scenic 1950s-style vacation town.

One of the many fun things to do in Ohio is enjoy its lake beaches, and this town proves it! Located on Lake Erie, Geneva-on-the-Lake is one of the most beautiful towns in Ohio to visit; it has the 1950s holiday charm and a magnificent sandy beach along the lake's shore offering plenty of fun activities, including fishing and swimming.

There are some shops selling snacks and ice creams that vacationers can munch on as they have a relaxing time on the beach. There is also a Ferris wheel offering fun moments for the entire family.

  • Attractions: Geneva State Park , Sportsterz Bar and Grill , Allison's Mini Golf
  • Best time to visit: Memorial Day through mid-September for great weather

Explore one of the smallest towns in Ohio with Lake Erie and the Marblehead Lighthouse

Marblehead has a population of about 1,000 residents, making it one of the smallest Ohio towns to visit. It has a lot of beautiful spots to offer vacationers of all tastes and ages. Located on Marblehead Peninsula, this town receives visitors who come to enjoy exploring the surroundings, including the areas around Lake Erie.

Some of the places to explore here include Dempsey Wildlife Area and the Marblehead Lighthouse, the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in the Great Lakes region (a stunning area with lots of other places to stay) . There is plenty of outdoor fun here, ranging from hiking to fishing to boating. Plus, visitors with kids will love a short detour out of town to Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, which is only about half an hour away.

  • Attractions: Cedar Point Amusement Park (around 30 minutes away from the town), Marblehead Lighthouse , Dempsey Wildlife Area
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, but summer is ideal for nice weather

Ohio's oldest town, famed for the Ohio River Museum and Campus Martius Museum

Marietta is full of fun and adventure, boasting amazing museums, such as the Ohio River Museum and Campus Martius Museum. Founded in 1788, this is the oldest town in Ohio and the first official European settlement in the Northwest Territory.

Vacationers can learn about this fascinating history in the local museums through their fantastic exhibits. Marietta's downtown area is brimming with colorful boutique shops and beautiful, walkable streets. Plus, there are numerous outdoor activities, such as kayaking and hiking.

  • Attractions: American Flags & Pole , Schafer Leather , The Castle Historic House Museum , Ohio River Museum , Campus Martius Museum
  • Best time to visit: Between June and August for great weather

Denison University, flower-filled parks, and a lovely downtown

With beautiful streets lined with trees and historic buildings, Granville easily earns its spot among the most beautiful towns in Ohio to visit. The area around the city center is filled with colorful shops, restaurants, and a good number of lodging options for travelers. The town also boasts its incredible Denison University , creating a fun college-town feel.

Granville is incredibly gorgeous in summer, thanks to the scenic landscapes, full of colors and blooming flowers. There are many parks and beautiful architecture, too.

  • Attractions: Granville Historical Society Museum , Denison Golf Club at Granville , Bryn Du Mansion
  • Best time to visit: From mid-June to mid-September for the best weather

Water fun on Lake Erie, The Butterfly House, and the Crystal Cave are highlights!

Located on South Bass Island within the beautiful Lake Erie, Put-in-Bay is full of spectacular attractions, including the Butterfly House, the Crystal Cave, and South Bass Island State Park. The town is definitely one of the best getaways in Ohio, reachable on a ferry ride.

To get around this incredible town and explore its charm, a golf cart is the best option since it allows visitors to soak up the island’s scenery at a slower pace and enjoy the ride. Jet-skiing, kayaking, and golfing are other fun activities to enjoy, especially in the summer.

  • Attractions: Put-in-Bay Tour Train , Butterfly House , Perry's Victory & International Peace Memorial , South Bass Island State Park , Crystal Cave
  • Best time to visit: From June to August for good weather perfect for water activities

This well-preserved historic town was founded in the 19th century

Located a short distance away from Dayton, Tipp City is one of the most beautiful cities in Ohio to visit. Founded in 1840, this gorgeous Midwestern town has a vibrant historic downtown and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The area has plenty of beautiful restaurants, handicraft stores, magnificent parks, and antique shops. Numerous exciting events are held here from time to time, like the Tipp City Mum Festival, which occurs every year in September.

  • Attractions: The Hotel Gallery , Charleston Falls Preserve , Tipp City Mum Festival
  • Best time to visit: From May through September for nice weather

This town on Route 40 offers amazing museums and a quaint downtown

Seated along U.S. Route 40, one of the first highways from east to west in the country, Cambridge is one of the most beautiful towns to visit in Ohio. The town boasts a tiny downtown, brimming with several attractions, antique shops, and restaurants to explore. There are numerous historical buildings too.

Some of the best spots to visit include the National Museum of Cambridge Glass, the Great American Steam Locomotive Museum, and the Deerassic Park Education Center. This area of the town is best explored on foot.

  • Attractions: National Museum of Cambridge Glass , Dickens Victorian Village , Cambridge City Parks , Great American Steam Locomotive Museum , Deerassic Park Education Center
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, but summer for nicer weather

Related: Cambridge Is More Than A University, But What Does The City Offer Tourists?

College town Oberlin was a major part of the Abolitionist movement in the 19th century

Home to Oberlin College , this small town is vibrant and could easily rival a number of the more well-known, cool college towns in the US . Visitors will find numerous hotels, colorful shops, and restaurants here, along with a bustling arts and cultural scene.

Most notably, though, this town is a significant part of American history, as it was a major focus during the American abolitionist movement in the 19th century. Its Oberlin College, established in 1833, was the first American higher education institution attended by Black students.

