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The Ultimate Ohio Bucket List for 2021 +Printable

If you’re looking for things to do in Ohio, you’re gonna want to check out our Ohio Bucket List which has been updated for 2021 to include things to do solo, with your spouse, family, or with friends. We even included access to a free printable that you’ll find at the end of the post.

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If you’re like me, you may not have spent much time exploring in 2020 as you had hoped and are really feeling the itch to get out of the house and explore more. You may be interested in the list I’ve compiled that I have dubbed “ The Ultimate Bucket List for those who want to Explore Ohio.” I plan to be deliberate about what I hope to see and do in 2021 and it begins with making a plan. Hopefully, this list will entice a few of you to seek out these attractions and destinations with me.

Want to join me? Download the free printable at the end of the post and let’s make up for everything we didn’t do last year! You may also be interested in our printable Ohio Outdoors Bucket List too.

Ohio Bucket List

The Ohio State Reformatory is more widely recognized as the Shawshank Prison, made popular by the Shawshank Redemption movie.

Ohio is one of the top wine-producing states in the country, has the largest Amish population in the world and is known as the roller coaster capital, thanks to the thrill-seekers paradise, Cedar Point. I’d say Ohio is pretty diverse. Ohio is not only a great place to live, but also a great place to visit.

1.  Take a bike ride along the Towpath Trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

2. Go camping in one of Ohio’s State Parks.

3. Tour the Ohio State Reformatory, the filming site of the Shawshank Redemption and then drive the Shawshank Trail.

4. Sleep in a treehouse, a caboose, or another unique spot in Ohio.

5. Travel the length of the Lake Erie Coastal Trail or another scenic byway.

6. Visit Squire’s Castle or another of the castles in Ohio.
The Put-in-Bay sign is one of the best places on the island for a photo op.

7. Ride a ferry to one of the Lake Erie islands.

8. Visit and take a photo of each of the Cleveland script signs.  You’ll find them at:

  • Edgewater Park- 6500 Cleveland Memorial Shoreway, Cleveland, 44102
  • North Coast Harbor- East 9th Street Pier, Cleveland, 44114
  • Tremont – 1502 Abbey Ave., Cleveland, 44113
  • Euclid Beach- 16301 Lakeshore Blvd.- Cleveland, 44110
  • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport- 5300 Riverside Dr., Cleveland, 44135
  • The Foundry- 1831 Columbus Rd., Cleveland, 44113

9. Visit End of the Commons, the oldest general store in Ohio.

10. Go kayaking or canoeing.

11. Visit all of the zoos in Ohio.

  • Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
  • Akron Zoo
  • Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
  • Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
  • Toledo Zoo

And a couple of bonuses (or alternatives):

  • The Wilds
  • African Safari Wildlife Park

12. Drive across the famous Y Bridge in Zanesville.

13. Take a photo in front of a mural.

mural in clinton county

14. Drive through the Lake View Cemetery and find the spot where a scene from Captain America: Winter Soldier was filmed.

15. Take a train ride.

16. Visit an Ohio Historical Site.

17. Follow the entire Ohio Art Corridor.

18. Take a selfie at one of these roadside attractions in Ohio.

19. Go to a drive-in theater.

20. Go on a covered bridge hunt.

Mural in Cincinnati

21. Take a hike somewhere new.

22. Visit someplace in your hometown that you’ve never been to.

23. Go birdwatching at Magee Marsh.

24. Visit the smallest Kroger in America.

25. Visit Dicken’s Victorian Village or another of Ohio’s Christmas towns.

Dickens characters on the street

If you’re really ambitious, you may want to join me in reaching my personal goal of spending time in each of the 88 counties in Ohio.

Join our mailing list for more things to do in Ohio and download our free Ohio Bucket List.


This post was originally published on January 5th, 2013 and has been updated for 2021. 

Michelle

Wednesday 27th of June 2018

Hi there! I realize that this post was many years ago - but our family is planning an Ohio trip and I came across your post from a link on Pinterest. Thanks for putting it out there! If you've never been to northwest Ohio, the Spangler Candy Company offers factory tours and a trolley ride - home of the Dum Dum suckers, the only US made candy canes and circus peanuts! Bryan, Ohio - Williams County! :)

Tonya Prater

Tuesday 3rd of July 2018

Thanks for the recommendations, Michelle. Spangler Candy Company has been on my list of places to explore for quite a while now. I just keep running out of time. While I did write the original post a few years ago, it is updated as I venture to more Ohio destinations as I hope it continues to be a valuable resource. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Rich

Friday 9th of March 2018

Great article! Very comprehensive list. Reminds me of how many places I have not seen yet...

Bekah

Sunday 19th of November 2017

I LOVE this list, you surely must have the best list of things to do in Ohio. I have to follow you on Pinterest so I can more easily save everything :)

Jane

Friday 31st of March 2017

Please don't forget Mapleside Farms in Brunswick, Medina County. They host a large variety of special events over and above their apple farm heritage. Check out their website. Another place I have not visited yet but hear about is Castle Noel, a unique Christmas museum in Medina near the historic Medina Square (another nice place with events all year on the grounds). The Saturday farmers markets are wonderful at Medina Square along with the art shows, music shows, Christmas candlelight walk, ice carving festival, and many, many other fun events.

Karley

Friday 21st of July 2017

Castle Noel is amazing I actually know the owner it is a really cool experience.

Sue Vess

Saturday 25th of February 2017

Maybe I missed it but I didn't see any mention of the wonder Native American historical sites in southern Ohio. Chillicothe, Dayton, Columbus of the Ancient Fort people and Adena cultures. I've made a few videos of my swing through that area this summer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vwu_Cq3h9E. This one is on Fort Ancient. One of the largest effigy mounds in the WORLD is in Ohio, The Serpent Mound. Thanks for you list...I'll be coming back through there because Ohio really has so much to see.

Kimberly Steel

Tuesday 9th of January 2018

The Serpant Mound is located east of Columbus in Newark, Ohio. Very cool history about our native Indians. I would visit them often as a child around the golf course as a child and heard the stories from my grandfather.

Tonya Prater

Saturday 24th of June 2017

Hi Sue,

You didn't miss it. Up to this point, I've pretty much only added sites that I've been to personally to review and have had time to write about (that's the kicker- getting those posts written). Have you been to Marietta? They have several mounds that you may want to check out as well. Thanks for sharing your video. I'll check it out.

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