I’ve mentioned before that I’m a born and raised Ohioan. I have to admit, there were many times, especially growing up, when I dreamed of living anywhere but Ohio. It was only after my family briefly moved 600 miles away that I realized just how much I missed what I’d spent my entire life taking for granted.
It turns out, Ohio isn’t so bad after all. There were many attractions that I missed, but on every trip back home, there were three popular regions that I longed to visit in Ohio.
Lake Erie Region
Ohio is bordered on the north by Lake Erie, one of the five Great Lakes. A trip to the ocean may not be possible, but Lake Erie is the next best thing. Swimming, fishing, boating, exploring the islands, a lighthouse tour and spending a few days in family friendly Put-in-Bay are just a few of the activities that my family has enjoyed along the shore over the years.
As my kids have gotten older, they’ve discovered another reason to travel near the lake, Cedar Point Amusement Park. Known as the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World”, thrill seekers travel from all over the world to ride one of the many coasters the amusement park boasts. With the addition of the record breaking Gatekeeper, under construction, roller coaster enthusiasts will have one more reason to visit the park. Watch the video and tell me if you’d dare to ride the Gatekeeper.
You may be surprised to know that Ohio has the largest concentration of Amish in the US. Amish are known for their quality, hand-crafted goods, delicious home cooked meals, lifestyle and simple faith. You’ll see evidence of this in Ohio’s Amish Country.
Whether you want to learn about the Amish culture, lifestyle and faith at Behalt Cyclorama, sample the many cheeses made at Hieni’s Cheese Chalet, or ride in a buggy and tour Yoder’s Amish Home, you can do it in Amish Country.
Hocking Hills State Park
There are few places to visit in Ohio as beautiful as Hocking Hills State Park located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. With trails to accommodate any level and ability of hikers, each offering spectacular views, you’ll be hooked the first time you step foot in the park.
If hiking isn’t your thing, you may enjoy seeing the World’s Largest Washboard, touring the small pencil sharpener museum, riding the Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad, slumbering in a gypsy wagon at Ravenwood Castle, or enjoying one of the many festivals that are held throughout the year.
As my family stays closer to home, checking items off my Ohio travel bucket list, these are three areas in Ohio that I plan to visit again and again.
Have you spent time in the Buckeye State? What are some of your favorite places to visit in Ohio?