  • Attractions: Oberlin Recreation Department , Carlisle Reservation , Oberlin and the Underground Railroad
  • Best time to visit: June through September for great weather

14 Beautiful Towns In Ohio You Should Visit

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25 Top Things to Do in Ohio

Exciting cities, outdoor adventure, amusements parks and more await in the Buckeye State.

Top things to do in Ohio

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From walking along the Ohio River in Cincinnati to riding Cedar Point's thrilling roller coasters, Ohio offers something for everyone to enjoy.

If you're planning a couples or family getaway – or maybe even a road trip – look no further than the Buckeye State. Ohio has a diverse landscape to explore, from cosmopolitan cities to coastal communities to picturesque rural towns.

You can plan your vacation around visiting world-class museums and zoos or pursue outdoor adventures at state parks. There are also many cultural, historical and sports attractions – and you can dine and imbibe your way around big cities and small towns one doughnut or beer at a time. For thrill-seekers and roller coaster fans, there are also plenty of fun (and adrenaline-inducing) rides at some of the top amusement parks in the U.S .

So, whether you're interested in a city break, family fun time or high-speed adventures , here are the top things to do in Ohio.

(Note: Some of the following activities, attractions and locations may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. New policies may be in place, including capacity restrictions, reservation requirements or mask mandates. Check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of State and local tourism boards before traveling.)

Top things to do in Ohio

The city that was once known as "The Mistake on the Lake" is making a comeback. Like many former industrialized cities, Cleveland is now one of the cool places to visit – even producers of the ABC television reality show "The Bachelor" think so. An episode of the 24th season of the show highlighted some of the city's top attractions, including the home of the Cleveland Browns, FirstEnergy Stadium, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and nearby Cedar Point Amusement Park. Other not-to-miss stops include the Cleveland Museum of Art (free to the public), the Cleveland Botanical Garden and the USS Cod Submarine Memorial.

For accommodations, plan to stay downtown at either The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland or Metropolitan at the 9, Autograph Collection . Both properties are conveniently located, allowing visitors to easily access major attractions, shopping and dining.

[See more of Cleveland: Things to Do | Hotels | When to Visit | Photos ]

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Cleveland

Top things to do in Ohio

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame opened Sept. 2, 1995, along with a benefit concert at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, featuring performances by musical icons like Aretha Franklin, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and James Brown. Today, the five-level glass pyramid-shaped building is one of Cleveland's top attractions. If you love rock 'n' roll, you'll appreciate priceless memorabilia like performance costumes, handwritten drafts of songs and other personal artifacts. There are also feature films, videos and interactive displays. You can even pick up a guitar or sit behind the keyboard or drums and make your own music in The Garage or watch recordings of memorable performances in the Connor Theater. And you won't want to miss the highlight of a visit on Level 3, the inductee Hall of Fame.

Most travelers say they enjoy the interactive exhibits and the film at the Connor Theater. They also recommend you allot several hours for your visit. The exhibits change frequently, so you may want to check the current offerings online before you go. You can purchase tickets in advance here .

Address: Union Home Mortgage Plaza, 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44114

[Read: The Best Tourist Attraction in Every U.S. State .]

A Christmas Story House: Cleveland

Top things to do in Ohio

Courtesy of A Christmas Story House & Museum

Fans of Ralphie and "A Christmas Story" won't want to miss a visit to the original house from the movie. You can tour the home and visit A Christmas Story Museum across the street, where you can see behind-the-scenes photos , authentic costumes and props, such as Randy's snowsuit, the toys from the Higbee's window and the family car.

You can even book an overnight stay in the house and sleep in Ralphie's and Randy's beds. Use of the entire private third-floor loft is included in the price. And after the museum closes, you can pretend you're the Parker family and relive scenes from the movie as you'll have run of the house until 9 a.m. the following day.

Visitors familiar with the movie especially enjoy visiting the attraction. They also mention that you can touch the items throughout the house, which is unusual for most tours.

Address: 3159 W. 11th St., Cleveland, OH 44109

Visit breweries and stamp your Cleveland Brewery Passport

Top things to do in Ohio

Courtesy of Destination Cleveland

Like most hip cities in the U.S., Cleveland has a burgeoning craft beer scene. Be sure to pick up a Cleveland Brewery Passport before heading out on the mission to visit 41 breweries within a 25-mile radius of downtown Cleveland. There are even prizes for your efforts, such as Cleveland Brewery Passport koozies for imbibing at just eight of the 41 breweries or brewpubs. And if you're up for the challenge to hit up all 41 locales, you'll be rewarded with a Cleveland Brewery Passport growler. Thankfully, food and branded merchandise, like T-shirts, also earn you a passport stamp.

West Side Market: Cleveland

Top things to do in Ohio

The West Side Market is a must for food enthusiasts. Located in the historic Ohio City neighborhood, the venue is Cleveland's oldest continuously operating market and boasts 100 vendors selling meats, seafood, produce, dairy goods, flowers, spices, prepared foods and more. Check out local favorites like the famous bratwurst served at Frank's II, the third-generation itineration of the 1970 original Frank's Bratwurst stall at the market. Another stop you'll want to make is for traditional Polish dishes like pierogies, potato latkes and sauerkraut balls at Pierogi Palace.

Reviewers love going to the market to see all the selections, including the baked goods. If you're looking for a deal, they suggest going before the vendors close at the end of the day.

Address: 1979 W. 25th St., Cleveland, OH 44113

Top things to do in Ohio

Nestled along the shoreline of Sandusky Bay, this coastal destination is home to the famous Cedar Point Amusement Park. It's also regarded as Ohio's Water Park Capital, with popular indoor and outdoor water park resorts like Kalahari, Castaway Bay, Cedar Point Shores and Great Wolf Lodge.

In the warmer months, you can enjoy water sports activities like kayaking, sailing or paddleboarding on the bay and Lake Erie. You can also take sunset and scenic cruises, and explore Lake Erie's islands by island-hopping cruises. Another highlight in Sandusky is the self-guided Underground Railroad Historic Tour which stops at homes, buildings and sites that were critical to Sandusky's Underground Railroad efforts.

If you're up for a two-day road trip , you won't want to miss the eight beautiful lighthouses along Lake Erie in the Shores & Islands region, six of which you can view onshore. On day one, two of the structures will include the restored Port Clinton Lighthouse and the 200-year-old Marblehead Lighthouse.

For accommodations in Sandusky, plan to stay along the waterfront at the boutique property Hotel Kilbourne. Located in the entertainment district, you'll be close to restaurants, shops and more. And at the end of the day, head up to the rooftop bar to enjoy cocktails with water views.

Cedar Point Amusement Park: Sandusky

Top things to do in Ohio

Billed as the "roller coaster capital of the world," Cedar Point has been welcoming guests to its location along Lake Erie since 1870. The park's first roller coaster, the Switchback Railway, opened in 1892. From the late 1970s on, Cedar Point continued to build mind-boggling coasters with each one outdoing the other. The park broke its own record in 2000 with the opening of Millennium Force. At the time, and at more than 300 feet high, it was the tallest, fastest and steepest roller coaster in the world.

Today, the park is home to more than 70 rides, including 17 roller coasters. Steel Vengeance is the longest hybrid coaster in the world and Millennium Force is still considered one of the world's best coasters.

For calmer pursuits, visitors can relax on a mile-long beach, take a riverboat ride on the Snake River Expedition, enjoy live entertainment and grab some grub at plenty of casual dining options. And in the summer, guests can cool off at the 18-acre Cedar Point Shores Waterpark, riding the waterslides and playing in the water features. Visitors rave about Cedar Point's attractions and rides and say it's a roller coaster-lover's dream. Some people say it's the best amusement park in the U.S.

Since you'll need several days to take in all the fun and thrills, plan to stay in one of the on-site properties, such as the park's beachfront resort, Hotel Breakers at Cedar Point.

Address: 1 Cedar Point Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870

National Museum of The United States Air Force: Dayton

Located at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, just 6 miles northeast of Dayton, The National Museum of the United States Air Force is the largest military aviation museum in the world. The complex boasts more than 19 acres of indoor exhibits and over 350 aerospace vehicles, missiles, artifacts and all things aviation. History, aeronautics and war buffs will enjoy browsing impressive displays, such as the World War II, Korean War, Cold War and Space galleries.

Before your visit, and to make the most of your experience, check out the calendar of upcoming events and the movie schedule that features films like "Fighter Pilot Operation Red Flag 3D" and "Astronaut Ocean to Orbit." The museum also has several exciting and interactive simulator rides.

Travelers say it's an incredible experience to visit and see all the history in one place, including the presidential planes. The museum is open seven days a week and admission and parking are free. There is a minimal cost ($10) for the movies and simulator rides.

Address: 1100 Spaatz St., Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433

Top things to do in Ohio

Situated along the Ohio River, the Cincinnati region covers parts of three states – Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. While in town, plan to explore the thriving riverfront in Northern Kentucky and downtown Cincinnati. This area is where you'll find plenty of outdoor recreation, family-friendly restaurants and the Newport Aquarium, one of the top attractions in Kentucky . Another top gathering spot is Fountain Square, which features outdoor concerts, happy hours and an ice skating rink in the winter.

Cincinnati is also known for its sports teams, including the first Major League Baseball team formed in the U.S. in 1869 – the Cincinnati Red Stockings – now known as the Cincinnati Reds. Baseball fans will want to catch a game at the Great American Ball Park and visit the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.

When it comes to food and brews, Cincinnati is steeped in tradition. Chili fans will recognize the famous original Skyline Chili restaurant on Vine Street and ice cream lovers will know Graeter's, the oldest family-owned ice cream parlor in the country. Louis Charles Graeter used to sell ice cream out of carts on the streets of Cincinnati in 1870. And thanks to the city's German heritage, Cincinnatians have been brewing beer for more than 200 years with approximately 80 breweries in and around town. Consider a food tour to try a little bit of everything.

[See more of Cincinnati: Things to Do | Hotels | When to Visit | Photos ]

Over-the-Rhine Neighborhood: Cincinnati

Originally settled by German immigrants, Over-the-Rhine was booming with artisans and three dozen local breweries more than 150 years ago. Prohibition shut down the brewing industry, but after many years, the neighborhood is undergoing a renaissance.

One highlight is the colorful Findlay Market, which opened in 1855. This venue is Ohio's oldest continuously operating public market and is a major draw for locals and tourists. The market is brimming with specialty and artisan foods, locally sourced fresh produce and meats, seafood and fresh flowers. You'll also find on-site dining options, an outdoor biergarten and other entertainment and events.

Over-the-Rhine also has cultural and architectural attractions. The stunning Music Hall is home to Cincinnati's orchestra, pops orchestra, ballet, opera and other performing artists. And the neighborhood has one of the most impressive collections of well-preserved Italianate buildings in the U.S. For an in-depth look at the history of Over-the-Rhine, travelers recommend American Legacy Tours' Ultimate Queen City Underground Tour .

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden: Cincinnati

Top things to do in Ohio

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden opened its doors to the public in 1875 and is one of the oldest zoos in the U.S. The original property consisted of 65 acres in the city, but over the years, the zoo acquired additional surrounding blocks and land in the suburbs. The zoo is recognized as a National Historic Landmark for the architecture of the Elephant House, Passenger Pigeon Memorial and the Reptile House. And with more than 500 species of animals and 3,000 plant species, it also boasts one of the largest zoo collections in the country.

Before you go, check out the zoo's calendar of special events and activities, such as The African Sundowner, an adults-only sunset safari. This adventure begins with cocktails and light bites and includes an after-hours tour with a zoo educator. And don't miss visiting baby hippo Fiona and her mom Bibi at Hippo Cove. Fiona was born six weeks prematurely at the zoo and is the smallest hippo ever to survive.

Visitors say that Cincinnati's Zoo is one of the country's top zoos, and the exhibits are interesting and informative. They also add that seeing Fiona, Bibi and Tucker, the other hippo at Hippo Cove, is one of the highlights.

Address: 3400 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45220

Cincinnati Museum Center: Cincinnati

Top things to do in Ohio

Phil Armstrong | Courtesy of Cincinnati Museum Center

Housed in the historic art deco Union Terminal, the Cincinnati Museum Center is an impressive complex that includes several museums, a five-story domed theater and many exhibits. General ticket prices include admission to the Cincinnati History Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science and The Children's Museum. But you won't want to miss the other attractions here, such as immersive films at the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX Theater, The Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The movies and other museums and exhibits incur an additional cost.

Visitors say the architecture of the train station is extraordinary. They also comment that you can spend an entire day here as there's something for everyone to see.

Address: 1301 Western Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45203

Take a riverboat cruise in Cincinnati

Top things to do in Ohio

Courtesy of BB Riverboats

One of the best ways to see this exciting city is from a cruise along the Cincinnati River. BB Riverboats operates two boats, the flagship Belle of Cincinnati and the River Queen. If you want to see the dramatic city skyline lit up at night, the company offers several options for signature dinner cruises and winery sunset cruises. Daytime excursions include historic sightseeing options, a Dixieland Jazz Brunch Cruise and holiday and themed cruises. You can even set sail to take in some of the city's best views of the fireworks during Cincinnati's farewell to summer on Labor Day Weekend's Riverfest.

Reviewers enjoy the food and music on board, and say seeing the city's lights at night is a treat.

Address: 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, KY 41071

Taste your way through the wine trails

Top things to do in Ohio

There are approximately 300 wineries across the state of Ohio, with seven designated wine trails to explore. The Grand River Valley is one of the top wine-producing regions focusing on growing European-style grapes and producing varietals like pinot gris, riesling, pinot noir, chardonnay and cabernet franc, similar to the wines found in the Finger Lakes . This area in northeast Ohio is about 22 miles long and 4 miles wide and sits along the south shore of Lake Erie. You'll want to head out on the Vines & Wines trail to explore this beautiful region.

Plan to stay a few days at The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake to enjoy the other highlights of the area, including the spectacular sunsets over Lake Erie.

Hocking Hills State Park: Logan

Top things to do in Ohio

Located in southeastern Ohio, Hocking Hills State Park is known for its hiking trails, camping and outdoor adventure. There are seven major one-way hiking trails in the park. Every path is open year-round, and each has something unique to offer. The most popular course is Old Man's Cave, and if you're up for a 6-mile hike, you can venture out to visit three areas – Old Man's Cave, Cedar Falls and Ash Cave. This route is included in Ohio's Buckeye Trail and part of two national systems – the North Country Scenic Trail and America's Discovery Trail. Visitors say the park is beautiful and that you don't have to take a strenuous hike to reach the caves and waterfalls.

For rental accommodations, you can choose from rustic cabins and upscale vacation homes or opt to bring a camper or tent for your stay. But for sleeping arrangements that are anything but ordinary, try glamping in one of the luxurious geodomes or Pacific-style yurts at The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls .

Address: 19852 State Route 664, Logan, OH 43138

Butler County Donut Trail

Top things to do in Ohio

Butler County lays claim to having one of the largest numbers of doughnut shops per capita in the Midwest, so of course, there's a doughnut trail. But before you head out to consume more fried and glazed, stuffed, sprinkled, powdered and bacon-topped doughnuts than you'd ever dreamed of, grab a donut passport and a trail map. You can even enlist the help of a Donut Trail concierge to assist in curating the ultimate yeasty sweet-eating adventure.

It's advisable to rise and shine early because the 13 mom-and-pop shops like Stan the Donut Man and The Donut Dude can sell out quickly. Once you've achieved success and have been to all 13 stops, you'll be rewarded with a Donut Trail T-shirt.

Successful trailgoers say the experience is a lot of fun. They also recommend going early because you may run out of steam after the sugar letdown – and find that some of the shops close at noon.

Top things to do in Ohio

A great way to experience Ohio's capital city is by checking out its unique and bustling neighborhoods. There are many distinct areas, including downtown, so choose a few communities and start exploring. One of the most picturesque areas is the German Village & Brewery District. Originally home to German settlers in the mid-1800s, the well-preserved historic district is now filled with shops, bars, breweries and restaurants – many serving German cuisine.

Another cool area to visit is the Short North Arts District, recognizable by the 17 lighted arches lining the main avenue. This electric neighborhood sits between Ohio State's campus and downtown, and it's home to more than 100 restaurants, boutiques and galleries.

Other top tourist attractions include the Center of Science and Industry, The Columbus Museum of Art, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and the National Veterans Memorial and Museum.

An excellent choice for centrally located accommodations is the boutique property Hotel Leveque, Autograph Collection.

[See more of Columbus: Things to Do | Hotels | Photos ]

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens: Columbus

Top things to do in Ohio

Courtesy of Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Situated approximately 2 miles east of downtown Columbus, this 13-acre visitor experience features botanical biomes, horticulture and art exhibits, abundant gardens and glassworks by artist Dale Chihuly. One of the highlights is The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company Community Garden Campus, which consists of 4 acres with 40 community garden plots, an apiary, a rose pavilion, a demonstration kitchen and a live cooking theater. Many exhibitions are seasonal and change throughout the year, along with works of art by national and international artists.

There is a fee to access the attractions that are part of the visitor experience, but an additional 75 acres in Franklin Park are free to visit. Some travelers comment that the property is "enchanting and surreal." They also recommend visiting when the flowers are in bloom or to see the festive light displays around the Christmas holidays.

Address: 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203

The Covered Bridge Trail: Ashtabula County

Top things to do in Ohio

Home to an impressive 19 covered bridges, Ashtabula County sits in the state's northeast corner. This scenic area with its lush rolling hills and vineyards is known as the covered bridge capital of Ohio. Download the self-guided tour on your smartphone before heading out to see these historic structures across Ohio's picturesque landscape.

Before hitting the road, you should know that Riverview Covered Bridge – one of the county's longer bridges at 150 feet and 14 feet wide – is pedestrian-only. And Smolen-Gulf Covered Bridge, which spans the Ashtabula River, is the longest covered bridge in the U.S. at 613 feet in length and 30 feet wide. Travelers comment that it's interesting to see all the sizes and styles of bridges and say it's a great way to spend a day.

If you're planning to explore more of the region, make reservations at The Michael Cahill Bed & Breakfast for an extended stay. Located in the historic district of Ashtabula Harbor, this beautiful Victorian-style home dates back to 1887.

Pro Football Hall of Fame: Canton

Top things to do in Ohio

Football fans won't want to miss what's been called "football heaven." The Pro Football of Fame is also one of the top attractions in the state and in the U.S. Paying tribute to pro football's top athletes and legends, the attraction has welcomed more than 10 million fans from across the U.S. and visitors from 70-plus different countries around the world.

Museum highlights include the Hall of Fame Gallery, with bronze busts of football greats along with photos, bios and videos on touch-screen kiosks. The Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery details the history of the game from Super Bowl I to the present through artifacts and displays, including championship rings. And in the immersive holographic "A Game for Life" theater, Hall of Famers like Joe Namath, Vince Lombardi and Warren Moon come to life on the screen.

There's much more to explore, so you might want to book a VIP behind-the-scenes or insider tour to make the most of your visit. Reviewers say the memorabilia is impressive and you should make the pilgrimage if you're a fan of the sport.

Address: 2121 George Halas Drive NW., Canton, OH 44708

Top things to do in Ohio

You can visit Amish Country in Lancaster, Pennsylvania , but did you know there's a similar destination in Ohio? Berlin sits in the heart of Ohio's Amish Country, surrounded by verdant rolling hills, picturesque Amish farms and houses, horse-drawn buggies and golden fields of grain. The area, situated about 50 miles south of Akron, is known for its year-round family-friendly festivals and activities. You can participate in the scavenger hunt for barns during Berlin Barnstorming, learn to milk Callie the Cow at MooFest and enjoy food and entertainment at the Harvest Festival & Rib Cook-off, which features live music, tractor pulls and fireworks. There are also more than 50 historic sites, restaurants, inns, hotels and shops in Ohio's Amish Country selling everything from homemade fudge to locally made crafts.

While in town, try hearty Amish-style dishes like baked chicken or roast beef served with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, creamed corn and warm, yeasty rolls at Berlin Farmstead. And don't forget the pie: With an overwhelming selection of freshly baked fruit, cream and custard pies, this eatery offers a variety of options and even a pie sampler.

Explore Native American heritage sites

Top things to do in Ohio

Rooted in Native American tradition, the name "Ohio" is derived from the Iroquois word 'ohi yo', meaning "great river." While there isn't a formal trail for these sites, you can plan your own route across the state. A few stops to include are SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological site in Dayton, which features an interpretive center and reconstructed structures of the 800-year-old lifestyle in the village. Mound City in Chillicothe has approximately 23 burial mounds across 13 acres that date back nearly 2,000 years. And Miamisburg Mound, at 65 feet tall and 800 feet in circumference, is one of the two largest conical mounds in the eastern part of North America.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad: Northeast Ohio

Top things to do in Ohio

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has been operating for more than 100 years in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Ohio & Erie Canalway. The rail line offers year-round excursions and even a one-way ticket or seasonal pass for bikers, hikers or kayakers that want to hitch a one-way ride back to their starting point. Options for tours range from a 1.5-hour scenic trip on the National Park Flyer to elegant train dinners, murder mystery rides and other themed adventures. There are also holiday festivities for the kids like the North Pole Adventure, which offers boarding from one of two stations.

Tourgoers enjoy seeing the restoration of the old rail cars and the scenery. They also comment that the Christmas journey is fun for kids.

Address: (Rockside Station) 7900 Old Rockside Road, Independence, OH 44131

Kings Island: Kings Island

Top things to do in Ohio

For more theme park fun, Kings Island features more than 100 rides and 15 roller coasters, including Orion, one of the world's seven giga coasters. Giga coasters range between 300 to 399 feet in height and complete a full circle reaching speeds of up to 90 mph or more. The amusement park also features family-friendly attractions, including Peanuts-themed rides at Planet Snoopy. And at Soak City Water Park, you can zip down 36 waterslides and stay cool at over 50 water activities that include tropical lagoons and kids play areas.

Kings Island hosts special events throughout the year as well, including the spooky Halloween Haunt and WinterFest, when the grounds transform into an enchanting winter wonderland. Parkgoers say this is one of their favorite amusement parks and many note they really enjoy the holiday festivities.

Address: 300 Kings Island Drive, Kings Island, OH 45034

Metroparks: Toledo

Top things to do in Ohio

Toledo's park system includes 19 parks across approximately 12,700 acres that attract nearly 6 million visitors a year. Outdoor activities include fitness walks, running, biking, kayaking, hunting and birding. Plus, there are even more year-round activities available that you can do on your own or through the park's educational system, such as horseback riding, geocaching, camping, snowshoeing, sledding or ice skating. For a unique experience, take a ride back in time on The Volunteer, a mule-driven canal boat. And after a day in the parks, you can even spend the night slumbering away in the treetops in one of the treehouses at Cannaley Treehouse Village.

You might also be interested in:

  • The Top Water Parks in Ohio
  • The Most Romantic Getaways in Ohio
  • The Top Things to Do in Pennsylvania

The Best Midwest Vacations for Families

Downtown Chicago Skyscraper Cityscape along the Chicago River. Typical yellow Tourboat cruising on the Chicago River towards the Michigan Lake. Chicago, Illinois, USA.

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7 of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia

Acacia Gabriel

Jul 10, 2024 • 6 min read

places to visit in southeast ohio

Start planning your route through Southeast Asia with our guide to the best places to visit Pakin Songmor / Getty Images

Traveling through Southeast Asia is a rite of passage for many backpackers on a budget, but this stunning region also appeals to adventurers and nature lovers too, with people coming back year on year. Whether you are learning how to drive a motorbike or heading out in scuba gear to dive with reef sharks, Southeast Asia offers fantastic experiences at a fraction of the price found elsewhere.

Leading with curiosity and patience will serve travelers well as they navigate their way through the region. There are many highlights, but the spots that you stumble upon are likely to be the ones you remember most fondly. To help you plan your route, and find your own favorite places, here are our picks of where to visit in Southeast Asia and what makes them so special.

A large multi-level wooden structure and walkway our to sea near a surf spot

1. Siargao, Philippines

Best for surfing 

Siargao is a tropical paradise known for its quality surfing, which includes the Cloud 9 break, regarded as one of the best waves in the world. Surfers can take a boat out to Rock Island or Daku, or ride the left reef break at Stimpy’s. Not quite ready for that yet? Surf lessons are available for all levels, then make time to see the island beyond the waves. 

Enjoy live music performances at local bars and cafes, such as the Extension or Strum , ride a motorbike out to the North to visit caves, or go to a yoga class and take an ice bath. Whatever you decide, expect to be welcomed warmly into the local community.

Planning tip: Base yourself in General Luna. By staying at least a week on Siargao, you'll be able to experience the best of the island and explore beyond the main town. 

2. Amed, Bali

Best for diving and snorkeling sites

Amed — a coastal area located in northeast — has maintained the local charm and warm welcome that initially made the island of Bali so popular. Snorkelers and divers in particular love it here because it's home to iconic dive sites like the Japanese Shipwreck – shallow enough to snorkel – and Jemeluk Bay, packed with colorful coral. From here, take a trip to Bali’s famous Gates of Heaven, Pura Lempuyan , to see one of the holiest temple complexes on the island. Sunsets here are stunning: go to Lahangan Sweet viewpoint or Sunset Point for views over Mt Agung , Bali’s highest peak. 

Planning tip: From Canggu , it takes about four hours to get to Amed by taxi. However, if you come from Lombok or the Gili Islands, the ferry is less than two hours depending on the season.

A many tiered waterfall with a bamboo raft full of tourists in the pool

3. Cao Bang, Vietnam

Best for getting off the beaten track 

Cao Bang, in the north of  Vietnam , has some of the most impressive natural sites in the country, but without the crowds. Start at Phat Tich Truc Lam , a temple near the Chinese border, that offers wonderful views over the region’s rolling hills.  Ban Gioc Waterfall  – one of the most magical waterfalls in Southeast Asia and the largest in Vietnam – cascades over multiple tiers and can be visited on a boat trip or bamboo raft. The nearby Nguom Ngao Cave  system extends for several kilometers underground, and is home to many breathtaking stalactites and stalagmites. 

Planning tip: This is a place to get a glimpse of true rural Vietnamese culture, so be prepared to taste dishes you've never heard of and expect to rely on Google Translate to help you with communicating. Even though it is far off the typical backpacker route (for now), Cao Bang is very safe and has great infrastructure for visitors. It takes about six hours from Hanoi by car.

4. Khao Sok National Park, Thailand 

Best for animal lovers 

Khao Sok is a stunning national park that is home to hundreds of animal species including bears, monkeys, leopards and wild elephants. If you're lucky, you can see them wandering around on a safari or boat trip. Located just a few hours north of Krabi , Khao Sok National Park also boasts ATV tours, cave trekking, and Elephant Hills , a sanctuary where rescued elephants are allowed to roam freely in the nature park. 

Chiaw Lan Lake ’s limestone cliffs and dense rainforest will make you feel like you've been transported to another planet. For the ultimate experience, book a night on the lake in a floating bungalow where you can soak in the park's natural beauty from late-night stargazing to a sunrise safari.

A row of monks in orange robes pass in front of a temple collecting money off people

5. Luang Prabang, Laos

Best for Buddhist culture

The former royal capital of Laos , Luang Prabang , is nestled in a valley in the north. It remains an important site for Buddhist culture with its wonderfully preserved temples (wats) and other spiritual sites.

Those who visit are encouraged to participate in almsgiving, a centuries-old daily ceremony where monks collect alms from locals and visitors. Wat Xieng Thong is one of the most spiritually significant temples in Laos. It was built in 1560 for coronations, and is home to large mosaics and an elaborate library. Another important site is Phu Si , which translates to “sacred mountain” and is dotted with temples and shrines. 

Luang Prabang is also close to one of Southeast Asia’s dreamiest waterfalls,  Tat Kuang Si , made up of three tiers that cascade into natural pools of mineral-rich water colored milky white by limestone. 

Planning tip:  For those looking to delve even deeper into Laos’s natural beauty, Luang Prabang is a great jumping point to Nong Khiaw , a village known for its limestone cliffs and outdoor activities.

A man stands by a rickshaw outside a temple with Chinese-style red lanterns

6. Penang, Malaysia

Best for history and culture 

Penang , Malaysia is a vibrant mosaic of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures, all of which are reflected in its food, architecture and traditions. 

The capital of this tropical island, George Town , manages to transform its heritage into something that can accommodate tourists all while tastefully maintaining its authenticity. In just one city, you can tour through Chinese clan houses, mosques, Hindu temples, and British Colonial buildings. 

Outside of George Town, Penang National Park is home to beautiful beaches and hiking trails through the jungle. Learn more about local fauna at the Tropical Spice Garden  packed with spices, medicinal plants and deadly natural poisons – guided tours are available.

Planning tip: As a general rule, it's wise for female travelers to cover their shoulders, chest and knees. While most sites do not require you to cover your head, you may want to bring a head scarf or sarong to enter certain religious or government buildings.

7. Gili Air, Indonesia

Best for relaxation

The Gili Islands — located between Bali and Lombok — consists of three small islets : Gili Trawangan , Gili Meno , and Gili Air . Each island offers its own, unique atmosphere, but for someone looking for peace, relaxation and serenity, they will want to linger on Gili Air with its strong focus on wellness. Motorbikes and cars are not allowed on the island, so visitors can lay back and truly relax on the white sandy beaches, with yoga classes and affordable spa treatments and massages.

One of the top attractions among the Gili Islands are the underwater sculptures, Nest , by artist Jason deCaires Taylor. This site is best enjoyed in the early morning before the crowds arrive, so be sure to book the earliest boat trip possible. There are also opportunities to scuba dive with the area’s many turtles.

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7 Ohio towns make America’s Best Cities list: See Top 100

  • Updated: Jul. 15, 2024, 1:03 p.m.
  • | Published: Jul. 15, 2024, 1:00 p.m.

Columbus, Ohio, America's Best Cities Resonance Top 100 cities in U.S. Cleveland Cincinnati Akron Dayton Toledo Youngstown

Aerial view of downtown Columbus, Ohio, which was ranked as the 34th-best city in the U.S., according to a report from Resonance. Columbus is the highest-ranked city in Ohio, ahead of No. 40 Cleveland, No. 42 Cincinnati, Akron at No. 63, Dayton at No. 68, Toledo at No. 71 and Youngstown at No. 95 on the list. John Pana, cleveland.com

  • Zach Mentz, cleveland.com

Seven towns in Ohio were named to the Top 100 America’s Best Cities, according to a report from Resonance, a tourism, real estate and economic advisory company.

The report compared U.S. metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more across three categories: Livability, such as cost of living, walkability, sights and landmarks, and more; lovability, such as professional sports teams, restaurants, nightlife, museums and more; and prosperity, including education, airport connectivity, Fortune 500 companies headquartered, and more.

Columbus, Ohio, is the 34th-best city in the U.S. and the highest-ranked in Ohio, according to Resonance’s report, which describes the Buckeye State capital as “a Midwest masterpiece.”

“Ohio’s capital and largest city is one of America’s fastest-growing places—an economic powerhouse that’s also home to Ohio State University (#23 in our University subcategory),” the report states.

“And Buckeye football isn’t the university’s only contribution to the local economy: with more OSU graduates deciding to stay in town, Columbus is an emerging tech mecca with a thriving arts scene. The city is buoyed by a growing number of startups, as well as by top employer Ohio State and a Top 25 ranking for Fortune 500s (including Nationwide Mutual Insurance and L Brands),” the report adds.

RELATED: Ohio town named a Top 10 U.S. city for college grads

Not far behind 34th-ranked Columbus is Cleveland ranked as the 40th best city in the U.S., according to Resonance. The Northeast Ohio city is described as the “City of Champions” and a place “where second-tier-city cool meets affordability.”

“Few American cities boast a rebirth story like Cleveland’s,” the report states.

“Increasingly diversified universities and colleges welcome students with open arms… and with 40-plus breweries, growing urban wineries (you read that right) and lauded restaurants that don’t just fill bellies but also mission statements,” the report adds. “Young talent has plenty of reasons to stay, from affordable housing (ranking #17 in our Average Rent subcategory) to a revitalized, walkable downtown of late 19th-century architecture and stately streetscapes.”

RELATED: Ohio town is No. 1 for best U.S. cities to live in to reduce costs, save money

Cincinnati, Ohio, ranked two spots behind Cleveland at No. 42 on the list of America’s Best Cities, according to Resonance.

“Cincinnati has simmered with vibrancy for a few years now, and as second-tier cities ascend, its time has come,” the report reads. “Already an economic force—with a Top 25 Fortune 500 ranking and reaching #15 in our Patents subcategory—the city is investing in its ability to get business done. A new downtown district surrounding the Duke Energy Convention Center should be completed over the next year or two, which will dramatically improve the city’s already impressive #19 Convention Center ranking.”

Beyond Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati, four additional Ohio towns rank among America’s Best Cities. Akron ranks 63rd, Dayton ranks 68th, Toledo places 71st and Youngstown is 95th among the Top 100 cities in the U.S., per Resonance.

The full report from Resonance on America’s Best Cities can be found online.

Zach Mentz

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Seven Ohio cities rate among the best in the US, study finds. See where they rank

We already knew several Ohio cities that saw their populations increase .

Now, seven of Ohio’s cities made America’s Best Cities as compiled by Resonance. 

“Only in Ohio.” Yes, indeed, only in Ohio! You can tell all your friends what a great place Ohio is.

How did seven (yes, seven!) Ohio cities make this list? According to the rankings, Ohio is an affordable place to live in and a great place to indulge in the arts and rich histories.

Want to know which of these cities in the Buckeye State are loved? Let’s take a closer look. 

Columbus takes No. 34 in America's best cities ranking

With a population of roughly 2.1 million people in the metro area , Columbus is the highest-ranking city in Ohio. Resonance describes Columbus as a climbing “Midwest masterpiece” and gives it high marks for cost of living (No. 19 nationally) and internet access (No. 20).

Ohio’s capital is one of the fastest-growing cities and is an economic powerhouse, as evidenced by Intel's plans to open campuses in the area. Columbus also ranks as the best place in the country to start a small business . 

Cleveland No. 40 in list of top cities in the U.S.

According to Resonance, Cleveland earns its sport on the best cities list thanks to it meets affordability (No. 17 in average rent) and ingenuity (No. 17 for patents created).

This beautiful Northeast Ohio city is filled with diverse universities, breweries, and restaurants serving delicious fare. Cleveland has been described as “one of the fastest-growing and most diverse, inclusive and welcoming metro areas in the Midwest by 2030,” by David Gilbert, president and CEO of Destination Cleveland.

Cincinnati culture helps it rank No. 42 among the best cities

Just like Cleveland, its cross state cousin, Cincinnati is considered a hidden gem in Ohio. The Queen City's stunning parks, hotels, and music halls add to it's thriving nightlife scene, which Resonance ranked No. 30 in the U.S.

Don’t forget Paycor Stadium, where artists such as Luke Combs perform live concerts and the NFL's Bengals help the city rank No. 17 for its professional sports teams. 

Cincinnati is also one of the national leaders for patents, as reflected by its No. 15 ranking in that metric by Resonance.

Akron takes No. 63

Another one! Akron is ranked the 63rd-best American city. This city is known for its wealthy estates and is home to several historic buildings. 

In addition, Akron is home to eight Fortune 500 firms and has the twelfth-lowest average rent in the U.S., which contributes to its No. 4 spot for cost of living, per Resonance. With infrastructure investments and projects, Akron is projected to create 2,000 jobs and generate millions in revenue within the next 20 years. 

Dayton takes No. 68

Want to know the history of aerospace? Dayton has the info. Enjoy the city’s rich history of the Wright Brothers, and take a visit to the Huffman Prairie Flying Field and the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. 

Dayton also is a place to immerse yourself in the arts. Places like The Bach Society, Dayton Opera, Dayton Ballet, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and the Dayton Playhouse are in store to expand your imagination.

The Southwest Ohio city rates well for average rent (No. 9) and cost of living (No. 12), two factors that help it join Ohio's list of the best cities in the U.S.

Toledo takes No. 71

It’s not over yet. Toledo, also known as The Glass City, is an art and culture hub with the world-renowned Toledo Museum of Art, events for opera and ballet, and a world-class zoo. 

Its economy quietly boasts several Fortune companies, such as Marathon Petroleum Corporation and Owens Corning. The city has the fifth-cheapest rent in America and is continuously working to improve livability. 

Youngstown takes No. 95

And last, but not least, Youngstown takes the spot as America’s most affordable city. Believe it or not, the median house price is around $137,546, and the median monthly rent is $706, giving the city the No. 1 spot in that category in the Resonance rankings. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Mahoning County seat is No. 3 overall for cost of living.

Youngstown began as a steel mill powerhouse as America developed. Now, it is a spot for arts and culture, with spots like the Youngstown Playhouse, Youngstown Symphony and the Butler Museum of American Art. If you’re looking to take a peaceful nature walk, Youngstown also has beautiful parks, such as the 5,000-acre Mill Creek MetroParks recreational area.

How Resonance decided seven Ohio cities are among the best in the U.S.

Resonance’s methodology with these rankings uses core statistics from more than 400 global cities, and utilizes resident and visitor perception indicators. Metropolitan areas with more than half a million were taken into account, as well as user-generated data, such as ratings and reviews, from online sources like Google, Tripadvisor, and Instagram. With this came the 100 Best Cities list. 

Three key factors in these rankings include livability, lovability, and prosperity. 


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